Zombies. Lots of zombies. Oodles of them, chasing Shane and Rick while Randall (impaled kid from prior episode), who has his hands and feet tied, inchworms his way to a knife on the ground. Apparently the plan to drop ol' Randall off somewhere away from the farm is not going quite as planned.
Some time prior (although there's no title card): Rick and Shane pause in the middle of the road. They're driving Randall eighteen miles out to leave him - Randall is tied, hooded and earphoned and stuck in the trunk of the car, by the way - but Rick wants to have a talk first. This talk goes on for quite some time. Rick says that he heard what really happened with Otis and wants to know if it was for survival purposes. Shane says yeah, one shot to the leg and Carl lived. Rick then asks him if he truly thinks that Rick can't protect his family, which includes the unborn baby. Shane's all, you can't make the hard choices, man. Rick says that he needs Shane but that Shane is going to have to accept that he has no claim to Lori or the baby and if he doesn't, Rick will have to deal with him. Then they check to see if Randall is still tied securely in the trunk - he is - and keep driving.
Back at the farm, Beth has regained consciousness, so that's good. Lori brings her a lunch tray.
Rick drives further than eighteen miles, looking for a good spot. They find a town and drive up to the high school and/or public works department. A couple of zombies lurch up and the men kill them with their knives, trying to save ammunition and keep quiet. They walk around, checking things out, finding some burned bodies and a school bus that folks had been living in. As Rick scavenges some gasoline, Shane looks over the two zombies they killed. He can't find any bite marks on them but rather than consider that horrific possibility, they decide that they must have been infected via scratches rather than bites. They finish scouting and haul poor Randall out of the trunk.
When Lori checks on Beth, the girl is crying. Lori tries to cheer her up, saying encouraging, never-give-up words. She takes away the untouched lunch tray but notices that the knife is missing when she gets to the kitchen. Lori goes back up to Beth's room and takes the knife away. Beth is crying again. Lori runs out to Andrea, who is atop the RV, keeping watch, and asks her to find Maggie and/or Herschel. Then she runs back to the house.
Rick and Shane drop Randall on the ground, hands and feet tied, but also drop a knife several yards away. Randall begs for them not to leave him to die. As he pleads, he lets slip that he went to school with Maggie. Shane is all, WTF? and draws his gun, ready to shoot Randall on the spot. If Randall knows Maggie, he knows where the farm is and if he gets back with his group, he'll tell them where it is. Rick is not ready to kill the kid and says he wants to think about it. Shane has had all he can take and bellows that Rick is absolutely not tough enough to do what it takes to keep their people alive. They lunge at each other, snarling and kicking and head-butting. It is an ugly fight. Randall, meanwhile, inchworms unnoticed towards the knife. Soon enough, drawn by the ruckus, the local zombies appear, in frigging droves. Randall cuts his feet loose and manages to stand up; Shane runs for it; Rick hides under a dead zombie.
Maggie scolds Beth that she can't give up and kill herself. It's selfish and would destroy Herschel. They start screaming at each other. Downstairs, Andrea tells Lori that she shouldn't have taken the knife away from Beth - that was just like Dale taking her gun away from her and it's not right to remove the only choice Beth has. So then Lori lays into Andrea for being all guns and glory and getting involved with the men's work and not helping out with the wimmenfolk's chores. (Seriously, Lori? We get a zombie apocalypse and we're back in the 1800s?) They're kind of both right - the defense of the group is crucial but it's also important to establish a life of normalcy, order and sanitation - but since I don't like Lori, I'm taking Andrea's side. She tells Lori that out of everyone in their group, Lori is the only one who hasn't lost everyone she loves, so she's got a lot of effing nerve being such a goddamn Pollyanna. Andrea storms off. It's difficult to tell whether anything she said sank in.
Back 18+ miles away, Rick falls down and shoots the zombie coming after him. The zombie falls on top of him and another one lurches forward. Rick shoots that one, which falls on top and then a third zombie joins in - pigpile! Rick gasps for breath under the pile of zombies. He tries to shoot the live one but it keeps batting his gun away. So he sticks the barrel into the open mouth of the first dead zombie and shoots the third one right through its head. He struggles out from underneath. That was kind of awesome.
Maggie and Beth have stopped shouting at each other because Beth has proposed that the two of them commit suicide together. She feels things are hopeless, she doesn't want to get bitten or gutted. She wants to die in her bed, tonight, with her sister beside her. Maggie is in tears. Andrea comes up and tells Maggie to go take a break - she'll stay with Beth. After Maggie leaves, Andrea tells the younger girl that the pain doesn't go away, you just make room for it. Then she goes too, leaving Beth alone. When Maggie comes back, Beth has locked herself in the bathroom. There is the sound of glass breaking and crying. Lori comes up and they break the door down. Beth has cut one wrist (not too terribly, it doesn't seem) and whimpers, "I'm sorry."
Trapped in the school bus, Shane starts lobotomizing zombies one at a time through a crack in the door, luring them close with a smear of his own blood. Rick and Randall find each other and observe the horde of walkers swarming Shane's bus. Randall suggests that they just leave, now, while the walkers are distracted, especially since Shane tried to kill Rick. Rick pauses for a moment and then agrees. They head for the car. Shane sees them go and is all, I can't believe that he's picking now of all times to sack up!
On their way back to the car, Rick and Randall pass the original two zombies. They had been security guards and Rick grabs their guns from their belts. They jump into the car, Randall driving, and charge up to Shane's school bus, Rick leaning out the window and shooting zombies. Shane climbs out the back of the bus and dives into the car. Inside, he stares at Rick, this time like he can't believe he came back for him. They drive out of town, then pull over, tie Randall up and stuff him in the trunk again. Rick tells Shane that (1) he's going to have to try harder if he's going to kill him, (2) they'll probably end up having to kill Randall but Rick wants to think about it first, and (3) if Shane wants to stay with the group, he's got to follow Rick's lead and trust him. "It's time for you to come back," Rick says, handing Shane a gun.
Andrea runs back up to the farmhouse after hearing about Beth cutting herself. Maggie is furious and bans her from the house. Andrea is hurt but says that Beth has made her choice - she won't try it again. As she walks away, Lori tells Maggie that while she doesn't condone what Andrea did, she's right in that Beth has chosen to live. "Sometimes you have to cross the line." Maggie sniffs and heads inside to her family.
I had my doubts given the looooooooooooong conversation between Rick and Shane at the start, but that was a pretty action- and zombie-packed episode. Good deal.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
16 hours ago