Monday, October 22, 2012

The Walking Dead, Season Three, Episode Two: Sick

This episode opens were the last one left off.  Darryl is ordering the prisoners out of hiding and Maggie and Rick are trying to save Hershel. One prisoner holds a gun on Darryl. T.Dog opens the freezer and kills the guard inside. The prisoners don't know what to make of the situation and Rick's group does not have time to explain because of Hershel's injury.

As the group races through the hall, Darryl shoot a zombie to keep the way clear.  The prisoners walk slowly out of the room in pursuit of Rick all carrying pipes and one a gun as a weapon. By the time they get Hershel on a bed, he looks pale.  Somehow Carol has started to act as a medic and when Glen suggests cauterizing the wound, Carol says that the shock will kill Hershel and that they need to let it heal on its own.  Darryl confronts the prisoners and tells them that they have been pardoned and are free to go.  The prisoners want to know why a group of civilians are breaking into a prison and a stand off has begun.  Glenn goes to follow and Rick instructs him to stay by Hershel's side because Maggie is going to need him.

The prisoners want to know why they don't take Hershel to the hospital and reveal that they have been locked in the cafeteria for ten months.  They say that one guard looked out for them and locked them up and gave them a gun for protection. Rick reveals that society has completely broken down. The prisoners start to worry about their families and Rick tells them that half the population has been wiped out and when they doubt him, he says, see for yourself.  The prisoners head out and see the dead bodies in the yard and say that they never thought they would be so happy to see the fences.  One asks if its a disease and Rick says that they're all infected because everyone who dies comes back as a zombie.  One prisoner asks where they came from and where they're headed and Rick says Atlanta and are not headed anywhere for now.  Tomas suggests that they separate but Rick makes it clear that they are not going to be bossed around and that they took the prison and set the prisoners free.  The agreement is that Rick will take out a cell block for them, if they agree to share the food and stay away from their people.  At this point, we are fifteen minutes into the series and we have not been given names for any of the prisoners.  It's also interesting how the prison population matches prison population demographics, but that is not the case with the survivors.

They have managed to get the bleeding to slow down for Hershel.  Lori says that they could use some bandages, gauze, pain killers and antibiotics.  She and Carol are convinced that they will get through this.

Rick goes back to the cafeteria to check out the food supply and of course they are far more stocked up than the prisoners let on.  The prisoners try to tell Rick that he can only have a little, but Rick reminds them that they agreed to.  Maggie hugs Glenn and says that it was stupid of them to let Hershel go because they could have cleared the whole cell block with just the five of them.  Maggie is worried about what will happen if he does wake up, because they spend a lot of time running and now he be able to walk. Glenn tries to reassure Maggie and says that they have been through so much already.This incident makes Hershel the first disabled person on the show.

When Maggie checks on Beth, she is ripping Hershel's pants and Maggie says that there's a good chance he may not wake up.  Beth is not pleased but Maggie does not want her to get her hopes too high because they are not equipped to deal with this.  Beth say that they have Carol but once again, the ever so grounded Maggie says that Hershel only taught her a few things. When Rick learns that Hershel's position is not good, he instructs Glenn to put his cuffs on Hershel because he is not taking any chances.  Lori pulls Rick aside and she is worried about the living conditions but he says that his only option is to kill the prisoner.  Lori admits to being a shitty wife and says that she knows he is not a killer and does not have any malice in his heart. Lori instructs Rick to do what he has to do, to keep the group safe and to do it with a clear conscience.The last time he followed that advice Lori did not react well.

The prisoners want to know why they shouldn't shoot guns and Darryl says that the noise brings attention to them. Rick instructs the prisoners to only take head shots, but they are not impressed by the instructions.

Glenn handcuffs Hershel just as a Maggie is walking in.  Carol assures Maggie that this is just a precaution and Maggie asks for a moment alone with her father. Maggie holds Hershel's hand with tears in her eyes and tells him that he doesn't have to fight anymore.  "If you're worried about me and Beth, don't worry about us, we'll take care of each other.  Go ahead Dad, it's okay, be peaceful. You don't have to fight. If it's time to go, it's okay. I just want to thank you for everything." Maggie then kisses Hershel.  This is a powerfully acted scene and really brings a sense of exactly what the survivors are going through.

They have started to clear the other cellblock and Darryl instructs the prisoners that they will hear the walkers before they see them.  Zombies come around the corner and the prisoners rush forward but not one of them has listened to Rick's instructions and they are doing body shots. Rick, Darryl and T Dog just stand back and watch them with a look of amusement.

Carl walks in with bandages from the infirmary.  Lori is not impressed and Carl says that it was not a big deal and he only killed two walkers.  Lori points at Hershel and says that this is what happend with the whole group. Carl yells at her to get off his back but Beth intervenes and says that he cannot talk to his mother like that. Carl then run out of the cell. Clearly, tensions are running high between Carl and Lori and I wish they would fill in the gap in more detail about where Carl's anger comes from.

The prisoners have finally figured out that the cannot kill the walkers with body shots.  They start the way that Rick instructed but Big Tiny gets scratched by a zombie.

In Hershel's cell. Carol says that she needs to talk to Glenn. Glenn is resistant to leaving and I think he knows all to well that if Hershel does die and come back, he will have to take him out.  Maggie assures Glenn that they will be fine, when Glenn tries to insist he stay with Hershel stating that Rick ordered him to stay. 

The Big Tiny insists that he's fine, but Rick says that there's nothing they can do now that he has been scratched.  They point out how he saved Hershel, but Rick says that's because of where the bite was and there's no way to help him. Big Tiny claims to still be able to fight, but Tomas walks behind him and literally bashes his head in with tire iron. This scene is extremely violent and bloody.

Carol takes Glenn outside to the fence where a couple of walkers are lined up.  Glenn tells her that using a walker for practice is a sane thing.  Carol says that Maggie had Carl by c-section and Hershel had some experience but she has none.  Carol believes that she needs to learn to cut through the abdomen and the uterus without cutting anything major.  Glenn leads the other walkers away, as Carol opens the gate to collect the one she killed. This is a completely different Carol to the one we got to know last season.  She has become an important member of the team and is completely self assured in a way that I have never seen her.  I like that Carol on the television show becomes more confidant rather than the Carol of the comics who became steadily more dependent until the day she died.

They are still cleaning out a cell block and Darryl mentions the look on Tomas' face, when he killed the prisoner who had been scratched.  Darryl tells Rick to give him a sign and he will take him out. As they start to battle zombies, Tomas, swipes at Ricks as he attempts to kill a walker.  Tomas tries to explain it away and when Rick gets to his feet, he puts a cutlass through Tomas' head. Oscar gets down on his knees and T Dog stands guard, as Rick chases down the prisoner that escaped. Unfortunately, for the prisoner he runs into the yard, which is filled with zombies and Rick locks him out there. It looks like Rick is taking Lori's advice.

Maggie is watching Hershel sleep when he suddenly stops breathing.  Beth comes in and starts screaming for help.  When Lori enters the room, she decides to give Hershel CPR.  That was actually brave, considering the fact that Hershel is not breathing, and this  means he could turn into a zombie at any time.  When Hershel starts awake and wraps his arm around Maggie, she jumps back in fear and Carl has his gun pointed at Hershel ready to shoot.

Rick has a gun to the heads of the two prisoners and they both claim that they had no idea what was planned.  They beg for a chance to live and Oscar says that he has never plead for his life but he is not going to start now and tells Rick to do what he has to do.  They put them on a cell block and lock them down and Rick says that this part of the prison is theirs.  Darryl says, "if you think this is sick you don't want to know what's outside.  T-Dog suggests that the prisoners take the bodies outside and burn them.

Rick returns to the group and Carl informs him that Lori saved Hershel when he stopped breathing. Lori points out that Hershel has no fever.  As Rick checks on Hershel, he opens his eyes again.  Rick takes the handcuffs off and then holds Hershel's hand as Maggie, Glen, Carl, Lori and Beth look on.  Lori leaves the cell and Rick hands off Hershel's hand to Beth.

Outside, Carol sits down next to the zombie and lifts her dress. Carol picks up the knife and begins to cut through the flesh, but someone is clearly watching her.  Rick goes out and finds Lori and tells her that they will start cleaning tomorrow. Lori says it will give Carl a safe place to do whatever he does these days.  Rick says for the record that he does not think she is bad mother.  Lori replies that its for better or worse and that they had a good day.  They go back and forth about who is responsible for Hershel living, then Laurie said she thought he was coming out there to talk about them but maybe there's nothing to talk about anymore.  Rick touches her shoulder but does not look at her and says, "we're awful grateful for what you did," and then walks away.

In this episode, there's very little differentiating Rick from Tomas. Though Tomas is a prisoner what Rick goes on to do proves that he is more than capable of making a snap decision to kill.  He barely shows any emotion to the murders he commits as well. He clearly he has justified what he has done to himself. Rick managed to kill to men of colour but then he's the great White hope isn't he?  I am not pleased that at the end of the day we only ended up with one extra character of colour. Clearly, The Walking Dead writers want to keep the current unrealistic racial dynamic of the show.  It didn't help that though we now have Michonne that she was no in this episode.