The Walking Dead 2.9 – Triggerfinger

There will be blood, squishy wet sounds, the dead eating the living,
more blood, and, of course, the screaming.

Lori is still out. As the camera spins mimicking her rollover wreck from last week’s cliffhanger, we see Lori is still out cold. It’s dark now and the hazard lights are flashing. And make no mistake, she is in a hazardous situation. She’s presented to a hungry walker like a fish in a tank to a cat. Only the smashed up windshield is keeping her from getting in his rotting mouth. She’s temptingly close. He snarls and snaps at the tasty looking dish behind the glass until his face finds an opening. In the blinking car light, Lori finally wakes up to a real nightmare.

The boys are still at the bar. Stunned by the killing of the living that had to be done. Four booming shots have taken care of the two highwaymen who were trying to haggle new digs for their band of survivors. Although last week it was still light when Rick shot the men, this time it’s dark. (I’ll assume the show’s creators took some dramatic license with lighting and time instead of imagining that the men have been standing there stunned for an hour staring at two cooling corpses. They’re tougher than that.) Herschel says it’s time to head back to the farm. Rick takes the fat guy’s shotgun and a couple of shells from his pants pocket, while Glenn snatches up the other guy’s handgun. They do not steal the boots off the dead men’s feet. That just wouldn’t be sporting.

As they try to leave, they hear a car outside and headlights cut through the bar windows. They hunker down behind the front wall of the bar and hear the engine cut off and men talking. One says he heard shots and that the place is crawling with “rovers.” It’s hot. They need to get out of there. They’re calling out for Dave and Tony, but Dave and Tony are giving them the silent treatment.

Meanwhile Lori is looking directly into the face of a horse-toothed walker. (It’s been a long time since this guy worried about fresh breath and oral hygiene. You know he reeks.) He’s trying to push through the hole in the safety glass like a baby being born, but as he does he’s mostly managing to de-flesh his face. Lori can’t manage to pull herself out of the passenger side of the car which, since the rollover, is now pointing at the sky. The walker continues with his facial exfoliation and gets a hand to slip into the space where his cheek used to be. He gets a handful of Lori’s hair and as she struggles to get free she grabs the turn signal and wrenches it from the steering wheel column. Immediately she shoves it through the walker’s eye and into what’s left of his brain. (Go Lori! When was the last time she killed something anyway? She usually leaves that nasty business to others.)

She gets free of the car, and look at that, is wearing sensible shoes. Biker boots are de rigueur in post apocalypse societies everywhere. She is fixated on the walker she just killed and doesn’t scan the area around the car when she gets out. Another walker attacks from behind. She’s able to slip out of her jacket and grab a hubcap to bash the guy’s face with. Then she spots her gun inside the car and goes for it. Walker number two takes a bullet to the face and goes down hard.

Back at the farm, the table has been set and everyone gathers for dinner. Andrea is worried that the men are not back from town yet. Shane is optimistic that they’ve done the smart thing and holed up somewhere until first light. (Which means he’s hoping they’re holed up dead somewhere.) Shane tells Carl to “keep his head up” because his old man “he’s the toughest son of a b-” but he’s cut off by Otis’s ex who tells him that there’s no cussing in the house. He stops the profanity, but the look on his face and the roll of his eys says, “Silly cunt.”

Carol calls Lori to dinner but Maggie says she’s not there. Dale is immediately suspicious and wants to know where she is. Everyone looks uneasy. Shane stops chewing and asks Carl through a mouthful of food when the last time he saw his mom was. Carls tell him it was earlier in the afternoon. Andrea says that Lori was worried about Rick and asked her to look in on Carl. Dale is starting to get anxious thinking she left the farm, but Andrea reassures him that Lori didn’t say she was leaving. Shane gets up, tells everyone not to panic, and goes to find her. Everyone except Otis’s widow leaves the table.

At the bar, Herschel, Rick, and Glenn are still waiting for the men outside to leave. Glenn wonders aloud why they don’t and Herschel asks “Would you?” (I think the “Asian boy” is growing on the old man. Yay!) The men decide to go around back and make a run for the car, but just as they start to go, they hear gunfire outside. They hunker back down. Rick peeks out a window and sees three men in the street. One is claiming to have nailed a rover. All the gunfire must be exciting the locals. Then they hear one of the men outside say, “Were looking for Dave and Tony and no one checks the damn bar?” Uh oh. The door opens and Glenn immediately pushes it shut and leans against it with his back. (Ah, hell no! Bullets go through doors, man!)

Now the outside guys are suspicious. They don’t think it was wind that pushed the door shut. One yells out that if somebody is in there, they don’t want any trouble and that they’re just looking for their friends. (Dave and Tony don’t say anything.) They want to know if something has happened to them. (Well, yeah. Um. Dave and Tony can’t come out right now.) They ask for help in not getting killed by the corpses outside.

Rick is literally sweating. Finally he says, “They drew on us!” For a moment Herschel looks like he’s just lost all hope at getting out of the bar alive. Then he flashes a glare at Rick. A man outside asks if Dave and Tony are in the bar and if they are alive. Rick tells them no. Two of the men outside want to leave immediately, but the other says he’s “not going to go back and tell them that Dave and Tony got shot by some assholes in a bar.” Rick yells, “Your friends drew on us! They gave us no choice! I’m sure we’ve all lost enough people, done things we wished we didn’t have to, but it’s like that now! You know that! So lets just chalk this up to what it was. Wrong place. Wrong t-.” The window above Glenn’s head is shot out before Rick can finish.

Rick stands and starts to fire out the broken window. He yells to Herschel and Glenn to get out. They run for cover as bullets smash into the bar, but are quickly pinned down. Hersch slides a shotgun to Glenn. No one has been hit, but they need a plan.

At the farm Carol goes out to where Daryl has set up camp away from the others. He’s poking a stick into the fire. (Which is what guys do when there’s a fire. There is probably a fire-poking gene.) She tells him that Lori is missing and that the others aren’t back either. His reply? “That dumb bitch musta’ gone off lookin’ for ’em.” and that Lori had asked him to go. He told her that he “was done bein’ an errand boy.” Carol is horrified that he didn’t say anything. As she walks away, she looks at his tent sitting there by itself. She stops, turns back, and tells Daryl “Don’t do this. Please? I’ve already lost my girl.” He hisses at her that “That wasn’t my problem neither.”

Everyone regroups. They haven’t found Lori. Carol tells them that Lori asked Daryl to go into town and that she must have gone herself. Carl is afraid. (Probably wondering if he is now an orphan.) Shane immediately wants to know if Dale knew about Lori leaving and if she had a gun.  Dale responds “No” and “I don’t know.” He says he wouldn’t let her go out there alone. Shane is already getting into the little green econo car. Her revs the engine, pulls a fast U-turn on the gravel, and takes off.

Rick reloads his gun and yells to the men outside “Hey! We all know this is not gonna end well! There’s nothing in it for any of us! You guys just, just back off! No one else gets hurt!” He motions to Glenn to make a run for it.

Glenn runs to a back door and opens it as quietly as possible. It’s a garage used as a storage room. The wooden stairs are creaky. He’s on edge. He hears a footfall and a tinkle of glass. Through the frosted glass on the door to the alley he can see a shape moving. The doorknob starts to turn. Glenn fires a blast through the frosted window.

Rick yells for Glenn who assures him that he’s alright. (No. He’s not. Something is wrong. He’s spooked.)

On the road to town, Shane spots Lori’s wrecked car. He gets out  and moves slowly and carefully to the scene. He kicks at the walker that Lori shot and then at the one whose eye was driven in with the blinker and who is still stuck part way through the windshield. He looks inside. No Lori. Back to the mint-green mini SUV.

In the bar Rick tells Herschel to cover Glenn while he makes a run for the car. Herschel grumbles about it. Rick admonishes the old man for not taking any of the shooting classes. (Shut up whipper snapper. Herschel grew up on a farm. Of course he can shoot.) Herschel says he can indeed shoot, he just doesn’t like to.

Herschel creeps up behind Glenn who whirls around and points his shotgun at the old man. Herschel pushes the gun barrels away from his face. Glenn apologizes. He’s told to “try to make a run to the car.” “Try?” Glenn asks. Hersch channels his inner Yoda and tells him he will try AND succeed. (“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”) Herschel tries to allay Glenn’s fear by telling him that he’ll cover him. (The look on his face says that Glenn’s fears are not allayed.) (“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”) (Glenn would probably feel much safer with a muppet covering his back.) Glenn says, sarcastically, “This is a great plan” and heads for the door.

Glenn opens the door and cautiously steps out. In the alley, he’s almost immediately fired upon, but Herschel is a deadeye and fires just once into the chest of the man who was trying to shoot Glenn. The shooter goes down, but is not dead right away. He’s screaming in agony. (Note: Check out the weird little special effect they used to show you who the gunman was and, I guess, confirm that the old man got the right guy. It looks like something from a video game.) Glenn’s feet are visible behind a dumpster. He’s not moving or talking.

Rick appears behind Herschel and asks what happened. “He tried.” Herschel says. (There IS no try according to Yoda.)

Rick, looking like a wild west sheriff, has both guns drawn, one in each hand. He moves to check on Glenn. He doesn’t make a sound when Rick asks if he’s hit. Finally he sees him. He knows Glenn froze in panic. He’s sympathetic and tells him that he’ll be fine and that they’re almost home.

Rick and Glenn start to run for the car, but are immediately driven back to the protection of the dumpster by sniper fire coming from the roof of the pharmacy. A truck screeches to a halt in front of the pharmacy. A man in the truck yells up to the sniper that rovers are everywhere and they’ve got to get out of there. The sniper wants to know where Shawn is. The man in the truck says Shawn has been shot and he’s leaving in a hurry. He yells up to the sniper to hurry and jump down from the roof. He does, but he loses control and falls into the alley next to the fabric store. He’s screaming and screaming, but you can’t tell what has happened to him. The man in the truck yells that he has to go now and that he’s sorry as he peels out of town.

The man Hersch shot continues to yell and scream. All the noise has the attention of three walkers. Glenn warns him to look out, and Herschel shoots one in the head. The other two rip the poor bastard apart. One bites his nose clean off his face.  (Well not that clean.) There are lots of wet noises, screams, and slurps as the pair continue their “Night of the Living Dead”-themed picnic. (I’m pretty sure that this is the worst picnic Shawn’s ever been to.)

Herschel tells Glenn that all the noise must have attracted the walkers. (Hey! If he’s going to have to kill them, dehumanizing them by calling them “walkers” is a good idea.) When they reach the car and Rick is not there, they realize he has gone to the sniper’s aid. In his uncontrolled fall, he managed to skewer his left leg beneath the knee on a wrought iron fence picket.

The men debate about what to do with the sniper who turns out to be a teenager. He’s scared. He’s been left for dead. He won’t shut up. Herschel thinks “putting him down” would be the least cruel option. (Yup. He’s still a vet.) Removing the lower leg is finally settled on—well not by the kid whose about to have a back-alley amputation. Doc Herschel takes off his dress shirt. Time to get down to business.

But then the locals show up. The men have walkers coming at them from all directions. Hersch has only gotten as far as the tourniquet. When he realizes that they can’t possibly hold off this many walkers, Rick grabs the sniper’s leg and jerks it up and off the wrought iron point. It’s like pulling an arrow back out instead of through. It’s gotta hurt.

Shane finds Lori walking down the center of the road. He’s concerned about her injuries and overly attentive to her belly. When he asks her what happened, she admits that she looked down at a map and hit a walker. He tells her next time to stay put and she wouldn’t need a map. She’s insistent on getting to Rick in town, but Shane tells her the guys are all back at the farm safe and sound. (At this point I’m not a fan of Shane, but he would have had to pistol whip that woman to get her to return without Rick. The lie works and Lori willingly goes with him.

At Daryl’s camp, Carol comes upon a line hung with once-cute-and-fuzzy animals. They are now creepy-furry-and-dead things. The line also includes his walker ear-collection necklace. Daryl sneaks up behind her and wants to know what she’s doing. She says she’s keeping an eye on him. He says, “Well ain’t you a peach.” He’s pissed off. He doesn’t want her help. His words are vicious, but she tells him to “go ahead.” Daryl tells her, “You’re afraid. You’re afraid ’cause you’re all alone. Got no husband. No daughter. You don’t know what to do with yourself. And you ain’t my problem. Sophia wasn’t mine.” Finally he rages at her, “All you had to do was keep an eye on her!” and she reacts like she’s been hit in the face. She has been hit in the face before. She’s tougher than his words.

Shane gets Lori back to the farm where she immediately realizes that she has been lied to. He says he’ll go back out and look for Rick, but he had to make sure she and the baby were okay first. Carl didn’t know that he was going to be a big brother. He likes the idea. She knows he has a lot of questions since they’ve never had “The Talk.” Dale doesn’t want to do it. That’s Rick’s job.

Carl asks “If the baby’s a girl, can we name her Sophia?” Lori just stares at Carl. Then Shane wants to talk with Lori alone. She’s livid about his lie, but finally agrees. Dale shoots her a meaningful glance as he leaves the room.

When they are alone he says it was one little white lie so he could get her and the baby to safety and to Carl. She brings up the fact that he told her Rick was dead instead of admitting he didn’t know, but he’s sick of hearing about that. He says that she can’t keep running off like she did. She thinks she needs Rick to keep her safe. He says that HE keeps her safe. She asks, “Like you did with Otis? What happened that night? You haven’t been the same since.” His reply is, “What happened with Otis happened because I love you. I love you. And I love Carl.”

She finally admits to him that she told Rick about everything. He wants to know what she told Rick. “That you thought you were a widow? And that you were grieving? And that the world was coming to an end? And that you needed comforting? Did you tell him it was a mistake?” Lori tells Shane that she did tell Rick she thought it was a mistake. He tells her that it isn’t true. That what they had was real. It was a long time coming and it was real. She denies it. Shane says, “It was you. And it was me. And it was Carl. And it was real. It was right. Don’t say it wasn’t.” Lori’s response is, “It wasn’t.” I call their relationship “the one good thing” that came out of everything, and says she knows it’s true. Finally he leaves.

Andrea and Maggie share a moment at Maggie’s little sister’s bed. She’s still in shock. Maggie tells the story of her sister finding her birth control pills when she came home from college. How angry her sister was with her. And how fiercely she defended her at the same time.

A group is preparing to go look for the three missing men. Dale asks Andrea if she’s sure she wants to go since Shane is at the helm. She thinks he’s done more to keep them safe than anyone. Dale knows Shane does not want Rick back. Or Herschel. “With them gone he’s got everything he wants and no one to tell him otherwise.” But Andrea says, “Shane has done more than anybody to keep this group alive, including Rick.” Dale is horrified that she really believe in Shane.

Just as the search party is about to leave, the missing men arrive. Herschel tells Patricia (Otis’s widow) to prepare the shed for surgery.  Rick is about to lay into Lori for leaving to look for him when T-Dog points to the car and says, “Who the hell is that?” Glenn answers, “That’s Randall.”

Inside a group discussion is going on about Randall. Shane thinks bringing him to the farm was like taking a hostage. That his people will come looking for him. Rick says that they couldn’t just leave him there to bleed out…or worse. Shane thinks they are living in fantasy land. But Herschel lays it out when he says that they haven’t even addressed what Shane did at his barn. He wants it clear that the farm is HIS and that he wanted Shane gone. Rick talked him out of it. He’ll go along with Shane being around as long as he keeps his mouth shut.

Daryl and Carol keep shooting each other looks. (I think they’ve done the deed!)

Maggie wants to know what’s wrong with Glenn. He tells her about freezing up when he thought of her grieving his death. She thinks that what he’s saying is beautiful. He does not feel the same. He sees it as a weakness in a world where everyone needs to be impossibly strong.

Herschel plans to give his catatonic daughter a sedative. Maggie is angry at her father for drinking. He says that was the least of his worries the day before. She was afraid that he was gone. She didn’t know what to do in his absence.

Shane and Andrea commiserate about their status in the group. Andrea thinks he makes the right calls but his delivery of his message to the group is why he rankles people. They both think Randall is bad news and they’ll end up with a war on their hands if they go along with the plan to fix him up and send him on his way. (Since Randall has been incapacitated or blindfolded the whole time, he does not know where the farm is.) Shane tells Andrea that they should have left when they had the chance.

Lori tells Rick that they need to talk about Shane. She tells him that Shane thinks the baby is his, but she says that no matter what, the baby is Rick’s. He’s fine with that. Lori calls Shane delusional and dangerous. She tells him about the lies he’s told and that he’s threatened Dale and Herschel. He scares everybody including her. She mentions his behavior at the barn. And finally Lori tells Rick that she thinks Shane killed Otis. She thinks he left him behind because he loves her and thinks that they are supposed to be together no matter what.

Rick admits to killing the living to protect what is his. Lori is scared because she knows Shane thinks she is his. He thinks the baby is his. Lori tells Rick that Shane says he can’t protect his family and that he’s going to get them killed. “He’s dangerous, Rick. And he won’t stop.”

Coming up next week… 
Who wants to vote Shane off the farm?
When do we get to see Daryl get some Carol?
Who will teach poor little Carl where babies come from?