Given much that has been built up to this season this episode gave us a serving of how Rick vs. Shane would go down. The fist fight and their verbally brawling over Laurie, Carl, and more importantly Randal (the leg impale guy from last week Rick saved) over what to do with him since he actually know Maggie and where the farm is. In theory he could bring death to them all if he should ever reconnect with his old group. The opening scene was particularly kinetic as it showed one of this show's again well done zombie chase openings especially the adrenaline-filled bit of Shane trying to push the bus door closed with a whole cluster of Walkers right behind him. While back at the farm Maggie tries to talk Beth (a previously undeveloped character) who wants to commit suicide and Herschel is inexplicably missing. Andrea and Laurie have a falling out and even when not there Shane's rough real approach has sunk into Andrea in a hard way and Laurie is still living in the rules of the old world. Rick seemingly has adapted further than he has before admitting that he'll make the tough choices, it'll just take him some time. So when he decides to let the possibility of killing Randal stew in his brain for a night and to take him back to the farm (once again blindfolded). It's during Rick and Shane brawl over killing Randal where Shane throws some sucker punches and even goes so far as to throw a giant industrial wrench at Rick which breaks a window and unleashes the Walkers that befall them. No Daryl this week which is sad since he's got an interesting path to follow. Andrea takes watch over Beth and says that if she wants kill herself to go ahead and when she cuts her wrist and decides she wants to live it doesn't go over well with Maggie, who left Beth in her care, but Laurie in some way agrees with Andrea's methods however line-crossy they were. Rick almost leaving Shane behind led to a good fake out of "is this really it" especially with Shane slowly killing off the Walkers while trying to shut the door with their new "stick em through the eye with your knife" approach so excellently followed as in the comics. But when Rick sees the two dead police officers he decides to go back and rescues Shane. Last note being Rick talking about a long term plan for surviving through the winter which he assumes will knock out the Walker or at least slow them down and needing supplies. All this means that Rick is living ahead of himself as well as in the present which is a great leadership quality which is one that Shane supposedly lacks. There was some great relationship back and forth with these two brothers this week and hopefully Rick asserting that Carl and Laurie are HIS family and not Shane's and his heartfelt line of "It's time for you to come back" means that there is still a respect for the man Rick loved like a brother, one who believed him to be dead and tried to take care of his family. This is I think the strongest bond this show has developed overall and if Shane truly were to come back from dark edge what with Rick accepting him killing Otis to survive they can share the leadership (but for the sake of conflict it won't go that easy just wishful thinking on my part) With a smaller cast focus this episode truly does deserve a place among the best episodes of this series (so far) and being fully out of the Darabont era I thought would be scary but the faster, adrenaline Glen Mazzara touch works just as well if not better in a season that could really use it with only three episodes to go.
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