|Walker Shane (Jon Bernthal)|
So, the season's penultimate episode opened with Rick delivering Dale's eulogy. Carl cried, feeling guilty (as he should - that little brat needs to learn to listen to his elders). Hershel decided to finally move the group into the house and Rick went back to his original plan of driving Randall far away and releasing him. Naturally, this didn't sit too well with Shane, who had been advocating Randall's execution from the time Rick, Hershel and Glenn brought him back to the farm.
While attempting to move Dale's RV closer to the house, Andrea and Glenn take a moment to grieve and assess, while Maggie doesn't understand why Glenn doesn't want to move into her room ("With your Dad right here in the house?"). Carl confesses to Shane that it's his fault that Dale is dead, because he didn't shoot the Walker when he had the chance. He gives Daryl's gun to Shane and asks him to return it. Meanwhile, Daryl reinforces a possible escape route on top of the shed as Randall works furiously to get free from his chains. Shane builds a lookout on the windmill and Lori forces him to talk to her, admitting she doesn't know who is the father of her baby.
Shane then goes to Rick and tells him he needs to talk to his boy, while still bemoaning the plan to release Randall, though he offers to accompany Daryl on the trip in Rick's stead. Rick tells him "I need you here." Rick then goes off in search of Carl, who is keeping watch in the barn loft. Rick gives Daryl's gun back to Carl, telling him he wished Carl "could have the childhood I had." Shane then visits Randall in the barnand comes very close to killing him. As Rick and Daryl prepare to leave, T-Dog goes to get Randall, only to discover that he is gone.
Shane has Randall deep in the woods and convinces him that he wants to join Randall's group. "I'm done with this group." he tells him. But once Randall revealed the last known location of his group, Shane snaps his neck, bashes his face against a tree and then returns to farm with a story of being caught by surprise and smashed in the face by a rock-wielding Randall. The alarm is raised and Rick, Shane, Daryl and Glenn set off in search of the 'escaped' Randall.
Daryl and Glenn come across evidence of a fight and Shane's blood on a tree-trunk. Just as they are getting suspicious, they are set upon by Walker Randall. Glenn takes Randall out with a knife to the skull and Daryl realizes that he died from a broken neck, rather than another Walker's bite and they begin to put two and two together.
Shane and Rick find themselves in a secluded glen, where Rick finally figures out what's going on. Shane pulls his gun as Rick puts his away and Rick tries to convince Shane to not shoot him. Rick, always the rationalist, tells Shane he'll be killing an unarmed man as he slowly hands Shane his gun. At the last moment, Rick pulls his knife and stabs Shane, crying "Damn you for making me do this, Shane! This is you! Not me! Not me!" Shane's gun goes off, but no one is hit. Rick screams and howls and carries on as Shane dies. Carl appears and as Rick approaches him, Carl draws Daryl's gun. Thinking Carl means to shoot him, Rick approaches, readying another speech. But Carl shoots, taking out Walker Shane just before he reaches his father.
Of course, all this noise has attracted the attention of dozens of Walkers in the woods and we are left with Rick and Carl heading toward the farm as the Walkers approach.
Whew! I knew Shane was going to die. And it happened in much the same way as in the graphic novels, only a bit later than in that storyline. I was almost surprised that Shane killed Randall. I almost believed he was going to actually take up with Randall's group, though I knew he couldn't just leave Lori, especially after she told him that she didn't know whose baby she was carrying. Of course, it seems obvious that the group will now have to leave the farm, either with or without Hershel (though I suspect it will be without, given next week's preview). It seems fitting that Season 2 should end like Season 1, with the group back on the road in search of a safe haven. I'm just hoping that next week's finale will finally reveal what Jenner whispered in Rick's ear, what seems so long ago at the CDC.