The Walking Dead: 18 Miles Out

Posted by: S.P. Young  //  February 27, 2012 @ 1:28am

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

"I went to school with Maggie, for God's sake."

There are two stories that were told in 18 Miles Out. At home, Beth has recovered enough to wish that she had not. Saddenned by what the world has become, she tried to sneak a knife to kill herself, but was found out by Lori. While Maggie confronted Beth off-screen, Lori and Andrea had some heated words of their own, which could only lead to a different stance on Beth's intention of suicide. Back in season one's TS-19, a grief stricken Andrea decided that she would stay behind and get blown up by the high impulse thermobaric bomb, which is a good explanation of why she feels differently than Lori and Maggie about suicide. Andrea's interactions with Beth were significantly less of the bleeding heart type, but not to say any less compassionate. In the end, Beth made the decision to live, but Andrea was banned from coming back to the house.

While the women were sorting out their problems at home, Rick and Shane were far away having a much needed talk. The dialogue at the beginning of the episode was exceptionally well done. It was a solid five minutes of just two characters talking to each other, completely interrupted; something that is very rarely done on television. It turned out that the conversation in the middle of nowhere was not enough to calm things down, when Randall blurted out that he knew Maggie. For Rick, this meant that he had to think things through before taking action, but for Shane, it meant he had to kill Randall. This difference in approach, and Shane saying that Rick could not keep his family safe, reignited the tension between the two men. This created a fist fight between them, only to be made worse by Shane accidentally freeing the walkers, and the two men getting split up as they both desperately fought for their lives. Rick's policy of not leaving anybody behind was put to the test, as in the end, he rescued Shane, thus giving Shane a reason to believe in Rick's way of doing things.

All this makes for a lot of good substance, that was made even better with the inclusion of style as well. This episode utilized a lot of low angle shots, that really captured the emotions and added to immersing the viewing experience into the world of The Walking Dead. In addition, there were a lot of close-up shots that included both Rick and Shane together in them. These shots succeeded in showing what was really going on in between the two of them. On top of this, was the use of sybmolism and imagery: the knife, the cutting, Rick looking at the two dead police officers lying next to each other, and finally, the lone walker out in the field. Although it was heavily implied but unsaid, the lone walker and Shane share something in common. They are both a plague to others, and not wanted by anybody else. The walker being on its own is a warning to what Shane can become, if he either follows his original plan of leaving the group, or does something stupid that gets him kicked out. Looking at this walker struck a chord for Shane, as he rode back home with Rick, with their differences worked out.

Tags: The Walking Dead, 18 Miles Out, Triggerfinger, Nebraska, AMC, TS-19, Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden

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