‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3, Episode 2: ‘Sick’ Recap

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The prisoners of The Walking Dead Season 3 Sick The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 2: Sick Recap

Trust. It’s not a word Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is terribly fond of these days. The Walking Dead has seen Rick shot and left for dead in a hospital while the world was going down the crapper, only to survive and find out his best friend had taken to sharing a tent with his wife. That alone is enough to get anybody down on the whole “other people” thing, and we haven’t even touched on the fact that he had to put said best friend down - twice. Lest we forget, Rick also felt justified in killing a couple of agro strangers who happened to walk into the wrong abandoned  bar. Add all that up with the fact that he’s spent an entire winter keeping a group of bickering ingrates alive, and it’s clear that these days, Rick Grimes is not much of a people person.

After the rather stellar cold open that brought season 3 (and the series) to life, we’re back to the more standard “pick up right where the previous episode left off” format, but with ‘Sick,’ it makes sense. In the commotion of Hershel (Scott Wilson) being passed out and leaving potentially infected body parts on the ground, Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the increasingly chatty T-Dog (IronE Singleton) have a run-in with some rather perplexed and territorial inmates, while Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) deal with Hershel.

Seems the inmates have spent the last several months holed up in the prison waiting for news from the outside, or the National Guard coming to save them all. The last thing they were expecting was to see a blood-soaked Southerner hacking off the leg of some poor old man. At any rate, that’s what passes for introductions in the world of The Walking Dead.

IronE Singleton in The Walking Dead Sick The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 2: Sick Recap

Naturally, with safe space and food a premium in this world, Tomas (Nick Gomez), the defacto leader of the surviving inmates, isn’t too happy to see this group of well-armed interlopers come into his territory. Rick is quick to explain the situation, but makes it clear that no help is coming, and unless Tomas and his buddies all want to die, they’d best be getting on board with what he’s got planned.

The bar scene from season 2, in which Rick plugged Michael Raymond-James and some other fellow with little hesitation, seemed to be one of the turning points for Rick’s character. He was no longer hesitant, no longer willing to see how things would play out if he just took the role of the nice guy who wants everyone to value life as much as he does. As it turns out, life in The Walking Dead is cheap, and death’s a burden for everyone who can still voluntarily vary their walking speed. In that moment Rick became the decisive leader the group needs, so when he makes the threat that Tomas and his group – even the cuddly Big Tiny (Theodus Crane) – will wind up on the business end of his machete if things don’t go smoothly, the audience believes him.

That’s good, because if season 3 is going to maintain this pace, then it’ll have to keep Rick and the others making snap decisions and dealing with the consequences later – rather than have long-drawn out arguments about morality in a world where such a thing is a luxury. Perhaps this is the consequence of the group losing Dale, who was the moral center, if not the most loquacious of the survivors. And while the problem of the characters’ morality is likely something that will be addressed as the season moves on, at least the writers have recognized there are some strong moments that don’t need to be filled up with dialogue. And showing that kind of restraint has added a lot of the dramatic tension this series needs.

Norman Reedus in The Walking Dead Sick The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 2: Sick Recap

There are still some bumps to be worked out, though. Carl (Chandler Riggs) still gets into a argument with his mother, and then runs off, while Rick and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) are still prone to overly complicated discussions of where they stand as a couple. That hasn’t bogged down any of the episodes too much, but like Rick’s machete meeting Tomas’ head, such a thing just feels inevitable. Still, watching Hershel pull through and simply grasp Rick’s hand in thanks, rather than go into some long-winded exchange about how he thought he was going to die, is exactly the kind of reserved drama that makes a scene like that more memorable.

There’s no cut away to Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) in ‘Sick,’ and it’s not yet clear if every episode would benefit from such a division of action. There’re shows with larger casts that seem to dilute the intensity of their individual episodes by cramming in too much character work and divergent plot lines to make for a cohesive story. ‘Sick’ stays with the core group the whole time, and since Thomas largely spends the episode goading Rick to kill him, the tension built up between the two feels more effective than it would have had the audience been asked before hand to listen while Andrea told Michonne to just let her die in the woods.

To that end, Rick’s offer to help Tomas and his crew clear out a cellblock of their own, in exchange for half the food that’s left in the prison’s stores seems like a fair one. And watching as the inmates charge a walker and take to him like a snitch in the yard has the right kind of morbidly funny tone the show sometimes forgets is at the writers’ disposal. But ‘Sick’ is really about the kind of quick-thinking, decisive leader Rick has to be if the survivors are going to be running into more of the living. Since the living dead have become a dangerous, but predictable obstacle, those who are still drawing breath pose the kind of threat that Rick simply can’t afford to wait on. If that means preemptively burying his machete in Tomas’ skull, and chasing his cohort into a pen full of walkers, then so be it. There’s no sense in demanding the respect of his people if he’s not willing to do whatever he can to keep them alive.

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The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Walk With Me’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. That episode was crazy..lol..I knew dude was gonna get the hatchet when he blacked out and cut down Tiny. Wow..On the other hand, Carl is STILL as annoying as ever

    • Yeah. That was too bad about Carl. They show him having initiative and being able to handle a task, then they have him running away like a baby. It’s like they’ve never read the source material. Why oh why?

      • It is because he is a ‘baby’. He does something good and his mother berates him and in front of others (to include a girl he has the hots for), what you wanted him to cap her in the face?

        He is a kid still.

        As for the source material comment, the show is based on the comics. It will not take characters/storylines word for word. You should know this by now.

        General watchers (people that have not read the books) can relate to Carl running off better than any other reaction.

        • Carl’s balls are going to drop soon, so he’s probably going to go crazy sooner then later. He’s already eye-balling Hershel’s other daughter.

          • yeah, but hopefully she becomes fillet mignon sooner rather than later

        • Yeah, no. He didn’t need to cap his mother. He could have taken it and acted mature. Like the books character, who carries a strange stillness to him. It’s not isolated to that book, it’s been done before on other series. THe show is different from other series, literally never been done before, so they could have done something different with the kid on the show.

          The kid is not a baby. He’s seen the death of society. He’s killed at least five undead we know of. He’s seen enough to be a little more composed. They made this show because they loved the source material. Seems like they’d try to hew close to the thing they liked about it. And Carl is a MAJOR part of the source material.

          I know they won’t follow the story word for word, but thanks for reminding me.

          • You have to keep in mind that at this point in the comics he was just starting to adopt the persona we’ve come to know him as having. Even in the comics, he still had that innocent persona going on about him (with the exception of the situation with the twins, though you could still argue it was done with a child-like innocence). Berating TV Carl for not having a more accelerated character growth at this point in the show than his respective character didn’t really have until arguably after the entire prison sequence (and suffering certain serious losses) is odd.

          • I agree with you but they wont (stay that close to the source).

            As to it being different… meh if you break it down its just a group of dysfunctional people. The only thing you dont have (yet?) is someone sleeping with different people.

            Sorry the kid is a ‘baby’ still as he hasnt grown (yet). We keep seeing small parts but until he exerts his personality (that we know from the books) he will still be a baby.

            Also dont forget for the last 6+ months he has been holed up (supressed) with his momma and has not been able to go off on his own.

            As Chance states below the time frame is off kilter from the books also.

            Im not saying he WONT become the Carl we know. Im just saying he has had no reason (like the books) to. In the books he made some hard core decisions that made him who he is. He has yet to have those in the series.

            sorry for that last remark it was not meant to be snarky. ;) However it still holds true. Carl may not turn out to be like the books Carl at all. I could see it coming had he been the one to shoot the little girl zombie. (which I was hoping for) However they dropped that ball.

            So I dont think Carl will become the Carl we know.

            • Atleast he still shot Shane like he did in the comics. Too bad it was just him putting down another walker though and not putting the shot on a still living Shane.

  2. Was an ok episode. God I hate Carl. That kid needs to be throat punched.

    • At least he isn’t afraid of zombies anymore.

  3. I loved this episode. I just love how Rick as changed so much since season one. I belive that Rick (as a character) died right when he killed Shane. Because now, he pretty much is Shane just less possessive. And if the group loses Hershel (which they probably will here soon) then they will lose another source of morality. I just hope Lori dies soon but I’m glad to see that she is finally admitting that she is a horrible mother.

    • @Deadpool87

      Couldn’t agree more.

  4. The show is finally coming alive. This season is a huge leap forward compared to last season. We are finally seeing a side of Rick & Co that I have been waiting for. It looks like Carol is starting to take the role of Alice from the comics which is great. Carl, even though the kid has his moments, is starting to think about what’s good for the group too which is great. T-Dog still doesn’t have a lot of lines but this season he even is looking good. The only person still dragging is Lori but I think her time is limited so she won’t really matter. This season soo far is on pace to be the best season yet. Love it

  5. Checking the boards everywhere. I CANNOT BELIEVE that no one cares about all the disappearing zombies outside the cafeteria! Last week they are forced in there by a MOB of zombies. A MOB. This week, they open the door to one zombie, and later kill another who seemed surprised they were there? Later, after leaving the inner gate open for a while, they just stroll back to the cafeteria with their weapons hanging at their sides as if there was never a threat to begin with? That’s just bull.

    • I noticed that too. My girlfriend and I were like “wtf?”

    • Yeah, as soon as they went into the hall with no zombies, I just rolled my eyes at such a noticeable inconsistencies. but hey, whatever is easier for the plot to move along…

  6. @Derek Yeah, I caught that too..I was like, where are all the zombies, but hey, I think they definitely filled there zombie kill quota for the show..lol

  7. Acctually the prison mates were locked up for 10 months

  8. I noticed that too. The prisoners just strolled down the hall. Not even encountering one zombie. And then they had a showdown at entrance to cellblock and nobody was concerned about the open door. I was just waiting for the walkers to grab the old long haired dude.

  9. That was intense when hershel was chained to bed and stopped breathing. I was on edge the whole time. Its still prob touch and go with that situation. This series has me making sure I am home at 9….

  10. I loved last night’s episode. Especially the way Rick can’t even look at Lori once. I end up reading all these recaps but I found one which actually made me laugh a lot. I pretty sure it’s a joke but clearly this guy doesn’t know what’s going on in this show

    http://electronichearth.com/the-walking-dead-skin-guys-maybe-like-the-humans-are-the-real-walking-dead/

  11. Rick still has some morality left though, because he left the other two prisoners alive. That is what he struggels with as a character. He just does what he thinks “is” right and whats best for the group.

    • The other two he let live did not appear to pose a threat. The runner was a threat as he appeared to side with machete holder. Had to run him down as he could be a revenge threat later down the road.

      To a degree it is like the comics. A few prisoners like the second chance they are getting.

      • And Shane would have killed all of the prisoners, most likely while Herschel is bleeding out in the cafeteria.

        This way, many more Walkers have been removed and at a sacrifice of others instead of the group.

  12. I really love the way Carl has grown into a self-possesed individual. He doesn’t need mom or dad to hold his hand. He can take the initiative. Yes, we all know that Carl should not have gone off by himself in the prison, but it was not surprising. He has been doing this since the show came on. In horror movies, the cast keeps running from the monster, but in the reality of this show how long can you run from the dead? They are unchanging. The dead’s goal is to devour you and Carl is growing up in this world. His point of view is that if you have seen one then you have seen them all. Give respect to the fact that they are dangerous, but you can’t live in a bubble thinking that someone is always going to have your back. I think that every character needs to experience getting out of a bind by themselves. What has really made me enjoy season 3 is seeing Rick stop pleading for Lori’s love and becoming a colder, more decisive person which in turn has lead to him being a better leader. I don’t want Rick to kill without some small measure of internal remorse, but I do think that it needs to be internal. The group needs to see this new Rick. The one who thinks that it is my group against other humans or the dead. All will be dealt with the same. As for Lori being a horrible mother, I think that is open for debate. She can’t physically force Carl to stay in her sights at all time. She is pregnant, exhausted, scared, and her thoughts are scattered. She is not physically or verbally abusive to Carl and I think that she loves her son and wants the best for him. She may not be liked as a person but that should not reflect her skills as a mother. It is hard enough being a mother and with child at the best of times.

  13. Another great episode. I’m glad that they did not kill off Hershell yet even though I think that will happen this season. I am very surprised that they waited until the third episode to introduce the Governor but think that was a good tactic.

    The thing that I really like about this season is that Rick is going down a Walter White type of path: doing whats in the best interest of his family and friends, regardless of the cause. It looks like this season will torment and wither down down Rick’s soul even more….

    • Hershel wont die this season. he is taking the role as dale in the comics.

  14. Great thoughts on The Walking Dead’s “Sick.” Here are some theories from MLive’s blog on the series: http://www.mlive.com/tv/index.ssf/2012/10/the_walking_dead_blog_ricks_de.html

    • the guy has no idea of whats happening. he doesn’t ever know the characters names.

  15. rick is so bad ass man and some ppl are complaining that ep goes by to fast ishhh its frikin awesomeee

  16. Push a zombie on Rick…get a machete to the head.

  17. I really don’t like this Season…always leaves me hanging after 50mins and I have to wait another week for my next dose ! :)

  18. Carl is even more annoying than he was earlier….
    UGH!
    Somebody needs to put him in his place.

  19. The hate for Carl is ridiculous. He’s a kid growing up in the zompocalypse. Apparently it’s worse these days to be a child character on a TV show. People want you “throat punch.”

    Meanwhile, Honey Boo-Boo continues to be a ratings maganet…

    • @Kofi outlaw

      Retarded Fat Princess? I know it’s ridiculous…

  20. I’m not sure why so many people are disappointed with the Carl character. Considering he’s a 10 or 11 year old boy who has seen more death than most hardened criminals ever see and lost a his entire way of life, he seem to be behaving in a believable way. He’s certainly become darker and more independent, which is how he’s depicted in the comics. And there are aspects to his development that I can’t wait to see if they will show.

    I am a little disappointed in the sudden elimination of most of the prisoners, as that limits some of the later plot developments they could be part of. But there are still two left…

  21. Why did Rick not give the remaining 2 prisoners a chance? Their group has been reduced from the original survivors, yet they refuse to trust anyone to add to their numbers. Or maybe they feel a smaller group is easier to maintain now. I just felt sorry for the two guys left.

    • I agree. Give the two remaining prisoners a chance to join your group. Trust? Never. But Rick’s group would have a general idea of what they would be getting in these men. Criminals!

      I would rather have people and know up front that they can’t be trusted than to be proved wrong later because you had the right look, and we all just happened to meet up running from zombies. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that how all strangers eventually get together in this new world and form a bond?

      Rick’s group did go into the prison and proceeded to lay down rules like they were correctional officers. And, might I add, began to thin out the prisoner’s numbers. LOL!

      • He is giving them a chance. If they appear not to be a threat they may join later.

        Why would you want to take the chance and infuse them into your group with women and children? Not to mention a sick elderly man.

        Rick has seen good men go bad and now adays you cant take anything at face value. Better to be safe than sorry.

        You have to earn TRUST.

        • True. You are implying that trust is earned over time. I can roll with that. What about Shane? He knew him for years. They had each others back on the police force and yet look what happened. What can still happen with each member of his camp. People can wear two faces well. I would rather have my enemies in my face than at my back.

          Here is another example. What will happen when Darryl meets up with his brother again? What guarantee does Rick have that he want be betrayed again? If Merle is persuaded to join the group again, is he really any bigger threat than these two prisoners. No. And there will still be women, a child(ren), and an elderly/sick man in the picture.

          • Your Shane example than gives him even more reason to trust no one and strangers even less.

            You could say him taking over the group (Ricktatorship) is his way of not trusting anyone in his group with his safety (or his families).

            They have earned a level of trust as they met him during the event that changed Shane. Prior to this and if the event never happened Shane would have never acted (IMO) the way he did.

            As for Merle joining the group, I dont see Rick allowing that. He would rather see Daryl go than have Merle join. Merle was a loose cannon with the group. Seeing that the blame for his missing appendage is going to be placed on T-Dog and Rick it just wouldnt be wise to allow him in the group.

            Now if Daryl betrays him for Merele thats another thing. Darryl has Ricks trust. It appears the same is true for Rick. So neither would see a threat coming. They would be upfront with each other and just split.

            • Don’t trust anyone. Extactly. Shane, Lori, and Carl met Carol and her family on the run. They joined together with the belief that there is safety in numbers. Later, they met other survivors and joined with them. What guarantee did any of the group memebers have that they would be safe from one another? None.

              Shane has always harbored these feelings of being better than Rick. Think back to the conversation they had while in the woods. Think back to the conversation he had with Lori on the water tower. If the world had not turned upside down, and had Rick and Lori’s marriage kept deteriorating, I do think that Shane would have made a play for her. The entire zombie apocalypse did not make Shane the way he was. If anything, I think this new time amplifies the qualities that we have inside us.

              My thing is this, everyone was a stranger at some point in time, and they were allowed in. Everyone still has the potential to be a betrayer. I respect the things that you have had to say and now I will get off of this issue with you. I don’t want you think that I am goading you into commenting.

  22. I loved this ep and the path the season is taking for that matter.
    I’m glad they didn’t kill off Hershel but I agree that he will go at some point this season. He’s become a favorite of mine even though I wanted him to die on the farm. That changes when they got back to te highway.

    Rick is amazing. If there is a zombie outbreak I’m looking for that guy. He does have some similarities to Shane but Rick has and will always have more moral and conscience. Shane was a wild card. Rick does what’s eat for his group and that’s important.

    Daryl continues to be awesome. When he said”just give me the signal” I got all excited and happy.

    Bug I wasn’t suprised the prisoners died the ones that did at least. It was intreating seeing them try to explain what was happening though. Very cool.

    And the thing watching carol. I thought for a second she was a goner. But that had me nervous. Very cool episode and can’t wait for the rest of the season!

  23. I really like how Rick’s character transformation falls in line with the overall theme of the show. Basically, if you look at the show as being one long eulogy for the human race, and one of the things that has died already is Rick’s sense of right and wrong. The rules obviously have changed since the zombies took over. Rick letting the convict get eaten by zombies seemed excessively cruel – at the very least he could have shot the guy in the head or something.

    Also, what it Lori’s problem? She wants to have a “where do we stand” conversation with Rick, after she slept with Shane and then tried to play both sides when they were at each other’s throats. I hope the show stays true to the comic book when it comes to dealing with her character.

    Also, I hope we see more of Andrea. Even she’s better looking than the plump Maggie.

    • That convict was was down with Tomas, who tried to take Rick’s head off when swinging his blade and then threw a walker on him. You can’t keep a guy around who is looking for any chance to kill you. He spared the others, even when the guy refused to answer him and instead said he wouldn’t plead for his life. He has to keep everybody safe, that means getting rid of anybody who is plotting against you. Or would you rather him let people live and give them more chances to kill him or someone in the group? I don’t think they would last long like that.

      • I didn’t say Rick shouldn’t have killed him, I think he should have. I simply said that allowing him to get eaten by zombies was an especially cruel way to do it. Also, I don’t think that Rick shoud be winning any humanitarian awards for making people beg for their lives when he’s holding a gun to their heads.

        But you are right, With Shane gone, making the tough life-or-death decisions has fallen on to Rick’s shoulders. Last season at the farm, it would have been easy to condemn Shane for letting Otis die, but it was the only thing Shane could have done to save Carl’s life.

        It will be interesting to see how the Governor will play in to the show. From the previews, he seems like a character that will be different than the comic, that he is similar to Rick in that he’ll do anything to protect his town.

  24. I feel that this season is zooming along. we had one whole season on the farm… and now they already have the prison kind of under control… and by the looks of the preview we are gonna have the introduction of the Governor by next week. if they are having hersh take over the dale role then he will be around for a while. maybe the peeper in the woods was andrea and michone. maybe they will have their story from the farm for two epi’s and then introduce the gov… anyway… still enjoying it even if its moving fast…

  25. The prisoners learning how to “clear” zombies was funny. After everything they had told them, they do exactly the opposite.

    You would think that they would have come across some of the Zs during that 10 months but I guess they were cut off. And 10 months of human waste must have burned off Rick’s nose hairs.

    The single Z in the hall was a surprise to me too… and they didn’t encounter any more while hauling Hershel back to their cell block.. that’s a bit strange.

    I’m surprised Carl didn’t shoot Hershel after he grabbed Lori… and I’m fine with his current progression. In the comics, by this time he was a very disturbed child, so this is trying to keep him as “normal” as possible.

  26. I don’t get why people find Carl so annoying. He is a young boy in the middle of a zombie infested world with almost nobody his age to identify with. His only means of fitting in is to do what the adults do, that’s why he ran off to the infirmary to get supplies. Yes he ran off when Lori scolded him, wouldn’t most 11-13 year olds do the same? Why not acknowledge the fact that he got much needed bandages for Hershel, who saved his life by the way, and also killed 3 walkers in the process.

  27. I actually find Carl in the comics very annoying.

  28. It really bothered me how in the end of the previous season how Lori acted like such a b—- with Rick after he told her he killed Shane. I think he was pretty clear that Shane was trying to kill him first. He did the right thing, and Lori should have known that he was already struggle with the fact that he had to kill his best friend, and instead of supporting him and being there for him, she acts like she would have prefered that Shane had killed Rick. It’s no wonder Rick doesn’t want to talk to her now, but I don’t get why if she realizes her mistake, why not just cut the BS and apologize for it straight up and see if Rick still has love for her… To me it seems simple enough… Sorry for being such a girl focusing on the romance, but I take my relationships seriously so it bugs me to see couples in movies or shows behave this way…

  29. What I noticed after these first few episodes, is the group staying in one place again. Just like they did on the farm. I guess they save money from production costs to fund the other AMC shows such as Hell on Wheels, MadMen and Breaking Bad.

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