'Walking Dead' Recap: What Went Down at Hershel's Farm

We left things off in The Walking Dead last week with [NAME REDACTED FOR SPOILERS] lost in the woods, [REDACTED] threatening to leave the group while [REDACTED] begged to go with him, and [REDACTED] getting shot by an unseen assailant. The premiere served up a lot of plot but, in my opinion, ran a little heavy on the bloated monologues—and a little weak on the character development side of things.

Did our story improve this week? I'm voting a resounding HELL YES.

(NON-REDACTED SPOILERS AHEAD!)

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I was happy with tonight's episode from the beginning, with what I thought was a great flashback scene that gave us a nice little emotional gut-punch before things even got going—and, as we were to eventually learn, a parallel to what was about to unravel with Carl's injury.

So it turns out that Carl was shot by Otis (played by Pruitt Taylor-Vince, who I always fondly think of as That Guy With the Eyes), who sends Rick—frantically hefting a bloody Carl—and Shane bolting to Hershel's farm. Which, OMG, is awesome. Did you even see that fab wraparound porch? 

Hershel's ready to get down to some serious surgery on Carl, but he needs all kinds of medical stuff, which sucks because the nearest medical stuff is at a school-turned-triage, which is currently swarming with zombies. Not to worry, though, because Shane, who is suddenly the most honorable stand-up guy in the world, volunteers to go. Along with Otis, who feels super shitty for, you know, accidentally shooting the kid.

Before Shane takes off, there's a great scene where he and Rick manfully grip each other's faces and almost make out, while Shane murmurs, "When you were in the hospital, Rick ... you should have seen how strong Lori was." Which is funny because I'm pretty sure Shane wasn't spending that time staring at Lori's emotional resilience, being as how he didn't waste any time before he slipped her a little of the old Mourning-Best-Friend-Flavored Comfort Sausage.

Meanwhile, Dale is stuck back at the RV with T-Dawg, who is either suffering from a legit blood infection or he's about to go all zombie on Dale, and the rest of the gang is still wandering around in the woods looking for ... huh, who was it again that they're ... oh yeah, Sophia. Man, they need to do something with that storyline because, I'm sorry, my give-a-crapper is kinda running dry for that girl.

Okay, so Shane and Otis get to the school triage area where they go creeping up to a car and Shane dramatically whispers, "Let's take a look" before he slooowwwly peeks around the edge of the OH MY GOD THERE ARE A SQUILLION ZOMBIES RIGHT THERE HOLY CRAP. Wow, it's so intense they didn't see or hear the giant shuffling crowd of the undead beforehand.

They throw some flares, they bust into a medical trailer type thing, they get the stuff, they turn to leave when oh RIGHT all those zombies. D'oh!

Back at the farm, Hershel admits that bee tee dubs, he's a veterinarian. Which sends Lori down the rabbithole, but I mean, really, what were the odds that they would have been near any humans, much less a guy with actual medical knowledge? Count your blessings, Lori. Also, cut your hair, because
that is the most impractical post-apocalyptic 'do ever.

So, we're left with Shane and Otis stuck in a Very Bad Situation over at the school, Carl is on the brink of death back at the farm, lil' whatshername is still missing, Daryl is slowly turning into Sawyer from Lost, and according to a tiny message I saw during the closing credits, tonight's episode was sponsored by Gerber Gear. Awesome.

All in all, I thought tonight's show was a big improvement from last week's. I like the new characters, I like the way tonight's story felt more balanced (i.e., we didn't spend too much time with any one group), I liked that the emotional moments—especially the sorrow and horror regarding Carl—felt real. Two bloody undead thumbs up, and I can't wait to see what happens next week.

Did you like tonight's show? Do you think Shane and Otis will both make it out alive?



Image via AMC

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