December 20, 2014
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The State of Zombie Nation: Sick
By KevinAherne

Pop Quiz Hotshot: You're in a walker-infested prison, you discover five surviving inmates trapped in the pantry, and the only doctor who can deliver your baby is bleeding out from a hatchet wound. What do you do?

The most recent installment of AMC's The Walking Dead picks up exactly where the premiere left off. You have the freshly severed leg from Herschel sitting in the foreground, with a group of strange men behind steel partition as the backdrop. The Grimes Tribe, along with the strange men all seem equally perplexed.

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Shawshank Redeemed

As it turns out, these fiv

e men were inmates at the prison during the outbreak, and became trapped in a confined space during the chaos. Under these circumstances, it is difficult to describe the location of their confinement as lucky... but based on the fact that they had been trapped for over 10 months, I would say that they were very fortunate to be stuck in the prison's kitchen and pantry area. They were well rationed with food and water, the only thing they lacked was a pot to piss in. (Don't worry, they had a system).

However, being confined and isolated, these five men were completely oblivious to the fact that the world around them had been obliterated. Once they were released form the pantry, they quickly realize that the Grimes Crew are not the rescuers they had anticipated, but did ask to borrow a cell phone that they could contact their families (Silly inmates). Rick and Daryll gave them a quick dose of reality, explaining that more than half the world's population has become walkers, and that everyone is infected. Once the prisoners accept the state of their circumstance, they decide that they are much more comfortable within the confines of the prison... but Rick does not trust these criminals, nor is he comfortable with their presence.

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Hopping Along

While Rick Grimes was busy doing a Prison Break crossover, the folks in Cell Block C were busy tending to the unconscious one-legged Herschel. This storyline was rather dull and uneventful, so let's not waste too much time analyzing it... Here are the highlights:

* Herschel remained unconscious and unresponsive. Unsure as to whether he would survive or pass on and return as a walker, Glenn handcuffed Herschel to the bed.

* Herschel had been training Carol to serve as his nurse for the delivery of Lori's child, from which she had learned some essential triage skills necessary to tend to the amputation wound.

* Needing more sterile medical supplies, Carl underwent a solo undercover mission to locate the infirmary, picking off a few walkers in the process. He was able to successfully retrieve supplies, but Lori WAS NOT happy about this feat.

* Maggie seemed content to let Herschel pass, actually encouraging him to let go. For a moment, it seemed that he took her advice, as he stopped breathing. Lori sprung to action, and with a little mouth-to-mouth, was able to bring him back to life... as a human.

* Oh, and Carol killed a walker in the yard in order to practice her "emergency C-Section" skills... which must have seemed like completely normal behavior to the outsiders observing her. (Yeah, it was strongly suggested that they were being watched!

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Undead Man Walking

Meanwhile, in the next cell block, Rick Grimes was negotiating a severance package with the pantry prisoners. He felt that these men were not trustworthy, and would not be assimilated into his tribe, so a deal was arranged... In exchange for 50% of the remaining food in the pantry, Rick and the Assassins would help clear out a cell block for the five stragglers.

Rick provided the prisoners with blunt tools and taught them the proper techniques for neutralizing the walkers. Initially ignoring Rick's instruction, they quickly realize that Rick's advice was worth taking, and fell back into line. However one prisoner, Big Tiny, broke formation, resulting in a scratch from a walker. The other prisoners sought to quarantine their friend, but Tomas (aka: Hispanic Johnny Depp (hereby known as HJD)), showed no sympathy, and brutally killed Big Tiny.

They arrived at a set of double doors leading to the adjacent cell block, and Rick ordered HJD to open only one door, to restrict the flow of walkers coming through. Tomas disobeys and opens both doors, flooding the area with walkers. In the ensuing chaos, he pushed a walker on to Rick (Big Mistake), but claimed it was an accident. This proved to be Rick's breaking point, just as they cleared the area of walkers, Rick pulled out his machete, and splits HJD's head in half. Another prisoner, Andrew, attempted to flee, but ended up trapping himself within a courtyard full of walkers. Rick showed mercy to the two remaining prisoners, who seemed innocent and well-intentioned by sparing their lives and allotting them the cell block as promised.

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Cold Shoulder

In the concluding scene, we saw Rick and Lori sharing a private moment in the yard. Lori seemed intent on burying the hatchet (pun intended), trying to talk with Rick to regain some common ground. She makes a comment to Rick, hoping for him to affirm his love and feeling towards his wife:

"For better or worse, right?"

"We're awful grateful for what you did,"

And then Rick walked away.

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What We Learned

- Rick has placed the safety of the group as a whole above that of his own family. He's also much more of a BAMF than we have seen in the past.

- Herschel is going to make it, at least for now.

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Walking Ahead

- Who was watching Carol in the yard?

- What will happen with the two prisoners in the adjacent block? Will they rejoin the Grimes Clan?

- Will the Andrea/Michonne timeline re-align with the Prison soon?

Zombie Kill OF The Week

This week's zombie kill award goes to Big Tiny. Sure, he wasn't quite infected yet when HJD hacked him to bits, but it was sure gory, gruesome, and in cold blood. Fortunately, the two pals would not be parted for long... HJD experienced a similar fate minutes later.

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Stay Tuned

Check back next week for the next Walking Dead Recap: Walk With Me

-Kevin Aherne

Writer/Host, www.990wbob.com

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