Norman Reedus and Laurie Holden have a great handful of scenes here. Reedus’ Daryl is moving far away from his original portrayal, which seems to be a common theme this season as we begin to better understand what lies beneath the surface of our survivors. His determination to save little Sophia is commendable, but it’s his on the fly survival counselling which is a true joy to watch. Daryl recounts his past life as he travels in the wood with Holden’s Andrea. In an attempt on his part not only to better understand her, but to also offer her a hand of friendship. They do encounter someone else who had “opted out” and from this Andrea does seem to move herself away from her previous suicidal goals. These two characters work so well together that it’s a joy to watch and hopefully the foundations have been laid out for a very interesting friendship.
Even though this episode has some great moments of character development it does seem that some of the other cast have been moved into the background. Carol has essentially been crying since episode one, understandable since her daughter is missing but it is getting tedious. Dale and Glenn get a few moments to shine but they are criminally underused. As for T-Dog well he has just become dead weight. A stereotype that is in desperate need of some characterisation.
Now we move onto to Shane whose actions essentially steal the show. Jon Berthnal builds on the fantastic work done last issue and delivers another sublime performance. The big revelation in this episode is all about Shane. It has been telegraphed for a while and to be honest isn’t a real surprise for the character. In fact to is so well signposted most viewers will guess the outcome well in advance of the actual event. However it is sold to us in such a way that it is still shocking. But the biggest triumph here is that when all the dust settles and Shane is starring in the mirror, we agree with his actions. It will be interesting to see what happens next indeed.
So, this episode packs a big punch. But it is more than that as we continue to see some great character work being done here. Shane and Lori have both become far more interesting this season and the show is stronger for it. Now that the current crisis seems to be over our characters may have a moment to relax. Which will hopefully allow some of the more underused members of the cast get some screen time.