The Walking Dead : "Better Angels"



Previously on The Walking Dead...you missed last weeks episode?...For Shame!

We pick up at Dales funeral. Rick has some touching words. They are interspersed with footage of Daryl, Shane, Andrea and T-Dogg dispensing of some walkers in rather grim fashion. Rick says they are going to do things the way Dale would have wanted them too. Shane's not too happy about this, but Shanes not too happy about anything these days.

Hershel decides that without Dales mouth to feed, its o.k. to move the group into the house proper. I'm pretty sure that wasn't his logic, but the coincidence is funny. He insists on Lori and Rick having his room. He misses the couch from his old drinking days.

Rick wants Andrea to babysit Shane. She's not too happy about the proposal but agrees begrudgingly. Speaking of Shane, Carl picks him of all people to confide in. He tells the story about Daryls gun and the walker and Dales death. Actually, he does a pretty good job of recapping last weeks episode. Kid if you ever need a job, I'll let you take over for me if you want. He gives Shane the gun, but Shane wants him to keep it. Carl refuses, he also asks Shane not to tell Rick or Lori. Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.

Randall is still in the barn. Blindfolded and gagged, he is still trying to free himself from some very painful looking handcuffs. Back at the house, people are still choosing rooms. It's like the season premier of the Real World. Maggie thinks Glenn should stay in her room with her. Glenn, smarter than he looks, explains that there are far too many guns on the property for him to even attempt that.

Lori, ever the pain in the ass dick tease, waxes nostalgic with Shane about their halcyon times together. She gets Shane all stirred up again about protecting her and Carl and Rick being kind of a wet blanket as a husband. Implying that he's better in the sack as well. Good job Lori, taunt the grizzly bear.

Rick and Daryl are planning on dropping the kid in the wilderness (again). Daryl seems to have replaced Shane as Ricks number two, being that Shane is insane and everything. This seems like a good move, although Daryl isn't exactly known for his levelheadedness, but at least he isn't i love with Lori. Shane questions the plan. Rick bitch slaps him verbally by saying the plan was good it was the execution that sucked. Shane isn't happy (again) but thinks Rick need to have a heart to heart with his son. Then after holding on to Carls secret for about 20 minutes, he recounts Carls tale about the gun, Dale and the Walker. Rick tries to push the parenting off on Lori. Shane calls him a pussy and tells him to talk to his own kid. Shane has a point.

Rick, taking Shanes advice for once, tracks Carl down in the barn keeping watch. They have a heart to heart. Rick insists that Carl needs to grow up. He's not going to have a childhood. Uh oh, that didn't work out too well for Michael Jackson. He gives Carl the gun back and tells him it's time to be a man. Tomorrow he's going to take him to a strip club. O.k. not that last part, but everything else was pretty damn good.

In a different barn (apparently), Shane goes to hang out with Randall. He's pretty crazed at this point. He does some Jennifer Beals "Flashdance" stuff with a chair before sitting and staring silently at Randall. He notices Randalls wrists and his attempts to escape. A light bulb goes off above Shanes head (not literally, although that would be funny).

T-Dogg (three scenes tonight!) goes to fetch Randall. He opens the barn door ant ta da! Randall has vanished. the group starts to panic. Meanwhile, out in the woods, Shane confesses to Randall that he's tired of this groups shit. he wants to join Randalls group. Randall is cool with this. He's pretty sure he knows where they are, he just wont shut up. They head behind a big tree, there is a scuffle, heard but not seen. Shane emerges the victor or whatever. He runs his face into a tree and breaks his own nose.

Back at the farm, everyone is concerned about the sudden disappearance of Randall. Shane emerges from the woods, bloody and with a story that would put the Brothers Grimm to shame. Seems he was jumped, took a rock to the face, and had his gun stolen. Daryl, Glenn, Shane and Rick take off in search of their former prisoner. They split in to two teams, Daryl and Glenn going one way. Rick and Shane another. Daryl and Glenn notice pretty quickly that Shanes story doesn't add up. Especially after Zombie Randall attacks them. Glenn earns his balls with a pretty good move to kill him. Daryl notices that his neck was broken, he wasn't killed by walkers. They also notice the blood on the tree. 1+2=3.

Shane and Rick keep searching for Randall in a different part of the forest. Rick begins to question Shane more about the disappearance. Shanes answers are thin...Karen Carpenter thin. Rick realizes that Shanes full of shit. Shane must also realize he sounds like a moron and pulls a gun on Rick in a field close to the farm. Rick does his best to try and diffuse the situation (again). Shane is having none of it again questioning Ricks leadership skills, parenting skills, his lovemaking skills and apparently his penis size. Rick ever the gentleman offers Shane his gun, but stabs him when he reaches for it. He holds Shane while he dies and keeps a vigil waiting for him to turn zombie - just so he can kill him again. But, like last week, Carl shows up (who watches this kid anyway? it is a zombie apocalypse). He points his gun at Rick as Rick approaches him. Rick's trying to explain. Carl stands frozen, gun pointed at Rick. Zombie Shane has awoken however and is closing on Rick - fast. Carl lets a single shot rip and drops Shane just as he is about to get in range of Rick. End episode.

Snark aside, this episode was tremendous. It's really a tale of two episodes. The first half being the denouement to Dales story. The second being the build up to the fatal confrontation between Rick and Shane. Again the episode was superbly acted. Even during the final confrontation Andrew Lincoln keeps enough composure to remember he is a southern sheriff not the Brit he is in real life. Jon Bernthal will be surely missed. He did his best David Hess impression in this episode and it was awesome.

The other thing that really set this episode apart was the direction, or more specifically the cinematography. There are two shot in specific that are just haunting. The first is obvious, Rick and Shane in shadow, framed by the moon. So great, they even used a similar shot a couple of minutes later. Still powerful stuff. The other shot that really stood out for me is the shot of Carl sitting in the barn window silhouetted against the night as Rick approaches from behind. Just tremendous.

Again another awesome episode. Next week is the season finale and if the preview is a try indication all hell is going to break loose.

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