Spoiler Alert: PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE EPISODE YET. But if you love spoilers, then read on.:)
My eyes are sore. My chest feels a little tight. No, I didn’t undergo a break up or watch Gran Torino. I have to blame the writers of The Walking Dead for these tears. Yes, I cried while watching Episode 11, and I cried even more even after the credits rolled.
So why did I cry?
Before I answer this question, let me tell you the battle that the characters of the series have to fight in this episode. Should they hold on to humanity or should they survive at any cost? Holding on to their humanity means keeping the boy or the “prisoner” alive, surviving would mean his execution.
In the last few episodes, I have been leaning towards Shane’s way of thinking: save Lori and Carl at any cost even if it means leaving another human as a zombie bait. I know it’s brutal and disturbing, but Shane had to do what needed to be done. As my friend puts it, “Otis was a casualty of war”.
So when the group is faced with another dilemma, I was pretty sure I was on Rick and Shane’s side. The boy is definitely a huge threat. Keeping him alive and freeing him will without a doubt do more harm than good. In a lawless post-apocalyptic world, eliminating the threat is critical in surviving.
So the group gathered to decide the fate of their “prisoner” and Dale gives a big speech. He declares:
“ But don’t you see, if we do this the people that we were… the world that we knew is dead. And this new world is ugly, it’s harsh… it’s survival of the fittest. It’s a world I don’t want to live in.”
This speech almost changed my mind. The boy will be murdered for a crime he may not even commit. In the normal world, this makes sense. However, in a world infested with mindless, flesh-eating walkers, his logic is flawed. As Shane says, “We know what needs to be done”. And the group knows Shane is right no matter how brutal and soulless the act of executing the boy would be. And I am on board. Or so I thought.
The moment Rick holds a gun to the boy, tears started pouring. He’s just a boy! And I thought, “Dale was right”. If I were Rick, I could never pull the trigger on a helpless, sobbing young boy.
I cried all the more for Dale’s brutal end. It was just too much. He was a dear person to the group (probably except for Shane). He represented reason, humanity, and the world that they knew before the walkers filled the earth. Does his death foreshadow what’s to come? Is the world that everyone knew died with him?
There are only two episodes left. How do you think it will end? Will the characters hold on to their humanity? Or will they do everything to survive?
***Copyright note: All photos are owned by The Walking Dead – AMC.
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