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'Walking Dead' recap: How long until the Rick and Shane showdown?

"The Walking Dead"

Rick vs. Shane. It's certainly starting to look like that's what it's all about to come down to this year. In Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead," "Triggerfinger," the two men are set up for an eventual face-off that easily could turn into a shootout over Lori and her baby, each determined to do whatever's necessary to protect "what's his."

It's Shane who heads out to search for Lori after the others realize she's been missing for hours -- during which time, of course, she's flipped the car she was driving and, we learn, fended off a couple of walkers on her own. To convince her to return to the farm with him, Shane tells Lori that her husband is alive and well and already there, though in fact, Rick is still inside the bar with Hershel and Glenn, grappling with the enormity of Rick's decision to shoot the two strangers who had threatened them.

Things become more fraught for the trio when some folks come looking for Dave and Tony and always-honest Rick announces that they're dead, that he shot them in an act of self-defense. A firefight ensues, and before long, Hershel's vowing to cover Glenn as he runs to get their vehicle -- just because Hershel opposes firearms on his farm doesn't mean he doesn't know how to use one, he points out.

A horde of walkers scares off the others, though they leave behind one of their own, a shooter who jumped down from his rooftop perch and ended up with a wrought iron spike through his leg. Rick and Glenn attempt to fend off the walkers to buy Hershel some time to assess the severity of the injury. The prognosis, however, isn't good. Hershel wants to amputate, but Rick decides to just pull the man's leg free and they all head back to the farm.

Shane and Lori get there first, and Lori's furious that Shane lied to her about Rick's whereabouts. He insists that had he told her the truth, she never would have agreed to come back and his first concern was for her safety, and for the baby. At which point Carl learns he's about to have a brother or sister.

The others do turn up not long thereafter, but Shane sees the presence of a stranger in their midst as a threat. He's convinced that the man could escape and expose their location to the people with whom he'd been travelling, leading to an all-out war for the farm. Andrea agrees, but Rick insists that there is no threat and saving a life was the right thing to do.

Surely, Rick's humanitarianism is about to be put to test (well, it has already, of course, but perhaps not to the same extent) with Lori, doing her best Lady Macbeth, insisting that the only real threat is from Shane, who's convinced that he is the father of the child, that he's in love with Lori, that he's the only one who can keep her safe in a vicious, brutal world.

One imagines it would be Shane who would come out on the losing end of that fight -- Rick is the center of the series after all. But it's disheartening to think about the series without either character. Jon Bernthal's committed portrayal of an unhinged, desperate man has been the best thing about Season 2 of "The Walking Dead" hands down.

What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

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--Gina McIntyre

Photo: "The Walking Dead" Credit: AMC

 
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