For the first time quite a while, The Walking Dead survivors are reminded that others like them exist, and they also have guns that work just as well on the living as they do zombies.

Surprisingly, “Triggerfinger” moves to swiftly bring Dave and Tony’s comrades (at least some of them) into the inevitable conflict – instead of pursuing a gradual sense of unease and questions about who else is out there from Rick, Shane, Lori and so on.

Stuck in the bar, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) Glenn (Steven Yuen) and Hershel (Scott Wilson) come under fire by a group of (mostly) unseen assailants, who are none too pleased to learn their friends are dead. Though Rick tries to reason with them – speaking of the hell-in-a-hand-basket situation everyone currently finds themselves in – cool heads are not to prevail this night.

The ensuing firefight is brief; it’s pretty much over as soon as a group of walkers make a buffet out of the poor sap that walked into Hershel’s line of sight. Since the calamity draws the attention of a horde of walkers, Rick, Hershel and Glenn have little time to pull one of their assailants off the fence he’s impaled on, after his group leaves him to die. Naturally, Rick is the one who decides to take matters into his own hands – opening the door to a larger compassion vs. self-preservation discussion to be revisited later in the show (and likely the season).

Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite ball of negativity and poor decision-making, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), is roused from unconsciousness by a walker that is trimming his face off trying to bite at her through a broken windshield. At this point in the series, the walkers have become more of a pervasive problem than a scream-inducing mystery for the characters, and Lori dispatches two of them rather quickly, earning a few points for style in the case of the windshield zombie.

The remainder of “Triggerfinger” focuses much of its attention on the threat of Shane (Jon Bernthal), and his persistence in chasing after the affection of Lori – despite Andrea’s interest in him and Lori’s tenuous reconciliation with Rick.

While Andrea (Laurie Holden) is clearly on team Shane – speaking of the good he’s done for the group – Dale is becoming more outspoken in his belief that Shane is a danger to everyone – once more bringing up the death of Otis. Whether Lori is just looking to justify her (personal) need to broom Shane, or she is truly fearful that he’s become dangerous remains to be seen, but for whichever reason, Dale finds Lori to be a very captive audience.

Tension between Rick and Shane flares up once more after the farm learns of the injured stranger in their midst. Shane (reasonably) argues that knowledge of the farm will eventually lead to outsiders looking to make it theirs, while Rick maintains a need for compassion, despite the inherent danger of making the farm’s existence known.

Alone with Lori, Rick is pressed by his wife to address the Shane situation before it gets out of hand. Chillingly, Lori uses Rick’s justification for killing Dave and Tony as reason enough to do away with is partner, and we are left to watch as Rick apparently mulls the idea over.

The Walking Dead returns with ’18 Miles Out’ next Sunday @9pm on AMC