Zombies and Gentlezombies,
Sunday's Walking Dead episode begins with a pensive Shane shaving his head next to a hot running shower. Why is he shaving? Why is he pensive? And why does he insist on wasting so much water every single episode? To find out, we must first turn back the sands of time.
Shane and Otis are still stuck in school, but now they're sprinting away from the copious zombies they attracted in the parking lot. Remember how I suggested that each of these postzombiepocalyptic scenarios is a potentially solvable puzzle? This puzzle is now a shitshow. Not only do Shane and Otis suffer bad falls, but they're also carrying extra weight now that they've fetched Hershel's supplies. At this point they're both limping as slowly as the zombies 5 feet behind them are staggering. Ohhhhh no.
Back at the ranch (Hershel's farm), Carl wakes up only to go into shock from all the pain he now realizes he's in. Rick is helpless, so he keeps trying to give blood. Lori is helpless, period. Hershel needs their go-ahead to operate on Carl without the special supplies, but Lori hesitates because she might just want Carl to die. Hey, some common ground! Welcome, Lori, to my den of wishing Carl dead! But wait. Is this a huge mistake? Should I be inviting Carl into my den of wishing Lori dead? And more importantly, do they have a den about me? Where do I fit in all of this? Doesn't anyone care if I want Carl to go through surgery?!
Lori thinks he would be better off dying in his sleep than in 1,000 zombies' mouths. I tend to agree, but I also understand that this mindset is no way to fortify a zombie-survivor story. Choosing to live is the prevalent theme throughout the episode, and everyone wonders why exactly they're choosing it.
Daryl takes Andrea through the woods to look for Sofia in the dark, where she'll definitely be out in the open and easily visible. They come across a [spoiler?] zombie in a noose tied to a tree, where he hanged himself as a bitten human. He chose to die, a decision Dale took away from Andrea back at the end of Season 1. And although she's more or less off suicide watch, she's still clueless as to why she's living. Daryl shoots the zombie in the head and wastes a cross-arrow to learn her a lesson: Don't waste your time and energy on a harmless moron. Does this relate to choosing to live? Maybe you should let people who want to kill themselves kill themselves. PS, Daryl got lost in the woods for a full week when he was 9? Damn, son. Note to everyone: when the Zombiepocalypse comes, find a Daryl.
And so Lori contemplates Carl's reason for living, Andrea contemplates her own, and [spoiler again [although the entire blog has a spoiler alert on top, so come on]] Shane contemplates Otis's. In Shane's mind, it all adds up to 2 slowpokes dying along with Carl OR 1 slowpoke dying and the other saving Carl's life (plus his own, tee hee oopsie!). Shane gives it to Otis in the leg so he can become zombie bait, leaving Shane to escape and be a hero. OR IS HE? Either way, the puzzle is solved.
More Thoughts on the Episode's Theme:
The theme (choosing to live) presents a great question. Why would one choose to keep living when all hope is lost? It's not like you can return to the days of electricity, running water, and edible food (unless you're Hershel and you have your own generator, underground water system, and cow pasture). You're stuck in a very harsh world, and in this case there are zombies at every turn trying to eat you no matter what you do! Why run from death when it's the only sure thing in your life?
There are a few ways to approach the dilemma: First of all, if you're in this situation, you are one of the random, lucky few who didn't die in the immediate apocalyptic event. Doesn't that suggest that, in this topsy-turvy world, luck might mean something and you might keep having it? Second, you owe it to the other survivors to keep going. They can't live alone. They need the collective "you," and theoretically they've decided to live for a good reason. Can you honestly contribute to killing them as well? Third, everyone wants to keep humanity going, right? Right? Humans are great, right? Stuff it, we will keep living here until the moon nukes us with green cheese. AND THEN WE'LL HAVE A CHEESE PARTY! STUFF IT, EXTINCTION!
all photos courtesy amctv.com