Hey, so, you remember how
The Man Honey Badger was all, “This group is broken” last week? And then that was amply demonstrated by the uber-uncomfortable kill-Randall/don’t-kill-Randall pow-wow? And THEN Dale got all eviscerated by that zombie that Carl didn’t kill? Well, Rick delivers a nice eulogy for Dale about how they’re going to fix the group as a tribute to him.
Yeah. That goes about as well as you’d expect.
The plan is now back to a catch-and-release program for Randall, but in light of what happened during their last road-trip, Rick wisely decides to take Honey Badger with him instead of Shane. But since no one trusts Shane to be left to his own devices for two damn minutes, Rick asks NLR to babysit him, saying that he can’t have Shane going nuts every time he leaves the farm. NLR: ”Maybe you should stop leaving.” Shit, if she continues not whining and making sense, I may be forced to not hate her anymore.
Because this is The Walking Dead, and because these people can’t do anything without putzing around for a half day first, they leave Randall tied and blindfolded in the barn while they do things like kill stray walkers, test the fencing around the pasture, and stare at maps that they damn well should have memorized after all of the search for Sophia bullshit. This leaves ample opportunity for Fucking Lori (yes, that IS her name now) to push Shane the half-inch he needed to be fully off the reservation by apologizing about the whole affair thing and admitting that she doesn’t know who fathered the baby, and since Maury Povich is probably literally a zombie by now rather than just figuratively, there’s no way to find out.
Carl also seeks Shane out and tries to give him Honey Badger’s gun that he stole. Carl cops to what happened at the creek and blames himself for Dale’s death. Shane doesn’t want to take the gun, saying that Carl needs to keep that to protect himself. You know, as one does. With a ten year-old. Carl hands it off anyway. Hey Carl, you know who I bet would take that gun? Honey Badger! You know, the one you stole it from in the first place?
Shane tells Rick about the conversation with Carl, and Rick say he’ll have Fucking Lori talk to him. Which I’m sure will be super-effective, considering that Fucking Lori probably doesn’t even remember what her son looks like at this point. Shane calls Rick out for being more concerned about freeing a prisoner than with what’s going on with his own son. Which, as is so often the case with Shane, is perfectly valid, if inelegantly stated.
Rick nuts up and goes to talk to Carl. He basically tells it like it is; there’s no more kid stuff. Rick needs to be able to depend on Carl to help protect the group. He’s sorry that Carl won’t get to have the childhood he had — or any childhood, really — but that’s the way the world is now. And then HE makes Carl take the gun back.
Instead of waiting for Rick to get done putzing around and leave the farm, Shane goes right on ahead with the losing-his-shit thing and goes to the barn to kill Randall. He stands there like even more of a creeper than Carl last episode, smacks himself in the head a few times, and then pulls his pistol out to shoot Randall with. Shane apparently thinks better of it, though, and hauls Randall out into the woods. Randall reveals that his group is camped about five miles away. Shane asks Randall to take him to them, because he’s done with this group.
The two set out walking, Randall babbling away like he does, saying that things can get “pretty crazy” with that group sometimes, and that Shane should fit right in. (Word, Randall. WORD.) Shane deals with about three sentences of the babbling before just up and snapping Randall’s neck. I’m not 100% certain whether that was the plan all along, or if Shane had no real plan and just changed it up mid-way. In any event, Shane smashes his own face into a tree, buries his pistol, and goes back to tell the gang that Randall got the drop on him and knocked him out.
Glenn, Shane, Honey Badger and Rick go out to look for him, splitting into pairs to cover more of the woods. Honey Badger using his mad tracking skillz to ascertain that Shane and Randall were walking in tandem for a while, not one chasing the other as Shane’s story would have had it. He also notes that there was sign of a scuffle, and finds the blood on the tree from Shane smashing his face into it, but dun-dun-DUN! No dead Randall. Dead Randall does find them, however, going for their tasty brains before Glenn is able to drive a knife into his skull. Because Randall? Is now Zombie Randall, despite having no bite marks on him.
Shane and Rick end up in one of the pastures, Rick wisely keeping Shane in front of him for a while, but eventually getting ahead of him. Rick stops, and asks Shane: ”So, is this the place, then?” He’s already figured that Shane plans to kill him. Shane admits as much, saying he’ll say Randall jumped them and killed Rick, then Shane snapped his neck, etc. Rick refuses to draw his gun on Shane, saying he’ll have to kill an unarmed man if he’s going to. While he’s talking he keeps getting closer and closer to Shane, and when he’s near enough, I think he pulls a knife and stabs him in the gut, but it’s dark, and a gun does go off, so I suppose it’s possible that he shot him. My take, though, is that Rick stabs Shane and Shane’s pulls the trigger on his gun, hitting nothing but attracting the attention of a huge horde of walkers in the woods. (Spoiler!)
Rick commences with the screaming and the crying because he had to kill his best friend, even though Shane kind of forced the situation, then sees Carl. Carl is walking toward Rick, gun drawn and pointed at Rick. Rick tries to reason with Carl, saying this isn’t what it looked like, etc. and so on. What Rick doesn’t realize is that Zombie! Shane has risen behind him and is coming for him. Carl shoots, but not at Rick. He takes out Zombie! Shane. Attracted by all of the hullabaloo, the horde advances. Looks like our finale next week will be zombielicious!
Also in this episode, Fucking Lori gets her wish about playing Lady of the Manor. Hershel moves them all into the house, and even gives up his room so that she and Rick can have it, as her scrawny, pregnant ass shouldn’t be sleeping on the floor. Maggie invites Glenn to share her room with her, but Glenn is still freaking out over the Maggie thing, AND wigging out about sleeping with her while her father is in the house, so he declines and says he’ll stay in the dining room. T-Dog, who got to say lines this episode, offers to take the bedroom if Fucking Lori doesn’t want it, which ends her pro forma protest with a quickness.
Lastly, Glenn and NLR have a little moment to memorialize Dale while trying to get his Winnebago going, which Glenn succeeds in doing. Let’s hope that he didn’t learn sanctimonious lecturing along with the mechanical skills Dale was teaching him.
So, what did you guys think? Were you surprised they killed Shane off already? Did the “twist” of people becoming zombies without having been bitten surprise you? I feel like that wasn’t really much of a shocker, but maybe I’ve just seen too many spoilers about the graphic novels to have been surprised. Are you anxiously counting down the minutes until Carl accidentally shoots and kills Fucking Lori? I sure am!
Let’s have some comments about what you expect to see in next week’s season finale!