Mid-season hiatus!! Woo-hoo!!! Monday mornings where I don’t have to pretend to be working while I really write a recap!! No more frantically scribbling notes and pissing my husband off by pausing all the time in the middle of scenes. I can kick back, and… what? I still have to recap the mid-season finale?
crap Okay, then! Glenn and Dale inform the rest of their group about the walkers in the barn. The group is understandably a tad dismayed about this development. Shane, who has been looking for any excuse, takes that as evidence that they should be moving on, perhaps to the army base they were originally headed for. Rick and Shane have argument number 3,256 about whether they are safer on the farm or on the road, and Rick drops a dime to Shane that Lori is pregnant. Carol argues that her daughter is still out there somewhere, but Shane is Over It and doesn’t want to hear that noise. The Man argues that he found Sophia’s doll just a few days prior, which I have to admit is sort of an anti-argument for Sophia being alive and well and living on sardines somewhere. Shane and The Man almost come to blows before being forcibly separated. (Daryl is scrappy, but my money’s on Shane in a fist fight.)
Now that the secret is out, Hershel tells Rick that Carl no longer needs his tending, and he’d like them off of his property by the end of the week, thankyouverymuch. While being tutored over some textbooks by his mother, Carl informs her that he won’t leave until they find Sophia, and that he doesn’t want to leave even then. She reassures him that… whoa. There’s a fucking zombie apocalypse and the poor kid still has to do homework? This show has featured half-torso’d zombies dragging themselves along the ground, and well-walkers splitting down the middle like a bad can of pea soup, but that? That is just inhumane.
Rick all but gets down on his knees and begs Hershel to let them stay, pointing out that they can help with the farming duties, security, etc., but Hershel’s mind is set. Even Maggie’s pleas to reconsider seem to fall on deaf ears, but before Hershel can tell her that, Jimmy comes running in to announce that “it happened again.” Hershel goes off to find Rick and ask for his help, so it looks like perhaps Rick will be able to prove their usefulness to Hershel, and then we’ll have to endure another six episodes of idyllic fucking farm life (now with zombies!) on the back side of the hiatus. And what “happened again,” you ask? You didn’t ask? Well, I’m gonna pretend you did. What happened again is that two walkers got themselves stuck in the thick, sucking mud of the creek bottom, and Hershel wants to go fish them out with those sticks that have a noose on the end like you see animal control officers using if you watch those Animal Cops shows on Animal Planet, which I don’t because the fucking morons they arrest make me want to club baby seals, which is probably not really a proper reaction to seeing dogs mistreated, and you know what? Y’all didn’t come here to provide therapy for me, so let’s move this along.
In other plotlines, Maggie and Glenn fight and make up. T-Dog comes on screen to utter a whole line or two. Carol and The Man have ‘a moment’ looking over the flowers like the one he found when he found the pantry hideaway, and I get super uncomfortable that they are going to try and put those two together and y’all know how I feel about that kind of shit in the Age of The Great Unwashed. And, Dale decides that the best idea EVAH during a zombie apocalypse is to HIDE ALL OF THE GROUP’S FUCKING GUNS IN THE FUCKING SWAMP, because he doesn’t want Shane to infest NLR with his crazy survivalist philosophies (just his sperm!) You guys, I can’t even… Dale just has to die. Like, yesterday. I can’t take anymore of Teh Preachy or Teh Stupid. Anyway, Shane tracks Dale into the swamp and, after a lame little stand-off during which Shane correctly surmises that Dale’s old and wrinklies don’t make him man enough to shoot him, he takes the guns back to the encampment.
Which is a good thing, because he’s just in time to see Hershel and Rick wrestling the creek zombies up toward the Barn of Contention. Sick of this bullshit and Hershel’s assertion that these are still people, Shane shoots the female walker in the abdomen a bunch of times, asking if any human could withstand that before finally shooting her through the head and killing her. Not done, he then strides up to the barn and removes the chains keeping the barn doors secured. Walkers come pouring out, hissing and growling and yammering like they do, only to be gunned down by Shane, The Man, T-Dog (“See? I’m relevant!”), even Glenn, until all of the zombies are lying dead in the dirt. Then, into the sudden silence comes the shuffling of little feet.
I kind of feel like I should have seen that coming, but I totally did not. I mean, they practically drew me a road map in neon red, what with all the talk of how the walkers are still family, and human, and all of the evidence that Sophia was in the area, but they couldn’t find her, and the big reveal that the barn was full of just such walkers a couple of episodes ago, but nope, blind-sided. So, basically, what I’m saying is I’m a moron. Now you know.
Anyway, Carol collapses into sobs as The Man holds her back from running to the thing that used to be her child, while the others look on in horror. Lori tries to shield Carl’s eyes, but he’s been shot and learned to handle a weapon of his own; he’s earned the terrible privilege of adult knowledge. In the final moments of the episode, Rick — who did not fire a shot while the others gunned down the barn walkers — raises his pistol and, much like he did with the half-torso walker in the pilot, he compassionately takes her out.
So, how did the first half of Season Two leave you feeling? Are you digging the added character development, or bemoaning the lack of non-stop action sequences? Are you hoping that Rick’s group takes over the farm, or do you want them to venture back out in the world so that we can see more of what happened to it? Tell us what you want to see when the series returns in February. And until then, kick back on Monday mornings and have yourself an extra cup of coffee. I know I will!
Sidenote: Confession time — I still haven’t watched Talking Dead yet. Head cold, long weekend at the dog shows, five-hour drive, blah blah blah excuse-cakes. That having been said, though, it seems sort of weirdly redundant to recap a recap. Instead, if y’all have seen Talking Dead and want to talk about the show, poke fun at the guests, or harsh on Chris Hardwick’s clothes, please have at it in the comments. I’ll join you as soon as I go out to the living room and watch it.