The latest episode of The Walking Dead was a pretty quiet outing, focusing for the most part on whispered conversations between the apocalypse survivors about the pros and cons of trying to go on living in a dead world. So it was particularly shocking when the episode ended with a such a bang — a big, somewhat shocking twist that pushed the show further into Lord of the Flies territory. Here’s what went down [SPOILER ALERT!!!] — We saw Shane come back to Hershel’s farm all by himself. He claimed that Otis sacrificed his own life so that Shane could escape with the medical equipment. But the truth was far more complicated. Otis and Shane were fleeing from an attacking zombie horde. It quickly became clear that they weren’t getting away fast enough. So, with his last bullet, Shane shot Otis in the leg, grabbed the equipment, and left him behind as zombie bait.
It was a thrillingly complicated way to end the episode. Shane has always been a troubled character, but this seems guaranteed to push him further down the rabbit hole of moral decay. (His decision to shave his head — while partially practical — feels a bit like an homage to his AMC brother-in-arms, Walter White.) Check back here in a few hours for Clark Collis’ discussion with Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman about this twist — along with my full recap — but in the meantime, start talking: Was Shane just making a hard decision to save Carl’s life? Is he a coward for not sacrificing himself? Even if he shot Otis for all the right reasons, can he live with himself? And for all you fans of the comic book: In your eyes, does this justify the decision to keep Shane around?
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