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Pretty Much Dead Already

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Pretty Much Dead Already
Season 2, Episode 7
AMC TWD Pretty Much Dead Already
Air Date November 27, 2011
AMC (United States)
December 2, 2011
Fox (United Kingdom)
Written By Scott Gimple
Directed By Michelle MacLaren
U.S. Viewers 6.62 million
Episode Guide
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"Secrets"
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"Nebraska"
Cast Guide
Starring
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horvath
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Also Starring
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Madison Lintz as Sophia Peletier
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
Picture Gallery

"Pretty Much Dead Already" is the seventh episode and the mid-season finale of Season 2 of AMC's The Walking Dead.

After this episode, the TV Series went on hiatus, and it returned on February 12, 2012, when the final 6 episodes began to air. This episode aired on November 27, 2011 at 9/8c on AMC.

Plot Synopsis

Everyone sits at the camp eating breakfast. Glenn looks over at the house, where Maggie stands shaking her head, then looking at Dale who nods. Glenn reveals to the survivors that Hershel’s barn is full of walkers.

The group immediately goes to investigate with Shane taking the lead. They discuss the situation and Shane insists that they leave for Fort Benning. Carol says her daughter is still out there, and Shane tells her they need to consider the possibility that Sophia is dead. Daryl insists he's close to finding her but this doesn't appease Shane. Rick says he’s going to talk to Hershel about the barn and staying when Dale reveals that Hershel sees the walkers as sick people, and with good reason. This only makes Shane mad at Dale for not telling them sooner, but Dale thought they would be fine. The walkers in the barn start rocking the barn doors. The survivors know they will have to deal with this issue soon.

Shane stands guard at the barn, testing the locks. Glenn goes to speak with Maggie, but she rebuffs him by smashing an egg in his hat.  Carl and Lori discuss Sophia. Carl says that he doesn't want to leave the farm until they find Sophia and even after that. Carol pursues Daryl into the stables and tells him not to go after Sophia because of his wounds and because she wouldn't be able to stand losing him too. Daryl, angered by this, storms out of the stable.

At the RV, Dale loans Glenn his hat. Inside Andrea is arming herself to go search for Sophia with Rick. Dale tries to warn Andrea about Shane but she doesn't agree with him. After Andrea leaves, Dale asks Glenn to get some water. Dale gathers up all of the guns.

As Hershel reads the Bible over lunch, Rick goes to him to discuss remaining at the farm again and to tell him that they know about the Walkers in the barn. Rick just wants to talk, but Hershel demands that they leave before the end of the week and Rick confronts him about the reality that they’ll face. He tells Hershel – who only saw the apocalypse via the news – about Hannah and asks Hershel to let them stay because his farm is their only safe haven. In a final attempt he tells Hershel that the farm is special and that he needs to stay there because his wife is pregnant. As Rick leaves, Maggie and Hershel stare at one another in silence. Rick joins Shane at the barn and tells him that Lori is pregnant.

Later, Hershel tries to justify sending the group away, stating that Carl doesn't need his help anymore. Maggie reminds Hershel of John 13:34, a verse he often quoted to her when Hershel decided to marry her mother about loving one another. Hershel asks if her feelings for Glenn are an issue, leading her to bring up the encounter with the walker in the pharmacy and Glenn saved her from people her father was trying to rescue. She asks him again to reconsider saying that it is only about him and who he’s going to be. Jimmy interrupts them to tell him that they've found two trapped walkers. Hershel decides to ask Rick, who is planning the search grid for Sophia, to come with him.

Shane confronts Lori about her pregnancy and tells her that he’s sure the baby is his. He admits that when he saw Rick was alive, he wished that he wasn't because he doesn't believe Rick can survive in this world. Lori tells him that the baby will never be his and belongs to her and Rick. As Lori watches, Shane walks away and is stopped by Carl. Carl tells him that they have to find Sophia and that they have to stay at the farm. Lori calls to Carl to get him away from Shane. Immediately, Shane goes to the RV to gather their guns only to find them all missing. He asks Glenn where Dale has gone, but Glenn doesn’t know. Shane goes after Dale, tracking him away from the camp.

Deep in the swamps Hershel, Jimmy, and Rick are walking through the forest with Hershel telling Rick about his neighbors. He tells him about a women he knew who owned a nearby farm and an unknown person who Hershel met where he worked. As they free the trapped walkers, Hershel mentions Otis was the one that always corralled the walkers and put them in the barn. Hershel asks Rick if they’d be able to stop killing walkers and Hershel explains his philosophy regarding the walkers. He tells him flat out that if they want to stay they will have to give up killing walkers and leave the barn alone.

Meanwhile, elsewhere near the camp, Daryl and Carol are walking along a stream and Daryl points out a Cherokee Rose among the creek bank. Daryl insists that Sophia is still out there and that he’ll find her; additionally, he tells her about how he feels ignored at the camp. Carol reassures him that they’ll find her. Deeper in the swamps, the group tries to extricate the walkers that are stuck. Hershel explains that the walkers will follow them; they just have to keep hold of them. While on watch, Glenn spots Maggie walking alone and joins her. She ignores him, but he emphatically states that he had to tell the group. For a while he forgot the walkers are dangerous, and secrets have a way of getting people killed. Glenn would rather Maggie be angry with him if it meant she was still alive. Maggie relents and they reconcile with a kiss.

Elsewhere in the swamps, Dale is tracked down by Shane. Dale is in the process of hiding the guns from Shane when he is spotted. Shane confronts Dale and Dale asks if he’ll kill him like he did Otis. Shane says he wouldn't waste his time as he’s already dead. Demanding the guns again, Shane tells Dale the only way he’ll stop him from taking the guns is if Dale shoots him with his rifle. Dale trains the gun on him, but can’t pull the trigger. In the end he returns the guns, but says the world they're currently in is where Shane belongs. "At least I can say when the world went to shit, I didn't let it take me down with it," Dale says.

As Maggie offers to clean Glenn’s hat, Shane returns to the farm and starts handing out guns to the group. Maggie, Carl, and Lori try to talk him out of what he's planning to do. In the distance, T-Dog spots the group returning with the two captured walkers. Catching up with them, Shane argues with Hershel about his view regarding the walkers. Shane draws his gun and shoots the walker that was once Louise, saying that if it was a living human, it wouldn't be able to survive multiple shots to the chest and keep charging. Hershel, in shock, watches as Shane puts the walker down with a bullet to the head. Seconds later, Shane begins a tirade about how the group needs to start fighting to survive and that they need to stop wasting time on pointless endeavors like rescuing Sophia and the keeping the walkers in the barn. Shane lets the walkers free from the barn and they begin to file out one at a time.  Shane, Andrea, T-Dog, and Daryl kill them as the Greene family watches in horror. Glenn only joins in with Maggie's consent. Rick doesn't try to stop them.

Just as Dale arrives, a final walker's timid frame steps out of the barn and into the sunlight. The group realizes with horror that it is Sophia, still wearing her shoes and blue rainbow t-shirt, but her skin pale and her face in the snarl of a reanimated corpse. Carol runs forward in anguish, desperately screaming out her daughter's name, and is held back by Daryl. None of them can bring themselves to raise their weapon. Even Shane, who moments ago was in a furious rage over the group's inaction, is now taken aback in a stunned silence. It is Rick who ultimately steps forward. Drawing his gun, he shoots her once in the head, having had the resolve to do what had to be done.

Other Cast

Co-Stars

Uncredited

Deaths

Receptions

Ratings

"Pretty Much Dead Already" was initially broadcast in November 27, 2011 in the United States on AMC. Upon airing, it garnered 6.62 million viewers and a 3.5 rating in the 18–49 demographic, according to Nielsen ratings. The episode became the highest-rated cable program of the day, obtaining significantly higher ratings than Kourtney and Kim Take New York on E! and Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo. "Pretty Much Dead Already" received the show's highest ratings since "Bloodletting", which obtained 6.7 million viewers and a 3.6 rating in the 18–49 demographic. In addition, the episode became the fourth highest-rated cable telecast of the week, and the highest-rated non sport cable telecast of the week dated November 27. Total viewership and ratings for the episode significantly increased from the preceding installment, "Secrets", which garnered 6.08 million viewers and a 3.1 rating amongst adults in the 18–49 demographic. In the United Kingdom, "Pretty Much Dead Already" received 666,000 viewers, subsequently becoming the most-watched cable program on FX of the week dated December 4.

Critical Response

"Pretty Much Dead Already" was well received by television critics. Eric Goldman of IGN evaluated the episode as "completely depressing", and added that the dark nature made the series excel. Goldman ultimately gave the episode an eight out of ten, signifying a "great" rating. Aaron Rutkoff of The Wall Street Journal felt that the episode was the series' best installment. Writing for The Grand Rapids Press, John Serba opined that "Pretty Much Dead Already" was a delightful ending to the first portion of the season. Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club stated that prior to its ending, the episode was "the usual mix of pretty good and deeply irritating." Handlen lauded the character development in the installment; "The episode puts a lot of effort into heightening the tensions between Hershel and Rick's people, and while it’s not exactly subtle, it makes enough sense to be effective. This is conflict that should've been building for a few episodes now, instead of arriving fully formed right before it explodes, but I'm willing to take what I can get."[1]Concluding his review, he issued the episode an A– grade. Digital Spy's Morgan Jeffrey avouched that "Pretty Much Dead Already" was "excellent", and added that the tension "slowly ratchets up to an almost unbearable level." Some critics were divided with the episode. Time journalist Nate Rawlings felt that while the writers put a lot of substance into the characters, many of them are still underdeveloped. Gina McIntyre of Los Angeles Times felt that some parts of the episode lacked cohesion and direction.

The episode's concluding scene involving Sophia's death was cited as the episode highlight. Janet Turley of The Huffington Post asserted that the sequence was "fiction not afraid to provoke", while Goldman described it as an "absolutely horrific scenario". CNN's Henry Hanks opined that the sequence "left [them] with a final scene that we'll be talking about until then." New York's Starlee Kine asserted that it contained cinematic qualities, and felt that the scene was "satisfying, sad, and fun". She wrote: "It was everything you've ever wanted this show to be. Zombies plus no dialogue, such a winning combination! And how great was it that Sophia was dead instead of impossibly alive somewhere, holed up with Meryl or Morgan or those warmhearted gang members in Atlanta. And because she was granted more screen time than she ever was when she was alive, we were finally able to care about the loss of her short, young life." Jen Chaney of The Washington Post echoed synonymous sentiments; "Really, the final moments of the last episode before the AMC series' December/January hiatus played like a fireworks finale on the Fourth of July, assuming your Fourth of July celebrations typically involve zombies and a pile of corpses." Rawlings concluded that it was the perfect resolution for what he called "television's slowest subplot". McIntyre felt that the concluding sequence was the most eventful moment of the episode, and stated that it was difficult to watch.

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly affirmed that the scene reestablished The Walking Dead to full form, as well as redeemed the season's "general gutlessness thus far." HitFix's Alan Sepinwall reflected similar thoughts, and observed that it was effective enough to keep the viewers chattering until the succeeding episode. Handlen summated: "The Sophia reveal is a punch in the gut, because narrative fiction teaches us the longer someone stays missing, the better the chance they'll turn up alive; otherwise, where would the drama be? By using the little girl in this way, the show transforms what should've been anti-climax into a reinvention of an entire storyline. It's not enough to make the bad parts of the earlier episodes great, but it does show that the writers had more on their mind than stalling." Mark Maurer of The Star-Ledger felt that albeit predictable, the segment was "well executed". Josh Wigler of MTV said that the storyline ended in "a much darker way than anyone could have imagined."

A.V Club IGN
A- 8

Trivia

  • Madison Lintz (Sophia) appears in this episode after being absent in "Bloodletting" through "Secrets," besides a flashback in "Chupacabra."
    • This is also her first appearance in the present day after being absent for six episodes. Her last appearance in the present timeline was "What Lies Ahead."
  • According to Greg Nicotero on AMC's Talking Dead, two endings were filmed for the episode, one in which Sophia is decaying (the scene used) and another where she appears normal, representing what the characters want to see.
  • Executive producer Glen Mazzara stated that the barn massacre is referred to as, "Barn-ageddon."[1]
  • Sophia's death is another major alteration from the Comic Series.
  • In, "Bloodletting," Carol told Andrea that she only hoped Sophia would not end up like Amy (bitten and reanimated). Ironically, this is what happened, fulfilling her mother's fear.
  • This episode serves as the end of the first half of Season 2.
  • The name of the episode, "Pretty Much Dead Already," refers to the fact that Shane told Dale that he was, "pretty much dead already."
  • "Pretty Much Dead Already" is the third longest episode title.

Goofs/Errors

  • When Dale and Shane are in the woods, you can see on the Shane's T-shirt couple prints of gun barrel even before Dale pressed rifle on his chest.
  • During the confrontation between Maggie and Glenn, Maggie's blouse alternates between being on and off her right shoulder.
  • When Rick shoots undead Sophia right at the end of the episode, directly after the gunshot there is the sound of a shell casing hitting the ground. However, Rick is using a Colt Python revolver, which does not eject its shells. It seems that the sound effect dubbed in for the shot was that of an automatic pistol, which includes the sound of an ejected shell.
  • When by the water with Carol, in one shot, Daryl's hair is really messy and is sticking up in one spot. But, after it goes to Carol, then back to him, his hair is nicely done.
  • Around 35:36 just before RickHershel, and Jimmy arrive with the walkers they caught, T-Dog's hand is in his head, his lips didn't move when he said "Oh shit!", and after the next shot his hand is not in his head.

References

  1. Natalie Abram, The Walking Dead Boss: Lori Has Become Lady Macbeth, TV Guide, (February 19, 2012)
Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 To Be Announced

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