'The Walking Dead’ season 2 brings to life its thirteenth and final episode of the season, as Rick tries desperately to keep the group together when a herd of the undead force the survivors off the barn, Andrea finds an unlikely rescue, and Rick reveals a terrifying truth about the walking dead...

Last week’s ‘The Walking Dead’ “Better Angels” saw Rick making the heartbreaking choice to kill his best friend for the greater good while Daryl and Glenn make sense of what happened to Randall off the farm, so what will the latest episode bring?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season finale “Beside the Dying Fire!”

In Atlanta, a number of walkers feast on their latest kill, when a passing helicopter draws their attention.  They begin a steady, aimless march, passing through the city and country, collapsing fences in their path, when finally a lone gunshot draws their attention.  They march in the direction of the shot, as Rick and Carl head back to the farm not realizing they’ve got company…guys, come on!  Look behind you!

Glenn and Daryl arrive back first, surprised they beat Rick and Shane, and share their findings about both Randall’s zombified state and the holes in Shane’s story.  When Rick and Carl finally notice the walkers bearing down on them, they do their best to make a beeline for the barn, unable to reach the house.  Daryl alerts the survivors to their incoming guests, and panic sets in as Lori notices Carl is missing.  Hershel resolves to defend the farm along with the others, while Rick manages to persuade a number of walkers into the barn, where he and Carl head to the upper rafters and light the whole thing ablaze!

Glenn, Maggie, T-Dog and Andrea do their best to thin out the herd by driving and shooting, while the others realize Carl and Rick must have lit the barn on fire.  Jimmy manages to pull the RV up to the barn to help Rick and Carl escape, but winds up devoured for his trouble.  One down.  While Hershel fires defiantly into the crowd, all the women make a run for it.  Patricia gets very quickly taken down while still holding Beth’s hand, and Carol nearly winds up eaten herself before Andrea can save her.  In the confusion though, Andrea is though to have been eaten, and Carol flees off on her own.

T-Dog manages to save Lori and Beth, while Daryl eventually picks Carol up on his motorcycle, and even Rick manages to save and escape with Hershel just in the nick of time.  With that, the farm burns and the group splits.  On the road, Glenn comforts Maggie by finally telling her he loves her, while Rick hopes everyone thinks to meet back up on the highway.  T-Dog insists on driving for the coast, but Lori begs him to meet up with the group, as Rick and Hershel realize that they must convince Carl to leave the highway for safety.  Before he needs to agree however, everyone manages to appear on the highway, and catches up on who’s missing and who’s died.  Bummer.

As Andrea desperately runs away from walkers in the woods, Rick runs out of gas and their convoy stops.  Rick does his best to keep everyone from panicking, but finds himself with no choice to reveal that Dr. Jenner told him at the CDC that everyone carries the infection, though he thought it best the group not know about such details.  Carol and Glenn in particular seem angriest that he kept this from them.  In a moment alone, Rick also tells Lori in greater detail that he killed Shane, and that part of him wanted to do it rather than it be strictly self-defense.  She recoils in disgust, but hey, wasn’t she the one basically asking him to do that three weeks ago?

Still out in the woods, Andrea reaches her last legs, turning to knives and bashing to take down the walkers behind her, when out of nowhere a samurai sword decapitates one.  When Andrea looks up, she sees her savior, a mysterious hooded woman with two armless, jawless walkers chained by the neck (COUGH, MICHONNE, COUGH!)  Back at the makeshift camp, groups debate splintering off, when Rick takes command and says that he had to kill his best friend to keep them safe.  Carl cries at the revelation, but Rick is determined their group stay together, noting that if the others want to stay, this won’t be a democracy anymore.

In the distance, a well-fortified prison facility looms…

Hot diggity dead, Michonne and the prison?!  No major deaths for the finale, unless you're willing to count Jimmy and Patricia, but after Shane and Dale we've had enough major kills!  Did we mention Michonne?!  How does the news of people becoming walkers without bites tie in with a certain recently-cast season 3 villain?  We’ll find out soon enough!

Did you get your fill of zombie action?  What did you think about the episode, or season 2? Join us next season for an all-new episode recaps of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 on AMC!

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