The release of the zombies from the barn in last night's mid-season finale of The Walking Dead capped what, to me, has been an involving dramatic soap opera so far. It's telling that survive-at-all-costs-Shane sets them loose to "kill" them, but it's Rick who eventually shoots Sophia, surprising everyone when she staggers out of the barn. She's been there all along. That hurt. So it bothers me that some fans, a friend or two, and some critics keep asking "where's the beef-eating zombies?"
Readers of the comic book series ARE readers because it tells its story through the turmoil of the living, who live with the threat of being chomped on at any given moment. Zombies attack, but that's not the point nor should it be the focus of every issue, or in this case, every television episode. How many times, and in how many creative ways, can we feast our eyes on watching zombies attack? Sure, it's gruesome fun, but at the end of the day, it's the story that counts, not the kill-rate on either side.
Great classic television series always focus on the characters first, then the events happening around them, and their reactions to those events. Their turmoil, disagreements, sadness, happiness, agreements, and life or death defining moments simply can't be conveyed in every episode through a simplistic car chase action solution to tidy it up and provide eye-candy for short attention spans.
I recommend hunkering down and living the drama with Rick, Shane, and everyone else. The zombies will come when their good and ready. Me, I rather see how the living survive each other.