Finally, this entire frustrating, meandering season that’s been about a little dead girl and morning after pills and Rick and Shane fighting over Lori has begun to pay off.
However, had we not spent the last eleven episodes watching this bunch do damn near nothing except argue, “Better Angels” likely wouldn’t have had the same tension. I will give it that.
And that was tense. I loved the opening sequence, cutting between Dale’s funeral and Shane and Friends on patrol, ambushing a group of wayward walkers. It was cathartic, you know? I think viewers needed to see these people being the scrappy survivors they’re supposed to be.
I’m having better feelings toward Carl this week, since he came clean about his involvement in Dale’s death. Carl isn’t having the same difficulty as everyone else adapting to this new, dead world because he is so young. Adapting and integrating learned knowledge is what kids do. Shane and Rick can tell the kid it wasn’t his fault all damn day, but I think Carl knows they’re full of crap. Most kids with their wits about them know when their parents are full of it.
Dale’s absence weighs heavily on this episode and I can’t help but wonder if it’s just the comic readers who are feeling it. In the comics, to me, it still feels so wrong without him. Even that far in, Dale seemed to be the moral compass of the group; kind of like Gabrielle to Rick’s Xena. I was prepared to lose Dale, just not this damn soon.
And now, T-DOG WATCH!
T-Dog is getting in line after line in “Better Angels”! Look at him talking and getting a camera shot to himself. He got in like eight whole lines without being interrupted by and old white guy or dazed blonde lady. It’s like he’s a part of the group or a cast member or something. Now, how about that character arc?
But, this is the main event. This is what we’ve been waiting for since we first saw Rick and Shane sitting amicably in their squad car back in Kentucky.
The thing is, I still don’t know who was right in this situation. I’ve been mostly on Team Shane this whole show, which was a change for me since reading the books. Given the circumstances in the show, Shane’s position was not unreasonable while, in the books, he seemed more like a deranged madman. In the show, I really think the group is less safe without him.
The biggest problem for me, the biggest thing keeping me from rooting for the Grimes family in the show, is that I really, really don’t like them. In the comics, I never liked Lori, but I always liked Rick and Carl. In the show, as a family unit, they’re pretty terrible. OK, they’re fine amongst themselves, but they’re horrible in relating to everyone else. It’s like they willfully don’t understand that other people have lost loved ones and seen them become monsters.
It’s all culminating in a season finale that promises to be all zombie killing all the time.
I don’t know about you, but I had to practically get on top of my TV to see that herd in the distance (I’ve lightened it up in Photoshop for better viewing here). Good thing I have an eye doctor appointment over spring break, huh?