The Walking Dead: Ricktater Salad and/or A Farewell to Farms.
This week on the season finale of The Walking Dead: Red shirts die, people cry, and the group says bye-bye (to Hershel’s place). Also, MICHONNE!
All this and more after the jump…
This week’s episode starts deep in the heart of Dixie, where we see a small group of walkers enjoying an amuse-bouche when a helicopter flies overhead. This group tells two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on and so on and before you know it, we have a growing herd of walkers walking their collective asses out of the city and back to Green Acres.
By the time the herd reaches the fence surrounding Hershel’s part of the country, they’ve grown to at least a few dozen in number, when they decide to do their best impression of an English soccer mob and break on through to the other side. (I almost went with a joke about seeing The Who in Cincinnati, but common decency – and the chance to make fun of hooligans – won out.)
Silly Hershel. You put your sign on the wrong side of the fence.
Eventually, the herd ends up in the nearby woods when they hear Carl’s shot as he rekills Shane. Why didn’t they hear Shane’s gunshot just a few minutes before Carl’s? Who knows. Ours is not to question zombie logic, or the writer’s inability to stick to their own set of rules. As one, they turn and start shuffling toward the farmhouse.
In the Killing Field, father and son are heading back home when Carl asks what happened to Shane. Just as Rick is about to break down and confess that Shane slipped and fell on his knife – repeatedly – they catch wind of the horde coming up behind them. Oh wait, they’re not just behind them now, they’re all around. Rick and Carl are surrounded! How did that happen so fast? Like I said, ours is not to question. Suffice to say, Rick and Carl are in deep doo-doo, so they make like Brave Sir Robin and run away.
Back at the farmhouse, Daryl and Glenn return and tell everyone how they found an unbitten zombie-Randall, and how Daryl’s tracking skills led him to deduce that not only did Shane kill Randall, he also stole three picanic baskets. Lori asks Daryl to go find Rick and Shane, and Glenn and Maggie are all like yay, someone else has to go on a dangerous mission, and Daryl is all like sniff-sniff-track, and Andrea is all like oh shit, zombies, and Hershel is all like “Hey you walkers, get offa my lawn!” and the walkers are all like, “BRAAAAIIINNNSSSS!”
So what’s the plan? Well, if you paid attention last week, you’ll remember that Hershel had the foresight to stash a bunch of food and water in the basement and board up all the windows and doors so they could make a stand in case something like this happened. So of course, they decide to hop in their cars and start shooting random walkers instead.
Meanwhile, rather than just hiding in the rafters of the barn, Rick decides he should set the barn on fire. While he and Carl are still inside. They douse the floor in gasoline and Rick sends Carl up the ladder. He’s supposed to drop the lighter when Rick gives him the signal. Fortunately it’s a magic lighter that doesn’t blow out when Carl drops it 20 feet to the ground below. Together, father and son watch the flames and make some s’mores.
Lori finally realizes that Carl’s missing – AGAIN – and starts screaming that nobody can leave until they find him. (Lori < Best Mother in the World.) Carol tries to calm her down and finally talks her into running away. Hershel, meanwhile, is blasting the shit out of anything without a pulse using his version of Carl's magic lighter: a magic shotgun that never runs out of ammo.
Daryl sees the barn is burning and sends Hershel's red-shirted son in the RV to go pick up Rick and Carl. They make it onto the roof of the RV, but then rather than just drive, the kid opens the door and lets in a handful of walkers, who help themselves to a handful of the kid's guts. Worst. Campground. Host. Ever.
“This is the LAST time we stay in a KOA.”
Glenn and Maggie are driving around when Maggie freaks out and says they can’t make it any further, which makes no sense because she’s in a car and the walkers aren’t. Just run over ‘em, toots. And pick me up some smokes while you’re out.
Carol, Lori and Hershel’s two girls not named Maggie take off running, when one of the red-shirts gets her throat ripped out by a group of walkers. I know it’s supposed to be moving and all, but since we don’t know either of the two characters that just got killed, I don’t really care.
T-Doug and Andrea are in Otis’ truck when they see Carol get surrounded by walkers. Andrea jumps out of the truck to go rescue her, and Lori jumps in and takes Andrea’s place. Nice plan, Lori. I hope you’re carrying a zombie baby and it chews its way out.
Carol manages to escape, but a walker falls on Andrea and everyone thinks she’s dead so they drive off and leave her. Hershel still hasn’t run out of ammo, but even his magic gun can’t shoot backward and it looks like a walker’s about to tap that ass but then Rick is there and saves the day! He convinces Hershel that the farm is lost and they have to leave, so they drive off but don’t see Andrea frantically running after their truck. Daryl, meanwhile, hears Carol screaming above the din and picks her up on his Nazi bike and they ride off together.
So here’s a question: what’s better than Inigo Montoya versus the Dread Pirate Roberts? Inigo Montoya versus the Dread Pirate Roberts with LIGHT SABERS! Here’s another question: why didn’t they just stay in the basement? They spent all that time fortifying the house, and the zombies didn’t know they were even there before they started shooting them. And even then, not a single zombie made a move toward the house. If they’d just stayed downstairs and been really, really quiet all this could have been avoided. Instead, two of Hershel’s kids are dead, the barn is gone and Andrea is all Robinson Crusoe. Except instead of an island filled with savages, she’s on a farm filled with walkers. At least she has the ghost of Dale’s eyebrows to watch over her.
At dawn, everyone is scattered across the countryside in their separate modes of transport, all freaked out and confused about what to do next. T-Doug wants to drive to the East Coast, Glenn wants to head out to the highway, Rick goes back to where they left supplies for Sophia and Daryl is just weaving through the walkers, who don’t seem to be attracted to his super-loud bike in the least.
Carl tells Rick he won’t leave without his mom, which is probably the first sensical thing he’s said all season, so of course Rick thinks that’s a bad idea. Hershel tells Rick to leave, since his top priority now has to be keeping his boy alive. When Rick asks Hershel about his faith, Hershel says he knows Jesus promised to resurrect the dead, but this shit’s a little ridiculous. Just as Rick is about to give up and take off, everyone pulls up at the same time. Miracle of miracles! Daryl says he found them by following Glenn’s bad driving: “Saw this guy’s tail-lights zig-zagging all over the road, and figured it had to be an Asian guy driving.” Classic Daryl.
Once all the hugging and reuniting’s done (and it feels so good!), Rick tells everyone that Shane and Hershel’s boy didn’t make it. Hershel’s girl who isn’t Maggie says the other girl who wasn’t Maggie also got munched. Nobody is sure if Andrea was actually killed or not, but when Daryl offers to go back and look Rick stops him, which is totally out of character for officer Grimes considering just how many times he’s left the group to go looking for someone and/or something over the course of two seasons.
Later, the group is driving down a country road when Rick’s SUV runs out of gas. He tells them they’re going to camp for the night and find gas in the morning, but the others are a bit scared to be so out in the open. What happens if another herd comes shambling through? Let’s examine our options, shall we? The first time a herd came through, you hid under the cars (which made no sense, considering that in the first season you had to cover yourself in fresh zombie guts so they couldn’t smell you, but this season all you have to do is hide), and last night you had a perfectly safe – and fortified – farmhouse that you just ran away from, so this time just confuse them with interpretive dance. Problem solved.
Daryl brings up the fact that Randall turned without being bitten, and Rick admits that the CDC doctor told him everyone was infected. The gang gets mad that Rick kept this to himself, but I got the feeling that Rick didn’t believe it until he saw Shane turn. Jenner was a bit crazy, after all. Besides, would it have changed anything? If anything, it’d make them even MORE afraid of dying.
Rick walks away from the group, and Lori follows him. During the middle of a non-mouth hug, he admits to Lori that he killed Shane. But the way he says it is all wrong and defensive sounding. All he needed to say was that Shane attacked him and he killed him in self-defense. Instead, he talks about how tired he was of the whole thing and how he just wanted it to be over. For some reason, this disgusts Lori and she retches, then runs away. Wasn’t it just a couple episodes back that she was practically begging Rick to kill Shane? What’s the big deal? He finally does what you ask, and this is how you repay him? Women. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t… Well, actually now you can kill them. Something to think about, Rick.
“You have the right to remain DEAD!”
Andrea, meanwhile, is still wandering through the woods trying to get away from the walkers, but there are too many of them. She runs out of ammo, and a zombie attacks her. Just as the zombie is about to bite her, the walker loses his head. Literally.
Andrea looks up and sees a hooded stranger holding a katana sword, leading two armless, jawless zombies in chains. MICHONNE!!!!
Trust me, this look is all the rage in France.
That night, the gang is huddled around a campfire, when everyone starts whispering about what a horrible leader Rick has turned out to be. Carol tells Daryl he should lead the group, because he’s a man of honor. Maggie tells Glenn they should take their chances and leave, because she’s a dumbass. Before Lori can say anything stupid, a stick cracks in the woods and everyone freaks the fuck out.
Carol yells at Rick that he needs to do something, and he snaps. What the hell does she want him to do? He already killed his best friend for them; isn’t that enough? At that bit of unexpected film at eleven, everyone calms the fuck back down real quick.
Rick tells the story about how he had to kill Shane, and again he tells it all wrong, saying he did it for the group, and leaving out the part about Shane wanting to fuck his wife and steal his kid and murder his ass. He just makes it sound like he did it on a whim. La-de-da, think I’ll kill Shane today, then have a spot of tea. Chip-chip cheerio.
He tells them if they don’t like the way he’s running things, they’re free to leave. But if they stay, they need to accept the fact that the group is no longer a democracy. It’s a friggin’ RICKTATORSHIP! (He’s also into cats.)
At that, the camera pulls back to reveal a building off in the distance. Could it be… The Prison? Of course it is.
So, what did you think of this week’s episode? Of the season in general? Looking forward to this fall when the show returns? For the record, this is two seasons in a row now that I’ve managed to recap every episode, which makes me the Mayor of Midseason Replacements. Also, my pants.
copygodd | 03.21.12 | Filed in The Walking Dead