What begins as a fairly low key episode descends into mayhem and delivers a great final act! What is it about this week's episode that had me reminiscing about season 2? Find out after the jump!
Okay, the title of this week's post is rather misleading - but that doesn't change the fact that Rick's behaviour in episode 2 was reminiscent of Shane in so many ways. Andrew Lincoln has been great as Rick (there was some skepticism at his casting, but he's created an impressive interpretation of the most important character in the franchise, not an easy thing to do).
So far he's really been given the chance to demonstrate his range. The latest evolution of Rick's character comes with the emergence of his dark side, best exemplified by this week's episode.
3.01 ended with the characters stumbling upon the group of prisoners who had somehow managed to survive in the prison for 10 months. By the time we roll Credits in 3.02, three of them have been turned into human jelly.
What's surprising is that Rick is responsible for the death of two of these characters. That's right, Rick! Righteous, saintly, moral-compass Rick! Although he's only doing it for the well-being of the group, it's still a significant divergence from the character we have come to know.
It's for this reason that I've given this post a slightly misleading title. Shane well and truly bit the dust at the climax of the second season, but it's fascinating to watch how Rick's decision to remove Shane's influence has led to him inadvertently taking on some of Shane's characteristics.
My favourite scene of the episode was Rick and Lori's talk at the end. The Grimes family have been at the heart of the show since the beginning, and they're rather dysfunctional at the moment. It's possible that Lori is pregnant with another man's child (not to mention her fear that she might end up having a zombie infant that could bust out of her chest like an Alien). Carl is running around unchaperoned, taking out his frustration on stray zombies (although come to think of it, that's probably a healthy form of catharsis in a post-apocalyptic world).
That Rick and Lori have their conversation in a prison is a wider metaphor for their relationship as a whole - both Rick and Lori are trapped in isolation due to the revelation of Lori's relationship with Shane, and the pregnancy that prevents them from putting it firmly in the past.
Overall it was a solid episode this week - it didn't quite top last week's explosive opener, but it was still high quality television.