20. Shane Opens The Barn
Episode 207 “Pretty Much Dead Already”
Original Airdate: 11/27/2011
Submitted By: John Tateossian
This scene is one of the most powerful and pivotal scenes, that has taken place over the course of this show and it is often glanced right over. Shane is always viewed as the character that lost his grip too early and went a little crazy on everyone. However much of what Shane said was right on the money for the ideals that would hold true for many characters on this show including Rick himself.
The secrets of the barn were never meant to be known by Rick and his group. Hershel kept walker versions of people he knew there to one-day hope to get that person back. To Hershel that thing was still a person; somewhere in there past the decaying flesh and bloodshot eyes was still a person.
As Shane readies and arms his group to eliminate the threat, Rick with his ever-impeccable timing emerges from the woods with Hershel herding walkers into the barn. Enraged Shane declares that these are not people, firing off rounds into the walkers lungs and heart asking why it is still coming at him. Finally Shane has had enough, puts a bullet in the walkers head and heads to the barn to show just how serious he is.
During Shane’s rant he actually makes perfect sense. Amid the shock and frustration he is telling his group that to survive they need to fight. These things want to kill them and to live on they need to come out on top. The walkers aren’t people to cure they are enemies to kill. As Rick and his group plead with Shane not to open the barn he does anyway and out emerge the walkers the Greene family once knew.
Shane is joined by a few others to eliminate the threat with ease until the barn is empty as Rick and his family along with Carol and the Greene family watch in horror at what Shane has done. Until we see what many fans feared for Carol and our gang. Sophia emerges from the barn reanimated as a walker. As Daryl consoles and sobbing Carol, the group including Shane looks at Sophia, lost with no idea what to do. Shots pan over all of our friends looking completely heartbroken with Sophia still coming nearer.
Then Rick emerges and approaches Sophia with a look that fans are seeing for the first time, but will see many times over the course of The Walking Dead. Rick knows he has to do the hardest thing because that is his role in this group. The leader has to be the one to do what no one else can do. To make those horrible decisions, to end or spare life, to put a bullet in a child he once swore to protects head. We also get the iconic image of the viewer staring down Rick’s gun for the first time. Then Rick pulls the trigger.
We hear a Carol’s cries as the camera zooms out for a nice aerial shot of our whole group looking on in shock of what just happened.
This scene is one of the best in The Walking Dead because of two reasons. One Shane is actually the first one to really get the point across of needing to fight to live. A point the Rick makes time and time again from defending the prison to defending Alexandria. If you want to survive in this world you are going to have to fight for it or you will die. The next reason is this is the first time we are really seeing Rick step up as the true leader of the group. Doing a task no one, not even Shane could muster up the courage to do. This is the start of the theme of fight or die for our friends and it was due to this scene making it one of the Top 100 scenes in The Walking Dead.