The Walking Dead 2.7 – Pretty Much Dead Already

Shhhh. I think Rick likes to kill little girls. Better hope Lori’s bringing Carl a little brother. (No, I don’t really think his character has any evil in him, it’s just that the one of the very first walkers we saw him kill was a little girl in her pink nighty, and now he may have to kill a little girl in a rainbow-decal shirt. I know he understands when the most loving thing you can offer is a quick, merciful death.) Contrary to Shane’s ravings. Rick is made for this world.

The morning starts with scrambled eggs and a huge side of tension.  Everyone is eating and brooding. Andrea is sharpening her knife, and sharpening, and sharpening. Shane is still wearing his damn police hat. (That’s probably one of the reason’s I’ve come to hate him.) Rick realized some time ago that those sorts of titles don’t mean shit in their new world and gave his hat to Carl.

As everyone sits around eating Glenn notices Maggie on the porch. She slowly shakes her head, “No.” Glenn looks to Dale, who slowly shakes his head, “Yes.” Glenn will spill. He stands up and moves over to the group so they have a clear view of the barn over his shoulder and says, “Uh, guys? The barn’s full of walkers.” Chewing stops. Sharpening stops. Everything stops. (Uh oh. Herschel is going to be pissed. And Glenn might as well make balloon animals with his remaining condoms.)

Next we see the barn. Inside the undead mill aimlessly around. Shane peeks through an opening in the locked doors. It’s suddenly filled with a horrifying zombie eye. Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Shane is furious. He yells at Rick, “You cannot tell me you’re alright with this, man!” But Rick tells him to lower his voice and to remember that they are just guests. (I agree with this in some respects, but when it comes to kill or be killed, I think maybe the smart thing to do would be to just take Herschel’s farm by force. Survival of the fittest and all.)

The people in the barn are NOT looking well. Herschel has to logically be thinking that a cure probably won’t be possible at this point.

Shane takes the opportunity to once again point out that they should head for Fort Benton (unless they are planning to clean out the barn.) He wants everyone to face up to the fact that Sophia is most likely gone forever. Daryl angrily points out that he has just found Sophia’s doll. Shane says yes, that is exactly what he’s found…a doll. Just a doll. Shane then goes full-on redneck cop and tells Daryl what he really thinks of him. He thinks even if he found Sophia, she would run in the other direction because Daryl looks like a crazy meth-head. Shane keeps yelling that he’s going to beat Daryl’s ass. Redneck cop, indeed.

When Lori tries to pull him away, he tells her to keep her hands off him, too. (Ugh. I’m trying so hard not to outright hate Shane, but he’s making it very hard. What would Andrea SEE in that guy. Hopefully she’s only in it for the econo-car coitus.)

Rick wants to try to reason with Herschel to convince him to clean out the barn, but Dale interjects that Herschel sees everyone in the barn as people. His wife and stepson are in there. Rick is angry that Dale knew about this before him, but Glenn wanted to be the one to tell the group

Lori pushes Shane away. He yells at her to keep her hands off him. All the commotion outside the barn gets the walkers riled up and they start loudly snarling and yanking at the doors.

Later, Shane examines the chains, locks, and bars on the barn on his own. As he’s doing this, he makes enough noise to disturb the undead who again attack the doors. He reflexively goes for his gun, and is immediately disgusted to find it not there. (It’s part of his body—a lot like his dick—and he doesn’t like someone else being in control of it. Rawr! He’s a MANLY MAN, MAN! Smell that testosterone!)

Glenn is still getting the silent treatment from Maggie. He begs her to talk to him as she collects eggs from the chicken coup. She rolls her eyes and walks on by. Finally she stops and says, “Give me your hat. You said, ‘Talk to me.’ Now give me your hat.” He reluctantly does. She puts one of the eggs in it and slams it back on his head. (That’s not how cascarones are supposed to work, but he does, literally have egg on his face.)

Glenn asks, “Why would you waste an egg like that?” “I think it was rotten.” she replies as she smirks and walks away. (His question is a valid one. I have questioned their seemingly limitless supply of ammunition, food, gasoline, and animal feed. But I guess they must have had their apocalypse pantry ready when the shit went down. Here’s a link to help you start your own. Just skip over the religious stuff if you are only stocking up to survive the zombie apocalypse:

At camp Lori is making Carl do schoolwork. (Who knows when diagramming a sentence could save your life?) Carl asks if his mom still thinks that Sophia is dead. She tells him that Shane’s just scared of the walkers in the barn. Carl says he’s not leaving until they find Sophia. And he’s not leaving then either. He thinks Sophia will like their new home. Lori just tells him to “finish those problems.”

(Maybe we need some perspective here, mom. The answers to schoolbook questions are NOT PROBLEMS. I’m not saying Carl shouldn’t get an education, but when the world is overrun by the walking dead, it seems like you should automatically get a few weeks, months—hell, even a year, of inclement weather days. I doubt Lori will get an angry calls from the school attendance office, since the vast majority of the faculty and student body are probably breaking dress code, skipping class, and wandering around looking for screaming meat.) Lori gives Carl a hug that’s full of love for her boy, pity for his optimism, and worry that he thinks exactly like his father.

Daryl has decided that he’s well enough to resume the search for Sophia and is trying to saddle a horse to go out. He seems to be the only one aware that time is extremely critical. (Nah, sorry Carol, we didn’t have time to keep looking, we had some Hyundai humping that couldn’t wait until dark.) He’s still not well, but he’s determined to DO SOMETHING. He’s definitely not the type to sit on his ass “hopin’ and prayin’. We know this.

When Carol sees him struggling, she says that Herschel says he needs to heal. He says he doesn’t care. “Well I do.” says Carol. (And for the first time I see her as attractive and strong. Yay! Maybe Daryl will get a well deserved sleeping bag blow job.) Carol tells him that a group is going out to search later, but her doesn’t see the point in waiting.

When Carol finally admits “We don’t know if we’re going to find her, Daryl. We don’t.” “I don’t.” she whispers sadly. He looks at her stunned and angry and asks “What?” “I don’t want to lose you, too.” she admits quietly. But Daryl really doesn’t know what to do with kindness or defeat. He throws a saddle in anger and doubles over in pain. When Carol is concerned that he’s hurt, his response is an angry “Leave me be. Stupid bitch.” (But Carol’s had way worse than vicious words thrown at her. I don’t think she’ll take what he’s said as hard as some women would. Yeah, she has tears in her eyes. But she understands Daryl.)

Always on the lookout, Dale is staring at the barn. Glenn is on rooftop watch on the Winnebago. He tells Dale that Andrea is looking for him and asks him if he has another hat. (I guess since his is full of rotten egg and he’s waiting for one of the women to wash it for him?) Dale tosses Glenn his hat and goes inside the RV to find Andrea loading up the guns to go off with Rick to look for Sophia.

Since Dale knows that Rick was meeting with Herschel, he’s wondering where Andrea will be in the meantime. With Shane, of course. He wants a watch duty down by the barn. Dale is not convinced that Rick wants this, but Andrea can’t see the harm. When he asks if she is only taking her personal guns and NOT Shane’s, Andrea acts like Dale is being ridiculous. (This little talk is not going to end the way Dale wants.)

He says that what’s going on between Shane and Andrea is none of his business, but that he is concerned that she “might not really know him.” (And he ain’t talkin’ in the Biblical sense.) She tells him that she doesn’t want to have this conversation and that she knows that he doesn’t like Shane. He tells her that it’s NOT that and asks her “Is that how you want to be? Like him?” “He’s not a victim.” she says. “You don’t know him.” he replies. Andrea wants Dale to leave her alone because she doesn’t need to be watched anymore. She has a gun.

Dale asks Glenn to go get some water. Alone in the RV, he starts to pack up all the remaining guns. (Oooooh! Is Shane going to be PISSED!)

In the perfectly kept ranch house, Herschel is sitting alone having a perfectly creepy civilized meal on china with a crystal glass of wine. He’s reading while he eats—studying, he says when Rick knocks on the door, comes in, and comments on the light reading. Herschel doesn’t find humor in Rick’s attempt at a little bit of levity and says he’s been so busy with his fields, he has to study when he can. Rick offers to help with all the work that needs to be done. Herschel says testily, “It’s MY field to tend.” (Okay. If that’s you’re going to be, let’s get down to it ya old bastard.) “We found the barn.” Rick says. Herschel doesn’t even look up from his book. He responds “Leave it be.”

Herschel does NOT want to talk about it. Period. “I need you, and your group gone by the end of the week.” is his curt response. Rick acknowledges their difference in opinions on the walkers and goes so far as to call them people. He says they may be alive or they may be dead, but he implores Herschel to change his mind saying that Rick’s group is alive NOW. If they leave, that will probably change. Hersch has given the group safe harbor and feels his conscience is clear. He wants them gone.

Rick sits down at the table and tells him what has really going on outside the farm since the news cameras stopped rolling a long time ago. He tells him about the first zombie he saw, the half a woman featured in the AMC webisode. He says his first inclination was not to kill it. He tells him what’s out there “changes you.” Finally he begs Herschel not to send them out there. When there’s still no response, he tells him that Lori is pregnant and that “that’s either a gift here, or a death sentence out there.”

Herschel will not budge.

Maggie looks on sadly and disgustedly from the other room.

Rick meets up with Shane who is staring at the barn and tells him that he and Herschel are still negotiating. Rick thinks the barn can be secured, but Shane says that there are more than a dozen walkers about a stone’s throw from camp…where they sleep and if they aren’t going to clear the barn, they need to leave now. Rick is adamant that they NOT clear the barn and that they DO stay. Shane, of course, wants his guns. But Rick is still following Herchel’s anti-gun stance. Rick says they can make the place safe. Shane loudly disagrees.

And then it happens: “Lori is pregnant. For the first time we see doubt on his gape-mouthed face. “We need to stay.” Rick says emphatically. As Rick walks away, Shane congratulates Rick them having a baby. Rick thanks him but doesn’t turn to face Shane, just keeps on walking. Shane can’t decide what to do, but he is someone who acts first and thinks later. And that barn is so close. And killing something would feel so good.

Back at Herschel’s place Maggie is in the kitchen chopping vegetables when the old man walks in and says, “Hi, honey,” as he pours himself some coffee. He knows she’s pissed, so he tells her that Carl doesn’t need his care anymore. She wants to know if that’s it. He tells her that it’s not going to be easy, and they’ll have to be careful out there, but they are a strong group. They are just going to have to go out and find their own farm since there are so many to choose from now.

“There aren’t. Every one of them nearby is burnt out or full of walkers.” Maggie tells him. He is surprised and offended that she uses the word “walkers.” Herschel wants to know why he should keep the others there forever and how they are his responsibility. “Love one another, as I have loved you. That’s what you told me, right? asks Maggie quoting the Bible to Herschel.

Maggie explains how her teen angst and new step mother caused her to rebel by shoplifting and smoking, but the “love one another” idea stuck. She tells her father he’s changed. He says he’s just trying to protect her and wants to know if this is about the “Asian boy.” She tells him again that his name is Glenn and that yesterday he saved her from an attack by one of those people he thinks is sick. “How’s that for dramatic?” she asks. “Things aren’t what you think they are. They aren’t. Don’t do this.” she pleads.

For the first time, he appears to be listening. “Okay. It’s not about me and Glenn. It’s not about me and you. It’s about you. It’s about who you’re going to be. Herschel really seems to be listening, softening even.

Just then one of Herschel’s people runs in sweaty and yelling that, “It’s happened again.”

Rick and Andrea are planning the day’s search for Sophia, when Herschel walks up. Rick tells him that they only have their guns out because they are going on a search. He ignores it and asks for Rick’s help. Andrea offers, but is turned away. She’ll go watch the barn until the return.

Lori is chopping carrots using a tree stump as a cutting board, when Shane approaches her for a little talk. “I thought he was dead. And uh. And when he came back. Right then. Right there. I wished he was. Not because you wouldn’t be mine, but because I knew that sooner or later, he would be dead. See Rick, he ain’t built for this world. Not for what it is now.” he says shaking his head.

Lori replies, “You’re wrong.” Shane wants to know how many times Rick has saved her life. He’s keeping score and according to his count, he’s saved her life on four different occasions. He wants to know how many times Rick has saved her. (Why she’d even bother to dignify this question with an answer, is disgusting.) She says that night at the fish fry. Nope. That was apparently Shane, too. Rick had gone on a suicide mission to save a drug dealer. And so we lost Amy, and we lost Jim, and we lost…He stops and says, “Rick told me. You know it’s mine.

She stops him with, “I’m sorry, Shane. I’m sorry. But even if it’s yours, it’s never gonna be yours. And there’s nothing you can do to change that.” He says, “I don’t need to.” and walks off clutching his damn sheriff’s hat.

As Shane walks past camp, Carl confronts him saying that he knows Shane thinks that Sophia is dead and that they should call off the search, but that that’s “bullshit.” Shane tells him to watch his mouth. (About as important as his school book problems at the moment. Pick your battles man! But then, Shane is not one to pick battles. He takes them all.)

Anyway, Shane agrees that if they are to stay, they’ll all have to help out. Carl promises to take care of his chores. Lori sees the conversation and calls to Carl. Shane tells him to go see what his mother wants, but as he walks off, Shane says, “And Carl, I don’t want to hear you talk like that again.” (Ugh! There are walkers in the barn. That IS bullshit!)

Now Shane is royally pissed and really needs to kill something. He makes a beeline for the Winnebago. Glenn is on the roof on watch and asks what’s up. He gets no answer. Shane ransacks the place looking for the guns and muttering, “That son of a bitch!” When he asks Glenn where he is, Glenn asks,”Who?”

“Don’t even try to shit me, okay?”

“What?”

“Dale, Glenn! Did you see where Dale went?” But Dale is gone and Glenn doesn’t know where. Shane knows that he left without telling Glenn because Glenn couldn’t keep a cover story for him. (Rawr! Shane stomps off again, his boots undoubtedly making squishing sounds in the testosterone that has now filled them.)

“The silt on the bottom is like glue. You just sink in. That’s Lou Push as in Loise. She has a farm up the road. Sweet corn mostly. Worked Patrick’s bar on the weekend. The man? I don’t know him, but the coveralls. I’ve been to where he worked.” says Herschel. Rick and the young sweaty man see to angry walkers stuck up to their knees in standing water. Herschel asks Rick, “How many have you killed?” His reply? “Too many to count.”

Herschel asks him if he can stop. Rick looks disgusted and says nothing. When Herschel points to the two snarling wrecks in the water he says, “There are people out there who haven’t been in their right minds. People who I believe can be restored.” “You’re not talking about the walkers, are you.” says Rick.

“It doesn’t matter if you see them as human beings anymore, but if you and your people are going to stay here, that’s how you’re going to have to treat them. My farm. My barn. My say.” Herschel says. It’s an offer Rick can’t refuse. He takes a dog-catcher noose on a pole from Herschel as a way of shaking hands in agreement.

At the edge of a still pond, Daryl asks Carol, “Do you see it?” “See what?” she asks. He points out a Cherokee Rose and says, “I’ll find her.” He looks awkward, but says, “Hell. I’m sorry about what happened this morning.” “You won’t give up looking for her. Why? This whole time, I just wanted to ask you.” Daryl replies simply, “Because I think she’s still out there. Truth is. What else I got to do? (Carol at this point should be yelling, “Me! Me! Me!) Instead she gently touches the flower and says, “You’ll find her. You will. I see it.”

The quiet pond scene is shattered by the rescue attempt of the walkers who have become stuck in the sticky silt of the creek. The appear not to enjoy the leashes they are being pulled around with. This used to be Otis’s job, but now they have to do it. Herschel tells Rick to use himself as a carrot and the walker will follow. (Of course it will. Walkers LOOOOVE carrots!)

Maggie is walking by the Winnebago with some vegetables, when Glenn calls her name. She doesn’t stop. She’s angry that Glenn couldn’t keep his mouth shut about what was in the barn and that now they are going to be kicked off the farm for it. She asked him for one thing and he couldn’t deliver. He confesses that he wanted to tell. He says, “I let them lower me into that well like I was playing Portal. It’s a video game.” She knows.

“And then the pharmacy happened yesterday and I realized something. I forgot that they’re dangerous. I don’t care if they’re sick people or dead people…they’re dangerous. And then I realized something else. That I don’t want you in danger. Ever. So I hate to blow your dad’s big secret, but I’m sick of secrets. Secrets get you killed. And I’d rather have you pissed off at me and alive, than liking me and dead. So that’s why I told them.” He walks off angry, but having said what he wanted.

“Hey walker bait!” Maggie calls to him. “Don’t call me that.” Glenn says. “Okay. Glenn.” She smiles, and then we get a little make out session on the ranch house lawn. (Yay! Hope he held on to those condoms!)

In a swampy area Shane comes upon Dale trying to hide the group’s stash of guns. “Man, this is a good hiding place. We haven’t been in the swamps much, huh?” Dale counters with, “Imagine if you’d applied your tracking skills to Sophia.”

“How about you just give me that bag, huh?” says Shane. Dale, deadly serious says, “I’m not gonna do that.”

“Yeah ya are, Dale. Unless. Well. Ya do have that rifle over your shoulder.” Shane says.

“What? Are you gonna shoot me like you did Otis? Tell another story?” Dale asks. “No, man. When you really look at it in the cold light of day, I mean you’re pretty much dead already.” (Yeah, yeah. Dale is old. We get it.)

“Just give me the guns and do it now.” Shane demands. Dale wants to know if this is what he thinks is going to keep them safe. Shane thinks it is. Shane doesn’t want to hear about Rick trying to get Herschel to let them stay. He wants the old man to shut up and give him the guns. And then (Oh! Shit!) Dale takes the rifle off his back a loads a round into the chamber and says, “I’m gonna have to shoot you. Do I have to kill you? Is that what it’s gonna take?” But Shane calls his bluff and walks down to him until the barrel of the gun is touching his chest. “Yeah. That’s what it’s gonna have to take.” (DO IT! Shoot him! This is your best chance to get rid of this dangerous asshole.) But he doesn’t. He tells Shane that this is his world and that though he may not last long, at least he’ll know that, “when the world went to shit, he didn’t let it take him down with it.” Shane smirks and says, “Fair enough.” and takes the guns back.

Back at the farmhouse everyone is relaxing on the porch. Maggie is teasing Glenn about wearing Dale’s hat. T-Dog and Andrea come up wanting to know what’s going on. Rick left with Herschel (to go retrieve the stuck walkers) and has been gone for more than a couple of hours. Daryl is pissed that nobody is taking the search for Sophia seriously. He turns to see Shane coming up the path loaded down with guns.

“What’s all this?” Daryl asks.

Shane says it’s time to grow up as he hands out the guns. “Look. It was fine to sit around here pickin’ daisies when we thought it was supposed to be safe, but now we know it ain’t! How ’bout you man? You gonna protect yours?” He offers a gun to Glenn, who hesitates, glances at Maggie, and then takes it.

“Will you stop? You do this. You hand out these guns? My dad will make you leave tonight.” Maggie tells him. Carl tells Shane that they have to stay. Lori also wants to know what’s going on. Shane says, “We ain’t goin’ anywhere, okay? Look Herschel, he’s just gotta understand, okay? Well he’s gonna have to.” He then tells Carl that he knows he wants to find Sophia and offers him a pistol. He tells him to keep his mother safe. Lori is livid. She does not think it’s Shane’s decision to make. Only Rick’s. She doesn’t want the guns.

“Oh, shit!” T-Dog says, horrified. Everyone turns to see Herschel, the boy, and Rick leading the walkers from the woods toward the barn. “What is that?” Shane says, pissed. Everyone at the house starts to run toward the bizarre scene.

When they get there Shane is freaking out, “What the Hell are you doing?!” Rick tells Shane to just back off. (Sure. Sure.) Herschel wants to know why everyone has guns. (Um. Dunno. Except maybe for those snarling, hungry, undead messes you have on the ends of sticks and think you can control and someday cure.) Shane keeps yelling, “You see? You see what they’re holding on to?”

Herschel says, “I see who I’m holding on to.”

“Nah, man. You don’t.” raves Shane.  He knows these are dead and dangerous and nothing more. He’s yelling that these things are what killed Amy and Otis and they’ll kill them, too. To prove his point, he says, “Hey Herschel.  Can I ask you something? Can a living, breathing person, can they walk away from this?”

He shoots the woman. “Three rounds to the chest! Could someone’s who’s alive, could they just take that?” Shane rants. Rick keeps yelling for him to stop. Shane yells, “Why is he still comin’? and shoots the woman again. “That’s it’s heart. It’s lungs. Why is it still comin’? yells Shane. Rick yells, “Shane, that’s enough!” “Yeah, you’re right man. That is enough.” Shane shoots the walker point blank in the head. Lori has finally decided to shield Carl from what is going on, but she, too is stunned. Everything goes slow motion and quiet.

Shane breaks it with, “Enough risking our lives for a little girl who’s gone!” Carol is stunned. “Enough living next to a barn full of things that are trying to kill us! Enough! Rick, it ain’t like it was before.  Now, if y’all want to live, y’all want to survive, you gotta fight for it! I’m talkin’ about fighting for it. Right here. Right now!” Shane turns toward the barn and runs for it. He’s going for the slaughter. Rick tries to get Herschel to take the pole of the walker he’s been hanging onto, but old Hersch is stunned, tired, maybe even ready to let go. He can’t move.

Shane grabs a pick axe and starts on the barn doors. Rick screams, “Do not do this brother!” But Shane is waaay past hearing anything. Glenn yells, “Don’t do it!” Everyone is yelling, but Shane is on a mission and breaks the locks and pulls of a board. Herschel still hasn’t moved, but appears to be whispering, “Fuck.” to himself.

The group moves back and Lori pushes Carl behind her. (Uh. How about run your child and pregnant ass to safety. Carl’s well has run dry, remember. This isn’t going to help.) Slowly, the doors creek open and the first of the walkers advances on the group. (Finally! I was sooooo sick of chicken! Damn!)

And now it’s a shoot out at the really-not-ok coral. Everyone has joined in and is picking off walkers with perfectly aimed head shots.  (Shane’s school must have done some good after all.)

Maggie is holding her distraught father, but nods her head yes when Glenn asks her permission to help. She knows it’s what has to be done, but she cannot watch.  Rick is still holding on to the walker they recovered from the swamp and Shane wants his help.  He doesn’t ask.  He simply shoots Rick’s charge in the head so he’ll move on to the job at hand.

In the end the group is lined up like Shane’s Shooting School, only they’re not bantering and firing at colorful bottles of water. The walkers are easy pickings, but Rick still hasn’t shot one. And then silence. It looks like a small version of Jonestown. Dale finally makes it to the aftermath and he, too looks on in stunned silence.

But wait. There’s rasped breathing coming from the barn. There’s one more. (And you know who it’s going to be. Who it has to be. But who you don’t want it to be.)

Small tennis shoes and dirty shins shamble into the daylight and as the camera pans up we see the blue shirt with its faded rainbow decal. It’s Sophia. But it’s not Sophia anymore. Carol runs to her crying out her name, but Daryl catches her before she can get too close. Her cries for her daughter gave me goose bumps. And if you didn’t feel anything for her, you better check your pulse buddy.)

As Sophia steps through the bodies of the dead towards those of the living and those that love who she was, the camera lingers on Rick. (The ones with the most humanity always get the hardest jobs.)

Carol is crying, but at the same time I think, not really seeing her baby in those awful eyes anymore. Daryl has a tight grip on her. Herschel is in agony. Everyone is weeping. Lori tells Carl, “Don’t watch.” (Lady! Get that kid out of there! This is not safe for children viewing material.)

Rick steels his jaw and moves forward through everyone who is frozen in disbelief. He unholsters his sidearm and keeps moving forward. He and Sophia meet and with one clean shot he puts her down. Weeping is heard from all around.

And Daryl still holds Carol.

Next time:
Will Rick’s group be kicked off the ranch?
Will Shane ever calm down? Somebody send Glenn for some Xanax.
Will Glenn have to share his condom stash with Daryl? (I hope so.)

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