‘The Walking Dead’ Review: “18 Miles Out”
'The Walking Dead' season 2 brings to life its tenth episode of the season, as Rick and Shane struggle over the fate of their captive survivor Randall (Michael Zegen), while Lori and Andrea find themselves faced with a difficult choice for the young Beth back on the farm.
Last week’s 'The Walking Dead' “Triggerfinger” saw Rick, Hershel and Glenn just narrowly escaping from a wilder band of survivors in town, while Shane retrieved Lori from her car accident and Carol prevented Dale from withdrawing out of the group, so what will the latest episode bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about 'The Walking Dead’ “18 Miles Out!”
At an unfamiliar location, we see a group of walkers pouring forth from a window as a bloodied Shane attempts to flee, and Rick finds himself confronted by an exceptionally big fella of his own! Nearby, a bound Randall worms his way toward a discarded knife, looking to free himself.
Flashback! Some time earlier, Rick pulls up to a crossroads in the middle of nowhere, and exits the vehicle with Shane. Before agreeing to release their captive hostage, Rick decides the time has come to have “the talk” with Shane, revealing that not only does he know of Otis’ murder, but also of Shane’s affair with Lori and belief that Rick won’t be able to protect his family. Shane reminds him that in the new order, one can’t expect to be the good guy and live, and when Rick retorts that Shane needs to fall in line, Shane assures him he wishes he could take back all the ugliness between them. Because that totally excuses leaving Otis to die.
Back on the farm, Lori gives Maggie some advice on manning up Glenn, and takes a plate of food to the now-conscious Beth, who seems depressed and questions how Lori will raise a child in this new, horrifying world. Rick continues his ride with Shane, musing on what effect winter will have on the walking dead, as Shane observes a lone walker in the distance. They settle on the Mert County Department of Public Works as a good place to dump Randall, and Rick demonstrates a new, quieter walker-killing technique of luring a zombie to a chain-link fence with blood, and stabbing their brain from a safe vantage. They explore the scene a bit, observing carnage and bodies, when Shane finds that the two walkers they knifed have no visible bite marks. Rick theorizes that scratches might have been enough to infect and turn the men, but seems to know more than he lets on. Might a certain season 1 whisper be coming into play soon?
Beth still hasn’t eaten, but Lori realizes that the kitchen knife has gone missing, and rushes back to the bedroom to demand it back from the young girl. Her older sister Maggie scolds Beth about the prospect of even considering suicide, while Beth insists that it'd be easier to die on their own terms, and even proposes that the two help one another commit suicide rather than wait to be eviscerated. Downstairs from them, Andrea argues with Lori that taking away the knife wasn’t her choice to make, and the two clash over their differing idea of life and responsibilities in the zombie apocalypse. Lori believes that Andrea isn’t contributing by taking watch duty, and Andrea scolds her back for not having experienced the kind of loss others have endured.
Back at Mert County, Rick and Shane remove the headphones and mask from Randall, walking away and dropping a knife for the boy to cut himself free. In his pleading with them, Randall accidentally reveals that he knows Maggie from school, and thus knew all along of the Greene farm’s location. Shane insists they have to kill him, and even squeezes off a shot before Rick insists they take more time to think about it. Shane reasserts that Rick can’t keep his family safe or make hard decisions, and the two come to blows, culminating in Shane hurling a wrench at Rick that misses, but awakens a building full of walkers nearby. They pour out of a window and Shane flees, while Rick hides beneath one of the dead bodies.
As Randall struggles to free himself and even takes out a walker of his own, Shane holes up in a school bus, and Rick fights off three walkers by shooting them as they pile atop him, even bad-assedly using a gun barrel through one’s mouth to nail another! Shane tries picking off the walkers outside the bus using Rick’s technique, but loses his knife when a walker’s skull drags the weapon out with it. Rick recaptures Randall, and seems for a moment to abandon Shane, before the sight of the two walkers from earlier side by side in uniform inspires him to drive by the bus, and retrieve Shane through the back door before driving off. Bros before roamers.
Back on the farm, Andrea agrees to watch Beth, but quickly abandons her post to allow the girl a choice. Lori and Maggie later rescue Beth from locking herself in a bathroom and slashing her wrists with mirror shards. When Andrea learns of the news, she expresses relief that Beth ultimately wants to live, but Maggie throws her off the property and out of their lives for such a dangerous gamble. While Lori doesn’t agree with Andrea’s methods, she does point out to Maggie that Beth ultimately did choose to live.
Back on the road, Rick and Shane once again secure Randall inside the trunk, pausing to repeat their earlier conversation. Rick agrees that they might have to kill Randall, but that Shane needs to trust him and follow his lead, including with his family. The two drive off, as Shane once again observes the lone walker stumbling through the field, absent of life or purpose.
Hot diggity dead, that was some good zombie-killin'! I doubt Rick could ever bring himself to truly kill off Randall, but if I were him I'd get tired of Michael Zegen's fake Southern accent pretty quickly. Might his capture draw the ire of a certain recently-cast season 3 villain? We'll find out soon enough!
Did you get your fill of zombie action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of 'The Walking Dead' "Judge, Jury, Executioner" on AMC!