The Walking Dead S3E2: Sick
Original Airdate: October 21, 2012
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
This week’s The Walking Dead begins right where we left off last week. Hershel’s leg has just been separated from his body. Daryl tells Rick to duck so that he can target the men standing behind the counter. Both groups want to know who the hell the other group is. The Grimes Gang doesn’t look like a rescue team to the befuddled inmates. While the inmates try to figure out what is happening, Glenn rushes past them to grab a wheeled table so that they can get Hershel out. The inmates watch as T-Dog proclaims that they have the situation under control, which he demonstrates by efficiently killing one of the Swat Walkers in full body gear. They rush out, leaving the confused inmates behind with Hershel’s severed leg.
After the credits roll, we see the team rolling Hershel through the Walker-infested hallway. While their main focus in on getting Hershel back to the cell block haven, they also have to think about the inmates, who have left their cafeteria to follow the newcomers. Carl meets the group at the door and opens it. T-Dog and Daryl remain outside the door. They bring Hershel into one of the cells, and Carol (Carol!!) takes charge. Carol! Carol takes charge!! She works to stop the bleeding, ordering people to grab more supplies. She takes control of Hershel’s care, and she seems very competent. Before leaving, Rick tells Glenn that he has to be there for Maggie and Beth.
Outside the cell block, Daryl and T-Dog keep their weapons trained on the inmates as they slowly enter the room. They’re wary. And they have every right to be. Tomas, the self-proclaimed leader of the group, tries to take control of the situation. Cell Block C is his home, which means they follow his rules. (Little does he realize, Rick Grimes was a law enforcement officer) Tomas wants to know why civilians would bother breaking in to a prison. That doesn’t add up. The wheels start turning in their heads. Did this group rob a bank or something? Why aren’t they taking their friend to a hospital? Now the truth comes out. This group of inmates has been locked away for over ten months. (They bicker between the actual number of days, which is so hilarious because any inmate would know exactly how many days they have been locked up) There were riots. They heard rumors about people turning into cannibals. One of the guards who had watched out for them locked them in the cafeteria. No one ever came for them, though. They expected the National Guard to arrive, but nothing.
Rick takes in what they have told them. Daryl and T-Dog have the same stunned expressions on their faces. These men have no idea what is going on. “It’s all gone,” Rick finally says. “For real?” they ask. They want to know if Rick has a cell phone they can use to call their families. The reality of the situation sinks in but they still can’t grasp it. They go out into the yard. Big Tiny stretches his arms out and basks in being able to feel the sun for the first time in months. The inmates take in the sight of the bodies of all of the Walkers all over the yard, and they see Walkers locked in behind a gate across the way. What is going on? Is it a disease? Rick informs the group that everyone is infected, but it’s not like AIDS. If you die, you become a Walker.
Tomas decides that the prison belongs to his group. They were there first. He demands that Rick and his group leave the prison. Rick refuses. They spilled blood here. They cleared the place out. He proposes that they cut a deal so everyone wins. Daryl knows that these men can’t be trusted. He points out that they have their freedom, so why not leave? They can try their luck on the road. The inmates don’t like this idea. Rick calls their bluff—these guys have access to food. Clearly they’re not starving. In fact, they look very good for people who have been locked up in one room for ten months. So Rick offers to help clear out another cell block for them in return for half of the food. Tomas wants weapons, too, but Rick’s not going to fall for that. He makes the deal, with the caveat that once they help them, the inmates must stay on their cell block or risk being shot.
Carol and Lori work on Hershel. He’s not losing as much blood, but obviously he needs medicine and more bandages. Carol sends Beth to look for something to use as crutches, trying to give hope to his daughter. Lori helps her care for Hershel, and once they’re alone, Carol asks if she’s worried about the baby given that Hershel might not be around for the birth. “Do I look worried?” Lori asks. “You look disgusting,” Carol replies.
In the cafeteria, the inmates show off their secret cache of food. Rick sees the fridge and opens it, despite their warning. Apparently the fridge has served as the outhouse for them. “I can’t wait for a pot to piss in,” Axl sighs. You can only imagine being locked up with the same guys in the same room for ten months. These guys actually seem very well adjusted, all things considered.
Back in the Sweet Home Cell Block, Glenn comforts Maggie. She thinks it was stupid that they allowed him to go with them in the first place. What will they do without him? Glenn tells her that this won’t break him. He’ll push on. Maggie isn’t sold. Glenn explains that he’s prepared for whatever happens. Maggie knows that he’s right, but she’s understandably torn by what’s going on. She finds her sister hemming Hershel’s pants, which is incredibly pragmatic. Lori and Carol continue to work on Hershel. We learn that Hershel has been teaching Carol things to help for when the baby comes. But it wasn’t a lot. There’s still a lot to learn, although judging by the way she handled everything, her education has progressed more than she’s admitting. Rick, T-Dog and Daryl return with the food they’re taken from the inmates on their trade. Rick tells Glenn to cuff Hershel to the bed as a precaution in case he dies…because he’d become a Walker. Lori pulls Rick aside and asks about the inmates. Can they be trusted? What are the options? Rick shrugs. “Kill them,” he says, without emotion. Lori nods. “If that’s best,” she tells him. She continues to say that she realizes she was a “shitty wife” and she wasn’t mom of the year, but if she knows one thing, it’s that Rick has never had malice in his heart. She gives him her blessing to do what he needs to do in order to keep the group safe.
Before leaving to overtake the neighboring cell block, Daryl, Rick and T-Dog issue advice to the inmates about killing the Walkers. Consider it an issue of Best Practices for Walker Removal. The biggest piece of advice is to aim for the head. No other blow matters. Even though they have no practice experience, the inmates tell the other men that they don’t need to be told how to kill. Says T-Dog, “They ain’t men, they something else.”
Maggie sees the hand cuffs restraining her father. She knows that they are there as a precaution, but it also signals the unspoken possibility that her father might not make it. Glenn tells her as much, and she nods in understanding, asking for a moment with her father. Alone. “Dad, you don’t have to fight anymore,” she tells him. “Go ahead, Dad, it’s ok….Thank you for everything.” It’s heartbreaking to watch her say goodbye to her father, but it seems to bring her some peace as she sits with him.
The hunting party edges through the hallway. The inmates want to know why they don’t use the lights. You’ll hear the Walkers before you see them, Daryl explains. And, as if on cue, a lone Walker emerges from the shadows. There is a hesitation, and then the inmates charge him again. For a moment, it’s like you’re watching a raw episode of Lockup. Another Walker approaches, and the Grimes Gang watches in horror and disgust as the men go to town on the Walkers. They ignore the message about going after the heads and instead target everything else.
OK, who is watching Carl? Did anyone even notice that he was gone? Because he was…. Carl decided to take matters into his own hands. He returns to Hershel’s room with a duffel bag full of bandages and medicine. Lori looks at him in appreciative horror. Carl informs the group that he found the infirmary and got supplies for them. Someone needed to do it. Lori is furious that he left; after all, Hershel was hurt when he was with the group. Carl screws up his face in boyish consternation. “We needed supplies,” he insisted, “so get off my back.” Lori’s eyes are as big as saucers. Carl isn’t her little boy anymore. Beth chastises him for speaking like that to his mother. But the damage is done.
Out in the hallway, Rick tells the group to stay in formation or risk being picked off. And no more of that prison riot crap. As they come upon a herd of Walkers, Big Tiny backs away from them. Moments later he is attacked by a Walker. He doesn’t go for the head, so the Walker, who is bound by handcuffs, rips his own hand off in order to attack Big Tiny. And he does. Tomas doesn’t waste any time ignoring Rick’s advice, emptying three bullets into the Walker’s head.
Carol asks to speak with Glenn. She wants to go outside. He insists that he’s not supposed to leave Maggie and Beth, but she convinces him. They leave.
Big Tiny insists that he feels fine. It wasn’t even a bad bite, he argues. There has to be a cure. Rick points out that he was bitten on his back and they can’t cut off Big Tiny’s back the way they cut off Hershel’s leg. Big Tiny starts to panic, but before he can escape, Tomas bashes his head in with a pickaxe. Once he’s on the ground, Tomas smashes his head in violently. It’s hard to figure this guy out. Is this a show of camaraderie or is it self-preservation?
Outside, Glenn and Carol walk along the fence. Glenn is telling her that her idea is completely sane, but it’s still crazy. Carol is resolute. She wants to kill a Walker and use the body for practice. Lori will need a C-Section, and Hershel didn’t explain it all. She needs to be sure she can do it without tearing through some vital organ. Kind of important. She chooses a female Walker in a dress. She drives a piece of rebar through her eye. The Walker falls to the ground, dead (again). Glenn distracts the other Walkers while she pulls the body to their side of the fence.
T-Dog leads the group into a storage room. Beyond a set of double doors lies another herd of Walkers. Daryl and Rick confer quietly about Tomas. Did you see his face? Daryl asks. He tells Rick to give him a signal. Daryl will take him out if necessary. Rick gives the keys to Tomas and tells him to open one of the doors so they can control the Walkers. The goal is the kill them as they come through the doors. But Tomas throws open both of the doors while trying to make it seem like an accident, saying “shit happens.” Tomas takes a swing at a Walker, but he’s really aiming at Rick. He shoves the Walker in Rick’s direction so that Rick falls onto the ground. Daryl takes the Walker out and helps Rick to his feet. Rick and Tomas have a pissing match, staring at each other. That wasn’t an accident. Rick knows that Tomas is a threat to their safety. Without hesitation, Rick kills Tomas by splitting his skull in half. The force behind that blow is incredible. Andrew, the smallest member of the inmate gang, takes off running. Rick gives chase while Daryl and T-Dog manage the other two inmates, Axl and Oscar. Andrew runs all the way out into the yard, which is full of Walkers. Rick locks the door and leaves him to his fate, walking away as he starts to scream.
Maggie is sitting with Hershel when he takes one final breath and then goes still. Beth comes in and sees this, and she panics and calls for help. Lori rushes in and starts CPR. Suddenly Hershel reaches up and grabs her, but then he takes a deep, shuddering breath before collapsing back down on the bed, unconscious.
Rick interrogates Axl and Oscar. Axl swears they had nothing to do with Tomas’s plan. He was the bad guy, not them. Look at what he did to Big Tiny. He says he was in love with his pharmaceuticals but he never hurt anyone. He wants to live. Oscar is much more stoic. He has never pleaded for his life and he’s not about to start. “Do what you got to do,” he tells Rick. They take the pair to their new cellblock. We see the cell doors open and a dead body in each doorway. Their hands had been tied up before they’d been killed, suggesting that someone went through and executed them as a precaution. Axl is clearly affected by the gruesome sight, saying that he knew some of these men. They were good men. Rick tells the two men that this is their new home. As he leaves, Daryl informs the shell-shocked duo that it’s worse on the outside. T-Dog suggests that they take the bodies outside to burn them. I’m not sure why these two were so helpful. Perhaps they felt sympathy for them?
The men return to find everyone gathered in Hershel’s room. Carl tells his dad that Lori saved Hershel’s life. He had stopped breathing but she brought him back. So far, Hershel doesn’t have a fever but he’s still weak. They all watch as he starts to wake up. Rick uncuffs him, and Hershel grabs Rick’s hand. Carl gives his father a big smile. Lori leaves the room, and Rick follows, leaving Beth and Maggie with their father.
Outside, Carol prepares herself for what she’s about to do. She lifts the Walker’s dress up and palpitates her sunken abdomen to figure out where to make her incision. The viewpoint shifts so that we’re watching her from someone else’s point of view. Someone is in the forest watching her.
Rick finds Lori in the hallway overlooking the yard. Rick says they’ll start cleaning it all up the next day. Lori says that this will give Carl plenty of room to do “whatever it is that he does these days.” Rick looks at her and says that she isn’t a bad mother. She jokes about getting divorced and splitting up their assets in the middle of this mess. She thought Rick had gone outside to talk about their relationship. After a long pause, Rick thanks her for what she did for Hershel, and then he walks away.
Tonight’s episode was full of excitement, starting with a bang but ending with a whimper. The Walker of the Week goes to Handcuffed Walker. What an effort he made. Second Runner Up goes to Cadaverous Jane. Now we know that Walkers wear underwear. Didn’t it seem like there was quite a bit of CGI blood in this episode, or was it just me? And did you notice how white Maggie’s teeth are? I can’t imagine having teeth like that so far into the Zombie Apocalypse.