The Walking Dead: Kill to Live?

The Walking Dead.

Insane is a word I would use to describe last night’s episode. I'm a big fan of the comic and with the way they're doing the show I'm blown away with each episode. I have to think last night’s was one of the best of the series with the questions it hit on and the shocking ending too.

I've enjoyed the entire season and the way the show is running like the comic, but at the same time taking its own course too to keep the fans of the comic guessing about what might happen next. I'd advise making sure you saw last night's episode before continuing, as spoilers abound.

I've read a lot of complaints about the season that it's too much dialogue and not enough zombie killing action. People complaining about the whiny characters and the sort of mundane issues they blab on about. I don’t get their complaints though.

How can you have a TV show where all they do is walk around kill zombies, sleep, eat and then kill more zombies? There were a few weak episodes, but what show doesn’t have that. I felt it's been pretty consistent for a second season. Knowing the comics and the direction the group goes I was wondering where they were going to put them after leaving the outskirts of Atlanta.

Now for the episode last night they raised the interesting question of can you keep your humanity in a world gone to hell where survival comes down to the choices we make. With Dale being the sole voice of reason for the group in arguing against killing their prisoner Randall, whom Rick, Hershel and Glenn rescued from the Walkers.

The logic behind killing him is to prevent him from possibly escaping and going back to his larger and better armed group who could threaten the entire group at the farm. Dale argues that if they kill that boy--for something he might not ever do--what would make them any different than the other group that might threaten them?

This raises a good question. Can one survive in a world of zombies while clinging to civility and rule of law from the life you had before? Does one's humanity fit into the new world or is it truly a survival of the fittest situation where you show compassion or weakness and you are signing your own death warrant?

It makes doing the "right thing" according to how life used to be quite possibly the wrong thing that ends up costing you what you've earned and built. Reading the comics there are definitely groups like that existing who see Rick’s band of survivors and think they are weak and ripe for the picking to take what they want.

This episode was perfect in showing exactly that and Dale played his part just as perfect and that's why I was shocked with how they ended the episode. In the comic Dale does eventually get bitten by a zombie and dies before turning into one, but that is way along in the journey. For him to bite it while on Hershel’s farm and after such a dramatic and tense episode of him being the voice of reason for the group even I was shocked.

I still feel that Shane being killed is coming this season (as he should have died at the end of last season), but for Dale to bite it so soon man, insane. I give them props on writing it like that though. It's a risk to kill off Dale so soon as that might alienate fans of the comics changing it so radically, even though Robert Kirkman already has in killing off Sophia.

This episode also shows how Carl is developing within the group and in the new world he finds himself in. At times he wants to be seen as an adult, trying to listen in on the discussion to kill Randall or sneaking into the shed to talk to him before Shane takes him out. Carl is trying to see that he can do the things necessary to survive in the zombie world to the point he tells his dad to kill Randall in the barn, because even he thinks it's the right thing to do.

He is also learning that being an adult comes with consequences as the zombie he let loose from the mud is the same one that injures Dale to the point of death. When he sees that is the same zombie you can see in Carl's eyes he knows what he did and, in trying to act like a grown-up, he got somebody killed.

This was a powerful episode with the issues they tackled and how each character responded and will change because of it. Makes me think that nobody is safe for the series and those who might have made it longer or are still going in the comic might not be so fortunate in the TV show. So far the entire show has been compelling TV.

While the first season was a revelation, this season is holding its own as well and building on a foundation that I can see getting better and better. The last two episodes of this season are going to be some of the best until the new season hits. Where they take the group from there will include the introduction of The Governor and maybe even Michonne too.

If you haven’t been watching this show you need to be.