The last couple of episodes have been repeating the structure of slow-burn during the first half, and then incredibly dramatic at the conclusion. Last week, Dale bit the dust at the hands (ripping his stomach open) of a walker that the juvenile Carl was trying to stone in the forest. This week, Rick was forced to stab Shane through the heart when he had a gun pointed at his head. For one, it’s about freaking time Rick stepped up and eliminated Shane, who has been a danger to him, his family, and the group of survivors for quite some time. Unfortunate for us viewers, Shane was without a doubt the most interesting character on the show. Aside from the blood bath that the finale is shaping up to be, I don’t know how The Walking Dead will find its legs again.
Let me back up to recap the entire episode. Opening with Rick giving a sermon at Dale’s funeral, we witness Shane, Andrea, T-Dog, and Daryl kick some zombie ass, but this time it was personal as made evident when they surrounded their final kill and repeatedly kicked it. Silly humans, zombies don’t feel pain. Anyway, the group is moving into Hershel’s house, which allows Carl to confide in Shane about the walker that killed Dale. In addition, Lori finds a moment to have heart-to-heart with Shane, sympathizing with his situation of not knowing if her child is Shane’s or Rick’s, and sort of thanking him for being there for her when they thought Rick was dead. Why this turn of heart? Didn’t she tell Rick to off him a few episodes ago?
So Shane decides to take matters into his own hand and drags Randall into the forest to kill him. He plots the whole thing so it looks like Randall escaped and then sets off with Rick to look for him. As Glen and Daryl kill off zombie Randall, Shane becomes hostile and threatens Rick. There is little doubt in my mind that Shane did love Lori and did love Carl and wanted to protect them until the day he died, but Rick feels the same way for Lori and Carl and the fact is that they’re his family. Rick finally did something major to protect his own from his biggest threat.
At the conclusion, Rick tricks Shane into thinking he’s giving over his gun when he swiftly rams a knife through his chest. Rick clearly still held some brotherly love for Shane, which is why he wasn’t able to ever knock him off like he should’ve. But Rick still felt undeniably horrible for doing what he had to do. But wait, who’s that a few meters away who apparently witness the whole thing? It’s Carl! That kid needs a damn bell around his neck, or he at least needs a mother who would actually watch him. Anyway, Carl points a gun at Rick, upset at the death of Shane. Shane comes back as a zombie and right before he’s about to attack Rick, Carl shoots zombie-Shane right in the head. Booya!
So aside from the army of walkers coming to the farm’s direction, the main question is: What caused Randall and Shane to turn into walkers without being bit or scratched by another walker? A few episodes ago, we found out that you could just be scratched to turn into a walker, and when Dale got his intestines ripped out of his stomach, we knew he was going to turn. But with no bites or scratches on Randall’s body and then Shane turning into a walker within minutes of his death, what’s the deal? Is that what Dr. Jenner whispered into Rick’s ear at the end of Season 1?