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Gary Roszko

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The Walking Dead: "18 Miles Out"

Posted: 02/28/2012 12:10 pm

The Talking Dead, excuse me, The Walking Dead opens with a nice shot of actual walkers giving chase. A nice change of pace for a show about the undead with a certain plot twist lacking as of late.

Rick and Shane do some talking, but Rick is actually sounding pretty hardcore in his little "pep talk." He all but tells Shane he'll kill anyone to protect his family. Finally showing some backbone (and other parts of the male anatomy) when it comes to people he actually knows. He's been tough with strangers up until this point, avoiding a much-needed sit down with his former partner.

They skip over the healing of the kids leg, which I for one am extremely grateful. We don't need any more Dr. Hershel, Medicine Farmer here.

There's a nice scene with Lori and Maggie talking about the differences between being out on runs and being back at the farm. Lori admits that her job is to just stand by her man and keep him sane. At least that's what she's telling everyone else in camp.

There's a helpful little "strategy" meeting about long-term survival between Rick and Shane while the kid is tied up in the back with bad music blasting in his headphones. They talk about the coming winter and using silent weapons as opposed to guns. But of course, as soon as Shane sees a walker he reaches for his gun. Rick takes out one walker and lets Shane know he's on deck for the next round.

A nice shot of them gathering supplies and looking over two dead cops, or maybe high school safety officers and Rick points out that maybe it wasn't a bite that took them down but a scratch.
Lori talks to Beth, Maggie's sister, and it sounds all too much like an after school anti-suicide special. She even drops the "It gets better" line. Lori is pretty quick in realizing Beth has kept the knife from her lunch and heads back upstairs to get it.

The kid is begging for his life while Rick and Shane and ignore him in a pretty awesome 1980s walk away when the bound kid drops Maggie's name and stops them in his track. Shane does his usual 'we kill him because you're weak' bit and pulls his gun. A nice show of testosterone is displayed here with a shouting match which finally leads to fisticuffs between the two cops. And of course, that lets the kid crawl for the knife to free himself.

The whole season has been leading to a boiling point, slowly (very slowly) building towards a confrontation between Shane and Rick, and when we reach it, they cut to commercial. And guess what's there? A commercial for Resident Evil, and it kinda looks better than this season so far. I mean, there's real zombies chasing you and trying to eat you. But I digress.

Back to fighting! Shane drops a motorcycle on Rick's leg, which is the most awesome thing they've shown this season. I'm not sure you read that. Shane dropped a motorcycle on Rick's leg. A motorcycle. But since Rick is fighting for his family, he gets back and takes control of the fight. Shane regains his wits and throws a really big wrench through a window and unleashes a nice little pack of walkers. Damn you Shane and your short temper!

Back on the farm, it's more soap opera drama as the women get mad at the girl for trying to attempt suicide, which leads to the funniest line of the season: "What's dad gonna do? Kill me for attempting suicide?"

Awkward! Lori and Andrea stand in the kitchen as the sisters engage in a very loud shouting match in their room. Andrea thinks Lori is wrong for stopping the girl from killing herself, and I can't help but think Andrea is turning into a female Shane. She's mad at the world and is not given a valid reason beyond "Dale took my gun."

Lori is trying to be the den mother and keep women in the kitchen while Andrea is actually trying to help everyone survive. Andrea could be so much stronger if they actually show her being strong and not just talking about it. But wait -- that's what this show has really been about this season.

And Rick has the Zombie Kill of the Week! Shot one walker in the head, then used the hole in his mouth to shot another walker!

A suicide pact? Whoa, this show really does have everything. Beth is begging Maggie to end it all with her tonight, which, needless to say, leaves Maggie stunned. Enter Andrea, and right away I get the feeling that the sister isn't going to make it out of the room alive. Maybe not even undead.

Ok, turns out Andrea actually gave a good talk about just dealing with the pain, and "finding a place for it."

Shane's still trapped in the bus as Rick and the kid make a break for it. Looks like all of his bad ass talk was just an act.

Beth locks herself in the bathroom while Maggie and Lori are outside begging to be let in when they hear glass break. Lori finds what looks like a fireplace poker thing (why is it in the upstairs bedroom?) and pries the door open to find Beth standing in front of a broken mirror with a minor cut on her wrists and some blood pouring from the wound. I'm not sure if it was just poor effects here or just a slight cut. Later on they do say it's not that deep, so it may be the latter.

Shane is still in the bus when Rick bursts through the gate in a car proving why it's called 'riding shotgun' as he hangs out the window and starts shooting walkers in the head. Shane takes this chance to run to the back of the bus and jump into the back window of the car.

Another POV shot of the kid tied up being dragged back into the trunk. And of course, here we are, back to talking. This entire season has been nothing but character growth through talk and very little action. Shane has been the one to constantly prove that he grows through doing, not talking. But now he's looking a lot like a scolded puppy as he stares out the window looking at the same walker they passed on their way out.

I'm a little bummed Carl wasn't in this episode, he usually has the best line of the show ("If dad didn't do it, I would have shot Sophia" anyone?) but overall, I thought it was pretty good. A bit faster paced than previous episodes. And hopefully they actually mention the Governor this season.

 

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