Review: The Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 10: “18 Miles Out”

Shane: "Look Rick, I know the world has come to an end and all, but I still feel the need to kill you over a woman". Rick: "Well, that's no good"

There are only three more episodes left on the second season and it has all pretty much taken place on the Farm of Their Discontent and been about Rick, Shane and Lori. That’s pretty bad. I have said this several times with my reviews and I think it is finally dawning on people that this show really is no longer what it started out to be. Gone are the excitement, urgency and somber mood of the first season. Gone is the terrifying setting, the struggle to survive, to find answers, to dig deeper into questions about the human soul and the consequences of days gone by in the zombie apocalypse. The zombies and the apocalypse as such are just purely incidental at this point; a diorama, a facade, a backdrop. They had a perfect angle at the CDC and with Dr. Jenner and they crapped all over it with taking the show in this direction.

The characters have all been facing a slow death, just as the show itself. T-Dog, Daryl, Dale, Carol and Glenn don’t even appear on this episode anymore (that is half the principal cast) which I think is symbolic, more than anything else, as these characters have pretty much stopped mattering a long time ago vis a vis the petty, Lifetime Television for Women problems of the other three. The show has become all about Rick, Shane and Lori and that stagy, soapy love triangle between them.

Rick: "Shane we are not killing him. Let me think about it and we can always execute him later."

Lori: "Andrea, why aren't you doing dishes like the rest of us.", Andrea: "Because I am out there protecting the farm against Walkers...?" Lori: "That's so useless. We don't need that. We got big, strong men for that. A cozy bed your man can come home to is much more important. Isn't it a wonderful world. I get laid on a regular basis and if you did you'd feel as good as me." Andrea: "Um, Lori, you DO realize that the world has come to an end right?" Lori: "I can't think about that right now Andrea; I have several sandwiches to make"

Rick and Shane – in a scene that reeked of Old Spice and balls – pull over on a deserted road 18 miles out (why 18?) where they get to – in a very testosterone loaded way no less – man it up and talk about their feelings and ownership claims over Lori; Lori – an unlikable, selfish and moronic character with no redeeming qualities and someone who has been the cause and source of a lot of misery and grief for a lot of people in this group – especially between Rick and Shane who are willing to kill each other over her. Kill each other.

Rick: "Too bad it isn't Shane lying on top of me. I could totally shoot his brains out from this angle. What's the world come to that two best friends can't even kill each other in peace anymore"

 

In fact, watching these two beat the living hell out of each other 18 miles outside of the farm in some random location ravaged by the APOCALYPSE, as in END OF THE WORLD, over a woman, made me seriously question whether they both still deserve to live. That and the fact that Rick is actually seriously considering whether he should murder the boy. At this point it wouldn’t of course be murder, but an execution. At least when Shane killed Otis, it was on a whim and not because he planned it, like Rick.

Back at the good old homestead, where women know their place in the kitchen, Lori and Andrea have a profound conversation; the kind of conversation misogynist men imagine women should have with one another in an ideal world, which for the writers of this show seems to be the post apocalypse. That entire conversation Lori and Andrea had in the kitchen was cringe worthy and insulting.

It was like two 8th graders had written that lame, ineffective dialogue. It had no power and did not make any point or evoke any kind of intelligent thought. In fact, it made Andrea look bad, which is ridiculous, and from the way they have portrayed her all throughout the show – you know, as a screw up and rebel – we were apparently to side with that idiot Lori. I couldn’t believe Lori, as a woman of the 21st century, was giving Andrea a hard time for not sticking around the house washing clothes and cooking and thus basically for possessing insufficient skills to be dude property.

And I couldnt believe that the writers had seriously nothing better to write about than reciting outdated, Victorian notions about how as a woman Andrea should basically know her place and let the big, strong MEN take care of the important stuff while she devotes her time to knitting and making a comfortable home for said protectors. Really? I mean no…REALLY? R.E.A.L.L.Y??

With the way these people behave, let’s face it, they are unworthy of being the last survivors and pretty much represent the worst of human kind and – along with the writers – deserve to be gutted already and put out of their misery.

It also seems like they are artificially extending the whole “Shane is the villain” story arc to make up for a lack of direction and originality that’s been plaguing the show since the beginning of season 2.

The world has come to an end and Shane and Rick have nothing better to do than drive to an abandoned warehouse, beat the shit out of each other over a woman and draw attention to themselves. I guess they are the reason this extinction event took place

Firing Frank Darabont was a huge mistake. A Hollywood Reporter article was talking about huge budget cuts imposed on the show and how the network repeatedly dumped all over Darabont’s creative vision by imposing things like 50% of the shots occurring outdoors and 50% indoors (indoors being cheaper to film) and another note asked whether or not the audience had to always see the zombies – couldn’t they simply hear them sometimes. It’s been said that Darabont was involved in constant battles with the network to maintain the creative vision that drew so many fans to the series in the first place and that those fights eventually led to him being fired altogether.

Cast members, who were not happy by Darabont’s departure, and especially outraged at the network’s calculated move to fire him right after Comic-con, were also reportedly harassed and warned about making any public comments on this. Afraid to be killed off the show and also pink slipped, they all obliged.

All this would explain why the entire season has taken place on one farm instead of them moving and why there have been a minimal number of new characters – all of which would have greatly contributed to the quality of the show.

Rick "Shane, get out of the bus. I know you tried to kill me just now and want to replace me, but I can't tell the difference between right or wrong anymore and I am totally willing to take you into my warm bosom of brotherly love, until you try to kill me again (why again are we going extinct?)"

Darabont had managed to perfectly convey the mood of a world post apocalypse. The world he imagined, in conjunction with the interesting characters he created and developed, further aided in making that vision a reality, ultimately creating an exciting and thought provoking show. Not so much this season which, for the reasons mentioned, leaves much to be desired.

This season just gives the whole show a bad name, which is a shame because Darabont did an amazing job introducing us into the zombie apocalypse and these characters who were all multidimensional and caught in bad situations when their journey began.

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