The midseason finale is upon us and the group remains at the zombie ranch, though still blissfully unaware of the horror surrounding them. That is until Glen finally decides to make it known to everyone. Upon inspection, Shane verifies the presence of corralled zombies in the barn. Understandably Shane is beginning to have a mental breakdown, declaring that Sophia is likely dead and calling Daryl a freak for his Tim O’Brien moment. Dale tries to explain to the group what Herschel thinks of the zombies and how Herschel believes the zombies are just diseased individuals rather than blood thirsty, mindless drones of death. Hopefully this episode is filled with action as some of the prior installments have lacked some of the suspense of the first season and so far it looks like we’re going to get it with a swift resolution to the zombies in the barn question. Psycho-chick Maggie is still giving Glen the cold shoulder because he violated their trust by telling the group about the zombies in the barn even though, as you’ll recall, he saved her life in the last episode..
Daryl continues his search for Sophia because he is one of the more noble characters but it is increasingly looking like a pointless search. Even Sophia’s mother expresses doubts about Sophia’s survival, a revelation that does not sit well with Daryl. In a moments rife with awkwardness, Dale confronts Andrea about Shane and she tells him that basically needs to back off of her. Dale’s claims about Shane not being a good guy are true even though Dale does not know how or why Shane is not a good guy. Tensions between the two groups boil over and Herschel evicts Rick and the group from the farm. Rick argues that Herschel’s casting them off will end up killing them and that he is, in effect, sending them to their deaths. It doesn’t really make sense why Herschel is so determined to see them away since civilization has collapsed and groups of people may want to consider sticking together but hey this is also a guy who keeps zombies in the barn so why ask too many questions.
Maggie and Herschel discuss Rick’s group and she uses theology to guilt trip him into allowing them to stay. Herschel asks Maggie if her tears are for Glen, the ‘Asian boy,’ and she says no, it is about the fact that Glen saved her life from one of the zombies. Shane is having serious issues with Rick’s leadership and begins ranting to Lori before claiming her baby as his. She tells him that the child, whether or not it is actually his, will never be acknowledged as such. Lori is always such a font of inner strength and character, as well as being opportunistic and pointless. Shane goes into the RV looking for a gun but does not end up finding any. He then makes some crazy statement about Dale. Herschel and Rick go ‘walker’ fishing to try and help two zombies trapped in the river mud.
Shane finds Dale in the swamp with the guns and Shane tries to take them from him and Dale then aims the gun at Shane but does not shoot for reasons unknown. One of Dale’s many flaws as a character is that, when the time comes for action, he is inept – a nonstarter in this world. In an attempt to purge the farm of the zombies, Shane arms the group to go and kill those that are in the barn. Conveniently, Rick and Herschel arrive with the zombies lassoed and Shane decides to demonstrate how they are not alive. Shane then puts his foot down about everything and says they need to call off the search for Sophia and fight for survival. Really, watching Rick try and corral a zombie into a barn illustrates that his ‘honorable character’ knows no limits but his intelligence certainly does. Shane then begins to break the lock off of the barn in a frenzied state. The group slaughters the zombies trapped in the barn while Herschel has a mental breakdown over the whole thing. Dale, ever worthless, arrives just in time to see everything finished. The last zombie to leave the barn is Sophia in an unexpected but spectacular twist. The group’s whole raison d’etre at the farm has been undermined and sociopathic Shane’s argument verified in a twisted way. Rick decides to put Sophia down himself as a punctuation mark on a riveting scene at the once idyllic farm by blasting her brains out point blank. A great midseason cap that resolved a lot of the open plot threads established in the first episode as well as beginning a whole slew of new adventures to come as Rick and the group leave Herschel farm.