Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, entitled “Sick”, just may have been one of the shows best episodes yet. We get a few good scares, some great action, a dash of touching emotion, and get to see some real character development, all in a single hour of programming. Lots of spoilers ahead.
First and foremost, we finally get to see Rick get some bass in his voice as he finds the testicular fortitude to show he’s in charge for more reasons than just “I had a badge back in the real world”. As the group deals with the prisoners that inhabit their new home, Rick comes to the decision that since they cleaned out part of the prison, they get to keep it. They’ll help the prisoners clean out another cell block in exchange for half of their food. The group of 5 prisoners don’t seem to be too pleased at first, but quickly decide to go along.
Sure enough, they immediately fall into their old prison shanking ways, not quite understanding that what their facing only dies with a headshot. They then have trouble with the concept of staying together, with the largest member of the group getting a nice sized gouge to the back. As Rick is searching for a nice way to tell him that his clock is ticking, the leader of the prisoners, Thomas, bashes his head in. The look he gives Rick right afterwards says louder than words that Thomas is trying to show just how hardcore and do-not-mess-with he is, but Daryl quickly reminds us who the real badass of the show is when he tells Rick “when the time comes, just give me a sign”.
In the next walker encounter, Thomas throws a walker right at Rick in a very creative murder attempt, and after Rick survives, he does the most no-I’m-the-one-you-don’t-mess-with thing yet and parts Thomas’ hair with a machete. Two of the remaining prisoners give up quickly when they realize who’s truly in charge, and the last prisoner, Andrew, takes off like a bat out of hell. Rick apparently has found more testosterone than he knows what to do with, because he runs after Andrew alone in a prison full of walkers. Andrew gets outside, just to find himself surrounded by walkers in a prison yard, and turns to see Rick close the door and offer the parting words “better start running”. Rick is now a killer of killers.
Meanwhile, Lori gives CPR to Herschel which gives us a great jump scare when someone we assume is going to turn into a walker any minute grabs Lori’s head. Herschel ends up being fine, and we also see Carl grow up a bit as he ventures out to get medical supplies, reporting that he kills two walkers in the process, and keeps a gun trained on Herschel to make sure that no one legged walkers make a meal out of him.
Overall, one great exciting episode. We also get peeks at the fact that the group may have others nearby, and the previews for next week let us know that, yes, the Governor is coming. Stay tuned folks, and for an additonal review stop by I09 here.