For Halloween 2011, the Dead brought us the best ep in some time. Choices have consequences, and this week’s will be felt for the rest of the series.

Title: “Save the Last One

Cast and Crew

Directed by Phil Abraham

Written by Scott M. Gimple from the graphic series by Robert Kirkman

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Jon Bernthal as Shane
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale
Steven Yeun as Glenn
Norman Reedus as Darryl
Scott Wilson as Herschel Greene
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Melissa Suzanne McBride as Carol Peletier
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Pruitt Taylor Vince as Otis

Full cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Herschel has to operate on Carl, Otis and Shane find themselves pursued by hordes of speedier-than-usual zombies, Lori contemplates morality and mortality, and Andrea and Darryl find someone who’s just hanging.

High Point

The show features strong acting and impressive pacing—and concludes with a final revelation worth the wait.

Low Points

1. The series centers on Rick and Lori; they need to be consistently more interesting.
2. I trust we’ll receive a plausible explanation for the Greene Estate’s surfeit of power and other utilities.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 You may not see everything coming this week.

Effects: 6/6 The zombies remain convincing, and this episode featured some particularly nasty apparitions. The final scenes at the school should stay with you.

Story: 5/6

Acting: 6/6 This week features some strong performances from, among others, John Bernthal, Chandler Riggs, and Pruitt Taylor Vince.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 6/6 The strongest episode in some time, it, in effect, twists on (WARNING: SPOILERS) this noteworthy axiom, and (more thoughtfully) a key question in any survival drama.

In total, “Save the Last One” receives 36/42