Alert! Spoilers Ahead!
Daryl is healing up as Shane and Andrea follow up on a Sophia lead. Maggie and Glenn discuss the value of a mouth kept shut while going back to the pharmacy for Lori as she wrestles with a hellish situation, and both traveling parties get a reminder of how frightening life can be outside the “safety” of Hershel’s Farm. A safety they may not know for much longer.
I was, a very chubby, very twitchy child who changed schools often and tried to fit in by awkwardly elbowing my way in as an ineffective class clown. Teased and isolated, I counted the minutes of every day, the days of every month until summer and our next inevitable move. Each move was a chance to change, a chance to re-draw myself based on what I had learned during the previous year. Trouble is our true nature usually outshines the facade.
Glenn, Dale, and Andrea aren’t in a situation that could easily be categorized as “usual”. They’re facing extinction and evolution within the same moment, losing their singular identity, and finding a new set of personal limits — limits that are seemingly always negotiable. Change is inevitable for these people, but not all at once and not in the space of one hour of television.
Now, that isn’t to say that these three had their character identities shaken clear off an etch-a-sketch. At varying paces Glenn, Dale, and Andrea have been heading towards conscious adulthood, leadership, and self sufficiency for awhile now, but the fact that they all arrived last night, re-born and ready to remake their place within the group speaks to a sort of laziness in the pacing of this show. Another knock on the creative team, amidst the now almost tragi-comical search for Sophia. The little girl has to be dead for this show to maintain, odd as it is to say, feasibility.
It’s about convenience. Glenn needs to stand on his own two feet, Dale needs to be a voice of reason as a time of trouble surely emerges, and Andrea must fully get over Amy’s death and move past her guilt if they are going to realistically hang with the more evolved and hardened characters that surround them. In short, they’re being re-drawn not by what they have learned, but by what the writers know they will need to be in the future.
Burdens, Allegations, and Resolutions
And what about that future? Rick now has another weight on his already cracking back after Lori’s shocking (and forced) revelation, and with Carl up and around and Hershel surely nervous about his barn secret getting out, the time for confrontation is upon us.
Will Rick and his crew stand united, or will it split apart thanks to all the secrets, the sins of omission that are separately keeping Leader Rick out of the know? We know that, country road dalliance aside, Shane still likely covets what Rick has. Lori, Carl, and the position of leadership, respect, and power he once had in the group. Will Shane find out about the baby and lead a severed faction against the usually reasoned Rick when he finds out about Hershel’s twin secrets, his desire that they leave and his determination to have his un-dead family remain?
They broke Shane.
Jon Bernthal has delivered in his role as Shane, starting off as a good ole boy with an edge before descending too quickly toward a sort of base madness that likely awaits the others far down the road. A useful character and foil for the well meaning but trembling Rick, turned into something less as the writers seemingly over-mined the well and burned the bridge back, leaving no acceptable solution aside from a final, bloody one.
And that’s the danger, that’s the risk that’s run when you speed up someones evolution and their development. That’s the concern with the brand new first steps by Glenn the Brave, Dale the Leader, and Andrea the Survivor. Shane was the friend, the caretaker, and another voice of reason. Then the writers demanded that he be more too soon, demanded that he evolve more quickly. And so he almost shot Rick, almost raped Lori at the CDC, and murdered Otis. Now the only way to justify Shane’s character is to make him a memory and a guilty stain on someone’s conscience.
- The comic book parallels. Carl’s hat, shooting class, and the logic behind Hershels’s decision to keep “walkers” in the barn. Was the housing development Wiltshare Estates?
- The complete disappearance of Daryl and the continued irrelevance of T-Dog. (I erred and had that in the “Likes” portion previously.)
- The previously mentioned, uncharacteristic and rapid character maturity and development.
- This endless search for Sofia.
- The extremely unrealistic response from Rick to Lori’s admission of infidelity, another moment that felt forced and more about future stories than the present one.
- Grabby hands
Carl: “Everything is food for something else” — from the mouth’s of gun toting babes.
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Written by Jason Tabrys (@jtabrys)
The former editor-in-chief, Jason still reappears in the rafters of our fair site from time to time but he now spends his days leaping from one place to another, trying to put right what once went wrong. You can still find his words across the toxic constellation that is the… More »
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