Season 2, episode 13
Beside The Dying Fire
- The group questions Rick's leadership when a battle erupts for the farm during a walker invasion.
The episode begins with a flashback to the city of Atlanta, where a helicopter is flying overhead. A group of walkers eating corpses look up and watch the helicopter, then move to follow it. As time passes, more and more walkers join the group. The horde eventually comes to a strong wooden fence and, with the force of many walkers pushing on it, break through and continue moving forward. They continue walking until a gunshot draws their interest, and they move toward the source of the sound - Rick and Carl.
At the farmhouse, Daryl and Glenn report to the group that Randall became a walker, but wasn't bitten. Meanwhile, Rick and Carl are walking through the field discussing what happened with Shane. Before Rick can explain fully, he realizes that a horde of walkers is coming towards them, and he and Carl break into a run for the barn. They barely manage to get inside and lock the doors before the walkers converge on it.
The group at the farmhouse realizes that a horde has made its way onto the farm, and Rick and Carl are nowhere to be found. Daryl explains that there's no way they can hide from a horde that size, and the group elects to attempt to clear out as many as they can before luring the rest away.
Meanwhile, Rick and Carl decide to draw walkers into the barn, via dousing it in gasoline and lighting the walkers on fire when they come inside. He barely manages to make it up a ladder after opening the barn doors, and uses a lighter to ignite the gas. This causes the walkers (and barn) to burst into flames. Daryl notices this and sends Jimmy to bring rescue Rick and Carl using Dale's RV. Rick and Carl narrowly manage to escape by jumping from the second-storey loft in the barn to the RV and running into the forest, though not before the walkers kill Jimmy.
Elsewhere, the group realizes that they don't have the ammunition or manpower to take out the horde. Hershel steadfastly refuses to leave, and stands in front of the farmhouse taking out as many walkers as he can with his shotgun. Carol tells a panicked Lori they have to leave now, and the women flee. Patricia is bit in the neck while running away, and Beth screams while Lori drags her away. Carol is separated in the confusion and is cornered by walkers. T-Dog and Andrea drive up and the latter jumps out, saving Carol but being presumed dead (after she fires on a walker who falls on her) in the process.
Everyone realizes the farm is lost and moves to leave. T-Dog, Lori and Beth drive away after being swarmed with walkers, while Glenn tells a panicked Maggie they have to flee. Hershel begins retreating backwards as he reloads his shotgun, and is nearly attacked by a walker when Rick and Carl arrive to save him. Together, they get in Hershel's SUV and drive away. A running Andrea tries to flag down Rick, but can't get his attention, and grabs the bag of guns before fleeing. Daryl is watching the farm burn when he notices a tired Carol trying to run, and saves her before driving away. The farm burns down as the horde of walkers moves past the farmhouse.
At dawn, the various groups are driving in different directions. Glenn tells a frightened Maggie to stop the vehicle, and admits to her that he loves her before taking the driver's seat and heading back to where the group left supplies for Sophia. Elsewhere, T-Dog says to Lori and Beth that they should head towards the coast, but Lori threatens to leave the truck unless he turns around. Rick, Hershel and Carl arrive at the highway, and decide to wait for the others. Carl is tired of running, and insists that they go back for Lori, but Hershel assures Rick that they are doing the right thing.
Rick is ready to abandon the highway when the other vehicles show up at the rendezvous. The group learns that Shane, Jimmy and Patricia didn't make it, while Lori is horrified to hear of Shane's death. Carol asks about Andrea's fate, but Rick says she's either dead or not at the farm.
The group of vehicles head down a backroad, and stop when Hershel's SUV runs out of gas. Rick decides that they'll camp out until morning and scavenge then, while the group is highly fractured and doubts his ability to lead. Rick says that they found each other, against the odds, and that he won't allow anyone to go on their own and risk getting stranded.
Daryl brings up the issue of Randall's death, and how he wasn't bit or scratched. Rick then informs the group of what Dr. Jenner told them at the CDC - they're all infected, and that anyone who dies comes back as a walker, regardless of the cause. The group is angry and bewildered, while Rick walks away to think. Lori tries to embrace him, but Rick says that he killed Shane. He then explains that he wasn't sure what Jenner said was true until he saw it himself. A horrified Lori backs away and tells Rick not to get close after he tries to console her.
In a forest, Andrea is running and picking off walkers with the bag of guns and ammunition she took from the farm. She runs out of ammunition as the last remaining walker catches up to her, and struggles to get him off her when the walker's head is suddenly chopped off. Andrea looks up to see a hooded figure wielding a katana and flanked by two chained-up walkers with no arms or jaws. The hooded figure, Michonne, looks at her as Andrea stares in shock...
Later that night, Rick's group sits around a campfire. Maggie tries to convince Glenn that they should leave the group, but Hershel tells her that's not an option. On the other side of the fire, Carol tries to convince Daryl that he should lead, but Daryl says that Rick is an honorable man. Carol tells Rick to take action, and he snaps at the group, explaining that he never asked to be the leader. He then explains that he killed Shane to protect the group, and that if they think they could do better without him, they're more than welcome to leave. As T-Dog and several members of the group glare at him, Rick says that there has to be a place they can live, and that if everyone stays, his leadership is not a democracy.
As the camera pans up from the fractured group, a prison can be seen in the distance...
- Asian Drivers: Daryl makes a joke about Glenn's driving skills when they arrive at the highway rendezvous.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: The group is initially gung-ho about picking off the horde of walkers and routing the rest from the farm. It's only a short time later that they all realize, almost in unison, that they're fighting a lost cause, and decide to abandon the farm at the same time.
- Behind the Black: Patricia is bit by a walker who comes from the left of the screen, yet is still completely within her line of sight.
- Black Cloak: Michonne wears one while rescuing Andrea.
- Book-Ends: The scene in "Bloodletting" where Andrea was attacked and nearly killed by a walker before Maggie saved her is mirrored here, except this time it's Michonne who rescues her. Also, the "Sophia we're here" graffiti in the car is now blurry.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted and played straight.
- Andrea runs out of ammunition while running through the forest, which leads to her almost being overtaken by a walker.
- Hershel is seen (and heard) unloading many more rounds from his shotgun than is physically possible.
- Broken Pedestal: This happens to Rick when he reveals that he knew everyone was infected since the CDC and didn't tell anyone and that he was the one who killed Shane. Most of the group, even Lori and Carl, lose faith in Rick after this, with the only two exceptions being Daryl and Hershel. Rick however doesn't care how they feel and says he is still in charge of the group and anyone is welcome to leave if they feel they can do better.
- The Cavalry: Happens several times.
- Andrea jumps out of T-Dog's truck and takes down two walkers who have cornered Carol by the farmhouse.
- Rick shows up out of nowhere to save Hershel from a walker as he's reloading his shotgun.
- As Andrea is about to be overwhelmed by a walker in the forest, she's saved by Michonne.
- Chekhov's Gun: The stash of supplies and message that the group left for Sophia early on in the second season ends up being used as a inadvertant rendezvous when they become separated during the farm attack.
- Conspicuous CGI: The CGI (and jawless, and armless) walkers that Michonne appears with.
- Contrived Coincidence: The horde that started out in Atlanta (and attracted by the same helicopter Rick saw in the pilot episode) makes its way out of the city, walks for several miles and comes upon the Greene farm.
- Death by Adaptation: In the comic, Patricia actually made it to the end of the prison arc (which was covered in the show's mid-Season 4 finale).
- Determinator: Andrea runs through the forest, picking off walkers, for the better part of 12 hours. She only gets knocked down and nearly killed because she's out of ammo and lost her knife.
- Devoured by the Horde: Jimmy drives the RV near the barn and allows Rick and Carl to safely escape the burning barn, but he's killed when the walkers overrun the RV. When Patricia attempted to escape to the car with Lori, Beth, and Carol, a walker grabbed her from behind a tree and bit her on the neck and is soon grabbed by other walkers who proceeded to bite her on the arm and other areas of her body.
- Disaster Democracy: Rick coldly informs the group that if they don't have confidence in his ability to lead, they can go their own way.
- Eaten Alive: Jimmy and Patricia.
- Gory Discretion Shot: The window of the RV being sprayed with blood as Jimmy is eaten alive.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Rick, when he justifies Shane's death.'I killed my best friend for you people!
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Andrea gets headshots while firing from a moving vehicle, Hershel stands in front of his house and gets headshot after headshot while firing his shotgun, etc.
- Last Episode, New Character: The episode marks Michonne's debut.
- Let the Past Burn: The barn (where Hershel's family and friends, and eventually Sophia, were kept) burns to the ground as the horde of zombies move away from it.
- Love Confession: Glenn finally admits to Maggie that he loves her, after a season of being too scared to admit it when she said she loved him.
- Mythology Gag: Michonne debuted at the 19th issue of the comics. This is the 19th episode.
- Oh, Crap!: Rick and Carl, upon realizing the horde is coming towards them in the open field.
- Season Finale: The second one.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: In "The Walking Dead S 02 E 11 Judge Jury Executioner," the group spent the whole episode debating about executing Randall because they feared he would lead his group back to the farm for Revenge by either escaping on his own or being set free. Hypothetically, if that were to happen, they would be forced to leave the farm anyway due to the herd of walkers overrunning it just mere days after that episode took place.
- Trash the Set: Played With. The barn (and Dale's RV) are burnt to the ground, but the farmhouse is untouched and ignored by the horde.
- Watching Troy Burn: Hershel and Daryl both watch the barn burning down.
- Wham Line: "We are all infected!"
- What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone gives this to Rick after he reveals that they are not only all infected, but that he killed Shane before the attack at the farm. Rick responds by telling them his actions have burdened him, and that no one else is making any substantial decisions to lead the group.