SPOILERS for the American Broadcast of Episode 5:
The latest episode was a step-up in quality (and happenings) from the previous three. We got a flashback to the actual time of the Collapse (Atlanta being napalmed by military helicopters), plus a heavy focus on Darryl for much of the episode. Not to mention that Hershel's secret is out: he's holding a bunch of captured zombies in his barn. Judging by their clothing, they were probably his neighbors, and I suspect that he's holding them because of optimistic hope that the "authorities" will show up with a cure. That would explain his reluctance to allow the group to fire guns on his property, plus Maggie's revulsion when they smashed in the head of the Well Zombie. They might think that the people are just "sick".
I think it was because seeing someone get his head bashed in - repeatedly - is revolting. And Maggie hasn't been exposed to that sort of stuff before.
WRT the past episode 'Secrets', I was pleasantly surprised by Andrea's taste in men, plus her newfound marksmanship and zombie-killing mojo. She's now easily the best female character on the show.
I loved his speech to Dale. "Rick's my best friend. I love him like a brother."
Which fully explains why he didn't try to rescue Rick from the hospital and told his wife that her husband - his best friend, his brother - was dead... so he could get her in bed for some consoling, 'cause that's what brothers do.
I'm curious, in the comic book, did they ever give an explanation as to how the plague started?
I'm wondering if maybe there was a group of scientists tinkering with resurrection and/or attempting to end aging and the experiment went awry and breached containment in the lab.
After the outbreak, he was finally assuming the role Rick always got. He even got Rick's wife, whom he probably pined for already. He was the leader, and he was doing a good job of it. Rick suddenly showed up and took that all away. Ontop of that, Rick's outlook also makes Shane look like a bad-guy and he knows it.
It's understandable that he'd be torn. That he's still stuck around, to me, is a sign of strong character. I hope he stays around, and he seems to be one of the major characters in the overall story so I'm assuming he will.
ETA, and SPOILER for those who haven't seen Sunday's (US) episode yet: That Rick figured out that Lori is pregnant AND that it could be Shane's has me very excited for next episode, to see how this thing between Rick and Shane shakes out. Rick seems to be understanding, if understandably upset.
True, he's at least at war with himself, to some degree, though he's letting himself off the leash when noone's looking (Dale aside). That's going to explode at some point.
Mid-season finale...man, what a heartbreaker. I have to hand it to the writers, they really know how to set up a suckerpunch.
Carl got shot early on in the search. I don't know that it'd have been right to have already given up at that point. Darryl got hurt while looking, but who says they would have fared any better on the road? I think Rick was using Sophie as an excuse to stay at the farm, because he felt like it could make a good home for them.
Rick's decisions aren't perfect, but neither are Shane's. One is purely emotional do-goody, and the other is purely calculative survive no matter what.
Actually, Shane just needs to bail at this point, especially after Lori's little speech about 'even if the baby's yours, it won't be yours'. He was ready to bail at the start of Season 2, but was stopped after Carl's little catastrophe. He's even said that Lori and Carl are the only 2 people in the group he cares about, which, frankly, I'm having a hard time understanding after Lori has stomped on his heart multiple times and even Carl has turned on him. What is left for him in that group? He and Andrea, the only one he seems sympatico with, should do as she suggested in Ep. 201 and run off together.
I like Shane, so if he does split off, I hope they still follow his story arch. But I don't see them splitting him and Rick, since that's what causes the most dramatic tension in the group.
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?"
Shane is very close to losing his soul. There was just a glimmer of it when he saw Sophie come out of that barn.
Dale's right. Shane is perfectly suited to the way the world is now. But Rick is better suited to make it a better place.
I missed the episode Sunday so I got it off iTunes and just watched it. wow, what a SUCKERPUNCH! Heartbreaking. Those writers are awsome. great way to end the mid season.
It's going to be a long wait til february.
Remember, it was Rick who did what needed to be done while Shane stood there transfixed.
Rick has principles, and one of them - probably first among them - is to protect the innocent. (That would seem to be the reason he became a cop. Shane probably liked the power it represented.) Rick was willing to try to placate Hershel not because of "high and mighty moral priniciples" but because it was a way to let them stay on the farm, a safe place to have and raise a baby.
I think the real answer lies somewhere between Shane and Rick, and I think the writers are using them as foils to examine both ends of the spectrum from the extreme. To me, Daryl seems to be the fulcrum point. Just enough humanity to give people like Carol and T-Dog an arm to hold onto against the storm, but still calloused enough by Merle to make cold decisions when circumstances demand it. I think his big weakness is lack of self confidence brought on by too many years following in his brother's shadow. He may well have the most balanced mind of the bunch, but he's a beta-male who isn't conditioned internally to take the reins.
I was left wondering how Sophia got into the barn? Did Vet find her as a zombie and frog-march her back with the others?
Yes, but Herschel knew that he had a little girl zombie in his barn. He couldn't have known her name, but he could have taken Rick aside and said something like, 'Hey, we found this undead little girl wandering around; could this be Sophia?'
Actually, if you watch the teaser trailer for Season 2.2, Herschel says that it was Otis who rounded up walkers and herded them into the barn before he was killed. After Otis' death, Herschel must have had to take over. So, either Sophia was bitten, turned, and found very quickly after being lost, or Herschel found her himself. either way, he had to have known, as one of the Green Team would have seen Sophia during the feeding sessions.