Last week’s stunning episode of The Walking Dead made it tough to imagine how the AMC hit would top itself. Or that it even could top itself. But damned if the midseason finale – featuring little, lost Sophia’s debut (and finale) as a zombie — didn’t raise the bar for the series yet again. Here’s how:
E-I-E-I-ARGH | At first it seemed like, regardless of Lori’s pregnancy, Hershel was, erm, dead set on sending Rick and Co. on their merry way. Even when Maggie pleaded their case, he shrugged it off, insisting, the cop was “being dramatic” about life away from the farm. But finally, the vet decided to give the newbies a chance — provided Rick could see the walkers as people. His test: Help Hershel wrangle a couple of undead neighbors into the barn. The procedure was going more or less fine until they reached the farm and…
THE SHANE MUTINY | As Shane’s slow descent into (I’m guessing) madness seemed to speed up, busybody Dale decided it would be a good idea to hide the guns. Unfortunately, the crop-topped hothead tracked him down but fast. “You gonna shoot me like you did Otis?” the old man asked, as a dare, it seemed. Shockingly, he made it out of the tense confrontation alive, and made it back to the farm just in time to witness Shane handing out firearms — even to Carl! After that, Officer Anger Management mucked up Hershel and Rick’s zombie transfer and busted open the barnful of zombies so that the gang could kill them all. Or all but one. Just as the smoke started to clear, one last walker lurched out: Sophia. (Cue Carol wailing.) That one, Mr. Tough Guy left for Rick to shoot.
BABY BOOM | In other, pre-shootout plot developments, Rick told Shane that Lori was pregnant. In turn, Shane told Lori the kid was his, and Lori told him, “Even if it’s yours, it’s never gonna be yours.” This only seemed to make Shane crazier. Carl told off Shane for urging everyone to give up on the search for Sophia. (The moppet even cussed!) Daryl and Carol bonded some more, Dale tried (and failed) to warn Andrea away from Shane, and after Maggie cracked an egg over Glenn’s head for blabbing the big barn secret, they got even smoochier. “I don’t want you in danger ever,” he proclaimed romantically.
So what did you think of the midseason finale? Were you surprised that Sophia was zombified? That she was killed? Sound off below.