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Welcome to Week 9 of Season Two (or, Week 2 of the second half of Season Two) of The Walking Dead. Let’s get right to the recap.
Last week ended with Rick gunning down a couple drifters who were trying to rob him. What happens next? Also, Lori crashed a car hard into a ditch. I assume we’ll be mostly dealing with the aftermath of the fallout. How badly is she wounded?
This week’s intro is brief. Lori is unconscious inside her overturned car. A zombie approaches and claws at the windshield. She doesn’t wake up. (I love when they do short cold opens like this).
THE BAR IN TOWN
This week picks up just as Rick is gunning down Dave and Tony. Dusk is falling outside the bar as the two shots are fired.
Rick asks if Glen and Herschel are all right, really to see if they’re both OK with what he’s just done. Herschel takes a while in answering but does nod his head. It had to be done. Dave and Tony were a threat. Now it’s time to get back to the farm. On their way out the guys take Dave and Tony’s guns.
But then, outside, headlights from a car. They quickly take cover.
They hear voices. A group of strangers, looking for Dave and Tony–and they sound like they’re Dave and Tony’s friends. They know Dave and Tony are probably in town somewhere. They’ve also heard the gunshots.
So in other words, Rick, Herschel and Glen are fucked.
The zombie hasn’t given up. It has now pushed its face against the crack in the windshield, creating a small jagged opening, and is now TEARING ITS FACE UP ON THE BROKEN GLASS TO GET TO HER. That is how little the zombies care about their own bodies.
On the plus side, if I ever became a zombie it would probably rid me of my body-image issues
Lori tries to escape through the passenger-side window but the zombie grabs her hair and pins her down. So Lori, resourcefully, grabs the brake handle, yanks it off the steering wheel, and uses the jagged end of it to stab the zombie through the eye. I should add, she did this over her shoulder without even seeing the zombie. Boo-yah!
She climbs out of the car and catches her breath. Whew, that was a close one. Also, it looks like she’s not too beat up from the crash.
But wait! There’s another zombie! IT grabs her by the hair.
Oh no! They’ve learned how to use the buddy system!
Lori lunges toward a hub cap and barely manages to grab it and smack the zombie in the face. But it’s only stunned. Inside the car she sees the .38. She runs and grabs it, the zombie comes for her, and at the last possible second she shoots it in the face.
All the other members of Team Rick sit down to dinner. (Notice Shane at the head of the table in this scene).
They’re all pretty anxious with Rick, Glen, and Herschel absent. Shane tries to encourage Carl to keep his spirits up about his Dad, and even starts to call Rick a tough sumbitch, but Patricia stops him from cussing inside the house.
And then they realize Lori isn’t present. Andrea kinda knew this because Lori asked her to look after Carl, but Lori never told Andrea where she was going. Uh-oh.
Rick, Glen, and Herschel remain behind cover but haven’t heard anything from this new group of strangers in a while. Rick decides they should sneak out through the back and make a run for the car. (Which doesn’t make much sense to me, because these guys have a car and would easily chase after you, but whatever).
But the moment they move, the hear shots outside. They sneak a look and spot the strangers. There are at least three of them and they’ve just shot a zombie. They don’t seem to know anyone’s inside the bar.
One of the strangers, maybe the leader, realizes they haven’t checked the bar yet. Rick and the guys duck back behind cover. The front door of the bar starts to open, and Glen has to throw himself in front of it to keep it closed. And now the jig is up.
So the leader calls out to them. They are just looking for their friends Dave and Tony? Have they come by? Rick and co. keep silent.
Until Rick yells out his response. “They drew on us!” In other words, “We just killed them both!”
Rick tries to reason with the strangers…tells them, again, that Dave and Tony gave them no choice. That this is a “wrong place, wrong time” situation and everyone should move on.
Yeah, no. The strangers open fire and the guys hurry back away from the doors.
Daryl has made a fire off by himself on the edge of the farm. Looks like he’s not interested in dinner with the group.
Carol tells him Lori has gone missing and he replies he already knew, since she asked him and he turned her down. He tells Carol what he told Lori, that he’s sick of being the errand boy. Lori is aghast that Daryl didn’t tell anybody what Lori was doing. She asks him not to turn into an asshole but he stays silent.
But Daryl’s stonewalls, so Carol goes back to the others and tells them that Lori left the farm alone to retrieve Rick and co. The moment he hears this Carl moans in agony.
And without thinking Shane gets in a car and takes off.
Rick reloads. He decides to try reason again. He tells the strangers that there’s no possible upside of this situation. The only outcome is that people will get hurt.
The strangers don’t respond. Things are quiet. I might even say “too quiet”. Glen gets suspicious. He runs to the back of the bar where there’s a door that leads to dusty storage room full of antique furniture—in other words, a whole entire room the strangers could have found, and might be hiding in RIGHT NOW.
Glen tries to move as silently as possible and luckily outside one of the strangers makes a noise. A shadow appears at the back door and Glen shoots his shotgun, scaring them off. So they’re trapped, but at least they
Shane finds Lori’s wrecked car and sees the two dead zombies Lori killed earlier, which he takes to mean Lori most likely is still alive. But he can’t yell out without attracting more zombies, so he whisper-yells.
THEN he hears some thunder off in the distance.
This situation would be much worse if it were also raining, wouldn’t it?
The “reasoning” option isn’t working so Rick goes with plan B: escaping in the car.
He tells Herschel to join Glen in the storeroom in the back. Glen’s going to make a run for the car while Herschel covers him, and then Glen will return to the bar and pick them up.
Rick wryly remarks that he wishes Herschel had participated in the gun training he and Shane held for everybody, but Herschel replies that he knows full well how to shoot. Just doesn’t like to.
This is gonna be awesome.
Herschel approaches Glen and tells him the plan. Glen isn’t too thrilled. (Send in the Asian, again!), but Herschel has faith in him. You’ll try and you’ll succeed, he says.
So they go to the back door and open it. No one is there. Glen makes a break for it.
But one of the strangers appears in the distance and opens fire. Glen goes down! Herschel sure-handedly returns fire and puts the stranger down. The stranger howls out in pain, incapacitated…but Herschel can see Glen’s legs sticking out behind a dumpster, and Glen isn’t moving.
They aren’t gonna kill Glen just like that, are they?
Rick joins Herschel at the back door. Herschel tells him what happened. So is Glen OK?
Rick creeps outside, watching over his shoulder for more strangers, and approaches the dumpster. But Glen’s fine. He’s just scared shitless.
Rick comforts him and reassesses the situation. The coast seems clear. They can make it to the car if they stay calm. Rick creeps out from cover…and gunshot.
He scurries back. One of the strangers has taken a sniper position on a rooftop across from the bar and has Rick and Glen pinned. What now?
Well, they’re in luck, sort of. Another stranger arrives in their pickup truck and yells for the sniper that it’s time to leave. Zombies are descending on the town! They’ll have to leave the other stranger, the one who Herschel shot.
There’s no time for the sniper to run downstairs, so he has to try to jump from the roof of a two-story building to the bed of a pickup. That goes about as well as you’d expect.
So this stranger is hurt, and the one in the pickup truck tears off. Looks like Rick, Glen, and Herschel are rid of the immediate threat, but now they have to escape the zombies.
Herschel watches a group of zombies descend on the guy he shot and start eatin’. One of them rips at his face. There’s a lot of face-ripping this week.
The face is the most delicious part of the human.
Herschel looks torn about having to leave the guy to the zombies, even if the guy’s an enemy, but eventually Glen gets him to come along. But where’s Rick?
Across the street, Rick has found the third stranger, the sniper who fell. In the fall the guy’s leg landed on a pointy wrought-iron fence, and his leg is impaled on it.
So they have themselves a dilemma: do they help the guy who was just shooting at them or leave him to the zombies?
But how do you help him? They can’t yank his leg off the spike because that would tear up the muscles and the guy would bleed to death. Their best option might just be to shoot him, like a wounded horse.
Glen suggests a third option: amputation. It’s tricky…time consuming, and the zombies are coming. But that’s what they decided to do. Herschel takes off his shirt to get down to work. (With a smallish serrated knife, by the way).
Off in the distance a group of zombies comes down a hill towards them. Glen opens fire but he can’t hold them off.
Then Rick spots zombies coming from another direction. He opens fire, but HE can’t hold them off.
There’s no time to cut the leg off. Herschel decides to leave the guy. Glen runs after him to the car. But Rick can’t abandon the guy. He goes with the far less desirable option and yanks the guy’s leg off the spike.
How about some C-story, eh?
Carol is sensing Daryl pulling away from the group, and she approaches his little campsight. Now it’s festooned with dead animals, plus a hanging zombie ear.
Daryl does not respond well to the intrusion and he lashes out with a stream of just about every abuse he can think of: it’s Carol’s fault Sophia is dead; Carol is always sticking her nose in other people’s business; Carol’s really just motivated by fear of being alone.
She weathers it all. (To be fair, she’s got a lot of practice).
Shane’s car pulls up to the farm. Everyone’s relieved to see Lori is inside.
She fills them in briefly on her accident, but she wants to know where Rick is. When she learns he’s not back yet, she lashes out at Shane…how could he go after her while leaving Rick in peril?
Shane defends himself and does about the wrongest thing he could in this situation…he explains he wanted to protect the baby. In front of everybody. So the jig is now up. Everyone’s shocked, but Carl’s upset they didn’t tell him.
Andrea takes Lori inside to tend to her injuries.
(By the way Beth is still in her shock/coma thing from last week)
Inside, Lori apologizes to Carl for not telling him she was leaving to retrieve Rick, but Carl puts on a brave face. Claims he wasn’t scared.
Then he asks her about the baby, but he’s more curious than anything. Do they know if it’ll be a boy or a girl? And Lori realizes they’ve never had “the talk” with Carl. (And they hold off for now). One final question: if it’s a girl, can they name her “Sophia”?
Then Shane arrives. He wants to talk to Lori in private. Andrea tries to hold him off. Lori needs her rest. So Shane begins to say what he was going to say to her in private: his justification for coming to get her and not Rick. Lori gives in and has everyone else clear the room.
Shane starts off by apologizing for telling “one little white lie”. Something important here: we didn’t see it, but when Shane found Lori, to get her to come back with him, he apparently told her Rick was back on the farm. And Lori’s had just about enough of Shane lying to her about Rick’s safety—like he did to get her to abandon Rick in the hospital in the first place.
Shane doesn’t apologize for that and justifies himself the same way he’s justified everything: he did what he did to keep her safe.
The scene’s bigger than that, though. Next, Lori confronts Shane about Otis, and when Shane can’t meet her eyes she, has her answer. He justifies THIS by saying he killed Otis because he loves her.
So Lori tells him that she told Rick about her interlude with Shane. WHAT she told Rick was that the interlude was a mistake.
Shane’s long been in denial about his thing with Lori. Even when Rick returned, he’s clearly never accepted that it’s over, even if Lori has told him repeatedly that it is. And now that Rick knows about it, Shane can no longer hold out hope that learning about the interlude will shatter Rick and send Lori into his arms—because that hasn’t happened.
Shane’s last hope is to get Lori to admit that there WAS something between them when they were together. He pleads with her to admit it, and she doesn’t deny it.
It’s the next morning. Looks like Rick and co. aren’t back yet.
Meanwhile Beth is getting dehydrated. She needs Herschel soon. Andrea tells Maggie she’s worried that she’s spending so much time worrying about Beth that she’s not taking care of herself, but Maggie won’t take a break.
Instead, she tells Andrea a story from her and Beth’s past…first summer home from college, Beth found birth control pills among Maggie’s things and freaked out, throwing them into the duck pond. And then they hid it from Herschel. Awwww. Andrea reassures Maggie that Herschel will come back safe.
TEAM RICK’S CAMPSITE
Andrea is preparing to go into town along with Shane, Daryl, and T-Dog to find Rick and the others. Dale doesn’t want her to go. Shane has lost people before.
But Andrea, apparently, is fully on Shane’s side. Shane has long insisted he protects the group more than anyone, even Rick, and Andrea believed him. Dale is shocked.
But just as Andrea and the guys are getting ready to leave, a car drives up the long driveway. It’s Rick and the others.
Relieved reunions all around…
Maggie runs past Herschel and greets Glen, leaving her Dad a tad miffed. Glen seems a little distant, which she notices.
And Carl and Lori greet Rick. Rick notices Lori’s bruises and scratches, and she tells him about her misadventure the night before. Shane pipes up to point out how he saved her, but nobody seems to listen to him.
But more pressing: T-Dog notices the fourth guy in the car with them, the stranger with the leg turned into spaghetti, who is passed out in the back seat and blindfolded. Glen tells everyone the guy’s name is Randall, and Herschel begins to prepare for surgery.
Before everyone disperses, Shane gives Rick the stink eye. Did Rick really just bring someone back to the farm with him to consume resources and god knows what else? Rick looks him right in the eye. Yup, he did.
But a decision like this at least warrants a “family meeting”, so everyone gathers around the table to talk about their new guest Randall. Carol is glad to see Daryl join them this time. (As I’m sure y’all are).
Herschel’s just fixed up Randall’s leg and estimates he’ll be off his feet for about a week. Once he’s able, the plan is to give him a canteen, take him out to the main road, and send him on his way. Which is pretty close to just killing him, but Rick ignores that part of it.
Shane’s super pissed. Rick’s filled in everyone about their firefight the night before, so Shane’s worried about Randall’s allies coming to look for him. Rick insists that won’t be a problem: not only did they blindfold Randall, but the other strangers left Randall for dead. They won’t come looking for him. (Um, probably).
It sounds like some other members of the group agree with Shane, but for the moment Rick is keeping them at bay.
But before Shane can storm out of the room, Herschel stops him. It’s time to discuss Shane’s unilateral decision to slaughter the zombies in the barn.
Herschel reasserts his authority. This is still his farm, damn it. And even though He’s changed his mind and allowed them to stay, Shane’s going to play by Herschel’s rules
And now Shane storms off. Andrea follows after.
As everyone disperses, Maggie takes Glen aside. Why was he cold earlier, when he returned?
Glen tells her about getting shot at and how he froze behind the dumpster. She absolves him of any blame, because he was being shot at at the time. But it’s more than that: Glen didn’t freeze because he was afraid, he froze because of MAGGIE. See? She loves him and he couldn’t bear to die and leave her by herself.
Which Maggie takes as a gesture of HIS love, and tries to kiss him, but Glen pulls away. All this love shit has him off his game.
Time for a whole bunch of fallout.
THE BEDROOM WHERE BETH IS MAYBE DYING
Maggie finds Hershel at Beth’s side. He says meekly that he’s going to give her a sedative, but Maggie blasts him for abandoning them to go off drinking. Herschel doesn’t have an answer.
Andrea joins Shane outside. They discuss the philosophical differences they have with the rest of the group.
First there’s the Randall decision. They seem like the only two people in the group who realize how terrible it is: if they send Randall on his way, what’s to stop him from bringing his group back to the farm with a vengeance?
But the real problem is those difference. He and Andrea are the only realists, and right now Shane is really regretting not leaving with her when he had the chance.
RICK AND LORI’S TENT
Lori helps Rick out of his shirt, then has trouble taking off her own. So he helps her. They’re only a little sore, but they laugh at their frailty. It’s a little like they’re elderly.
But the lightness disappears, because Lori brings up the Shane issue. Something has to give. First, Shane’s demonstrated time and again how dangerous he is: Otis, threatening Dale, scaring everyone, lying to get her to return to the farm, the barn, everything. And second, Shane believes her baby is his, not Rick’s.
Rick reiterates how much he loves her. He tells her about his night, and having to kill the Dave and Tony. He did it for Lori and Carl.
And that’s just the point. If Rick will kill to protect what’s his, why won’t Shane?
Kill RICK, that is. Time for a showdown. Which frankly has been long overdue.
-I make fun of Rick practically every week, but he’s actually turning into one of my favorite TV characters. I’m totally fascinated by “the guy who tries to uphold morality during the zombiepocalypse”. I didn’t expect that.
-Put yourself in the situation Rick, Herschel, and Glen’s situation at the top of the episode: you’ve just shot Dave and Tony, and now their allies show up looking for them. They are armed, you don’t know how many of them are outside the bar, and you know they’re not going to be happy you shot Dave and Tony even if you were justified. What would you do?
My first thought was, if I’m in Rick’s shoes, I wouldn’t have tried to talk sense to the strangers with the guns. I would’ve assumed we were past that, since I’d just killed Dave and Tony, which means a gunfight was almost a sure thing. So, instead of diplomacy, I would’ve used the element of surprise to ambush the strangers and take out as many of them as I could before they could return fire. I’ve already crossed the moral bridge by killing Dave and Tony. It’s not much of a stretch.
So I thought Rick was being his usual high-horse self by trying to talk his way out of the situation, but now I think he was actually being pretty smart about it. He has no idea HOW many strangers are outside. There could be 10. Even in an ambush Rick might get two or three down before they return fire. Without knowing how many guys were outside, diplomacy seems like a good first option, even if it’s really unlikely to work.
Would you have tried Rick’s tactic? Or would you be a “Shane” and shoot some unsuspecting strangers if it means a greater chance at survival? (Note: you could also take the Glen route, which is to be totally ignorant of the social impact of shooting Dave and Tony and assume these strangers will be friendly).
-I also really, really like that the show is expanding the list of threats faced by Team Rick to include living people now and not just zombies. Tons of potential there.
-It sounded like Dave and Tony and the strangers were part of a larger group of thugs wandering around the zombiepocalypse. The “band of violent thugs” is a trope from the post-apocalyptic genre (Off the top of my head, there’s the Bloodfreaks from The Road, Lord Humongous and the gang from The Road Warrior, Gary Oldman’s gang from The Book of Eli, and the militant lesbians from The Last Man graphic novel. Any others you can think of?). Are we going to see more of this group? I hope so.
I also had some lingering thoughts about last week’s episode…
-I re-watched the final act from last week, where Rick, Glen, and Herschel meet and then kill Dave and Tony. REALLY good scene. I’m guessing Dave and Tony were criminals before the apocalypse. The way Dave was automatically sizing up Rick and his crew is the kind of skill you get from years of practice. I’m not a criminal. If I make it to the apocalypse and start meeting strangers, my first thoughts will be, “Are they a threat?” and not “What do they have that I can take from them?”
So if that’s true and they were criminals, I’m guessing they had a long history with cops and didn’t like them too much. There was something about the way Dave spoke to Rick, when he addressed Rick as “Officer” despite Rick not being a cop any more, that to me said, “I know exactly what buttons to push with you because you pigs are all the same”. A shootout was the only way that scene could end.
(I also fucking loved Glen’s obliviousness in the beginning of this scene. He was freely volunteering information to Dave without realizing Rick was trying to be evasive).
I’ve quite enjoyed the last two episodes. Here’s hoping for more of the same over the next four. See you next week!
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