Last week, I complained that the show used the episode as a filler between the premiere and the next plot point. Normally, I'll accept filler episodes, knowing full well that every show has them and somewhat needs them, but boy, last week's episode sure was slow. Just because we need bridge episodes doesn't mean they have to be boring.
This week is much better. It resolves the fate of Carl and Shane and Otis in one fell swoop while keeping the intensity and character development going at the same time. I felt like for every good scene last week, we had two that dragged their feet and left us craving the next zombie attack. This week, we get plenty of action in the form of Shane and Otis being stuck in the school. To be honest, I actually felt like the action scenes were a little lamer than normal. I've been able to turn my head the other way in terms of how the zombies operate... do they walk or run? Can they smell and hear good? Today, it seemed like the writers set it up so that Shane and Otis would run into zombies at exactly the wrong moments. For the first time in awhile, it felt contrived. Usually, theappearancesof the zombies felt real and organic. Here, it felt like, "Oh, we haven't had a zombie death in awhile... let's throw one in!"
I was much more interested in the characters in this episode. Daryl and Andrea had a nice little talk while strolling through the forest, looking for Sophia, and Dale and Andrea have seemingly begun to wrap up their little disagreement about her life being saved. As for Glenn, he actually got some lines here and the relationship between him and Rachel began to blossom a little bit. I think the show has had trouble this season in the writing department, not knowing how to balance stuff out or write realistically for people. However, things are getting better now.
And Shane... man, the twist with him was a little out of left field but believable enough, and it also gives the character some more stuff to do. The scene where he shoots Otis in the leg and leaves him there to be eaten by zombies is one of the more brutal things the show has done. I hope they carry this thing out more than just a few episodes. It's a dark turn for Shane and could potentially create some great storylines out of it.
With Carl fixed, the show needs to take care of the Sophia issue. It's taking forever for them to find her and it's wasting time. Let's hope next week's episode can fix this.