An abbreviated recap tonight. Uncle P is tired after a long day of listening to crybabies who were too stupid or too lazy to care about deadlines. As with every TWD recap, HERE THERE BE SPOILERS:
After a prologue set in a massive traffic jam where we see the military bombing Atlanta, the search for Sophia continues. Using a new grid based on Daryl's findings at the abandoned house, the group splits up into three parties: Rick and Shane; Andrea T-Bone and Jimmy and Daryl on his own. We learn that while Daryl was once lost in the woods, he claimed to have seen a chupacabra (literally Spanish for "goat sucker"), though no one believed him. Young Jimmy lies to Rick, saying he has Herchel's permission to go. Daryl "borrows' a horse while Glenn and Maggie play head games. Carol decides it would be a nice gesture to offer to cook dinner for everyone, though she really just wants to cook in a 'real kitchen" (Hello? The 1950's called - they want their subservient housewives back).
Shane and Rick get into a discussion about the search for Sophia (Shane wants to stop and move on; Rick wants to keep looking) while Daryl finds Sophia's doll in the creek before a rattlesnake spooks his horse, which rears and sends him plummeting down a ravine into the creek, impaling him on his own arrow in the process. He then hallucinates a conversation with his brother Merle (we know it's not really Merle because he has both of hands) before waking up to find a Walker gnawing on his shoe. Using his walking stick to bash the Walker's head in, Daryl then pulls the arrow out of side and loads it into his crossbow in time to take out another Walker that is quickly advancing upon him. He then eats a raw squirrel.
Glenn and Dale have a "father/son" discussion about menses and "crazy women," in which Dale admonishes him for having sex with their host's daughter. Meanwhile, Lori hasn't told anyone she's pregnant and asks Glenn to keep he secret. Rick and Shane return early from their search, and Rick tells Lori he's had a long talk with Shane. From the look on Lori's face, it's obvious she's afraid Shane told Rick about their affair while they thought Rick was dead. Instead, Rick tells her about Shane wanting to abandon the search for Sophia.
The faux-Merle taunts Daryl into climbing out of the ravine, teasing him about having eaten "magic mushrooms" before seeing the chupacabra and calling him a girl for not being able to climb out of the ravine. Daryl makes it out and then makes his way back to the farm where Andrea, tired of washing clothes, takes up a rifle and mistakes him for a Walker. Luckily, her shot only grazes the side of his head. Patching Daryl up, Herchel complains that they are using up their antibiotics, this after admonishing Rick for not being in control of his people.
Later, during a tension-filled and mostly silent dinner (before which Herchel talked to Maggie about her interest in "the Asian boy"), Maggie passes a note to Glenn that reads: "Tonight... Where?" Glenn scribbles his reply under Herchel's watchful eye. Carol brings dinner to Daryl and thanks him for doing more that day than her father ever did his entire life.
While putting the dinner dishes away, Maggie surreptitiously reads Glenn's response: "Have you ever done it in a hay loft?" We see Glenn climbing into the locked barn's loft where he finds the barn filled with dozens of Walkers. Maggie races to the barn. As Glenn is about to flee in terror, Maggie shows up, telling hm "You weren't supposed to know about this." And there the episode ends, with the Walkers pressing against the locked barn's doors, desperate to escape and feed.
We know Herchel believes there will be a cure, and that he prefers that he alone handles any Walkers that appear on the property. But the Walkers in the barn are an unexpected twist. Will Glenn tell the others about them? Will they decide to pick up and move on? When will Lori tell Rick about the baby? Whose baby is it? And will we ever see Sophia again?
Next week's episode is the mid-season finale and I can't wait to see what happens. Unlike many, I am not at all unsettled by this season's slower paced plot. I know there is plenty of horror yet to come: