The Walking Dead: Your Barn Door is Open

Count me in with the other viewers who did not see THAT coming. The Walking Dead finished the first half of its second season with an incredibly affecting final scene that illustrated things the campers had only been discussing for several weeks. It was a powerful moment that recharged the series after a string of episodes bounced around topics the show had already covered like the needle on a broken record.

Zombie Sophia slinking out of the barn after the greatest zombie massacre since probably a few hours earlier somewhere else in the world was some heavy, serious stuff. It answered the "Where's Sophia?" and "Is Sophia alive?" questions (though Hershel may have a different answer for the second one) that we've spent six episodes painfully asking ourselves. It temporarily brought our survivors into the "Zombies are people, too!" mindset of Hershel, who'd just seen undead versions of his friends and family end up on the wrong side of target practice. It validated much of what "crazy" Shane had been off his rocker about and forced the other survivors into Shane's plan of action. And most importantly, it made a man out of Rick.

And the implications moving forward are just as numerous. Finding and killing Zombie Sophia was a huge turning point for everyone involved, especially Rick. Now that Rick has stepped up and done what had to be done, has he effectively voted himself into the leadership role that had already been carved out for him? Or has he become a changed man as Shane said he needed to? At its slowly beating heart, The Walking Dead is all about the question of sustaining humanity during times of extreme crisis. Rick hung on to that humanity for much of the first season-and-a-half, while his (former?) best friend Shane traveled steadily down the primal survivor-mode route, two perfectly suitable strategies at odds with each other. Rick putting a bullet through Zombie Sophia's brain was a big statement, especially considering he had just rescued an undead stranger that was stuck in the mud. You know that "what if?" scenario you ask your buddies about? The one where you say, "If you were in a zombie apocalypse, and your mother/best friend/girlfriend/dog got turned into a zombie, would you be able to pull the trigger?" By opening the barn doors, Shane essentially forced Rick's hand on that question, and it proved Shane's point.

We don't know if Hershel knew Sophia was in the barn. Otis played the part of zombie wrangler before, so it's conceivable that he just gathered them up and threw them in the barn without tabulating a zombie population census and handing it to Hershel. But there's no way that rescuing zombies is a one-man job, so someone else had to know about Sophia. And as we saw last episode, the zombies were being fed; even if your mind is numbed by feeding live chickens to your undead family members, you're going to notice that one of the beasts in your barn is an adorable little girl. Point is, it's almost impossible that not a single one the Farm People, even with Otis gone, knew there was a young child in there. And when a group of people looking for a little girl who matches the same description stopped by, well, someone wasn't telling them everything. Secrets kill, people. I can't wait for the awkward conversation when Carol asks Hershel if he knew Sophia was in there all along.

What I really liked about the whole Sophia thing was threefold. First: The Walking Dead is a television show, and in the fairytale world of TV, good things happen. Even country bumpkin Daryl was preaching about hope and clinging to the idea that Sophia was out there and they HAD to keep searching for her until they found her. Maybe it's the sadist in me, but I love seeing TV characters' hopes get absolutely pulverized. And when Sophia walked out of that barn, it was like napalm being dropped on everyone's hopes and dreams. The Walking Dead is at its best when the light of hope is dim. This is a zombie apocalypse. Things are supposed to suck. If you want family-friendly hope and smiles and rainbows, go watch Terra Nova.

The second thing I loved about Zombie Sophia was that she wasn't just a child, she was a child we knew. In our current cultural transition period between political correctness and anything goes, it still takes big balls to kill off a child on television. But The Walking Dead's story is better for it. The message is clear: If you're alive on this show, no matter what color, size, or age you are, you can die. That has to be the series' motto moving forward, and people need to die. All the time. Please, The Walking Dead, introduce us to new characters, make us really like them, and then kill them. That's a show I will love, because that's a show with real stakes.

Finally, as someone who reads the comics, this was a huge blow to what I know about the story. The series has strayed from the comics plenty, but this is the first time it's purposely strayed and greatly improved the story. As I was watching, I was expecting [blank] to [blank] [blank] (you know what I'm talking about, comic readers), a big moment from the comics early on. But now, I can take everything I thought I knew about the series and throw it off the side of the building into a herd of hungry zombies. Killing Sophia in this fashion wasn't just a sidebar from the comics like creating a band of zombie-killing Vatos in Season 1, it was a major detail that separated the comics and TV show into entirely different entities. And from a selfish point of view, this also bodes well for some of my favorite characters, gone too soon in the comic, to stick around a lot longer.

"Pretty Much Dead Already" provided the spark needed to recharge Season 2 after an uneven beginning. It couldn't sweep away the missteps from the previous episodes, but it showed us what The Walking Dead can do when all its pieces are in the right place. It provided the all-important "Oh shit!" moment that hasn't occurred since the Season 2 premiere, gave us solid, intellectual talking points to think about over the show's winter break, and most importantly, left us looking forward to what's in store. And thank goodness we won't be doing a lot of talking about whether or not they should keep looking for Sophia.

Notes:

– Shane now knows Lori's pregnant. He clearly thinks the baby is his, but she insists it's Rick's. Rick doesn't seem to want to think about who the daddy is at all. Whose baby do you think it is? And will Shane thinking it's his change his behavior around camp or make him more of a lunatic?

– Do you feel, as I do, that Shane was vindicated when Sophia stepped out of the barn? He was right about her being dead, and the threat of the barn walkers is now squashed. He may not be the most courteous guest, but is there any doubt that the group is safer because of his actions? When Dale told Shane he belonged in "this world," he meant it as a backhanded compliment. But guess what, old man, "this world" is the only world we got right now! Team Shane! Team Shane! Team Shane! How awesome was Shane shooting those rescued zombies while making his case for them to all be killed NOW?

– Hey Dale, hiding guns is one of the stupidest ideas I've heard of during a zombie apocalypse.

– Please, let's not even discuss a possible romance between Carol and Daryl. Even though they've had some tender moments and their coupling would lead to some awesome relationship names (Darol, Caryl), it isn't going to happen. Nor should it happen.

Talking Dead, the so-far excellent live discussion of The Walking Dead that airs on Sundays after each new episode, should never, ever be an hour long. Ever.

– The Walking Dead hasn't been making waves for its acting, but there were some good moments in "Pretty Much Dead Already," particularly in the final scene. Jon Bernthal (Shane) did juiced-up meathead well, Melissa McBride (Carol) wrenched hearts with her grief, and Scott Wilson (Hershel) put on a perfect face while his world crumbled around him. But my award goes out to Madison Lintz (Sophia), who completely transformed herself from the character we knew into Zombie Sophia.


Please: No spoilers from the comics in the comments section below!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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It isn't Rick's fault Sophia died. He was the one in the group who tried to save her. Searching for her was the correct thing to do, not because of attachment to any moral principle, nor as a means to boost morale, but to confirm the value of each member of the group and to let them know that if they get separated from the group or are temporarily lost, an effort will be made to find them. Value for the individual is a specie that can purchase group cohesion. Shane is an amoral murderer. If he can commit a murder to save a boy (whose survival was doubtful anyway), then the only governing philosophy is an atomistic utilitarianism (i.e., each member decides what's best for the group, including culling individual members of the group for the greater good). If that's so, why not kill all the children, most of the women, and Dale (whose age endangers the survival chances of the whole). Shane is just a more polished version of Merle. In fact, the question I'd like most to have answered is, How did Shane and Merle coexist before Rick came along?
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In My humble opinion, I think it's NEAT that they chose a Hyundai Tucson as one of their survivor vehicles.
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THE 6 SHOWS WHWRE THEY LOOKED FOR SOPHIA WAS GETTING A BIT DRAGGY BUT AS A MOM I DID UNDERSTAND WHY THEY KEPT LOOKING,THE QUESTION IS WHO PUT HER IN THEIR AND WHY DIDN'T THEy SAY ANYTHING?maybe it was the country home people they didnt know what she looked like did they? rick hasn't had a problem killing any zombies even tho' some of you brought up that he did.it was prety shocking when sophie walked ot of the barn thats was a sad killing! dale trying to hide the guns is stupid when the zombies are around and the runners running. since hey aent far from town maybe otis wuill show up somewhat eaten and they will see what shane does when he sees otis,idont know if i wnt them to stay at the farm house and be reaonably safe fo awile or go farther out into the world??!!loris skinny and boring not sexy and a good shooter likecraol whos much hotter.as to the comments about terra nova it has dinosaurs eating people so its hardly rainbows an dall smiles,no comparison.cant wait for season 2
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Rick as much as I love him for his moral stands...has been exposed as flawed and fallible... I never saw anything as pathetic looking as him trying to lead those walkers to the barn...I felt sorry for him....He lost all his dignity. AND...He is the reason why Sophia is dead....and thats why he ended her existance with that final bullet. He knows it and that's why karma almost took his kid. When he went to look for her at first....He made the horrible decision to have her make her own way back to the road while he distracted the Walkers...she was under the creek bank hiding...no one knew she was there....cover her in some mud (ala Sylvester Stallone from Predator) and tell her to stay put....and when he finished with the walkers, he could make his way back to her...who tells a small child to follow the sun..moon, stars whatever back to the road?...what is she a Apache Indian?....she wasn't raised in a surivalist world...she was out of her element...and he as a father of a vulnerable, small child should have known that...or maybe thats just a mother instinct...no woman would have told her to do that.....geesch....follow the sun back to the road...she probably was bitten five minutes after she started on that journey.....
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This was a confirmation that the show is trying to throw in surprises by straying away from the comic books. It was great that they took a dark turn right at the end. I think it was purposefully slow previous to this just so the finale would be so shocking.



even though it's different than the comic books, it's still amazing. I just can't wait for MICHONNE!!!
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Killing Sophia didnt make a man out of Rick, it just showed that he was already the man. He can do what the others cant, he is the real leader, unlike Shane who just talks and cant back it up.
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AGREED with (almost) EVERYTHING!!!!! AWESOME review!!!!!

Seriously took the words from my mouth,BRAVO!!!!!!

Disagreed in one thing only-i think Daryl and Carol will/should be a couple,and a very cute one. i like their friendship as it is too.

TEAM SHANE!!!!TEAM SHANE!!!!TEAM SHANE!!!!TEAM SHANE!!!!

of course the baby's Shane's and i want Lori to stop being the stubbornest and most annoying character on TV and admit she loves Shane.Rick's and her marriage is a zombie marriage.Rick needs to be with Andrea(who remains my favorite).

Zombie Sophia was GORGEOUS!! young actress deserves an award and Jon Bernthal too.

i hope Rick will wake up now and stop being a crybaby.

In S1 Dale was a wise old man,now he's just pushy and stupid.

T-dog needs more action.

Glenn and Daryl are simply awesome!!!!
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Rick can't give up his wife!... I think Shane is really scaring Lori who is pretending to be his friend. And also, well lets face it...Lori is a bit more sexy than Andrea
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oh please!!!!!! Lori's pretty but Andrea's beautiful and sexy!!!! <3333 Lori's annoying,Andrea's cool!!!
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some people here are real prophets...I dont know how you could predict that Sophia was in the Barn all the time. If it was so predictable, how come Shane and the others didn't think about that? I mean if someone would know you'd think it would be the people looking for her
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Shane is vying for the alpha male status he had before Rick showed up alive and when Daryl still lived ground under his brother's heel. I saw it in his first scene in the car with Rick, talking about those silly females and their inability to work light switches. He's a bully who looks down on those around him, and he probably took up the badge to "sanctify" his bullying. He wants power over others and sees it as his right. I'd already guessed that he was one of those jocks who got treated like a king because they can throw a ball/swing a bat/kick a field goal/bang a cheerleader and it went to his head and took root (I'm well aware not all jocks are like that); the Talking Dead show confirmed that the 22 necklace he wears was his football jersey number (they compared it to Daryl's ear necklace. LOL). Remember Rick saying the only way to get Shane to talk was to bring up his high school conquests? Which he then rubbed in Rick's face (verbally)! He MURDERED Otis; he had Rick in his sights once; we KNOW he'd kill Dale; and when people keep praising Daryl more and more loudly, guess who's going to see him as a rival?

Shane as the badass survivor? Bad, yes. Ass, oh yeah. But I think he's a bigger threat than the walkers, because he's a threat from within. He wants to dominate more than he wants to protect the others, even Carl and Lori. They're the trophies he took from Rick. ("How many times has he saved your life?... By my account I've saved your life on four different occasions.") Think sacrificing Otis was the smart way to go? Smart would've been to keep running instead of frequently turning around to shoot zombies that weren't even breaking away from the pack! They BOTH wasted time and bullets, then realized they were out of time and bullets! They BOTH could've gotten back alive if they hadn't dicked around like that. And Carl's life was not Shane's priority; returning as the big hero was.

And the zom-barnies? They were docile enough in that barn that no one even noticed them until Glenn went looking for a love shack. They'd probably have stayed well-behaved if Shane hadn't thrown a loud damn tantrum right outside the barn every five minutes! He poked the hive, then bitched about the bees.



Even the little crises in life amount to "what kind of person are you?" and we've all seen what kind of person Shane is. Now think about Daryl. We love him for his skill set, but he also refused to give up on Sophia, even when wounded himself. Children are hope, plain and simple, and hope is life (not even talking about the inevitable repopulation issues.) Shane whips out his list of excuses for giving up on A CHILD, while Daryl keeps striving. When faced with such a dilemma, we should all ask ourselves, "What Would Daryl Do?" And how soon we can get that on a bracelet?



I think someone on this site once said that the title refers to these people, not the zombies; if they are to make it they should be led by a triumvirate of Daryl, Glenn and Carl. They're the one's who really have their shit together. Maybe delegate some to Andrea as sheum, stabilizes.



Remember, Shane thinks he's at the top of the food chain, but it's Daryl who gets the squirrel.

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The ending was just incredible.
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I have an entirely different view than Tim. The authors made Shane exclaim "I can do the hard decisions." when all he does is taking the easy, egoistic and coward's way out, sacrificing anyone in his path whenever he can't take the heat anymore. But when it comes to doing the real hard decisions, the ones that really hurt, like taking a risk for a little girl, or putting a big weight upon your shoulders and conscience and putting someone you cared about out of misery, a real man has to step up and do it for him. If your group needs a leader, would you choose a man who will fight for you when you go down and comes back to help you, or someone who will put a bullet into your leg and feed you to the monsters?



Shane = Ingrateful psycho murderer, bastard, liar! Believe me, in the coming apocalypse most of us will walk in the shoes of Otis, not Shanes'. (But some nice acting here, Mr. Bernthal, he is really selling it)

Agree on the differ' from the comics. Great stuff, good surprises.
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agree with you wholeheartedly here. Kinda reminds me of the theme of Dark Knight -- the real hero is the one who steps up to make the hard decisions that nobody else can. Team Rick!!
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BTW, totally agree with Tim about characters deaths, it needs to happen more. Show me more shows like the first seasons of 24, like Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead.

Maybe Sophia wasn't the greatest character, but they made us care for her during the whole half-season and then they spat in our faces. Outstanding!
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This show is awesome!!! All that happened during season 2 led us to this half-season finale, which makes the previous episodes so but so much better now (unlike many here, I liked all 7 episodes very much, obviously in different degrees, with the 3rd and the 7th the best by far).
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I'M OVER RICK AND LORI, GET ON WITH THE ACTION SHANE DID WHAT WE ALL WOULD HAVE DONE KILL OR BE KILLED. SHOOT ME IF THAT EVER HAPPENS . WE KNEW SHE WAS IN BARN EATING CHICKENS, BUT NOW SHE'S GONE AND WE MUST MOVE ON WITH THIS STORY. NOW FOR SURE THE CHRISTIAN WILL KICK THEM OFF THE LAND WHAT EVER HAPPEND TO ME CASA YOU CASA
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Can we shoot you now for using all caps?
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Really, you knew she was in the barn? How about providing the lottery numbers because I sure as hell didn't see that coming. I was expecting Hershel's wife.
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totally predictable - well at least i did - knew the zombie's were in the barn, new it was likely sophia was in there and new it was likely that she was going to get killed - i personally expected the barn to be burnt and them reallise afterwards but was glad with the tv show



i've never watched tv for the twists particularly (it's tv so everything you're shown has meaning and thus you can gleam what's going to happen - especially when they try to misdirrect you (hello dexter)) but more the emotions of the scenes the quality acting and boy did that final scene have bucket loads of that - WOW!!
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Bullshit, there is no possible way you could have known that the barn was full of walkers and that Sophia was in there. It wasnt event until like 4 or 5 episodes in that the barn was even really presented. So you must be some sort of fuckin oracle, cuz you see things that arent even there.
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I don't think Shane was necessarily proven right, since if he hadn't gone bat sh** and killed all the zombies then they might not have needed to shoot zombie-Sophia (not that I care that she died, but clearly Rick's merry band cared). He made it impossible not to shoot her though because if they didn't they would've been the worst hypocritical d-bags on the planet. I also don't think that this changed Rick at all; he has always been willing to do what's necessary. I don't think it made him happy, but it didn't compromise his humanity/morality at all. He might suffer a crisis of faith/loss of hope, but he seems to do that on a regular basis anyway, so nothing new there.
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My god... the author is an idiot. he really hasn't understood the "switch" of the last scene.
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Unfortunately, I agree with Mr. Wolff.
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"If you want family-friendly hope and smiles and rainbows, go watch Terra Nova"



I really laughed at this!



Aside from that, this was really an excellent episode at the end, it returned my faith in the series after a long stall.
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i think you forgot a note... Glenn and Maggie they have the hot for one another and if you watch the sneak peek to 208 Hershel tells Rick to leave. What will Glenn and Maggie do? Will Maggie go with them or will Glenn stay at the farm. They might have to go their own ways. I'm so anxious for 208 to come i know i have to wait til 2/12/12.. This is by-far the best series Ive seen they took gore romance a lil bit of comedy and rolled it all up into a good TV show
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The writers have stayed true to the comic books for the most part, with the exception of the CDC, Shane still being alive, and deciding to kill off Sophia - so my point may be invalid, but in the comics Glenn stays at the farm until Rick invites everyone to the prison.
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"Please: No spoilers from the comics in the comments section below!"



We're glad you like to read the comics. Now read the rules.
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it was so sad and shocking! i cried a lot and the last time i cried so much was during the series finale of Lost!
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That makes two walker children that Rick has shot. Poor Rick.
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My husband seemed to think she was in the barn from the time we saw the zombies in there. I thought maybe they would have had her rounded up by a bad guy who was collecting children for unpleasant purposes then we'd have another one of those.. yes, this person is a bad person but at least they are still alive episodes.. hopefully ending in Sophia's mother grabbing a gun and shooting the bad guy to save the children.



When they kept going back to the barn I guessed Sophia was in there. They were playing up the barn too much for it not to be the case. So now I'm just hoping Rick wheels on Hershel and cold cocks him for knowing where Sophia was all this time and still letting that girl's mother suffer.



For me, Shane's actions have been too much. I sure wouldn't want him traveling with me at this point.
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A really good episode to go on midseason break with. There wasnt much development with Sophias character ( or most of the supporting cast ), so its not a big shock that she was in the barn. But having her killed by Rick while everyone else stood there shocked ( even Shane ), proved why he is the leader of the group and may convince Hershel to let them stay until the baby is born - which will probably happen while a herd of walkers just happen to be ambling by
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I have to say even tho i kept saying to others what if she's in the barn; I bet she's in the barn etc, etc...i still felt a sad-not disbelief-but not wanting to believe that this is how it turned out. For those seconds i forgot i was watching a show and felt genuine sadness for the character. i had to tell myself a few times "it's just a show" .
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I know exactly what you mean! I felt the same and I also felt like its kinda bad for the development of the group. Carl is going to have no one his age, Daryl loses the purpose he gained from searching for Sophia, I thought if he found Sophia it would have been interesting to see the change in Daryl. And obviously, the affect on her mother.
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I feel like this episode wasted the whole of the first half of the second season. The circle jerking of whether or not Sophia was alive and whether they should keep looking for her was bad but not terrible. I like the idea of Utopia during a zombie apocalypse should always be short lived. What bugs me--as well as some other fans, is Shane being proved unanimously right in his actions. He has over the course of the show, become less morally anchored as he begins to subscribe to the idea that world we live in now has no place for moral implications other than don't be on the bottom of the crapper if you can be on the top of it. The fact that any one can and would follow him is bewildering to me largely in that he will only keep you around so long as you are of use to the group or him. Killing Otis showed me that he'll throw you under if it fits the greater good--I'll will give Shane some credit that he did offer to sacrifice himself before he sacrificed Otis.



As for Sophia, her end was shocking which I do agree, no one should ever feel safe if you you are a cast mate. I love that the show has paralleled the comic but has done things different and had different characters from the show and comics and events play out differently. Almost like the string theory of different realities. What makes me mad about Sophia is that there should have been a realization to Shane that if he'd just put more effort into the search, they would have found Sophia alive long enough to see her get bit or shortly after she turned. I felt it would have been good for both Rick and Shane to realize that both have attributes that are needed to survive amid the beastliness of the apocalypse. This would have satisfied the last six episodes being there as long they did and looking for as long as they did.



The other castmates I feel have grown a lot. Andrea is turning into the badass we all know she can be. Daryl has grown to be quite likeable despite him being unlikeable. T-Dog needs more screen time or time to zombo up. Carl is going to be great. I love Dale. Boo call for anyone questioning his moral conscience. Anyone thinking him throwing guns away to save his humanity and the humanity around him as the dumbest thing you can do in a zombie apocalypse is a moron. Its not the smartest thing to do albeit, but guns are more likely going to make you more likely to die than none at all. The noise alone will bring herds over and no one has an unlimited amount of bullets let alone your gun malfunctioning anyways play Last Night on Earth or any Zombie survival guide and guns will not be super priority.



Shane will now be pitted as the main villian. He will either drive the group apart or will end up a casualty as a result of his actions. The reckoning will be coming for him which is sad cause I love Jon Bentenal and This Shane as well. He does such a good job making you love to hate him but his actions will either make him to be like the governor or how he meets his end in the comic anyways and probably by the end of the season when he could last another season or two longer. I mad at the writers for lazy story telling and bad ending for characters. Boo Boo.
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The revelation that Sophia was a zombie made me think about the how she died. Most people might not be interested in that, but I am. She wasn't eaten, so either she was bitten and escaped, turning into a zombie over time, or she was killed (shot etc.) and resurrected as a zombie. Either way, I would like to know. Because if she was bitten, it still means that she was capable enough to escape the zombies, because she wasn't devoured. On the other hand, if she was killed, it means some people had a hand in that. (Of course, she could have died falling off a cliff or something, but I find that unlikely.)



Also, while I think the last scene was great, I'm getting slightly tired of how helpless people can be. Not just in Walking Dead, but in many TV shows. When Shane started opening the barn doors, everyone just stood there without trying to stop him. And Rick was just yelling to Hershel to grab the zombie so he could stop Shane, and no one stepped up to take the zombie instead of Hershel. Grow a spine people. Do something people, don't just stand there.
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Looked like she was bitten in the shoulder (look at the photo above). My thinking was she was attacked by a lonely walker from behind, got bitten, tear herself free and then died from the fever within hours. Also, those inactions were necessary dramatically, but also most people tend to not attack a person who is raging AND armed.
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I think she was bitten. There appears to be a bite mark on the left side of her neck. Maybe she got attacked, bitten but was able to get away. That's probably when she lost her doll.
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wait a minute, am I missing something? since when you get to resurrect as a zombie from a "natural" death? I thought you had to be bitten to turn, how else the virus would spread?
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It's true (from what I constantly hear) that pretty much any death that keeps your head intact would turn you into a zombie in the books, but they haven't gone by that yet in the show. Otherwise, they need to explain the corpse in the truck that Carl corpserobbed, among others.



I'm still going by the huge gaping wound in Sophia's neck that she was bitten.



Since Hershel didn't yet die like I was expecting, I'm sure he'll explain how it happened when the show comes back.
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My assumption was that she was bitten and still made it a few places to hide... just injured. I don't think they are going to follow the books, if this is any indication.



And I think gaging by her giant gaping neck would, she would have had to be bitten. What else does that but teeth?
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In the comics, (and in the movie Land of the Dead) you don't have to be bitten. Maybe it is airborne and resurrects any thing once dead. However, they have mentioned they are not going to completely follow the comics, so I don't know.
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Thanks guys for your replies :)

I thought I missed that explanation in the show but if its in the comic books then who knows, they might not go in that direction...
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Who says she wasn't bitten? She had a massive, gaping wound on the lower left of her neck and the shoulder. She wasn't EATEN like poor old Otis (and what a miserable undeath he'll have!), but all that means is that perhaps she got chomped on by a lone zombie in the woods. And then, yeah... maybe she did stagger off and after dying quickly (given where she was bitten) became a zombie. Anyway, this is the kind of question you can thank the writers for -- because it keeps you asking and keeps you interested.
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Great comment. First about Sophia. Could she have been captured by Hershel and his 'family' like the ones they were rounding up? Makes you wonder if they knew Sophia was in the barn all along. And, you are right about the 'helplessness' of others. I assume not only was it the 'hand of the writers' to keep it people standing in a sort of semi-circle watching, but made for a nice and easy camera setup.
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I think for alot of people who followed the comic series, this whole revelation of Sophia as a zombie was quite a surprise. Mostly considering the time they spent at Hershel's farm in the comic covered all of about 2 issues, and that (SPOILER) Sophia never died, turned, or otherwise had anything bad happen to her for a long time to come.
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I can't say I was really surprised that Sophia ended up as a Zombie. I couldn't imagine her just showing up in the woods after they'd been looking for her for 6 episodes. An other option could have been to have her join another group of survivors but all in all i'm pretty "happy" with how it ended.

It also gave Rick the possibility to man up in a way. Shane was all for it when it was about killing people they didn't know. But when Sophia walked out of the barn he choked. Rick had to do what had to be done, when no one else could.

Ultimately, even if Rick now has a fair shot at leadership, I think that this will split up the group. Carol held Rick responsible for Sophia being lost since it happened and now he even shot her little girl. I don't think she'll be able to forgive him. At least not right away.

I just hope Andrea will go away somewhere. She got on my nerves with her stupid gun!!! Give her a gun and kick her out.

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i guess i'm a rick or daryl type as far as holding on to hope to recover a comrade or child.

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While the zombies were walking out the barn I kept thinking that a worthy show will make Sophia a zombie... they didnt disappoint!
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it you're titillated by the exploitation of children, this is a great TV show. Kill a child zombie in the opening scene, put one down in the final scene. Be honest. Was anybody really surprised or "moved" when the girl came out of the barn? Bad, bad, bad writing. Hopefully killing off kids is out of the writers' systems now and they can move on to more creative turf.
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Where I agree that I wish no harm would come to children, is that terribly realistic? We live in a world of human trafficking, ridiculous child abuse cases, and missing children all over the world, parents who hide their child in the trunk of their car while they go party and then dispose of the body. While I hate that this is the world that we live in, it is incredibly realistic that harm should come to ANYONE in a zombie apocalypse, especially those who are unable to protect themselves. In fact, children are MORE likely to get hurt, as they are easily distracted, run off, and can't really protect themselves. Though it isn't fun to watch, it is what in the ridiculous premise of a zombie apocalypse, would be real. The only think that I would have thought could have been better/different than what they showed, would have been them searching and finding Sophia, sick or dead, and while Carol is carrying her child, she re-animates and bites her mom. Again, tragic, horrible and senseless, but awesome storytelling.
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In a zombie apocalypse, or any apocalypse for that matter, kids will be as dead (or undead) as any one else. To assume otherwise would be naive. And if they don't kill them (and lest we forget the kids are already dead), they'll be killed themselves. This makes the show real. 'Bad writing' would be to have no kids in the mix. This fact also makes us protective of Carl even as audience members, and increases tension behind the pregnancy sub-story. Laurie's right to worry about bringing a child into the world, and Sophia was the exclamation point.
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Yes, I was completely surprised when Sophia came out of the barn. I had completely forgotten about her. My husband had also forgotten about her, and 6 other people I spoke with didn't expect it either. Excellent writing!! Nothing exploitative at all, not at all. Just writing what might really happen - kids get bitten by walkers. What - you'd have them never hurt the wittle children? Ya, that's realistic.
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typical parent fighting for childrens cause...good for you (clapping!). if you dont like that kind of show sorry but go watch sesame street.
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easy partner, if you wanna go that route isnt any show with children in it for cute factor, emotional stake factor etc exploitive? (god, have you seen toddler's & tiarras??? sick!). I think if you are true to life about this apocolypse one of the things you have to consider is the danger to your loved ones INCLUDING children. facing the threat to or loss of a child if something like this occured is something most people can identify with.
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I really can't subscribe to this criticism with this show. Yes, with a lot of other shows, I'd agree with you that killing off a child is "cheap" drama. But this is a gosh-darn zombie apocalypse, dude! It'd have been stupider if Sophia was still alive. With that said, maybe the whole storyline of her being missing could have been done without, but whatever. Again, it's a zombie apocalypse: people die, and yes, kids are people too.
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I think a show said it perfectly. one of the things that is so frightening about this kind of show is that everyone is fair game. the zombies are walking viruses. viruses know nothing other then to spread. it doesn't make distinctions between newborne or elderly. there is no pleading or begging with this type of thing.
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Agreed. I don't understand the "we can't kill off kids bc in real life kids never die". Its a freaking apocalypse, everybody is fair game. The zombies don't let the kids go just bc they're kids.
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and if it was real, then she is a zombie... so, there's that.
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You do know it's not real right?
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It's still real to me dammit! (Let's see how many get that)
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my buddy's mother makes $78 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her paycheck was $8696 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this web site... nirl.eu/yX

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yes, but the laptop is leaving bruises on her back something awful...read more @ get off this site, a**.
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Not anymore, she got bitten, turned into a zombie and ended up in Hershel's barn... rest of story in this thread...
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I actually thought Shane was a little ridiculed. As soon as I got over the "holy shit" moment, I kept thinking he had better shoot her quickly, be fair and act on his words, but it turns out he was a hypocrite. I don't think anyone in the group ever had to shoot a loved one in the face except for Andrea (who especially should have known how it felt), and they never stopped to think. When it came down to it Shane and all his followers froze. Hershel might be really naive when it comes to zombies, but hey, it's his house, leave the zombies alone or hit the road, nobody's stopping you. I was with Rick on that one, even if it meant herding zombies.
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and it is not over yet. Zombies can hear well... with all those shots fired, maybe they've realize that there's someone to eat.



a couple of questions:



1. Our dear campers are practicing with fire arms, wasting bullets the most of the time ... they robbed an armory?

2. wasn't it simplier to burn the barn to avoid beeing deteced by other zombies...



The last sequence was very theatrical, but very irresponsible by Shane. It put everyone in danger
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I've said this a few times: The writers needed to make it as dramatic as possible. So they skip over the logical common sense solution to create a story, similar to Rick running twenty miles away from Sophia just to kill two walkers. They needed him to do that to create this story. If it was Carl with him, he would have never left her.
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as my wise brother would always tell me "they did it that way 'cos it's in the script..."
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Well if they have a temporary larger supply of ammo, practice is a good investment, it will make their aim better and save bullets effectively in later stages when ammo supplies would be lower, I guess the village they visit for medicine has a weapon surplus too...
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Burning the barn could have been more dangerous, as the zombies wouldn' die right away, but would be like walking molotov cocktails. However, maybe a machete? Arrows? And apparently they have unlimited ammo...
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how about just letting the hot georgia summer do its thing and let them rot. not sure how long "viable" corpses last in those conditions. any forensic people out there know?
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Oh yeah, as a Georgia girl myself the I know very well that summer in GA is equal to visiting hell for 3-4 months a year.
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you're right... Daryl crossbow would be better... apparently they have cheat codes for unlimited ammo...
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First of all Rick was always a man-he was just even keeled, and trying to get it to where they could stay where he felt they were safest (zombies in barn considered). Shane has had a history of trying to impose his will and desire on the others. He wasnt wrong in stating that the sophia case should be closed, but he DID Not have the right to endanger the others to force them to do his will and want. any number of things could've gone wrong. it showed a clear division between the group as said earlier. The group only understood the personal loss of a turned loved one when it happened to them. The fact that they discovered Sophia's fate 'cause of shane's actions was only happenstance wether good or bad. Andrea knew that kind of loss. Rick had to be the strong one-not shane. if shane didnt like the barn situation then he could've left as he wanted to earlier. Two different types of survivors.
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Best episode of this show so far. Best acting, excellent script, and what a bloody brave move by the writers! Bravo indeed. That took some guts. I've personally found tWD more interesting since it has taken a slow build up stance to things, as it has taken the time for real character development, with some very moving and intense scenes. There are whole heaps of grey areas in the morality involved in this show's story, and I love that.
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Killing off kids is considered "brave" now? Guess the bars pretty low these days.
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brave is doing something that you have a fear of doing. Rick kept the hope for Sophia alive longer then most. twice he;s had to kill a child. you think that makses it easier to do it again? not to rick types. it's its abhorent and goes against his nature. to nuetralize the threat cost him dearly-a sacrifice of his beliefs. you dont think that qualifies as brave? I can waste scumbags all day and sleep like a baby, but to kill a child if needed..? i could but at what cost?

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You do realize children die ALL THE TIME in real life right? So I'm not sure why people such as yourself, huff and puff and blow people's houses down because something depressing that happens alot in real life also happens on fictional television. Are you also opposed to shows that cover: rape, racism, sexism, agesim,sexual orientation discrimination, class inequality, income inequality etc etc.....
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Well I think the point they tried to make (also to Hershel) is that the walkers are no longer human, they are dead and dangerous. Would you object killing a young bear that wanted to rip your throat out, I would. Survival in the extreme demands extreme measures, recall the Rugby team that got marooned after a plain-crash in the Andes, they ate their dead to survive. You think they would have refused to eat a dead child, if that would have been the last food to survive upon... I think they would have, as harsh as it may sound.
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Killed a zombie, not a kid.
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Pretty hard to kill anyone with stunt guns, clearly suspension of disbelief has no place for some viewers. Maybe they should just stick to reality tv?
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There is no moral law applicable to this show. The very premise it's working on dictates on that. Even though, the issue gets debated on every episode, how can you take morality as a factor on a post apocalyptic show featuring lots of zombies? (As a viewer not a character of course)

ps: I did read that you love that about the show, I just thought it interesting that you would mention it! :D
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"There is no moral law applicable to this show." Morality is the very bedrock of this show. From the start it has been good versus evil and the decisions made by both in extreme situations. The moral dilemma faced (I.E. Shane leaving Rick alone and unconcious in the hospital.) and the decision made(I.E. Shane choosing to pursue Lori for his own physical comfort.) The extreme(I.E. The gang in the city setting up hospice.) From SAFIBWANA "First, if the world's known population is something like 10, the bro code no longer applies." Extreme. But even if that were true when chaos occurs that does not give license to chaotic law. It simply makes the decisions harder and more extreme. (I.E. Rick's decision to return to the half-girl zombie to end her suffering). (Hershel's decision to house and feed the "family members" McNuggets in the barn.)

For all intent and purpose, there is no other law than moral at this point. Each survivor responsible for his/her own actions. UNTIL those actions ripple to and cause response from others. (see all examples above)

The truest measure of the man is the deed done unseen. Looking in from outside it seems fairly easy to see the morality, Both lost and found.
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I laugh at the notion of "morality" when I see it mentioned. The writers hemmed and hawed at a few jokes about Indians...but executing pre-teens is "excellent writing." What a joke.
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the whole point of the show is to examine the human response to this event when all institutions, codes, laws are suspended if not abolished. how do you live your intangable life when the threat to your physical life is so "danger close"?
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It has nothing to do with morality, in extreme circumstance morality becomes a 'luxury' that can get you killed.
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I hope you have a very large and well secured barn to fill up with all your high moral code of not killing people who are violently dangerous and by all accounts no longer people, because the rest of us would likely accept what's done is done and end the threat.
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Seriously, you think Shane was proven justified? All I saw was a manipulator manipulating his way to alphamaledom and then falling on his miserable ass. Did he have to endanger Carl to make his point? He could have done something about the zombies without unleashing them on the only people left alive (as far as he knows). Yeah, it set up a pretty sweet reveal about Sophia, but we all know Herschel is wrong. Herschel being wrong doesn't make Shane right.



Do I trust Shane any more than I did before to have my back during a Zombiepocalypse? No. He has proven that he has only his own survival / success in view.



Do I think he did the right thing by setting the incarcerated walking dead loose on the group? No. There were much better ways to take down the zombies (who were contained well enough that he had to bust them out) that would have posed little threat to anyone: that's right! He actually put the group in more danger than they've been in since coming to the farm with that stunt.



Do I think that following Shane would keep me alive (if I were Daryl, say)? No, because the moment chicks started to dig me, there'd be a gun trained on me, and I'm not his best friend. Even his relationship with Lori, arguably the only person her really has concern for, is about his relationship with Rick.



Would it be worth living the life Shane advocates? Maybe someone like Shane would survive until the bitter end, but so what? What's he living for? And for whom? And who would care for him at that point? Maybe with enough kool-aid, he could finagle a dependent woman into caring for his existence, but that's a pretty sorry state of affairs. But hey, I guess it's worked for thousands of years. But that's probably another sort of world that I'd just as soon opt out of.
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It is possible that a woman would want to be with him, and he want to be with her, but the moment a herd of zombies were unleashed on them, he'd shoot her in the leg. He's proved that.
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Yeah... Team Shane.



Cuz we all know that such a man ain't going to BACKSTAB and leave you for dead the minute you two would run into trouble. He's definitely a trusted friend... you know, the same way Tony Soprano, Clay' Morrow, Tony Montana or Vic Mackey should all be viewed as trusted friends - all of those guys would NEVER end up killing you to save their own asses.



Yes, let's all root for the CERTIFIED SOCIOPATHS - they're clearly the role models we should all inspire to be like when the proverbial s**t really hits the fan.



(Jesus, Mary, Joseph... you know, this world probably do deserves a zombie apocalypse.)
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I'm glad somebody said it. Yes Shane is sexy (if you're into dudes), and yeah some of his decisions were justified, but I know I'd rather have Rick covering my back, than Shane potentially shooting it.
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(P.S.) Almost all 174 comments are pro Shane .... And thank god that I was the crazy one when I wrote in a comment: I hope that Maggie is found dead or something.



I can understand that when the zombies will arrive, there are no more rules. But just a little common sense. Shane is just as bad as the Zombies, he killed Otis is messing with everybody... Personally I would not follow Shane or Rick anywere. I would be more something like: ''Hey Daryl were are we goinig tomorrow?''
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Do you feel, as I do, that Shane was vindicated when Sophia stepped out of the barn? He was right about her being dead, and the threat of the barn walkers is now squashed. He may not be the most courteous guest, but is there any doubt that the group is safer because of his actions? When Dale told Shane he belonged in "this world," he meant it as a backhanded compliment. But guess what, old man, "this world" is the only world we got right now! Team Shane! Team Shane! Team Shane! How awesome was Shane shooting those rescued zombies while making his case for them to all be killed NOW?



Team SHAME Team SHAME Team SHAME

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i dunno-how awsome do you think he'd be if he took out someone you cared for because he was mad and wanted to prove his point? I didn't see him blowing away sophia that quickly....
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Both guys suck hard in different ways. It's the only way to have any kind of balance in the story. How awesome would Rick be if the zombies ate half the group while they slept? I'm sure he'd save some of them, of course..
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more of a half full kinda guy myself, both have traits that can be valuable...

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What I find most surprising is that Sophia managed to get away after initially bitten and not completely eaten thereby allowing her to turn into a zombie. I figured she would have been eaten whole.
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me too. i wondered about that particular timeline. from the time rick led the zombies away, to the time she changed direction of travel, to the barn scene...wonder if there is a story line there..?
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Same thing crossed my mind. She was basically nibbled on and left to turn.
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Actually I think putting hooks into large hams and trying to fish out a fat zombie from a well was probably the stupidest thing I've seen yet ... oh wait, their back up plan was to lower Glenn into the well. Ouch.
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I find it interesting that it was RICK who had to take out Sophia after all the talk Shane was doing prior to her coming out of the barn. Say what you want about Rick, but he was the only one who stepped up and did what had to be done. The rest of them were standing around like a bump on a log. And it showed that they were more like Herschel than they wanted to admit. None of them could do it, all the excitement and shooting that they all did came to a halt when Sophia walked out. And Rick, who up until that point had not shot anyone from the barn, took her out.
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I tried to get through as many comments as possible.. anyways.. it seems to me that Shane's response was due to his belief that Lori is carrying his child.. he didnt want his little one to be to become a Happy Meal, however, when he saw Sophie... he realized was confronted with his own beliefs/behaviours in a new context.. one of the many conflicting and emotional ones his character is going through.

I appreciate the efforts of the season, the developments of character, conflict (both inner and outer) and the finale was great.
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Why didn't Shane just kill them one by one by walking up the ladder like Glenn used up in the hay loft? Surely Glenn told him there is a ladder to the hay lofts were we can watch them and take them out safely.
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adamonfire's answer would be a very good and smart reason, but if I learned anything from these one and a half seasons, it's that these group of survivors are quite stupid. For the show, it was done for dramatic purposes. For the characters, they just didn't know any better.
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This forces the entire group it partake in the killing of the zombies, as opposed to one man being able to pick them off from afar. What Shane did creates fear in the rest of the group, and provokes a reaction that proves the rest of them agree with Shane in that they must be killed off. In your scenario, it still allows the other to say "you shouldn't have done that" - well, now they can't, because they also did it themselves.
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or as my big brother used to tell me when i would ask him why they did this or that on t.v. he would tell me "because its in the script."
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well said.

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Because then we would have been deprived of the huge reveal of the zombies coming into the light...
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^ What they said. The writers had to create the dramatic effect.
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Staff
Because Shane is badass, that's why.
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HAHAHA, and batcrap crazy.
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Great end. Did not see that coming. It was awsome.

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People have brought up Otis finding Sophia as a zombie and putting her in the barn. Although it'll no doubt cause friction on the farm i have another, simpler theory.



What if Sophia just happened to stumble upon the farm herself and simply took refuge in the barn instead of going to the house (that may have zombies inside) She'd have no idea it was full of zombies and may have been attacked as soon as she slipped in.



The barn was secure but you never know. Kids tend to find there way into things/places regardless.
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um, good thought But i believe if she entered a barn full of zombies she would not have been as intact as her corpse seemed to be.
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Check out the Hannah "Bicycle Girl" webisodes - Torn Apart.

She was the half gone zombie Rick shot in the very first episode.

A gang of zombies got her and you see the results.
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Maybe not. They did feed the zombies.
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She wouldn't have turned into a zombie that way...she'd have been completely eaten
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That is possible, maybe even more so than Hershel knowing she was there and not telling anyone. That timeline is a little strange. Also it would create even more conflict between the Farm People and their guests, which would be a great watch.
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And Tim, remove the comma from "Secrets kill, people." to be "Secrets kill people." Especially after that massacre! Even if the walkers weren't living, they were, at one time, people! Sorry, just a giggle I had.
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Ha ha, I should have said Secrets kill people, people.
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For what does Rick have to be guilty for ? Sophia ran off, taking the wrong direction, got lost. Reached the farmhouse(where Daryl found the sleeping space and the puppet), slept there and THEN she got bit but managed to get away. Turned shortly after and "walked" to the grounds of Hershels Farm. Otis and Meg found her and brought her to the barn. I think it took days for the group untill Carl got shot to find the farm. Tragic, but not Ricks fault. So he IS just awesome.
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Disregarding for a moment that Sophia was a child scared for her life, how do you know Sophia ran off on her own, or took the wrong direction? Maybe she ran into the zombie *on* the right direction.



We now know she was killed, which tells us the zombies found her. We also know that whenever they found her bitten (obviously pretty soon if someone put her in the barn before the group made it there) Rick wasn't there to help her...because he left her after she begged him not to. If there's one thing a cop and a parent of Carl should know, it's that kids often don't do what you tell them. Her life was in his hands, and he left her to her own devices. Not good enough, obviously, because she died.
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People act like Shane could never have shot Sophia, and she was about to sprint after Carl and eat his eyes out. They had time; she wasn't a Runner (if that's what we're calling them). They all gave Carol--and themselves--a few moments to mourn. Anyone there could've shot her if they had to, aside from Hershel. Even Glenn, though he'd likely be crying or something.



And as for Shane standing there gawking at Sophia, well...I've said this earlier, but again, if Shane hadn't shot the zombie that Rick was still standing around holding after they came out of the barn, Rick would've been gawking as much as the rest of them...but with the last zombie on a stick.



It's not so much that Shane failed to shoot her; Rick had to succeed in shooting her, or Rick would have been utterly worthless the entire season. He's accomplished nothing but having Carl's blood type to save him from the gunshot wound Rick walked him into in the first place.



It didn't have to be Shane that shot Sophia (he found her), but it did have to be Rick (he lost her).



Was it Rick's awesomeness, or his guilt?
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I don't think he lost her. He may have had guilt and that is why he didn't abandon the search, but that is far different. If Shane could shoot her, why didn't he? He stood there, and Rick manned up. Yes, it was how it was written, but everyone just stood there.
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Shane did just stand there, like the rest of them...but really, how long was it? 10 seconds? 15? Where was the fire? She was still a slow 10 feet away. Would Shane have been awesome or more justified if he'd shot her the second he saw her shoes step out of the barn? Rick stepped up and put her down, but he didn't save anyone.



Sophia didn't reach them. People want Shane to be more human and less of a hearless dick, but the second he comes back to Earth with the rest of them and lets Carol cry it out a little, he's a coward.
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Is it possible that Otis found zombie Sophia? He shot Carl the next day and got shot himself that evening, I thought it takes a lot longer to turn, i guess unless she was killed instantly with that bite to the neck and just stood up right after... Are we going to find zombie Otis?
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I believe Andrea's sister turned almost immediately after she died.
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No, she was down for awhile, with Andrea looking over her waiting.
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The Walking Dead has no use for timelines. Even Robert Kirkman said he doesn't know (or care) how much time passed between eps.
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I appreciate the info, which told me what many of us already know: consistency is hard, and he's not capable of maintaining it.
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The last ten minutes made up for the rest of the incredibly lackluster season so far - great payoff but the leadup was at least 2 episodes too many IMO.



Still can't figure this show out - it doesn't really have a plot which means it should be a character development story but for the most part the characters are 1 dimensional and barely fleshed out. It takes 1 1/2 seasons for Glenn to even articulate why he does the missions? Glad he told us because so far the writers/acting had given no indication.



I want to love this show but I wonder if getting rid of the creator was a bad idea? I'm guessing "yes".

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This I agree with, except for the last part. It's possible Darabont was part of the problem with Season 2. We'll see in 2015 or whenever TWD returns!
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Again... my question:

This season is boring because Darabont does not know how to handle a TV production (as suggested in another review I read) and the episodes were dragging so he was let go and it was too late to do rewrites... or the episodes sucked, he wanted to write them differently and so he was let go???
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I don't know when he departed from the show, but for whatever reason, I'm more inclined to think like JamieBlumenfe. Season 1 was fairly quick and had quite a lot going on, so I just assume that the change of pace and more slowly moving season 2 was due to Darabont not being around.
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