Holy crap, everybody.
Shit just got real [SPOILERS].
After an exhilarating first episode, “Sick” starts off right where “Seed” left off – with intensity and violence. Fans of the comic book series will enjoy seeing the group react with the prisoners. In the comic series, the prisoners offer a lot of character development for our heroes. And although the roles are reversed a bit, they still pose the same open-ended choices as they did in the books.
After freaking out the cornered inmates by chopping off Hershel’s leg, Rick and friends rush to get Hershel taken care of to make sure he doesn’t bleed out. The prisoners, who had been locked in a broom closet stocked with food for over a year, are confrontational and afraid. Rick leaves Glenn the sole responsibility of putting Hershel down if he happens to turn while tending to the chaos going on outside the cell block. Daryl is holding off the prisoners until Rick comes back, determined not to let them enter the group’s block.
“Today’s your lucky day, fellas. You’ve been pardoned by the state of Georgia; you’re free to go.”
While Rick’s group is definitely the protagonist, you can’t help but wonder if you would not behave the same way as these cornered strangers do. Would you be willing to just leave the only safe place you’ve known for a year if the world has gone to hell? Especially if that person was abrasively forcing you out of that place. As a survivor, you have to root for the main characters, and it forces you to view everybody as an enemy. Making friends is tough. After agreeing to clear out a cell block with them (in a hilarity-ensuing scene where the inmates attempt to shank the walkers) in exchange for food, the leader of the inmates turns on Rick. Tomas and his presumably gay lover Andrew plot to overthrow the group when they try to use a hoard of walkers to distract Rick and kill him. Batman, err Rick, sees the impending attack coming and easily dodges and dispatches of the zombies. As you can see in the picture below, everyone is all smiles as they shake hands and move on with there issues in gentlemanly fashion; shit happens.
Carl resumes his crusade of badassery when he shows up in front of the ladies with supplies that he found in the infirmary. Lori, in her typical manic-mom voice, freaks out that, once again, Carl was not in the house. “It was no big deal; I just killed a couple walkers,” he says. After continuing to spew shit from her mouth, Carl runs off like a little baby, effectively canceling out any man-points he had just earned. This makes one thing clear to me; Carl cannot continue to develop as a character as long as Lori remains in his life.
Another big plot point is the ever-deteriorating relationship between Rick and Lori Grimes. Early in the episode, Lori confesses to not being a good mother or wife. It’s something that I’m sure has been festering in Rick’s mind since the end of Season 2 when everybody began openly wishing she would die, but it shows a bit of the downside of skipping so much character development in the months that passed between seasons. Even after all that has gone down, all Rick can muster up is a post-apocalyptic version of the hover-hand that, even by crumbling societal measures, made me feel awkward.
A lot of non-action oriented storyline focuses on the recovery of Hershel, and how his demise would affect the rest of the group. Maggie has to be strong for Beth, but has prepared herself to let her father go. She sends Glenn away so that, in case Hershel turned, Maggie would be the one to do it. It’s a very moving moment she has with him that I hope will resonate with characters later on. However, when he finally did awake, it was only Carl that stood poised with a gun. It also brings up the fact that nobody else in the group has any medical prowess, leaving Carol to practice a C-section with a zombie corpse in a “totally sane” manner. But we will leave Zombgina for another time. It seems as though somebody else was watching, and we can’t wait to find out who that was.
We can’t wait for this evening’s episode of The Walking Dead, and the return of Merle Dixon, as well as the debut of The Governor. Stay tuned for our next review.