The Walking Dead – Recap & Review – 18 Miles Out

photo: amc/gene page

photo: amc

The Walking Dead
18 Miles Out

Original Air Date: Feb 26, 2012

Rachel – Sr. Managing Editor

Zombies! Everywhere! Rick is getting chased, Shane is trapped in a school bus, and poor little Randall is tied up on the ground. This is going to be a good episode.

Expecting to see a “6 hours earlier” caption, the episode jumps back to Rick and Shane driving down the road in their hybrid. It has been a week or so since the incident in the saloon and they are taking Randall (tied up and blindfolded, with with ear buds duct taped to his head) 18 miles out to drop him off. The plan was to fix his leg and send him on his way with a shot at life and no knowledge of the whereabouts of the farm.

Rick stops at a crossroads (how appropriate) to have a little talk with Shane. The gist of it is this: he knows about Otis, he knows about Lori, he would do anything to save his wife, his son, and his unborn child. He tells Shane to accept those facts right there and move on. Shane has no claim to Rick’s family, and Rick wants him to know that is set in stone. Shane never agrees to accept those terms, he just tries to justify his actions. I guess Rick takes Shane’s disjointed apology as an agreement to the arrangement and they move on to the drop off point.

At the farm, Lori and Maggie try to get Beth to eat. She’s pretty Eyore about it all, saying that nothing makes a difference and they they have no hope. After a while, Lori checks back in on Beth, takes her uneaten dinner down to the kitchen, and notices a knife missing. She runs back upstairs, take the knife away, and gets Maggie who is livid that Beth would even think about suicide.

Downstairs, Lori and Andrea listen to the huge fight between Maggie and Beth. Andrea says that Lori shouldn’t have taken the knife away, that it was just like Dale taking her choice away at the CDC. I see her point: that Beth needs to choose for herself whether or not to live. Lori doesn’t feel the same. They have a huge fight about things that have been boiling just beneath the surface for a long time, like Andrea not ‘contributing’ to the work of the women on the farm (quite archaic, if you ask me), or Lori being all high-and-mighty, with a boyfriend no less. The look on Lori’s face when Andrea mentioned her relationship with Shane was priceless, by the way.

Back on the road, Rick and Shane pull into a Public Works yard (ah, the location of that first walker-tastic scene!) and do a little recon looking for food, fuel, the usual. Rick suggests they start using knives more to both save ammo and keep quiet. They find a couple of stray walkers and try the knife to the skull thing, like butter. Two mythology things come to light. First, Rick hypothesizes that the cold of winter will slow the walkers. Second, upon examination of the two walkers they put down, Shane notices no bite marks. Scratches? Can it be transferred through scratches?

They decide this is as good a place as any to leave Randall, still tied up with a knife just a few feet away. He begs and pleads with them, telling them that he isn’t like that gang he was running with, he’s a good kid that went to school with Maggie, for heaven’s sake! Clunk. He knows Maggie. He knows where she lives. He knows. Their whole plan falling apart, Rick and Shane start to argue about killing Randall. That argument turns into a full-fledged brawl involving kidney punches and wrench tossing. This isn’t about Randall. It isn’t about Lori, either. It’s about who is the Alpha Male. And if only they hadn’t made so much noise. The walkers come pouring out of the building and we’re right back to the beginning, with Rick & Shane trying to get away and Randall trying to get to the knife on the ground.

Back at the farm, Beth tries to talk Maggie into checking out with her. They could go together on their own terms. Too much. Andrea convinces Maggie (who doesn’t know Andrea’s history) into letting her watch Beth for a while. With the words of wisdom “The pain doesn’t go away… you just make room for it,” Andrea leaves Beth alone to make her decision. She goes into the bathroom, locks the door, breaks the mirror, and tries to slit her wrist. Maggie comes running back and, weeping, Beth apologizes. She has made her decision. She wants to live. Again, I agree with Andrea. Beth had to find out for herself and now she’ll be stronger for it (just like Andrea was). Maggie sees things differently and bans Andrea from the house.

At walker-palooza, Randall gets free and is quite excessive with his killing of a female walker. He makes his way to Rick, who is literally three walkers deep, and they escape while all walker eyes are on Shane in the bus. Is Rick pulling and Otis on Shane? As they get to the car, Rick notices the two dead cops lying next to each other. Aww. Just like Rick and Shane. He duct-tapes Randall to the driver seat and they bust through the fence rescuing Shane. Down the road, I think Randall tries to escape. There are swerve marks and Rick has to walk a ways away to pick up Randall and put him back in the trunk. I’m not sure, but something weird went down. Rick tells Shane that will probably have to kill Randall, but that he still wants to sleep on it. He also tells him that the next time he wants to kill Rick, he’ll have to do better than a wrench. He invites Shane to ‘come back’ to the fold.

What do YOU think? Was Rick planing on leaving Shane in the bus? Did Andrea do the right thing? Give us your Two Cents in the comment section below!

Next Week: Judge, Jury, Executioner

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11 Responses to The Walking Dead – Recap & Review – 18 Miles Out

  1. I agree that the Alpha males needed to fight it out, and as we noticed it was actually Rick who had the upper hand before Shane got a hold of the wrench. That should count for something. I think that is the reason in Shane’s mind that there has always been a reason he has always had Rick’s back prior to the outbreak. Taking a person’s life (other than the heat of a battle) should always be something to think about before doing. I don’t like Shane’s reasoning that killing the kid is the right thing. As Rick reminded him there is no “right answer.” The circular logic that Shane employs is that once the person is dead there is no way they would ever know if it was the right call. as the guy is dead he could never betray the group, but maybe he was telling the truth, that he is just like them.

    Although I believe everyone has a choice to make their own decisions about life or death, it is not Andrea’s business to interfere with someone else’s family. Ultimately Beth made a choice, however, sometimes people who start down a path don’t realize until it is too late that what they wished for isn’t what they really wanted. Overall it is not anybodies business but Beth and her family’s.

    Now back to Shane. One would think that a man who’s life was spared twice in one episode would have some sort of epiphany or at least some sense of gratitude and perhaps some loyalty, however, I sense none of it from him. Also I would have thought that Sane would come to realize the savagery that he has sunk to when he saw his reflection in the glass. He looked like a walker, blood trailing down his face and his shambling gait. Shane has already turned into what he despises; a Walker looking for his next prey.

    It seems to me that Rick has no trouble doing the right thing when he has to. Unlike Kirk, and more like Picard, he likes to weigh his decisions, I liked the fact that he came back for Shane, not because it was the right thing to do, but because if he didn’t, I am sure he would have had a hard time leaving his friend. I do think it was better that he returned, as if Shane did live, and escape on his own, he would feel justified in killing Rick later.

    I was disappointed in not seeing Glen, Herschel, Daryl, or much of this episode. Only three more episodes left. 😦

    • Rachel says:

      While I agree that the whole Beth thing should have been handled by family, I still think that Andrea helped. I keep going back to her conversation with Shane about how he IS making the right calls, but going about it in the wrong way. Catching flies with honey and all that. I believe Andrea should have taken her own advice on this one and gone about it in a different way. But when it comes down to it, she helped Beth realize that she wanted to live. That is worth the house-banning.

      Thanks for mentioning the shot of Shane seeing himself in the broken window’s reflection. I would like to think that it was a bit of a turning point for him, seeing himself as a walker, but only time will tell.

      Thanks for your comments and insight. I have begun looking forward to your posts. 🙂

  2. Shawn Rose says:

    First before I forget, I gotta ask if anybody noticed that even though it wasn’t shown but implied that Shane stabbed the second police walker at the fence with his knife. Rick did first, then Shane. Now I’m pretty sure that Shane didn’t disinfect his knife from walker brains and blood before cutting his hand open. Infected maybe???
    I do think that Rick was gonna leave Shane till he saw the cop buddies lying on the grass. Speaking of….only makes me more sure that it’s not the bites that change you to a walker. I don’t think it matters. Just death will do it.

    • Rachel says:

      Oh! I didn’t notice if he cleaned his knife or not, but wouldn’t THAT be a doozy! Thanks for pointing it out! (& I totally agree with you on the bite/non-bite thing)

  3. Jeff L says:

    You see the preview for next week? Can’t wait to see Sayid torture Ben Linus….oh wait.

  4. Tym says:

    First to Shawn: I hadn’t thought about Shane stabbing the walker at the fence and later cutting his hand, but I did wonder about him rubbing his open wound on the door frame of the bus a second time, after the first walker he stabbed at the bus licked it. Maybe the writers are setting him up for infection, or maybe it was just an over site. I agree with you thinking just death will do it – I suspect that’s what the doctor whispered to Rick at the CDC (everyone is already infected, death manifests it – bites just speed up the dying process).

    Second to the article: I don’t agree about Andrea. If Dale hadn’t ‘taken her choice away from her’ at the CDC (which, incidentally, is a convoluted way for her to interpret it, as Dale didn’t drag her out of the building – and as I understand it, if a person wholly and truly embraces the option of suicide, you can’t take the choice away from them anyways, you can only delay it), she’d be dead now instead of complaining about the fact that it happened. The idea behind intervening in a suicide attempt is that the person isn’t in their normal mental state and you want to keep them alive long enough for the overwhelming feelings of despair that are driving the attempt to pass. There are some rare instances where I would agree that suicide is a legitimate option, and there are some trickier instances when mental illness is behind it and will provoke repeated attempts over time – but in the vast majority of cases, if the person is able to ride out the shortsighted immediacy of the emotional wave driving the attempt, they’ll be thankful they didn’t do it.

    Regardless, Andrea overstepped her boundaries. She’s not family (by blood or by bond), she barely knows the girl’s name – it’s not her place to step in and call shots on their family business. She doesn’t have any investment in the life of or attachment to the girl, and likely wouldn’t have lost a wink of sleep if Beth had killed herself – it seems to me like her decision to get involved wasn’t motivated by some Noble Desire To Give The Girl Her Freedom, but rather was motivated by her desire for vindication and refusal to admit that Dale saved her life by tying his fate to hers at the CDC. Andrea took it as a sign of success that Beth didn’t cut herself deep enough to kill herself, but it strikes me as a fortuitous success – she could have very well secretly wanted to live through an attempt, but inadvertently done too much damage and died, or been crippled for life.

  5. Shawn Rose says:

    To Tym….I was thinking that it might be a miss by the writers and producers that Shane cut his hand with a dirty (infected) knife. It would be a huge disappointing miss if you ask me. However, as I was watching the episode again, (DVR’s rule!!!) I notices that they kinda went out of their way to draw attention to the knives. Rick makes it a point in the car. Then AGAIN at the fence. That’s just too much focus drawn to the knife to miss such a huge potential story changer. Anyway, I guess we’ll see. TEAM RICK

    • Tym says:

      Now that you mention it, I do recall them focusing on the knives a few times with the camera. It seems like they wouldn’t do those kind of shots unless they’re relevant in some way to the story (beyond just the fact that they used them at all), but yeah, we’ll see what happens.

      What’s been bugging me more is the dead cops. The scratch explanation (if that’s how they’re going to leave it) seems a bit too weak for me… I expected them to discover bullet holes (shot each other) or something to show that they may have been killed in other ways – but at this point I don’t see them returning to investigate further. Maybe my hang up is that I’m still banking on the CDC secret being that simply dying makes you come back a zombie, and the show is going to keep it a spread-by-zombie thing.

  6. Although, I think there is some credence to the thought of Shane infecting himself by cutting himself with the infected knife however, I saw it as a the distinction as to who really was the leader. As I have said before, Shane has always followed Rick’s lead in everything. Rick is the natural leader, and Shane, as much as he wants to be the leader doesn’t naturally lead. He either follows or by brute force he bullies people into doing things his way. Shane is driven by frustration.

    • Tym says:

      I can see that. That scene reminded me of a father showing his son how to do something – the way he performed an action that was fairly simple and straightforward for any capable adult, and then was like ‘now you try it’. It didn’t have the feeling of peers sharing tips on efficiency and could very well have meant to be a distinction as to who the leader really is, and we’re just reading too much into it due to the mystery of the dead cops.

      Really, much of the episode seemed to be about that. From this above to Shane’s attitude when Rick was talking to him about Lori (not making eye contact, looking away, and sulking are all actions befitting a teenager being scolded by their parents), the fight, and even the rescue from the bus – where Shane watched Rick and boy making their escape and the look on his face was that of abandonment (and it was exactly the type of decision he would have made with Rick should the situations have been reversed, the same type of decision he accused Rick of not being strong enough to make earlier in the episode), but then Rick came back to save him, displaying the type of loyalty and commitment to members of his group that I imagine most of us would hope our leaders have towards their people. Whether it was originally his intention to return or whether he was persuaded by the bodies of the dead cops (IDK) is secondary, in the end he did the thing that was hard but it was the thing that was good.

      Speaking of the bus rescue. I’ve been wondering a bit about the boy, and the way they are being hyper reluctant to invite him into their group. I get that he was with the band of people who tried to kill them, and of course that alone is reason enough for some pause – but they abandoned him to die. I don’t know how many people could face abandonment like that and still remain loyal. Conversely, he not only watched Rick, Hershel, and Glenn risk death to pull him off the fence – he also participated with Rick in the rescue of Shane. If it’s me, I want to stick around and be a part of their group – screw the guys who left me for dead. I’m very curious to see how this all develops going forward.

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