“The Walking Dead” Episode 212: Goodbye Jack Merridew


A shambling monster with an instinctive need for violence. And now he’s a zombie!

This week’s The Walking Dead had a shocking finale, as the increasingly batsh*t insane Shane bid adieu … twice.

Actually, shocking isn’t the right word, as spoilers and hints have been spilling out for weeks (and months) that Shane (or more
accurately, actor Jon Bernthal) wouldn’t survive the season, thanks to backstage drama. So the only shocking part is that Shane wasn’t killed in the finale.

But really, it was time for him to go. He had become so unhinged there was nowhere to go with the character, but I have to say I will miss his nutty hotness and that adorable way he always said, “Mask you something?”

The group holds Dale‘s funeral, and Rick eulogizes that the best way to honor him is to do things the way he would’ve wanted, which I guess means wearing hideous floral shirts and constantly whining. Actually, it means they are going to let Randall live, and plans are made to release him a few miles down the road.

Hershel has had a change of heart, and welcomes the group to come live in the house permanently, which is good news, because with the cold weather starting to harden the swamp and all of the cattle nearby, Maggie says, “We might as well be ringin’ the damn dinner bell.”

Carl hands Shane the gun he stole from Darryl and confides that he’s responsible for Dale’s death. Damn right! But Shane has a soft spot (in his brain) for Carl, and tries to convince the kid that it wasn’t his fault. He tries to give the gun back to Carl, but he refuses it, so Shane goes to Rick and tells him what happened.

Rick tells him he’ll take care of it after the Randall situation, but when Shane implies that he’s a bad father for not taking care of it now (by implying, I mean Shane says “Freein’ that prisoner, more important to you than Carl!”), Rick has a change of heart and sits down with Carl. He reiterates that what happened to Dale was not his fault, and he gives the gun back, saying that more people are going to die, but “best we can do now is avoid it as long as we can.” Which in this case, is about two scenes.

Actually, Shane had an ulterior motive in getting Rick away from the barn. Now that Randall is alone, Shane releases him and walks him into the swamp, explaining that he wants to join Randall’s group now. Randall buys the whole thing, so I’m guessing the blood around his wrists isn’t from the shackles, but is the afterbirth from being born yesterday.

Randall cheerily marches through the swamp, and when he and Shane move behind a tree, all we hear is a cracking sound … which is either Shane breaking Randall’s neck, or a foley artist snapping a stalk of celery.

Spoiler!

After dispatching Randall, Shane slams his face against a tree, breaking his nose. Ordinarily, this would be just a typical Saturday night for Shane, but he’s obviously up to something. He rushes back to the farm and tells everyone that Randall escaped by breaking his nose and stealing his gun. Darryl and Glen head off in one direction while Rick and Shane go off in the opposite way.

Darryl and Glen come upon evidence that Shane wasn’t telling the truth … namely walker Randall! He attacks the guys, and is brought down by Glen’s machete. Darryl notices, however, that there are no bites on the body, and he was killed by a broken neck.

As Rick and Shane take a walk near the swamp, Rick comes to a sudden and horrific realization … Shane has brought him out here to kill him. Shane confirms it. All he has to say is that Randall shot Rick, because why wouldn’t everyone totally believe it? Rick tries to talk Shane down, and after some tense minutes of back and forth, Rick holds out his gun for Shane and walks towards him … and the stabs him in the heart! Shane falls to the ground dying, as Rick wails to the heavens.

What happens next is disturbing and provocative, as Carl (once again left to his own devices somehow) sees Shane dying and wants to know what happened.

So a lot of questions are set up for next week.

How long will it take Rick to notice that hoard behind him?

Will he tell Carl the truth about Shane?

Is the farm ready for a zombie invasion?

One of the more intriguing moments was when Shane was dying and saw horrific zombie images. Do all dying people go through it as they’re about to turn? Is there some kind of psychic connection between turn-ees? Or was it just Shane going bonkers one last time?

CARNAGE SCORECARD::

ZOMBIES: Annoying prisoner gets machete, lead character is shot, setting up Season Three drama

HUMANS: Annoying prisoner has snapped neck, lead character is stabbed, setting up Season Three drama

You can see the trailer for next week’s Season Finale below. Who do you think will survive, and who do you wish wouldn’t?

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