The Walking Dead – Nebraska, Mid-Season Premier

The Walking Dead aired its mid-season premier last night on AMC.

I don’t even know how to begin this.

This had to be the best Walking Dead episode to date. So powerful, and finally starting to reveal some true character from Rick, Shane, and Lori.

Since I am shunning recaps on The Walking Dead (because if you can read it, why watch it – and you NEED to watch it), I am going to go with what I know – my opinions and how I feel about them!

Lets start with Shane, because I dislike him more and more with every episode. I am of two minds when it comes to Shane – he is either losing his mind, or he is the only one who is crystal clear on the whole situation. I liked Shane in the beginning. I liked his strength and his attitude. HE had the kind of attitude that would save people. Cut to him leaving Rick in the hospital. Cut to him attempting to rape Lori at the CDC. And everything in between. Guess who doesn’t like Shane anymore?

He has gone…..mental…? I don’t know. He has just been more and more of an asshole every episode, and by asshole I mean more and more right about killing the walkers. Which is true, and right. But, still…at the same time he is running off the rails. He’s losing his humanity. When he and Lori were together, he was good with her, he was good with Carl – ish. My intense dislike became full-blown, really, when he shot Otis and left him to be fed on so he could escape. Again, though….since none of us have ever been attacked by zombies, who am I to sit in judgement? So I guess that means that while maybe I can’t judge his actions, because his actions are directly influenced by the whole zombie thing, then I guess I just dislike him because he’s a douchebag. Why is he going all commando on everyone? I get that Lori crushed his feelings. I get that he has a deep-down intense hatred for Rick because he came back. And really, who can’t understand that? I can. You have unrequited love coupled with close proximity to firearms and an ample supply of things to kill. I can’t say I wouldn’t go rogue in the same situation. Wait….did I just talk myself out of hating Shane..?

And I suppose that takes us to Lori, since I apparently don’t really hate Shane, deep down. I have always thought Lori was a strong female lead, until recently. recently meaning yesterday. The Lori we know from the pilot until November 27th was a strong woman who knew when it was time to let her man be a man and take the lead (I don’t care what anyone says, if you want your man to BE a man, he needs to feel like one). She deferred to Rick as her partner, and he deferred to her when he had to.

It really angers me when characters take the lying way out of things. When she took all those pills to end her pregnancy, then Rick caught her and she finally had to tell the truth to Rick about her and Shane. Now we can get back to less tension. And yes, I know ‘tension creates story’ yadda yadda. I sincerely have issues with the lying about pregnancy stuff and it bugs me when it comes up in any show (yes, you, Young & The Restless!)

Why did she go chasing after him five minutes after he left with Glen to go get Herschel? That really bugs me. REALLY bugs me. It’s a departure from her character of trusting Rick. Is it because he faltered in his own belief of his ability to lead? Seemed that way, especially as she questioned whether or not he wanted to talk about going into town to find Herschel and then agreed with Shane when he came out. It was dumb of her to go, and I was not surprised when she crashed. After getting too big for her britches, she had to be brought back down. And brought down she was. The episode ended with  no more scenes with Lori after her car crash.

So, Rick.

I have always loved Rick, and have always felt a little sorry for his soft nature and small-town-cop character for having to make all these tough decisions. I didn’t think he was cut out to lead, in the beginning, which is why I had so much faith in Shane.

I have wondered how his soft nature has carried the load of being a leader, and we have seen him break down a few times – which only makes us love him more. But now……now he has had to make some serious changes. Sophia, in the barn with the walkers Herschel has been hiding. It HAD to be Rick to do it – there was no other way, no other person. It reasserts Rick as the leader, and takes away our doubt in his ability to make the tough decisions.

It still blew me away when he killed the two in the bar. But it had to. he had to do it, he had to prove to Herschel that he had the farm, the family, and his group’s safety as priority one.

It had to be Rick. And it’s about time.

The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9:00 on AMC.