The deal of Dale sparked a lot of change within the group, and lot of the same old issues resurfaced. There was still Randall to deal with, but now there was the fact that Hershel's farm is becoming less and less of a safe haven from the walkers. Here's some of the key things that went down.
- Rick gave a touching eulogy at Dale's funeral which was awesomely spliced with Shane, Andrea, T-Dog (2 episodes in a row folks!), and Glenn patroling and whacking some zombies. Rick is determined to not let Dale die in vain. He wants to prove him wrong that this group is not broken. So yeah, the whole "humanity before cold-blooded survivalist" debate will continue on throughout the show.
- Hershel, after many many many many episodes of hemming and hawing, finally broke down and let everyone move into the farm house. They figure it's their best line of defense against the imminent threats. Hershel offered up his bedroom to Lori and Rick with the whole "baby on the way" thing. We even found out he spent many a night on the couch anyway. And T-Dog got a line folks! He offered to take the bedroom if no one else was gonna sleep in it. Awww what a guy! (I have read that T-Dog will once again become a prominent figure in the finale, so no fear!) Oh right, and Maggie offered for Glenn to move into her room with her. Glenn totally shot her down! Probably being more of a gentleman in her dad's house and all, but come on Glenn! It's the zombie apocalypse!
- Rick has changed his tune again on Randall. He is planning to bring Daryl with him to set Randall loose somewhere. It's the humane thing to do. It's what Dale wanted done. Shane got his "crazy face" on again and was obviously totally against this decision. Rick also, without saying it, thanks Daryl for taking care of Dale the night before. Daryl says you're welcome without saying it stating that there's no need for Rick to carry all of the weight. Awww...a new bro bond! I see a new Jack/Sawyer love/hate relationship forming before our eyes.
- Meanwhile, it didn't take Carl too long to come clean about his accidental involvement in Dale's death. He explained the whole deal to Shane and gave him Daryl's gun. Naturally, Shane went right to Rick to prove to him how bad of a parent he is. (well, baby steps to eventually yell at him during the full moon later that night) So, Rick was in the know about Carl. And he went to Carl to have a heart to heart. It was a touching scene that every father and son have. You know, when he hands you your first gun and says that everyone's going to die so let's just stay alive as long as we can. Inspiring words DAD! To his credit, he said he didn't have the way with words that his father had. Then again, his father didn't have to lead a band of survivors through such times either. (note, no one told Daryl that Carl had his gun. Shane gave Daryl Dale's gun instead.)
- Andrea and Glenn have a nice moment remembering Dale. The RV wouldn't start. Andrea remembered Dale's trick to start it as did Glenn. But Glenn remembered that he had to do some screwdrivering on the engine/battery to get the points uncorroded. Andrea couldn't help but smile. Glenn felt that he let Dale down in the end with voting against him. Andrea said she has her regrets too but feels like Dale knew how much they cared for him. And just like that, they fixed the RV and got the thing running. awwww
- The minute I knew something was going to happen this episode is when Lori, after 2 seasons worth of "keeping in her true feelings" finally vented to Shane. She apologized and started to look at things from his point of view. She admitted she didn't know who the father of her unborn child is and knew that must be killing Shane. She thanked him for everything he did to keep her and Carl alive when they thought Rick was dead. The final moments of the episode, in hindsight, could be looked at as Shane begging to be taken out of the equation because he knew he was a liability. But there will be plenty of time to debate that after I actually talk about that moment in the recap.
- Shane took an opportunity when no one was watching Randall, to go in and face him himself. There was a very strange moment where he was staring at Randall and slapping himself in the face. He was either getting himself psyched up to shoot the guy and be done with it. Or something was changing inside of him. Since there was finally a reveal in this episode, we can discuss some stuff that is just like the book in a few bullets. But, there may be more of a twist brewing here. Maybe not though. I'm just taking my cues from some discussion on the "TALKING DEAD" talk show. Chuck's Zach Levi was all "conspiracy theories" last night and had some crazy thoughts.
- Anyway, Shane was going to shoot Randall, but then saw the scrapes on his wrist from trying to break free from the cuffs. He had a better idea. He took him out into the woods. Found out some details on where the rest of his crew was (camped out off the highway like 5 miles away). Shane said he wanted to be part of their crew. Randall seemed to change his tune right away. Maybe an indication that he would never betray his crew. Maybe not. Anyway, it didn't matter, Shane snapped his neck and that was the end of Randall! (well, sorta)
- T-Dog went to get Randall for Daryl and Rick. A little nod to a probable major character in season 3, he says "The 'Governnor' called. You're off the hook!" Of course, Randall wasn't there causing pandemoneum with the group. Shane returns to see the chaos, hides his gun and tells one whopper of a story! Randall broke loose from the cuts and clocked Shane in the face breaking his nose. (oh yeah, did I forget to mention Shane slammed his face into a tree?)
- Rick and Shane go out with Glenn and Daryl and they split off into those respective pairings to comb the forest! ("comb the desert you hear me? COMB THE DESERT!" Anyone notice Spaceballs has been on HBO like non-stop these days?)
- Glenn and Daryl stumble upon Randall's blindfold and a bloody tree. Hmmm. Oh wait and there's WALKER RANDALL!! Wait a sec, he wasn't bitten! Wait a minute, what about those cops a couple episodes that onl had scratches on them? Huh?!?! But without having time to think about it, Glenn and Daryl are fighting for their lives. Glenn ends up giving Randall an ax to the head, followed by a complimentary "NICE" from Daryl. Aww everyone is getting along again!
- That is everyone except our 2 alpha males who just happened to be walking out into a huge full-moon for one heckuva final showdown. Rick and already speculated that Shane was lying. And he knew what was happening here. Shane was ready to once and for all get rid of his best friend. Finally, all of those frustrations brewing on both sides came to the surface. Rick said that Shane wouldn't be a happy man living someone else's life with his 2 children and his wife. He knew Shane wouldn't be able to live with this. Shane called Rick an awful leader and an awful parent. But then, Shane put his gun away and started begging Rick to take some action and shoot him. And here's where we could argue, maybe Shane did want to be taken out. Of course, that didn't last and the gun was back on Rick.
- Rick played a little trickery on Shane. He said he'd have to kill an unarmed man. He walked slowly to Shane to hand him his gun. And when Shane grabbed it, Rick took his knife and stabbed Shane in the heart! (also could have been to avoid drawing the walkers from all over town) Rick yelled and Shane "You made me do this!! Damn you! This was you not me! Not me!!!" Manly cries filled the night. And before we had a chance to be sad for Shane's loss, here comes Carl all confused and what not. He pulls his new gun on his father (or at least it seemed he did). Rick says that it's not what Carl thinks and to put the gun down. But at this point, surely everyone knew what was going to happen with the non-brain trauma killed Shane, right? Walker Shane has risen and is coming right towards Rick! OH BOY!!!! Carl, taking all the knowledge he got from Shane's target shooting practice and gun training, shot right past he father's shoulder and right into Shane's head. (cue Back to the Future II reference. "I'm a crack shot at this!" Ahh good ol Wild Gunman.)
- And thus, the gunshot heard round the world awoken 100s (HUNDREDS!!!) of walkers just standing around in the forest. And they're all coming right towards Shane and Carl!! OH BOY!!!!
Then there's the whole TWIST! I had read in a recap earlier this season on EW.com or somewhere that in the novels, there is eventually a reveal that everyone that dies eventually becomes a walker. This threw me off because of the whole highway scene in the first episode. But we were confused why it looked like all of these humans were brutally killed. Maybe someone came around and killed them before they could turn. Who knows? Anyway, they have been leading up to this reveal all season. The scratches on the cops, not to mention everyone talking of killing themselves to avoid the walker fate. That discussion will most definitely change now! Now, Robert Kirkman would not confirm that this is what CDC's Jenner whispered to Rick in the season 1 finale. But he did say that Shane's death will lend itself to the reveal of what he whispered. (The whisper will be revealed next Sunday, it has been promised) So this is where they were speculating on TALKING DEAD that maybe it has something to do with what state your SOUL is in when you die. Randall and Shane were both sketchy figures vs. Dale who was righteous. Then again, Daryl shot Dale in the head so he wasnt' coming back. I don't think it will be that complicated. I think it's ANYONE that dies becomes a walker. And this gives credibilty to the title of the show, the WALKING DEAD (kudos to regular blog viewer/commenter AuStarWars for that observation made via email).
And that's all I have folks! Definitely lots to discuss/debate. So get to it! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and see you next week for the finale!