‘The Walking Dead’ Recap (Season 2, Episode 4): “Cherokee Rose”

Last week on AMC’s The Walking Dead, Shane shot a man and left him for dead. This week packs a weaker punch, and thank God for that because I’m still nursing bruises from two episodes ago.

The episode starts with Dale and the rest of the survivors showing up at Herschel’s house. Carl is stable, and the group gives a small ceremony for Otis. It’s a sweet scene, and Shane somewhat makes up for his action by painting Otis as a hero, saying he sacrificed himself to save the deputy and Carl. The intro is also a nice lead-in to what turns out to be a mostly low-key episode.

After Shane’s eulogy, the group begins implementing their grand search-party plans, plans which essentially fall through, leaving Daryl to pick up the group’s slack. He embarks once again on his mission to find Sophia and finds a house deep in the woods. Though there’s evidence of recent human activity including some blankets and an opened can of food, Sophia is nowhere to be found. Not to sound callous here, but I’m getting tired of this particular plot line. Carol is a pretty minor character (I suspect that the writers will off her within a couple episodes), and while the prospect of her child out in the woods alone is frightening, the characters’ emotional foundation within the show has been pretty weak; Sophia, at this point, is little more than a plot device.

Herschel doesn’t want guns on the property. Rick and Shane give up theirs, but Andrea, who was given a gun by Dale last week, holds onto hers since nobody knows she has it. Shane suggests that the group set up a shooting range on the outskirts of the property. He also asks Lori if she meant what she said when she asked him to stay. She says she did.

Herschel tells Rick that the group has to leave after Carl gets better. Rick doesn’t object…yet.

Meanwhile, Maggie decides to go to town on a pharmacy run and Rick suggests she takes Glen, the group’s “go-to-town” expert, and, after last week’s mild salaciousness, I think “to town” is exactly where these two are going. On each other.

First though, the survivors needs to remove a zombie they found floating around in one of the wells on the property. Shooting it is out of the question, as the blood may contaminate the water. The brilliant solution they come up with is lowering Glen down into the well and having him rope the walker so the others can drag him out. This plan seems to work well until the pump that’s supporting the weight of the rope breaks, sending Glen on an intense plunge that puts him much closer to the zombie than is comfortable. He does manage to snag the zombie though, but as T-Dog and the rest are pulling the walker out, the body gets stuck on the edge of the well and splits in half, rendering all of their work useless. It’s the most intense scene of the night, but I failed to see its significance. It almost felt like the writers were pandering to the audience here, which is fine, since they don’t do it very often. It was a good scene, but had very little influence on the plot or the character development.

After the well incident, Glen and Maggie hit the pharmacy. After picking up some antibiotics and a mystery item that Lori has asked Glen to retrieve, the two have sex. But it’s not the romantic, sensual experience that one might expect in a deserted pharmacy during a zombie apocalypse. Nope. Basically, Maggie tells Glen that she’ll have sex with him because he’s one of the last men on the planet. Ouch. Poor Glen. He seems to be way more into this than Maggie, and this is confirmed when, riding back to the farm, smelling like sweat, shame, and Vicks Vaporub, she tells him it was a one time deal.

Rick asks Herschel to reconsider his ultimatum, not for the group, but for Carl. Herschel says he’ll consider it, as long as Rick’s people follow the rules. That’s good enough for Rick.

Daryl comes back sans Sophia and gives Carol a Cherokee Rose, explaining that on the Trail of Tears, mothers were so distraught because so many of their their children were dying that the men feared they would lose their strength and not be able to continue. The men prayed to their gods to take the sorrow from the women, and the next day, they saw behind them a trail of Cherokee Roses. I’m hoping this means an end to the search for Sophia. Daryl seems like he’s really the only one actually doing anything to find her, anyway.

The big shocker this week (because it wouldn’t be a proper episode without a twist of some kind) is that the mystery item Glen picked up for Lori is a home pregnancy test. Yup. Lori’s pregnant, and in a zombie-infested world like hers, a baby might as well be a death sentence.

It was a solid episode, but not one of The Walking Dead’s strongest. Still, it was nice to have a break from the usual level of intensity this show offers week after week, and I’ll be ready to tackle next week’s episode with renewed vigor.

More ‘The Walking Dead’ Recaps:

(Season 2, Episode 3): “Save the Last One”

(Season 2, Episode 2): “Bloodletting”

Eli Elliott is a writer and horror aficionado. When he’s not pondering the plot intricacies of TV’s finest, he attempts to unravel the mysteries of cult films at his blog, Cinematrocity ...read more

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