Walking Dead 210: 18 Miles Out and Brimming With Rage


In 18 Miles Out, episode 210 of The Walking Dead,  Shane and Rick’s emotional conflict can’t be contained anymore, and bottled up rage finally spills out.

Specifically, the conflict involves Rick Grimes and Shane Walsh, with a young man named Randall unhappily caught in the middle. If you don’t recall, Randall had “happened” to our story when Rick, Hershel and Glenn unwittingly had a shootout with strangers in an abandoned bar. Those hostile to Rick’s group eventually departed, but left Randall behind when he accidentally fell from a rooftop and impaled his leg on a fence post. Rick forcefully lifted Randall’s leg up from the fence, and Hershel worked his veterinary magic on it back at the farm.

This left everyone wondering what to do with the young lad. Being the resident paranoid hothead, Shane’s first reaction was to put him on ice. Rick and some others disagreed with that approach, so now Rick and Shane are on an excursion “18 miles out” to decide where to leave him. By this point, Randall’s leg is apparently doing better (surprisingly quickly), but we see the poor guy tied up in an SUV trunk. It does not bode well.

It’s not that Rick doesn’t understand Shane’s point of view on Randall. It’s that Rick is sick of Shane’s constant efforts to play dictator (and, in the process, undermining Rick’s own control over the group, which is a real thing). Also, more plainly, Shane had been sleeping with Rick’s wife and wants to continue doing so, and thinks he’d a better father to Rick’s latest, unborn child. Hey, these things happen.

If that’s not enough, Rick confronts Shane about mounting suspicions that he murdered Otis, back when Otis and Shane were getting medical supplies for Carl (Rick’s son). Shane grudgingly apologizes for sacrificing Otis, but maintains that he only did it because he had to (which is debatable). In the process, Shane suggests that Rick could never make such a call, and therefore can’t do enough to keep his family safe (with the obvious implication that Shane could). This is especially disturbing now that Rick’s wife (Lori) is pregnant again.

Rick and Shane assessing the Randall situation. (AMC's The Walking Dead)
Rick and Shane assessing the Randall situation.(AMC’s The Walking Dead) /

Thankfully for Randall, Rick talks Shane out of simply snuffing the guy. They decide to leave him in a public works station, where they believe he might be safe. Though they give him a knife (and therefore a fair fighting chance against walkers, and other unknown threats), Randall does the unthinkable and tries to reason with them. To seem like one of them, he argues that he actually knows Maggie. Rick and Shane find this disturbing, as it means he might know the farm’s location.

Shane, who thinks it’s bad-ass to be stupid and violent, almost instantly tries to kill Randall. However, Rick tackles Shane, and fighting ensues between the two. When Shane throws a wrench at Rick, he misses and ends up smashing a window. The noise attracts a group of workers, who spill out of the window and in the direction of the battling fools. Despite all his macho talk, Shane barely manages to elude walkers as he boards a bus. To his credit, though, he devises a wonderful scheme of smearing his own blood near the school bus door. Then he lets a walker’s head in to lick it, and stabs the freak in the head. However, one wonders how long Shane can keep such a scheme going. He seems to wonder this as well.

Related Story: Season 2: All named character deaths

Instead, the real hero here is Rick. After dispatching a number of undead flesh eaters, Rick actually decides to come back and rescue both Randall and Shane. As Shane leaps from the back of the bus into Rick’s car window, there is a real sense of relief, but also of pure defeat. This is another instance of Shane being reeled in, which he certainly does not like. However, even he must be humbled by it all. He remains relatively quiet as they drive back to Hershel’s farm. Clearly he has much to think about, if he’s interested in doing so. Incredibly, after all that has happened, Rick eventually hands Shane his gun back, telling him he has to listen to him from now on.

Rick had better wipe his gun off afterwards. (AMC's the Walking Dead)
Rick had better wipe his gun off afterwards.(AMC’s the Walking Dead) /

Meanwhile, back at the farm, a different drama has unfolded. Beth is out of her shock-coma and is placed on a suicide watch, and the process has taken its toll on Lori and Andrea. Andrea feels Beth should be allowed to commit suicide if she wants, while Lori thinks that is irresponsible. In the process, their hostilities start spilling out, and they accuse each other of not doing enough for the group. When Andrea takes over the suicide watch, she actually locks the door (so no one can come in), opens the bathroom door for Beth and leaves — knowing that she could choose suicide. Beth initially chooses suicide, but seems relieved when Lori breaks through the bathroom door and saves her from herself. The incident, of course, turns Maggie against Andrea, and results in Andrea being banished from the house.

Next: Season 1 Episode 1: Days Gone Bye

Taken altogether, we see how rage is difficult to bottle up forever. It often comes out, one way or the other. Whether it’s to decide someone else’s fate or to determine our own, the anger and confusion we feel blends with our insecurities, and we lash out for a sense of power. Add zombies to the mix and you have The Walking Dead, or something very much like it.