The Walking Dead started off last year with a very attention grabbing first season. For starters, unlike most zombie apocalypse themed programs or movies, this one actually has a heart and a well driven plot. One of the greatest aspects of the show is the characters involved and the web of interactions that they each convey with one another as they all attempt to survive a grim situation on a virtually dead planet. Rick, the main protagonist, is an easily relatable character as we, alongside him, are shoved into a world of death. With every new experience he and the group goes through, we the audience experience it as well.
I feel like the first season captured that quite well albeit a couple of rough patches here and there in terms of slow story progression. However, as the second season started moving along, the plot tended to sputter and halt at several points all together as the characters tended to wait around more often than not rather than the constant mobility that occurred in the first season. Though it does give a different feel to the season as you don't want both seasons being exactly the same or else the plot will get tiresome, the execution of the second season just fell rather flat during several episodes. Sure the slow-burn tension growing between Shane and Rick as Shane slowly starts devolving more and more in to a dehumanized machine, is interesting, but dedicating seven episodes of just pure complacency while attempting to find a little girl named Sophia gets rather tedious.
As far as the mid-season finale goes, I felt that without question, this was the best episode of the second season. Though some of the tensions (such as growing ones between Dale and Shane or Rick and Shane), do continue to remain without closure, that is exactly the stuff you want in order to keep interest going on until the next batch of episodes is released in February. For once this season, I felt like the complacency and the schizophrenic pace of the story finally built up to something good. Without spoiling anything, the climactic last ten minutes of this episode will not disappoint fans of the series.
With that said, I hope that when the second half of episodes are released in February, the producers and writers will be able to execute a more cohesive and better paced story than what we got during the first half. The series is still good and this episode ended on a proper note, but as we have learned throughout this past season, it does not take much to cool the hot steam the show had going during the first season.
In layman's terms: Watch the episode, even if you haven't liked the direction of the series. Likely the best episode since the very first one last year.