Thanks for taking the time to read my full episode reviews here on Comic Booked. This installment continues driving us through the Walking Dead Season Two as we explore Episode Ten. We know that the gang is all back together on Hershel’s farm and they have one new addition that no one is too happy about. Randall was a lookout and sniper for a group of guys that came to town scouting and ran into Rick, Hershel, and Glenn right after they got done killing two of their friends. Now, because he was injured and left behind, Rick has taken him back to the farm to be looked after, but, like a prisoner of war, his fate is precarious at best as Shane tries to persuade the team to kill him and Rick tries to retain some shred of humanity in this new world nearly overrun by the walking dead.
Season Two Episode Ten:18 Miles Out
The beginning of this episode jumps us forward to a scene of Shane and Rick running from walkers outside of the building surrounded by school buses. Things seem pretty desperate, and it is confusing because we don’t know why they are there nor do we know if they will survive. Also, we see Randall, the person they have captive laying on the ground and tied up crawling towards a knife.
I am still struck by the interesting way that the credits are done. The viewer sees many views of desolate places, empty of people, abandoned for seemingly no reason, but not one walker in the entire credit scene. Almost as if to say, “This is no longer a place for the living, they have all gone.”
Shane and Rick have headed out from the farm to deal with something. They are looking for a good place to dump Randall. Rick stops the car at an intersection and they both exit the vehicle. Shane says that he thought they were going out further and Rick says they are, “18 miles out.” That is what he feels is a safe distance.
The reason he stopped now is so that he can have a chat with Shane about all that has happened. He wants the truth about the school and Shane tells him. We know that Shane has said in the past that Rick cannot keep everyone safe. Now, Rick asks Shane if that is what he really thinks.
“You can’t just be the good guy and expect to live. Not anymore.”
There is a definite change in Rick’s demeanor. He has awakened to the need to be harder, as we saw when he shot the two men in the bar. He knows that he will have to do dark things to survive and ensure the safety of his people and his family. He tells Shane that this is the way things will be. Will Shane listen and be a part of the group? Shane tries to help Rick understand how things were and what he did for him in the beginning. then they go and check the ropes of Randall, trussed up like a pig in the back of the car.
Back at the farm, Maggie and Lori are making lunch and talking. Lori is the voice of reason in this conversation about Glenn and the way he has changed. She tells Maggie, “Tell him to man up and pull himself together.” Good advice in this dangerous world.
Back on the road, Rick is counting down a laundry list for the survival of the team. Conserving ammo, collecting needed supplies, and whether the weather has any effect on the walkers are among the topics of discussion. Shane is really not paying attention, but he does see a walker wandering through a wheat field.
Beth is up and around and Lori brings her some food. She wants to get Beth up and outside. She asks Lori how she could bring a baby into this world.
As Shane and rick pass the 18 mile mark, Rick keeps driving. He just wants to find the right sport to leave Randall where he will have a chance of survival. Finally, pulling into the Mert County Department of Public Works, Rick feels like this will be a safe place. He pulls the car in and they get out.
The place is fenced in, seemingly untouched. There are two guards, walkers now, that come shambling up, the first one approaching the fence. Shane pull his weapon, but Rick tells him to wait. He pulls out his knife, cuts himself, and spreads the blood on the fence and the walker hits the fence at full speed and starts licking up the blood. Rick stabs it in the head and turns the blade, killing it. Then he tells Shane to do the same with the second.
Inside the fence, the buildings seem empty, vacant of life, but there are empty cans spread all over as though people had been there and they were now gone. Several charred corpses are found, perhaps walkers that were killed and burned. There are school buses gull of blankets looking as though people lived in them.
Shane examines the bodies of the guards and finds some interesting things, or perhaps the lack of interesting things. There are no bites. There are scratches, though, so perhaps that is another way that this “virus” or whatever it is can be transmitted. They go about collecting supplies and then get Randall out of the car.
Back at the farm, Beth is having a real hard time coping. Before at least she had hope that her mom and brother would be cured, but now, nothing. Everything seems futile. Lori tries to help her come to grips with things. “We can make now all right.” Beth says thank you and Lori feels like she has really succeeded in reaching her. She carries the food tray back to the kitchen to clean up… then she notices the knife is missing.
She runs into the bedroom and stops Beth before she can do anything to harm herself. She runs out to the camp and asks Andrea to find Maggie or Hershel. She needs someone there to help with Beth, someone who is family.
At the Department of Public Works, they are leaving Randall. He begins to scream that one man cannot make it alone. He tells them his life story, but it is not until he mentions that he went to school with Maggie that you can see Shane and Rick take notice. Randall just made himself a threat again. “I’m not like the guys I was with!”
There is no easy solution here. Shane tries to shoot him, but Rick stops him. He needs to think about this. Shane doesn’t he wants Randall dead as the only way to protect everyone.
“Stop acting like you know the way ahead, like you know the rules.” This world is different, but they are still human. Shane believes he lands the killing blow to Rick’s resolve when he tells him “I don’t think you can keep them safe.” Could this be the end for either Rick or Shane?
As they two duke it out, they fight over, and lose, Rick’s gun. Randall is still trying to get that knife that Rick threw to the ground for him. Rick and Shane continue to fight, neither winning the upper hand for long as Randall inches ever closer to the knife and freedom. Finally, Shane hurls a wrench through a glass window and we find out that the buildings are not quite as abandoned as we had hoped.
Walkers pour out of the window. Rick has killed one and rolls it over on top of himself while the others chase Shane. A final walker comes out of the building and chases Rick. One breaks off of the pack and goes after Randall who finally gets free and kills the walker.
Maggie came back to talk to Beth. It is more like an argument. Andrea and Lori discuss the merits of allowing Beth to chose whether to kill herself or not. Lori feels that Andrea is not contributing. This conversation does not go well.
Meanwhile, Rick is now being chased by three walkers. He finds his gun underneath a car and shoots the first one, which falls on him. Then the next, which falls on him. Finally, the third one jumps on the dog pile. Rick cannot get a good shot and we see something interesting as the walker bats at the gun, as if it knows that it is dangerous. Finally, lining up the shot through the mouth of the walker, he shoots through it at the third and empties his weapon.
Beth is now trying to convince Maggie that they could help each other, they could commit suicide together. “Easy, our choice, and then it would be over.” She sees the hopelessness of living. She wants to die, not be killed.
Shane locks himself in a school bus. He thinks about what Rick did and he cuts himself, spreads it on the door of the bus, and waits. A walker appears, licking at the blood, and he stabs it in the head.
Andrea steps in to talk with Beth, since she has already gone through something similar. She tells her, “the pain doesn’t go away, you just make room for it.” Then she leaves the door open and leaves.
Rick finds Randall trying to escape. They both see Shane in the bus and Randall tries to convince Rick that they should just leave. Rick will not do this. Finally, Rick says “let’s go” and he and Randall leave, looking like they are leaving Shane to fight for himself.
At the house, Maggie comes into the bedroom and Beth is gone. Lori comes in and they hear Beth crying in the bathroom, which is now locked. Lori grabs a poker and pries open the door in time to see the broken mirror and Beth there clasping her bleeding wrist. All she can say is that she is sorry and Maggie takes her to get her cleaned up and bandaged.
Rick has almost made it away with Randall when, looking at the guards, he decides to save Shane. with Randall driving, Rick is hanging out the window shooting walkers, trying to make room for Shane to exit the bus. He tells him to run for the back door, he jumps in the car, and they are off. All three of them, covered in blood, drive off.
Andrea comes running back to the house, but Maggie stops her. Andrea thinks she has done something wonderful, allowing Beth to chose to keep living, but Maggie does not see it that way. She tells Andrea to stay away from them. Andrea walks away, but Lori tells Maggie that it is a good thing that Beth made her choice to live.
Trussed up again, and with his headphones back on, Rick and Shane put Randall back in the read of the car. Rick says “probably gonna have to kill that boy.” He still wants to think it over. Rick tells Shane that if he is going to stay, he is going to have to trust that Rick is the leader and he needs to trust him. As they drive back, the music plays and Shane sees that lone walker in the field again, shambling along. Is this what Shane’s life has become, just a sham, a semblance of life without the real thing?
So much to thing about from this episode. Stay tune as we work through the end of this season.