‘The Walking Dead’ Recap (Season 2, Episode 6): “Secrets”
The past couple episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead have been leading up to what’s sure to be a phenomenal mid-season finale, but tonight’s “Secrets” felt a little too subdued, and with only one more episode to go before the winter hiatus, the show needs to be ramping things up. That’s not to say nothing happened, because quite a lot did, but more needed to have been done to move the group towards their inevitable confrontation with Herschel.
Character arcs this season have been cyclical. Daryl had his turn, and was largely absent from this episode. Tonight, it was Glenn’s time to shine. I know I said this about the grizzled survivalist last week, and now I’m going to say it about Glenn; he’s one of the best characters on the show. He’s just a kid, trapped between adulthood and adolescence, and burdened with some pretty heavy secrets. He hasn’t really had a defined role within the group in the past, but he shows what a valuable asset he is, not only when he saves Maggie from the walker at the pharmacy they return to to pick up the Morning After pills for Lori, but also in his support of Lori and his sensitivity to her situation. It’s a quality that’s surprising in someone his age, but it provides the group with a softness and a humanness that is often overpowered by instinct and survivalism. Too bad he’s attracted Maggie’s attention.
Maggie is crazy. First, she’s mad at Glenn for telling Dale about the barn zombies. Then, once he saves her from the walker, she turns on Lori for sending them out for her supplies. Uh..correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Glenn volunteered, and you decided it would be a good idea to tag along with him so you could chew him out. Her anger is pretty irrational here, but it’s evident that she truly cares about Glenn. She sees him as a leader, and believes that his friends only seem him as, as she puts it, “walker bait.” The title she gives to Glenn reveals a change in her sympathetic attitude towards the undead; the attack has definitely made them a little more monstrous to her.
Also in this episode, everyone gets taught how to use a gun. Even Carl, who is up and walking around like he didn’t just have a rifle round removed from this chest, gets a chance at being a sharpshooter. Lori is, of course, initially hesitant to give a gun to her young son, but Rick convinces her that it’s the right thing to do. Andrea too, gets to test her pistol prowess at the make-shift range that’s been set up. Though she proves herself to be a pretty skilled markswoman, it seems like, with all the hoopla that’s been made over desire to learn to shoot and Dale’s earlier unwillingness to give her a pistol due to his concerns over her mental well-being, something very bad is in store for her. Tonight though, she actually gets lucky (although if sex with Shane is your idea of lucky, I might suggest getting a little help, if you know what I mean). After seeing her skills with a firearm, Shane partners up with her to search for Sophia. They don’t find her, but they do find zombies. Lots of zombies. Despite her earlier trouble hitting a moving target, Andrea performs admirably under pressure. On their way back, the two make a “pit stop.”
Herschel and Dale have a conversation about the barn zombies. Herschel, as it turns out, doesn’t see the walkers as monsters, but as human beings who have contracted an illness. His wife and stepson are inside, and he can’t bear to kill them. It’s definitely an interesting take, and I wish this had been explored further because this is surely going to be a big point of contention later on. Dale also confronts Lori about her pregnancy. Ol’ Dale is really getting on my nerves. He’s like the nosey old man who makes it his job to get in everybody else’s business, and thinks doing so is his prerogative because of his age. He seems to know everything about everyone (although he knew about the zombies and the baby because Glenn spilled the beans), but he also seemed to have Shane completely figured out in his confrontation with the deputy in the final minutes. He accuses Shane of leaving Otis behind (true), and suggests he follow through with his plan to leave the group. He’s mostly being protective of Andrea here, but still. Shane, of course, threatens Dale.
To make the whole situation worse, Rick finds out about the baby when he returns to his tent and finds that Lori has left her various pregnancy paraphernalia out. Lori herself is not in the tent, having gone to vomit up the five Morning After pills she’s just taken. Rick is furious because she’s kept the news from him, and didn’t consult him before trying to abort the child. This is the best scene of the night, because it illustrates the two characters perfectly. Rick is, as ever, the optimist, believing that they can happily raise a child in their new environment, while Lori is more of a realist. Her concerns primarily lie in the fact that the reality that she now lives in is not conducive to a happy life. Having a child will also endanger the group. Again, Rick is thinking of himself, something which has gotten the group into trouble before. Lori also tells him about Shane. For now, he seems to be taking it pretty well.
I hope that there’s going to be some major confrontation next week, because this episode chose only to continue to lay the groundwork.
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