During breakfast, Glenn is sitting watching Maggie from afar, who is standing on her porch, shaking her head no. He looks to Dale, who gives him an encouraging nod, and then he steps in front of the group and nervously asks for their attention. He tells them that the barn is full of walkers.
Shane and the others head over to the barn. Shane looks inside, and a walker heads up to the door looking to him eye to eye. Shane wants to take care of them, before they break out and kill them. Rick says no. They are guests on Hershel's farm. They must abide by his rules. Shane wants to make things right and kill the walkers, or go to Fort Bennett, like they were talking about.
Rick doesn't want to leave until they find Sophia. Shane thinks that it's a waste of time, he believes that Sophia is dead. His words anger Daryl, who firmly believes that she is still alive, and that she is worth searching for. Daryl is about to get into a fight with Shane, and Lori breaks them up. Dale tells them that Hershel doesn't see the walkers as undead monstrosities, but as people. Hershel's wife and step-son are in the barn. He thinks that they're just sick people, and doesn't see them as the danger that they are. Their raised voices causes the walkers to push on the front door, which is bolted and chained shut. Shane believes its only a matter of time before they break free and attack them.
Glenn tries to talk to Maggie as she collects eggs from the chicken coop. She tries to storm away from him, and Glenn begs her to stop and speak with him. She says , Give me your hat." Glenn isn't sure why, but he gives it to her. She places an egg in it, then slams the hat onto his head, breaking the egg on him. She then walks quickly away.
Carl is doing schoolwork with Lori. He says that he doesn't want to leave the farm until they find Sophia. He's sure that Sophia is going to love it on the farm. (The fact that he is talking about her just makes the big reveal at the end all the more terrible for him.)
Daryl is carrying a saddle into the horse stables. Carol approaches him and speaks with him. She doesn't want to lose him, and he's still too hurt to go out on his own. he needs to rest and heal. She begs him to not go, saying that she's not even sure if Sophia's still alive and tells him, "I can't lose you too," and begins to cry. Daryl throws the saddle in anger, and hurts himself. Daryl insults her and runs off, angered that Sophia's own mother has given up on her.
Andrea is in the RV getting ready to go out to search for Sophia with Rick. Dale steps in, and asks her what she is doing. Andrea explains that she's arming herself to go watch the barn, then head out to join the search. Dale tries to warn Andrea that Shane isn't who she thinks he is. He wants to know if she really wants to be like him. Andrea explains that she likes Shane because he isn't a victim. And neither is she, not any more.
Dale then asks Glenn if he can get him some water. He says that he'll stay on watch until he gets back. Glenn agrees, and Dale eyes the bag of rifles that Andrea left on the table. He asks Dale if he has another hat, and Dale gives him his own to wear, to protect him from the sun.
Rick heads over to the farmhouse and knocks on the door while Hershel is having is lunch. Hershel acts aloof, he doesn't want to talk about anything, and tells him that he wants them off of his land by the end of the week. Rick tells him that he doesn't want to debate about the walkers in the barn, he wants to discuss it with him. He knows how Hershel sees those people. And he isn't sure if they are alive or dead, but he knows that his people are alive, and that keeping them around isn't safe. Nor is forcing them to leave the safety of the farm. Hershel doesn't know what it is like out there. He may have watched the news on the TV, but the cameras stopped rolling a while ago, and the world has changed a lot since them. And it changes you too. The farm is special, it's peaceful and relatively safe. But the outside world is worse. Rick tells Hershel that Lori is pregnant, and tells him that it's either a blessing on the farm, or a death sentence out there. He tells Hershel to think about it, who replies that he has. Rick tells him to think about it again, think about what you're going to do to us. Hershel claims that he has helped them and has a clear conscience about things, and he doesn't see how making them leave is going to kill them.
When Rick leaves, we see that Maggie overheard their entire conversation, and is upset with Hershel. She can't believe that he's going to make them leave.
Rick approaches Shane, and asks him if he's OK. Shane tells Rick that if they aren't going to clear out the barn, that they need to leave. Rick argues with Shane, he wants to respect Hershel and abide by his rules, whereas Shane believes that keeping the walkers in the barn is like keeping a ticking time bomb-they need to get rid of them before the walkers break out and kill them. The argument becomes very heated, and Rick then blurts out that Lori is pregnant, stunning Shane into silence. Rick asks him if he's all right and he pauses and then says, yeah. But tells Rick that they need their guns. Rick refuses, and begins to walk away. Shane congratulates Rick on having another baby and Rick thanks him as he walks away.
Hershel approaches Maggie as she preparing food and asks her how she is. Maggie is angry. She cannot believe that Hershel would kick them off their land. He asks if her anger is about the Asian boy. She tells him once again that he has a name, and it's Glenn. She wants to know why he would do that, send them away. Hershel says that Carl is on the mend and they don't need to stay with them anymore.Maggie tells Hershel that it's not safe out there. Hershel tells her that they can find another farm. There are plenty out there. Maggie tells him that they're overrun with walkers. It's not safe out there. Maggie used to think how her father did, that they weren't a threat. But then she was attacked by a walker in the pharmacy. Glenn saved her life. Would he really push them away after Glenn saved her. Hershel doesn't want them around any more. Maggie goes on to use his words against him, "Love one another as I have loved you, that's what you said. How is sending them away loving them?" He tells her that it is different, but she disagrees. It isn't about her, or her relationship with Glenn. It's about him, and what kind of man he has become. The whole world has changed. And so has he.
Jimmy then bursts into the farmhouse and tells Hershel that "It happened again." Hershel leaves the house and approaches Rick as he is speaking with Andrea about their search for Sophia, asking him if he could go help him with something in the swamp. Rick agrees. Andrea offers to go too, and Hershel declines her offer, so she holsters her gun and says that she's off to guard the barn until they're ready to go.
Lori is chopping carrots and Shane sits down in front of her. He tells her that Rick can't keep her and Carl safe. He tells her that she knows that the baby is his. Lori is shocked that Rick told him. Shane knows that Rick won't be able to protect them. "How many times have I saved your life now? Four?" Lori says that Rick protected them at the camp when they were overrun by a herd of walkers, and Shane says that he was the one to save her, that he came too late, and if he had been there instead of wasting his time going on a fool's errand to save a drug dealer that wasn't even there, he would've been there and they wouldn't have lost Amy or Jim. Lori tells him that it doesn't matter. Even if it is his, the baby is going to be raised as Rick's. Shane wanders off, not believing what she said. Carl asks Shane if he can talk with him for a minute. Shane stops and asks him what's up. Carl thinks that what Shane said about Sophia is crap, and that he isn't leaving until they find her. Shane agrees with him, and says, "then we stay." Lori, seeing Shane speaking with her son, calls him over to help her.
Shane heads over to the RV, looking for his guns. Dale took them somewhere. Shane asks Glenn where Dale is, and Glenn tells him that he went to get him some water, and when he came back he was gone. That was so he couldn't tell Shane what direction he went off in.
In the swamp, Hershel and Jimmy take Rick to where two walkers have gotten stuck in the mud, which acts like quicksand. He tells Rick that if they are going to stay on his farm, they are going to have to treat walkers like they are people. And he can start by assisting them with taking the walkers on poles over to the barn.
Daryl and Carol head over to the pond. He apologizes for swearing at her and being rude earlier and she accepts it. He shows her another Cherokee rose in bloom, and asks her if she still believes that they won't find Sophia. She asks him why he's so intent on looking for her. He tells her that it's not like he has anything else to do- not going into detail that he feels sorry for her because he got lost in the woods when he was her age. Carol walks up to the rose and then looks to him and says that they'll find her. She's sure of it.
Glenn runs after Maggie, who is angry because he told the group, even after she begged him not to, and that her dad is pissed. He gets her to stop, and he admits that he forgot just how dangerous the walkers are. That for a while, it was like a game to him, even going down into the well. It didn't bother him, but after they were attacked in the pharmacy, he remembered. It doesn't matter if they are sick people or dead people, they are dangerous. And he told the others because he wanted to. He knows that with the way the world is now, secrets will get you killed. And he'd rather have her mad at him and alive, than liking him and dead. This is exactly what Maggie wanted to hear. She calls him walker bait as he walks away and he stops. She takes him in her arms and kisses him- clearly forgiving him for breaking her trust earlier.
Shane finds Dale in the swamp, where he is getting ready to toss the guns in to get rid of them. Shane tells him to give him the guns, because they will keep them safe. Dale refuses, and pulls his rifle on him. Shane knows that Dale won't shoot him, and walks right up into the gun so that it is resting against his chest. Dale, knowing just how crazy Shane is, gives in, and as he hands the guns over, he tells Shane that the world that they are now in, is the world that he belongs in. And he may not be the same kind of man as Shane, but at least he knows that when the world went to hell, it didn't drag him down along with it.
Shane takes the guns back and gives everyone a firearm. He goes to give Carl a gun, and Lori refuses to let him have it. T-Dog spots Hershel and Rick coming back, and they are wrangling the walkers towards the barn. Shane and the others run towards him, not believing what they are seeing.
Shane pulls out his gun and confronts them, screaming at Hershel, telling him that they are not people. They're dead, and they will kill them if given half the chance. They are the things that killed Amy and Otis, he says, trying to get Andrea on his side. She nods. Shane asks Hershel if a living, breathing person could walk away from this, and shoots the walker he is holding on a pole in the chest. Could they still stand after having their lungs and heart shot? The walker is indeed still standing. Hershel is in shock and says nothing. So Shane shoots it in the head to drop it. Shane then kills the walker that Rick is holding.
Shane takes control, telling them that they are looking for a little girl that is gone. He is done living next to a barn full of things trying to kill them. He breaks open the door and the walkers start to come out. The group forms a line and starts shooting them down as they come out.
Daryl shoots Hershel's wife and kills her.
Rick is standing back, watching in disbelief as Shane, T-Dog, Glenn, Andrea and Daryl eliminate the walkers. Hershel falls to the ground, not believing what he is seeing. After it appears that they have "killed" all the walkers in the barn, the last walker steps out.
It's Sophia. Stunned, no one fires on her. Carol screams Sophia's name and starts to run to her. Daryl grabs her and drags her to the ground, holding her tightly, not letting her near her daughter. Rick, seeing that no one else can do it, steps up, pulls his revolver and kills Sophia.
The thing that really bothers me about this is that the fact that she was in the barn could have been exploited to create a heck of a lot more suspense and terror than what was presented to us. Glenn was in the barn. Shane looked in the barn. She somehow hid from everyone until the last minute. In the sneak peek they played during "Hell on Wheels," Hershel said that they didn't know that Sophia was in the barn, that Otis was the one that wrangled them up and locked them in there. But... Patricia was feeding them. She would've known that there was a dead little girl in the barn when she went to feed them.
At best, Hershel's using the fact that he didn't know as an excuse. At worst, he goes from being a well intentioned fool to a man that purposefully withheld information from the group and let them run around, getting hurt, looking for a girl that was already dead.
This just doesn't make much sense and really, really disappointed me. But, at least Otis wasn't in the barn. That really would've been ridiculous if he had been in there.
So they wasted the first half of the second season looking for a little girl that was already dead. And while some people may have enjoyed the shocking conclusion of that little story arc, to me it feels like they drew out something that could've been resolved in two episodes for no other reason than that they could. Ugh!
The mid-season finale left us with some pretty serious questions, and consequences.
They found Sophia, but what happens next? What is going to happen to Hershel? Won't the group be pretty angry with the fact that they were being strung along, blatantly lied to about Sophia's location?
They're going to have to leave the farm that same day, that's for sure. The very reason Hershel didn't want them carrying guns was that he was keeping walkers in the barn. But, his greatest fears have come to pass and the walkers are now dead.
Shane confronts Hershel in the preview, and goes to shove him and Maggie gets in his way and slaps him, telling him to stop, that he's done enough. That seems to stop Shane in his tracks for now, but... just when is Shane going to go from just screwing people over for his survival to outright villainy and killing people for crossing him?
Is Dale safe from Shane's wrath? Will he wait for the right opportunity to kill him, or does Shane think that Dale is a defenseless foolish old man that is not a threat at all?
We're going to have to wait until February to see the next episode and find out.