This week’s episode begins “in media res,” which is a Latin phrase that means “surrounded by zombies.” Grimes and Shane are covered in blood. That kid who Hand That Rocked the Cradle’d his leg last week is crawling on the ground towards a knife. I think that we’re supposed to be excited and confused? Like, “Oh, how did this happen?” But it’s not that exciting or confusing. For one thing, we know that they’re going to explain what happened in the next 10 minutes or whatever. It’s going to be a “mystery” for all of two seconds. And secondly, OF COURSE they are surrounded by zombies. Like, the weird thing on this show is how often they AREN’T surrounded by zombies. Considering that the world is just riddled with zombies, these guys spend an incredible amount of time surrounded by zero zombies whatsoever. Anyway, Grimes runs around. The kid is crawling for his knife. Shane runs in a school bus and traps himself in a school bus and the school bus is surrounded by zombies. Oh no! How will Shane get out of this one?! Well, the only thing we can know at this point is that he will definitely get out of this one. One of the main problems with this show besides the writing, wrinkled brows, Carl, and lack of actual zombies is the completely empty nature of the dramatic narrative moments because no one on this show ever actually dies unless they’re a side character that was just introduced for the sole purpose of dying. (See: Sophia. See: Otis. See: two dudes in a bar.) How will they get out of the thing we’re not even sure how they got into yet?! Let’s do the zombie numbers:
Shane and Grimes are in the car. ROAD TRIIIIIIP! Grimes pulls over. Shane is like “I thought we were going further.” We are, Grimes says. 18 miles out. What? 18 miles out? Is that a thing? “The safest distance between two points is 18 miles out.” Grimes explains that they need to talk. Shane says they don’t need to talk, he understands that they’re going to drive the kid out and leave him somewhere, it’s been decided. Haha. On the one hand, thank you, Shane, for explaining to us what you were just in the middle of doing. On the other hand, who answers “we need to talk” with some boring explanation of what they were just doing. “We need to talk.” “No we don’t, I understand that we’re going to the grocery store and then you’re going to catch up on some reading while I go to the gym. We are a couple and we live together in a one bedroom apartment and whoever cooks dinner the other person washes dishes. We don’t need to talk ever!” No, Grimes explains. He doesn’t want to talk about what they’re doing. He wants to talk about how Shane killed Otis and how he thinks he loves Lori but he doesn’t love Lori and how Grimes can keep Lori and Carl safe because he’s willing to do whatever it takes. He then says that the only way for him and Shane to keep surviving together is for Shane to accept everything that he just said. Huh. Good talk. Just a real two-way conversation this talk. Not a condescending, defensive lecture at all! Totally a talk. Shane tells his old Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award Nominated War Horse story about trying to get Grimes out of the hospital. Enough with that story, Shane. Everyone knows that story already. It’s also a pretty ineffective way of distracting a dude from the part where you fucked his wife. “There were soldiers, everything was so crazy, the world collapsed around us and there was nothing TO do but take your wife from behind in the woods. For Carl’s sake.” Shane!
Grimes wants to “check the ropes.” They have the kid hog tied in the trunk with ear buds in his ears blasting terrible music and an Abu Grahib hood over his head. “Couldn’t you have at least sprung for a subscription Pandora account?” the kid asks. “They keep playing the same GE Green Team ad over and over.” Grimes tells the kid to shut up. Why did he need to check the ropes? The kid is locked in a trunk. Even if he got the ropes undone he would still be so trapped inside of a car trunk it would be nuts. Also, why are his legs tied? Didn’t they cut one of his legs off with a bowie knife? Forget it, Shane, it’s zombie legs town.
Back in the car, Shane is staring out the window like a grumpy teenager on a family vacation, and I don’t blame him. Grimes won’t shut up! Blah blah blah. “My friend’s girlfriend is a birthday cake from Georgia Tech so I hope the winter is a Lord of the Rings.” Something like that. He hopes that a rough winter will kill all the zombies. Fingers crossed. But then he goes on to say that maybe they’ll find some snowmobiles. Grimes! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT ANYMORE?! Shane just stares out the window at a zombie crossing a field. “Lori Shane,” Shane writes on his jeans in marker. “Lori Shane. Lori Shane. Lori Shane.”
Meanwhile, back at the farm house, hell is other zombies with nausea or whatever. That girl who passed out last week is now having an existential crisis and wants to kill herself. Good. Let her. She is going to do it with a steak knife? Perfect. Lori takes the knife away and gets the girl in trouble with Maggie. Andrea tells Lori that she should let the girl make her own decisions. Lori tells Andrea that she should do laundry. There’s actually a very weird scene in which Lori and Andrea have a not-so-coded debate about the continuation of standard gender norms in a post-Apocalyptic nightmare, although not even, because it IS still 2012, right? We don’t all think that women should just leave all of the hunting and gathering to men and the women will do the warshin’ up? Just Lori. Because Lori DEFINITELY thinks that. “The men don’t need your help keeping us safe,” Lori says. Eek! Lori! You have always been the worst, but now you’re the worst in a new way! Upstairs, the girl explains to Maggie that not only does she plan on killing herself, but she wants Maggie to kill herself too, and for them to kill themselves together. AHAHHAHAHAHA. Do it! Do it, Maggie! Do it! That is the best. How often do you think that works? “Don’t kill yourself, please, I love you and don’t want you to die.” “Oh, not only am I going to do it, but you’re coming with me.” “In that case, let me change my dress.”
Andrea goes upstairs and promises to keep an eye on the girl who wants to kill herself. Thanks, Andrea! So nice of you. OH NO, WAIT! Andrea has a point about how the girl should be allowed to kill herself if she wants to, but there’s a big difference between thinking that someone should be able to make their own decisions and going into the room and pushing suicide on someone. Take it easy, Andrea. Give your eyes a rest.
Shane notices that the odometer has passed 18 miles. What is this 18 miles business?! It has to be 18 miles on the dot? Every hour they have to drive 18 miles on the nose or the island will explode and a time cave. Grimes explains that he is looking for a spot where the kid will stand a chance. Sure. I mean, you are driving through a zombie wasteland and the world is over and everyone’s lifespan is steadily shrinking by the minute, but you’re definitely going to give the kid with the shredded leg that you have HOG TIED IN THE TRUNK an amazing CHANCE at the 19.3 mile mark. Grimes pulls up to a Public Works facility. “This will do,” he says.
Will it? Based on what information? There is a zombie in a rent-a-cop uniform approaching them, and Shane is about to shoot it when Grimes says they should use their knifes. He cuts his finger open and rubs blood on the fence and when the zombie licks the blood off the fence he stabs the zombie in the head with his knife. Uh. I mean, yes, save ammunition and don’t make so much noise all the time, but you also live in a world without doctors and a very limited amount of hard-to-reach medical supplies so maybe don’t go carving into your body with a dirty knife and rubbing the open wound all over zombie-infested rust metal? That’s Grimes’s big strategy?
There is another rent-a-zombie and he tells Shane it’s his turn. Later they will drag the zombies to a place on the grass and lay them down together for some reason. (The reason is so that Grimes will be allowed to see them lying side by side and be reminded of how there used to be a time when him and Shane would wear their uniforms and lie down in the grass together and talk about what animals the clouds looked like. But there’s no other purpose for it.) One of the best uses of your time and energy in a zombie Apocalypse is to move the dead zombies around a lot. Put them here and put them there. It’s important to do so just do it. Shane will point out that he doesn’t see any bites. Grimes will say that they must have zombie scratches. Must be scratches, I guess, Shane agrees. OK, so it’s scratches. Everyone agrees it’s scratches. Let’s not worry about it anymore, I’m sure it’s just scratches.
They’re about to leave the tied up boy in the parking lot when he starts begging for them to save him and says that he is friends with Maggie. Uh oh! So, after all of their arguing and driving 18.7 miles and finding the perfect spot, it turns out the dude knew where the farm was the whole time? LOL. That’s a classic LOL. Good work, boneheads! Shane shoots the kid in the face, but Grimes shouts NO and shoves the bullet into the dirt. He says he needs a night to sleep on it. For what? I mean, either you shoot the boy or you take your chances and leave him here, but what is there to sleep on? You’re going to wake up, have a glass of orange juice, and THEN shoot him? Shane and Grimes argue, of course. Every Day I’m Arguin’.
Grimes says that it’s not Shane’s call. Why not though? Who undied and made Grimes the boss every step of the way? He says that Shane has to follow his lead on this one. Again: does he? Why does he? Shane says Grimes was right the first time, Shane doesn’t think he can keep Lori and Carl safe. So Grimes tries to punch him. Poor Grimes. Kind of showing your hand here, Grimes. Maybe you CAN’T keep Lori and Carl safe? It’s like Shane called Grimes gay when Grimes was definitely a self-loathing, closeted homosexual. “If I’m gay, then why would I punch you for calling me gay?” Shane catches Grimes punch and head butts him. And then the men proceed to have sex for five minutes. Seriously, the amount of grunting is hilarious. So much grunting! Boys! Stop fucking for a second! The boy is going to get the knife! Fight fight fight. Fuck fuck fuck. At one point, after they’ve been fighting forever, Shane says “get off me, man!” which is a very funny thing to say to someone who is trying to kill you and has been for the past five minutes. “Get off me, man.” Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize that you DIDN’T want me to sit on our chest and punch you in the face. Shane drops a motorcycle on Grimes.
Haaaa. Then he throws a tire iron at Grimes and it goes through the window and THAT is what wakes up all the zombies. Here they come! It’s the zombies from the beginning of the episode. HI ZOMBIE PALS!
A bunch of zombie stuff happens. Grimes hides under a zombie. The boy calls a zombie a bitch. (Uh!) Shane runs into the school bus. Grimes shoots a zombie THROUGH another zombie’s face. For a second it looks like Grimes is going to leave Shane for dead. It’s just like when he told Shane he could have left Otis for dead! Shane acts surprised even though he shouldn’t be surprised but also it doesn’t matter because obviously Grimes is going to come back for him in a second because he’s Grimes and this show is completely devoid of surprises. Shane cuts his hand open big time, like, way more than he needs to, and rubs the blood on the school bus door so that he can stab the zombies in the head, which doesn’t make much sense because those zombies were already trying super hard to get through that door. Not really sure what the blood is doing for Shane in this situation and now he’s got a big old cut on his hand. Also this:
Thanks, The Walking Dead, for that.
Back at the farm house, the girl who wanted to kill herself tries to kill herself with a mirror and everyone’s mad at Andrea except for Andrea who is VERY proud of herself and talks about how the girl “made her choice.” Snore. I wish I could make MY choice and never watch this show again. Maggie tells Andrea that she’s never allowed in the house again. Haha. OK, Maggie. OK, Andrea. OK, Lori.
So Grimes sees the two cop zombies and is like “Wait! I used to be a cop with my friend Shane! I can’t leave him for dead!” Which would make sense if he was anyone other than Grimes, who has spent every single episode of this show going out to try and save anyone who might not even need saving and might just be trying to have a quiet drink alone at a bar. Based on everything we know about his character, he never would have left Shane in the first place, but OK, here he comes to rescue Shane. They drive over zombies and Shane jumps out of the bus and the kid yells “yee-hah!” and they crush a zombie face with the car tire. Once they’re out on the open road, they pull over and hog tie the kid again, which how does that work? The kid was completely untied AND driving the car. They must have pointed a gun in his face and made him lie prone in the road and allow them to hog tie him and put the earbuds in his hear and the hood over his head even though he already knows where the farm is. I guess they just didn’t show that scene because THAT’S A HORRIBLE THING TO DO TO A PERSON. Grimes says he still needs a night to think about it, even though they’ll probably have to kill the kid in the morning. What? I still am confused about what kind of thinking Grimes expects to get done. Then he says that Shane has to follow his lead on these things. Once more, he says this without explanation. There is no reason this is true, which is probably why he doesn’t give a reason. Then he gives Shane a gun. Then they get back in the car. Shane looks out the window again. There’s that same old zombie. This trip sucks. Shane hates you, dad.
And once again, as with almost every episode of this show, we end exactly where we began. The plot has not even inched forward. It
runs shuffles in place.