Monday, October 31, 2011
The Walking Dead: Shane shooting Otis--Hero or Coward?
Sacrifices on The Walking Dead this week: Blood. An arrow. A gun. A life. The episode was called “Save the Last One.” Save the last child—Carl? Or save the last bullet? Shane saved the last bullet so that he could help save Carl. When he shot Otis, was he acting the hero or the coward? The truth of the satirical maxim, “I don’t have to outrun the zombies, I just have to outrun you” became abundantly clear in this episode.
Otis volunteered to go with Shane to get the medical supplies for Carl because he was racked with guilt over accidentally shooting Carl in the first place. When they got to the school, Otis told Shane which trailer held the supplies and together they outsmarted (and outran) the zombies. Then it got ugly.
Getting from the trailer to the truck with the supplies proved impossible, so Shane and Otis had to take refuge in the school. They didn’t stay safe for long, though, so they made a pact to leave separately and meet up outside the building and head for the truck. They succeeded in that. But then the zombies converged on them again, and both men were slow because they had hurt their ankles jumping during their escape from the school. They shot at the zombies until they each had only one bullet left, and the zombies kept coming.
“I don’t have to outrun the zombies. I only have to outrun you.”
Did Shane do the right thing shooting Otis? Part of me says yes. He had to do whatever he could to save Carl who is practically family to Shane. After all, what would Rick have done if he’d been in Shane’s shoes? There was no way they were going to escape the herd together.
The biggest problem I have with what Shane did—and it isn’t lying about it when he got back to the farmhouse—is that he shot Otis in the leg and not the head. That was cruel. The zombies would have stopped and eaten Otis anyway, if Shane had shot him in the head. And, if he’d shot him in the head, there’d be no chance that Otis could show up as a zombie later.
Shane’s got issues, but I don’t blame him for shooting Otis. I blame him for leaving him alive.