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Posted at 10:18 PM ET, 02/19/2012

‘Walking Dead’: Five questions about ‘Triggerfinger’

A weekly recap of (almost) every gory detail in the latest episode of “Walking Dead.”


Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln), trigger fingers at the ready. (Gene Page - AMC)

If last week’s episode of AMC’s “Walking Dead” — its first since a post-Thanksgiving hiatus — dragged a bit, tonight’s episode more than made up for that lack of momentum.

In the hour of “Walking Dead” dubbed “Triggerfinger,” we got a zombie-eye stabbing; a tense gun battle between Team Rick Grimes and the friends of the now deceased Tommy and Dave; one massive zombie flesh feast; a gnarly leg amputation that took place while a mega-posse of walkers approached (that never happens on ”House”); and three reveals: Lori accidentally telling Karl she’s pregnant, Lori telling Shane that Rick knows about their previous affair and Lori telling Rick that Shane now knows that Rick knows about Lori and Shane. (Got all that?)

Oh and also, in keeping with “Walking Dead” requirements, more than one person either went or attempted to go to town, that magical place that provides access to liquor, aspirin and home pregnancy tests. To recap: in the past two episodes, Hershel went to town to get drunk; Rick and Glenn went to town to get Hershel; Lori went to town to find Rick (she never got there due to that zombie/auto collision, which is definitely not covered by insurance); Shane went to town to find Lori; and, after bringing Lori back to the farm, Shane, Andrea and Daryl almost attempted to head to town to find Rick and co., but the missing men reappeared before they could start the car. The good news is that all those epic journeys to the commercial hub of “Walking Dead”-ville will likely come to an end now that numerous walkers have also discovered town.

What other plot changes may lie ahead? Let’s attempt to figure that out by exploring four key questions raised by “Triggerfinger,” all of them related to the actions of Rick, Lori and/or Shane.

Talk ‘Walking Dead’ with Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly, Monday at 1 p.m. ET

Does Lori Grimes want Shane dead?

Lori’s choices have not exactly been sensible lately. I mean, driving off alone to search for Rick without even bothering to tell Carl where she was going? I’m sorry, but that was just shoddy parenting. (She did apologize to the kid, but come on. There’s a zombie-pocalypse going on and Carl almost died, what, a week or two ago? She could have at least posted a sticky note on her tent that says “Went on fool’s errand to find your dad. Be back as soon as I run over a zombie. Love, Mom.”)

But the scene between Lori and Rick that closed this episode indicated that she may be careening off the rails to a greater extent than we thought. She told her husband about an intense conversation she had with Shane earlier in the episode. Then she began quoting from the Dale Horvath Guidebook to Anti-Shaneness, talking about how combustible he is and noting that, oh, by the way, he just might have killed Otis.

When Lori realized that Rick had shot regular, non-zombiefied human beings, she asked, “You killed the living to protect what’s yours? Shane thinks I’m his. He thinks the baby is his. And he says you can’t protect us.” She then pointedly added: “He’s dangerous, Rick, and he won’t stop.” Lori is clearly trying to convince her husband to get rid of Shane by any means necessary so she won’t have to confront her feelings for him anymore. (Really, is there any doubt she also believes that what they had was “real,” as Shane said?) This seems like a pretty abrupt shift in her moral compass and a shift that could force Rick to do something he will regret.

Is Shane in the right or is he, as Lori suggests, dangerous?

Andrea ran down a laundry list of recent Shane actions and declared that all of his decisions were “the right calls.” But she added: “It’s your presentation that leaves something to be desired.”

Let’s pause and think about this: is Shane a bad guy? I don’t believe he is entirely, but some of his suggestions — like the recommendation to abandon the search for Sophia — have certainly seemed a bit harsh. And killing Otis certainly hinted at a capacity for heartlessness. But right now, it seems like anyone has the potential to become heartless if pushed.

Besides, sometimes Shane’s harshness is for the greater good. Lying to Lori to get her back to the farm was crass, but it was necessary. And I also think he’s right that bringing Randall back to the farm was probably ill-advised.

Shane is kind of a jerk, but he does not always do the wrong thing. There’s some nuance there. Of course, that may not matter given the fate that may await him. Which brings us to question three.

Is Shane going to die before season two ends?

A couple of pieces of evidence that are tangentially related to the show suggest this is indeed a possibility. One is that Shane dies in the comic, although in that version of the story, he meets his death before they get to Hershel’s farm. So that may be irrelevant information given where we are in the TV storyline. The second piece of evidence is that Jon Bernthal, the actor who plays Shane, may star in an upcoming TNT pilot from former “Walking Dead” showrunner Frank Darabont. That suggests that, perhaps, his role on the AMC series is coming to a close soon.

At this point, there are several people with a potential desire to kill Shane: Lori; Rick, if his wife continues to apply her persuasion techniques; Dale, obviously; and, of course, Hershel, who wants the former cop off his land and is only allowing him to stay at Rick’s request. With that many motivated people roaming around — not even counting the walker version of Otis, who could be slowly dragging himself back to the farm to seek revenge as we speak — Shane’s prognosis does not look good.

Is there any chance that Randall, the guy with the partially amputated leg, won’t result in other people showing up at the farm?

No. There is no chance of that happening.

Rick’s sense of responsibility to his fellow man is admirable. But in some very unique circumstances, a person simply has to leave behind the random kid who impaled his leg on a spiky gate after attempting to shoot you and your friends. Right? At least that’s how I handled things when a very similar situation arose on my first day of junior high.

But after recognizing how young and helpless Randall was, and struggling with his guilt over the shooting of Dave and Tommy, Rick brought him to the farm. Hershel plans to repair his leg as best as he can, let him recuperate for a week, then send Randall on his merry, limping way. But it seems unlikely, as Shane said, that he’ll leave of his own accord and never return.

So is Rick living in (Shane’s words) fantasy land? Do you think Shane’s days might be numbered? Post a comment to share your thoughts.

By  |  10:18 PM ET, 02/19/2012

Tags:  Walking Dead

 
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