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'Walking Dead' recap: Death comes to the farm

The Walking Dead

Well, we were promised a bloodbath, and that's what we got Sunday night in the season finale of "The Walking Dead" — which saw a herd of walkers descend on Hershel's farm, sending Rick and the others running for their lives. Miraculously, the major players made it out, but what awaits them now is hardly a respite — what with Rick channeling his inner Shane and the appearance of a villain known as the Governor looming on the horizon.

It's a conversation about Shane that those walkers first interrupt, Carl asking his father what transpired between the men that could have culminated in Shane's death (and brief reanimation). Before Rick can give the boy a straight answer, they're fleeing from the zombies into the barn, which they promptly burn down, Rick hoping to incinerate the monsters in the fire. At the farmhouse, Hershel is firing a shotgun at the walkers — his aim is remarkable — determined to protect his property from the invaders. Lori panics when she can't find Carl, and it's up to Carol to try to persuade her to leave without her child, which she eventually does.

Andrea and Glenn do try their best to stop the walkers' advance, firing with considerable accuracy from the passenger sides of separate moving cars. Maggie's driving Glenn, and when they become surrounded, she has to decide to flee for safety, not knowing if her father and Beth are alive or dead. Hershel and Beth each do make it out alive, Hershel with Rick and Carl and Beth with Lori and T-Dog. Daryl rescues Carol when she's surrounded, meaning that only Andrea is left behind. Fortunately, she's resourceful enough to grab a bag of guns and head out into the night, determined to survive.

FULL COVERAGE: 'Walking Dead'

The others eventually meet up back at the highway, overjoyed to see one another and grieving for loved ones lost (including Otis' wife). They make a plan to head out in a caravan in hopes of finding a new shelter, but when Rick's truck runs low on gas, they pull over and decide to make camp. It's then that Rick finally tells Lori what happened between Shane and him in the field. She doesn't react well — she stares at her husband in shock and horror and stalks off without saying a word.

Rick makes a similar confession to the others around the campfire, as they squabble over exactly whether they should be staying out in the open. "I killed my best friend for you people," Rick says, before informing them that their little group is no longer a democracy and he is the only one in charge. Nor is that his only pronouncement — he finally reveals that long-held secret Jenner whispered to him back at the CDC. Everyone is infected, they are all carriers of the zombie virus, or whatever it is exactly.

As the Grimes and their larger extended family of survivors grapple with their fate, an exhausted Andrea is just about to fall to the walkers chasing her through the woods when out of nowhere a mysterious hooded figure leading two chained zombies appears. Thanks to the swift use of a well-placed blade, Andrea is safe, though we never see the face of her rescuer — but fans of "The Walking Dead" comic book would recognize Michonne anywhere. Expect her to be a fixture next season (and here's hoping that the show's writers will opt to revise one key element in the character's storyline for her TV incarnation).

For those of you who'd like to go to the source to discuss Sunday's episode and suss out what's ahead for Season 3, "Walking Dead" showrunner Glen Mazzara (@glenmazzara) will host a special 30-minute Q&A on Twitter beginning at 7 p.m. Pacific time Monday. To participate, sign into Twitter and then insert hashtag #walkingdeadchat. When asking a question, make sure to use the hashtag #walkingdeadchat, so Mazarra will be sure to see it.

But don't let that stop you from leaving your thoughts on the episode below. Did you love the finale? How do you think Season 2 measured up?

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Full coverage of 'The Walking Dead' on Show Tracker

—Gina McIntyre

Photo: Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), left, Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies), Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and T-Dog (Robert 'IronE' Singleton) in Sunday's season finale of "The Walking Dead." Credit: Gene Page / AMC.

 
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