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'Walking Dead' Recap: Boys Becoming Men, Men Becoming Zombies

Shane manages to wear out his welcome even further

Carl and Rick Grimes on 'Walking Dead.'
Gene Page/AMC
March 11, 2012 10:05 PM ET

Where we left off: Rick couldn’t kill Randall in front of Carl the Kid. Uncle Dale took a bullet to the brain after being disemboweled by Quicksand Zombie.  

Where we pick up: Rick delivers a solemn eulogy about Dale as voiceover, Meredith Grey style. He tells the Still Alives that Dale knew the truth about each of them, and the best way to honor his memory is to heal the broken group and set aside their differences and work together to survive. The eulogy is crosscut with a scene of zombie carnage as Andrea, Daryl, Shane and T-dog take out five walkers who appear to be having a picnic. Yup, that’s how to honor Dale! Slam a pitchfork into a walker’s head!

Back at the farm, Hershel has finally agreed to let the Still Alives live in his house. Since the swamp and the creek are drying up, the farm is going to be much less safe, and they have 50 cows just crying out to become zombie snacks.  Hershel announces that he will stock the basement with food and water so they’ll have enough provisions in case they need to barricade themselves in the house for a few days. This is a genius idea, but it seems ridiculous that he is only just now thinking about it. At the first sign of a zombpocalypse, I would be filling my apartment with canned beans and protein bars and Ensure, but that’s just me.

Rick lays out the plan for their immediate survival and chooses Daryl as his wingman. Shane is totally pissed off about this and Hershel notices his anger. He tells Rick that he has no more patience for Shane, although Rick insists Shane is turning over a new leaf. Uh huh. Rick deputizes Andrea to help Hershel run things at the farm while he’s out dropping off Randall. Andrea is shocked. "You want me to babysit Shane?" she asks, incredulously. Rick responds that he doesn’t want all hell to break out every time he leaves. Andrea shoots back that he should stop leaving. Hey-oh!

Carl the Kid confides in Shane that he stole Daryl’s gun and that he lured Quicksand Zombie to their camp. Shane wants Carl to keep the gun so that he can protect himself but Carl never wants to touch a gun again. "That isn’t an option," responds Shane.  New world order time! Kids who wear giant hats also have to carry guns!

The Still Alives work out housing arrangements. Maggie wants Glenn to put his stuff in her room but he’s uncomfortable bunking up with her when her dad is in the same house. Hershel offers Lori his room, since she is preggers and she deserves a bed. He will be cool sleeping on the couch since he and Couchy became close friends during his drinking days. Lori accepts, and then stares meaningfully at Shane, who is building a lookout tower on the windmill.

Lori confronts Shane about working on the lookout tower all-alone, and Shane shrugs her off, saying that he always works alone because help never shows up. Lori asks for him to come down from the windmill and when he does, she tries to apologize for putting him at odds with Rick. She admits that she doesn’t know whose baby she’s carrying and she is so, so sorry for putting Shane through all of this, especially after she never thanked him for saving their lives. Lori is almost likeable during this speech, although not quite.

Shane tells Rick about Carl and Quicksand Zombie and suggests that he talk to his son. Rick is in a hurry to dump Randall but Shane fights back: apparently freeing their prisoner is more important than being a good father. Match point, Shane! Rick finds Carl in the barn wearing his giant hat and makes him take the gun back. He tells Carl to grow up because everyone is going to die someday and the best they can do is try to avoid death as long as possible. I saw that episode of 90210 where the kid shot himself in the stomach and I would like to suggest that giving guns to children is not the best way to stay alive, but I am not in the hayloft having a father-son heart to heart.

In the prisoner barn, Randall strains his wrists against his handcuffs. Shane shows up and sits on a milking stool, pondering the prisoner. He goes through some sort of psychotic break and slaps himself around before pointing a gun at Randall. He listens to some demons in his head and sneers when he notices Randall’s bloody wrists. Shane makes some weird grunty noises and clearly this is not a good sign.

T-dog gives Dale’s gun to Daryl, since Daryl insists on using his crossbow and will run out of arrows eventually. T-dog has the very important job of fetching Randall from the barn so they can dump him far away. "Yo Randy," he shouts. "The governor called and you’re off the hook!" Ha ha, nice execution joke, T-dog! He unlocks the barn door, and – surprise! Randall is missing.

Of course, Shane has freed Randall and he shoves him through the woods and demands to know where the Bad Guys are living. Shane tells Randall he is over the Still Alives and he wants to go join the other group. Randall is elated and says that Shane will love living with the daughter-raping Bad Guys because things get a little crazy over there and everyone is a tough guy, so Shane will fit in just fine. Off camera, Randall trips. Shane makes a crazyface and there is a sickening crunching sound and I think Shane just broke his neck? Shane comes back into view and he bashes his head into a tree trunk, breaking his nose. Shane is acting very much like Agent Cooper at the end of Twin Peaks when BOB invades his body and he gets all evil and demonic.

While the Still Alives look for Randall, Shane lurks in the woods like Willard in Apocalypse Now. Shane hides his gun under some leaves and lurches out into the open with blood streaming down his face. He cries out that Randall sneaked up on him and stole his weapon and now that little fucker is armed and on the run! Rick orders everyone into the house for safety.

Rick and Shane pair off, as do Daryl and Glenn. They comb the woods, looking for Randall. Daryl, as always, is the smart one, who cynically observes that Randall is a tiny weakling and it is pretty ridiculous that he managed to get the jump on giant and muscular Shane. Hmmmmmm. It is suddenly very dark in the woods. Luckily, Daryl and Glenn have a flashlight and Daryl uses his excellent tracking skills to deduce that Shane and Randall were walking together. And, wait, what’s that? It’s a zombie! It’s not just any zombie! It’s Zombie Randall! That was so quick! Glenn kills him and they examine the corpse. There are no visible bite marks, and it appears that he died from a broken neck. And now he is a zombie. Double hmmmmmmm.

Under a full moon, Rick and Shane find themselves in a field. Rick susses out that Shane is going to murder him.  Shane announces that he is going to tell the other Still Alives that he saw Randall shoot Rick so he broke Randall’s neck, and then everyone will be sad about dead Rick but they’ll get over it and he’ll be the best husband to Lori and the best father to Carl and everyone will forget all about good ol’ Sheriff Rick. Rick tries to talk Shane out of this wonderful plan, and acts like he’s going to put down his gun. Sneak attack! He knifes Shane in the belly and howls "This was you not me! You did this to us! THIS WAS YOU!" Shane gurgles and dies.

Rick bawls in the moonlight.

There are trippy flashes of light and snatches of imagery (like a horse’s eyes?) sort of like when (spoiler) Bella turns into a vampire at the end of Breaking Dawn. Huh? And, wait – there’s Carl the kid! He saw his dad shoot Shane! Carl is totally freaking out and pulls out his gun. Shane reanimates as a zombie (so fast!) and lurches towards Rick. Carl pulls the trigger and kills Zombie Shane. And suddenly there is an army of zombies in the woods, ready to descend on the farmhouse.

And so! Humans don’t need to be bitten or scratched to turn in zombies. And when zombies reanimate, they see horse’s eyes like some sort of bizarre Equus. And apparently turning into a zombie summons other zombies? Are they telepathically linked? Jenner at the CDC said it took between three minutes and eight hours for dead humans to turn into zombies, but that process seems to be happening much quicker. Is the zombie virus (or whatever it is) mutating? And are we all infected with the zombie virus since everyone who dies turns zombie? Then why was that highway at the beginning of this season filled with rotting corpses who were not zombies? Luckily, zombie-lovers, I am flying to Atlanta tonight, so I will try to ask some local zombies how this works.

Scorecard:

Humans: Au revoir, Shane. It’s a shame you were such a dickface. Adieu, Randall. I’m sorry you had to go so soon.

Zombies: 5 picnicking zombies killed, one ex-Randall dispatched, one ex-Shane shot by Carl

LAST EPISODE: Judge, Jury, Executioner

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