The frustrating thing about The Walking Dead is that it talks way too much. In shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, characters can convey their feelings with single glances. In The Walking Dead, though, characters have the strange need to express every single one of their thoughts. Scenes with Rick and Lori nearly collapse under the weight of the dialogue. The scene with the zombie hanging from the tree could have been poignant, had it not been for the clunky dialogue pointing out the obvious parallel to Andrea's suicidal thoughts. I think the actors are capable of such subtlety, but they're just not given the chance, and that's what's keeping me from looking at the same show with the same reverence that I see Mad Men and Breaking Bad with.
The weight of the unnecessary dialogue didn't completely drag down "Save the Last One" for me, though. In fact, the scenes with Shane shaving his head that bookended the episode completely made it worthwhile. How are we supposed to view Shane after learning what he did to Otis? He left Otis for the zombies in order to save Carl, but will he be able to live with himself because of what he did? That's what we're supposed to be asking. The writers of this show are taking the blank slate that Shane's continued survival has given them and crafting it into something truly watchable. If there's any reason to tune in next week, it'll be to see how Shane carries on. In that one scene at the end of the episode, Jon Bernthal proved what I said above: The Walking Dead's actors are capable of subtlety.
"Save the Last One," ultimately, was a stronger outing than last week's "Bloodletting." The new character Maggie was really fleshed out in her scene with Glenn, while even Daryl got a little more congenial when describing his childhood to Andrea (though do we really need any more reason to love the guy?). It was another solid outing for the zombie series, though here's hoping that they just stop talking so darn much. B-