*** The Walking Dead airs on AMC and can be found on channels 16 for Insight Communications Customers and channel 54 for Time Warner Customers . For HD channel versions, check your local cable or satellite provider for more information. ***
AMC’s The Walking Dead s mid-season finale/fall finale came to a close with the episode ‘Pretty Much Dead Already’. For a season that seems dragging a bit, as we search for Sophia, learn that Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) is pregnant with what is probably Shane (Jon Bernthal)’s baby, and settle on Herschel’s farm, the mid-season finale/fall finale hit all the sweet spots in ‘Pretty Much Dead Already’.
The most horrible and frustrating character this season has been Shane, and it was great to see him finally go bonkers, when it was revealed that Herschel (Scott Wilson) who, in the first appearance when he agreed to let our heroes stay on his farm, to not go near the barn, which we now know has walkers/zombies in them. Shane, who has spiraled out of control further and further into madness, is further set into motion when Lori tells Shane about the baby. Well, Rick actually tells Shane, but Shane goes into full-blown evil-mode.
And I guess, while it had been slow this season so far, the slow burn paid off, as Shane, in a fit of rage and stupidity, unlocked the barn letting the walkers go so he could lead the charge in killing them. Only thing was, as Rick, Maggie and Herschel watched in horror as they gunned down the walkers coming out one by one, was they didn’t expect Sophia to be in the barn with them. When Sophia came out, not even Shane would or could try to raise his arm and discharge his weapon. It was Rick, someone who had been fighting so hard to help keep the peace and keep his people on the farm away from the rest of the world, finally succumbing to do the one thing no one else would do.
The great thing and also at the same, the worst thing about a tv show like The Walking Dead is we see the beauty and horror of human nature. Rick and Shane truly are, and I was discussing this the other day, a wonderful example of nature vs. nurture. White vs. Black, good vs. evil, and yin and yang; they are the basis that is forming between Shane and Rick, and what’s worse, Shane somehow won over the argument as he led the group in killing the walkers as they emerged one by one. Glenn, who cares for Maggie, waited at least for her consent before he fired.
Herschel was finally opening up to them, allowing them to stay if Rick helped them bring Walkers into the barn and not harm them. To see Scott Wilson’s performance as the Walkers, people he knew, his wife being one of them, shot down in cold sight was just down right terrifying. Shane losing his shit as he did, was intense and while I agree with some of his points, it was, like Rick would say, not the way to go. If the writers are trying to make me hate Shane, and wish him to die by the end of Season 2, they’ve succeeded.
The final moments of the episode, with everyone in awe and silence as we pan back from the farm and the scene of dead walkers, including the body of young Sophia, was haunting and tragically beautiful and reminds me why The Walking Dead with when it works, it just works.
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