Summary: Shane and Otis escape the school but both are hurt and being chased by walkers. Shane shoots Otis in the leg and leaves him for dead to allow himself to escape. Daryl and Andrea look for Sophia and come across a walker of a guy who committed suicide. Lori and Rick debate over if they should just let Carl die. Shane comes with the tools and Hershel performs the surgery to stabilize Carl.
The Good: The twist at the end was fantastic. I genuinely wasn't expecting that, so it totally caught me off guard. I had thought Shane was bitten or something along those lines and I was going to be frustrated by Shane hiding a bite like an idiot. But the twist that he sacrificed Otis instead was so pleasing because it made perfect sense for his character to do that. Shane has always looked at things logically instead of morally, and Otis wasn't going to let Shane fall behind so he instead let Otis fall behind to get the supplies to Carl. It's easy to understand why he did it, but the question is was it a morally correct move? And does this signal a change in Shane now? There are some fascinating ideas now which could be explored in future episodes regarding how Shane gets affected by this decision and if he will be forced to make a choice like this again.
The twist really saved the episode because there wasn't much that really connected me with this episode (see: The Bad). There was genuine emotion from seeing Shane do something so cruel, and it made the ending of the episode have emotional resonance. I thought the editing of the reveal was very well done and contrasted well with Shane examining who he really is by looking at the mirror. Furthermore, I think the twist was even more powerful because I was initially disappointed that we didn't see Otis' fate. I was really expecting Shane to get scratched or bitten, so when he didn't my disappointment transformed into shock and satisfaction. That's the perfect way to execute a twist and it added so much more to this episode.
I enjoyed the actual school action sequence too. It was logically planned out and had some really enjoyable and tense moments throughout.
I'm glad that we got to see some more development on Daryl as he revealed some of his backstory. The scenes with him and Andrea were pretty good and allowed us to understand that Daryl is a much better person than Merle was.
The Bad: I don't think Lori wanting to let Carl die felt earned. It would have been nicer to have some set-up for Lori deciding that she may want Carl to just not experience this awful world. The scenes were fine exploration of the horrors of this new world, but I think they could have felt more realistic and organic, or even delved a little deeper than they did. I also wasn't a fan of Carl conveniently waking up to only talk about the deer to help prove Rick's point.
The suicide victim was a bit too on the nose for Andrea's story. What are the odds she would find that walker and realize that she may actually want to live?
This episode almost felt like it had no content. It consisted of a bunch of average conversations which didn't accomplish much and there were very few talking points aside from the ending twist. This felt completely different from the pace that season 1 was going at, and the short length of my review really accentuates that.
The Unknown: How will that twist affect Shane's story? What is his future in the group? Will he still leave or could he maybe stay and try to enforce his more straightforward approach to surviving compared to Rick's moral method?
Best Moment: The execution of the twist in the final 2 minutes was superb, and added a lot of emotion and memorability to the episode.
Character of the Episode: Shane.
Conclusion: Up until the ending, this felt like a slow and almost pointless episode, but that twist added so much resonance and power to the episode and practically was the only reason this episode has such a good score.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.