Season 2 Episode 3 “Save the Last One”
Our episode this week aligns pretty well with the end of the year. I didn’t plan it that way but kudos to me anyways! Our group is faced with a lot of challenges this episode and the common theme around it all seems to be about if and how they each want to keep going. As we all start making our resolutions to keep us going in 2018, so does our group try to find ways to keep going in the face of adversity. Or, in some cases, maybe to not keep going.
I like how the show uses flash backs and flash forwards to give us some suspense and take away some of the context to make us think more. Here we start with Shane in the bathroom shaving his head. Something has definitely been skipped over because he’s back at the farm and has an injury and looks traumatized. Let your imagination run wild.
Lori & Rick
We come into Rick telling an old story to Lori about Shane playing a school prank when they were teenagers. It’s narrated over Shane and Otis running through a high school present day. Rick seems to be telling the story to try to reassure himself and Lori that Shane is going to come through for them.
Lori spends a lot of time this episode contemplating the value of life, specifically Carl’s life. As they wait for Shane and Otis to return, the situation becomes dire for Carl, and Lori and Rick may have to choose whether to let him pass or go through with very high risk surgery that could have the same outcome. Lori sounds ready to let Carl go, so he doesn’t have to live in a cruel world. The speech she gives is pretty significant in hindsight of more recent events, but I’ll talk about that when the time comes. Is Lori right to want to let her son go? Rick doesn’t agree. Just another subject to drive a wedge between them. Ever the optimist, Rick is ready to try everything to save his son.
Carl wakes up for a brief moment and remarks about the deer he saw. Then lapses into a seizure and passes back out. Rick uses this information to try to convince Lori to do the surgery. He talks about how Carl thinking about the deer means there is still positives in life. That he didn’t talk about being shot or anything negative, he talked about the beautiful living deer that he got to see up close. It works and Lori consents to surgery.
Shane & Otis
These two are both fighting for their lives and for Carl’s back at the high school. We get glimpses of them throughout the episode. Neither one wants to fail at this mission. Otis even expresses a willingness to die to let Shane make it out and get the supplies back. At this point, Shane is not willing to let Otis die; he wants them both to survive this.
Andrea & Daryl
Meanwhile, Andrea and Daryl are also about to get to know each other since neither one can sleep back at the RV. They go out in the dark to look for Sophia. It’s surprising to find that Daryl is still one of the few who is hanging on strongly to finding Sophia alive. As everyone else’s faith starts to wane, even Carol is starting to mourn, Daryl and Rick seem to be the only two who fully believe they’ll find her alright. I admire this about Daryl. As we learn that he had to fend for himself as a child that this new situation is no big deal to him. He’s more adjusted to survival and that’s allowing him to not let minor setbacks get to him. Andrea on the other hand shares that she’s not so sure about living. She appears to be weighing her options on living or dying as she goes through the days. She says that she’s not sure if living is “just a habit”. As they come back to the RV, Dale returns Andrea’s gun to her and apologizes. Andrea says she’s trying to forgive Dale but she’s not there yet.
Maggie & Glenn
Maggie and Glenn have their first conversation together about God. Always a good ice breaker. Maggie is somewhat agnostic but might still have some faith. She talks about how in light of the current situation it seems a lot of prayers must be going unanswered. She does not seem to be hanging her hat on God coming to save anyone. Glenn though is praying for the first time. The current circumstances have driven Glenn to reach out in a way he’s never reached out before. Looking for help for not himself but all his friends around him. Such a kind person.
They connect a second time later when Maggie is distraught over Otis. Glenn helps Maggie to channel her grief into honoring the life of the deceased. Glenn talks about how they have to keep going on for the dead so that their life was not in vain. A concept the two of them share through future seasons.
As the episode nears the end, Shane makes it back in time just as they are about to operate without any supplies. Shane tells us that Otis wanted him to go on and Otis didn’t make it because he was covering him.
Carl’s surgery was successful. He’s got healing to do but seems to be going to make it. A win is what everyone needs right now. I think that Carl’s survival means a lot to everyone and it is a relief that they haven’t lost both him and Sophia. There’s hope again and maybe there’s hope to find Sophia too.
As Lori sits with Carl as he rests, she tells Shane to stay, NOOOOOOO!!!! I don’t think Lori is intentionally trying to be confusing to Shane but I wish she could see what she’s doing. And I might also at this point question Shane’s intentions. Why did Shane go through hell when he was considering giving up on the entire group? Was it just to save a child, did he still want to try to win Lori back, did he just want to be a good friend to Rick one more time? It seems to me that he took an awfully big risk for people who have disappointed him.
Then to make things better Maggie gives Shane Otis’ clothes to wear. That’s gotta be confusing. Put on a dead man’s clothes. A little twisted to say the least.
We finally get to see what really happened with Shane and Otis in flashbacks. It did not go as Shane told everyone. Shane killed Otis outright so he could get away. This is a turning point for Shane. Even though he had to make tough decisions before as a cop and a leader to the group, he never had to kill someone in cold blood for his gain. Kind of scary that he felt like he needed to kill someone to keep going. That concept Rick talked about in the first season about not killing the living is basically no longer in Shane’s mind. Can Shane recover from this or is it the beginning down a bad road? Judging by his face in the mirror, he’s not coming back to the Shane we knew.
Best of the Episode
Lori’s debate with Rick over living and dying. You don’t get two more polarized opinions than life and death. To be fair, Lori has really good points about why Carl shouldn’t live, or any of them. And Rick at first has no comeback until the deer discussion happens.
Maggie and Glenn forming a connection. These two seem drawn to each other. Glenn is at times awkward in front of her, but also showing strength when he consoles her. And Maggie appearing much more confident at first, shows weakness in front of him and allows him to comfort her. A bond is forming fast.
Andrea and Daryl getting to know each other. Daryl is clearly a strong member of the group, and I think Andrea is stronger than she knows. She may be considering suicide but her approach to it almost seems logical. While tough conversations may be difficult for many, these two appear to talk about suicide like it’s the weather. I think that’s almost comforting to Andrea because Daryl doesn’t talk to her like a victim or a weakling.
~Happy New Year~