This week on The Walking Dead: Our heroes have an ethical decision about life and death to make, and proceed to agonise over it at great length whilst standing around on a farm. And if that sounds like many season 2 episodes to you, yes, I know, me too.
However, something big does happen towards the end. And I’ll be spoiling it later, so don’t read if you don’t want to know.
The Misery Guts Debating Society
The premise of this episode, which is at least self-contained, involves our heroes agonising about whether to kill Randall. You’ve got to hand it to him: that arbitrary kid with a leg injury has done more to get our heroes killed than almost anyone else. Only Sophia provided more involuntary danger.
The second season of this show has produced a lot of agonising nihilistic dilemmas and this is yet another. I’m not asking for every week to feature a high-speed zombie fight scene, but the angst and shouting is getting a bit old. How about some survival troubles? Since they reached this farm, staying alive has been annoyingly easy.
The problem is that no-one has anything new to say in the week’s debate. Everyone is depressed, Shane wants to slaughter everything in sight and Dale, the voice of self-righteous morality, somehow makes the idea of not killing someone seem annoying. Carl’s scenes were interesting, it’s about time he developed a personality, but the episode as a whole felt stretched.
And in the end, of course, they didn’t kill him, or even make a clear decision.
The Spilled Guts Hiking Club
And then we hit the last five minutes, and Dale suddenly died. He has been annoying me with judgmental moaning in recent weeks, so I’m not exactly complaining, but we do kinda need a Voice Of Common Morality. Then again, they could get Glen to do it easily enough.
And, with two episodes left, now what? Well, if I had to guess, I’d say Rick decides to keep Randall alive out of guilt over Dale’s death, provoking the inevitable Shane/Rick confrontation in the finale, not to mention bringing in the other group of survivors as antagonists for the future.
But I like surprises, so hopefully I’m wrong about all that. In the meantime, this was an average Walking Dead episode, bit of a letdown after last week’s unusually good one.