In tonight's episode, the group mourns for Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and Shane (Jon Bernthal) takes drastic measures to get what he wants.
So Long, Dale
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Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) group holds a funeral for Dale and Rick says they need to honor their fallen friend by doing things the way he would have wanted. On that front, Rick plans to take their prisoner, Randall-the-stranger, out somewhere far away and just let him go. Unsurprisingly, this does not go over well with Shane. In other news, Hershel (Scott Wilson) offers to let Rick's group move into the house, where they might be safer.
A Child's Conscience
Feeling guilty over what happened to Dale, Carl (Chandler Riggs) tells Shane that he feels responsible for Dale's death because he taunted the Walker that killed Dale earlier that day, but failed to kill it. Carl then gives Shane the gun he stole from Daryl, saying he wants nothing to do with guns anymore.
But Shane tells Rick about Carl's confession and Rick decides to have a heart-to-heart with his son. Rick tells Carl he was not to blame for Dale's death, but Carl needs to be able to protect himself. Rick gives Carl the gun again (without asking Daryl, mind you) so Carl can be "safe" even if something happens to Rick or Lori.
It appears that Shane has truly lost his marbles now. He takes Randall-the-stranger into the woods while the others are preparing to let him go and kills Randall before slamming his own head into a tree. Once the others realize that Randall is gone, Shane stumbles out of the woods and tells the group that Randall attacked him, stole his gun and escaped.
Shane then heads off on a "search" for Randall with Rick, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Daryl. Daryl seems a bit suspicious of Shane's story, but Rick butts in and decides they need to split up to look for their missing prisoner. Glenn and Daryl go one way, while Rick takes off with crazy Shane, just as Shane planned. (I wonder what Shane could possibly have in mind now that he and Rick are alone ... And no, I don't mean sex.)
While Shane takes Rick into the woods to 'get rid of him," Glenn and Daryl stumble upon a Walker, who just happens to be Randall-the-missing-stranger. After Randall-the-now-Walker is put down, Daryl notices that his neck had been broken but he has no bites. Daryl double-checks but, just like those men Rick and Shane found a few episodes back, Randall became a Walker even though he had not been bitten. (As some fans may have guessed, the virus appears to be air-borne and that is probably what Jenner-the-CDC-guy told Rick in last season's finale.)
Once Shane gets Rick away from the others, he is ready to do the deed but Rick is onto him. Rick confronts Shane and asks if he is really prepared to murder him in cold blood. Shane hesitates a bit and Rick uses that moment to try and talk his friend down. Rick claims they can simply put their guns down and go back to the farm before anything gets out of hand.
But when Shane is distracted, Rick stabs his best buddy to death, albeit in self-defense. Carl arrives and sees that his father has killed Shane, but before Carl can process that, Shane resurrects as a Walker and Carl has to shoot him in order to save his father's life. All those shooting lessons must have paid off because Carl takes Shane-the-Walker down in one shot!
How will the group deal with Shane's death, especially since they have just lost Dale? Will Carl blame Rick for Shane's death? What will the survivors do if they realize the virus is air-borne? And who will bite the dust in next week's season finale?
Megan ColeContributing Writer(Image courtesy of AMC)