What up, TWD-ers. This is your minicap for episode 207, aka “Pretty Much Dead Already”, aka the Midseason Finale.
Hoo boy, what an episode that was. In a season that’s lacked much momentum, a lot of shit sure goes down.
This week’s episode opens with Glenn. The rest of Team Rick is having breakfast around the campfire, and he’s got an announcement to make: he’s finally decided to tell them that Dr. Greene’s barn is full of zombies. So now, everyone knows. All the other concerns, like Lori’s pregnancy or Sophia being missing, are put on the back burner while they try to figure this out.
On one side of the debate is Rick. Above all he knows they have to stay at the Greene’s farm because it’s the only suitable place in the world for Lori to give birth. They’ll all have to do what it takes to stay, even if it means respecting Dr. Greene’s twisted logic that mandates zombie be treated like people. On the other side is Shane. These zombies are an immediate threat. Either they ignore Dr. Greene and kill the zombies immediately, or they leave the farm. There can’t be compromise. It’s your basic idealism vs. realism conflict we’ve seen throughout the show: does Team Rick fight to uphold human decency, or does it do anything to survive?
But Rick knows that whatever he thinks is immaterial because he still hasn’t gotten Dr. Greene’s permission for everyone to stay on the farm. He and Dr. Greene have gone back and forth over this for the past few weeks, and now it’s time to settle things once and for all. Rick begs Dr. Greene to reconsider. Dr. Greene has been isolated on the farm since Wildfire hit, and Rick tries to explain to him just how awful the world is now. Dr. Greene won’t budge. In his mind, he’s given Rick and his flock more than enough help. Rick has two more cards to play, and he plays them both. First, he reveals that he knows about Dr. Greene’s secret stash of zombies in the barn. That only pisses Dr. Greene off more. Then, he reveals that Lori is pregnant. And even that won’t do it.
Rick returns to Shane in defeat. Shane thinks Dr. Greene’s refusal makes their decision pretty straightforward, and he can’t figure out why Rick is so hung up on staying on the farm. It’s here that Rick tells Shane about Lori’s pregnancy—until now Shane hadn’t known. That changes things.
Shane goes straight to Lori—after all, in Shane’s mind at least, there’s a good chance the baby is his. And even though Lori tells him flat-out that he’s not the father, Shane’s paternal instincts are in full force now. He now believes they must stay on the Greene’s farm. But there won’t be any compromises. The zombies have to go, Dr. Greene’s rules be damned.
Meantime, Dale approaches Andrea to talk about her tryst with Shane last week. Andrea bristles. She thinks Dale is just being his usual overprotective, avuncular self. But it’s more than that. Dale’s always been firmly on Rick’s side of the debate and felt that they should always be ethical no matter what. Last week Dale finally realized that Shane is the antithesis of that mindset, and now he realizes that Shane is getting his hooks into Andrea. Dale doesn’t like the direction the group is headed in, and there’s only one thing left he can do…
Shane finds Dale in a nearby marsh, about to dump the group’s gun stash. Dale thinks that the only way to avoid violence is by getting rid of their weapons. But Shane won’t let him do that. He demands the guns, and lets Dale know that the only way he’s giving up is if Dale shoots him. Dale aims his rifle at Shane’s chest…and he can’t pull the trigger. Dale tries to maintain moral superiority, but Shane isn’t interested. He heads back to camp and begins handing out the guns. They’re going to take care of the barn problem.
Quickly, over to the subplots before our grand finale…
The Sophia matter is still unresolved, and with everyone focused on the zombies-in-the-barn problem, only Daryl seems to be concerned about the girl any more. He’s determined to continue looking, even if he’s nowhere near recovered enough from his injuries. Carol doesn’t want him to go back out into the woods. She claims it’s because she’s worried for Daryl’s safety, but the real reason, she later admits, is that she’s beginning to lose hope herself. Only later, when Daryl finds a second Cherokee rose for her, does her optimism return. (By the way, this subplot doesn’t seem clumsy because I wrote it that way. That’s how it actually is. Seriously, rehashing the Cherokee rose thing?)
Maggie is hella pissed at her Dad for being so stubborn. She thinks kicking them off the farm is a pretty dickish move, and Jesus would never do something like that. But she’s still hella pissed at Glenn for betraying her trust and telling Rick and Shane about the zombies. Glenn initially tries to shift responsibility—she put him in an unfair position in the first place and he wasn’t strong enough to keep the secret. But then, he nuts up. Yeah, he told the others, because he wanted to. Glenn knows the zombies are dangerous, even if they’re locked inside a barn. That makes them a threat to Maggie, and Glenn wants her safe. Her heart melts.
And now, the finale! Dr. Greene has taken Maggie’s admonishment to heart. Maybe it IS unchristian to kick Rick and his people off the farm, especially since Lori is pregnant. But Dr. Greene has a little problem to take care of first, and he asks Rick for help. Off in the swamp, (away from where Shane and Dale are having their spat, I think), a couple zombies have gotten stuck in the muck. This has happened before. Dr. Greene needs Rick to help him fit collars around the zombie’s collars, drag them onto land, and take them back to the barn. And he’s going to let them stay, but only under the condition that they leave the damn zombies alone. Rick agrees.
But Shane and the other members of Team Rick are still back at the house, armed, ornery, and thirsty for zombie blood, and the sight of Rick, Dr. Greene, and Jimmy the farmboy is too much. Shane tears off across the field. He’s going to show Dr. Greene once and for all that zombies aren’t people, and to prove it he shoots one of the zombies about five times in the chest. Obviously, it doesn’t die. That ain’t natural. Shane puts it out of its misery.
And THEN, Shane runs over to the barn. Rick tries to stop him, but he takes a pickaxe to the doors. Everyone else in the group joins them just as the zombies start to emerge. They all raise their weapons and mow the zombies down. Dr. Greene and Rick look on with horror
All the zombies are dead now, a dozen or more. It was easy. Even the milder members of Team Rick, like T-Dog and Glenn, managed to put the zombies down without much thought. It looks like pragmatism is the new group philosophy.
Except one final zombie emerges from the barn. Sophia. A while back, when they were first planning their search for Sophia, this very issue came up: to do if she turned into a zombie? Shane was confident he’d be able to put Zombie Sophia down, but now, not so much.
And that’s when Rick steps forward, draws his .357, and blows her brains out.
So, we’ll see you Tuesday for the full recap. Being that this is out “Midseason Finale”, we won’t be getting any more new episodes until February 2012. (But it’ll still be Season Two).
And in the meantime you can get caught up here.