Life is more fragile than ever during a zombie apocalypse. At any given moment a person can die from an unseen walker. This is evident in The Walking Dead when last night’s episode, “Sick,” started off right where the season premiere left off.
The prisoners, who are featured in the comics, made their first appearance since the group has been at the prison. They were disregarded by Rick as he was attending to Hershel, who had just had his leg amputated to avoid infection after being bitten by a walker.
After taking Hershel back to his cell, Rick has to come down and confront the prisoners. There are a total of five, with one named Tomas, clearly being the leader of the group. There are a few tense standoffs throughout the episode between the prisoners and Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog, which are mostly instigated by Tomas.
The humanity of the prisoners is shown when they begin to speak to the group. They say that they are awaiting a rescue team and cannot grasp what Rick and Daryl are telling them. They ask for a cell phone to call their family members while failing to understand how bad the world has gotten. They explain that it has been more than 280 days since they were locked in the prison cafeteria by a guard.
The fact that the prisoners never tried to get out of the prison is surprising, especially considering that they saw re-animated prisoners and guards. They had food in the cafeteria, so they had no issues staying alive, but staying in one room for more than 280 days without thinking of an escape plan is surprising.
Once Tomas tells Rick about the food supply, the two leaders agree to a plan. Rick and his men will help clear out a cell block for the prisoners in exchange for half of the food supply.
While this is going on, those in the cell with Hershel desperately need real medical supplies to care for his severed leg. Carl comes back with a bag full of supplies that will help keep Hershel alive. Lori proceeds to get mad at him when he said he went to the infirmary by himself to get the supplies.
Lori’s reaction is exactly why she is easily the most hated character by viewers. It is done on purpose by the writers, and it is done to perfection. She is not able to accept the fact that her son is growing up at an increased rate due to the circumstances of the world. He completed a necessary task for the benefit of the group, and all Lori can do is chastise Carl for going alone.
Carl faces the issue of being the only true child in the group, Beth is almost classified with Carl and has to learn how to function in a group of adults. He wants to be just like his father and began that transition when he killed a re-animated Shane at the end of the second season. He always has a gun on his hip, which should prove to Lori that she cannot continue to treat him like a small child.
Most viewers of the show would likely agree that it would be best if Lori was somehow killed by a walker, or perhaps “accidentally.”. It would tear Rick apart, but it would be a much more enjoyable, less stressful show to watch.
Back with Rick and the prisoners, they are on their way to clear the cell block for the prisoners. Rick informs them that they must stay in a tight formation in order to avoid the whole group being at risk. The prisoners once again fail to understand the new circumstances in the world and start fighting the walkers as if they are alive. They do not go for the head and are simply beating walkers that are unaffected by the attack.
Once Rick tells them to get back in formation, they begin to take out the walkers. “Big Tiny,” who is the largest of all the prisoners, is clearly not comfortable with the situation and tries to back away. He is caught away from the group and is scratched by a walker.
Rick is trying to be civil with the group and explain that there is nothing they can do to help. Tomas takes care of the situation by killing Big Tiny with a blow to the head. This shows how ruthless he is and how he just wants to get things done, no matter who it hurts.
Daryl and Rick understand that Tomas is a sketchy person, so Daryl lets Rick know that he will take out Tomas once he is signaled. After the death of Big Tiny, the group continues on towards the cell block. There are two doors that have to be opened, and Tomas opens both, even though Rick instructed him to open just one.
Tomas is beginning to show that he is not going to follow the original plan when he grabs a walker and throws it on Rick. Daryl saves Rick from this walker, and the killing is over. Tomas lets Rick know that “shit happens”, which Rick agrees with when he says the same to Tomas and proceeds to kill him with a machete to the head.
Andrew, another prisoner who looks just like Kevin Hart’s younger brother, thinks about hitting Rick with a bat. He then runs away down a hall, and Rick follows him to a door that leads to outside. Andrew shows how naive he is when he goes outside and encounters a swarm of walkers.
Rick shows how much he has changed, which was first evident when he killed Tomas, by locking Andrew out from the prison. He does this and is clearly upset as he is shown panting and looking distressed when the sounds of Andrew being killed by walkers is heard.
This is a very interesting sequence for Rick. Lori told him earlier in the episode that she knows he is not a killer, which should be noted when he kills Tomas and essentially lets Andrew die. He is beginning to act more like Shane was and may finally be realizing that Shane had the right way of thinking.
The episode ends in the cell with Hershel, who stops breathing at one point. Lori revives him by giving him CPR and mouth-to-mouth. This draws the question of who in their right mind would ever give mouth-to-mouth to a person who could re-animate as a zombie. It is just another example of why Lori is easily the most hated character on the show.
While everyone is rejoicing over the revival of Hershel, Carol is out in the prison yard trying to practice how to perform a C-section on a walker. It sounds odd, but Glenn assures her that it is completely normal thinking. While she is doing this, there is someone watching her from behind a wall. Readers of the comics may have an idea who it is, but I will not spoil the possibility of who it is in this post.
The Next Episode
Next week looks like it will focus on Michonne and Andrea, as they were not shown at all in last night’s episode. Fans of the comics should be eagerly awaiting next week’s episode, which will surely feature aspects of the series that will finally come to life on television.