Hey, TWD-fans! Welcome to the second half of Season Two. When we last left the show in early December, Rick and his tribe of survivors had found their way to a secluded farm owned by the Greene family. After many episodes of dicking around, finally it came to light that Herschel Greene was hiding a bunch of his zombiefied family members in his barn in the hopes that a cure for the Wildfire virus would be discovered. Shane responded by going apeshit and instigating a Great Zombie Massacre.
The Second Half of Season Two (or “TSHOST” as it’s not being called), aka Season Two Episode 8, begins immediately after the massacre. Rick is still holding his gun over the body of Zombie Sophia, whom he’s just blown away.
So everyone has a lot of freaking out to do. Herschel and his family are appalled and Herschel orders Rick and his people off their farm, effective immediately. But it seems like Herschel’s just blowing off steam because Team Rick doesn’t really take the order seriously. Instead, everyone sets about cleaning up the mess they’ve made. It’s decided that they will bury the bodies of the zombies they knew (Sophia, Mrs. Herschel, and some guy named Shawn), and burn the ones of those they don’t. They hold a short service at the burial site, but Carol stays in the RV because she refuses to mourn a zombie.
Aside from the burials, Team Rick has to adjust to the changing power dynamic. By instigating the massacre, Shane usurped Rick’s authority–Herschel AND Rick tried to stop him. So what now? It’s complicated. Just about everyone agrees with what Shane did, since, you know, having a barn full of zombies 100 yards from where you sleep is pretty dangerous. And Shane refuses to apologize, flat-out telling Rick that he’s had problems with Rick’s leadership for a while now, specifically Rick’s inability to make tough decisions. But nothing officially changes and the issue is left hanging there.
So Dale tries to put his thumb on the scale. In the first half of this season, when Shane returned from the FEMA camp without Otis, Dale suspected Shane murdered him. Then when Dale confronted Shane, Shane never denied it. He just said he “did what had to be done”. (Which is the recurring theme with Shane). And now Dale tells Lori what he suspects. He can’t prove any of it, but he’s planted the seed in Lori’s mind. In Dale’s mind Shane is dangerous and threatens the group.
Meanwhile, Herschel’s response to the massacre is altogether different. He’s disappeared. Maggie thinks he might have gone into town to drink at his favorite bar, which his a big deal because Herschel swore off alcohol the day she was born. So clearly he’s pretty upset. To make matters worse, Herschel’s other daughter Beth collapses and falls into some kind of PTSD trance, and it’s shaping up to be yet another medical emergency on the farm. They need Herschel’s medical skills and they need them now. So Rick and Glen venture into town to look for him.
They do in fact find him at the bar, and he’s been getting plastered. Partly Herschel feels like a total failure to the people under his responsibility: his refusal to accept that zombies are not people kept the zombies nearby and put his family in danger (I bet Rick can identify with those feelings right about now). But more than that, the massacre totally shattered Herschel’s own hope of survival. He now believes Wildfire is the end of the world. So he’s tying one off.
Rick trots out his reliable speech about humanity’s responsibility to persevere even in the face of certain doom. It’s worked two or three times before and this time is no different. More interestingly, back at the farm Lori has grown impatient waiting for Rick to come back, so she gets in a car and drives to town herself. And sure enough, the moment she takes her eyes off the road to look at a map, a zombie crosses in her way. She hits it at full speed, loses control, and flips the car. Looks like Team Rick will have to stick around the farm for a few more episodes while she recovers.
Back at the bar, Rick, Glen, and Herschel are visited by a couple strangers: Dave and Tony, from Philly. Right away Rick smells trouble. Dave is a little too slick. He tells them all he and Tony have been through, but keeps things really vague. And he tells Rick how he heard Fort Benning has been overrun, which, if true, totally screws up Rick’s plan to get everyone to safety. Eventually Dave gets to the point: he takes a keen interest in where Rick and co. are staying, and what kinds of provisions they have. Rick volunteers nothing, but Dave correctly guesses they have a nearby farm and asks if he and Tony can join them. And it’s clear from his demeanor and body language that “No” is not an answer.
So, when Rick tells them “No”, a gunfight ensues. It’s pretty one-sided as Rick goes all Dirty Harry on their asses. Zombie killing is one thing, but Rick seems to have no qualms about putting down a couple healthy guys if they threaten his family. There might not be hope for them now that the Fort Benning plan is scratched, but at least Rick is proving he can get shit done when he has to.
Full recap tomorrow!
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