Read this review of The Walking Dead to see the phrase that should be printed up on t-shirts and given out as Christmas Gifts for wall Walking Dead fans.

The Walking Dead “Pretty Much Dead Already” Review

Glenn may have minced words and wasted time before, but for this episode he just got right up and spit it out. Boom. Walkers. Boom. In the Barn. Boom. And he’s not really Asian! Boom. (Okay, he didn’t say that last part. I just wanted another boom!)

Speaking of Glenn (who always needs a hat) it’s kind of nice that he found some lurve with Maggie. What are the chances of two crazy kids falling in love during a zombie apocalypse? But Glenn had to really earn this little bit of tenderness. Maggie was upset at her father and misplaced all of this anger at Glenn. Her little bit with the egg in the hat was immature. I was glad when she came around to the sanity side of the field.

Dale and Andrea continue to have a daddy/daughter thing that is sweet and annoying. I love Dale so much, but dislike Andrea so, so much! I wish Dale would counsel Lori more. She needs some emotionally support, too.

For most of the episode Rick was going out of his way to get Hershel to agree to let them stay there, before he was even going to get into “hey, maybe you shouldn’t have zombies locke dup in the barn for safety reasons.” He’d rather have lived there peacefully with a certain place to stay even with that danger. Shane, though… no way.

Shane was even more unlikeable than Andrea in this episode. He approached Lori to lord over the fact that he’d saved her life more than Rick had. It didn’t seem like he even wanted to get Lori back, he just wanted to prove his point that he was built for this world. And in his eyes, that made him strong. But later, Dale says that to him as an insult. Dale said that Shane was “meant to live in this world” and that was not a good thing. So if you find yourself not prepared to live in that kind of world, don’t think of it as a weakness.

I had been certain that the title of the episode “Pretty Much Dead Already” was going to be in reference to the walkers in the barn. Because really, they’re dead. So it was a surprising twist when it was a line said from Shane to poor old Dale! I think Dale is the character I’d most hate to lose.

I can’t wait for t-shirts to crop up that say, “My farm. My barn. My say!”

The barn itself was like the white elephant in the room. Only in this case, it was a barn in the field. And the barn’s presence was strongly felt in most of the outdoor shots at the farm. It was rising to the foreground all the time, never letting you forget about it. Even when Lori was cutting up carrots and dealing with Shane, the barn was behind her and very much in the silent conversation.

When Shane started to go crazy, he gave Carl a gun. Uh, no!And then Shane opened up the barn, meaning that even the people who didn’t want to make a choice and stand against Hershel had to step up and kill the Walkers.

And then.

Oh yes, and then.

Another walker emerged. Little Sophia. Who we’d been hoping was alive. She was there and she was a walker. This immediately made me wonder if Hershel had ever planned to tell Rick this after the truth about what was in the barn was revealed.

And suddenly, our gang was much more like Hershel’s crew. They knew they had to shoot Sophia but none of them wanted to be the one to do it. They waited, and waited. And finally, Rick stepped up to do the dirty job.

That was one powerful episode.

Even though it might be easy to say this is a series about tragedy, I think this is a TV show about hope.

Grade: B

React: Did you think Sophia would still be found alive? What will Hershel do next? What character do you most not want to die?

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC. “Pretty Much Dead Already” was the Fall season finale. So subscribe to Small Screen Scoop so you can read all of our Walking Dead reviews when the episodes are brand new again!