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The Walking Dead – Recap & Review – Beside the Dying Fire

photo: amc/gene page
photo: amc

The Walking Dead
Beside the Dying Fire

Original Air Date: Mar 18, 2012

Rachel – Sr. Managing Editor

Remember when Rick saw that helicopter in Atlanta? You know, in the pilot? Well, those walkers that were gnawing on Rick’s horse saw it, too. Funny thing about walkers, they are attracted to noise. So they followed the helicopter for a while, as did other walkers. Then they heard another noise and follow it, as did other walkers. And so on. Before you know it, we have a herd, going from noise to noise, continually growing in number. The herd traveled for weeks, over miles and miles, following noises. In some woods, far away from Atlanta, they heard a gunshot. And then another. The walkers veered off their chosen path and headed straight for the noise… and the farm. I blame the helicopter pilot.

At the farm house, Daryl and Glenn show up looking for Rick and Shane. Daryl, being as awesome as he is, knows that something is terribly wrong. For one thing, Randall had been killed by Shane and returned. Lori begs him to go back and look for Rick, but on his way out the door he sees the herd. In the pasture, Rick tries to explain to Carl what happened to Shane, but he doesn’t get much of a chance because they see the herd, too. Oh, man, this is gonna be good.

Those in the house spring to action. Good thing they spent the day before planning for a siege in case Randall’s people showed up, or an escape in case walkers showed up, with the cars by the doors and supplies all gathered. When Lori discovers that Carl is gone (that kid!) and goes off to search the house, Daryl gets on his chopper, Andrea and T-Dog take the truck, and Maggie and Glenn the little hybrid. They start taking out walkers one by one, trying to distract them and lead them away from the house. Hershel takes his post by the front door, ready to defend his home to the death. The rest ready the leftover vehicles for a quick exit.

There is no way Rick and Carl can make it to the house so they opt for safety in the barn. But there are just too many walkers and the boards on the door start to splinter. Rick takes some gas (you may need that later, Rick), soaks the barn floor, and sends Carl up to the loft with a lighter. Rick then opens the barn doors and leads as many walkers as he can inside, climbing the ladder to the loft at the last moment as Carl drops the lit lighter to the barn floor, starting an inferno. Rick’s hope is that the fire will stop most of the walkers from reaching the house and distract the others. Jimmy pulls up to the hay loft door in the RV, allowing Rick and Carl escape the burning barn. And what does Jimmy get for his troubles? A bunch of hungry zombies who eat him. One down.

Back at the vehicles trying to corral the walkers, Andrea realizes they can’t corral the walkers. They’re almost out of ammo and there are just too many walkers heading for the farmhouse. She and T-Dog head back up the hill to pick up survivors.

At the house, Lori is beside herself. She wants to look for Carl, but Carol tells her there is no way. Andrea and T-Dog arrive, and Andrea jumps out to help everyone into the truck and suburban. In the dash to the cars, Patricia becomes walker dinner. Beth and Lori get to the truck with T-Dog and take off. Andrea goes off to help Carol, who has been cornered by some walkers. The two get separated from the group and each other. Rick and Carl show up just in time to save Hershel (“They’re like a plague!”), and the three of them take the suburban.

Maggie and Glenn, still out in the pasture, realize the house is lost and make the tough decision to abandon the farm. Daryl, still on his chopper, hears Carol scream and swoops in to save her. In case you lost count, that’s two down, one missing, and the rest separated from each other in groups of twos and threes.

At dawn we find Maggie and Glenn driving down a country road. He wants to circle back to the highway to the place where they had left supplies for Sophia and she wants to go back to the farm. She totally freaks out when he tells her that there is nothing to go back to. He then tells her that they are alive and that is all that matters… and that he loves her. He says it’s been true for a long time, and that they are going to make it.

Rick, Hershel, and Carl arrive at Sophia’s supply car, and Carl is ready to go back into the fight and look for his mom. Hershel tells Rick that his only priorty now is to get Carl to safety, He wants to stay on the highway and wait for his girls, but Rick needs to get Carl out of there. He says he’ll hide in a car if walkers go by and if they get him, so be it. Rick argues that they need to stick together and wait for the others. “You’re a man of God! Have some faith!”

T-Dog, taking the truck in the exact opposite direction of the highway has some harsh words for Lori. There is no way he is going back… it is a death sentence. He tells her that they are on their own now and need to make their own way. When he won’t turn around, Lori tries to jump out of the truck. He gives in and turns around. That woman is going to be the death of him. Possibly literally.

Back on the highway, Rick, Hershel, and Carl hide from a lone walker. Maybe Hershel is right. Just as Rick is about to give up and take Carl to safety, they hear Daryl’s chopper, followed by the truck and the hybrid. The gang is back together, even after not establishing a rendezvous point! They take stock of the situation: three dead. Three? They all assume that Andrea is dead, but Carol is not so sure. No one saw her get bitten. Daryl wants to go back to the farm to look for her, but Rick reminds him that it is completely overrun with walkers. If she is alive, she wouldn’t be there. Maybe she’s hiding in the woods?

In the aforementioned woods, Andrea is running from walkers. There aren’t that many, and she is able to take out a few before she keeps going. She is running out of ammo and steam, and those straggler walkers keep coming, but as long as she keeps moving, she may be OK.

The caravan, taking a back road away from the area of the farm, runs into a problem when Rick’s vehicle runs out of gas. He decides that they should camp there for the night, just off the road in some ruins by a waterfall, The decision makes more than a few of them uncomfortable, Glenn being the most vocal. Rick wants to keep the group together, and that means no one running off for supplies. He wants to find some place where they can all hunker down and fortify, build a new life.

A fight begins to brew and some major baggage gets unloaded on to the group. First, the fact that Shane killed Randall and second, that Randall turned into a walker without being bitten because he already was infected. Everyone is. Remember that big secret Jenner whispered to Rick at the CDC before it blew up? Everyone has the virus and everyone that dies will return. Now, I understand Rick’s reasoning for keeping this from the group. He couldn’t know for sure (Jenner was pretty off-his-rocker) and besides, would it have made a difference? The group, however, is none too happy with Rick for keeping the secret.

By the waterfall, Lori tries to console Rick. She’s sure he had his reasons for keeping the secret. But then Rick tells Lori the entire story: that he killed Shane. He tells her how Shane staged the search for Randall to get Rick alone so he could kill him. That he knew what Shane was up to, but let him push so that everything would finally be resolved. That Shane turned and that is when he knew that Jenner had been right. Finally, he tells her that Carl was the one who killed Walker Shane. This is a lot of information for one person to process, and Lori looks as if she might throw up. She also looks as if she wants to punch Rick in the face. I’m a bit confused by her reaction, honestly. Maybe she’s angry that she pushed Rick and Shane to this point, maybe she thought, after apologizing to Shane, everything could go back to normal. Whatever her thought process, she is downright angry at Rick.

Back in the woods, it’s twilight and Andrea is still running from walkers. Talk about a long day. She’s out of ammo, and has resorted to rocks as clubs and a little pocket knife. The last walker, however, is just too much to take. He gets her on the ground and she knows it is the end… until a samurai sword slices through the walkers neck. Standing in front of Andrea is a hooded figure with two armless and jawless walkers on chain leashes. For those of you not familiar with the Graphic Novel, this is Michonne. And let me tell you She. Is. Awesome.

Back at the campsite, the group is sitting around the fire in tense silence. When they hear a noise, most want to flee but Rick insists that they all stick together. He rants about how he didn’t ask for this, about how he killed his best friend for them (whoops… Carl didn’t know that part of the story and starts to cry). He says his hands are clean and if any of them want to find something better, they are free to go. When no one moves, he lets them know that this is no longer a democracy. He is tired of taking suggestions. Thus begins the Ricktatorship.

As the camera pans away from from the camp, a large building comes into view on the horizon…

What do YOU think? Can you wait until October?!? What was your favorite part? And how about those two big reveals for fans of the graphic novel (Michonne and The Prison)? Man, it is going to be a long summer. Give us your Two Cents in the comment section below!

Catch up on my Recaps/Reviews of The Walking Dead here
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