Thoughts on The Walking Dead: Sick

New Characters Come to Clash with Rick and his Group

 At the end of last weeks stellar opening, we found Rick and the group struggling to keep one of their own alive, just as a group of new survivors emerged amongst the ruins of the prison. “Sick” may not live up to the excitement and tension that enveloped the first episode; however it certainly provides a solid follow up.

After seeing the inmates at the end of last episode, I simply could not wait for their interaction with Rick’s group. It was also great to see the writers throw fans for a loop, by having a character that looks exactly like the defacto leader of the inmates from the comics, and have that character be a soft loveable guy. However that being said, Tomas, the actual leader, came off as a bit cliché. I mean a rough and tough guy who will not take orders from authority- we get it he is the opposite of Rick. That being said it was brutal to see him hack apart one of his own guys after they were scratched, and further proved that he was unstable and needed to go. Fortunately, Rick thought the same way and wasted no time in killing Tomas a la machete to the face. This scene perfectly showed just how far Rick has come as a leader, and how he will not let another rivalry emerge as Shane did.

While Tomas was a necessary death, I felt that Rick leaving that one inmate to die amongst the walkers was unnecessary. I understand that Rick wanted to leave no possibilities of an uprising, but damn, he did not flinch once as he closed the door and walked away as the guy was ripped apart. However, this once again showed just how far Rick has come in a world without order, and that maybe he is starting to lose his humanity.

As Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog dealt with the inmates, Lori and Glenn had to deal with Hershel and finding medication for him.  It was nice but sad to see how the characters dealt with the idea of Hershel turning – Rick giving Glenn his handcuffs telling him to take no chances, while Beth shortened Hershel’s pant leg so he could walk easier when he woke. While I hoped that Hershel would survive, it was not a guarantee simply because the writers have killed off characters earlier than expected (yes, I’m still mad they killed Dale off so soon). That said, the scene in which Hershel stopped breathing and Lori had to revive him was an all too expected jump scare and was just unnecessary.

However, one scene I wish they would have included was Carl finding the stash of medication for Hershel. After seeing Carl kick some ass last episode, it would have been nice to see him deal with a group of walkers, and show how much of a leader he can be like his father. No longer is he that fearful kid who almost got attacked by a walker in the swamp- he is a resourceful hunter who can protect his group as his father does.

Over these last two episodes fans have seen new side to Lori, one in which is much more preferable. I admire how the writers are trying to make her a more likeable character, even though this may prove to be a too little, too late scenario. Never the less, it was nice to hear Lori acknowledge how much of a jerk she has been to Rick and how she plans on fixing their relation. It was especially touching at the end of the episode, when Rick and Lori where looking out across the prison as they spoke about their future together. That simple pat on Lori’s shoulder made me remember how great of a man Rick is. He may have done, and continues to do, some pretty heartless things, but in the end he does it to protect his family.

On a smaller, grimier note, it was interesting to see Carol come into her own a bit more this season, even though in doing so it revolves around Lori and her child. The scene in which she cuts the walker was absolutely morbid, and further showed, that like Carl, she is no longer a helpless character. She has come to garner a useful set of skills, even though those skills can be a bit disturbing. Also who could that have been watching Carol while she practiced on the walker? Could it be another group of survivor’s, or could it perhaps be one of the Governor’s many spies looking for new locals? Tough to say, but hopefully they come to show this in next week’s episode.

While not as strong as last week’s opening, “Sick” was a well done follow up in which wasted no time introducing, and eliminating new characters. While I would have liked to see at least some of Michonne and Andrea this week, it appears that next week’s episode will have plenty of the two, as well as the introduction of another renowned character from the series. I can’t wait!