The Walking Dead 2.12 – Better Angels

All good things must come to an end.
Thankfully, sometimes bad things come to an end too.

Rick Grimes gives a heart-felt eulogy to the old man who always spoke his mind and believed that the group had been fundamentally broken. He says the greatest way to honor Dale is to prove that he was wrong. (Maybe “live by his ideals” or “strive for a group Dale would have been proud of” would have been a better choice of words, because it kinda sounded like Rick was remembering Dale as a stubborn asshole.)

Interspersed through the funeral scene and eulogy, there is a group that has gone out to mend the fence where the walker that munched on Dale got through. In a scene that’s straight from the Office Space printer beatdown—cue Geto Boys, Still, “Because it’s DIE motherfucker DIE!…”—they quickly dispatch a group of walkers, who aren’t merely cow-tipping, with shovels and arrows and pitchforks and boots to the head.  Shane delivers a gruesome skull crushing, brain chopping shovel-hack to the last struggling walker and…I’m sorry, was Rick saying something about some dead old dude?

Back at the farm house, Herschel, (having recently invited Glen into his daughter’s pants by regifting the watch that his father had smuggled out of a P.O.W. camp in his own A), has decided to invite the rest of the crew to live inside the house, for safety. Rick assigns duties to everyone to adjust to the new conditions and prepares to take Randall on another nice drive into town. I  bet the boy can’t wait, that last trip was awesome.  Shane isn’t into the idea, telling Rick he’s a big fat doo-doo head. Rick tells Shane to suck it (and swallow) and walks off. Shane wishes he had aimed a little better with that big-ass pipe wrench.

As everyone is walking and moving their cars and motorcycles toward the house, Herschel reminds Rick that he still doesn’t trust Shane. Rick tries to assure the old man that Shane is turning over a new leaf and Herschel looks back at him like, “Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!????”  Then they ask Andrea to babysit Shane, since she’s so into him. She is unwilling, but will continue to watch camp.

Carl walks up as Shane is loading lumber into the hatch-back trunk of his sweet-ass Hyundai. Damn, that ride is versatile, and check out the cargo room! Carl admits that it was his fault that Dale is dead. Shane tries to let the kid off the hook, because he knows that truthfully, it’s Dale’s own fault for being a dumb ass old man. Carl won’t hear it. He hands over the gun he snaked out of Daryl’s saddlebag and runs off like a sniveling little punk, saying he’ll never shoot a gun again. *sob*

Shane, with the trunk space now only partially loaded with lumber, (seriously, who could actually fill that roomy interior storage compartment?) is showing how tight the turning radius is on his little four-wheeled-Hyundai-honey badger, whipping around the wind mill before he surveys his DIY project.

Daryl is hammering some boards over holes in the barn where they’ve got Randall held prisoner. He wants free in a bad way and has been fighting with his handcuffs long enough to cause deep cuts in his wrists. He’s really not getting much love from his captors.

In the house, everyone is moving into their new digs.  Maggie invites Glen to stay with her in her room. He, out of respect for her old man, refuses to be tempted. T-Dog helps Lori move her stuff into the house by grabbing one of the… wait… is that one of the storage containers that Lori was so opposed to ransacking, back at the road block, before Sophia ran off? Maybe they were on sale. Herschel goes even further offering the master bedroom to Lori’s family. He relates a creepy story how his wife used to lock his drunk-ass out of the bedroom, forcing him to dry hump the couch cushions, or some shit. Ewww!

Lori, seeing that everyone in camp is totally kissing her ass, decides to fuck with Shane’s head a bit by telling him that she’s sorry. She’s sorry that she never thanked him for saving her and Carl. And the sex, and understanding, and sex, and being there, and sex, and thanks and sex, and sex, and oh yeah, the sex. Well, that’s what Shane heard, I think. She knew he’d hear it that way, that’s why she said it. Chicks never resist an opportunity to torture dudes…even in the ap-walker-lypse.

Daryl and Rick are strategizing their Randall-dump plans when Shane pulls up in his sensible ride. Daryl takes this opportunity to split as Shane tries to get Rick to address the situation with Carl. He’s all up in Rick’s parenting biz, offering advice and challenging Rick’s calls. Rick is starting to do that sideways head nod thing that he does when he knows he’s talking to an asshole. He shoots down all of Shane’s suggestions, causing Shane to finally give up the gun that Carl had given him. He’s hurling imaginary pipe-wrenches at Rick as he walks back to his zombie-Zamboni; the metallic pea Hyundai—perfect for “taking the whole tribe cross-country.”

Drag, Glenn and Andrea are faced with the task of moving Dale’s Winnebago RV.  When it doesn’t start, we get to see a precious, touching moment where Glenn gets to use the knowledge that Dale had taught him in post-apocalyptic auto shop.  I’m sure many viewer’s eyes teared up as Andrea offered him a screwdriver and he clarified that he needed a flat-head, not the one she had previously stabbed a zombie with. Of course the RV starts when they try it again, we all needed that.

Rick decides to talk to Carl, who’s sulking up in the loft of the barn.  He, for some reason most of us don’t get, doesn’t blame the boy for Dale’s being killed.  I do, for sure. Carl blames himself, which finally makes me like him a bit more…I mean I still hate the doughy little snot… but maybe not as much. Dad tells the boy to grow out of his pull-ups and put on his big boy drawers, shit’s gone crazy, kid.  Sorry, play time’s over, hope you had fun.

Shane goes in to check on the prisoner, Randall. He seems to be struggling with his next move. He stares at the boy. He checks his handcuffs and becomes really agitated when he sees that he’s has been trying to escape. Gears are working in his thick skull. Ugly, selfish gears, I bet. He’s definitely not stable. Look at him slapping himself in the face

Daryl and T-Dog are loading the truck as T gives him Dale’s old pistol.  Daryl wishes he could find HIS gun. (Nothing gets past this guy, huh?) Rick joins them sending T-Dog to go get Randall, discovering what looks like an escape. He leaps into action.

Oh Shit, Shane has released Randall and is now marching him through the woods, blindfolded. (And we all know that forced marches through woods rarely end well.) He removes the kid’s blindfold and convinces him to show him where the rest of his crew hangs out. He wants to kick it with these guys, having grown tired of the gang he’s now in. The boy thinks Shane is going to get along swimmingly with his other buddies and is about to tell some more nice rape stories, when Shane silences the little fucker just out of view of the camera, and then bashes his own face into a big tree trunk by running at it, ugly mug first.  He then rejoins the group trying to sell the story of how the young boy jumped him and stole his weapon.

They begin to search, but Daryl, having seen everything so clearly throughout this whole ordeal, finally accuses Shane of bullshitting, saying the tiny kid weighed only a buck twenty-five, soaking wet. He doesn’t buy it that Randall could best the crazy former cop. Shane said that the kid must have had a big rock, so there, and stuck out his tongue and said Nyahhh!! (almost) Rick splits the group reminding them that Randall isn’t the only threat out there. The camera trains on Shane, the viewers all stir in our seats. Oh shit!

Carl is keeping a lookout from his perch in the barn loft, with binoculars.  Rick is walking with Shane and quizzing him like a perp. Shane’s failing miserably. Rick is no fool and keeps an eye on him and a hand on his gun.

Daryl is walking with Glenn while tracking the escapee. He’s seeing things that don’t add up. It seems Shane followed this guy farther than he originally said, and there’s blood on this tree (which zombie wants licks??). Just when they get to the scene of the previous struggle, they see a walker in the distance. They dash behind trees and get ready. Glenn jumps out first and is shocked to be staring at Zombie Randall all walkered-out.  He hesitates, again, nearly getting both himself and Daryl killed.  He eventually finds his balls and tackles the half-dead punk-ass and chops a machete into his brain, killing him for real this time.  Daryl gives him a pat on the shoulder for a job well done.

Rick finally sees that Shane is leading him on a mind-F-snipe-hunt and starts to confront him. Shane starts to tell Rick how shitty a husband, father, and lover he thinks him to be, and how after he ends up dead that Lori and Carl will adjust and move on, like last time. Rick drops his own weapon, unwisely doubting that Shane is messed up enough to shoot his former best friend in the face while unarmed.  He drops his weapon and slowly moves towards Shane, requesting he do the same.

He is showing all of the signs of mutual surrender when, all of a sudden, and with the mass acceptance and support of the entire viewing audience, he drives a hidden blade into Shane’s guts. Wow! He didn’t see that coming. Rick is upset that he was driven to this by Shane, while around the viewing nation, high-fives are being slapped and fists are being thrust celebratingly, into the air.  Yes!  Yes!

That’s right, you sancho-side stepping, scumbag, step-douche! You didn’t expect that shit! Wow! Awesome! Rick is recovering from this horrifying act as Carl walks up.  He doesn’t want the kid to see it, but can’t really form words to send him away either. Horrific images flash across the screen of zombie-thoughts and walker-fantasies, telling us that Shane is changing. But he hasn’t been bit?  What the?

Rick doesn’t see what’s going on behind him, as half-dead Shane geek-rises to his feet. Carl is crying and raises his pistol seemingly at his own father.  At least that what Rick thinks, just before the kid fires a single shot, dropping zombie-Shane with a blast to the brain. You’re one for two now, kid, congratulations.  Now go put away your tinker-toys and grab a shovel. I guess Carl gets dibs on the sweet-ass, metallic pea-green Hyundai.  Well done son, you deserve it.

Oh hey, you might want to look out for that big-ass zombie horde migrating from the forest. Yeah. That one. The one right behind you.

NEXT WEEK’S SEASON FINALE:
What’s with Randall and Shane turning zombie so fast?

Will the walkers from the forest stop in unison and begin a tribute dance to MJ?

Will they make it 3 dead main characters for 3 final episodes?

 

 

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  • This is the first episode I found myself saying, “I hate to say it, but Shane’s got a point” re: talking to Carl about Dale’s death. But then this happens. Not the way I thought it would, but still, F you Shane! And nice shootin’, Carl.

    • Kristi Edwards

      Yeah. Too little, too late Shane. Not sad to see you gone. Loved the way you went.

  • Amy J.

    I was thrilled that Shane was 1. killed by Rick, FINALLY and 2. put down by Carl. Good job, fellas! What a relief that someone finally had the stones to end Shane, who definitely lost his mind somewhere along the way. (Anyone want to hazard a guess when? Was he already coo-coo for cocoa puffs before the zombie apocalypse? Or was leaving his best friend and partner alone in a hospital full of zombies what flicked his switch?)

    I’m presumably alone in thinking that Lori had good intentions in apologizing to Shane. I felt like she definitely owed him an apology even if he’s been a huge douchecanoe for basically the whole series. Maybe I’m wrong and it was all an act on her part to push him over the edge so Rick would have no choice but to do what he eventually did. (And can I say again, FINALLY!)

    • I’m pretty sure Shane had the capacity to be INSANE and just the right events triggered his Crazy Switch. I think it was Rick showing up back at the camp. He seemed legitimately upset that he had to leave Rick at the hospital and tried to give him the best chance at life he could in the circumstances (blocking the door might not have been much but I guess it was something, at least!). But then he got what he wanted with Lori and Rick effed that all up by, you know, living.

      I didn’t think Lori was being manipulative there, either. She seemed genuine to me. But maybe she’s just as crazy as Shane in sneakier ways!

    • atticwindow

      I hated that Lori apologized, and that she referred to Shane’s attempted rape as him “being confused.” Shane has been Nice Guy Syndroming all over Lori ever since Rick came back – as bloody annoying as she is, and she IS, she didn’t owe Shane squat regarding their relationship. She ended things. He kept harassing her about things. She said no. He tried to rape her. He continued to harass her, try to manipulate and dominate her, and was generally an asshole every time they were together. She was the one who said sorry. Bad bad bad.

      I think you might be right that she said some of the things she did to push Shane over the edge, though. I’m glad his storyline is over.

    • Kristi Edwards

      I think she should have just shut up. What good would it do Shane to hear an apology. He’s not going to go all warm and fuzzy and grateful AND leave her alone. She should have dropped it. They talked once. Over and done. She should have stopped poking crazy with a stick.

  • Geeka

    Wow. It’s getting crazy. I let the first episodes build up so I could watch them in one chunk. Then, I spoiled myself to Dale’s death by looking at pictures of Norman Reedus on IMDB. Daryl is so smart looking for bites. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m just ready for Lori to become the zombie fodder she has been meant to be for a while. Thanks for the recaps!!

    • Kristi Edwards

      Lori? I don’t know. Maybe we should take a poll on who goes next.

      I have a theory about zombification without bites or scratches. I think now it’s waiting for ANYONE who dies. Dale won’t dig his way out of the ground because Daryl humanely shot him through the head. (Head shots and burning are the only way to stop it. I think everyone is already infected. Just a personal theory. I’ve purposefully stayed away from the graphic novels and any other commentary.)

      I peg Lori for death next season during childbirth and then zombification and consumption of her squawking infant. OR the baby might die in utero, in which case, it will eat its way out, making mom a zombie. Childbirth is beautiful unless it’s during the zombie apocalypse. (Sorry. Got pretty damn graphic there. Oh well. If you can handle watching a head be turned to pulp by a shovel, you can probably handle my theories.)

  • atticwindow

    Did anyone find it in bad taste that Rick’s eulogy began by talking about how Dale got under people’s skin? I mean, what with the zombie getting under Dale’s skin and all….

    • Kristi Edwards

      Hahahaha! Awesome. I hadn’t though of the zombie literally getting under Dale’s skin! Looooove it!

      I didn’t like that he said in the eulogy he said that to honor Dale they’d have to prove him wrong. Semantics yes. He’s a hick Sheriff, not a preacher or a poet, but come on. SAY ONLY NICE THINGS. If that means the service is short, well let it be short.

  • Sylvia Fisher

    I’m probably the only person who loved the character of Shane, crazy and all. Jon Bernthal is such a fine actor – he always made me feel for Shane. I was always able to see his humanity – sometimes flickering feebly – but always there.

    And he broke my heart during Lori’s apology. The hurt, longing, bewilderment…

    …although I’m pretty sure that was also the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    • I loved Shane, too! And I was sad to see him go crazy and have to be put down, just like Old Yeller. Twice, yet! I found him extremely hot and competent, a bulletproof kink for me, and it annoyed me that the character went in the direction that he did. I’m always a-hopin’ and a-prayin’ that everybody eventually finds redemption but alas, that’s not always in the cards.

      I still like Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, and of course Daryl. And Rick, because he’s a big damn hero so I have no choice. Everybody else I look forward to becoming zombie chow.

  • Kristi Edwards

    I doubt you’re the only one.

    He is a terrific actor and it’s sad to see him go, but I know he has a lot more range than anger and brooding. I predict we’ll see him again in other shows. (Hopefully he won’t have a shaved head. His atonement for Otis’s murder and his total conversion to militant survivalist were NOT attractive to me.)

    Lori was at least part of what finally broke him. He was crazy. Remember, they shot Old Yeller.