The Walking Dead Episode 301
Written By: Glen Mazzara
Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson
Original Airdate: 14 October 2012
In This Episode...
Roughly eight months have passed since season two ended - judging by Lori’s enormous belly. Our group of travelers - which, at this point includes Rick, Lori, Carl, Herschel, Glenn, Maggie, Beth, T-Dog, Carol, and Daryl - are all haggard. They seem to be moving across the country haphazardly, looking for whatever supplies they can dig up, and a safe place they can rest for a bit. On a routine “rest stop,” during which some gather water from a stream and others plot their course, Daryl and Rick head off to hunt in the hopes of bagging dinner. The two find something very interesting: a prison. A full, maximum-security prison.
After consulting with the rest of their group, they decide to cull the couple dozen walkers milling about the yard, then see if they can make a home within the prison. The upside is that if they can get into the prison and secure it, this could be a new home; the downside is that the prison could be teeming with walkers. Our group, being old-hand at killing zombies, has a certain resigned choreography to their battle plan. They clear the yard, and the team celebrates momentarily. Then Rick heads inside. He manages to nick the keys off a guard (apparently this prison dates back to the Civil War because nothing besides the lights run on electricity) and secure a cell block for the group to sleep in. There is a cautious relief. Rick wants to barrel ahead and start clearing more of the prison in hopes of finding the commissary and the infirmary; Lori convinces him to let everyone rest for the night. Before bed, Lori voices her fears to Hershel. She thinks her baby might be dead, and if it is dead and infected, will it eat its way out? If she dies during childbirth will someone put her down? She blames herself for Shane, for the fact that Rick will barely speak to her, and for Carl hating her.
The next day, the boys and Maggie start exploring the rest of the prison. Carl stays behind to look after the “womenfolk.” The crew is slow and methodical, marking their path so they can find their way back. But that all goes away when they encounter walkers. And more walkers. And get separated. And find more walkers. In true horrorshow fashion, the crew gives up on marking their path and killing as they go in hopes of merely escaping. They finally make it to the cafeteria and slam the door. It won’t hold forever, and it is there that they discover that Herschel has been bitten. Rick has no choice but t chop off the leg in hopes of preventing the infection from spreading. He hacks at it violently, mercilessly, but let’s face it: with that amount of blood and virtually no medical care, Hershel is good as gone. A rustle from the kitchen scares everyone. Walkers? “Holy shit,” one of the “walkers” exclaims. Nope - humans.
Also, Andrea is with Michonne. She is ill; Michonne takes care of her.
Dig It or Bury It?
It wasn’t a particularly eventful episode - other than stumbling across the prison - but it was a great mix of well-done character development and massive zombie slaughter. The Walking Dead does a good job of ensuring the season opens with a massive pile of rotting limbs. The end, with our group being chased by zombies, was more intense than any zombie chase in any R-rated movie.
Oh, and I’ve decided that I think Andrea and Michonne are lovers now. Keep in mind, I have never read the comics, so I am just guessing this based off the looks they exchange.
Kill of the Week
Our fighters discover that many of the guards were zombified while still wearing their riot gear, which includes massive headpieces. They have trouble finding a weak point to get at the zombie brains, until Maggie discovers that their necks are left open. They can stab up through the jaw and into the brain. Bonus: when the zombie’s mouth is hanging open, you get to see the knife slice up into the head. Also fun was when Rick pulled the mask off one walker, and discovered that whatever skin it had left came off right with it.
Honorable mention goes to Rick brutally destroying Herschel’s leg. Done to save him, it is clearly going to kill him.
The group begins to realize that the undead are no longer their biggest threat.