Friday, February 25, 2011

Knittykat is a Shane Walsh Apologist Part 3

3. Shane beat the shit out of Ed Peletier.

Yep, this one's true too. Ed Peletier is (was) a violent jackass who beat his wife and hurt his daughter. He was in the middle of chastising the women who were doing laundry for the entire encampment---while he sat on his ass. When he felt his wife talked back to him, he smacked her in the face. Shane grabs him, takes him down, and beats the shit out of him.

Extremely vivid visuals included, I was cheering when this happened. If you're gonna beat the shit out of someone, make it a wife-beater. I can't stand anything more than the "but it's their marriage" business. Way to avoid responsibility. Shane, you may have gone a little far here, but frankly you get a big high five from me.

4. Shane took aim at Rick in the woods.

This one was a tough one. But I'm going to break it down to plain stone cold fear. Fear for your life and the lives of those you care about. I am sure Shane is feeling really conflicted emotions at this point. Rick has recently returned and now Lori blames him for Rick's abandonment. In trying to protect her, to make a difficult choice in an impossible situation, he's being all but blamed for orchestrating Rick's death so he could take his place in his family.

Shane feels he's always lived in Rick's shadow, and his time protecting the Atlanta survivors has been a rare time of being in charge, of calling the shots. Now that Rick has returned, Shane feels that he is taking over, dismissing the fact that Shane kept these people alive and protected them in a time of crisis, and now Rick wants to lead the group into Atlanta in an attempt to reach the CDC. Shane feels this is a shot in the dark, and that the group is safer staying where they are, with its known dangers. He feels as though Rick is drawing Lori and Carl into extreme danger. He is terrified himself.

And I think that's why he takes aim. I don't have to tell you that he doesn't go through with it, that he puts down the gun with a horrified look on his face. When he realizes that Dale has witnessed this, that's why he makes a lame excuse---because he knows there IS no excuse for what he almost did. He knows it's not something he'd do, but he was caught up in an emotionally charged moment. In the face of cold, panicking fear, people do things they would not ordinarily do.

5. Shane drunkenly confronted Lori in the rec room at the CDC.

This is probably the biggie--the thing that turned most people off of him. I found the scene jarring when I first saw it. Lori is in the rec room looking at books, and Shane barges in, very drunk, and insists that he tell his side of the story. He tries to physically hold her in place, and she scratches his face to get away. He certainly does look menacing, and his actions are too forward and too demanding. In her place, I would have reacted just as Lori did.

But I fall short of calling this abusive or an attempted rape, as some people have. Again I have to call it extreme drunkenness and chaotic, raw emotions bubbling to the surface. He feels he's been unfairly vilified when all he was trying to do was protect Lori and Carl. He's scared for his life. He misses the comfort offered to him by his closeness with Lori and his friendship with Rick. He's very drunk, overtired, confused, and he picks a very bad time to try to have an adult conversation. He wants Lori to know that he cares for her and that's why he stepped in, not because he was trying to lay claim to Rick's life. He knows that the rest of the group is distrustful of him after he beat Ed Peletier, and he wants Lori to know that he is not a monster.

After Lori runs out of the room, Shane's face falls. He feels terrible for what he's done, he KNOWS he's fucked up. In trying to explain things and make them better, he's only made them worse. He feels like he's fighting a losing battle and he doesn't know where to turn. He feels he has everyone's best interests at heart and everyone is falling into line behind Rick's leadership instead of his.

Part 4 contains analysis.

Knittykat is a Shane Walsh Apologist Part 2

Okay. I've decided to take people's complaints and arguments one at a time, to put SOME semblance of coherence to this mess.

1. Shane left his best friend Rick for dead.

Okay, okay, this is true in the strictest literal sense. The last show of the season shows a flashback in which Shane attempts to carry Rick (who is unconscious) out of the hospital as zombies gather around the room. I am going to go ahead and say that even if Shane realized that Rick was still alive, he either a) figured he would be dead soon without life support or b) realized he could not carry Rick and escape with both of their lives intact.

In a life or death situation, the brain switches into full survival mode. People have argued that Shane left Rick for dead because he coveted Rick's wife, Lori. While he may well have been attracted to Lori, that sort of conniving is unrealistic in a true life or death situation. If anything, he may have realized that if he did not escape, Rick's family would not survive without his help, and decided to trade the life of his best friend for his best friend's loved ones.

Were Rick conscious, I don't doubt he would have agreed. What heroic man would not give up his (tenuous) grasp on life so that his family may survive?

And so while Shane may have known Rick was not completely dead, he must have realized that rescuing him was an impossible feat, and made the difficult choice to leave him behind.

2. Shane ends up forging a relationship with Lori, Rick's wife, in his absence.

Again, yes, literally true. Shane told Lori that Rick was dead, because by that point he was convinced that he would not have survived the zombie attack even if he survived his gunshot wound when the life support systems went down. I am going to go out on a limb and say that this, too, was a move to protect Lori's feelings and her memory of her husband. Who wants to believe their husband was devoured by zombies? Wouldn't it be easier and more comforting to believe that he died in the line of duty (he was a police officer after all)?

As the de facto leader of the small group of survivors, Shane is especially protective of Lori and Carl, who is Rick and Lori's son. He moves quickly into a father role with Carl, trying to fill the void left by Rick's absence. And yes, he does end up having a sexual relationship with Lori.

While I admit I was surprised by this at first, I had to remind myself that I have never experienced an apocalyptic zombie attack. If my home, my husband, my friends, my TOWN, and everything I knew and relied upon were suddenly gone, you can bet that I would be seeking any source of comfort available to me. Shane is not a random guy to Lori--he's been Rick's best friend since grade school. A person that close is like part of the family, and I cannot judge Lori or Shane for seeking comfort in each other. When the entire infrastructure of your life has been shattered, all bets are off.

Stay tuned for part three.

The Walking Dead: Knittykat is a Shane Walsh Apologist Part 1

I looked back at my last few posts and realized that I am all over the freaking MAP when it comes to topics, but I have gotten a lot of comments from people I've never met before that must have found me through Google. And so, hey, in the interest of Random, here ya go.

Mr. Knittykat brought home a copy of Season 1 of AMC's zombie apocalypse drama "The Walking Dead". I wasn't expecting to like it, as I'm not a huge zombie fan, but I figured it's good knitting time so I sat down to watch it. Three hours and 4 episodes later we are debating do we go to bed or keep watching until we've watched the entire season. Great characters, great effects, cinematic quality, and an awesome story. Love.

One of my favorite parts was Jon Bernthal's character Shane Walsh. He's rugged, he's heroic, he's fiercely protective, and he's also buff and just basically delicious in my book.

So the next day I looked around online to read some other folks' reactions to the show (and to find some pictures of Jon Bernthal without a shirt on). And I was really surprised to find that most women found him to be a creep whereas he definitely made me feel all squirmy inside. Women were calling for Shane's death and were instead incredibly turned on by Daryl Dixon.

I was rather astounded. Daryl made my skin crawl. In my opinion he was nothing but a scrawny racist redneck. I wouldn't want to be stuck in a dark alley with him around. He looks like he avoided the zombie apocalypse by hiding out in his meth lab.....okay I'll stop now.

Anyhoo, I found a lot of contempt for Shane's actions in the show (the comics are a different story line, so there is significant variance) and I found myself ranting to my husband about how clearly these people were not Getting It. And I thought "heck, I want to get this out, so I'm gonna put it on my blog."

We'll see if I get any interesting comments from this.