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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ZOMBIES: RECAP - The Walking Dead gets 'Sick', Ep. 2, Season 3

by Bowie Ibarra

The Hyundai Zombie Death Dealer can be yours
The WD crew face a big dilemma at the end of episode one, 'Seeds'.  Herschel gets bit by a zed, bringing Rick to action to stop the spread of infection (even though their infected already) by cutting off Herschel's leg below the knee where he was bit.  But its only moments after that when we find that they're not the only ones in the prison as episode 2, 'Sick', begins.

The WD crew hold off the five hidden prisoners, who were hiding in one of the prison's kitchens.  One of the dudes threatens to kill Herschel when he finds he was bit, but is put in check by T-Dawg and an always-ready Daryl.  Glenn finds some wraps to stop the bleeding and a rolling food table (no pun intended) to put Herschel on for transport.  As the scene ends, one of the great camera shots, which for me has been the hallmark of the series, takes us into the opening title sequence (see pic above).

The WD crew heads back to their Cell Block 3, only to find the curious new prisoners in pursuit.  Using the key to unlock CB 3, they bring Herschel back, who is immediately tended to by the WD crew.  Daryl goes back to hold off the prisoners.  T-Dogg joins, and tensions rise as the WD Crew tries to run off the prisoners.  Glenn sticks around to support his woman, Maggie, and little Carl secures the space while Rick goes off to provide a dose of reality to the prisoners, who have no idea how bad things have turned outside.

Alpha Male Tomas decides that he wants to run off the WD Crew, but Rick holds his ground.  Rick offers another option by clearing out another cell block for them in exchange for half the food available in the kitchen, but threatens to kill Tomas and his buddies if they come close to his people.

Meanwhile, the women tend to Herschel and Glenn supports Maggie, who realizes the challenge a crippled Herschel now presents to the team.  Maggie expects the worst while her little sister, Beth, hopes for the best by repairing Herschel's pant legs.

The WD Crew moves to the pantry.  Rick uses his sheriff senses to know not to trust any of the prisoner dudes, especially Tomas.  Rick opens an old freezer door and is grossed out by the smell.  What was in there was never revealed, but it stunk bad.  Reader Chuck Mutch believes the old room served as the latrine for the prisoners. 

After gathering some items, the team brings food to the others in cell block 3.

As the food arrives, Lori and Rick have a heart to heart, asking what threat the prisoners present.  Rick makes it clear he'll kill them, but Lori thinks he's bluffing.  Meanwhile, Herschel gets cuffed to the bed, and Maggie takes a moment with her dad to tell him she's ready if he wants to pass.  She doesn't want to see him suffer (or turn), and tells her unconscious father 'thank you'.

While the ladies and Glenn watch over Herschel, Carl made a run for supplies by himself.  Going alone got him an earful from his mom and the others, which upsets him.  Then Carol asks Glenn to come with her to the fenceline outside.  Anticipating Lori needing a C-Section, Carol wants to practice on a female body.  So she gets Glenn to help her find one outside near the spot where they first came in.  She drags in the dead zed and proceeds to practice.  But someone is watching her.

But back in cell block 3, Herschel stops breathing.  Thankfully, Lori provides some mouth to mouth and revives him.

The WD Crew of Rick, Daryl, and T-Dogg mobilize with the prisoners to secure a cell block.  The prisoners take to the mission like a prison riot, jumping the zombies and kicking them, wasting energy and skill.  In the frakas, Big Tiny gets cut by a wounded zombie.  Fearing infection, Tomas takes the initiative and strikes him down and then bashes his head into a bloody pulp to prove a point to Rick.

As they advance into the final cell block, Tomas ignores Rick's order to open just one double door and sets forth some chaos as the place is flooded.  The takes a swipe at Rick with his weapon before throwing a zed at him.  After securing the zed and the other threats, Rick and Tomas face off.  Pushed too far, out of nowhere, Rick gives Tomas the Lenny 'Machete Zombie' Lies treatment with a machete to the head.  When one of the prisoners tries to defend Tomas, he gets punked out and runs off, only to be trapped by Rick in a prison yard filled with zeds.  The two remaining prisoners are held at weaponpoint by T-Dawg and Daryl.

When Rick hits the scene, he demands answers on whether or not to spare Axel or Oscar.  Axel begs for his life while Oscar lets Rick decide for himself.  Sparing them, they move them into their cell, only to find all the prisoners murdered.  Axel knew a few of them and sympathizes.  Rick leaves the two there to fend for themselves.  Daryl empathizes with Axel, and T-Dawg tells them to burn the bodies in the cell block before they settle in.

When Rick returns, Herschel comes out of his coma. Rick uncuffs him before taking a moment to spend some time with Lori.

Out on a walkway, the two talk.  I'm not sure if it was intended or not, but the two are subliminally split by the bar in the shot, as if the bar represents two different sides of the WD Crew worlds, or even two different sides of Rick.  We've seen a colder, more brutal Rick this episode.  The same Rick Lori claimed wasn't a killer.  The shot here is curious because it shows Rick split by a pole.  They could have got the shot without that, but I think it meant something, especially when Rick seems to reach out from the divide to touch Lori and tell her thanks for saving Herschel before crossing back over again.

Again, great camera shots, great special effects from the Savini disciple Greg Nicotero, and just a move forward in the series.


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Bowie Ibarra is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuester.  His latest zombie story, The Fall of Austin, tells the story of military, police, convicts, and citizens of the Texas capitol as they deal with the zpoc.

You can network with Bowie and read about his Tex-Mexploitation stories at his personal website,


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