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- TV Series: The Walking Dead
- Episode: 18 Miles Out
- Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus,
- Written By: Scott M. Gimple & Glen Mazzara
- Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson
- Network: AMC
- Series: Walking Dead
The Walking Dead: 18 Miles Out Review
Rick Pisses All Over His Territory
By Joe Oesterle
February 27, 2012
Fuckin’ ay! Now that’s a cold opening. Herds of noisy, ravenous, grunting undead banging clumsily about, discolored teeth gnashing, blood, guns, knives and panic – and that’s just the annoying idiots in the apartment next to me. Seriously, I should think about moving.
But back to the show, I’m not saying that kind of heart-racing, guts and gore is what the show needs to become every week, but a little more of that kind of life or death tension and a serious dialing down of the whiney soap opera from last week and I think we’d all be happier.
It is of course the human condition that makes this show stand out from the dozens of mindless zombie flicks that have come before. This show is not meant to be a shoot-em -up, violence-for-violence-sake program, but with that said, it’s pretty cool to get some violence for story sake.
As we learned last week, no one has given the “facts of life” talk to Carl yet. In the immediate post-credit footage, Rick is bound and determined to make sure he doesn’t miss that opportunity with Shane. This of course is the new world order facts of life. This is lawman Rick laying down the law to lawman Shane, and Shane is more uncomfortable hearing it than I would have been had my dad had ever given me the original “when a daddy loves a mommy” version.
Once again Shane recounts the events that led up to his brief hook-up with Lori, and once again I trust that Shane did do everything he could do to help his then best buddy out of the hospital. And again, I need to be clear, Shane did everything Shane could do.
I do have a feeling that Rick might have figured a way to get Shane out had the roles been reversed, but that’s why Rick is this tale’s hero/anti-hero and Shane is the anti-hero/villain.
I can’t say I buy Shane’s assertion that he never looked at Lori in that way before, and that’s mostly because Shane is an admitted hound dog from way back. I also felt I sensed some sort of electricity between Lori and Shane way back, when Shane initially told Lori Rick was dead. Nothing may ever come of my premonitions, but it’s a strong hunch I hope does get addressed one day. To Shane’s credit, he does sound credible when he confessed he’d take it all back if he could, but he can’t. And letting it go doesn’t seem to be an option for him.
As the pair head a little further down the road than originally planned, Rick has once again claimed the mantle of group leader – if but for a short time, as he talks strategy - conserving bullets by using knives instead, finding and stockpiling fuel and warm clothes and hoping for a mild winter.
Shane’s eyes roll to the back of his head when he realizes Rick, while protesting against it, is still trying to be the good guy, by heading out just a little farther to give their hostage – a man who fired on Rick, Hershel and Glen, a fair chance of survival. Those of us who have read the graphic novel already know how Rick’s “good guy” persona turns out, and speaking of the graphic novel, a show of hands to all of you comic geeks who got themselves a bit of a chubby when you saw that chain link fence. Admit it. You thought we were heading to a certain facility.
Another interesting point to mention, and one that may have zoomed past those of you who haven’t read the books, but it was interesting to see Rick and Shane ponder over why the to uniformed walkers they took down didn’t appear to have bites on them. Theses writers aren’t afraid of changing the script from the book, but let’s just say I don’t think walker scratches are enough to turn a person.
Meanwhile back at the barn, the ladies are having their own life and death crisis. At first it’s just a bitch snipe kitchen fight – and the winner is Andrea for her biting snap about a husband AND a boyfriend.
Next however, things get very serious when blonde sister (I’m sure she has a name, but it’s close to midnight, and I’m not checking IMDB for info that should have been laid out a little better) in a fit of zombie-apocalyptic depression, feels like giving in to the urge to take her own life. Lori gives her a pep talk, Maggie gives her tough love, and Andrea shows her to the breakable glass.
Meanwhile back at the chain link fence, things go from anxious to horrific in a short time. First the Philly hostage (who isn’t even trying to do a Philly accent – think Danny DeVito in Always Sunny in Philadelphia) unwittingly admits to knowing Maggie – thereby almost automatically signing his own death sentence, but then in the middle of a boys will be boys fight (seriously, my brother and I fought each other like that daily in Philly) it’s a full-on walker outbreak. Personally I was surprised Rick was even in that fight, let alone lasting as long as he did, but I’ll chalk it up to justifiable rage for his wife and kid(s).
We don’t get a lot of artistic camera shots that make you think in this show, but I loved Shane’s reflection in the broken shard of window glass - Shane looking every bit a crazed murderer as the walkers. Another thing I noticed and wanted to share, who thought the Philly hostage, crawling through the dirt to get the knife, reminded them of the Human Torso in the Todd Browning classic, “Freaks?”
I can’t say I expected Rick to abandon Shane as he was trapped on the bus, and despite what had happened between the two of them mere minutes prior, I’d like to believe that Shane would have also rescued Rick. I think however, Shane might have once again employed his classic go-to move and shot the Philly hostage in the leg and lured the walkers from the bus. Regardless of what Rick thinks, he’s still a good guy. The playing field has shifted, and Rick is shifting with it, but he’s still good. It’s just different rules now, that’s all.
Shane’s philosophy is “the right choice is the one that keeps you alive,” and I believe Rick now buys into that way of thinking. The point is, Rick is always thinking, and while Shane is a reactionary, Rick is a strategist. Both will and have adapted in their own ways, and that philosophical difference and not the fact that Shane slept with his best friend’s wife is what will ultimately force the two into separate camps, or will end in one of their deaths. My money says Rick will survive.
In the end, Rick accomplished almost what he set out to do. He pissed all over the place, letting Shane know who the real alpha dog in camp is. Of course they still have a hostage to deal with, and from the looks of the trailer for next week, it seems Darryl is going to get all Sayid (interrogator from LOST for those not in the know) on that boy’s ass.
Rick’s main concern though was the pissing.
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