If this show could just follow Daryl all the time, I'd like it a hell of a lot better. He decides to borrow a horse and go out searching on his own for Sophia instead of dealing with people slowing him down. He actually finds Sophia's doll by the river, but it is too bad he didn't ask Hershel before taking the horse, because he ends up with a skittish filly named Nelly (as in nervous) who tosses him off when she sees a snake. He goes flying a good 100 feet or so down a ridge and gets an arrow skewered right through his side in the process. He awesomely bandages himself quickly and climbs up most of the rocky wall, before he slips and falls. He's in a feverish moment of hopelessness when Merle shows up (with his hand, so we unfortunately know it is a dream) and tells him to stop being a pussy (his words, not mine), pull out the arrow and get to business. Daryl listens to his verbally abusive brother, just in time to fend off some walkers, rip the arrow out (in the most painful way), tie off his wound, make a necklace out of ears and climb up. He falters, and again the Merle vision appears and yells at him to man up. It totally works and Daryl staggers back to farm, where he's promptly shot in the head by that fucking moron Andrea, who is so damned trigger happy and excited that she's shot her first walker that she doesn't even wait for a minute when everyone tells her to. She is the worst person ever. I kind of wish they'd let her die in Atlanta. Is that wrong? Anyway, this Daryl storyline was awesome… but really made me miss Merle even more. Can he come back and scream at some other people? Starting with Andrea?
I had a hard time caring about really anything else that happened, but here's the gist: Lori's having a hard time dealing with being pregnant, and Shane's not helping matters since he wants to call off the search for Sophia (amen to that) because she's probably dead. Still, Shane's lack of interest in children isn't what Lori wants to hear from her potential babydaddy.
Carol stops crying long enough to do something for other people, volunteering to cook dinner for Hershel's family. But it isn't as generous as it sounds, as she uses their supplies, their kitchen and their dishes. Still, she kindly tells Daryl that he's a nice guy and just as a good as Rick (if not better, in my estimation) because he went over and above for her daughter… so I'm giving her a pass this week.
Hershel's got his panties in a bunch because the newcomers are overstaying their welcome. He didn't like Daryl borrowing a horse, or Rick letting one of his boys help in the Sophia search, or that Maggie might be schtupping Glenn. So Hershel tells Rick to get his people in line, or they'll be kicked out. He also doesn't take kindly to having to patch up Daryl's head wound and use more precious medications. But at least Daryl's largely fine, because Andrea (for all her bitching about wanting to shoot crap) is a terrible aim and just grazed his head.
And then there's Glenn, who used to be my favorite character but the writers this season have decided to turn him into a useless lump. He's essentially a 16-year-old boy wondering (out loud) about women's periods syncing up and trying to figure out the mystery that is Maggie. They have some of the most awkward exchanges I've ever seen (and that's not even counting how dopey Glenn is during the "family" dinner), but Maggie, like any spirited young woman who might die soon, decides to ignore her father's wishes and sneak off for some more sex with Glenn (they've got 11 more condoms after all). They plan their next rendezvous via a note (because apparently they are about 12) and Glenn suggests they go to the hayloft. Maggie gets the message a little bit late and tries in vain to stop him, but Glenn sees what's been hiding in the barn: it's a whole host of walkers that Hershel is keeping alive for some reason. I think we were supposed to be all excited about this reveal, but the writers have been so heavy handedly hinting at the weird barn (and talking about how Hershel likes to deal with walkers himself) that I wasn't surprised at all. If he had dead bodies from people who intruded on his land in there, maybe I would have been able to muster some more enthusiasm.
We open in a flashback that involves a pre-badass Shane and Lori... so it's really the worst thing ever. They're with Carol, Sophia and her abusive now-dead husband stranded on a road with thousands of other people. Carl's hungry and Carol offers up some of their MRE's, but she's totally going to get smacked upside the head for that when no one is looking. Despite the fact that Lori realizes Carol is in an abusive situation, she leaves her son with her and goes wandering off with Shane to see what the hold up is. They look at the most fake-y blue screen Atlanta possible (seriously, worst special effects ever), just in time to see military helicopters fly over and napalm the streets. They realize exactly how screwed they truly are.
Lori wakes up late on laundry day, and Carol's all bright and chipper and wants to cook and make dinner for Hershel and his family. Lori thinks it is a great idea, and gets volunteered to be the one to ask... as Carol considers her the "unofficial first lady." Good lord, that's so annoying.
Rick gathers the gang to start Sophia-searching, and they are joined by Jimmy who swears that Hershel told him it was fine to join the search party. Rick takes this at face value and then starts planning out a grid based on the farmhouse that Daryl found. Shane has a stick up his ass and thinks that anyone could have been sleeping in the cupboard in the farmhouse. Daryl reiterates that it was for someone particularly small, and then says he's going up on the ridge for a better view and he's taking one of the horses. T-Dog and Dale tease him about the mythical Chupacabra that he once saw when he was squirrel hunting. He doesn't take any of their grief and says in a world that is filled with dead men walking, that the bloodsucking dog seems totally plausible. I'm with him. Then again, I hate Rick, so I'd be on Daryl's side no matter what. Before they split off, Jimmy tries to take one of the weapons that Dale hands out, and Shane offers to properly teach him how to shoot. Jimmy shrugs this off, and Andrea volunteers to take him with her and T-Dog.
The formerly awesome Glennn sits on the porch strumming a guitar waiting for Maggie to come out. When she does he opens with a line about having eleven condoms left. She tells him she doesn't know if she likes him or not, and he tries to be smooth, but the whole scene just makes me cringe. Thankfully, it's rather short.
In the woods, Rick is hanging red rags on the trees, and Shane is looking all pissed off. To cheer him up, Rick asks Shane about this girl he used to bang at the Dairy Queen. There is a lengthy conversation about Shane's sexual prowess when he was a teenager and the PE teachers that he used to have sex with "on the regular." I'll take pissy Shane instead, thanks. Rick was not what you'd call a stud in high school. Big surprise. Shane starts to get weird, saying that everyone in their stories is dead and they're wasting their time talking about them. Rick says it is nice to think about the past. I'd rather see Shane and Rick in high school than flashbacks to Atlanta getting bombed and fireballs that look less convincing than Gone With the Wind, but I'm overruled here. Shane brings us around to his point, which is that they don't have time to waste searching for some little girl who is most likely dead by police standards, as it has been far longer than the normal 72 hours. He thinks they should think of the greater good, and he even brings up Carl getting shot in the searching process. Rick's not willing to give up, and then he sees a tree with a blue rag on it (which indicates it is part of T-Dog's grid) and the two head back to camp.