Hey, welcome back, y’all! I’d like to say that the hiatus was a living hell and beat my breast and pull my hair out and all that stuff, like I do when The Vampire Diaries decides to take a week off to let you catch your fucking breath, but frankly my reaction to The Walking Dead being on hiatus was more of an “eh, whatever.” Oh hell, what am I saying, it was totally a “Woo-hoo!! No recaps for several weeks!” Not that I don’t like recapping for ya, guys; it’s just that I can only spew so much vitriol at once, and between Dale, Lori and NLR, theyreally take it out of me, you know?
We pick up right where we left off — in the aftermath of the Great Zombie Cleanse of 2011. Herschel is all butt-hurt that the group (mostly Shane) have killed off his barnful o’ walkers, while Shane and some of the others are all accusatory that they knew Sophia was in there all along but let them go out and risk themselves looking anyway. Herschel, as you might expect, orders them off of his land. Maggie takes the opportunity to smack Shane in the face, which… valid. I mean, however she may have been changing her mind about the walker situation, to have someone who is a guest just come in and take it upon himself to “clean up Herschel’s mess” is a little off-putting, you know?
As you might expect, Rick and Shane have their 3,245th argument about who is doing what needs to be done to keep them safe and how should the situation have been handled and blah-blah-blah I’m over it.
As the emotional fall-out settles, the group sets out to make sure all of the walkers are indeed dead. One proves to have a little pep left in it, and grabs Beth, the blond daughter (step-daughter?) of Herschel, but is quickly dispatched. Or maybe not quickly enough: Beth falls over in what appears to be shock a little while later, but as far as I know shock does not come with a fever, racing pulse, etc., so it seems likely that Beth is on her way to becoming zombified. Which is significant, because it didn’t look like Beth was bitten by the zombie. If just touching them now is enough to spead the virus, then it would seem that the few humans left in the world are really well and truly fucked.
Since Herschel is the closest thing that the group has to a doctor, they look for him to tend to Beth, but he is nowhere to be found. Though Maggie says that Herschel hasn’t touched a drop of liquor since she was born — wouldn’t even allow it in the house, in fact — Rick surmises that the day’s events might just be enough to nudge Herschel off the wagon, so he and Glenn go into town to find him and bring him home.
Herschel is indeed in the town’s bar, which appears relatively unransacked and well-stocked, upon which I call Total Bullshit. Please: zombie apocalypse? World going to hell? You can fucking bank on me cadging some bottles of whiskey on my way to curling up in a ball and dying. And yet, the village people (hee!) who have pretty much picked over the pharmacy have left the booze untouched? Sure, Show. Whatever.
While Rick tries to talk the drunk Herschel into hoping and caring again and whatnot, two drifters, Tony and Dave, wander into the bar to share drinks and guarded questions with our group. Dave is played by the same guy who was Rene the serial killer on True Blood, so his cred is pretty low with me to start with. Tony confirms my suspicion that these two are No Good when he just up and urinates right there in the bar. I mean, jeez, Tony. I realize that the zombie apocalypse is nigh and the world has essentially ended, but let’s maintain some semblance of decorum, ‘kay?
Dave starts asking around about where they’re staying, and stumbles upon the likelihood that they have a farm. In an interesting reversal of roles, Rick is put in the position of denying them shelter there, despite having been in the exact same position with Herschel. Hell, he’s still in that position with Herschel, who has clearly stated he wants them all gone from his property. Also in a reversal of roles from his stance with Shane, when Dave edges a little too close to his gun Rick just MOTHER-FUCKING SHOOTS BOTH HIM AND TONY. Wow.
In other events, the group buries Sophia and the members of Herschel’s family who were in the barn, and piles the rest of the walker corpses into a big pile to burn. In a dry, open field. Because that’s a good idea. Since one of NLR’s few scenes this episode is to hop off the back of the pick-up to toss a stray zombie arm that fell off back onto the stack, I think I’m actually cool with her for the evening. Dale, I’m not so cool with. He has to be all up in everyone’s face about Shane and what kind of man he is, going so far as to tell Lori about his suspicions regarding Otis and how he might have come to be zombie food. And you know, I get that Dale is actually right here, and that Shane is indeed about one facial tick away from being 100%, flat-out, crazier than a shit-house rat, but he is So. Fucking. Annoying about it that I kinda just want a zombie to come and make a goddamn Scooby snack out of him already.
In other, other events: Carol goes postal on some wildflowers for daring to give her hope about her daughter, or something; Maggie asks Glenn to move in with her; and, oh yeah! Lori can’t wait five goddamn minutes for Rick and Glenn to get back from town, so she drives off, fails to watch where she’s going, hits a walker in the middle of the road and then flips the car over and winds up upside-down in a ditch!
Now, having watched TV before, there is no way I’m going to get my hopes up thinking that Lori is going to be dead, but I’m willing to bet a nickel she loses the baby and therefore doesn’t have to make any decision whatsoever about ending the pregnancy and therefore calling the wrath of the Christian right down upon her head for daring to abort a it’s-a-child-not-a-choice, despite the fact that she’s living in a fucking ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE — um, yeah. So, anyway.
One interesting tidbit that soon-to-be-dead-Dave dropped before getting dead was that the army base that the group has been holding out as a Plan B is a non-starter; it was overrun by zombies. Dave and Tony have been travelling around, and new stories of sanctuary seem to keep cropping up, the latest of which is that Nebraska is safe due to its low population and high gun count, so perhaps we’ll see the group deciding to head that way before the end of the season?