Killing zombies is no walk in the park. But harder still is killing your fellow man. Former sheriff Rick Grimes knows this all too well: In the most recent episode of "The Walking Dead," titled "Nebraska," our gun-slinging hero put down two hot-blooded humans with two well-placed pistol shots, all because they posed a potential threat to his family and friends.
For Rick, killing these two travelers was just another step forward on the bloody path he's been walking since the series first began — and he's not the only one embracing his inner darkness. Indeed, the death of poor Sophia in the "Walking Dead" midseason finale was just the start of a shift in momentum toward a deadlier, faster-paced string of episodes, where each and every one of the show's characters will find themselves tested.
"I think the loss of Sophia and looking for Sophia was a big thing that anchored the entire story of the first half of our second season," executive producer Robert Kirkman told MTV News about what to look forward to in the rest of season two. "For them to find her in that last episode in such a way, it puts a button on that group of episodes and opens the world up for the next half of the season. It kicks things off in a big way. Finding Sophia is the beginning of an escalation that brings us all the way to the very end of the second season. People are going to begin to see that escalation over the next several episodes."
Shown runner Glen Mazzara agrees with Kirkman, adding that Rick and Hershel are taking the death of Sophia especially hard. "When Hershel sees his family coming out of that barn, he realizes he's been mistaken about everything he believed," he told MTV News. "Rick also loses hope. Those two men have to figure out how to lead the group."
But there's another outlier in the mix: Shane Walsh, the disgruntled ex-cop who's losing more respect for Rick and becoming increasingly dangerous with each passing day.
"Shane doesn't agree with either one of them, and he wants to take control of the group," Mazzara said. "It really puts pressure on all of the characters in an interpersonal way that really makes the show incredibly exciting, to find out what's going to happen and who's going to lead that group."
What did you think of the latest "Walking Dead" episode? Tell us in the comments!