Welcome back as we move through the Walking Dead Season Two on Comic Booked. Last episode, the search for Sophia ended as the barn was opened and all the walkers were killed, including Sophia who had been bitten and turned some time ago. Rick did the deed of killing the walker Sophia. Very sad ending and it leaves us in a situation with a lot less hope than before.
Season Two: Episode 8 – Nebraska
Picking right up from the end of last episode, Rick is still standing with his gun pointed at the now dead walker that once was Sophia, Carol’s daughter that the group of survivors have been looking for over the last several days/weeks. In the group of walkers from the barn, many of Hershel’s loved ones now lay in piles on the ground, mowed down as they shambled from the barn, killed by Shane, Andrea, T-Dog, Glenn, and Daryl. Among them, Beth’s mother.
Beth runs to one of the piles and moves a walker, reaching for her mother. she is surprised when the creature, not dead yet, grasps for her, growling and kissing trying to kill her. Glenn grabs the walkers arms to keep her from getting to Beth and although T-Dog tries to kick her, but it is Andrea, grabbing a sickle, that ends the walker. Everyone is impacted by these events. Nothing will be the same after this.
Shane starts in on Hershel. He believes that Hershel and the family knew about Sophia this whole time. Hershel said that Otis put those people in the barn and the rest of the group did not know about it. This means that since before the group came to the farm, Sophia had been in there. This is interesting since it means that she was bitten quickly and turned while they were all still on the highway. no matter what, in all of this, Shane has gone too far. Hershel will not forgive this. He wants Shane gone.
Andrea covers the body of Sophia with a blanket. Carol sits in the RV, lost. In the house, Glenn asks Maggie if she knew that Sophia was in the barn. Now they can “move on”, but this does not sit well with Maggie, because she sees this as him leaving her. “What happens now?” Glenn says they need to bury them, but after that, not knowing is almost worse. Carl had hoped that he would find Sophia, but he feels that Rick did the right thing ins shooting her.
As Glenn said, this was different. They had lost people before, but none like this little girl. Everyone had been looking, hoping, praying if they did that. Now what? This loss, after everything else, seems to take its toll on the group. Can Rick rally the troops and bring them back together as a family? Will all the shooting just draw more walkers?
Andrea says that they need a burial service, that it is what Carol would want. “We bury the ones we love and burn the rest.”
Rick is back to questioning his leadership. Here he had people chasing “a ghost in the forest” and for what? A little girl that he failed to protect. And she was in the barn the whole time.
If Dale is the “voice of reason” then Shane is the “scream of insanity”. He tears into Dale, not because of something that Dale said, but just that he can’t stand the judgemental glare. he still holds to the thought that he is doing what is right for the group, acting as the protector.
In the farmhouse, Hershel is looking at pictures. He opens his dresser drawer and moves some ties and we see a silver flask. Reminiscent of Rick putting his star away in the drawer to signal leaving a part of his life behind, Hershel takes the flask out and sets it on top of the dresser like an old part of his life has returned.
The service is short, but does it really mean anything? Carol takes her anguish out on the flowers while the others clean up the mess of bodies still in front of the barn. Andrea and T-Dog start heading off, but a walker loses an arm. Andrea jumps off, grabs it and throws it in the truck. Just bodies to them, trash to be burned.
Beth collapses while Glenn and Maggie are discussing the future. Hershel is nowhere to be found. The group finds the flask and they think that maybe, even though Hershel gave up drinking the day that Maggie was born, he is probably at the local bar. Rick and Glenn decide to go to find him. Maggie does not want him to go, but understands.
Lori is more concerned about Carl growing too cold. She wants him to grow up with a father and does not believe that it is a good idea to run off after Hershel. Rick knows they need Hershel and it is the least they can do for him after all he has given them.
Carol comes staggering out of the woods, scaring Shane. He takes her and cleans her up. He shows some heart and caring that I was not sure he was still capable of as he tells her that he is sorry about Sophia. He tries to explain that he was just trying to protect everyone. Dale and Lori get into it over Shane and Dale tells her that Shane all but told him that he killed Otis. This is another troubling thing for the group to deal with.
Rick and Glenn head into town. Glenn tells Rick that Maggie said she loves him. But he has trouble accepting that. Rick says he thinks she is smart enough to know what she wants. Rick gives some sage advice, “When you get back, return the favor.” Glenn also tells Rick that he knows about Lori being pregnant and got her the pills. Rick just says, “I figured.”
Lori is worried about Beth and goes out to find Daryl. She asks him to go into town and bring back Rick and Hershel. Daryl is in no mood to take orders and does not want to go. He is still reeling from the whole thing with Sophia and, until his emotions are sorted, he will be withdrawn and hateful towards everyone.
Glenn and Rick enter the bar. Hershel is sitting at the bar with a glass in his hand. “How many ya had?” Hershel says “Not enough.” Hershel has realized that there is no hope fore these people or for anyone. He explains that all that hope that he had, that belief in miracles, it was all just a sham.
Meanwhile, Lori is headed to town to find Hershel and Rick. She starts to drive down the road and tries to read the map at the same time. A walker shambles into the middle of the road and she sees it at the last minute, she can’t swerve so hits it. Her windshield shattered, she swerves and ends up running up the embankment and flipping the car over.
Back at the bar, Rick and Hershel are back and forth. Rick needs to take Hershel back, partly for Beth and Lori, but also because he needs to prove to everyone that he can be a leader. Hershel throws Rick’s failures up in his face, his inability to protect Sophia. “You people are like a plague.” Hershel claims that the group destroyed his life, his family. “There is no hope, and you know it now.”
Dave and Tony are a couple of guys that just happen into the bar. They sit and have a drink. They tell a tale of heading to Washington DC, looking for a refugee camp. No luck getting to the city, so they just kept going south. Other rumors, other stories, other beacons of hope. The latest one was a railyard in Montgomery that had trains going to all over the country, especially the Midwest, places like Nebraska.
Rick talks about their plans for Fort Benning. Dave tells them that they ran across a soldier from Benning that told them the base had been overrun. Another hope dashed.
Dave asks where they are staying and you can see the reticence as Rick says they are just sort of travelling from place to place as well. Dave immediately questions this as their cars are clean and he wonders where their gear is. Hershel says they are part of a larger group, out scouting. Dave is still not convinced.
These men are rough. They ask a lot of questions. I feel like the icing on the cake, and what led to the next set of events, was really sparked by the way that Tony acts, walking over and peeing all over the floor instead of walking back the hallway to the bathroom. A complete disregard for propriety seems to point to a lack of morals and Rick’s instincts immediately kick in.
Dave also makes a mistake what he says. Earlier he talked about living out of his car with Tony. Now, after telling their own story about a farm, that none of the group responded to, Dave talks about other guys “back at camp”. Camp? What about living in his car? Rick says that it is not possible and does his best to stare Dave down.
Dave starts talking about how rough it has been. “‘Cause ain’t nobody’s hands clean in what’s left of this world.” Rick knows full well what he means. Protect the group at all costs.
Rick insists that having them on the farm will not happen. They will just have to keep looking. “Where do you suggest we do that?” Rick says, “I hear Nebraska’s nice.” Dave grabs for his gun but Rick is faster, putting a bullet in Dave’s head and turning around and putting two in Tony’s chest with a final one in his head. I think that Glenn and Hershel have a new found appreciate for Rick’s commitment as a leader.
This was a good episode and all about cleaning up and shoring up. The actions of Rick to protect and the actions of Shane to cleanup his mess both show that each man has a side that is just starting to surface. Rick is not someone to be questioned and will not compromise what he believes, but he will kill to protect his people. Pretty good stuff. We shall see what the fallout of his actions are in the next episode, so stay tuned.