Remember a while back when I said that what makes the show so awesome is that it's not a lot of D-cup teens running around in tank tops, being chased by Zombies and screaming? Remember how I said that the depth of the characters and the drama and the quality of the acting were all things that make the show great? Yeah. I totally lied. Can we have an episode where a bunch of half-naked co-eds that I don't care about get messily eaten? Just, you know, a few moments of nail biting, harmless, jump out of your seat type Freddy Kruger scary TV would be nice. Because I swear this series is starting to have more metaphors and symbolism than 12th grade English class and I have no IDEA where to go to buy the Cliffs notes.
And now we lost DALE?!? Wow. Of all the deaths that have come so far, this one is the hardest to take. And I may not have gotten ALL the symbolism but I do get that by being forced to shoot him in the head they are really putting the parts of themselves that are still hanging on to humanity and compassion out of their misery. Yikes.
The show opens with Daryl going all "goodfellas" on Russel to try to find out what he knows. And we find out some rather unpleasant details about the group that Russel was part of. I'm getting whiplash. Every time I think that PEOPLE are now the biggest threat, the Zombies remind us that they're still out there and then we hear about Russel and the way his group was carrying on and it turns out that in this new world, people may be scarier after all. So now they have to decide to eliminate the threat or try to retain their humanity. Shane is pretty predictable as to where he stands. It's everyone else that's surprising. Andrea first guards the prisoner for Dale and then in the end fully takes Dale's side. Carol and Hershel want to take the easy path and opt out. Lori sides with Rick. How can she not see that someday the same thing may happen to Carl? wouldn't she want him to be given a second chance? If all humans shoot each other just based on the fear of what they might do then there really is no future worth fighting for. Glenn and Maggie uncharacteristically don't speak out in defense of Dale or Russel. And then there's Carl. He's totally out of control in this episode and flirting with aaaaalll kinds of disaster. He's sassing adults, stealing guns, baiting Zombies and not following directions. This is the kid they're trying to redeem the future for and it's only when he steps in to witness what may happen that Rick realizes that the future may not be worth saving if that's how they're going to live it.
Zombie count in this episode = 1. A single measly Zombie. And these people have lived through some HARROWING stuff, and yet they're wandering around woods and fields humming in the sunbeams like they're in a Normal Rockwell painting instead of the Z.A. Carl is practically feral. Are you kidding me?!? I wouldn't let my kids out of my SIGHT, never mind wandering over to Daryl's camp to look at his motorcycle, guns, and drying ears. All the ill-fated Zombies that were in the barn were captured on farm property. Is it really such a stretch to think that there might be more out there wandering around? Maybe I'm missing a lot more symbolism because I'm waiting for Zombies to jump out of the high grass and take someone out. And then that's exactly what happens! Geez, I hate being paranoid AND right all the time. And if you and I were in livin' in the Z.A would we really stare at a munched-on cow for waaaaaay too long or would we instantly take the gun off our shoulder and do a 360 to find the culprit? I mean Dale, come ON dude, you don't have to sit there wondering. There's only one thing that could have caused that kind of damage.
Speaking of damaged cows - I know there's a lot of deeper things to still talk about but can we pause for a palate-cleanser and just hash out some basic Zombie Q & A for a sec? That skinny little sucker ate a HUGE helping of cow with not so much as a food-baby to show for it. You'd think he wouldn't even be interested in Dale. Are the things ever sated? Do they ever just decide that they're done hunting humans for a little while and lie down for a post-feast nap? When they eat stuff, where does it go? Why was Dale walking across a field in the dark, and why didn't everyone RUN to help him when he started screaming? In the zombie world screams mean only one thing and the whole group heard him and then acted like he may have just been surprised by a field mouse. Jeepers people....
I think it's very symbolic that Dale does not get bitten but has to be shot. I also think it's very interesting that Daryl is wearing a new vest with angel's wings on it. But the sad truth is that 12th grade English was never my best subject and this episode was chock full of hints, foreshadowing, deeper meaning and clues about the future. So help me out peeps, what did I miss?