Tag Archives: season three

The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Sick”

If you couldn’t tell by the title, then I suppose it is my duty to inform you that there will be a whole heck of a lot of SPOILERS in this article. SPOILERS, I say!

Let’s just come right out and say it: Rick is the new Shane.

I don’t have a problem with this at all.

While lots of folks whined and lamented Shane’s descent into “inhumanity” last season, I saw it more as a practical growth spurt. Protect your loved ones and those you’ve chosen to take up with; it made sense to me. Still, Shane was cast as rather a devil.

But, I guess I do have to grant a certain amount of that. I mean, he did try to murder Rick and take his family. Awkward! That probably wasn’t the best course of action.

Jump to last night’s episode, “Sick,” and we see Rick making some of those same kinds of Shane decisions (which, from here on out, I shall refer to as SDs). The episode picked up right where the last one left off: Rick had just hacked off Hershel’s leg and the reconnaissance group had stumbled upon a small batch of inmates holed up in what turned out to be the prison’s cafeteria.

Guns were drawn, and manhoods were flopped out and measured. Interestingly, the five prisoners only had one gun. Well, I guess it’s not that untoward; they ARE prisoners.

It became clear that Hershel was the priority of the moment, and Glenn found a rolling food prep table that could carry Lori’s fading hope of a successful delivery back to the secured cell block where our band of intrepid walker-wackers had set up camp.

As Maggie, Glenn, and Rick rushed big H back, T-Dog and Daryl brought up the rear, keeping a wary eye on the prisoners that followed.

Can someone please explain to me what happened to the mini-horde that threatened to break down the cafeteria doors? If you’ll remember, they barely made it into the cafeteria ahead of the man-munchers, before baring the door and seeing to Hershel’s leg like Jack Nicholson on a nice hotel door.

*Whack, whack, whack…*

“Here’s Ricky!”

But, no, there was just one miserable SWAT walker pawing and groaning when T-Dog threw open the doors, and the group rushed out. Lame.

It’s only a flesh wound! Image courtesy of AMC.

So, Hershel is rushed back and transferred onto a cell bunk. Rick warns Glenn to stay by his side. No one really expects Hershel to make it (besides his dumb deluded daughter, Beth), and Rick wants Glenn to put the old guy down (again) if necessary.

Then, Rick heads back to the chamber right outside the secured cell block to deal with the prisoners. Carl is watching the cell block door, acting as a gate keeper, and it occurred to me that AMC is trying to make me like the kid. He almost seemed (dare I say it?) useful in this episode!

After another tense-ish standoff, Rick tells the prisoners that they will help clear out another cell block in exchange for half of the food in the cafeteria. An SD, if ever I saw one. Good on ya, Rick. The wily former sheriff has correctly surmised that the prisoners must have been well off in their hideout. So, they trek back to the cafeteria (STILL NO WALKERS), and return bearing a good number of supplies for our group.

Meanwhile, Hershel is all sorts of pale. Carol and Lori have done their best for him, but he’s lost a lot of blood, and they don’t have enough medical supplies.

Carl to the rescue! (I can’t believe I just wrote that. Stop trying to make me like Carl, AMC!) The boy everybody loves to hate found the infirmary, gathered everything he could, and brought them back. Mommy didn’t know he had gone, though, and scolded him in front of everyone. Carl, who is trying to be a big man, stomps off in a huff.

Since it’s still pretty likely Hershel’s going to die, Carol wants to be prepared for when it happens. She figures she’ll have to deliver Lori’s baby, and since Lori had Carl by c-section, Carol wants to practice the procedure. She’s actually pretty smart about it and convinces Glenn to help her take down a female walker outside the prison fence. (Eeeeeew) You can guess where this is going. I sure did, and I was right.

Rick, T-Dog, and Daryl prep to take the prisoners to stake out their own cell block. Once the prisoners are settled, there will be no contact between the two groups. Sounds questionable to me, and you can see the plotting in the eyes of the prisoners’ main wacko, a long-haired rage killer (You’ll see why I call him that in a minute.) named Tomas, so you know the issue is long from being really settled.

After explaining that guns aren’t a good idea in close quarters (too loud, will draw more walkers), both groups set out armed with various blunt and pointy objects, determined to cut a swath and claim a new cell block. It goes down about how you’d expect.

Tomas keeps giving Rick the stink eye, and New Shane knows it, so he’s keeping a close eye on him.

The first small nest of walkers they happen on die a gruesome re-death as the prisoners set on them rabid-dog-pack style, shiving and beating on the monsters like they’re in a prison riot. Rick, T-Dog, and Daryl just stand back, watching the display of unnecessary brutalness.

Just who are the monsters?

Big Tiny gonna get big bit! Image courtesy of AMC.

SO META.

After explaining again that the walkers go down quickly with a brain shot, they seem better prepared to take on the next pod. In the midst of brain-bashing, Big Tiny (one of the prisoners) tries to sneak away, but he gets attacked. He makes it out of the scuffle alive, but with a large gash on his back –walker-inflicted, of course.  Before they decide what to do with Big Tiny (another prisoner, Oscar, suggests just locking him up in case he doesn’t turn), Tomas flies off the handle and viciously beats Big Tiny to death, taking the large man off guard and spattering blood everywhere. See. I told you he was a rage killer! So, we’re down to four prisoners.

They make it to a laundry room where a pair of double doors is holding back a number of walkers. You can’t see the walkers, but audible moaning makes it clear the men are about to kick over a hive. Rick tosses a set of keys (looks like a master set the picked off a dead guard in last week’s show) to Tomas and tells him to open the door. Only one, though. Opening both will let too many in at one time.

Tomas gives Rick more stink eye and proceeds to “accidentally” open both doors. In the ensuing confusion, Tomas tries to take out Rick but is unsuccessful. Obviously.

They take out all of the walkers, and then Tomas offers a feeble excuse to Rick about how $hit happens, and it was nothing personal. New Shane does his best I-don’t-believe-you-and-you-know-I-don’t-believe-you head bob, and then calmly splits Tomas’ skull with a machete.

GO, NEW SHANE!

Andrew, one of the three remaining prisoners, gets peeved and swings a bat at Rick. He doesn’t connect and bolts through the double doors, running for his life.

Yeah, he’s not long for this world.

Rick gives chase, and they snake through hallways and doors, up some stairs and through a doorway that leads to an open air area. It is, of course, blocked in. Andrew skids to a stop once he realizes there’s no escape and doubles back to the door. Rick’s waiting for him and makes a chilly SD, locking Andrew out with the walkers. You hear screams, and Rick looks vaguely disconcerted, but then resolved.

NEW SHANE! NEW SHANE! NEW SHANE!

The two remaining prisoners, Oscar and Axel are on their knees when Rick returns. Axel pleads for his life, but Oscar does not, saying that he’s never begged for his life, and he isn’t going to start, now. New Shane makes a very un-SD and lets them live, fulfilling his side of the bargain by delivering the pair to a secure cell block. But, the area is far from empty, with dead walkers are strewn everywhere, and you almost feel sorry for Oscar and Axel.

I’m sure his decision to let the prisoners live will come back to bite Rick in the butt.

Back in Cell Block C, Hershel is barely clinging to life. In fact, he dies. But, Lori is able to resuscitate him…not without a cheap scare, though. As she’s giving him mouth to mouth, he comes back, lurching up and grabbing at her. I yelled, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! Even though I knew they weren’t going to kill Hershel. A guy with one leg in the apocalypse is just too darn interesting!

Rick, T-Dog, and Daryl return to the good news, and the group is together but for Carol. She’s still out in the prison yard with her re-dead walker, preparing to do a practice c-section. It’s gross. They don’t actually show Carol cutting in, but as a woman who’s had a c-section, I must say that I was grossed out.

But, a gross-out wasn’t the purpose of the scene. As Carol is working on the walker, the camera pulls back to a point of view shot from the bushes beyond the yard. Someone is watching!

The episode concludes with Lori and Rick outside on a fenced-in walkway suspended above an open area. Lori previously confided to Hershel that she’s sure Rick hates her for her manipulation in the Shane love triangle, and this scene feels like a pivotal moment in her relationship with her husband.

She confesses that she knows she’s not a good wife or mother, but jokes that divorce really isn’t an option, leaving it open for Rick to swoop in and forgive her, to make it right between them. Rick stays quiet for the most part, and you’re sure a reconciliation is eminent.

Then, he says, “We’re awful grateful for what you did,” referring to how Lori saved Hershel, and walks away, leaving her crying on the walkway.

Whoa! New Shane isn’t ready to pull any punches!

On the whole, Lori is been quite ridiculous this whole time, and I think she’s reaping what she sowed. Karma’s a mommy dog, ya’ll.

Andrea and Michonne were MIA this week, appearing only in the preview for the next episode, which was all Governor-y looking.

What do you think? Is Rick the new Shane? (Yes.) Should he forgive Lori? (Not yet.)

 

Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-2-hershel-stretcher.php.

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Seed”

Yes, there will be SPOILERS in this article. If you have not watched “Seed,” DON’T READ THIS. Unless you don’t care about spoilers. If you don’t care about spoilers, then read on, MacDuff!

How stupid is it to take the only doctor into a dark, twisty, walker-infested cell block for reconnaissance purposes? Amazingly, blindingly stupid. And if the characters on last night’s The Walking Dead had just listened to me as I screamed at the television, they would have known that.

But, I’ll get to that later. Let’s start from the top!

The season three opener, “Seed,” started by showing us how much our intrepid band of survivors have grown. They spent the fall and winter running from the herd of walkers and are now a well-oiled machine with nary a squeak of back-talk. Last season ended with Rick’s declaration that he was no longer leading a democracy, and that they could take it or get the heck outta Dodge, thankyouverymuch. Unsurprisingly, everyone left decided to abide Rick’s leadership.

They move from house to house, now, scavenging for supplies, putting down walkers, and getting out just ahead of the herd…or at least smaller bands of walkers.

Was it just me, or was anyone else out there happy to see Carl taking point on a house scavenging expedition? Not because I want them to treat him like an adult, you understand. And not because I think he deserves it. No, I want Carl involved because then there’s a greater chance of the little punk getting eaten. Eat up, walkers; he won’t be missed!

So, this life of constant travel and foraging is rather wearing, as you can imagine, specifically on Lori, who is now enormously pregnant. I’m talking the turkey timer has popped and you can see her belly button through her shirt pregnant. More steady and defensible diggs are definitely a priority.

Lo and behold, Rick and Daryl stumble upon a prison (THE PRISON), and the group decides this could be a good site to dig in for a while. They embark on clearing the fenced-in yard of walkers, and we see that members who hadn’t really been pulling their weight previously in the walker killing department have stepped up their game. (I’m looking at you, Carol and Beth). I mean, Carol almost shoots Rick, but accidents happen, right? Sheeeeeeesh. Give that woman a stick and let her poke them through the fence like the other non-effectuals. I thought this was actually a pretty good strategy, really. I mean, you’re on one side of the fence, the walker is on the other, you’ve got a sharp pointy thing, and you stab them! Seems logical to me!

Aww, look! It’s just a camping trip! A scary, scary camping trip. Image courtesy of AMC.

That night, Rick informs them that they need to get inside the prison. Before Rick’s pronouncement, the scene is a much needed downgrade in action. The group is gathered around a campfire, and you can tell they’re all trying to pretend everything’s okay, and it’s safe. Hershel even asks Beth to sing a song. She does, and Maggie joins in, completing the sense that they’re all just on a camping trip…if you can mistake walker shuffling and moaning for coyotes and other wildlife.

Rick’s argument makes sense: If the outbreak caught the prison population early, there could still be much-needed supplies inside. The weary walker-stalkers eventually agree, and the next morning Rick, Daryl, T-Dog (who doesn’t get a real name), Glenn, and Maggie head in.

Now, let’s kick it over to Andrea. (This is not how the show flowed, but I’m infusing a sense of suspense! Can you feel it? SUSPENSE!)

At the end of last season, Andrea was rescued from walkerizing by katana-wielding Michonne. Michonne’s pretty sweet; she whips her blade around like she actually knows how to use it! How refreshing! Andrea has been all Laverne and Shirley with Michonne throughout the winter. But, now, Andrea is ill and Michonne shows off her skillz and super sharp katana on an aspirin run. Andrea’s sure she’s had it and is about to kick the bucket; she’s so sick. And she looks sweaty and pale, so, obviously, she’s on death’s door.

After Michonne gives Andrea the medication, Andrea declares that Michonne must leave her. The sick woman would only slow Michonne down. But, that’s not going to happen, right? This is television, and Andrea’s an interesting character. So, Michonne loads up her pack-walkers (Yeah, that’s right. Michonne has pet walkers on chains! They don’t have arms or jaws, so they’ve effectively been neutered. But, she totally uses them as pack animals, making them carry supplies, bed rolls, and the like. Nice.), and the pair set out to presumably keep ahead of THE herd of walkers or another group of the nasties.

We didn’t get very long with the two women, but it was enough to check in, allow us to see Andrea’s still alive, and underscore how awesome Michonne is.

Now, back to THE PRISON!

Rick, Daryl, T-Dog, Glenn, and Maggie made quick work of the inner prison yard, clearing the way and introducing some new looking walkers to the viewing audience. These new guys really made an impression on me because they were dressed in riot gear, and some were in gas masks. The show seemed to want to emphasize them, too, judging by the close-ups and near misses. The few in gas masks were particularly scary. Eeeeee!

I’d scream, too! Image courtesy of AMC.

There were a few walkers in civilian garb, introducing the idea that some others may have made it to the prison before our group. We’ll see about that in coming episodes, I’m sure.

They closed off another part of the inner yard that had a bunch of walkers and entered the prison itself. Strangely, there were no walkers to greet them. I know this was done on purpose to instill that all important and often false sense of security for the group.

They came upon an empty cell block, dispatched two walkers still in cells and secured the area. The rest of the group came in and set about choosing cells for the night.

Daryl declared he wasn’t “sleeping in no cage,” and bedded down on an upper walk way. Personally, I would have been more than glad to sleep in a cage! Bars! Security! Daryl doesn’t need those, though. He’s Daryl. He’s got a crossbow.

The next day, Lori decides that she hasn’t gotten enough screen time, and summons Hershel to hear her complain. She’s worried (understandably) about the baby. Is it dead? She hasn’t felt it move. What if it’s already turned inside her? At the end of last season, the group learned that everyone carries the “virus” (for lack of a better term) inside them. So, will it tear her apart? If she dies during birth, Lori wants Hershel to “put her down.” (Sounds good to me.) And then, there’s Rick! He hates her, Lori just knows it! WAAAH!

Shut up, Lori.

Hershel has better bedside manner than I do, however, and calms her down.

Soon, Rick leads a group farther into the prison in search of supplies and the hope that the commissary and maybe the infirmary might be untouched. And who knows? Maybe they’ll find more ammo, too.

And who goes with Rick? Let me tell you: basically all the dudes and Maggie. So, our merry band is Rick, T-Dog, Glenn, Daryl, Maggie, and Hershel.

What’s that you say? Hershel went along into a dark, twisty, scary walker-infested section of prison that hasn’t seen the light of day in who knows how long? Hershel? The group’s DOCTOR? (Yes, he was a veterinarian,  but come on! That totally counts in a zombie apocalypse!)

I yelled at the screen as I saw the group file out of Cell Block C. And, no, they didn’t even talk about who was going, or how it was decided who was going. Rick just told Carl to stay behind because he’d be the only “man” left if they all got killed, and could he look after every one? Carl decided that was a worthy cause, and didn’t balk at his father’s insistence. FOR ONCE. And this could have been our chance to free ourselves of Carl! ARGH!

Flashlights lighting the way, the explorers crept down hallways littered with half-chewed bodies and grisly cheap scares. Yes, they were cheap; I jumped a lot. Glenn was spraypainting arrows on the wall to show them the way back, which I thought was an excellent idea. Kudos, Glenn!

Finally, they rounded the wrong corner and came face to face with lots-o-walkers in jail garb and prison wear. EVERYBODY RUN!

Maggie and Glenn somehow got separated from the rest and ducked into a storage closet of some kind. Rick, T-Dog, Daryl, and Hershel found a place to hide, too, and waited until the coast was clear before venturing back out into the hallway. Hershel, being the dutiful father that he is, started rasping out a hushed “Maggie?’ As he stepped over a body, it OF COURSE, came alive and bit his leg.

SCREAMS! I yelled, Hershel yelled and the walkers heard both of us, because here they came! Nom, nom, nom! The guys scooped up Hershel and high-tailed it down the hall where they found a locked door. After breaking the lock, they rushed inside, blocked said door, and turned their attention to the IDIOT doctor.

Rick, quick on his feet and thankfully handy with a hatchet, CHOPPED OFF HERSHEL’S LEG in an effort to keep walkerizing from spreading and the doctor from turning. EEEEEEEEEEEEW. And awesome.

Hershel passed out, and then he started bleeding out (Tourniquet be darned! His leg was just chopped off!). In the midst of trying to decide what to do, some movement drew everyone’s attention to a fenced off area that I’m going to assume is a kitchen area. The room they were in kinda looked like it could be a cafeteria of sorts. There were bodies, and they were moving. BUT, they weren’t walkers! After an exclamation from one of the guys behind the fence, the screen went dark and the episode was over.

OVER? I swear this was a FAST hour of television.

So, just to sum up: The group is at the prison, Hershel got his leg chopped off, and there are more survivors in said prison. Hijinks will ensue.  Andrea is still with Michonne, and judging from next week’s preview, it looks like they’re about to run into the Governor.

Overall, I really liked the season opener. The action was well-paced, and the needful stupidity was sufficiently dramatic (WHY DID THEY TAKE THE DOCTOR?!).

What did you think? Was this first episode enough to keep you coming back?

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