"Pretty Much Dead Already" aka Everybody's Fighting or Hershel's Got Secrets, y'all!
The episode opens with the RV crew looking pretty comfortable around their makeshift camp on Hershel's property. Glenn and Dale non-verbally agree that it's time to let the rest of the crew in on the secret of the barn-dwellers. Now I'm not a big fan of the zoom but the one they do on Rick's face after Glenn spills is perfect. This will be important later.
Shane's up and at the barn door before you can say, well, whatever zombies say. He's got his head thru a crack between planks and I want him to do a "Heeeeere's Johnny!" Everyone argues about goin' or stayin' and a surprising number of people want the latter of the two options. They still think they can find Sophia and don't want to leave without her. Later Shane is back at the barn and checking out it's safety. Walkers make Shane and me jump at the same time. Y'all...I got a new phone this weekend and this is the first time I've put it down and focused on one thing. That's how good this show is. Anywhoodle, we join up with Maggie who is pissed at Glenn for spilling the secret of the barn dwellers. She smashes an egg on his head for retribution and he's pissed that she wasted an egg. She smiles as she walks away so she's not that pissed at him. Good. I need these kids to be into each other and survive all this.
Adorable Carl tells Lori that he doesn't want to leave without Sophia. And actually, he doesn't want to leave after they find Sophia either. Maybe they can use Carl to convince Hershel to let them stay. I don't think I could say no to that kid. Carol and Daryl (hee!) are connecting a bit more and I love that he's so uncomfortable with it that he calls her a name and storms off. Dale and Andrea have a heart to heart in the RV about her status with Shane. She likes that Shane isn't a victim but she doesn't quite see what Dale sees...his dangerous side. Rick talks to Hershel about the barn-dwellers and in response Hershel gives them 'til the end of the week to be off his farm. Rick persists by explaining to Hershel what the world is really like out there and begs for Hershel to not send them out into it. Dude, get Carl. He'll fix this. Instead Rick plays the pregnant wife card but Hershel isn't budging. Rick catches up with Shane who's watching the barn. They fight and Shane makes it pretty clear that he's itching to go. Rick shuts him up with the news about Lori's current condition. Shane, of course, gets that "Lori look" on his face whenever she's mentioned and we (the characters and the viewers) are all placing bets on whose baby it is. Sadly the guys don't look different enough for anyone to tell.
Now it's Maggie and Hershel's turn to chat though they don't really fight. She's begging Hershel to let them stay and of course he asks if it has anything to do with the Asian kid. Hershel's male teen (young adult?) busts in and says that "It happened again." Geeze, I wonder what that could be. Hershel goes to Rick for help. Shane goes to Lori to try and convince her to choose him because "Rick isn't built for this world." He's convinced he'd be a better protector and even uses the attack after last season's fish fry as an example of most things being Rick's fault. Lori assures him that even if the baby is his, it won't be his. That makes more sense the way she says it, trust me. Of course this isn't the answer Shane wanted from her and you can kind of see a very faint something snap inside him. Carl stops him and says that it's bullshit that he doesn't want to find Sophia. Carl, you're getting up into the ranks of Daryl and Glenn for me. I think you'll do just fine during this zombie apocalypse, kid.
Shane stomps on over to the RV in search of Dale and a large bag of guns Andrea was playing with earlier. Hershel, Rick and Jimmy (Thanks for saying his name, Hershel!) come upon two walkers, a female and male, stuck in the mud. Hershel informs Rick that if they stay (did he say if they stay?) they have to change the way they see the walkers. Basically it's a catch 'em not kill 'em situation on this particular farm. Carol and Daryl are wandering around a slightly different swamp and Daryl apologizes for blowing up at her earlier. Hershel, Rick and Jimmy have the walkers on the end of those hook things you use on gators and are walking them back to the barn. Rick's totally willing to play along if it means staying on the farm even though it's not the easiest thing to do.
Glenn is trying to explain his motivation for telling the group about the secret of the barn. He says that he's sick of secrets because they get you killed and he doesn't want anything to happen to her. She kisses him and it's great and I'm happy to have them OK again. However I'm not thrilled about their portmanteau: Gleggie? Mann? Neither of those will do.
Shane and Dale face off in a completely different swamp and Dale drops some knowledge on him. He sees that Shane's ready to pop and that he's actually kind of perfect for the world the way it currently is. Dude. Shane's got the guns and storms back to the farm ready to arm everybody, even Carl. He cares not that this goes against Hershel's wishes.
Speaking of, everyone wonders where he and Rick are. Rick was supposed to be leading today's search for Sophia and he never showed. Soon enough they spot Hershel, Rick, Jimmy and their walker-on-sticks. Shane's not having it so he decides to drop some knowledge on Hershel with a little show and tell. He tells Hershel how dead and wrong these people are shows him by unloading a few rounds into the female walker's chest. She barely flinches until Shane lets off one last shot into her head. Shane runs for the barn and Hershel drops to his knees in shock and emotional pain. He can't do anything to stop him and no one else does anything either. Rick's yelling at Shane to stop but he's got the male walker so he's unable to stop Shane from unlocking the barn door. The barn-dwellers come out and get used as target practice. It's at this point that I half expect Sophia to amble out. The shooting stops and the camera hangs on the partially open barn door. Aaaaanndd there's one left. Dangit! We see small feet and the camera pans up to reveal that it is in fact Sophia. Shit. Poor Carol. Poor Carl too, actually. I'm bummed that he's witnessed all this even if it is them dispatching zombies. It's totally different when it's someone you know and/or love. For a second everyone can see where Hershel was coming from. Rick steps forward and is the only one to put Sophia out of her misery. Not that he needed to prove anything but it takes a lot of mettle to be able to do something like that. It's at this point we get a zoom out from Rick's face to the rest of the group behind him and all the barn-dwellers on the ground. Another effective use of zoom. I. Love. This. Show.
FEBRUARY?!?!? REALLY? Well at least we got some closure on Sophia before the break. The second half of the season looks pretty crazy.
So what'd you guys think of last night's episode?