PREVIOUSLY Sophia is playing the longest game of hide and seek ever. Hershel is going to heal the walkers à la Jesus. Dale hates Shane. Shane hates the zombarn. And because Sophia was hiding in the zombarn and wasting everyone’s time, Rick shoots her.
The episode begins exactly where it left off in November, that being outside the zombarn with Rick’s gun still smoking from just putting a bullet into Sophia’s head. So just like the Springsteen album by the same name, this episode is starting off to be pretty fucking bleak.
Carol is bawling. Hershel is stunned. And against Rick’s advice, Blonde Girl Whose Named Might Be Beth runs over to her zombmom, who has apparently only suffered a minor non-zombie-killing head wound, and therefore proceeds to try to eat Beth’s face off.
T-Dog reminds us that he is still on the show, although he also reminds us that he is pretty much useless since his stomping just agitates zombmom further. Andrea continues her near-complete evolution from grieving sad sack to BAMF and uses the ol’ sickle-to-the-head technique.
Shane reminds us that he can be kind of an asshole much of the time and starts yelling at Hershel, claiming that Hershel knew Sophia was in the barn the whole time. Hershel’s defense is that Otis was responsible for putting the zombies into the barn, so Hershel didn’t know about everyone who was in there. So basically, Shane, if you hadn’t shot Otis and left him for dead a few episodes back, he could have clued you in. Way to go, buckaroo. Also, Hershel continues his “I want you people to leave” mantra, and Maggie slaps Shane for being such a dick to her grieving father.
After Hershel and the more delicate folks have cleared out, Rick and Shane get into one of their hourly fights. Shane is upset about the amount of time they have spent looking for Sophia, even though he is kind of to blame for that. Rick is mad about how Shane just dished out some guns and went to town on a bunch of zombified family members. I see both their points. Really, though, I just wish Rick would stop calling Shane “brother.” It makes me uncomfortable. He should start calling Shane “my wife’s baby’s father” instead. Like a normal friend.
The weather has turned gloomy to match the mood, and Andrea and some others are working to clean up the mess from the Zombarn Massacre. Elsewhere, Glenn confronts Maggie about Maggie’s knowledge of Sophia’s whereabouts. Why is this so hard for these people to understand!? Only the now-dead guy knew! Maggie looks like she is about to cut a bitch when he asks her about the whole thing.
Glenn continues to remind us how clueless he is about love and relationships and talks about his group moving on to a new place now that they know Sophia is totally dead. Then, they start having one of those conversations where each person is actually talking about something totally different. And it’s annoying. Maggie wants to know what will become of their relationship, but Glenn won’t stop talking about the dead kid’s funeral. Finally, he gets a clue, although he has no answer for her. Smooth, Glenn.
Outside, Carl reminds us that he is just like his father, even when he isn’t wearing his Sheriff’s Deputy Hat of Righteousness. As he and Lori are talking about Sophia, Carl tells Lori that he would have shot Sophia a million times over because it was the right thing to do. And while I agree that hanging out with a zombie kid day in and day out wouldn’t be very fun, his über-serious delivery just bugs me. His mother is horrified. So she sends him away to go take a nap. That’ll show him.
After pawning her kid off on Dale, Lori joins a bunch of the grown-ups over by the zombarn to figure out exactly what to do with all the Dead-Os. Andrea suggests a funeral for the three people they like, and a big bonfire for the others. Charming.
As everyone else leaves the scene to actually be helpful and work on the task at hand, Rick and Lori use the moment to continue their long streak of obnoxious moments together. After a bunch of melodrama from both parties, Rick stomps away and throws a stick or something. Just to show us that he is REALLY MAD Y’ALL.
So, at this point, we are running out of reminders concerning characters and their relationships with one another. But…oh, that’s right…Shane and Dale fucking hate each other! Luckily, they have a private moment together by some cars, so that we can begin to piece their feelings toward one another back together. It is clear that the mere sight of Dale is enough to send Shane into a tizzy, so when Shane sees Dale just chilling, leaning against a car with a gun over his shoulder, Shane gets all hot and bothered. In their mini-confrontation, Shane uses what he feels is his trump card by asking Dale what Dale really does to protect the camp. Dale responds by doing what he has been doing for the last few episodes, that is, staring with a weird look of terror and bewilderment on his face. Shane makes a dig about radiator hoses and leaves the scene. Dale continues to stare.
In our final relationship refresher of the episode, we see Daryl and Carol together in the RV. Daryl urges Carol to take part in Sophia’s burial, but Carol insists that Sophia has been dead and gone for a long time, so she doesn’t see the need to make a ceremony out of burying those zombified remains. Daryl storms out, as he is wont to do whenever Carol shows any sliver of emotion.
Inside the house, Hershel is going through his wife’s things which he had apparently left just as they were before she died. And as he is clearing her clothes out of the closet and dresser, he finds a flask in one of the drawers. I don’t quite know what to think of it, but I guess Hershel does because he leaves the room immediately after setting eyes on it.
We find Carol outside next to a Cherokee Rose, which is obviously not going to end well for that rose. With its lies about Sophia’s safety and all. Aaaand Carol shakes the shit outta the flower. I’m sure it’s supposed to be a powerful moment displaying a mother’s grief, but instead, it just comes off as cliché and not very interesting. But whatevs.
The rest of the Dead-Os still need to be disposed of, so Andrea, T-Dog—remember, he’s still on the show—and Rick are loading them into the pickup. Dale is also there, sitting/standing around, and gets all kinds of mad when T-Dog says that Shane made the right decision by opening the barn up. Rick acknowledges that Hershel is upset as a result, but Andrea and T-Dog further assert that it had to be done, and there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. Or a pile of shot-up dead loved ones.
Back to Glennaggie, who are discussing the possible options for their future as a couple. Maggie wants Glenn to stay, although Glenn doesn’t want to talk about it right there right now. But before they can further hash out their angsty lives, Beth Or Whatever Her Name Is faints. And Hershel is nowhere to be found.
In a supposed attempt to figure out where Hershel could be, Rick, Lori, Shane, and Maggie snoop around in his room and soon find the flask. Maggie explains that Hershel used to be quite the lush back in the day, that is, until he dropped the bottle and found the Lord. This revelation leads Rick to believe that Hershel is drowning his sorrows at the local saloon. Therefore, Rick intends to go get Hershel, along with Glenn, aka “The Go To Town Guy” and bring Hershel back to help Beth/Rick’s unborn child who will be born IN SEVERAL MONTHS. But before Rick and Glenn can leave, Glenn and Maggie have a MOMENT, a moment which leaves Glenn looking as though Maggie has just stomped all over his little heart. However, as we come to find out later, it is in fact Glenn who did the stomping.
Elsewhere on the property, Carol emerges from the woods, looking like her typical empty-shell-of-a-woman self, although maybe a little worse for wear. Shane sees her, and in an effort to show the viewers that he’s not a total dick all the time to everyone, Shane tries to clean Carol off, and apologizes to her for what happened with the zombarn, particularly the part where she had to find out that Sophia was all kinds of dead already.
However, since Shane’s good side has been brought into the light, his dark side must also be unearthed. And leave it to Shane’s biggest hater, Dale, to do so. Since Dale is clearly rattled by the fact that more and more people, including Lori, are starting to agree with Shane’s decision to open the zombarn, Dale blurts out that Shane killed Otis. To Lori, aka Shane’s baby mama. At first, Lori doesn’t believe it, but then she’s realizes that it’s not all that far-fetched.
As Rick and Glenn make their way into town, we are keyed into the contents of Glennaggie’s MOMENT. Glenn reveals that Maggie confessed her love for him. And that he didn’t reciprocate. D’oh! Glenn’s just shrugs it off like, “Bitches be crazy.” Rick laughs at how stupid Glenn is, which causes Glenn to get all defensive, saying that he has never had anyone except his mom declare their love for him. Yeah, we figured Glenn. In the end, Rick tells Glenn that she needs his loving, she’s got to have all his loving. Or something like that. Then, just as Rick and Glenn pull up to Hershel’s personal bar, Glenn tells Rick that he knows Lori is pregnant. Rick’s like, “I know you know, but I still hate you for not telling me, even though I know now too.” Which…why would Glenn have to tell Rick? Leave poor Glenn out of your love triangle of a marriage, Rick!
Back at the house, Beth isn’t looking so good. She apparently has a high fever, and her heart is beating like mad. Uhh, is that shock, or is that THE FEVER? Lori is perhaps thinking the same thing, as she thinks that yet another person needs to go into town to find Hershel. Uhh, okay? So she finds Daryl whittling away at a stick, perhaps to stab them all with. He’s not interested in going into town. Probably because it doesn’t really make sense. Lori calls Daryl selfish, Daryl calls Lori Olive Oyl. Ha.
After what has apparently been hours and hours—not really—Rick and Glenn make it into the bar, and it’s a pretty sick ass bar. Well…except for that huge Confederate flag on the wall. And they do indeed find Hershel, getting wasted and forgetting about the Lord. As Rick starts telling Hershel about Beth’s condition, Hershel reveals that he has completely changed his tune about his zombified friends and family. And that he has lost all hope. So there’s that.
Back at the farm, Lori decides to take matters into her own hands and to [unnecessarily] go into town by herself. I’m sure this will go swimmingly. OF COURSE, a walker forgets to look both ways before crossing the road, and Lori hits him. What proceeds is confusing because, when she hits him, she ends up completely losing control and flipping the car, even though she was not going fast at all. Maybe she guns the accelerator by mistake? I don’t know. I wish pregnant people would stop injuring themselves.
Back at the rebel saloon, Hershel tells Rick and Glenn to leave, and when they won’t, Hershel starts sassing Rick about Sophia. Hey, bro. That’s low. After a bit more growling from both parties, Hershel decides to further illuminate his reasons for turning secular again, claiming that when he saw Shane shoot his neighbor Lou, and Lou didn’t fall down, he understood that the walkers weren’t just sick people. They be dead for real, yo. I don’t know about that quick turnaround…but okay. Rick refuses to accept that Hershel has given up all hope. Because, of course. Rick tells Hershel to stop being such a selfish little twat, and with that, they decide to pack it up and head home.
But WAIT, two guidos have emerged in the doorway. The fuck? The guidos are shocked that the three men are not in fact zombies who just wanted a drink, but are actually LIVING PEOPLE. And is that René? That’s totally René. I wish he still had that Creole flava.
Okay, I guess René is Dave, and the chunky guido is Frankie Tony. And they’re from Philly. Rick isn’t feeling Dave’s seemingly-friendly vibes, and Dave’s “I got this from a dead cop, and maybe I killed him too” gun doesn’t help to ease the tension. But Dave still keeps trying to make small talk, giving Tones a few awkward, kill-em-later glances. Dave does actually have some useful information concerning Rick’s group’s next stop, Fort Benning. And if Dave isn’t lying, then Fort Benning has been overrun and is no longer a viable option for life after Hershel’s farm. Bummer, dudes.
Then Dave gets down to business and tries to find out where Rick, Hershel, and Glenn are staying. Rick tries to play it like they are nomads, but Dave says he saw their cars, could tell they weren’t living in them, and therefore knows that they must have a more permanent settlement. I don’t like where this is going. And then while Dave continues to pry, Tony just starts pissing on the floor. Refined.
After Rick repeatedly refuses to bring Dave and Tony’s group back to Hershel’s farm, Tony gets heated and threatens to shoot everyone in the head. He probably just gets agitated when he’s hungry. To lighten the mood, Dave offers to poor some more drinks. It’s clear to everyone that shit is about to go down. Dave pours the drinks and keeps saying how he and Tony need somewhere like the farm. Rick suggests Nebraska. Dave laughs and grabs for his gun, but before he even picks it up, Ricks shoots his ass dead. And Tony’s big ass too. Well…balls. Good reflexes, Sparky. Hershel’s not quite sure what to think.
NEXT WEEK Dudes are looking for their homeboys. Daryl’s ear necklace makes a triumphant return. There’s a gunfight at the ol’ saloon. Lori’s not dead. Yet.