Guys! Guys. In a half-season of nothing, so much happened this episode, so many pointless things learned! The episode opened real strong like, with a lot of looking and head-shaking and looking and nodding. Emmys for everyone! Daryl and Carol didn't bone but they probably will have sad sex soon (it's one of the Kubler-Ross stages). Maggie must still be on her period because, man, mood-swings! T-Dog (or is it T-Bone?) had a line! Glenn discovered the benefits of washing hair with raw egg (so silky, so shiny). Hershel is a mouth breather when he eats (I bet he breathes really loudly on the phone too. He really is the worst). Dale is maybe omnipresent? No abortion metaphor is too big for the writers (barn=womb, zombies=fetuses, Shane=crazed coat-hanger wielding feminist). Those life-guard thingys that are used to fish poops out of pools are also strong enough to wrangle zombies. Rick's Sheriff hat has magical powers to turn Carl into an annoying mini-Rick who feels empowered enough to lay down the law (pun definitely intended). Shane's forehead vein is thisclose to getting it's own spin-off show. Oh and they found Sophia. And there was great rejoicing. Yay.
What really rankles me about the farm folk seeing the walkers as sick people in need of care (aside from the fact that they keep them locked in a barn and feed them live chickens – that may work for livestock, Hershel but if that's how you treat sick people, yeesh...) is that it ignores when Maggie took out the zombie with the bat (when she was on her horse) that was attacking Andrea. And there is the whole Otis going to the high school with Shane thing. They knew he would be killing zombies there, he took a gun, it was infested. He mentioned that he'd done runs like that before. How does that reconcile with their whole Thou Shalt Not Kill the Festering Dead worldview? It could have been a really interesting story-arc if Hershel was some sort of cult leader forcing his people to do his bidding. Instead the writers had to go all real talk and push the whole anti-choice thing down our throats first with Lori and then with the Duck Hunt scene at the end.
I thought the way they handled the Sophia thing was really good. It reminded me of the first episode of the series where Morgan struggled to shoot his wife, who kept coming back to their house out of blood memory. There was a definite poignancy. At that point, there was no way they were going to find her alive but the scene itself was shot to expand on the shock and tragedy. She had been so close the entire time. Like when a raccoon stole my friend's wallet, dropped it almost immediately and for a week it sat on her roof – so painfully close, always in the last place you look! Why it took the entire seven episodes to get there, I will never know (especially since it could have taken 2 minutes). Why Hershel or the other farm folk didn't think to let her out since they knew the survivors were looking for a young girl and, "hey here's this young zombie girl that we don't know in our zombie barn! Maybe..." I don't know. Why Lori didn't think to get Carl out of there when Shane opened the barn. I can't even begin to guess. Why were all the barn zombies dressed like they were transported from the 19th century, *shrugs*.
Now to wait three whole months for the fallout. Will Hershel kick them out? Or will they just leave out of bad memories? Will Maggie go with them? If not what will happen with the rest of those ten condoms? Are they actually going to have us go through a pregnancy? Or is Lori going to miscarry? How pissed off will I be if there is that cop out? (SO PISSED OFF.) So long enchanted forest, we had some good times! Cue montage of hanging zombie, well zombie, pharmacy zombie, foot-gnawing zombie, Otis, zombie Louise, arrow in the eye zombie, Mrs Fisher zombie and zombie horde to Diana Ross and Lionel Richie's Endless Love.