22 October, 2012
Review - The Walking Dead 3.02: "Sick"
The undead good times continue this week with another solid episode! After last week's cliffhanger the group scrambled to save a now one-legged Hershel and deal with the new arrivals at the same time. Both stories worked surprisingly well and provided vastly different emotional moments which made for a good episode overall. The prisoners provided some humor (albeit pretty dark) and the Hershel story gave us some meaningful character moments. Rick also continued his strong run as leader of the pack; not backing down in the face of the prisoners and continuing to treat Lori's crap with the appropriate level of disregard.
The new prisoners were a reminder of how much the world has changed, with Rick and Co. informing them about the new realities of the outside world, but also a fun refresher course in Zombie Killing for Dummies! The mele scene with both the prisoners and our heroes trying to take out a pack of Walkers was by far one of the highlights of this episode, both for the action and the dramatic consequences. The idea of not being able to trust any outsiders also seems like a good setup for things to come, and it gave Rick a chance to show he means business by leaving the extra inmate for dead. S.3 Rick is definitely taking his leadership duties more seriously and it fits with the stronger direction the show has taken.
On the opposite side the Hershel story provided some of the key character moments that help keep things grounded. Lauren Cohan got to do some great work this episode and the battle of emotions was evident in almost every scene Maggie appeared in. The amazing moment alone she had with Hershel and the combinations of vulnerability, strength, and family loyalty were all great highlights, and they've solidified my appreciation of Maggie as a character. Beth continued to get scenes which seem to be developing her as more than just background filler, which is also a nice change from most of last season. The scene with the whole crew watching Hershel wake up was also a great "we're all in this together" moment.
The other great piece of this episode had to be Lori. I don't often praise her as a character but the combination of magic truth serum and useful skills made her seem like less of a burden this week. I usually dread Lori scenes but the bluntness this week in admitting her shortcomings as a mother and wife made her seem like less of a whiny bitch, and Rick's disregard for her trivial emotional discussions was another strong point.
Overall I'd give this episode an 85 out of 100. The episode had its high points and it made a respectable effort to keep pace with last week's strong opening.
Odds and ends:
- I forgot to mention last week that T-Dog seems to have had more to do (and more lines!) in the last two episodes than he's had in two seasons so far- #TeamTDog?
- Carol's new skill sets might be approaching absurdity if they weren't so useful to the plot. She's becoming the show's Swiss Army Knife.
- Carl back-talking Lori and Beth reprimanding Carl- I don't know which was better!
- The show has clearly been waiting to use that "shit happens" line since day one.
- Apparently divorce law won't be a helpful skill during the zombie apocalypse.