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18 Miles Out

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18 Miles Out
Season 2, Episode 10
AMC TWD 18 Miles Out
Air Date February 26, 2012
AMC (United States)
March 2, 2012
Fox (United Kingdom)
Written By Scott Gimple
Glen Mazzara
Directed By Ernest Dickerson
U.S. Viewers 7.04 million
Episode Guide
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Cast Guide
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horvath*
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee*
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes*
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon*
*does not appear in this episode
Also Starring
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Michael Zegen as Randall
Picture Gallery

"18 Miles Out" is the tenth episode of Season 2 of AMC's The Walking Dead. It originally aired on February 26, 2012 at 10/9c on AMC.

Plot Synopsis

The episode opens at the abandoned public works station where Rick and Shane flee from attacking walkers. Shane barricades himself in a school bus as walkers bang against the door. Nearby, a bound Randall crawls toward a knife on the ground.

Earlier, Rick and Shane drive down a country road. Rick stops the car short of their destination — 18 miles away from the farm - to confront Shane: Rick knows what happened with Otis, and he knows about Shane's affair with Lori. Rick asks Shane if he believes Rick is unable to keep his family safe. "You can't just be the good guy and expect to live," Shane replies, "That is my wife, that is my son, that is my unborn child," Rick says. He would do anything for them. Rick opens the SUV to check on Randall, who's bound, gagged and blindfolded in the trunk.

Meanwhile, at the farmhouse, Maggie confesses to Lori that Glenn lost confidence after the shootout at the bar. "Tell him to man up," Lori advises.

Back on the road, Rick makes plans for the coming winter, explaining that they have to conserve ammunition and stockpile food. Shane listens passively, staring out the window at a lone walker ambling through a field. At the farm, Lori brings Beth a tray of food. Beth asks Lori how she could have a baby in such a world. "I don't really have a choice," Lori says.

Rick drives past the 18-mile mark, looking to leave Randall somewhere he'll have a chance. He pulls up to a public works station surrounded by a fence. A walker in a police uniform approaches. Shane draws his gun but Rick stops him. Rick cuts his finger and wipes blood on the fence. When the walker presses his face against it, Rick stabs it in the head. "Gun's quick, easy," Rick says, "but there are other ways to do this." A second walker in uniform approaches, and Shane follows suit. Later, Rick siphons gas as Shane examines the policemen's bodies, noting they haven't been bitten. Rick points to scratches that likely caused their transformation.

Meanwhile, Lori collects Beth's lunch, which hasn't been touched. "It's just so pointless," Beth cries. As Lori clears Beth's tray, she notices a knife missing. She confronts Beth, who pulls it from under the covers and hands it over.

Rick and Shane drag Randall to the pavement. Rick drops a knife on the ground as he and Shane walk away Randall begs them not to abandon him, trying to explain he's a normal guy. "I went to school with Maggie for God's sake!" he screams. Rick and Shane freeze. "He knows where the farm is," Shane declares, drawing his gun. Rick tackles Shane as he pulls the trigger and the shot misses Randall. Rick argues he needs time to think about what to do. Shane counters that Randall could lead his people to the farm and accuses Rick of putting Lori and Carl in danger by sparing him. "I don't think you can keep them safe," Shane concludes. The two begin brawling. Randall, meanwhile, crawls toward the knife. Shane topples a motorcycle onto Rick, briefly trapping him. He goes to Randall and aims his gun, but Rick tackles Shane before he can fire. Frustrated, Shane grabs a wrench and hurls it at Rick. Rick dodges the wrench but it goes through a building window which causes dozens of walkers to begin pouring out through the broken window. Shane flees the onslaught. A walker approaches Randall, who cuts himself free just in time to kill it. Rick empties his gun as walkers pile on top of him.

At the farm, Maggie scolds Beth for considering suicide. Lori and Andrea listen in from the kitchen. Andrea tells Lori she shouldn't have taken the knife away — Beth "has to choose to live on her own." Lori counters that Andrea got through her own death wish by shirking her chores: "You sit up on that RV working on your tan with a shotgun in your lap," she snaps. Andrea accuses Lori of taking her blessings for granted: Rick and Carl both came back from the dead, she's pregnant, she even had a romance with Shane. "The rest of us have piled up our losses, but you just keep on," Andrea says. Meanwhile, Beth tries to convince Maggie that they should kill themselves. "I don't want to be gutted," she says. "I want to go in this bed, tonight." Andrea enters the room, offering to watch Beth while Maggie gets some air. With Maggie gone, Andrea opens the door. "The pain doesn't go away," she says, leaving. "You just make room for it."

At the public works station, Shane barricades himself in a school bus against the walkers. Rick finds Randall and drags him to the SUV. From the school bus, Shane watches as his partner abandons him. Rick goes and takes the handguns off the two dead policemen.

Unguarded, Beth locks herself in the bathroom and smashes the mirror. Lori pries open the door, but not before Beth has cut her wrist. "I'm sorry," Beth cries.

In the bus, Shane is losing ground to the walkers when the SUV bursts through a nearby gate. As Randall drives, Rick leans out the window shooting walkers. Shane runs to the back of the bus and dives into the SUV.

Andrea runs to the farmhouse after Beth's attempted suicide. Lori reports that Beth didn't cut herself deeply. "She wants to live," Andrea smiles. Maggie disagrees in anger and tells Andrea never to set foot near her or the house again.

Back on the road, Rick and Shane restrain Randall and toss him in the trunk. Alone, Rick admits he'll likely kill Randall — but he's still going to think it over. "That is my wife, that is my son, that is my child," Rick repeats. "You wanna be with us, you gotta follow my lead." Rick returns Shane's gun to him. "It's time for you to come back," Rick says. Driving back to the farm, Shane stares silently out the window. Outside, a lone walker ambles mindlessly through a field.[1]

Other Cast



  • None



"18 Miles Out" was originally broadcast on February 26, 2012 in the United States on AMC. Upon airing, the episode attained 7.04 million viewers and a 3.8 rating in the 18–49 demographic, according to Nielsen ratings.[1]Although it obtained the highest-rating in the 18–49 demographic out of any cable telecast of the day, "18 Miles Out" was the second most-viewed cable television program of the week. Its total viewership was slightly below that of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, which garnered 7.07 million viewers. The episode became the second highest-rated cable program of the week dated February 26. Ratings and total viewership increased moderately from the previous episode, "Triggerfinger", which received 6.89 million viewers and a 3.6 rating in the 18–49 demographic.

Critical Response

"18 Miles Out" received generally positive reviews from television commentators. Bex Schwartz of Rolling Stone opined that the installment was an excellent and well-written episode, proclaiming that it "balanced zombie action with human drama". In his B grade review for the episode, Zack Halden of The A.V. Club felt that "18 Miles Out" was one of the second season's more solid attempts; "While there's no question this is still serialized, the story here had a clear beginning, middle, and end, and we stay focused the whole time on two plot arcs: Rick and Shane deciding what to do with Randall [...] while Lori, Maggie, and Andrea deal in their own individual ways with Beth’s desire to kill herself." Halden resumed that it made him hopeful of future installments of The Walking Dead. Matt Barone of Complex, Andrew Conrad of The Baltimore Sun, and IGN's Eric Goldman asserted that "18 Miles Out" was one of the series' best episodes, while The Star-Ledger's Mark Mauer thought that it was redundant, ultimately concluding that "it indulged in another subplot centered on a petty argument". Goldman professed that the episodic direction was more focused than previous installments. Concluding his review, he gave the episode a 9.5 out of 10, signifying an "amazing" rating. SFX journalist Ian Berriman echoed analogous sentiments, inevitably issuing "18 Miles Out" a four-and-a-half star rating. He called it the season's best episode, and wrote that it was filled with "action, explosive arguments, [and] difficult decisions".

Aaron Rutkoff of Wall Street Journal touted the installment; "The writers' oratorical impulses were mostly kept in check, giving us instead an action-filled A plot in the field and a suspenseful B plot on the farm, and both have serious stakes. The motif connecting the two plots: knives. This episode was all about knives." Gary Roszko of The Huffington Post stated that "18 Miles Out" was a nice transition from what he thought was the typical development of the show. Sepinwall asserted that the episode was the strongest telecast since the second season premiere, "What Lies Ahead" While CraveOnline writer Blair Marnell felt that it was a good telecast, he declared that "18 Miles Out" was slightly inferior to its predecessor. New York's Starlee Kine was critical of the flashbacks in the episode, who described the process as baffling. She wrote, "It was done in the oddest way, though, where the flashbacks didn’t add any additional information than that which we already knew. It was as though the writers thought a flashback could be used in place of their characters having backstories, instead of as a vehicle to convey them."

Critics lauded the development of the storyline between Shane and Rick. Writing for Best Week Ever, Dan Hopper stated that it presented a cold and eerie outlook on the future of the two men. Nate Rawlings of Time evaluated their physical confrontation as "darn good",[2]and Alex Crumb of The Faster Times called it "wholly satisfying". Entertainment Weekly writer Darren Franich commended the fight scene; "The Shane/Rick fight was great, a brilliantly extended scuffle that started out with an air of boys-will-be-boys pettiness but quickly escalated into something genuinely homicidal." Goldman summated on the scene: "Of course, it was also gratifying to finally see that conflict turn physical, with a fight we've been waiting to see for a long time. Rick vs. Shane was appropriately brutal and did a very good job of representing the two men's different tactics—Rick was no doubt a formidable and dangerous guy in a fight, wailing on Shane with a series of punches. But Shane was going for the kill, using anything he could grab as a weapon, as he shoved a motorcycle onto Rick at one point and then threw a massive wrench at him in an effective, 'Holy S**t!' moment."

Commentators were divided with the interactions between Andrea and Lori. Rawlings avouched that their argument was the most irritating scene of the episode. "Lori is in favor of leaving the security and zombie fighting to the men folk—yet another reason she's the show's most annoying character." Rutkoff felt that it was hypocritical of Lori to denounce Andrea's accomplishments. "It was just in last week's episode when Lori decided to go out on the stupidest commando mission in the history of The Walking Dead, so maybe her near-death experience is coming out in her anti-feminist tirade against Andrea." He concluded that he found it hard to be keen to the characters of both women. Although Goldman said that their debate was intriguing, he criticized Lori's traditional argument. He wrote, "I wasn't quite sure where Lori was coming from with her, "You could help us cook and clean" argument. It's one thing to note that Andrea has been kind of out of it lately and another to go to such a specific, rather old-fashioned mode of how Andrea can contribute, especially given that she's proven she's a great shot." Roszko felt that the writers were not utilizing Andrea's potential as a strong female character.

Goldman commended the development presented in the episode; "While there's no denying that Beth was pretty much a non-entity until this episode, I did like a lot of her material here with Maggie—especially when Maggie said she couldn't handle another funeral and Beth told her, 'You can't avoid it,' which is of course a very sad, very true statement, given the circumstances they're in." Roszko affirmed that Beth's interactions with Lori were cliched, comparing it to "an after school anti-suicide special". Kine was much more pessimistic about the storyline than the general consensus and assailed the melodramatic nature of it. "We just aren’t going to care about the potential death of a character we don’t know," she iterated. "Or if it refused to learn that lesson, maybe it could’ve then learned this one: We are very tired of watching survivors of a still undefined and non-wondered-about apocalypse talk other survivors into not giving up."

A.V Club IGN
B 9.5


  • This is the first episode of the series that is missing half of the main cast.
    • This is also the first episode of the second season when missing a main cast member.
      • The characters that are not released are Dale, Glenn, Daryl and Carl.
  • The name of the episode, "18 Miles Out," refers to the fact that Rick and Shane took Randall 18 miles away from Hershel's Farm.
  • There is no "Mert County" in Georgia. Like "King County," it is fictitious.
  • Entertainment Weekly observed, during the fight, "Shane threw a wrench at Rick, who narrowly dodged it. The wrench broke a window, and in the reflection, Shane saw himself. Blood pouring from his mouth, dead eyes staring blankly -- he looked like a zombie. Now, you might argue that the only way to make that shot less subtle would have been for Shane to exclaim, "Holy crap, I've symbolically become a zombie!" But Walking Dead is at its best when it's unsubtle—a fact that was immediately proven when a flood of walkers emerged from the window, chomping for blood."[2]
  • During the Talking Dead of this episode, it is stated that the fight scene between Shane and Rick took four hours to shoot.
  • On the return trip to the farm, Shane gazed out the window and once again saw a walker in the field, given it was the same walker, is apparently walking in a circle, since Shane saw him outside of the passenger-side window on both ends of the trip."[2]
  • Rick mentioned plans for the coming winter, a recurring theme in the Comic Series.
    • Rick and Shane find that walker bites may not be the only cause of the dead coming back, which is another recurring theme of the Comic Series mythology.
  • This episode strongly speculated that infection may also spread by scratching.
  • This episode explains that the car that Lori crashed in "Nebraska" was Maggie's.
  • In this episode, Rick revealed that he knew about the affair between Shane and Lori based on the strange behavior of both during their stay at the camp in Atlanta.
  • The song being played during the closing scene of this episode is called, "Civilian," by indie folk rock group Wye Oak from Baltimore, Maryland.
  • During the talking dead show for the season 5 preview scott gimple said the zombie that shane looked at out the window there was suppose to be a naked zombie though they didn't show it cause they didn't want to show his "ding" out.


  1. AMC 18 Miles Out
  2. 2.0 2.1 Darren Franich, 'The Walking Dead' recap: Mega Shane vs. Giant Rick-topus, Entertainment Weekly, (February 26, 2012).

External Links

Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary"

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