Finally, finally, finally! We're off the damn farm!
After a season of much hand-wringing, and comparatively little action, The Walking Dead wrapped up Season Two with three episodes where so much happened, and opened the door for some really intruiging possibilities for Season Three.
I was very happy not to have been spoiiled about Shane's demise - AMC accidentally slipped up and leaked that actor Jon Bernthal was set to appear in another show, thus ensuring he would be leaving TWD. Leave he did, in the penultimate episode, at the hands of the starting-to-lose-it Rick. Additionally, Dale's bloody departure the episode prior was also a bit of a surprise.
As the episode opens, we're right in the aftermath of Shane's second death, this time at the hands of Lil Deputy Carl. Since he's a pain in the ass kid, he starts asking questions regarding how Shane died (the first time). Rick is unable to put together an adequate story/lie, but is saved(?) by the hissing, approaching walker horde now descending upon the previously safe Casa de Hershel. Battle stations everybody, it's showtime!
It's pretty clear that despite all the random bits of extended conversations we've endured all season long, these dolts never really discussed what to do in case of a walker infestation. I suppose they were too busy drawing up the laundry and dishwashing rotation schedules. It's all scrambing into cars, grabbing weapons and general chaos. We had to expect that some wouldn't make it through the battle, though it was no surprise that after losing two main characters in the previous two eps, only the rarely seen extended family members, someone named Jimmy and whatever Otis' wife's name was, were the cannon fodder here.
The barn is torched by Rick and Carl, taking a plethora of walkers down with it, and the gang is eventually forced to abandon the farm. Even though ol' Hershel was very reluctant to leave - and why would he want to, since he had a seemingly limitless shotgun - he evenutally boards one of the trucks bugging out of the compound. Andrea is left behind during a clumsy rescue attempt which saved Carol, and is presumed dead by the others once they've regrouped at the original highway spot from the first few eps. Her story takes on a whole new twist as she badasses her way through the woods, taking down hundreds of zombies before seemingly coming to the end of her rope. Who is the hooded stranger with two armless walkers chained to him/her who saves Andrea? Beats me. I didn't read the graphic novels, but am inferring that this is a pretty major new character. It will be cool to have Andrea separated, which I'm sure Daryl won't mind in the least.
Eventually, since Rick's car runs out of gas (nobody thought to ciphon any while sitting amongst 50 abandoned cars? Really?), the remaining crew is forced to setup camp for the night. It is here where Rick begins to lose it, first by letting it slip to his wife that not only did he kill Shane, but Lil Deputy Carl iced Shane The Walker. Boom! Double whammy! Not sure why she's so pissed since she basically did everything but tell Rick to kill Shane a few eps back. You were serious, weren't you Lori?
Not content with simply pissing off his wife, Rick doubles down by explaining, poorly, to the group why he had to kill Shane. He could have gone with a self-defense themed story which would have been mostly true. Instead he focused on the "threat to my leaderhsip" theme, and the stunned looks on the rest of the group's faces said it all. Not had enough, guys? How about this - he then drops the long suspected by viewers bombshell that each and every one of the survivors is a carrier of the bug/virus/whatever which causes one to become a walker. So that was what Dr. Jenner whispered in his ear back at the CDC at the end of the first season! I can't say I blame Rick for not telling this to all right away, since Jenner seemed a bit off and there was really no proof he was right until very recently (remember the two non-bitten or scratched cops at the first Randall drop off point?). Nevertheless, the group is now confused by, angry at, and scared of Rick. He reasserts his command and challenges anyone not on board to talk a hike, which nobody does, probably because 1.) where the hell would they go, and 2.) they're afraid he'll shoot them in the back for deserting the group.
As the camera pans up and away from the campsite, we see a large, forboding strucutre in the distance, which looks to be a prison. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this prison will play a major role in Season Three. Despite some of the flaws in the show, I'm still looking forward to it.