The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead, S3E02: Sick [TV review by Blick Tolkien]

The Walking DeadOriginally broadcast October 21 2012 (USA)
Written by Nichole Beattie
Directed by Billy Gierhart
My rating: ***
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Not a leg to stand on…

* * *

Show Premise:

Sheriff Rick Grimes, after waking from a coma and finding his family along with a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world, attempts to lead them all to safety. After losing Sophia and finding a farm where they could take shelter, he was forced to kill his best friend for the good of the group and was shortly after, chased from the farm by giant hoard of zombie. After losing Andrea, Rick and the remaining crew, try to carve out a new life at a prison they’ve found in their travels and its criminal inhabitants.

Warning

The following review is rated EPMF (Extremely Pleased Mutha Fucka), it contains several rants that appear at random. The views here do not reflect the thoughts of a completely sane person. They are being presented by a person of African-American descent who has grown up in a rather unseemly portion of town, taken recreational narcotics and has been molested by a clown. Feel free to skip certain paragraphs, if you simply want a recap and continued review of the episode. Hipster, child, feline and vegan discretion is advised.

Review:

Well folks, I’m back with another review of AMC’s crowning jewel, TWD. This time around we pick up where the last episode ended finding the prison is not as abandoned as they originally thought and Hershel sans a leg. After Rick rushes him back for some amateur medical attention, the inmates follow with one douche in particular laying claim to the prison and making idol threats at Rick. It seems like these jackasses have been blissfully ignorant of how real shit got on the outside because for the last ten months they’ve been locked in the cafeteria. Since they’ve been living in the lap of correctional facility luxury, they shrug the news off that the world has come to an end and go back to the subject of reclaiming the prison for themselves. As Rick plays let’s make a deal penitentiary edition they come to an agreement where for half of the food, they will help them clean out a cell block dispatching of the walkers so they can claim it for their own. They tenuously agree to this and while they all prepare to go back into the breach, the womenfolk are left to attend to Hershel’s health while Glen is left to do the dirty deed if Hershel should wake up as a walker. I want to mention in this scene that even though Lori has been sort of an absentee mother given her ability to be totally oblivious in regards to where Carl is at any given time, the care and attention to detail she shows for Hershel is downright touching.

Another shining example of excellent character development is that toward the end of season two you start to see Carol get a backbone instead of remaining the simpering victim her husband made her in season one. The seeds, I assume, were being sown both during the search for Sophia as well as after the big ordeal of finding her dead. The way she kind of calls Darryl out seemed to be setting the stage for her ovaries to drop and for her to nut up or shut up this season. Her take charge attitude in treating Hershel’s wounds gives me further hope that the Carol we see on screen will not be the bipolar, overly emotional sack of crazy we were treated to in the graphic novels.

Even after Rick warning the prisoners that taking these zombies out will not be like your typical prison shanking, they still chose to attack like prisoners. Though they almost got themselves killed in the process of delivering this Shawshank-worthy beat down, I did LOL at their futile attempts. Eventually they did get the idea, and started working as a more efficient unit. Even considering this, there is always one dumbass that doesn’t follow directions. Big Tiny gets his back clawed open by a walker, and while the group debates what should be done, the same hot headed leader of the prisoners takes decisive action by bashing the muthafucka’s brains out. While this could have been taken as the prisoners taking care of one of their own, the intense look from what is obviously a remorseless killer only solidifies in Rick’s mind that just like Shane, he’s going to end up having to take this guy out for the good of the group.

Back in the other cellblock, Maggie has a moment alone with Hershel who is still unconscious where she lets him know he can walk toward the light and they’ll be alright without him. Meanwhile, Carol pulls Glenn off death watch after they discuss how Hershel hasn’t taught her everything she needs to know about birthing this baby and enlists his help in finding a suitable medical test subject. Carl comes back with a bag chock full of medical supplies. Rather than this being an instance of deus ex machina, it occurred through typical Carl like behavior where he said he was going to get food and instead went in search of the infirmary, killing two walkers in the process. Lori, still not winning any awards for mother of the year, was so caught up with Hershel that she even didn’t notice he was gone and starts reaming him for going off alone. You can tell that Carl’s testes must have dropped an inch or two in the eight months they were wandering the wilderness because not only does he talk back to her, but he yells for her to get off his back. Before she can utter a word in appreciate for the supplies he risked his life for, he runs off in true angsty white kid style.

Back in the cellblock Rick and company are still dezombifying, they seem to be reaching the end of their endeavors. With one last push they should be able to take the last of the walkers out and everything will be free and clear. Darryl seems to share Rick’s concern about the blood thirsty Latin leader, so it is no surprise that after they open this final door, voiding Rick’s instructions yet again, their leader lets in a throng of zombies and accidentally on purpose almost costs Rick his life twice, the first time swinging a crowbar which almost misses his face and the second kicking a zombie maw open directly on top of him. After they dispatch the zombies, the guy gives a non-committal shrug to Rick and his elegant reply is a machete to the traitor’s skull. Andrew, the smallest of the prisoners, takes a swing at Rick for killing his boyfriend (in the comics, yes that is his boyfriend) and runs off with Rick in hot pursuit. He ends up out in the yard full of zombies and before he can backtrack to safety, Rick locks him out instructing him to run. We are left with only his terrified screams becoming more and more faint as Rick leaves the scene to go back to his crew. What started as five inmates is now down to two and after heavily weighing the decision to off the last two prisoners or stick to his word, Rick leaves them to their new cell block as his crew heads back to theirs.

Hershel’s heart stops and he gets CPR. For a moment it looks like Lori is going end up with a missing lower jaw as he violently flails back to life. A little while after this, Rick returns and Hershel wakes in earnest. This is the life of an apocalypse survivor. It’s full of  tragedies and triumphs and a continuous stream of mayhem and miracles. Hershel is alive. They now have enough foods to last them several months without having to resort to dog food. But, on the other hand, they lost three potential allies, Hershel doesn’t have a leg and Rick was forced yet again to take a man’s life. It seems when you weigh these things out you never seem to break even. The show is honestly about overcoming, the strength of the human spirit, and how even at the worst of times with doom looming around every corner, something as seemingly trivial as a husband and wife being able to talk to one another is more valuable than a shotgun a fist full of bullets.

This review is posting after these twenty children were killed. I am going to ask something that may seem slightly unexpected. I would ask that people stop sharing this information. To stop publicizing it, stop praising the teachers as heroes, stop making martyrs of these children and invading their parents’ lives. Stop pushing buttons by using these children’s faces for your own personal, religious or political agenda. Unlike this show, these deaths are permanent. There is no effects team, writers, or producers responsible for this particular season in their parents’ lives. Grief is avery personal and private thing and next week when someone gets kidnapped, or some promising athlete gets killed, or some natural disaster claims the lives of others, the parents will see the support they had grown dependent upon picked up and moved to a location the public deems more “relevant”. If anything, let this be a reminder that there are people in your life that you love and care about and reach out to them. Give a hug, mail a letter, and write on someone’s wall if you need to do so. Just don’t use them as a vehicle for your own personal agendas.

That being said, I will be back with more Walking Dead and next episode we officially get to see the governor as well as talk a bit more about the awesomeness that is Mishonne. Until then, may all your films bring you fright.

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About Blick Tolkien

About Blick Tolkien: The bastard half brother of Zeb Carter, he grew up in Chicago's urban jungle, forced to be the victim of racial injustice and daily bullying until the day he saw Night of the Living Dead. the immersion into violence on film gave him the tools to externalize his hate and make the world a horror show for all his enemies. A card carrying member of the Black Panther party, he hates whitey and all forms of coonery including any and all Tyler Perry films. You have been warned. About Zeb Carter: The younger brother of Blick Tolkien, he used horror films as a way to open him self up to the social and story telling aspects of cinematic fear as well as his love of the silver screen. After seeing Gremlins at the drive in he was hooked. He also writes short fiction, has 2 daughters and a pack of animals that he is currently serves as the alpha male over. You can read his fiction at forums.drabblecast.org.

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