‘The Walking Dead’ Review: “Sick”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 brings to life its second bloody episode of the season, as Hershel's deadly injury takes a toll on the other survivors, while Rick finds himself at odds with their new prison inmate co-habitants, and faces a difficult decision.
Last week’s ‘The Walking Dead’ premiere “Seed” saw Rick and the others finding a seemingly safe haven in the nearby prison facility, but first enduring the deadly task of clearing out its undead inhabitants, so what will the latest episode bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 2, “Sick!”
Still at a frenetic pace as Hershel continues bleeding, Daryl orders the five inmates to step out from behind the wall. With no other options, Glenn throws Hershel on a rolling table, and the group sets out through the darkened halls to return Hershel to their cell block, the prisoners slowly following and exploring their new surroundings. The group gets the injured Hershel onto a bed, as Carol demands towels and sheets.
Back toward the entrance, the five prisoners slowly file in, while Daryl keeps his crossbow trained. The leader of the group, Tomas, claims that they’re in his cell block, but Daryl and T-Dog insist they’re no longer bound to the prison. Wondering why they wouldn’t have taken Hershel to a hospital, Tomas' inquiry causes Rick to realize that the five men have been locked up long enough not to know how the outside world has fallen apart, and he brings them up to speed on the state of things.
Rick takes the five men out into the courtyards to see the extent of the devastation themselves, and explain that the unknown virus resides in all of them. Tomas offers up that Rick’s group can stay in a different cell block, but Rick remains steadfast that the prison belongs to them now. Reluctantly, Tomas agrees to take another cell block with his men if Rick and his armed group will help clear it out, in exchange for half their food supply.
While the other survivors continue tending to Hershel, Tomas shows Rick’s group to the food supply, far more ample than he described it to be. Glenn comforts a worried Maggie, who in turn consoles her panicked sister as she cuts pant legs off of Hershel’s clothes. Just then, Rick and the others arrive with a load of food, and Rick explains to Lori what he knows of the prisoners thus far. She asks about their options, to which Rick muses he might have to kill them, and Lori defers to her husband’s judgement. He reminds her how that backfired with Shane, but she assures him she knows there was never any real malice in his heart. Meanwhile, Maggies asks for a moment alone with her unconscious father, and tearfully presses on him that he doesn’t have to hold on for their sake.
Later, Rick arms the inmates with melee weapons as they prepare to clear out a cell block, explaining how walkers only go down with damage to the brain. As they navigate the darkened hallways, walkers suddenly appear before them, but rather than heed Rick’s advice the inmates all charge the undead creatures, using prison-style skirmish tactics to beat and stab their opponents. The inmates fare much better in their second round against a group of walkers, though Big Tiny breaks rank and accidentally gets himself scratched by a walker’s exposed bone! In response, Tomas defies Rick’s orders, and uses a gun to finish off the attacker.
Back by Hershel’s side, Carl returns from an excursion to fetch medical supplies from the prison infirmary, which his mother sharply calls him out for risking. Even Beth chides Carl for talking back to his mother, causing the young boy to scamper off. Carol muses that the bandages will help for the moment, but requests Glenn’s help in attending to another matter away from the cell block.
Though Big Tiny protests that he feels fine even after his scratch, Rick assures the other survivors that it’s too late for the gentle giant. The inmates protest that something must be done to help their friend, but Tomas gets fed up and savagely takes the initiative to beat Tiny to death himself, silencing the others.
Outside, Carol picks out a specific female walker to put down through the fence, while Glenn leads the others away. Carol drags the now-inanimate creature through the fence, hoping to use it for practice in cutting into a womb, should Hershel die and Carol be left the only one to deliver Lori’s baby via C-section.
While Daryl and Rick remain wary of Tomas, the group next arrives at the facility’s laundry room. Rick commissions Tomas to open a nearby double door only halfway, lest walkers come spilling through, but Tomas again disobeys and opens both doors wide enough for the creatures to come pouring in. Swinging wildly, Tomas nearly hits Rick with his weapon, and moments later deliberately throws a walker upon him. Thankfully, Daryl manages to save Rick, and once the creatures are all put down, Tomas attempts to shrug off the incidents. After eying him down, Rick whips out his machete and swings it through the inmate’s head, causing a frightened Andrew to scamper off. Oscar and Axel claim to have no affiliation with what happened, as Rick chases down Andrew through the prison.
Andrew manages to corner himself in a courtyard infested with walkers, and when he attempts to retreat, Rick seals him in and advises the frightened man to run. Though we don’t explicitly see it, Rick hears Andrew’s screams outside, and returns through the prison. Meanwhile back at the cell block, Maggie sees that Hershel has stopped breathing, and Beth’s cries bring Lori. Lori attempts CPR on the man, which manages to revive him, but gives everyone a jump when it appears for a moment that Hershel has reanimated as a walker.
Back in the laundry room, Axel pleads for his life by claiming he and Oscar not to be violent, though Oscar refuses to beg for his life. Ultimately, Rick allows them to reside in their own cell block as per the deal, and Daryl leaves them apologizing for the death of their friends. Afterward, Rick and the others return to their block, as Hershel wakes long enough to grab Ricks hand, relieving everyone.
While Carol continues her autopsy outside, a figure watches her from the treeline, while on the other side of the prison Rick and Lori share a moment alone. As per their earlier conversation, Rick assures her that she isn’t a bad mother, joking about their inability to get a divorce even if they wanted to. Lori expresses her disappointment that Rick doesn’t want to talk about their relationship, and Rick responds by coldly thanking her for her efforts with Hershel, and leaving her alone on the catwalk.
There are those who might understandably find themselves disappointed at a complete lack of Michonne, or even The Governor this week, but the surprising reveal of the five inmates within the prison adds a lot of worthwhile drama to "Sick." It also might disappoint to see that the five inmates were (seemingly) whittled down to two so quickly, but hopefully the characters will be utilized further going on. On the plus side, Hershel's apparent survival must be a relief to fans, but we have a feeling plenty of dark days are to come. Now, take us to Woodbury!
Did you get your fill of thrilling zombie killing? What did you think about the episode? Check out all our other ‘Walking Dead’ season 2 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 2 episode 3 “Walk With Me” on AMC!