Death is Simple

Season 2 Episode 10 “18 Miles Out”

The Episode

One of my favorite authors, Tom Robbins, once wrote, “Death is simple. Life is messy. Give me life, the more complicated the better.” The main focus of the episode is on Rick and Shane’s strained relationship and Beth’s life or death decision. In both cases, strong examples of how messy and complicated life can be.

After an opening scene of Randall that once again leaves us wondering where in the timeline it’s taking place, we begin with Rick finally confronting Shane about leaving his family alone. Rick gives a very direct ultimatum to Shane, it’s my family and as long as you get that you can stay. Shane seems to begrudgingly accept that.

Randall, the hostage, is in the trunk of the car and it is now clear they are taking him somewhere to ditch. They are about to leave him in a public works facility when he proclaims he knew Maggie in high school. Oh Randall, you should have just let them leave and try to make it on your own. Because now it’s clear they either ha

power lines

ve to keep him or kill him. If they let him go and he meets up with his dangerous companions he can lead them right to the farm. Rick is still struggling with the idea of killing him (as he should!) and wants to think about it. But Shane is ready to do it and he goes right back into evil Shane mode starting in on Rick and not being able to protect Lori or Carl. While Shane is ranting on about how he’s the only one who knows how to make the right decisions, Rick gets fed up with him. I love the line where Rick says, “stop acting like you know the rules”. Because that’s exactly what Shane keeps doing over and over again. He talks like he’s got a flowchart on how to handle these crazy decisions they have to keep making.

They get into a pretty nasty battle. I would have picked Shane as the clear winner beforehand but Rick really knows how to take a hit and gives him one heck of a fight until they break a window letting a whole mess of walkers out. Now all three are fighting on their own. Rick manages to avoid the majority of them and let them all go after Shane, trapping him in a bus. Rick seems to take Randall’s advice to ditch Shane and they go off to the car. Shane and the rest of us are left thinking they are as good as dead, but then Rick and Randall come back with the car and they rescue Shane.

Rick and Shane have another talk on the way back to the farm. Shane again looks like he’s not fully on board with what Rick has to say. He does look a bit more defeated this time, perhaps because Rick just had to save his life after he tried to kill him. I’m not too keen on Rick’s decision making here. Shane was going to kill him and those feelings aren’t going to go away just because he saves his life one time. But that’s Rick, he’d rather save someone’s life and try to work it out then do the simple thing and let them die. I would have left Shane in the bus, but that’s me. What I do like is Rick’s ability to use his words. When he wants to get a point across, his little speeches are very convincing. But then when words aren’t going to work anymore, he’ll fight. He waits until he can justify his actions.

Meanwhile, poor Beth has woken from her catatonic state but is in a severe depression. We again have a character who is struggling to deal with this new world and would prefer to end her life than continue on. Lori becomes aware of what she intends to do when she realizes Beth kept her knife from lunch and hid it. She tells Maggie who now tries to talk her sister out of it. Beth is set on doing this, even trying to convince Maggie into a suicide pact. Beth does end up cutting her wrist but not badly enough to die, and she now realizes it was a mistake.

Andrea’s take on the situation harkens back to her issue with Dale forcing her to leave the CDC and taking her gun away. People are making decisions for other people that they shouldn’t. While it’s understandable that that’s upsetting to the person who wants to end their life, what I think is left out is how it is not in our human nature to watch or stand by while someone tries to commit an act of suicide. It’s almost subconscious that if someone is trying to hurt themselves to stop them from doing it. I think what the people who are doing ok want the person to see is that there are still good reasons to live if they just hang on a little longer. I would think that as someone who lived through that as Andrea has, that she would want to convey that message to Beth, not this “let her try and hope she lives if she realizes she wants to”. Andrea definitely loses points in my book for letting Beth attempt suicide.

Best of the Episode

Lori and Andrea’s spat. Andrea has it out good with Lori over Beth. This argument is pretty savage with insults flying. Lori insults Andrea by telling her she’s just sitting on the RV working on her tan and Andrea throws Lori’s car accident and her affair with Shane in her face. It’s a perplexing argument for me because I agree with Lori’s overall position about Beth but Lori conveys all the wrong points to Andrea by insulting her contribution to the group and thinking she needs to be in the house doing chores and “letting the men” handle the dirty work. Good Lord Lori, what century are you from!

Rick rules. Rick starts laying down some rules in the car ride with Shane. I just find it so amusing the way he does it, like he is reading points out of a how-to book. “If there’s one walker, use your knife instead of your gun.” “Gather canned food for winter.”

Multi-kill points for Rick. In the walker fight, there’s a moment where Rick is on the ground covered by three walkers. He shoots them by sticking the gun in the first walkers mouth and shooting, killing the ones behind it as well. Cool move.

Of Future Importance

Rick surmises that the security guards at the public works turned into walkers from scratches after Shane points out they weren’t bitten.

“When the farm and the house is overrun.” -Beth

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