March 12th, 2012
10:20 AM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains some spoilers for the March 11 episode of "The Walking Dead." Don't read any further if you don't want to know.]
So, that was a bombshell.
We kinda had a feeling, the way things were going, that Shane wasn't long for this world. (After all, Jon Bernthal has a new series next season.) But, that wasn't the big surprise of Sunday night's "Walking Dead."
Before I get into that, let's rewind to the funeral for Dale, who we lost last week. Rick admitted that Dale was right all along, and the group should do things the way he would have wanted. Shane, Andrea and others hunted down some stray walkers, while the rest mourned Dale at the barn.
It hit Carl particularly hard, because the walker who killed Dale was one he accidentally freed from being stuck in a marsh. He admitted as much to Shane, but later, Rick explained to him that ultimately, death is a part of life.
In the meantime, Lori admitted to Shane that she wasn't entirely sure that her baby was Rick's. At the same time, she thanked him for being there for her (at that point, you knew he was a goner – dead-men-walking on TV tend to make peace with people before the end).
Then, when no one was looking, Shane went into the shed where Randall was being held. Before nearly shooting him in the head again, he kidnapped him, and T-Dog soon discovered what had happened.
Shane took Randall into the woods, asking him to take him to the camp where his friends were staying, because he wanted to join up with them. Moments later, Shane snapped his neck, before bashing his face into a tree.
Shane returned to the camp, claiming he had been assaulted, before Randall ran off.
In the dead of night, Rick, Shane, Daryl and Glenn went looking for Randall. Daryl found the blood-stained tree, and soon, he and Glenn found Randall... as a walker. A walker with no bite marks. (At this point, millions of viewers' jaws dropped.)
Soon, as one might expect, Shane had Rick just where he wanted him, and Rick knew what was going to happen. Shane – way off the deep end at this point – argued that he was better suited for Lori, among other things, before Rick suggested they both drop their guns. Before Shane put his down, Rick walked over and stabbed Shane in the stomach, before crying out in anguish that he had to do this to his friend.
In the meantime, we saw hordes of walkers gathering in the woods. (Not sure where Daryl and Glenn were in the middle of this.)
Carl happened upon Rick mourning Shane, just after we saw flashes of walkers in what must have been Shane's subconscious, or what was left of it.
Rick tells Carl to drop his gun, and the next thing you know, Carl has fired it... at the zombified Shane, who was creeping up behind Rick. While Rick was examining Shane's corpse with Carl looking on, an aerial view showed the mass of walkers descending on them both.
It looks like there's a big fight coming in the finale, but this realization that the dead can become the Walking Dead without being attacked by a walker changes everything.
Will this be explained next week? Will we learn anything about Randall's camp? And will even more people die in the season finale?
One thing is for sure, the finale will end the group's time at the barn. It's also pretty safe to say that every "Walking Dead" fan worth their salt knows exactly what they'll be watching next Sunday night.
Share your thoughts on this monumental episode on video or in the comments.
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