The Walking Dead: 210 “18 Miles Out” Review
18 Miles Out (Season 2 | Episode 10)
WARNING – FULL SPOILERS
This was without a doubt one of the best episodes not just of this season, but also of the series so far. Full of tension, gore and thought-provoking moments this brought to life all the key elements of the comics that fans fell in love with. The key to its success was simple – focusing primarily on only two individual scenarios and focusing on the show’s core group of individuals – Rick, Shane and Lori. This worked brilliantly and shows that you don’t need every single survivor contributing to each episode.
The interactions between Rick and Shane were amazing. Lincoln and Bernthal work so well together on screen, the way the two connect, especially with what’s happened in recent events, was key to this episodes success. It’s taken a long time but Rick finally confronted Shane, what was great about this moment was Rick showed he’s not afraid of Shane and that he wasn’t afraid to confront him about Otis or Lori. Rick and Shane’s leadership styles have been the most debated point since the mid-season break and it was interesting for Rick to mention his strategies for survival. Storing supplies for the long term, killing walkers with a knife rather than a gun and even getting hold of a snowmobile for winter, were all great suggestions. Rick is the better leader of the two and you could see the distain on Shane’s face as Rick listed these off, clearly showing that he’d not thought past the end of the day, let alone the year.
Putting the knife killing tactic into practice didn’t take long at the school, even more remarkable was Rick’s blood bait technique. It was quite risky to have an exposed cut in such an environment but obviously he didn’t see the school rampage occurring later on. Shane used the same technique when he was trapped on the bus later one which symbolises that he still looks up to Rick. Let’s not forget that these were once Sheriff and Deputy and Rick was the higher rank of the two for a reason and this moment displayed why.
The decision over what to do with Randall was the perfect spark to light the fuse and set off one heck of an explosion between Shane and Rick. The fight was physical, fierce and violent, this has been building up for some time and it sure as hell didn’t disappoint. Shane throwing the wrench through the window, Rick getting the better of Shane and busting his head open and Shane shoving the bike on Rick were all great individual parts in this dual of destruction. The defining moment came when Rick chose to leave Shane trapped on the bus, at the moment there was no way he was going back, not after what happened to Otis and with Lori. Shane’s life was saved only by the image of the two dead security guards back at the entrance, brilliantly placed as a sign to Rick to honour his old partnership with his wayward best friend.
Randall looks like he’s going to be a fun yet fierce character, he almost feels like a Daryl/Glenn hybrid. The sinister way in which he pulverised his attacking walker was pretty extreme; this guy is obviously such an accomplished killer that he gets a kick out of it. This excitement continued in the car when the three sped away to safety, Randall’s ecstasy was on a par with Glenn’s back in the “Guts” episode of season 1 when he sped away from Atlanta in a Dodge Challenger. This kind of character will be a welcome edition to the group (if he sticks around) he blurs a lot of edges and is someone you’d want fighting with you in an attack. And what’s his connection to Maggie really about? He said that “she never knew who I was”, does that mean that he had a thing for her and is bitter she didn’t notice. Does this mean we could see another love triangle exists between him, Maggie and Glenn? All’s fair in love and apocalypse.
As for Maggie, her and Lori were both kept busy with the “suicidal” Beth. This I thought was a little clumsy in its execution and was the only thing keeping this episode from the 10/10 it should have been. The principal and dialogue were both there it just somehow didn’t seem real. We’ve not heard that much from Beth and still know relatively little about the farm’s residents, with the exception of Hershel and Maggie. Beth’s been asleep for the past couple of episodes so we’ve not been able to gain much insight into who she really is. This made the suicidal theme lose a lot of impact in such a chaotic world because it’s hard to gain perspective on how much it will affect the other characters.
The argument between Lori and Andrea was far better and really made things on the farm entertaining. There argument about who is the ‘Queen Bee’ was worthy of note and the way in which it mirrored Shane and Rick’s leadership clash.
Rick gave Shane a reprieve in the final scene, whether he will take the opportunity to reinvest in the group is uncertain. As he looked through the window on the way back at the walker in the field it’s clear to see there’s still uncertainty in his mind. The lone walker was clearly an indication that there are walkers heading for the farm, somehow they know they are there and it’s a matter of time before they’re knocking on the front door.
Scene of the Episode | Two for One – Rick being subjected to an un-dead ‘pile on’ by three walkers was pretty intense. Lincoln was amazing in this short, sharp scene, which was topped off with the kill of the season. Targeting one zombie through another’s mouth and then killing them both in one shot, truly a gob-stopping moment.
Reviewed by Rich Jepson, cult TV enthusiast and author of 24: Terrorism Through Television.