In the mid-season finale of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ all that waiting and searching for answers came to an ultimately disturbing and grinding halt. Rick Grimes finally had to face his deepest fears, including a show down with his best friend Shane. Two hot guys wielding guns may sound like a great thing to witness, but the grotesque got the best of the audience this episode.
Glenn promised Maggie that he wasn’t going to spill the beans about the walker zoo in the barn but even his libido couldn’t stop him from letting the crew know. Glenn isn’t getting any action for awhile.
Daryl and Carol have a clash when he was packing up to go find Sophia and Carol admits that she doesn’t have high hopes in her daughter being alive. It’s good to hear her actually admit this because she has been awfully happy-go-lucky since coming to Hershel’s farm. It could be inconsistency in the writing, but it’s seemingly out of character.
Daryl reacts negatively to her admission because he has been so motivated by Sophia. The mission to find her has almost made him a changed man, a moral man.
Dale approaches Andrea about her newly formed relationship with Shane. Dale doesn’t trust Shane and he most definitely doesn’t think he is a good person. Andrea has connected with Shane in her need for appreciation and purpose. But Dale is oddly protective of her and warns her to avoid Shane.
Rick tries to talk to Hershel. Now that Glenn has told the group about the walkers Rick demands that Hershel let them stay. He tells him about Lori’s pregnancy, but Hershel still isn’t persuaded. Rick cannot fathom that Hershel is willing to protect walkers but will not sacrifice his farm for live human beings.
Maggie talks to her father about the principle he taught he when she was young, ‘love one another’. Hershel agrees to let the crew stay on the farm if Rick will help him with his walkers.
Rick also tells Shane about Lori’s pregnancy. Shane seems to get extremely giddy about this news and congratulates Rick before going to talk to Lori. He thinks that the baby is his and Lori doesn’t exactly tell him otherwise. The baby may very well be Shane’s but in Lori’s mind it doesn’t matter. The baby will be raised by herself and her husband Rick.
Shane may be perplexed that the baby isn’t enough to solidify his love tie to Lori, but at least he has Carl who seems to idolize Shane and appreciate him. When Shane realizes that Dale has disappeared with all the guns and ammunition in response to his relationship with Andrea, he literally goes ape shit. I would not want to be in his wake while he goes postal.
Shane gives the crew their guns and starts yelling at them about blowing this pop cycle stand. Then Rick appears from the woods with Hershel and a couple of walkers on leashes. They are taking two more to the barn to be fed and cared for. Apparently, this doesn’t sit well with Shane and he proceeds to take a pick axe to the barn door in order to set the walkers free.
As each of the walkers emerge from the barn Shane starts shooting them one by one, followed by Daryl, T-Dog, Andrea and eventually Glenn. It’s eerily disturbing watching this large scale shooting occur because non of the group members are in any immediate danger. From Hershel and Maggie’s perspective, it is large scale genocide. Their family members and neighbors are being put down for good.
After each of the geeks have been shot down, one last walker steps out of the barn. It’s a child. It’s a little girl. It is Carol’s daughter Sophia, the one they’ve all been hoping to find. Just as Rick Grimes could not let the half zombie torso go on living a depraved existence, just as he could not let the little girl in the beginning live, he cannot let Sophia go on suffering. It is at this point that Grimes steps in and takes care of Sophia.
Shane may be crazy and merciless, almost animalistic, but Rick Grimes represents the common man. Grimes is a moral character faced with an immoral world where regular rules don’t apply. He may be able to avoid killing and corruption for the most part, but even he cannot abide by the grotesque nature of the world around him. This forces viewers to question themselves. What would we do if faced with a zombie that we knew personally, a child? Which one of us would have the strength to put our loved ones down?
The continuation of ‘The Walking Dead’, Season 2 airs on February 12th on AMC.