Wow, what a fantastic episode that crackled out for the holidays and more than invites people back in February for the second half of the season, oh boy! Glen informs the camp about the Walkers and can't get a break when trying to talk to Maggie about why he did it. Rick tries to assure Herschel that even though he knows about the barn he and his people will not do anything about it since it's his farm and pleads for him to let them stay and not turn them out into the big zombie infested world. Dale takes a step to stop Shane from using the guns to clear out the barn since he clearly has his own agenda about it. Dale has a discussion with Andrea about his "jealousy" and how she can't trust Shane. When Dale hides the guns Shane tracks him down and takes them from him and the idea is tossed out that Shane is built for this world with his steely heart and his devil may care attitude, while he says that Rick is too soft. Rick accompanies Herschel on a mission to bring two walkers back to the barn and how they have to wrangle them with a leash type thing and how this will be how they deal with Walkers if he allows them to stay. A great move to see Herschel trust Rick to do that and a step to show the great respect each leader has for their own. Daryl grows closer to Sophia's mom and tells her he still believes she's out there. Glen explains to Maggie his reasons for not keeping the secret which win her over. Shane is told about Laurie's pregnancy and he confronts her about it and she says that even though it may be his it won't ever be HIS. Shane, guns in hand, strolls back onto the property and hands the guns out to clear the barn since he thinks it's totally not safe and rallies his team together while Rick and Herschel bring the wrangled walkers back from the woods. Shane's shooting into one of the walkers explaining that a dead thing couldn't walk that off was probably the most convincing argument either side has had this whole debate. Then he sets open the doors to the barn after killing the one Herschel is leading and they lay waste to the contents of the barn, shattering Herschel's trust and their chance of staying. The big reveal being that at the back of the barn is Sophia, zombified. Rick puts her down and that's it. WOW, that had the effect it was truly going for, and after dragging out the Sophia search for so long I thought for sure she would be found or they were still buying time until they had to leave the farm midseason, not that. But what bothers me after having seen that, and I hope they address it, is that Herschel knew about their little girl search and once he knows that they know about the walkers in the barn wouldn't he say "hey there's this little girl, is this the one you're looking for?" especially since it seemed like he was trying to build a bridge to trust to the group through Rick, who will obviously be at odds with Shane now. How long has Sophia been in the barn anyway? Because she had to have left her doll there a while ago and all that stuff, something about the timeline doesn't add up to me. But that's beside the point. There may be a turning point coming where Rick and Shane will split like Jack and Locke did in Lost Season 4 or Magneto and Xavier (two people who believe in the same cause but just don't agree on the means of the goal) where there will be a super divide brought between them Shane the survivor and Rick the (not sure what to call him) but Shane is certainly "not a victim," which has made him one of my favorite characters. This episode will stand out as one of the episodes that may convert people to watching this show and fills us in enough to tie up the Sophia storyline thoroughly and hauntingly and to sink us into a depression the Walking Dead hasn't ever gone to before. This season has proved the Walking Dead has lots of chops for dramatic storytelling worthy of the AMC brand but more mainstream as well, and hopefully this is a great sign of things to come. But this is about the midseason point where Darabont was kicked or quit so maybe some tonal shifts or something will be in effect from here on out. Can't wait till February!