By Karen Moul
With thirteen episodes this season, the writers of The Walking Dead
have the luxury of slowing down and developing the characters. Week two was another slow episode, but I think these early episodes devoted to character development will pay off down the road.
I love what they did with Shane this week. They’ve been building him up to be a villain almost as dangerous as the walkers. He left Rick for dead, slept with his wife, and tried to make Rick’s family his own. He even tried to rape Lori. He really has not been a good friend.
And suddenly, there is another side to Shane, a side that is likeable.
When things couldn’t be worse for Rick, his best friend was by his side. There is no doubt that Shane loves Carl as if he were his own son and it is no surprise that he would risk his own life to get the medical supplies to save the boy. But he also loves Rick and we saw him standing by and supporting his friend.
These two aren’t only best friends, they were partners on the police force. When Shane wiped Carl’s blood off Rick’s face, it was a tender, caring moment in which we really saw the deep bond these two men have shared. Shane also forced Rick to remain at the farm and be with Carl. If the child died alone, Rick would never forgive himself and neither would Lori. Shane is actually counseling Rick to protect his relationship with his family.
Rick continues to doubt himself. He laments that if he had only called off the search for Sophia, Carl would not have been in the woods. Shane tells him not to second guess himself, but Rick’s self-doubt has been developing since last season and I wonder if it could be a larger theme in his development. Perhaps this is something he needs to go through before he can become a true leader for the group.
We also got some good back story in the opening flashback with a bit of development that might partly explain why Lori slept with Shane. Like most marriages, the Grimes’ wasn’t perfect. She was vaguely dissatisfied and doubting whether or not she still loved Rick. It doesn’t excuse sleeping with Shane, but it adds another layer of dimension to how she got involved with him so quickly after Rick’s supposed death.
The rest of the group saw minor action.
- Carol mostly cried. I understand she is terrified for Sophia, but it is hard to care about that storyline with the main characters in crisis.
- Andrea continued to be cranky and petulant. I’m sorry she lost her beloved sister but the time for grieving is over. She’s wallowing in survivor’s guilt and it’s not only going to get her killed, it’s also getting annoying.
- Once again, Daryl saved T-Dog’s life, this time with a bottle of doxycycline. When is he going to show some gratitude? Ingrates only get saved so many times before the viewers – and the other characters – stop caring.
- Chandler Riggs was impressive in this episode. I thought he did a great job portraying Carl’s pain, his writhing and crying was completely believable. This young actor really holds his own with the adults.
Finally, many viewers through the most intense shot of the entire night was the child’s bloody car seat. They don’t always have to show killing and dying to make an impression.