Arguments, accidents and apparitions abound in the fifth episode of this season’s installment of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Still searching for Sophia, Rick and Shane continue looking together in the forest while reminiscing about the girls they romanced in high school. This innocent nostalgia, however, turns into an emotional argument concerning the group’s survival when Shane starts questioning Rick’s dangerous decisions, comparing their futile search for Sophia to “saving a cat from a tree.” After some more sparring, the two return in a huff to the farm, where Rick continues to get attacked by an irritated Herschel, who tells him to let him control his own people and to not get too comfortable.
Meanwhile, things are even worse for Daryl, who takes a tumble into the river after getting thrown off his nervous horse, where he’s accidently pierced in the side by one of his own arrows. Lying on his back and drifting in and out of consciousness, Daryl sees his older brother Merle, whom he long-believed to be dead after he cut off his own hand in season one. He soon realizes though that “Merle” is really just a walker gnawing on his shoe, which forces him to fight off the zombie single-handedly by nailing it with the arrow he rips from his side in a moment of half-incapacitated badassery. Still woozy from blood loss, Daryl tries to climb up the riverbank again with more visions of Merle egging him on, which finally propel him to the top of the bank, where he continues onwards toward Herschel’s.
Back at the farm, Glenn and Dale have a heart-to-heart in the RV, where Glenn spills the beans about his temporary tryst with Maggie and a concerned Dale scolds him for getting involved with their host’s daughter. The action moves outside though when Andrea spots what she believes to be a “walker” in the distance. Rick, Shane and T-Dog run to investigate, but eager to prove herself, Andrea ends up shooting the “walker” against Rick’s instructions, which turns out to be an injured Daryl limping back to camp.
Luckily, the bullet just grazes his head, rendering him temporarily unconscious. When he wakes up though, he tells the group about finding Sophia’s doll in the river (along with a grody necklace of ears), prompting Shane to chide Rick for endangering the group again and imploring him to cut their losses by ending this search for Sophia.
The tension continues into the special dinner Laurie and Carol cook, though that doesn’t deter a lust-driven Maggie from passing a note to Glenn, asking him to name a place for the two lovebirds to meet later.
And in yet another startling cliffhanger, Glenn chooses the locked hayloft, which he sneaks into, only to find a hoard of Herschel’s zombified former neighbors and friends, hungry and eager to feed, as well as a frightened Maggie, who begs him not to say a word.