I still haven’t gotten over the awfulness of Nebraska to the extent that if I ever live the dream of road tripping around America I will miss out the State in silent protest. Triggerfinger was a welcome return to form for The Walking Dead but the problem with this show is it has difficulties in keeping the momentum going – 18 Miles Out was an important episode.
PLOT: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) take Randall (Michael Zegen) 18.7 Miles Out and away from Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) farm in an attempt to release him back into the wild. Rick wants to start killing Walkers with knives in order to save bullets and he and Shane practise on a couple of Walker cops. Rick and Shane argue. While Rick points out that Lori, Carl and the baby are HIS Shane alters his look between chastised school boy and full on retard.
Back at the farm Beth (Emily Kinney) overtakes T-Dog’s (Irone Singleton) total screen time tally and tries to convince Maggie (Lauren Cohen) to join her in committing suicide.
Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) world falls deeper into chaos as Andrea (Laurie Holden) refuses to help the women leaving Lori to cope with the burden of chopping vegetables alone as Carol (Melissa McBride) is absent from the episode.
Randall lets it slip that he knows Maggie from school and recognises the farm.
Rick and Shane have a manly brawl with so many loud and passionate grunts I feel uncomfortable watching the episode in 5.1.
Rick and Shane take Randall 18.7 Miles In to Hershel’s farm and the debate as to whether or not Randall should be killed will run on for another week. END PLOT
One of most noticeable aspects of 18 Miles Out is the fact that half the cast were inexplicably missing. Dale, Daryl, Glenn, Carol, Carl, Hershel and T-Dog were patrolling the perimeter of the farm just off screen.
The lack of cast mattered not as Shane and Rick finally got to air their grievances and kick the crap out of one another before failing in their mission to ditch Randall. Shane staring at his bloodied face, which was not un-Walker like, in the shattered glass of the building, was the best moment in the entire episode. Shane staring at the lone Walker at the beginning and the end of the episode wasn’t quite as subtle.
This may have been a Shane and Rick episode but Andrea and Lori’s argument also made for great viewing. Andrea putting Lori in her place was great stuff and she was in the right with her theory of letting Beth make her own decision over her suicide. The problem is Andrea and Lori are both very inconsistent in their likeability so whilst it was great to see Lori getting knocked off her pedestal I just know Andrea will probably take a dive off hers next week by doing or saying something ridiculously stupid.
18 Miles Out was essentially an episode based around two arguments and with half the cast off on their own adventures it was left up to Walker action to fill in the gaps. This worked out surprisingly well as like Shane and Otis in the school – the less cast members there are to give screen time to the more intense the Walker action becomes.
There were some impressive kills this week with Rick shooting through the mouth of a deceased Walker to kill another and the wheel of the mighty Hyundai even got a kill. The Walker scenes have been very sparse this season however when the Walkers finally shuffle their way into the mix the effects and prosthetics cannot be faulted.
The most vicious kill of the week fell to Randall as he repeatedly stabbed a Walker in the skull with his knife. Knife kills involve more strength, passion and anger than a straight out head shot so I think it would have been more interesting character wise to have someone we are familiar with kill a Walker in this manner – unless Randall is going to hang around a bit longer and reveal some dark intentions.
As 18 Miles Out ended pretty much where it began I am finding it hard not to label it a filler episode albeit a very good one.
Despite falling into filler territory 18 Miles Out was a very decent episode and it gets 7.5/10. There are three episodes left in season two and with the casting of The Governor being announced the farm story arc is now coming to an end. There is a lot to get through in three episodes and hopefully The Walking Dead will keep the plot threads moving forward at a decent pace.
Jenner’s Secret from the season one finale has still not being resolved despite promises from the Robert Kirkman that this would not drag on. Shane raised the point that the two Walker cops did not appear to have been bitten and Rick did not avail of the opportunity to reveal the worst kept secret in the history of television. It is becoming fairly obvious that Jenner’s Secret will tie in with the ending of Shane’s time on the show.
The worst thing this show can do is have two quiet episodes and a rushed and unsatisfactory conclusion to a choppy season.
Performance of the week: Jon Bernthal
Annoying character of the week: Lori
Zombie kill of the week: Hyundai