|Season 2, Episode 12|
|Air date||March 11, 2012|
|Written by||Evan Reilly & Glen Mazzara|
|Directed by||Guy Ferland|
|U.S. viewers||6.89 million|
| ← previous|
"Judge, Jury, Executioner"
| next →|
"Beside the Dying Fire"
| 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
| Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier|
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Michael Zegen as Randall
and Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
The group holds a funeral for Dale. Afterwards, Rick announces that they are going to prove him wrong by showing the group can still work together. A scene running alongside the funeral shows Shane, Daryl, Andrea and T-Dog eliminating a group of walkers.
Hershel permits all but Shane to move into his house. Rick plans for himself and Daryl to bring Randall out to a nearby town and leave him there. Carl, feeling guilty about Dale's death, goes to Shane and tells him about how he knew of the walker, and that he stole a pistol from Daryl's bike. Lori tries to talk to Shane and apologizes for what she was doing to him, prompting him to tell Rick about Carl's confession. Rick declares his main concern is disposing of Randall, but talks to Carl and encourages him to keep hold of the gun, as they no longer can live without taking action.
Shane goes into the barn and watches Randall, discovering that he was trying to slip out of his restraints. When Rick and Daryl prepare to leave, T-Dog is sent to get Randall. He discovers the barn empty. Shane has brought Randall into the forest, informing him that he is done with Rick's group and wants to join with the others. This is merely a ruse as Shane breaks Randall's neck, killing him, and strikes his own face off a tree to make it seem he escaped.
A thorough search of the farm shows no sign of Randall. Shane buries his gun and shouts to the group that Randall escaped and is armed. Rick assembles Glenn and Daryl to go with him and Shane to track him down. Glenn and Daryl come across where Randall was last seen and the area shows signs of a struggle. A walker appears and they take cover behind some trees. The walker is Randall and tries to attack them, but Glenn impales a machete into his head, killing him. An examination of the body showed no sign of bites or scratches, and that his cause of death was his neck being broken.
Rick picks apart Shane's story and comes to the conclusion this was a ruse to lure him out into the field, where Shane would kill him. Shane tells Rick he is a better father than he is and that him returning only messed things up. Rick makes it seem as though he's handing Shane his weapon, as he refused to be armed.
Once his gun is in Shane's hand, Rick pulls out his knife and stabs Shane, saying he brought this on himself. Shane then dies. As Rick tries to cope with what happened, Carl appears, shocked to see Shane dead. He aims his gun at what at first we assume to be Rick, but is actually a now-zombified Shane.
Carl pulls the trigger, killing Shane. This alerts a mass crowd of walkers, who converge on Rick and Carl as they bend over the corpse of Shane.
- Kathy Walton Pulley as Walker.
- Jonna Capehart as Walker.
- Tyler Capehart as Walker.
- Last appearance of Shane Walsh. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Randall.
- The name of the episode, "Better Angels," comes from American President Abraham "Lincoln's Inaugural Address of 1861, 'by the better angels of our nature." Writer Evan Reilly came up with the episode's name.
- Shane is the second main character to die.
- This episode marks the first time in the TV Series where Carl directly kills a walker.
- This episode possibly confirms that survivors are already infected themselves to a degree. Another possibility is that the infection is airborne, specifically effective on the dead. Both theories are implied and partly justified by the fact both Randall and Shane are both reanimated without being bitten.
- Robert Kirkman explained, "There was actually another death in this episode that at the very last minute, after the script was written, we decided not to do. So we were going to have three major deaths in these two episodes but then that was decided it was just too much." It was later explained by Glen Mazzara on The Talking Dead that Hershel was originally written to be killed by Randall as he escaped in this episode. The writers had difficulty completing the scene and instead decided to allow Hershel to live due to the dramatic possibilities that would face the character in the next episode and season.
- Robert Kirkman stated, "It’s important to note that Shane was [Rick's] best friend. So no matter how much [Rick] knew, he didn't want to admit to himself that he knew. It wasn't until that walk out into the woods, when Shane was leading him to his death, that he really kind of accepted the fact that, Wow, this guy is not the guy I knew any more."
- In the Comic Series, Tyreese's daughter Julie was the first to reanimate without being bitten, and alert the other survivors to the phenomenon.
- T-Dog had six separate lines of dialogue in this episode, and Entertainment Weekly joked this was, "a new record."
- Glen Mazzara responded about Shane becoming zombie in, "Better Angels," much faster than Amy, and not getting bit: "We worked hard to make sure that revelation landed. We knew what we were doing there. We knew it would land a punch. We've never had a main character become a zombie to this extent. Those [rapid flashes of zombie mayhem] represent the storm in Shane’s brain to some extent … Amy was a weaker character. Shane is in a murderous rage … he’s going to reanimate quicker. There’s just more life in that zombie, believe it or not. We do have internal rules for that."
- Rick said that he wanted to leave Randall at Senoia, the same town which was used to make Woodbury.
- ↑ AMC Synopsis
- ↑ GlennMazzara, Twitter (March 22, 2012). "“@missjerseycow: @allisonbrookeC the title was based on Lincoln's inaugural address of 1861, 'by the better angels of our nature'” Yes."
- ↑ GlennMazzara, Twitter (March 22, 2012)."“@allisonbrookeC: How did 'Better Angels' get its episode name? :)” Writer Evan Reilly just came up w it. I liked it, so it stayed."
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Clark Collis, 'Walking Dead' exec producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's episode and THAT (SPOILER!): 'I am a madman!', Entertainment Weekly, (March 11, 2012).
- ↑ Talking Dead March 18, 2012
- ↑ Kevin Fitzpatrick, The Walking Dead 2.12 "Better Angels" Comic-to-TV-Comparison, (March 12, 2012).
- ↑ Darren Franich, 'The Walking Dead' recap: Come Back, Shane! Come Back! Rick and Shane face off in the season's penultimate episode, and Carl learns a valuable lesson about gun control, Entertainment Weekly, (March 12, 2012).
- ↑ James Hibberd, 'Walking Dead' showrunner talks finale, controversies: 'There's more bloodshed coming', Entertainment Weekly, (March 15, 2012).
- Erin Biglow, The Walking Dead Review: Walk Of Shane, Poptimal, (March 13, 2012).
- Darren Franich, 'The Walking Dead' recap: Come Back, Shane! Come Back! Rick and Shane face off in the season's penultimate episode, and Carl learns a valuable lesson about gun control, Entertainment Weekly, (March 12, 2012).
- Kevin Fitzpatrick, The Walking Dead 2.12 "Better Angels" Comic-to-TV-Comparison, (March 12, 2012).
|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||To Be Announced|