‘The Walking Dead’ recap: They shoot zombies, don’t they?

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Suddenly, I’m wishing they’d never found Sophia.

Sunday night’s episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ solved the mystery surrounding the little girl’s disappearance: She’s the last walker to lumber out of Hershel’s barn, after a wrathful Shane unleashes first the occupants of the shed and then a torrent of gunfire to take them down. It’s Rick, though, who’s left to shoot Sophia, as the others turn away. It was hard to watch.

That concluding scene was the most eventful moment of Sunday’s show, which seemed to meander a bit leading up to that denouement. So far, critics -- and some fans -- seem to feel that the show lost its way when Rick and the others found Hershel’s, and it is true that there’s not been the same sort of fleeing-from-walkers-action that made the series’ first season so thrilling.

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The latest episode, titled ‘Pretty Much Dead Already,’ kicks off with Glenn telling the others about the walkers, which, predictably, shatters the illusion of tranquility at the farm, with Shane insisting that no one will be safe until the creatures are all put down and Rick trying to rein in the building hysteria. We have, in all honesty, seen this before.


The conversations that follow felt pretty familiar too. Maggie is upset with Glenn for spilling her secret, Rick, wanting his people to stay at Hershel’s farm, tries to convince Hershel that the walkers are dangerous and are no longer the friends and family members that he believes them still to be. Rick even tells Hershel that Lori is pregnant, and they simply will not survive out in the world, away from the confines of the farm. Carl says he’s not leaving until they find Sophia, and Daryl prepares to search for her again, until Carol advises him not to, fearing that he’ll only injure himself further or endanger his life.

Things begin to take a turn for the unusual when Hershel seeks out Rick’s assistance wrangling a couple of stray walkers that he intends to take back to his property and house in the barn. Desperate to win Hershel’s permission to stay, Rick helps, but as he’s away, Shane, who’s learned of Lori’s pregnancy from Rick, goes to see his old partner’s wife. He insists that the baby must be his and asks Lori how many times Rick has managed to save her life. Shane then stalks off to collect the weapons from Dale, but Dale’s wisely vanished out into the woods, hoping to hide the guns and get back to the farm before his absence is detected.

In the forest, Shane demands that Dale give him the weapons, and Dale, fearing for his own life and unwilling to take Shane’s, acquiesces. Of course, had he shot Shane, he likely would have prevented the massacre at the farm, all of which takes place in plain view of Hershel and Maggie — and of course, Carol, who at long last is reunited with her child only to realize what a cruel fate she’s suffered.

So, that was that, and now we wait until February when ‘The Walking Dead’ returns from a months-long hiatus. What did you think of the midseason finale? Please leave your comments below.

— Gina McIntyre