Season 2 Episode 7 “Pretty Much Dead Already”
This episode feels like planets spinning wildly out of orbit around each other until ultimately a great big crash occurs.
We open with Glenn spilling the barn secret over breakfast. The barn being casually in the background as he does this. The whole group is shocked and immediately goes to check it out. Shane of course overreacts and wants to kill them all immediately. I don’t understand how someone could be that riled up in the morning but sure Shane, you do your thing. Lots of yelling between group members about who knew what and what to do now.
Eventually everyone starts to go about their daily business but with the barn in their minds. Now that Rick knows Lori is pregnant, he goes back to Hershel once again to try to convince him to let them stay. Hershel is still strongly against it wanting to protect his family. Maggie comes into play now because of her growing relationship with Glenn. She now sees a lot of the facts clearer than Hershel and uses that to influence him and sway him towards letting the group stay. Hershel begins to bend but isn’t ready to completely give up on his beliefs.
An opportunity arises to show Rick how things are going to be if they stay on the farm. Rick jumps at the chance. Hershel takes Rick into the woods to where a couple of walkers are stuck in the mud. Hershel basically tells Rick that if you’re going to stay we are handling the walkers my way and treating them like sick living people. A pretty decent deal if you ask me, and Rick seems keen on it too.
Meanwhile Shane is stomping around the farm working everyone up into a frenzy. Telling Rick he’s taking too long with Hershel, trying to convince Lori that the baby is his, exchanging threats with Dale in the woods. He just doesn’t know how to take the subtle route. Not really sure why Shane thinks confronting Lori is a good idea. Of course, in the back of everyone’s minds is Shane is more likely to be the father but does he think Lori is just going to cut Rick out? How does he think that’s going to play? And from Lori’s perspective, she’s stuck in a no win situation. Without knowing who the real father is, she’s basically being forced to choose her husband, in which case Shane gets pissed, or it is Shane, in which case she has to cut out her husband. I don’t think either option lends any good results. I suppose if they were more progressive they could have made some sort of arrangement to share custody but that idea doesn’t lend itself to good dramatic television.
Dale is once again trying to make decisions for everyone. He doesn’t like how Andrea is getting close to Shane, especially after seeing Shane’s reaction to the barn. One really important question gets asked to Andrea, but is really meant for all of us. “Is that how you want to be, like him [Shane]?” asks Dale. Andrea sees Shane as not a victim, someone who gets things done. But it’s more like he pushes and bullies everyone around him to get an outcome he wants. It’s easy for Shane to point fingers when other people’s plans, mainly Ricks, fall through. But would his plans work out any better? Shane is definitely not a victim, but it goes farther than that, he’s the guy creating victims. His solutions have consequences and effects just like anyone else’s well intended plans, it’s just more like his solutions always involve a little less empathy and consideration. And no, I don’t think I would want to be like him.
After Dale’s depressing talk with Andrea, he gets the idea that if he takes all the guns away that it will force everyone to resolve their problems with words. Dale isn’t the stealthiest of individuals and Shane’s after him in no time. During their fight we really see a turn in Dale. I think he really sees himself on the losing side of life. He tells Shane that this is his world now. I think he sees that logic and debate are slowly going out the window and violence and muscle are taking over; people returning to their less evolved state. Dale is depressed at this and for a moment it almost seems like he may just fade into the woods never to be seen again. Considering Dale’s age, he knows he can’t survive in Shane’s world where debate and civil discussion don’t cut it. And I think a part of him is also sad for the world in general. How far we’ve come only to return to our roots.
Some more minor planets are also gyrating about. Carol and Daryl continue to grow closer but have a brief spat when Carol starts to believe they’ll never find Sophia. Daryl, all alone now as the only one with any hope left, is furious at her. He resorts to his old misogynistic ways and curses her. They make up pretty quickly. Carol wants to know why it means so much to him. To which he says he’s got nothing else to do, but I don’t think that’s true. He’s 100% downplaying it. Sophia does mean a lot to him but he never says why. Daryl’s whole life has been nothing but being a lazy redneck and now all of a sudden one little girl he barely knows means finding her even if it kills him? It’s so much more than just not having anything else to do. I don’t know if it’s more frustrating or attractive that Daryl chooses to keep himself closed off. Maybe both?
Maggie and Glenn continue their rollercoaster of love. Fighting again over the barn secret. Last episode Maggie expressed her true feelings towards Glenn and now it’s Glenn’s turn to get his feelings out. He won’t back down from telling about the barn because even though the people inside are her loved ones they are dangerous to her and everyone and he does not want her to live with that danger. I think after this the two are finally on the same page with each other. There’s a growing respect that is keeping this going and developing their ideals about how to live in this new world.
So now all the planets are spinning spinning spinning and here comes Shane. He makes his big move asking who’s with him without telling them what they are with him on. Marches them all towards the barn as Rick and Hershel come from the woods with the walkers. Gets everyone all riled up to attack the barn. Shane shoots one of the walkers that Hershel retrieved from the woods to try to emphasize his point about them being dead and he breaks open the barn. No choice now but to kill them. Hershel goes into shock. His wife, family and friends emerging from the barn all getting gunned down in front of him. The rest of the Greene family are scared and upset. Our Atlanta group looks strong and powerful in their show of force. And then out she comes…. Sophia. Now it’s the Atlanta groups turn to mourn. Everyone is shocked and saddened and I think it even brings Shane down a few notches. It was one thing to think she was dead in the woods, never to be seen again. This is not an outcome he expected and it really makes him look bad now in my opinion. His big tough move has backfired on him. Rick putting her down is only fitting. It is basically on him for her dying. I think its almost like an apology with the look in his eyes.
This is our collision. The Greene family has officially lost their loved ones with no hope of them getting well. The Atlanta group has lost their angel. This is the saddest moment we’ve had since Amy dying in Season 1. Another innocent life lost much too soon. All we have now is one large group of devastated people that have some pieces to pick up.
Best of the Episode
The barn massacre. A violent, emotional and tragic moment. This is the culmination of a six episode search for Sophia ending in worst case scenario. It’s a pivotal moment for the characters and the show. Every single character now has something to mourn over in this scene, some worse than others. Lives have been shattered and we’re left wondering how they’ll cope. And to note, the background music is beautifully tragic and sad and perfectly suited.