But really, this is the pic I wanted to start with! Sadly, my favorite character in the show has finally met his end. It was certainly a good one!
So lets start here!
I love how the show is blurring the line between the living and the dead. Is there any real difference between the Shane in the above picture and the one in this one?
Just a few minutes before this scene he was staring blankly into space, grunting and growling. The Shane that smashed his face against a tree in order to break his own nose was much more zombie than human.
But lets back track a bit.
I loved this episode. Firstly, on the tails of killing off a major character, the last thing you expected them to do was kill off another! Especially Shane. We all knew it was coming. After all, Rick is the protagonist. Shane is secondary. The two could not exist together. One had to go. I knew something was about to happen though when Shane tried to give Carl back the gun. For the second time, the show made a point to have Shane offer Carl a weapon. Both times Carl was wearing the Sheriff cap. The first time though, he was still an innocent. His mother was protecting him. The second time, Carl was becoming a man. He was coming face to face with the reality that there would be no childhood, and his own failings. (He failed to kill the zombie.) This time though it was Carl who tried to hold on to his childhood.
The third time he was handed a gun, it was by Rick. The circle was complete and Carl stepped over the threshold. At this point I knew Shane was bait. The whole gun thing symbolized Shane trying to take Rick's place as father, and failing. And Carl finally accepting the gun from Rick showed who was going to win the conflict. Rick was indeed the kid's father and protector.
Shane's fate was not sealed though until Lori stuck her meddling nose into things. The guy was working by himself, building a lookout roost in the windmill. Then Lori had to come over and basically tell him that had Rick not come back, they would have been together. You could see the straw breaking the proverbial camels's back. Then Shane descends into madness. The scene that started when he shaved his head, was completed when he was in the barn with the kid trying to decide what to do. You saw the last of his humanity slip away as he made the decision to both kill the kid, and Rick.
The actual scene itself was a bit clunky. Of course the situation would be clumsy and akward, but it felt like some of the dialogue was forced and silly. Clearly none of them trusted Shane at this point. And definitely the best way to find him quickly would have been to track him. How far could a hobbled weak kid get in the few minutes Shane said elapsed. Daryl would have found him in no time. Instead Rick agrees that they should split up and look blindly.
Did Rick already know Shane was going to try to kill him? Probably. The best part about Rick is what he does not say. Maybe it was the look in Crazy Shane's eye. At any rate, Rick had to be sure. So I guess he played along.
Then after some shambling about in the woods, it all comes crashing down. Daryl and Glen find the truth. The bloody tree and the dead kid. Rick and Shane also find the truth. Rick actually is willing to make the hard call. Carl find the truth too. For some reason he slipped away from his mother and followed them. Where the hell is she by the way? For a woman so protective of her 12 year old kid, he manages to not be with her at the darndest times. Any way, The confrontation finally happens.
Rick was now sure that he was going to have to end Shane. And this was not about right or wrong, or protecting the group, or who is the boss. This was personal. Rick decided Shane was going to die because it was time. The man screwed his wife and tried to take his kid. Enough. Hell Shane even started to lower his gun. Rick put his knife through his heart.
His wail after was about him realizing that he was losing his own humanity.
Then comes Carl. I was sad to see that I was mistaken about Carl being the one to end Shane. At first I thought it would be Glen. Then when I saw the foreshadowing, thought Carl would be the one. Then after what I spoke about earlier was sure that Carl was going to be the trigger man. So when Rick stuck him, I figured I was not as smart as I thought! But Carl saved the day and popped a cap in Zombie Shane.
I loved the scene over all, the moon and the confrontation.. it was all well done. My only beef was that after all of the skulking through the woods, and all of Shane's plotting to get Rick away and execute him, they ended up in a field just a couple hundred yards away from the house. So much for the secrecy! Every one at the house would have a front row seat.
This was a great episode that brought a lot of things full circle. Now it is just time for the zombie carnage.
I hope that they jump the plot ahead some time so they can keep Carl in the show. I think that there can be a lot of great drama as they follow this kid coming of age. But the only way it will work is if they advance the time line to keep it realistic as the actor who plays Carl his puberty. As I mentioned last time, only a few weeks have passed in the show, but three years have passed in reality.
It was good to see Tdog finally get some screen time. I think he had more lines this episode than he had all season. I think that his character adds more to the show than a lot of the others. Or could at least. I want to see them develop that.
I enjoyed the brute squad opening of the show. Daryl, Tdog, Blondie and Shane had the most potential to be the ass kickers. It was good to see them get medieval on some zombie hide. I loved the pitch fork kill that blondie laid on the zombie. Good stuff. Too bad Shane is gone now. I would like to have seen regular forays into town by these four. Kicking ass and taking names.
It will be interesting to see how they resolve what the Dr. whispered into Rick's ear. And then there is the issue of people who were not bitten turning into zombies. Is every one infected?
What's next? Well the zombies are going to over run the group. More dieing will happen. Probably the rest of Hershel's family and Hershel himself. But that is a bit too predictable. I hate to say it, but I think Maggie is going to bite it. They need to add another twist to Glenn's character and that will do it. So I see Daryl, Rick, Lori, Carl, Tdog, Glen and Andrea getting off the farm. Oh and Carol. I guess the survivors of the group as of now. Will any more regular characters die next week? Who would be likely candidates? I doubt Carol because they have spent too much time insinuating some plot with Daryl, and of course not Daryl as he is the most dynamic character in the show. I wouldn't be surprised if Glen goes. Or if he is replaced by Maggie. They both can serve the same purpose.
At any rate it is rumored that two new characters will join the regular cast. Look for some one who will replace Shane in the ass kicking department, and some one to add more mystery and secrets. With Dale gone and Rick having his own internal struggles, the groups moral compass is in trouble, so maybe we will see some one to replace that. Perhaps some one more lawful evil? Some one who insists upon following a code of ethics like Dale, but not holding onto old world ideals. That would be cool. Some one playing the role of both Shane and Dale! The group would definitely take a turn for the macabre. With Shane gone, the major source of drama is dead. So I can't wait to see who they use to replace it!
I would also not be surprised to see some more concrete outside opponents. The last six episodes were about "the other group" and their fears about what might happen. Once they escape the farm they are going to have to hole up some where and I think the producers will keep the whole double jeopardy thing, dangerous humies/zombies thing going.
But for the love of god they need to go grab some decent weapons, and lose the 30 year old camper. They are in Georgia for christ sake. There has to be an RV park or dealer every 5 miles. A tough new RV with some armor plates welded on, and a couple of Hummers with .50 caliber machine guns mounted on top would be sweet.
Well here is to next week's carnage then six months of waiting.