Overall Rating: 7.2
WHOA Rick...what did you DO?!?!?!
Wikipedia has the highly disturbing round-up here.
WHOA dude...WHOA. I had a feeling when I saw the look on his face that Rick lost a piece of his soul when he shot Sophia...and that with that little piece of humanity gone, group morale would collapse. I didn't think he'd completely lose everything he was, though. YIKES. On the plus side, he still feels responsible for leading the group and he still believes that part of that responsibility includes giving his team a reason to go on, even if he can't find a reason himself. But...I'm sorry, that just ain't gonna work, Ricky. You can't lead and not believe in the direction you're leading them. And you can't keep the rest of your group alive if you're dead inside. I get that this is a tragic situation on an epic scale, but the writers of the show will either need to find Rick's humanity again or provide graphic evidence for why Rick can't lose his soul and still be successful. Right now, I'm on the fence when it comes to how to react to this episode because it's not clear where they're going with it...but Lori is in a ditch with walkers nearby and if she gets in trouble, Rick is going to need to remember his ability to love in order to get his group through it.
Specifically, Rick's decision to turn a blind eye to those in need to protect his own group (granted, neither of those two guys seemed like great influences) needs to be challenged. At least Hershel and Glen seemed horrified at his decision to murder them in cold blood. That needs to be pursued in the coming weeks. As ugly as anything Shane has done has been for us to watch...this pair of murders was worse. And when this comes out...Rick had better face some consequences. Because damn...it wasn't so long enough that he was relying on the kindness of strangers to survive. Just wow.
HOWEVER...I will say that I enjoyed the role reversal aspect of this plot. We've seen things from our group's small perspective as they struggled to survive. We've been frustrated by the lack of compassion shown this group by others. We've wondered how people could be so cruel. And then our group met two people in need and we realized that newcomers could be a serious threat - we felt creeped out by them probing us for information about our property, our base camp, our supplies...we felt intimidated when one of them talked about bagging some cooch. And perhaps we understood that meeting the dead might be easier than meeting the living...and that it's a heck of a lot harder to be Christian when it might cost you your life or your property. That doesn't mean Rick was right to blow their brains out...but it makes us appreciate martyrs and saints a little more for how amazingly hard it must have been for them to be completely selfless at great personal cost.
As I said...they're doing a great job keeping us on the edges of our seats and keeping us immersed in the constant danger and emotional edge to this fallen world.
I think, however, that the performances were...only OK. Daryl, Lori, and Rick were all off their games IMHO. Not bad performances by those folks...but a little weaker than normal.
And I'll remain agnostic about the message until I see how this evolves. It could go either way.