February 13th, 2012
12:34 PM ET
Sunday night's return of "The Walking Dead" left us in a bleaker place than ever before.
In the aftermath of the discovery of Sophia in Hershel's barn (and the subsequent massacre of every walker therein, including members of Hershel's family), the farm owner told Rick and his group of survivors to get off his land.
As has been the pattern this season, this led to lots of fighting between Rick and Shane, while Shane in turn continued to taunt Dale, who shared his concerns (and correct belief that Shane killed Otis) with Lori.
Carol was borderline catatonic after losing her daughter (and later had some kind of breakdown), while Daryl – still the best character this season – tried to comfort her.
While Lori drove into town, she accidentally hit what appeared to be a walker, and next thing you know, the car flipped over on the side of the road.
Meanwhile, after Rick and Glenn (who spilled his guts about Maggie) visited Hershel in a bar he used to frequent, Hershel admitted that that moment in front of the barn made him completely lose hope.
Suddenly, a couple of visitors showed up who had traveled from Philadelphia. Rick almost immediately didn't trust these guys, who said that the group's destination of Fort Benning was overrun with "lamebrains" (their term for walkers).
After Rick and Hershel refused to host them on the farm, one of them went behind the bar and soon reached for his gun. Rick shot the two of them dead.
With the burial of the walkers from the barn, and this shared experience between Rick and Hershel, it would seem that the group might stay in the farm in the long run.
Of course, Lori's fate is one of the bigger questions we're left with heading into next week as well.
Even so, the episode mostly served to tie up loose ends and to serve as an epilogue to the fall finale, and I'm not sure it will satisfy those who were hoping to see events move quickly for the second half of the season (and it wasn't heavy on zombies, unless you count the stacks of bodies buried by Shane, T-Dog and Andrea).
We're definitely at a point where the story could go almost anywhere, and I'm curious to see where it will lead.
What did you think of the show's first episode since November? Post your view on iReport or comment below.
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