It's that time of the week again -- time to talk about the latest episode of The Walking Dead, entitled "Better Angels." After the conclusion of last week's show (R.I.P. Dale!), the excitement level for this week's episode is at a fever pitch. So, did this week's episode live up to the lofty expectations placed on it by last week's program? Let's dive into the important bits to find out…
As always, there be spoilers before!
A eulogy for Dale
The group reminisces about Dale to open this week's show. Carl is clearly not taking this too well, all things considered (it's his fault, the jerk!). This opening was also quite horrific with the juxtaposition of Rick's respectful words about Dale and the dire state of humanity with the viciousness and savagery of how Shane and the crew take out roamers. Me thinks there's a war for humanity's soul a brewin'.
Big ups to T-Dog for finally getting some screen time (it wasn't much though).== TEASER ==
Carl confines in Shane
Carl confesses to Shane that he saw the walker that ripped a hole in Dale's chest. The look on Shane's face can only be read as "Baaaaalllllllls. I really wish you didn't tell me that." What's most interesting about this scene is that Shane attempts to give Carl back the gun. Carl says he'll never touch a gun again. Could this be foreshadowing to a certain watershed moment between Carl and Shane from the comics? I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes.
T-Dog, checking in!
In case you forgot, T-Dog is still in this show. Within five minutes of this episode we've already gotten more T-Dog action than the last four episodes combined! Way to be, T-Dog.
What is she doing?! Lori confesses to Shane that she's responsible for putting Rick and Shane at odds. Then she continues to do so! She admits to Shane that she's not sure who the father of the child is. Yet, she just told Rick that Shane was too dangerous and that he needs to put down the rabid dog in order to protect her, Carl and the unborn baby. I'm sorry, Lori is a total minx and is really hard to like in this show.
Shane tells Rick about that little "Carl thing"
The line in the sand continues to be drawn between Rick and Shane. There's so much venom behind everything they say to each other now. Man, remember when they were just good ol' sheriff buddies talking about their lady problems while waiting for an APB? Yea… good times that are long gone.
Lessons learned from Dale
Glenn takes to fixing the beat-up van while having a heart to heart about our late Hawaiian shirt lover with Andrea. It's a touching moment that kind of paints the picture of how awful things have become. However, the scene ends on an uplifting note as Glenn and Andrea are able to get the van started and share a laugh. Not much to laugh about these days…
"No more kid stuff"
What a depressing speech. Rick talks to Carl about death and how it's an inevitable part of life. He tells Carl that there's no more time for "kid stuff." It seems like Rick has lost faith that things can one day return to some sense of normalcy.
Shane, your marbles have gone missing
Wow, Shane has gone in-sane. After letting Randal out of the barn and telling him he wants to switch allegiances to the other camp, Shane straight up snaps Randal's neck. Then the dude runs into a tree to make it appear like Randal clocked him and stole his weapon. Shane is able to spin a successful yarn to get the camp to buy into his story and they head off into the woods to hunt down Randal.
Daryl, master tracker
You didn't think a pro at tracking squirrels wouldn't be able to suss out what went down between Shane and Randal, did you? Squirrel master Daryl once again calls it like he sees it -- correctly.
Rick vs. Shane -- fight!
I honestly didn't expect this confrontation to happen until next week's season finale, but here we are. Rick and Shane put everything on the table and it's clear that the friendship is definitely over. Shane tries to label Rick the "chaos" of the group, since everything was "perfectly fine" before he showed up.
It blows my mind that Rick actually tried to be a voice of reason after Shane laid out his entire, elaborate plan to kill Rick. Then BOOM! Knife to the chest! Rick strikes and hits Shane right in the heart, killing him pretty quickly.
Shane the zombie
In a nice little nod to the comic book source material, Carl puts a bullet into the head of zombie Shane as he shambles towards an unknowing Rick.
It appears as though the AMC version of The Walking Dead is jumping ahead a little bit here with one important story beat from the comics. It wasn't until further into the comic that it's revealed the dead rise whether they were bitten/scratched by a zombie or not. While it's a nice twist to use for the season finale next week, it did feel out of place here. There was no build up to this major beat, making it seem as though some nefarious do-no-gooder just flipped a switch to make the dead rise while twiddling his evil mustache.
So, there were some major events in this week's episode. Most importantly, Rick finally takes care of the rabid dog, Shane. Secondly, the dead, whether they were zombie food or not, have risen, which should lead to an entertaining, blood-filled finale. The former was pulled off quite well. The latter… not so much. But hey, that's just my opinion. Let us know what you thought of "Better Angels" in the comments below!