Hey, Walking Dead-ers! Welcome to the minicap for episode 204, “Cherokee Rose”. While last week was pretty much devoted to one big storyline—Shane and Otis trying to secure medical supplies to Dr. Greene could save Carl—this week is devoted to the various and sundry tasks you attend to after performing surgery on a boy in your hospital/guest bedroom.
The first order of business is properly laying Otis to rest. Everyone works together to build a grave out of a huge pile of rocks. (Did they also go back and retrieve Otis’s body from the high school? I would guess they didn’t but you never know). Building the grave is particularly awkward for Shane, being that he kinda-sorta murdered Otis last week by throwing him to the zombies so he could escape. And when Dr. Greene officiates a makeshift funeral ceremony, sure enough, he asks Shane to say a few words. Shane barely manages to bullshit his way through it. I don’t know how these people aren’t suspicious by now.
Next, the group gathers to plan their next moves. They haven’t given up hope that they’ll find Sophia yet, and for the time being the Greenes are offering their farm as a home base for the search. But Rick (blood loss) and Shane (fucked up ankle) are still out of commission, so only Daryl can search today. While he’s doing that, Dale and T-Dog will begin setting up camp; Shane will teach Andrea how to shoot; and finally, Glenn and Dr. Greene’s daughter Maggie will go to a pharmacy in town to gather medical supplies—including, most significantly, a secret item Lori asks Glenn to find for her, without telling anyone else.
First, Dale and T-Dog have to set up a camp on the Greene’s property for Rick’s gang of survivors, and they need water. Maggie points them in the direction of one of the Greene family’s artesian wells. But even the simple act of drawing water from a well can’t be easy on this show. Dale hears a strange noise down in the well, and what do you know, there’s a bloated, wrinkled zombie/mutant/abomination, like some horrible sea monster from the Marianas Trench that’s never encountered sunlight.
Now, the proper protocol when discovering such an unholy crime against nature would be to blow its head clean off with a shotgun, but they can’t do that because the blood and entrails might further contaminate the well water. So they have to figure out a way to bring the water zombie OUT of the well before they kill it. The plan? Send in the Asian. They tie Glenn to a water pump and carefully lower him down into the darkness. But the pump looks like it’s about 100 years old and almost immediately pops out of the ground, sending Glenn plummeting down. The others only barely manage to catch him before he falls into the zombie’s mouth. With difficulty, they haul him back up. It looks like it’s back to the drawing board, but then Glenn reveals that he managed to slip a rope around the water zombie first. Hooray!
They haul the water zombie out of the well and into the sunlight, where it howls in agony at the exposure. Then the damned thing catches on the lip of the well. Everyone pulls with all their strength…and the water zombie pops in half. Its rotting lower portion falls back into the well. So scratch that “not contaminating the water” plan. T-Dog clubs the water zombie to death with a pipe, and that’s all she wrote.
Later, Shane, Carol, Daryl, and Andrea all travel back to the road where they left a message and supplies for Sophia. No sign of her. While Daryl ventures off into the woods to resume his search, Shane takes Andrea to a field for a shooting lesson. She’s impatient for him to get started, but Shane prefers to take things slow…if Andrea is going to be carrying a weapon, she needs to be prepared to make the decision to take someone’s life. Shane tries to explain to her what that’s like…you have to shut off all your mental processes, to somehow control your adrenalin…but it’s clear he hasn’t completely figured that out himself yet.
Meanwhile, down in the woods Daryl finds what looks to be an abandoned house in a clearing. He carefully searches all the first-floor rooms. Nothing. Then he comes to the kitchen. He finds a recently opened tuna can, and inside the pantry is a blanket, suggesting someone had been hiding out there. Was it Sophia? He can’t tell. Whoever it was is gone now.
Outside, Daryl finds a strange flower. When he returns to the road to find Carol inside the RV, he gives it to her. The flower, he says, is called a “Cherokee rose”, and he tells her the folklore behind it…basically, back when Georgia was forcibly evicting Cherokee people back in the 19th century, the Cherokees prayed for some kind of sign to give them hope, and shortly later these roses started to appear. To Daryl, finding this rose gives him hope for Sophia.
While that’s going on, Glenn and Maggie get on horses and ride into town. Glenn seems to be getting a crush on Maggie, but Maggie seems focused on the mission, as usual. They get to the pharmacy without incident, and among the debris Glenn finds Lori’s mystery item: a home pregnancy test. Jus then, Maggie looks over his shoulder, and in his rush to hide the pregnancy test he pick up a box of condoms instead. She interprets this as the hint it definitely is not intended to be, and just like that, Awkward Glenn falls backwards into her pants. (Although to be honest, that’s not too different from how I usually get people to sleep with me. Which is to say, by accident).
But the main story of the week belongs to Rick, which is too bad because it’s way less eventful. We start off with Rick and Lori sitting by Carl’s bedside. Carl comes to after the surgery and is immediately concerned about Sophia. Rick lies that Sophia is OK. Later, after everyone else has gone to attend to their tasks, Rick is finally alone. He’s barely had time to take a breather after getting the news that his son will survive, but soon Dr. Greene approaches him for a discussion. As hospital as the Greenes have been to Rick’s group, this isn’t a permanent situation. The Greene farm can’t take on any more people. But Rick knows just how perfect the farm is, and how fragile his son’s life is, and he begs Dr. Greene to reconsider. Dr. Greene’s not thrilled, but he agrees to think about it.
Oh, and the pregnancy test Glenn got for Lori? She takes it that night. And it’s positive. You guys called it. Nice work. Full recap Tuesday, but while you wait, you can get caught up on last week’s recap here.