I’m still cautiously optimistic. Last week’s season 3 Walking Dead season debut episode was pretty good and I thought this one (episode 2) did a great job too Half of our survivors spend most of their time watching over a potentially dying Herschel, fearing that at any moment he might pass away and suddenly leap up as a deadly walker. The tension steadily increased in each of these scenes, up to the point where I was sure that Herschel was going to die and then bite off Lori’s tongue as she tried to resuscitate him. But it looks like he’s pulled through, albeit one leg short, which I’m sure is going to cause all sorts of problems for the group in the near future. Regardless, he’s alive, and Lori’s brave attempt to save him made me hate her just a little bit less.
Rick, T-Dog, and Daryl establish an uneasy truce with the prisoners they encountered at the end of the last episode. Rick says he’ll help them out another wing of the prison that they can use as shelter if the prisoners give Rick and his people some food, but refuses to allow them to join the group. The leader of the prisoners doesn’t like this at all, and I think Rick could tell immediately that we was going to have some trouble. Things settle down as Rick and his crew begin to train the prisoners on how to efficiently dispatch walkers. Of course, at the first sight of the walkers, the prisoners promptly ignore all of Rick’s suggestions, swinging for arms and torsos instead of trying to bash in some brains.
Later, when one of the prisoners is bitten by a zombie, their leader wastes almost no time conking the stricken man in the head and cutting his body up into pieces. This is where Rick realizes how dangerous this particular prisoner is, and later, when a confrontation begins to boil up between the two of them, Rick ends the threat by putting a machete through the prisoner’s skull, and locking one of the other prisoners outside to be devoured by zombies. He lets two of the remaining prisoners survive, but only because they earlier showed a willingness to compromise, and a speck of humanity.
Rick’s actions were pretty brutal, but I like him when he’s no nonsense and extremely dangerous (like he was last season, when he blew away the two outlaws in the general store). He cared too much in past seasons and was too willing to let himself be morally tortured by his own conscience to take decisive action. I’m not sure if the writers of the show meant to make him seem thoughtful or compassionate because of this hesitation, but to me he just seemed weak and boring. The “take action” version of Rick, even if his actions are morally questionable, is much more interesting.
Oh, and in other news, Carol continues in her quest to make herself finally useful to the group by practicing a C-section on a zombie (talk about a gross scene) just in case Lori has complications during the birth of her child. Meanwhile, some mysterious figure watches her practice from the woods just beyond the prison fence.
Keep up with the action, Walking Dead; you’re doing well so far.