Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3: Save the Last One

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2: "Blood Letting" ended with Carl's life hanging in the balance due to a gunshot wound. Sophia has been missing for a total of one day, going on two.

Episode 3: "Save the Last One" starts with Shane in the farmhouse bathroom shaving off his hair. It appears that he has made it back from the high school in one piece, but... he doesn't seem quite right. The opening scene is a kind of "flash-forward" to the end of the episode. The entire show does a back and forth between three groups of people, those at the farmhouse, Shane and Otis at the high school, and Dale and company at his RV on the highway.

It's night time, during the same day that Carl was shot and Sophia went missing. Rick is talking with Lori as they watch over Carl and brings up the story of how Shane stole the high school principal's car, parked it in a chicken coop, and managed to run three miles back in enough time to finish his lunch. Thus revealing that Shane is a fast runner, and that he has a darker side to him.

Back at the RV, Carol is softly crying on the bed. Andrea is busy cleaning her gun and making a lot of noise, preventing Daryl from sleeping where he is lying on the floor near the small RV kitchenette. Daryl gets up, says that he's going to look for Sophia, which seems to calm Carol down enough to get her to stop crying. Andrea goes with him.

At the walking dead infested high school, Shane and Otis are running for their lives through the hallways, desperately looking for a way out as they are chased by a large herd of walkers. They run into the gym and climb up on top of the bleachers, where they are seemingly trapped by the walkers.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Shane spots a window and tells Otis that he is going to go out the window. Otis, being the rotund man that he is, cannot fit through the window. Fortunately, he knows the layout of the high school and says that he'll go through the locker room, where he can access a larger window and meet him at the front of the school.

It's a 20 feet drop from the gym window, but Shane doesn't have a choice. Otis fires on the walkers, and jumps down, drawing them away from Shane as he runs towards the lockers. Shane rushes to the window, tosses out the two bags of medical supplies and then begins to climb out. Just as he is about to let go and jump down, a walker bursts through the open window and grabs at him. Panicked, Shane fires on the walker and falls to the ground, hurting his ankle in the process. He gets up, limping, and then the scene changes.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Glenn drives up to the farmhouse with T-Dog and parks the car. They get out, and slowly approach the house. Glenn isn't sure what to do. The lights are on, but do they knock, call out, or just walk in? T-Dog tells him that they are beyond politeness of modern society at this point and walks up onto the porch, where they are greeted by Maggie. She asks about T-Dog's wound. He tells her that he cut his arm and that it's infected. She takes the men inside, and makes T-Dog get his wound stitched up.

Inside the farm house, Hershel, the man treating Carl, informs Rick and Lori that they may have to operate on him without a respirator if Shane and Otis do not get back with the supplies in time.

At the woods near the highway Andrea and Daryl are searching for Sophia. Andrea asks him if he thinks that they'll find her. He thinks so. He sees the looks on everyone's faces, like they've already given up on her. She's only been missing for one day. He tells her of how he was lost in the woods for nine days. There was no one to look for him; his dad was out on a bender and Merl was in juvenile detention. It was up to him to save himself. And he did.

Daryl managed to find his way back home and went inside and made himself a sandwich. Unfortunately, he had a bad rash from the poison oak he used to wipe himself... Yikes. His point is; if he could make it on his own, Sophia would be fine. She at least has a whole group of people looking for her. Daryl is looking for Sophia and will not give up on her because he sympathizes with her.

Back at the farmhouse, Lori steps out onto the porch with Rick. They have to decide whether to let Hershel cut Carl open to remove the bullet fragments without the respirator, or let him die. Overcome with grief, Lori says that maybe it's for the best if Carl dies. He wouldn't have to suffer, he wouldn't have to be afraid and hungry all of the time. The life they are living now, of trying to survive day by day while fending off the walkers is too much for a little boy. She thinks that maybe Jenner, the doctor from the CDC, was right. That it is better to end your life the way you chose to-- that way you can die peacefully, instead of being ripped apart by the walking dead.

Rick refuses to believe that. When they were with Jenner, Lori begged him to let them live and he let them go before the building self-destructed. He asks her what changed her mind. Lori tells him that the other day, she forgot that Jacqui--the woman that stayed behind to die with Jenner--was dead. And she realized that Jacqui didn't have to be afraid anymore.

She asks Rick to tell her why it wouldn't be better the other way; to commit suicide and end it all, rather than going on living in this waking nightmare. Rick is so shocked by her comments that he actually raises his voice at her; something he hasn't done since they reunited. He is tired, scared, and weak from blood loss because he donated his blood to Carl.

We next get to watch Shane limping as he runs through the high school athletic field, near a chain link fence. There are walkers approaching him, on both sides of the fence, and getting terribly close. He reloads his shotgun, with his back leaning against the fence and does not even react when walkers on the other side start to push it towards him in an effort to get to him. Otis runs up to him, and shoots the walkers about to close in on Shane.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

At the farmhouse, Lori and Rick are called in when Carl wakes up. He is in pain and a little out of it, but he tells his mother about the deer he saw; how he was so close, and it was so pretty. Then his body goes slack and he has a seizure. Hershel runs in to assist and tells them that Carl's brain isn't getting enough blood. The internal bleeding in his abdomen is too severe; if they don't act soon, he'll die.

Back in the woods Daryl and Andrea come across a camp site and find a walker hanging in a tree.  The dead man's legs have been stripped to the bone by other walkers. Apparently it was the camper, who left a note stuck to the tree with a hunting knife saying that he got bit, and the fever came on him, so he hung himself. And now he is a walker, stuck in a tree.  Daryl says that he wasn't smart enough to shoot himself in the head, so he's one of THEM now. Andrea doesn't want to leave the walker hanging there. Daryl doesn't care, as it's not hurting anything. She asks him to kill it, and he agrees to, on the condition that she tells him if she still wants to die.

Andrea tells him that she isn't sure if she wants to live, or if she has to, or if living is just habit. Satisfied, Daryl shoots the walker and kills it. Although, he personally thinks that her answer is just a waste of an arrow.

At the farmhouse, Patricia, Otis' wife is stitching up T-Dog's wound. She tells T-Dog that Merl's antibiotics saved his life, and asks where they came from. Glenn tells her awkwardly that Merl used them to treat his STDs. She says that they should be thankful that they came across it, otherwise, T-Dog's wound would've turned septic and he would've had blood poisoning-- the infection would have spread to this blood stream and killed him.

Rick speaks with Lori and tries to convince her that she's wrong. He speaks about how when Carl woke up and spoke with them, he didn't talk about being shot, or how much it hurt, he told his mom about seeing the deer, and how beautiful it was. He talked about the deer. Rick's point is that even amidst all of the fear and violence and death that there are still things of beauty to behold in the world, that not all has been lost. That there will always be things that make life worth living. In tears, Lori agrees. Carl might be shot, but he isn't dead yet. There is still hope for him.

Shane and Otis, both out of breath and injured, are exhausted and starting to slow down as they run from a large herd of walkers. They fall to the pavement. Shane tells Otis to take the medical supplies and run, to leave him behind, as he is the more hurt of the two of them. Otis refuses to leave him behind. A decision he will soon regret.

Carl is getting worse, and Hershel tells Rick and Lori that they need to make a decision, now. Rick looks to Lori to decide. She is his mother. She tells him to do it, to try and save her boy's life, and Hershel and Patricia transfer Carl to a metal operating table. Just then, Otis' truck pulls up. Rick goes out to greet them, and sees that only Shane gets out of the car. Shane is breathless, and in shock as he hands over the medical supplies. Hershel tells them to say nothing about Otis not making it to Patricia until after Carl's surgery is done.

Rick and Shane embrace, and then Shane backs up against the truck, trying to catch his breath. He stares at them and says that the walkers just kept coming. That Otis said to keep going, that he would hold them off, so that's what he did. But when he looked back... Shane trails off and can't finish his sentence. Rick reassures him and tells him that Otis just wanted to make it right. That he just wanted to make up for accidentally shooting Carl.

Carol climbs up to the top of the RV to watch with Dale. After waiting a moment, Dales says that he is worried and that he's going to go for a walk. He attempts to give her his gun and Carol refuses. She has no idea how to shoot a gun. So he tells her to call out if she sees anything. Dale wanders down the dark highway, looking for a sign of Daryl and Andrea, and then spots them returning, without Sophia. Carol is devastated and retreats back inside of the RV.  Daryl goes in after her. Dale calls out to Andrea before she steps in and gives her back her father's gun. He says that he realized that the choices he made for her were not his to make, and that he is sorry. She walks away and he asks her if she forgives him. She tells him that she's trying and enters the RV.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Back at the farmhouse, Glenn is sitting on the porch, attempting to pray. Maggie walks up on him, startling him. She apologizes and asks him what he was praying about. He says that he just wants everyone to be all right. She takes his coffee cup from him and offers to give him a refill, and they both go inside to the kitchen. Maggie sits at the kitchen table, and tears up as she talks bout Otis. She knew him since she was little. She says that he was just trying to make it right. And that's what they've all been doing, since everything literally when to hell. Glenn, seeing that she needs someone to talk to, asks her about who else she has lost. She steps up to the refrigerator and points to pictures that are held on by magnets, of her step mother, her step brother and so on.

Hershel steps out onto the porch and tells Lori and Rick that Carl is going to make it, that he took out the bullet fragments and stopped his internal bleeding. Rick then goes inside with Hershel to tell Patricia that Otis is dead.

Shane watches this scene, as Patricia cries out in utter grief and has to be helped to a chair as her legs give out on her. He then goes to look in on Carl and Lori. Lori looks up at him from where she is kneeling next to Carl and tells him to stay. She no longer wants him to leave them.

Shane has managed to redeem himself in her eyes-- something he intended to do when he offered to go get the medical supplies to save Carl's life.  Maggie approaches him and tells him that he can use the shower upstairs and hands him a pile of clean clothes. She tells him that they probably will be loose, seeing as how they were Otis'-- a jab at him for letting him die. Shane heads up to the shower, and then we get to see what really happened.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Shane and Otis are running out of bullets. There are too many walkers running after them, and they can't run any faster. The medical supplies are weighing them down and they are exhausted after sprinting for at least a mile through the halls of a high school, then around the building before attempting to head back to the truck. Shane looks back at the rapidly approaching herd and then shoots Otis in the leg. Otis falls, Shane struggles to get the bag of supplies away from him. Otis grabs onto Shane's hair, desperate not to be left behind to be eaten alive. Shane rips his head away, leaving a chunk of his hair in Otis' hand as he runs, limping away from him, just as the walkers catch up and surround Otis and begin to feast on his flesh.

We see at the end of the episode that Shane shaves his head to hide the fact that he is missing a chunk of hair. Shane made a split second decision-- kill Otis by using him as bait and make him a martyr, or hobble along with him and be overrun by the zombie herd, which would kill them, and Carl as well.

This is the second time he had to leave someone behind in order to survive. In Episode 1 of Season 2, we saw that Shane honestly thought that Rick was dead. He admitted that he doesn't know medicine, or how to treat people in a coma, and people were being shot by the military in the hospital for no apparent reason. He had to run away to survive. Shane's decisions, both with leaving Otis and leaving Rick behind reveal his true nature.

Shane's decision  to kill Otis isn't evil. It's selfish.

Shane is a survivor. He'll do anything to ensure that he lives. If that means screwing someone else over or sacrificing them so that he can get away, he won't hesitate to do it. The world they live in no longer goes by the rules they grew up with. It's eat or be eaten, kill or be killed. And he knows that. He is not afraid to kill someone in order for someone else to live, especially if it is someone that he cares about. Shane genuinely loves Carl like a son. In addition he loves Lori and Rick; his best friend. He'd do anything for them. Especially to make up for the mistakes that he's made.

Shane went from being ready to pull a trigger on Rick to putting his own life on the line to ensure that Carl survives.

Shane has made his decisions, and does not regret them. He cut his hair and shaved it short to hide the fact that he had a chunk ripped out so that it doesn't raise alarm or suspicion. People may see it and believe that it was done by a walker, which would put his life at risk. He can't explain that Otis tore it out, as that would raise more questions, questions that he isn't prepared to answer, at least, not truthfully. And it's highly unlikely that he ever will. I think that the other reason that he shaved is head is that he wouldn't have a constant reminder of what he had to do to save Carl's life.

So in the end:
  • Carl's life is no longer in danger. 
  • Sophia is still missing. She has been gone for a total of two days now.
  • Glenn appears to like Maggie. 
  • Daryl isn't such a bad guy after all. 
  • Dale realizes what he forced Andrea to do was wrong.
  • Shane has revealed  just how far he will go in order to survive.

There were some questions raised by people that weren't answered in my review so, I'll attempt to clarify them for you here.

What is the significance of the  #22 necklace that Shane wears?
The #22 necklace that Shane wears all the time is his old high school football jersey number. The actor that plays Shane, Jon Bernthal, is the person who decided that Shane wore it-- his own contribution to the character's wardrobe.

Where did they get all those bullets from?
Bullets can be made by hand if you have the right tools. Also, they picked up a ton when they retrieved Rick's bag in Atlanta that he stocked up at the Sheriff's Department, and Otis is a hunter, so they had ammo at the farmhouse.

How come the farm has electricity?
The farm has enough power to run the lights because of either:
A. They have a gas generator that they only run at night.
B. They are hooked up to some form of hydroelectric power generator.
-Update- It was revealed in Episode 5 that Hershel has a gas generator hooked up to the farmhouse. He can be seen filling up the gas tank of the generator as he speaks with Rick.

Where'd they get the bread from?
You can bake your own bread, and make your own juice and milk--if you have a cow. Surprise! Food doesn't just come from the grocery store.

Why are there no naked zombies or kid zombies?
There is most likely no naked zombies or kid zombies due to cable television's rules of Standards and Practices. This isn't a rated R movie playing on HBO or Showtime, it's a TV show on AMC, a standard cable television station.

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