Daryl is beating up Russell in the shed. Right. No, yeah. Last week, Grimes kept saying “I need a night to think about what to do, and Daryl needs a night to beat up Russell in the shed.” This poor kid. First he gets his leg impaled on a wrought iron fence, then he gets “saved,” then he gets left for dead, then he gets saved again, and now he’s getting his lights punched out. Lots of mixed messages here. If I was this kid I would be like, “Guys? Can you stop punching me in the face and/or saving/abandoning me for a second because I’m getting a lot of mixed messages here.” Daryl is trying to get information about the guy’s gang. Why? Is that going to change anything? How does that change anything? If he punches the kid in the face enough times will the Zombie Apocalypse be over? Daryl digs his knife into the kid’s leg. Eesh. Relax, Daryl. He asks if the kid has ever had a scab before. Wait, is there someone on Earth who hasn’t had a scab before? He says when you have a scab you pick at it for awhile, but eventually you have to rip it off. Yeah, Daryl, everyone knows how scabs work, genius. The kid finally “gives up” the information that there are 30 people in his group, including women and children. “We’re just like you,” he says. Not really sure why he endured Daryl’s interrogation tactics for so long in the first place. The world’s over, boys. No more secrets. But then the kid goes on to tell some story about how the men in his group would go hunting and then one time they raped a couple of teenagers in front of their father. But the kid didn’t participate, says the kid. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, duuuuuuuuuuuuude? That’s a weird story to tell when no one asked you to tell it. Like, just to clarify, Daryl wasn’t like, “have you or anyone in your gang ever raped any teenage girls by firelight in front of their father and then left them for dead, out of curiosity?” The kid just brought it out all on his own. Rest your case! Rest your case! Objection! SUSTAINED!
Back at the campsite, everyone is asking Grimes what the plan is. “We’ll know soon enough,” he says. Know what? I’m so confused by this whole Abu Grahib situation. As far as I can tell there are three options: you kill the kid, you let the kid go, or you let the kid stay. That’s it. And no amount of punching the kid in the face or poking at his miraculously well heeled leg wounds that were supposedly going to leave the leg unusable two episodes ago but now are not even an issue with a knife is going to change these three options. Daryl walks up and explains that the gang consists of 30 men with heavy artillery who aren’t “looking to make friends.” He then says that if they find the farm, they’ll kill the men and the women will “wish they were dead.” Haha. It’s funny to start with a cute euphemism like “they aren’t looking to make friends” and then close it out with “you’re all going to be raped and murdered.” Way to keep it light, Daryl! (When Sophia’s mom asks him what he did to get this information he looks at his bloodied knuckles and says “we had a chat.” The guy knows how to dole out information AS NEEDED.) Grimes says that it’s decided. The kid is a threat. They have to eliminate the threat. Dale tells Grimes that he can’t just kill the kid. And thus begins a painfully long Community College Reading Level Debate about the moral fabric of human nature. Well hold on, then. If we’re going to do this, Grimes is going to need to put on a brand new white shirt that he found somewhere who knows where.
Dale says that there needs to be a process and that Grimes needs to give people time to think. Grimes says that people are scared and that it’s his job to keep them safe. Shane really did a number on Grimes with this keeping people safe business. He’s a broken record with it now. As if somehow he’s going to keep them safe by just saying that he needs to keep them safe often enough. Dale tells Grimes to think about Carl and the message that he’s sending to him by executing an innocent man. Ah, here is where Dale loses me. You can make the argument that protecting human life continues to be important and perhaps more so than ever in protecting our humanity in a lawless society, but I could give a FUCK about Carl. What does Dale think this is, Zombie Reading Rainbow? Who cares what Carl thinks. Look at him!
Grimes agrees to let Dale walk around the farm all day begging people to join Team No Murder, and they will reconvene at sunset for a House Meeting. Ugh. Dale gets all day? Give him five minutes. WE GOT 2 KEEP THIS SHOW MOVING, BOYS! First, Dale talks to Andrea in the RV. Did you know that she used to be a civil rights lawyer? LOLOLOL. OF COURSE SHE USED TO BE A CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER ALL OF A SUDDEN! A civil rights lawyer. Now that is rich. Dale asks Andrea to guard the boy so that Shane doesn’t shoot him in the next five minutes. What is even going on in this camp at this point? What delusional concept of the world is Dale trying to protect? She says she’ll do it, but “not because [she thinks he's] right.” Well why then? Wait, why? Andrea? Andrea? Why? Andrea?
Shane walks up and finds Andrea guarding the shed. People on this besieged farm in a nightmare world sure do have a lot of time for just wandering all over the place and bumping into casual conversation. Andrea asks Shane what he wants to do about it. “Rick is the leader of this group. It’s Herschel’s house.” That last part is definitely true, although for as much as people whine about Rick’s leadership, they sure do come to accept it in a way that is hilarious. “Well, he’s the elected President of the Farm and if we want a new President we’re going to have to wait 18 zombie moons as it is written in the Zombiestution.” Shane says he wants to lock Grimes and Herschel in a room and take away their guns. WHOA! Now we’re talking. “I don’t know,” Andrea says, “that could get out of hand.” HAHAHahaha. UH HUH! It could definitely get out of hand if you’re not careful. Oh, it might go GREAT. But also it could get out of hand? “No it wouldn’t,” Shane says, “I wouldn’t let it.” OH WELL IN THAT CASE. These two should get married at the Apple Genius Bar and then have their honeymoon in the cannibal basement of that cute little bed and breakfast from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
Carl sneaks into the shed and looks at the chained up guy with dead eyes. “We need to talk about Carl,” or whatever. This whole episode we are supposed to be worried about him. Is he growing up too fast? Is his heart hardening? WHO GIVES A FUUUUUUUUUU. This episode is operating under the completely false assumption that there is any possibility OTHER than Carl becoming a deeply fucked up human being. He’s done. It’s over. Let’s move on. Shane finds him in the shed and yells at him. Carl doesn’t want to be grounded. Shane explains that it’s not about getting in trouble, which is totally true, although if you don’t at least have that to threaten Carl with it’s only a matter of time before he becomes some kind of violent Jungle Despot lording over his own sex slaves. At the very least, you have to be able to take his dessert. Carl, go to your blood-stained tent that smells like b.o. and feces and think about what you’ve done! NO ZOMBIES ALLOWED.
Dale keeps talking to everyone. It’s boring. Him and Shane something something whatever.
Sophia’s mom says something to Carl about Sophia being in heaven, and Carl gives her some sassy talkback. He calls her an idiot. Boom! Carl droppin’ bombs. Naturally, Grimes and Lori just happen to be conveniently walking by (seriously, what are all these aimless strolls everyone is constantly on this week?) and Sophia’s mom tells them that they need to do something about their disrespectful son. Oh who cares. Will someone please just “curve a bullet,” Angelina Jolie in Wanted style, and put everyone out of their fucking misery? It’s exhausting just watching these grumps complain to each other about every little thing. Grimes tells Carl to stop talking and start thinking. I’m pretty sure that’s embroidered on a throw pillow in the farmhouse. Carl wanders off some more. So much fucking wandering, it’s ridiculous. Doesn’t he have some math problems to do, or some potatoes to peel, or some cyanide pills to take? He finds a gun in a saddle bag on Daryl’s Nazi motorcycle underneath the squirrel butts…
…and walks off into the woods to play with a zombie stuck in the mud.
Herschel gives Glen the pocketwatch that was hidden in Christopher Walken’s ass.
Finally it is time for the gang to discuss the fate of the boy they have chained up in the shed. It is supposed to be a very important scene. Dale is the lone voice of “reason” about how they’re turning their backs on their own humanity and they’re no better than the theoretical gang they’re so scared of. Well, wait, is that true? I mean, those two dudes in the bar were very creepy and threatening and tried to kill Grimes and when their friends showed up, they tried to kill everyone, too, and then you have the completely unasked for story about raping the teenage girls. Just in general, there is mounting evidence that this other gang actually IS kind of scary and not the same as this rag tag gang of mopes. But, so, Dale finally convinces Andrea, who opens her eyes wide and says “he’s right.” Ugh, why does Andrea think that she’s such a genius every time she has a sustained thought. She’s constantly reactionary and suicidal and then the second SHE stops wanting to kill herself or agrees with something that someone else has been saying the whole time, she acts like she’s fucking Queen of Eureeka’s Castle. “He’s right!” Shut up, Andrea. Besides, the two of you are outvoted. Dale goes for a walk. Is there nothing to do on this farm besides debate our fundamental existence and go for walks? Must be nice. They should turn the farm into a graduate program.
Grimes, Shane, and Daryl take the boy out to the barn to kill him. Shane ties a blindfold over his face. Grimes asks if he has any last words. Suddenly, Carl shows up. Ugh. CARRRRLLLLLLL! “Do it, dad!” he says. “Do it!” Gross. What a piece of shit. Will no one ground him? And by ground him I mean shoot him and bury him in the ground. Pow! You’re grounded! Grimes, of course, has second thoughts. He puts his gun down and says “take him away.” Uh. WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO, KING GRIMES? Daryl leads the guy out of the barn because Grimes said to take him away. What on Earth? If I was a member of a rag tag group of survivors in a collapsed society surrounded by flesh-eating undead corpses and someone said “take him away” I would tell that person to go fuck himself. And then I would go for a leisurely stroll around the property, apparently, because that’s what one does it turns out.
Speaking of leisurely strolls around the property, Dale is walking all by himself through the dark for no reason. Like, I know you’re mad about this execution thing, but why are you going to wander alone through the dark a mile away from all of your friends? Even in the Non Zombie World that’s not the smartest idea. He sees a cow with its guts all torn off and turns around only to find a zombie all up in his grill.
That’s the thing about zombies, though. You either see them coming from a mile away, or they sneak right up on you. It all depends on what makes more sense for the writers. Anyway, Dale screams and the zombie tackles him and now they are rolling in the grass and everyone is running to help him but he’s so far away and out in the darkness because he’s got morals, I think? I think that’s why. The zombie is getting closer and closer but also kind of taking its time, and then the zombie RIPS OPEN DALE’S TUMMY WITH ITS HANDS! Did you know zombies could do that? Surprise!
That is when everyone runs up. If only they had arrived 10 seconds earlier. Shoot. Sliding Doors.
Grimes is like “We need Herschel,” which is hilarious. Not only is he a veterinarian and you’re out in the middle of a dark field in the middle of an uncaring universe, but also LOOK AT DALE’S GUTS ALL OVER. Herschel tells Grimes it’s no dice.
Carl sees that it’s the same zombie he was playing with in the forest. Carl is totally going to defriend him on Facebook. He burrows his head into Lori’s bosom. Grimes goes to shoot Dale in the face but he can’t do it. So Daryl does it. “Sorry, brother,” he says. Ew. Can you imagine if that was the last thing you heard before you died? You’d want to kill yourself! Sorry, brother. Yuck. We cut to black as a gunshot fills the air. So powerful. Our lone voice of reason is dead. Just kidding. This show isn’t real! Goodbye, Dale. You are in heaven now, wearing a tank top made of clouds and making bug eyes at the angels.