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If you’re like the majority of the show’s fans and hate Hershel Greene’s farm, you’re in luck because it’s not long for this world. As we left off last week, Rick and Carl are walking back to the farm house and on their heels is an enormous horde of the zombies. They can’t get to the farm house in time, so they take refuge in the barn.
Meanwhile the rest of the group doesn’t know anything since Rick, Shane, Glen, and Daryl went off to look for Randall last week. Glen and Daryl return at this point, but they don’t have time to give an update before they too notice the incoming horde. So, the group quickly comes up with a plan to get in the cars and lure the zombies away from the farm. Inside the barn, Rick and Carl lure a handful of zombies inside and set the barn on fire, but now they’re trapped on the roof.
Since everyone is in the dark about each other, everything is quickly descending into chaos. Lori just now notices that Carl is missing. She didn’t realize he snuck out of the house during the manhunt for Randall, and she doesn’t know he and his dad are just a couple hundred yards away. So, she frantically searchesfor her son while the rest of Team Rick and Team Hershel are trying to figure out what the heck to do. Their plan to lure the zombies away turns out to be a complete flop, so their only option left is to flee.
Carol has to pry Lori away from her search to get her to leave, but soon a group of zombies scatters them. Patricia gets eaten. T-Dog rescues Lori and Beth and they get to safety. Daryl rides up on his motorcycle and saves Carol just as she’s about to be grabbed. And Andrea, sadly, is left behind.
Meanwhile, Jimmy, who’s driving the RV, decides to check out the barn fire to see if Rick might be involved, and luckily, he spots Rick and Carl on the roof. They jump onto the RV to safety, but inside, Jimmy is consumed by the zombies. Rick and Carl haul ass to the farm house on foot. Now it’s deserted except for Hershel, who refuses to abandon his home. They have to yank him into a truck and book it.
The next day, Rick, Carl, and Hershel make it to the spot on the highway where they left supplies for Sophia. This is the closest they had to a designated meeting place in case the farm were to be overrun, so right now they have no idea if they’ll even see anyone else again. So now they have to wait in an exposed position for an increasingly unlikely reunion. Hershel tries to get Rick to take Carl someplace safe, and Carl tries to get Rick to go back to the farm to look for Lori, but luckily, right about now the others show up.
After the tearful reunion, they quickly get back on the road, heading vaguely east, but it’s not long before Rick runs out of gas. Now they have to stop and decide for sure what comes next. Rick refuses to even consider splitting up the group for any reason, so he decides they’ll camp overnight and find more gas in the morning. Then, Glen and Daryl tell the others what they found in the woods: Randall dead of a broken neck, and zombiefied without any bite marks. They reason that Shane must have killed Daryl but can’t figure out how Randall turned zombie, so here Rick drops a bombshell: the secret Jenner told him in the Season One finale. Basically, everyone is already infected with Wildfire, but the disease is activated by your death, so basically everyone is waiting to turn zombie. The rest of the group is really pissed with Rick for not telling them. That, plus their lack of a new overall plan, has them fed up with Rick’s leadership.
It gets worse. Rick takes Lori aside and confesses that he killed Shane—and, more importantly, Rick doesn’t see himself as entirely blameless in the matter. He admits that he figured out pretty quickly that Shane had designs on killing him, and he never stopped it from happening. Lori is horrified, and for once, doesn’t support her husband.
So Rick’s at the end of his rope. When he discovers the group’s mutinous leanings, he tells them too that he killed Shane for the good of the group, and he expresses his frustration with their lack of confidence in him. Things haven’t been GREAT, but he’s kept them alive for a good while now. He deserves another term in office. He challenges anyone who feels differently to leave the group. None do. Rick decides things will be a little less democratic from now on.
As the camera fades out, it reveals something just a few miles away from Team Rick’s campsite: a huge, intact prison. Readers of the graphic novel will know what that means.
As for Andrea…she managed to escape the farm into the woods, but zombies have been chasing her all day and eventually she runs out of ammo. And with a final zombie standing over her licking its chops, she’s saved at the last minute. By a strange hooded figure with a sword. Also, the sword person has two armless zombie slaves in chains. Readers of the graphic novel will know what that means, too.
And that’s your season finale. Check back Tuesday for the full post-mortem.