Grimes is eulogizing Dale, who died last week when a zombie rubbed his tummy too hard. Dale, Grimes explains, could get under your skin, which is an idiom that is sometimes used as an insult and sometimes used as a kind of compliment that still sounds like an insult. Grimes explains that Dale always told you what he was thinking, and that he would come up to you with “that look on his face. We’ve all seen it one time or another.” Haha. YUP! We have definitely all seen it one time or another, and by one time or another I think Grimes means at all times. “I couldn’t always read him, but he could read us.” What? Why couldn’t you always read him? And didn’t you just say that he always told you what was on his mind? In which case you didn’t even need to read him because he would just tell you? I feel like we’re losing the thread of this eulogy, Grimes. Dale said that the group was broken, so the best way to honor him is to prove him wrong, and to unbreak the group by putting aside their differences and working together. Who is he talking to? The only people who have differences are him and Shane. Or is there some epic drawn-out Prank War going on between Carl and Maggie that we don’t know about? They will stop feeling sorry for themselves and start getting real REAL ZOMBIES! (Sorry.) They will start taking control of their safety. (Whoops. Totally thought this show was about them trying to take control of their safety. PAY ATTENTION, ME!) In conclusion, the best way to honor Dale’s life and memory is to do it his way, which apparently means driving a truck out to a field and curb stomping some zombies. Who knew?! Dale knew. Dale would love it. Big ups, Dale. R.I.P. Buddy.
It’s basically this:
But with zombies.
Back at the farm, everyone is telegraphing what’s about to happen in next week’s episode real hard. It’s ridiculous. Herschel says that he’ll move enough food and water into the basement so that they can survive there for a few days if they need to. OH SOMETHING TELLS ME YOU’RE DEFINITELY GOING TO NEED TO. Where was the food before? In the trunk of the Honda Fit brought to you by Honda Fit? They move the cars into a protective ring around the farm. They start boarding up all the windows. All of these precautions totally makes sense, it’s just weird and annoying that they hadn’t done ANY of it before now. Remember a couple of episodes ago when Herschel was going to kick them off the property and even just having tents on the land was a paradise? But now all of a sudden even the house itself is a nightmare factory? What changed? Yes, Dale got eaten by a zombie, but the barn used to be FULL OF ZOMBIES. Herschel says that with 50 cattle on the property, they might as well be ringing the dinner bell. Cute. Also, that means you’ve been had ringing the dinner bell for weeks now. Why doesn’t anyone want this dinner? Maybe because the dinner furrows its brow and argues about morality too much.
Grimes plans to take Randall a few miles out and let him go. Shane doesn’t like this idea. Grimes tells him to swallow it and let it go because he’s in charge. Shane squints. I can’t wait to find out whether or not they take Randall out and let him go in the stunning season finale of Season 7! Or never! So endless. Grimes asks Andrea to keep an eye on Shane. He says that he needs to make sure that every time he leaves the farm, all hell doesn’t break loose. “Then maybe you should stop leaving,” she says. BOOM! This is supposed to be meaningful or something, but it’s kind of beside the point, isn’t it? I mean, whether or not Grimes should stop leaving is a separate issue from whether or not Shane is a lunatic.
Carl finds Shane, who is busy gathering some planks to put on the wind thingy because that is very important. If they are going to stay safe from the zombies and the rival gang there’s got to be some wood on the wind thingy pronto. “What are you doing wandering around by yourself,” Shane asks, as if there is anything else whatsoever that Carl ever does. Seriously, fucking SIT DOWN, Carl. Even if this was the normal world, that kid wanders around too much. READ A BOOK. He wants to share a secret with Shane, but Shane doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but then he changes his mind and decides it’s a great idea, so Carl tells him about the Swamp Zombie and his guilt over Dale’s death. Shane tells him that it’s not his fault and that he should keep Daryl’s gun because he needs to protect himself. “I’ll never touch a gun again!” Carl shouts nonsensically. Like, what? This is supposed to set up the dramatic reversal of later in the episode when Carl definitely touches a gun again, but, like, it doesn’t even make sense. He might say he doesn’t want the gun right now because he’s too shaken up or nervous, but nothing happened with the gun that would make the kid who wanted a gun so bad this whole time never want a gun no more. He didn’t shoot Dale or the zombie or Plaxico Burress. Nothing happened. He just happened to hold a gun and now he’s never going to hold one again until he definitely holds one again in 10 minutes. Nonsense.
Daryl and Grimes are plotting out where to take Randall. Grimes says “that thing you did last night,” by which he means shooting Dale in the face. “No reason you’ve got to do all the heavy lifting,” he says. Grimes nods. GRIMES NODS. Good point, Daryl. No reason I should have to do all the heavy lifting. Shane pulls up in his Honda Fit sponsored by Honda Fit and Daryl excuses himself to take a piss. Hahaha. “I will leave you two hate birds alone.” Shane tells Grimes about his conversation with Carl and the Swamp Zombie. Grimes says that he’ll have Lori talk to Carl. Shane says Carl wants to talk to his father. Shane has a point, probably. Grimes says he needs the Randall thing done already, which makes no sense. Yet again, we’re trying to establish some motivations and feelings for what happens later, but, like, Grimes is supposed to be a good father and an American Hero, so I’m not really buying that someone tells him he needs to talk to his son and he says “but I need to take the boy with the blindfold out to the gas station.” Shane tells him that can wait and Grimes says it’s his call. UGH, HIM AND HIS POWER ISSUES. It’s confusing because everyone seems to basically agree that Grimes is in charge, so I’m not sure why he’s so insecure about being in charge. Just be in charge. But also talk to your son. Shane says he can take Randall out with Daryl but Grimes says that’s not an option. These guys sure love to beat around the bush considering how the bush is filled with zombies. Shane gives Grimes Daryl’s gun and says to give it back to Daryl. Then he scoffs, “freein’ that prisoner, SCOFF, that’s more important to you than Carl.” Ugh. He might as well say, “Building up tensions, SCOFF, so that we can have our final showdown even if the tensions are kind of unearned.” Speaking of unearned:
Grimes gives Carl this horrible speech about how his childhood is going to be different (no duh) and how everyone is going to die (LOL). “I wish I had something more profound to say,” he says. Uh, more profound than everyone you know and love is going to die someday, possibly in the very near future, and it’s a sad and impossible truth for which no human being can ever be prepared but I am respectful enough of your humanity even though you are only a child to deal with you honestly no matter how painful that might be for both of us and let you know that there is little to no comfort to be found in this life, but you have to manage it the best you can somehow? More profound than that? “I’m tired, son,” Grimes says. “Please take it.” It being the gun. Carl takes it and puts it in his mouth because Jesus Christ.
There’s a moment when Glen cries because Dale showed him how to fix an RV, and later when everyone is moving into the farmhouse, Maggie will tell him to put his stuff in her room and he will refuse even though her dad just gave him his pocketwatch so it’s not even clear what is going on here. But then again, who cares about anything Glen does.
Lori sees Shane putting the wood on the wind thingy and decides this is a good time to go make jokes about how bad Rick is at indoor plumbing. She says that after everything happened with Sophia, she thought it would still work out OK, but now after what happened with Dale, this finally feels real. Hahaha. Oh Lori. Although, she makes a good point: no one cared about Sophia. The audience for sure not, but even the people on the show were like “Egg?”
Lori thanks Shane for everything he did in protecting her and Carl during the Zompacalypse and says that she’s sorry for how hard this must have been on him. OH GROSS. What a fucking ex-girlfriend move. Like, what on Earth does she think that’s going to accomplish? Two seconds ago she was warning Grimes that Shane was dangerous and might try to FUCKING KILL HIM, but now she’s fanning the flames by reminding Shane about the tender ways in which he took her from behind in the woods and made her feel safe. It’s real shitty of her on multiple levels, as well as being unfair to both Shane AND Grimes, although it is at least consistent with the way in which her character is the absolute worst.
Shane goes into the Interrogation Shed and pushes Randall around a little and then sits down and slaps his face some. He’s going nuts! I’m worried about Shane, you guys. Shane, you OK?! Shane sees that Randall’s wrists are bloody from his attempts to wriggle free from his handcuffs, and this instantly gives him a very complicated and elaborate and violent plan that doesn’t really seem to track with just seeing the bloody wrists but OK. So, he frees Randall, but leaves the handcuffs chained to the pipe in the shed, and leads him into the woods and tells him that he is sick of this stupid gang and wants to join Randall’s gang. Randall tells him this is great news and he’s going to love the new gang because it’s full of sociopaths just like Shane. Haha. Incidentally, this is the best proof yet that Shane was actually right in thinking they shouldn’t let Randall go, but I don’t think this scene is actually supposed to make us think Shane is right, so just ignore it. Then they go behind a tree and Shane snaps Randall’s neck and then he bashes his own face against a tree real hard. Yo, Shane is looking rough. He already had the scar on his head from Otis, and then it looked like he got kicked in the face by a horse from his fight with Grimes, and now he’s got his Tree Boo Boos. Meanwhile, everyone has discovered the disappearance of Randall, which they seem to attribute to him slipping out of his handcuffs. “Could he do that?” someone asks. “He could if he wanted it bad enough,” ANDREA responds. No one says, “What are you talking about, Andrea?” Or “No, Andrea, he couldn’t just escape handcuffs by wanting to badly enough.” Everyone is like “Oh no! Did you hear what Andrea said? It’s possible!” Such fucking garbage. Just then, Shane hides his gun in a pile of leaves and stumbles out of the forest insisting that Randall “got the jump” on him and took his gun and ran into the woods. So, Daryl, Grimes, Glen and Shane all head off to catch Randall.
Night falls immediately. But that doesn’t impair Daryl’s crazy-good tracking ability at all somehow. And he doesn’t see any sign of Randall. “There ain’t no use in tracking him,” Shane says, “he went that way and THAT’S WHY we definitely need to split up and wander around the woods in the dark.” Haha. Uh huh. Daryl is like oh hold on, wait, how exactly did the 125 pound kid chained to a wall get the jump on you exactly? And Shane’s like HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN THE TREE BOO BOO ON MY NOSE? WHAT DO YOU THINK, THAT I DID THIS TO MYSELF ON A TREE? THAT’S RIDICULOUS! And Grimes is like, let’s definitely split up in the dark. They split up. Daryl and Glen eventually find Randall’s trail through the woods and piece it together that Shane was with him and that Shane gave himself the tree boo boo and that is when Zombie Randall appears and attacks them but they “get the jump on” it.
Daryl looks for bite marks and doesn’t find any, which you will recall is similar to when they examined the bodies of the guards a couple of weeks ago and only found some scratches. So now I guess the zombie virus has mutated and everyone can just become a zombie when they die even if they didn’t die from a zombie bite, which doesn’t really seem like that important of a plot point. Either the world is covered in millions of zombies or it isn’t, but how the millions of zombies got to be zombies seems like pretty useless information ever since the CDC nuclear detonated. “Oh no, one more zombie in an endless sea of zombies!” So what.
Grimes and Shane emerge into a moon-lit field and Grimes realizes what is happening here. Shane is going to kill him.
Wait, that was Shane’s plan all along? He let Randall out of the shed and snapped Randall’s neck and bruised his own face and created a diversion and split up with Daryl and Glen so that he could shoot Grimes in a field with T-Dog’s gun? Very complicated, Shane. You probably could have gotten Grimes alone in countless simpler ways, considering how often it seems like you guys are alone. Besides, why did you walk behind him in the woods that whole time just to get to an open field and have an argument when you could have just shot him in the head at any point? Like, your plan is so convoluted to get to a relatively simple conclusion, but then you even complicate that. Sheesh. (I guess Shane thinks it makes sense as an alibi because he’s going to say that Randall shot Grimes and then Shane chased him and snapped his neck, but, like, first of all that won’t work now because Glen and Daryl know that Randall is a zombie, not that Shane knows that, but more importantly, why would Shane chase Randall and snap his neck when he’s got T-Dog’s gun? It just seems weak even to a bunch of idiots like everyone on this show.) Anyway, one last argument for old time’s sake. “Remember how we used to constantly be arguing like this? What happened to us? When did we stop arguing like this and start arguing like this?” Shane tells Grimes that Carl and Lori will get over him, they’ve already done it once before. OH SNAAAAAAP! That is a good insult. That is a very hurtful insult. Grimes holsters his gun and tells Shane that if he’s going to do this, he’s going to have to shoot an unarmed man and he won’t be able to live with himself. Eh. Shane tells him that he has no idea what he’s capable of living with, which is a really solid point. If Grimes thinks Shane is a loose cannon capable of terrible violence in a nightmare world spun wildly out of control, why does he think Shane wouldn’t be able to live with himself? (When I was in high school, a police officer came to my class and talked about police officer stuff and he said the dumbest thing you could say if someone ever pointed a gun at you, but that people said it all the time, was “go ahead” and that when you said “go ahead” people holding guns often went ahead. Grimes, as a police officer himself, should know that fun fact from when he used to give talks to high schools.) It seems like if nothing else, Shane’s really good at living with himself, although it’s going to be hard for him to think of a new haircut to deal with this one.
Shane says that he is a better father than Rick, and a better man for Lori. Hmm. Well, for one thing, you’re not a father, Shane. Because of how you don’t have any kids. But let’s table that for now. He says that he’s a better man than Rick because he will “fight for it,” but all Rick does is come back and destroy everything. HA! Destroy what, exactly? Everything seemed very much destroyed ever since EVERYONE IS ZOMBIES NOW. But also, what does “fight for it” mean, exactly? Setting up an elaborate ruse with an escaped prisoner in order to corner your best friend and shoot him at point blank in a spooky field? Is that what fighting is? I never knew. “You got a broken woman,” Shane says. “You got a weak boy.” Again, confusing. If those things are true, then why does Shane want them so badly for himself? Grimes holds his gun out and tells Shane that they’re going to forget this ever happened and just go back to the arm as friends, and then as Shane reaches for the gun, POW, Grimes pulls out a knife and stabs him. POWERFUL STUFF! (Although I’m not sure how Grimes “got the drop on” Shane with the knife considering how he was clearly reaching for something in his belt? Oh, Shane!)
The gun goes off, they both drop to the ground, and Grimes continues to push the knife into Shane, Saving Private Ryan Bayonet Scene Style while crying out that he’s not the one who is doing this. And that is when we realize that Carl has been standing there the whole time making Carl faces.
THE FUCK. Sorry, NO. This is completely UNACCEPTABLE. This is 10 “Carl happens to have wandered in” moments too many. What the FUCK is even going on with this KID? And everyone else’s complete disinterest in where he is EVER?! And then CARL RAISES HIS GUN AND POINTS IT AT GRIMES. Again, no. However complicated this is supposed to be for him emotionally, there is just no way that this ridiculous little boy draws a gun on his father. Nope. No.
This is also when they reveal to us that the field where Shane complicatedly lured Grimes was, like, 10 feet away from the farmhouse the whole time!!!!
WHAT? The perfect crime, indeed.
But, so, there are a bunch of smashcuts to a Nine Inch Nails video about zombies. Wait, who is seeing these music videos? Supposedly, I guess this is how you become a zombie now if you don’t get bitten by a zombie is with a bunch of “scary,” tonal montages of violent imagery. Shane is a zombie. Carl shoots Shane. The gunshot echoes through the forest and all of the Forest Zombies hear it and stop what they are doing and head towards the gunshot. Uh oh. As Grimes and Carl go to examine Shane’s re-undead body, we see a huge wave of zombies pouring out towards them. Oh no! Good thing they filled the farmhouse basement with food and water and boarded up all the windows five minutes ago! Phew! Just in the nick of time!
But also wait what?! We know that a gunshot can attract zombies, I guess, but let’s also remember that this is the second gunshot fired of the night. The first one happened when Grimes was stabbing Shane. So why did this one wake them up but the other one had no effect? Even more importantly, there have been gunshots on the farm before, plenty of them. When Andrea shot Daryl, for example, or when everyone shot all the zombies in the barn. (Not to mention the loud noises of Daryl’s motorcycle, or everyone’s seemingly endless arguments.) So if there were millions of zombies in the woods, why is this the first we’re learning of them? Oh, wait, I know why: BECAUSE THIS SHOW IS BULLSHIT.