Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale: Pretty Much Dead Already

Jumpin' Jehosaphat! This episode left me and the Hubby crammed into one corner of the couch holding each other and hiding behind every couch cushion we could find. I kind of don't even want to do the re-cap and I'm left wondering if I may not be hard-core enough to watch this show. The episode was almost perfectly split down the middle: 22 minutes of 2 person discussions and 22 minutes of nail-biting action. Here goes:
      Everyone is happily sharing a meal when Glen breaks the news that there are walkers in the barn. Ruh-ro. Shane of course takes the news in his usual, easy-going style. They go down and investigate and sure enough, it's stank-city down there. About the barn: 2 episodes ago Daryl and Andrea saw a walker who had hung himself from a tree and other walkers had eaten it's legs. So we DO know that walkers will actually eat one another. We also knows that they go into feeding frenzies over food. So what keeps all the walkers in the barn from just turning and eating each other or the smallest one in the pack? Not sure.
      The group has a massive fight right in front of the barn, once again taunting volitile zombies with their nice, tasty selves. Will they ever learn? So of course the Zombies in the barn go nuts. Like you coudln't retreat onto the porch or take the debate down to the creek? Shane especially seems to get a lot of pleasure out of just riling them up. The biggest difference between Rick and Shane is that Shane wants to go into action mode over everything and Rick wants time to "handle" everything. Both approaches are going to get them into trouble in the future for different reasons. I think Rick tries to reason and play by the old rules a little too much but Shane makes everything worse with his trigger reactions.
      I'm not sure I like Maggie anymore. She's just too high maintenence and ornery. I guess being orbery can keep you alive though eh? She does however once again give Glen the opportunity for best line of the episode:
"Why would you waste an egg like that?"
     Daryl is still on a mission to find Sophia and shows that he is pretty closed off to affection from anyone when he gets in a fight with Carol. This kind of leads us into a bunch of little interactions. Dale and Andrea are still stuck, Hershel and Rick are still spinning the same debate (Rick still doesn't come up with getting his OWN farm). Rick tells Hershel about Lori. Then Maggie and Hershel get into it and it's nice to see someone FINALLY call Hershel out on his hypocrisy. Then it gets interesting. Shane and Rick have it out over Rick's need to negotiate everything. Shane has a point. No guns + walkers in the barn = unacceptable. That barn is not that sturdy and the last thing the group needs is another midnight ambush. Rick tells Shane about Lori and Shane immediately does the math and realizes that it might be his. That makes things more interesting.... and so much more unstable. And if we've learned anything this season it's that unstable Shane = must-see TV. Shane actually confronts Lori about the pregnancy and the fact that the baby might be his. I actually feel pretty bad for Lori about this. We all have that cringe-inducing relationship that we look back on and go "what was I thinking?" and as Shane gets crazier she's gotta be feeling worse about hooking up with him. Next Shane and Carl have it out and I'm thinking "Man, this episode is going to be nothing but conflict resolution. I thought we'd find Sophia in this episode, I thought the walkers would escape from the barn!"
       Here's where the action starts. Shane freaks out and goes to find Dale for some reason. Hershel grabs Rick and asks for help. Turns out that there are 2 walkers stuck in the mud and whenever this happens they grab them by the neck and stick them in the barn. Daryl and Carol have a moment by the pond and I'm SURE at this point that Daryl's resolve is going to be vindicated and Sophia will be found in this episode. Back by the mud-whole the Zombie capture isn't going so well. Geez man no wonder there are so many Zombies in the damn barn. Half of them must be farm hands that got bit trying to wrestle other Zombies INTO the barn. Glen and Maggie make up. I'm happy for Glen.
      At another part of the creek Dale is trying to hide all of their guns which makes NO SENSE AT ALL!!! And Dale is usually so reasonable! If anyone out there can think of a good reason to hide all of the guns when there are walkers in the barn you need to speak up. As if you'll have time to go fetch the guns if the Zombies break out.
     So they fight and Shane gets all the guns back.
     Then it all starts to hit the fan. Everyone convenes on the front lawn and that's when they see Rick helping Hershel wrangle Zombies across the field like he's his darn farm-hand. Shane completely loses it at this point. It's a classic case of Rick and Shane both doing what they do best and both being completely wrong. Shane's right, but he goes about it all wrong. Rick's wrong but he's wrong so diplomatically that you have to just feel for him. So Shane takes out the first walker right in front of the whole group and then busts open the barn. At this point everyone has to be all-in right? So they  line up and start taking out the walkers as they come out of the barn. These walkers are the friends and family of the people on the farm and it's so obviously the wrong way to go about it. But there's a massive slaughter and it's so horrible for the farm crew that it's painful. Hershel is so clearly destroyed and I feel so bad for him that I totally take back my Christmas Wish and feel horrible for ever wishing it in the first place. We can only begin to understand what they must feel seeing their Ex-loved ones taken out. Until Sophia steps out of the barn.
     Horror, despair, agony, helplessness. I was right there with them. In that moment it's like Shane and Rick have this role reversal. All the wind is out of Shane's sails and Rick is the one that has to be the man of action and step up to the plate. I have no idea what this means for both of them long term but it's clear that the moment is so totally pivotal that everyone is going to be changed. Carl has just seen the only other child he knows on Earth get shot in the head in Zombie form. Daryl's search for redemption by finding Sophia is destroyed. Carol. Lori has all the fuel she needs to imagine fresh horrors for her unborn child. Everything keeping them at the farm has been destroyed in one 5 minute sequence and it's mind-boggling. I can't even begin to imagine what's next and since it won't happen until February I won't even get to make any more Christmas wishes about it. Bah-Humbug!


  1. It's going to be a looooong wait until February!

    My favourite line this episode was Glen's impassioned speech to Maggie telling her that he'd rather have her pee'd off at him and alive than the reverse.

    The ending was of course another real shocker, in many ways and I agree it's mind boggling, how on earth will they move forward from this.

    I too felt so sorry for Hershel. I'm surprised that it didn't occur to me that Sophia was in the barn (although I am slow to catch on). Surely though Hershel and / or members of his family must have known she was there as someone must have put her in the barn, either just before Rick's group arrived or even while they were there, yet they knew too that part of the reason for staying was to search for her. They seemed to be personally acquainted with all the other zombies around, so surely they can't have been used to that many unknown girl zombies rocking up.

    Just think, if they'd 'fessed up that she was in the barn, they could have saved Daryl a world of pain - that might change your view on Hershel right back again!

  2. That episode was epic!
    Foil Play - if you re-watch the episode you'll here Herschel tell Rick when they're wrangling walkers something to the effect of ” Otis always did this before.” So if Otis put Sophia in the barn then Shane must have shot Otis before he could tell anyone about her.

  3. Ahhh that figures - thank you, ABCLMT :-)