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The Walking Dead S2E3 review

REVIEWS - TV

How many bullets do I have left...do you feel lucky, punk?

"Save the Last One"

[Spoilers]

Overview: Shane and Otis go through some pretty harrowing zombie chases in the high school. Carl survives his surgery thanks to the last-minute return of the truck with the equipment needed: but this high school is like the thunderdome: two men entered, one man leaves. Glenn and Maggie bond over tough times, Darryl and Andrea bond over a midnight walk and suicidal tendencies, Dale and Andrea scrap, and Sophie's still lost in the woods. Again. Some more.

Shane and Otis are running through the high school, zombies hot on their trail. Implacable, slow-mo zombies. Nice flashback to the pilot, as they run for the cafeteria and the doors are chained shut. There's no sign saying "Don't Open, Dead Inside" but considering what's offered for school lunch in the best of times, that sign on a cafeteria that may have seemed redundant.

Rick and Lori are at Carl's bedside, he's still unconscious. He is bottoming out, and they are going to have to operate, with or without the respirator and equipment from Shane and Otis. Lori isn't sure she wants Carl to live (seriously? WTF?) and Sheriff Rick has to talk her into it. Into trying to allow their kid to live. Thanks, Mom!

Back at the highway, Sophie's mom is crying, so Darryl and Andrea go for a night walk to look for Sophie. Dale suggests it may not be the best idea: Andrea bites his head off. So tired of this interplay. A) we get it. B) Andrea's pissed off to be alive (although that doesn't stop her from fighting like crazy to live every time she gets attacked.) C) Dale cares. Did I mention we. get. it? Darryl and Andrea bond on their midnight woods walk, she admits that she's not sure she wants to live, still. Some more. When they get back, sans Sophie (surprise!) Dale returns Andrea's gun.

Shane is backed into a corner (again) with a walker approaching (again) and as he goes to shoot, the zombie's head explodes because Otis shot it ... WAIT a minute! Didn't Otis learn from the deer?  Bullets go THROUGH stuff. They hit people on the other side.

Shane and Otis are trapped on the bleachers. Otis draws off the walkers toward the locker room, while Shane takes the supplies and makes a break (!) for the windows. It's a two story drop, scary anyway, especially so when a walker leans out the window and grabs Shane! He shoots and falls, injuring his leg. Shane is backed into a corner (again) with a walker approaching (again) and as he goes to shoot, the zombie's head explodes because Otis shot it ... WAIT a minute! Didn't Otis learn from the deer?  Bullets go THROUGH stuff. They hit people on the other side. He was basically shooting directly through the zombie to Shane's face. Maybe Shane will end up in the bed next to Carl, and Otis can try for the hat trick.

Glenn and TDog arrive at the farm; hey, is that sexual tension between Glenn and Hershel's daughter. There are some sweet moments when Glenn helps her deal with her grief later in the episode. I like it!

The truck pulls up in the nick of time, with Shane and the supplies ... but no Otis. Shane tells the group that Otis sacrificed himself. Carl pulls through, Shane hits the shower, and through flashbacks while Shane is shaving his head we see the end of Otis. They are running together: Otis has just refused to leave Shane behind; but they only have a few bullets left. Shane looks Otis right in the eyes, says he's sorry, and shoots him in the leg! Shoots him! Otis falls, but grabs Shane; the two wrestle, .

What they did really, really well: Shane arriving at the farm alone, with flashbacks to what really happened to Otis. Awesome. Shane's character actually developing, swinging back and forth between being the outsider you can sympathize with, and being shockingly evil. And Glenn has a story line coming, I think! Yay! What sucked: there was a significant absence of backbone in the women in this episode. Good God, y'all! Lori loses it, thinking it might be better for Carl to die rather than live in their post-apocalyptic zombie world. Sophie's mom cries, but waits for the people around her to take action. Andrea still won't admit that she might want to live. Here's the thing: it seems like, in this world, it would be pretty easy to satisfy a death wish if you're serious about it. All of their actions are focused to survival - a disproportianate amount of dialogue is focused on whether they want to or not. But here's why I'll keep watching: this episode gave me my first honest-to-god moment of jaw-dropping disbelief. The whole Shane and Otis adventure .... so well-handled. It was the element of surprise that fans of the comics series have come to expect from Kirkman and Co. More, more more!

See also:

9 ways to keep us watching The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead S2E2 review

The Walking Dead S2E1 review

Top ten zombie survivors


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