After a slow, adequate build of festering emotions, terrifying tension, and situational frustration The Walking Dead in all of its zombiefied glory led up to an episode with monumental pay off for those fans that choose to stick around and wait it out. Secrets are uncovered and the whole barn situation escalates into a monstrosity of consequences and one of the series’ most intense and well-executed sequences since the pilot aired.
We all love watching these characters weave in and out of danger, from zombie presences to their own disturbed minds and natural human stupidity. However, this barn situation is on an entirely new level of messed up. And messed up barn situations do not need to be pondered on by a man veering on clinically manic. A man like Shane, who didn’t do anyone any favors this installment.
Some may have found themselves impatient and complaining about the dragging storyline that was centered around finding Carol’s little girl, Sophia; however, I found myself thankful of the slow affective pace the writers chose to take this particular plot. It all ended with quite a bang and was worth the wait. Who can’t say all of that build up was done with great poise?
Shane. This man might be the death of them all. And yet, some will say that what he did and what he’s going to do in the near future when The Walking Dead returns next year, is going to keep the gang alive and on their toes. This debate could go on for hours. Shane went all rabid dog this episode and it was very intriguing to watch. That being said, this guy is a train wreck and I consider myself to be in the group of individuals that think this hot-head will only lead the group to their deaths in the end. Dale makes monumental points to and about Shane in this installment. This world has changed Shane and his morals. Maybe this abrasive version of Shane was always in him, just lying dormant until awoken by the vicious clamor of the zombie apocalypse. Looking back at the entire Otis situation, I’d say Shane only did what he did to prove to Lori that he was man enough and tougher than Rick, in order to get back into her good graces. He wasn’t doing that for anybody but himself, and he very well could have helped Otis, without getting eaten, but choose not to. So, what if someone else from the group holds him back like Dale has been trying to? Will Shane take them out? Of course not in front of everybody else, but Shane is not the most trustworthy guy. Nearly raping Lori, taking aim at Rick, threatening Dale, shooting Otis just to prove a petty point to Lori and Carl. To prove that he’s the better man. Shane is unhinged. And his last act in this installment proves that his loud abrasive behavior can come across as the only right behavior, when a rabid man forces the group’s hand. The entire last eight or so minutes was Shane near brainwashing the group to kill the walkers against their better judgment of waiting and using brains, instead of crazed brawn and guns. All of which left Hershel shaken to his breaking point. Will he finally snap? No doubt there will be consequences for Shane’s demonstration.
Rick. He may not be the best leader, but he’s trying and he has more of a diplomatic way of doing things than his so-called brother does, Shane. While I agree that the barn of zombies is dangerous, Shane was not looking at all the angles of the situation. It is better to be in a group, watched over by many than to be thrown back out onto the streets left for dead with less. Rick sees the angles, but I’m not sure he even knew what to do with them. In the end, all he can do is beg for Hershel’s forgiveness. Maggie, is left torn between what is right and what her guardian believes to be right. The way the world is now has changed people and the way they think about others as well as their situations, how they deal with them, and their perceptions. This is dangerous. With so many angles to look at this situation, Rick falls into helping Hershel capture more zombies, which was almost a little embarrassing to watch. I’m not sure if anyone else felt this while watching, but as Rick and Hershel made their way back to the farm with their wrangled zombies, I was a bit embarrassed for Rick, knowing how Shane and the others would react. It is a bit shocking how they seem to harvest the walkers…Which leads me to wonder if Hershel really knew about zombie Sophia or just disregarded it altogether. Is he more menacing than we are led to believe? Rick being pushed into a corner by many situations and the load he’s carrying on his back has to make you wonder, if the sheriff has lost his luster.
Then there is the pregnancy, which may just be Shane’s. That’s a bit of news Lori is not ready to hear or except, and I do not blame her. Shane seems adamant on reminding her of them and their dalliance behind Rick’s back. I’m still wondering if Carl will ever find out and what his reaction might be. And who is to ever know if the pregnancy is Rick’s or Shane’s conception? And will Rick ever confront Shane about it? About everything? Surely, their brotherhood is being a little torn right now.
So in the end, some may thank Shane for actually taking action instead of pondering what to do about Hershel’s barn of zombie family members and friends, but damn him if there are those out there that think this will not end in some serious consequences for both sides. And when it comes to the end, finally finding Sophia in the worst possible way, well, not even Shane could step up to do what had to be done in the end. No one else wanted to shoot Carol’s little girl. Maybe what Hershel was saying about not being able to kill their zombified family members really resonated with them, after seeing someone they knew and cared about as a walker. Rick was the only one who could do it, he was the only one who could shoot Sophia. Which makes him the leader, still. Shane is no leader, and no one else has the balls to do what really must be done. Not yet. So, thanks Shane for all the action, but you then proved to everyone that your leadership is only to benefit yourself. He’s really quite selfish if you think about it.
All of this drama and violence and for those last eight or so minutes of pure tension and intensity, well The Walking Dead’s midseason finale earns a 5 out of 5 stars! Now we wait. The Walking Dead returns February 12th, 2012. Hopefully, the end of the world will refrain from interfering.
Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a comment!