This coming Sunday marks the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, after which the series will lay itself down to hibernate for the winter like a bear (or die only to later come back to life, like a zombie), and the kinda-sorta-finale has one hell of an episode title: “Pretty Much Dead Already.” 

A foreboding name, to say the least. But that could also very well be a sub-title for the series, if you think about it. Nobody’s guaranteed survival on The Walking Dead, no matter how strong or central they may seem.

With that in mind, let’s check out a sneak peek of Sunday’s episode, plus read some enticing spoilers about the mid-season finale, and beyond. Prepare your “BRAAAAAAAAAINS!” for the drama and action:

Sneak Peek: “I don’t want to talk about the barn,” says Hershel to Rick. So guess what they talk about? Yep, the barn. Or more specifically, what the barn contains:


Is anyone else completely infuriated by the fact that Hershel is a veterinarian, and yet he CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE between someone who is alive and someone who is dead? Actively decomposing, losing all physical and mental faculties and developing an all-encompassing hunger for human flesh is not being “sick.” Continuing to growl and chomp after parts of your rotting, blue head fall off is not even being “alive.” Wake up, Hershel! Wake up and smell the zombies.

Also, Rick KNOWS this. He was at the CDC! He saw the suicidal Doc give his mini-presentation about how, when infected, the person dies and what comes back is just a bunch of misfiring synapses in the brain stem, or whatever the scientific-speak is for “definitely not a person, just a dead body that kinda wakes up and wants to eat other bodies.” Now you wake up, Rick! Wake up and smell your memories

Anyway, it sounds like the group will have to move on (and I wish they would), unless one of Rick’s special speeches can teach Hershel how to love again. Now, let’s move on before my synapses lead to a frustrated brain-explosion. How about some SPOILERS?

In this interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Kirkman plays things close to the vest, but he did give us these tidbits, mostly about all the ongoing character drama:

On whether Shane and Andrea’s honk-honking will continue: “We could definitely see this blossom into a relationship but let’s not discount Shane’s emotional connection to Lori and the situation with that baby. There’s a lot of wrenches that could be thrown into a lot of the story lines that are currently going on and this is one of them.” 

On Rick and Lori possibly “splitting off”: “Moving forward, we’re going to be doing things that will be reminding the audience that this is definitely a television show where anything goes and not to take anything for granted. These characters could do anything at any time. Rick and Lori splitting off for the betterment of their children and safety of their family is definitely a possibility.”

On how the Shane/Andrea/Dale tension will definitely get drawn out almost forever (GREAT!) (SARCASM!): “A lot of people are looking at that [Andrea and Dale] like it’s a romantic relationship because that’s what eventually happens in the comic book series. It could also be looked at like a father-daughter relationship to a certain extent and it hasn’t quite really blossomed into anything that will become a romance. It’s definitely going to throw a wrench into what ever it is they have between each other just because of Dale continually butting heads with Shane. I think that is going to come to a head in the second part of the season that starts next year.”

On whether we’ll see Merle again: “There’s definitely a chance. We still don’t know what happened to him after he cut his hand off, we don’t know where he went, we don’t know if he survived and if he survived, for how long. We don’t know anything about him. We would never leave something like that hanging indefinitely. That’s going to be something coming up at some point in the show.”

The Final Five Minutes: TVLine’s Michael Ausiello has seen the mid-season finale, and tells us this about the episode’s last moments, and gives a couple hints about what leads up to them: “The final five minutes were intense, horrifying and, ultimately, deeply poignant. Elsewhere, two characters (literally) kiss and make up, Rick does something to a zombie he has never done before, and someone makes a surprising return.”  

My guesses: Glenn and Maggie will kiss and make up, Rick will spare a zombie (Hershel’s wife, perhaps?), and Sophia will return. BOOM. 

Behind-the-Scenes Drama: Lastly, a cast member reportedly asked to walk with Frank Darabont, then got released from contract, then changed his/her mind and wants to stay on the show, but it’s probably too late and they’re going to get killed off anyway because the FX department already spent 4 months and $800,000 on making their severed head. (I made that last part up, but it could totally be true.) Who do you think it is? I hope it’s Andrea. No, I REALLY hope it’s Andrea.

Any thoughts on these sneak peeks of what’s to come in “Pretty Much Dead Already”? The episode airs Sunday at 9pm on AMC. Then, we won’t have any new Walking Dead until February. So let’s talk it out before the big break.

(Image courtesy of AMC)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.