SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Phew. This week was much better than last week. I feel like with Dale out of the way, the remaining characters are far less annoying. Glen is still acting weird around Maggie and I'm really not sure why. I can only hope that the scene where Daryl and Glen were out searching in the dark for Randall and Glen took a machete to a walker's face helped give him a little self-confidence. T-Dog has just been awesome for pretty much this entire season, even though he gets the least camera time out of everyone. I really sympathized with Andrea in this episode more so than I have lately too. I don't mind the characters reflecting on the loss of Dale, because he was an important character in their group (serving as the last voice of either reason or naivety depending on how you look at it). Honestly, I'm just glad I don't have to listen to his annoying self-righteous rants anymore.
This episode was not about any of these characters though, as once again Shane and Rick occupy the limelight. Carl and Lori also play key roles, namely setting into motion the events that occured throughout the intense second half of the episode.
|"I wish I could say something more profound." "Me too dad, me too."|
Speaking of Carl, what is this kid's deal? Why does no one seem to want to watch this young kid in the middle of a zombie apocalypse? After having a somewhat awkward conversation with Lori, Shane finally snaps and puts into motion his plan to eliminate Rick and apparently win Carl and Lori in the process. He was clearly delusional at this point, and what Lori said to him earlier in the day certainly played a part in that. Shane brought Randall out into the woods, broke his neck, smashed his own face against a tree to give the illusion of a struggle, and then ran back to camp to say that he had been overpowered and that Randall was out there somewhere with his gun. If that sounds crazy, it's because it was.
|"Sorry that skinny kid kicked my ass Rick. If we keep going far enough into the woods I'm sure we'll find him though."|
Apparently Daryl is the only person with a functioning brain left in his head though, because he was the only one that saw through Shane's plan. Eventually, Shane pulls his gun on Rick and spills his master plan. I was a little confused as to why Rick just circled around, it was pretty clear that Shane intended to kill him. Thankfully, he delayed it long enough for Rick to move in close and kill him with a knife (was that really more humane Rick?). Of course Carl was standing right there when it happened as he has always seemed to be doing during any scene where Rick is stuck with a difficult decision. Who let him out of the boarded up house though, honestly? I'm beginning to think Carl is just a ninja, and that no walls or babysitters can contain him.
Carl's weirdness aside, this was a great episode, and the hoard on the horizon set up the season finale beautifully. Shit is going to go down, there is no question about that. The finale's title "Beside the Dying Fire" leads me to believe that the farm will be lost. I've assumed all along that this was just a temporary situation, but it will be interesting to see what happens with Hershel and his family. More characters will die next week, I'd be willing to bet on that. Things will get worse before they get any better, and I fully expect the finale to shock and delight fans of the series, as well as leave us all salivating for the third season.