It’s been a week since Dale took the title “The Walking Dead” to new heights of literalness, going for a wander late at night and getting a predictable hand-crafted zombie gutting. Surely, after knocking off a major character last week, they’ll give us a rest now? It must be time to all stand around arguing about who’s responsible for Dale’s death, yes?
Well, no. Not quite. And spoilers lurk below, as ever.
Shane Doesn’t Shamble (until he does)
Last week, I took a stab at guessing how the rest of the season would play out, and I was partially right. In fact, in terms of events, I was spot on, but I didn’t quite get the timescale right. I assumed they’d drag this out over two episodes, and on past form, who could blame me?
But no, Darabont-free The Walking Dead shoots through the plot threads with zest, bringing the tension to boil and a final fifteen minutes that contains real drama. There are not one but three action sequences, and the fight between Shane and Rick is cathartic. It needed to be, considering the show has been building to it for two whole seasons.
On the other hand, now Shane’s definitely dead. I don’t think Dale last week was any real loss, but this is a pivotal character and the conflict between him and Rick was a huge driving force. I give them credit for not dragging this storyline out for years though, and we have the excellent David Morrissey waiting in the wings as next year’s antagonist.
Death Doesn’t Matter (except it does)
Meanwhile, for fans of zombie mythology, it turns out the plague is airborne and every dead person comes back unless their brain has been damaged. Nice twist, one readers of the comics already knew about, and makes it more plausible that the whole world was over-run so quickly.
And, yeah, I’d lay good odds that “We’re all infected”, or words to that effect, was what Jenner whispered to Rick, back in the distant past of last year’s finale. But I hear rumblings from producer interviews that we’ll find out for sure next week.
Along with a massive zombie attack on the farm, it seems. At least after all this time there, I feel attached enough to care when they start tearing it apart. Let’s see if they can make it three major deaths in as many weeks. So, how do you all feel about the passing of Shane? Good idea? Bad idea? He outlived his comic book alter ego, at least.