Sunday, October 28, 2012

'The Walking Dead' Episode 302: 'Sick'

Previously on "The Walking Dead," Hershel had been bitten by a walker and Rick had brutally hacked off his leg with a hatchet. Hershel is bleeding out badly, and it may kill him, so time is of the essence to get the wound treated by Carol. Hershel taught Carol first aid, but she isn't a trained doctor, so her medical knowledge is limited.

While Daryl keeps the prisoners at bay with his crossbow, Glenn ransacks the kitchen and finds a metal wheeled table to use as a gurney. They lift Hershel up onto it and wheel him out of the cafeteria and over to cell block six, where the rest of the group is waiting for them.

Rick, Daryl and T-Dog prevent the prisoners from going with them into their cell block. The prisoners demand to know what is going on, and if they are going to take Hershel to a hospital. Here we learn that the prisoners were trapped in the cafeteria for 10 months waiting for someone to come and rescue them, and that they have no idea just how far the world has fallen apart.

Rick escorts the prisoners outdoors and shows them the walkers in the yard, and the dead ones that they killed. Daryl tells them that they are free to go, and Rick says that since they cleared out the prison, it's theirs. But Tomas says that they were there first, and they don't want to share.

After some debate,during which it is clear from the dangerous look on his face that Tomas wouldn't hesitate to kill someone to get what he wants, Rick agrees to help them clear out a cell block in the prison for them to live in. In exchange, they will take half of the food and other supplies that they have stored in the cafeteria's pantry.

Once Hershel is placed on a bed, Carol takes charge and gets people to help her dress his wound. But they are low on medical supplies and she isn't sure if she can help him, or Lori when it comes time for her to deliver the baby.

Maggie is convinced that her father is going to die, and tries to talk to her sister Beth about this. Beth is busy cutting off one of her father's pant legs so that it doesn't drag on the ground while he walks, since he is now missing the lower half of his leg. Maggie is prepared for the worst, and Glenn fears that she will kill her father before he is dead if she thinks that he's is going to come back as a walker.

Rick and T-Dog come back to their cell block with arm loads of food, which lightens everyone's spirits. Lori tells Rick that Hershel's pulse is low, and he is feverish. His outcome isn't looking too good.

Rick tells Lori that they're going to clear out a cell block for the prisoners to live in and that he is going to keep them away from the group. If they appear to be a threat, he is going to kill them. Lori, being the doe-eyed idiot that she is, tells him to do what he thinks is best for the group.

Daryl and Rick attempt to teach the prisoners how to kill the walkers after they give them some weapons, but they still run at them and try to kill them like it's a prison fight.

Meanwhile, Maggie sits with her unconscious dying father and tells him in a heartbreaking scene that he doesn't have to stay just for her or Beth, that he doesn't have to worry about them anymore, and that it's OK for him to go. She thanks him for everything he's done, and waits for him to die.

Carl enters Hershel's prison cell and puts a duffel bag full of medical supplies from the infirmary on the bed. Carol asks him where he got it from and he tells her that he went and found the infirmary by himself since everyone else was busy and they needed the bandages and medicine to save Hershel's life.

Lori then says, "You went by yourself? Are you crazy?" Carl tells her that it's not a big deal, he just had to kill two walkers, and someone had to go and do it. She tries to be overbearing and overprotective as always, and he tells her to shut up and leave him alone. (Go Carl!) Beth, Carl's budding love interest, tells him not to talk to his mother that way, and Carl leaves in a huff, angry about being treated like a kid when he went and did the right thing.

Carol asks Glenn to help her find a walker to practice cutting open. She tells him that Carl was born with a C-section and Lori's baby will probably have to be cut out of her during labor or they both could die. But Carol  isn't a trained doctor, so she wants to cut open a cadaver to learn female anatomy and how to make the incisions. Which, sort of makes sense, but I'm pretty sure that in order to get to the uterus of a female corpse that is not pregnant, she will have to cut through intestines, whereas when performing a Cesarean section, the womb has distended and pushed out closer to the skin surface, so the cut isn't as deep. While Carol works, she is watched by someone in the woods. I'm guessing it's one of the Governor's men, or Merle, because people just can't get enough of that redneck jerk.

When Rick and the prisoners encounter a hallway full of walkers, Big Tiny separates from the group, backing away from the walkers because he's afraid of them. He is scratched by a walker that rips its decayed hands out of the handcuffs and strikes at him with sharp bony stumps. Which, in retrospect is ridiculous because if the walker was that far gone in the decaying process with its flesh just sloughing off like it's the skin that forms on the top of Jell-O, then it wouldn't be able to walk around or even stay standing, as it would just fall apart.

Tomas takes one look at Big Tiny, who is trying desperately to convince the others that he isn't sick and that he won't turn into a walker, and then brutally kills him.

Tomas is the leader of the prisoner, and the most dangerous character in the episode. It's made clear early on that he is planning to kill Rick and take whatever it is that he is protecting away from him.

Since Rick was a Sheriff's Deputy, he's familiar with the prison, and he isn't intimated in the slightest by the group of prisoners that they run into in the cafeteria. Neither is Daryl for that matter. Daryl offers to kill Tomas early on if he so much as sneezes the wrong way, and tells Rick to just give him the word and he'll do it. In the end however, it's not Daryl that kills him, it's Rick.

When they reach a set of double doors, Rick tells Tomas to only open one of them. Tomas can't get them open, and ends up yanking them both open at the same time, which allows more walkers into the room than they wanted to deal with at one time. Tomas then swings his machete far too close to Rick's head, and shoves a walker at him, which sends Rick falling to the floor with a walker trying to chew his face off. Daryl kills the walker and helps Rick back up.

After they have cleared the area, Rick confronts Tomas, who doesn't think that he'll kill him, and challenges him on it. Rick gives him a long look and then kills him out with one solid thwack of his blade.

Rick then asks the others why he should let them live and one of them runs. Rick chases him until he reaches a courtyard full of walkers and he shuts the door on him, leaving him to be eaten alive by the walkers. Rick clearly regrets doing so, but it's not something that he can take back. He then returns to where Daryl and T-Dog are holding the other two prisoners hostage and they take them to their cell block, where there are corpses of prisoners lying in the open doorways of the cells with their hands tied behind their backs and their brains blown out. They were shot, executioner style. But by whom? And why?

When Hershel stops breathing, Maggie believes is the end of him. Lori, in an act of crazed desperation, gives him CPR and brings him back to life. Later, Rick goes to speak with Lori alone on the catwalk and thanks her for saving Hershel's life. He puts a hand on her shoulder, and it's clear that this is the first physical contact that they have had in months. Lori thought that he had come to her to talk about their broken relationship. He just tells her that they're all grateful for what she did and walks away, leaving her to rest her head on her shoulder where he touched her and cry.

In the end, Lori is still proving to be an idiot. This episode she did actually do something useful, but not before berating Carl for doing the right thing and finding the medical supplies that they needed to stop Hershel from bleeding to death.

She is alone and suffering, knowing full well that she drove both her son and her husband from her with her horrible temper and inability to think things through all the way. At least Carl has grown as a character and become a fully fledged member of the group. I hope that he stays that way for the rest of the season. What do you think?