Recaps contain spoilers. Are we all clear on that?
Shane and Rick start the episode off mid-action as they run from a crowd of zombies. Shane locks himself in a school bus while a handcuffed Randall wriggles on the ground towards a wicked looking knife. Just as you’re thinking, “Whaaaaaaaaaat is happening?” we cut to earlier in the day. Rick pulls the car over for a moment to talk with Shane. They’re supposed to take Randall 18 miles from the farm and drop him off, but Rick has had enough of the uneasy tension. He asks Shane if he shot Otis in order to survive, and Shane answers yes. Rick tells Shane that Lori called him dangerous, and this rattles Shane. He is unable to look Rick in the eye, especially when Rick confronts him about sleeping with Lori. In my opinion, Rick is calmer than I would expect any man to be when talking to the man who slept with his wife, but Rick makes it clear that it took everything he had not to rail against Shane when he found out about the affair. He firmly tells Shane that his feelings for Lori aren’t love, and the only way to move forward is for Shane to accept everything Rick has said as truth. When facing Rick, Shane doesn’t have his usual bravado and cocky attitude. He claims he would take it all back if he could. We get a glimpse of Randall in the trunk, arms and feet tied together and deafened by loud music blaring.
At the farm Maggie and Lori talk about Glenn and how he blamed Maggie for his inability to act. Lori takes a bit of an outdated stance and suggests that they let the men handle the zombies and for Maggie to tell Glenn to “man up.” Lori takes lunch in to Beth, who is awake but clearly not too optimistic about Lori’s pregnancy.
On the car ride Rick suggests using knives in a situation with only one zombie to save ammunition. He hopes for a harsh winter to slow down the zombies and plans for snowmobiles and winter clothes. While he strategizes and plans, Shane is silent, watching a lone zombie walking through a field.
Rick drives farther than 18 miles and Shane notices, but Rick wants to find a place to drop off Randall so he has a fair shot at surviving. They stop at a county building and as they case it, a zombie wanders out. Shane pulls out his gun, but Rick wants to use his knife. He lures the zombie with blood from his own cut hand and stabs him in the head through the fence. They break the locks on the fence and enter. The place seems deserted, but everyone knows that quiet moments are exactly when the walkers pop up. They split up (also never a good idea). Shane examines an empty school bus and Rick finds a pile of burned bodies in the back. Shane notices that the walkers they stabbed don’t have bite marks, just scratches. They pull Randall out of the trunk. The scene is set for the zombie chase we saw earlier, but there aren’t any walkers yet.
Lori tries to comfort Beth, who hasn’t eaten any of her lunch. She pretends to feel better, but Lori notices that the steak knife is missing from her lunch tray and goes back in to take it from her. She asks Andrea to find Maggie or Hershel.
Shane and Rick try to leave Randall (still tied up), but when he says he went to school with Maggie, they both stop. He knows Maggie and therefore he knows where the farm is. Shane pulls out his gun and fires at Randall, but Rick jerks Shane’s arm and Randall is spared. Rick wants to think through a decision overnight, but Shane gets angry that he wants to take Randall back to where Lori and Carl are. Finally Shane says, “I don’t think you can keep them safe.” Rick explodes and he and Shane start beating each other with an intensity that has been building up since the day Rick showed up at the survivor campsite. Randall takes advantage of their fighting to inch his way toward the blade that Rick dropped.
The fight is brutal. Both men are strong, and Shane actually overturns a motorcycle onto Rick to keep him down. As Randall gets closer to the knife, Shane throws an enormous bus wrench at Rick. It misses him but smashes into the window of the building behind him, which is apparently where all the zombies have been hiding. The first comes out and Rick stabs him, then uses the body to cover himself up. Shane runs as the walkers file out in a steady and unending stream.
Randall finally reaches the knife and is cutting his bonds when a lady zombie spies him. She lurches for him but he stomps on her arm, snapping the bone outwards. He frees himself and stabs her over and over in the back of the head.
In the kitchen Lori and Andrea overhear Maggie and Beth fighting loudly over the attempted suicide. Andrea tells Lori she did the wrong thing by taking away the knife because it was Beth’s decision whether or not to kill herself. Lori tells Andrea that the men should handle the zombies on their own and the women should do…well, basically the “women” chores. Lori is trying to create a life worth living and thinks Andrea is wasting her time learning to shoot and fight. Andrea is furious, and I would be too. Lori refers to the zombies as if they are in another world instead of the one she lives in. Andrea tells Lori she takes things for granted because she still has everything – “husband, son, baby, boyfriend…” ZING! I actually clapped to myself when she delivered that line. Okay, maybe it’s unfair. Lori did cut romantic ties with Shane when Rick returned, I will give her that.
Rick gets away from the zombie window but ends up on the ground under no less than three zombies all trying to eat him. In an excellent move, he puts his gun through the closest zombie’s mouth and shoots the other two. Brain and blood explosion! Luckily this doesn’t attract the attention of the other walkers, who have swarmed around the bus Shane has locked himself in. Remembering Rick’s trick, he cuts his hand and rubs the blood on the door. When a zombie comes in to to lick the blood, Shane stabs it in the head.
Beth asks Maggie “What are we waiting for?” and suggests that she and Maggie kill each other at the same time. Beth knows Rick will protect his family and friends, but she and the rest of the farm group will be on their own against all the zombies that arrive. Andrea relieves Maggie for a moment, and I immediately became nervous since she told Lori she’d let Beth kill herself if she had the choice. She tells Beth that “the pain doesn’t go away, you just make room for it” before opening the door and walking away.
Rick stumbles upon Randall, who wants to bail on Shane because there are so many walkers. At first Rick intends to kill off the horde surrounding the bus, but he changes his mind and hustles Randall toward the car, leaving Shane in the surrounded bus. WHAT?! Rick leaving a man behind?! Rick leaving his BEST FRIEND BEHIND?! This can’t be!
Maggie checks on Beth and the room is empty. The bathroom door is locked and we can hear Beth sobbing inside. Lori enters and they get the door open. Beth has smashed the mirror and used it to slit her wrist – just one, as far as I could tell. She was unable to go through with the suicide.
Rick pauses to take the guns off the first two walkers they stabbed, both in uniform. They must remind him of the time he and Shane spent together on the force. Shane is stabbing the walkers one at a time when the getaway car speeds back to him. Randall is driving, and Rick shouts for Shane to get in through the back of the bus. It’s a successful escape, but Randall is the only one who cheers.
Maggie confronts Andrea about leaving Beth alone. When she hears the wound isn’t deep, Andrea is ecstatic that Beth chose to live. Maggie tells Andrea to stay away and never come into the house again. Lori seems affected by what Andrea said, telling Maggie, “Sometimes you have to cross the line.”
Rick and Shane stick Randall back in the trunk. They have another heart to heart. Rick thinks they will probably have to kill Randall, but he doesn’t think it should be a quick or easy decision to kill a man. He says again that Lori is his wife and the baby is his, and if Shane returns to the farm he must follow Rick’s lead. They drive back to the farm in silence. Shane sees the same lone zombie in a field that he saw on the way out to drop off Randall.
Tonight’s episode was action packed, intense, and full of controversial character moves. I’ve never pretended to be a fan of Lori, but I can’t say I agree with what Andrea was preaching either. Yes, Beth should make her own decisions, but she’s so young - and young people aren’t known for their wisdom. In a non-zombie society, we would put someone under suicide watch until the desire to harm themselves passed, but that’s a luxury that can’t be spared when the bloodthirsty and reanimated dead are knocking at your door. You’ve got to use all your time and effort to stay alive. How much energy can you spare for someone who isn’t sure they even want to fight?
Shane and Rick have a strained and complicated relationship, and this is a real turning point for them. Rick is offering Shane an out – “if you can just say you’re on my side and leave my family alone, we can forget about the past” – but accepting those terms would be a bitter pill for Shane to swallow. He prides himself on being the only one who can keep Lori and Carl safe, and he doesn’t like being told what to do. I suspect that Shane dreams of a moment where Rick is killed or otherwise weakened, and Shane swoops in to save the day, winning Rick’s life and family as a reward. They still don’t see eye to eye. Rick claims that society doesn’t have rules anymore, but Shane is the one who has thrown them out entirely. Shane believes that the only decisions you should make are the ones that keep you alive.
Either way, things aren’t looking so great for Randall.
What are your thoughts on the episode?
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘The Walking Dead: Triggerfinger’ recap.