Usually when I write a review of a TV show I will watch it once to get a felling from the episode, then I'll watch it again and take notes on the points that I want to revisit and discuss. I was able to watch this one again because AMC is showing it for free on their website for a limited time.
Contains Spoilers After The Break!!!!!
The episode begins and we see members of the group going through a house looking for food and supplies. The very first thing that I noticed was the home made silencers on Rick and Carl's guns. This is something I'm surprised hadn't come up in last season when they had all that time to be making things on the farm.
It's also plain to see that Carl is a full fighting member of this group. His hair is longer under his Dad's hat and you see him take out a walker with no fear or hesitation. He may only be 10 or 11 years old but he's had to grow up fast in this new and dangerous world. This also becomes apparent when later Rick puts him on point and later swears in front of him. You can see that he is treated as more of an adult than Hershel's youngest daughter, Beth.
The most striking thing about this opening scene is that there is no dialogue Not one word is spoken and yet there is communication. With a mere whistle they give the all clear and all T-Dog has to do is psssst and they know there is danger. This team has done this same drill many times and are getting good at it. They don't even speak when Rick takes the dog food away which to me shows that they aren't as starving as they could be. Dog food is still food and Carl was right to try to share it with the group.
Then we see an all new tittle sequence with no pictures of people. This means that anyone could die at anytime and they wouldn't have to alter the beginning credits. Bring it on Season Three!
Now to the prison... Glenn is still volunteering for "suicide missions" but now he has Maggie to talk him down. Rick goes for the gate and Lori doesn't even give him a "good luck" before he goes. The scene at the camp fire brings me back to season one when they shared stories around the fire in the woods. It made me miss Dale and his watch winding.
The exchange between Carol and Darrell is my favorite part about this episode and why I love this show. Even though they are fighting for their lives, they are still human and can crack jokes every once in a while. She brings him food, he rubs her shoulder, then she teases him about fooling around and you can see that this relationship is not about sex or love but about two people who want to survive this world together. A real friendship when it would be just as easy for the writers to make them a couple.
When we come across the walkers in riot gear I was like "YES!! this is something I never thought of!"
Then Rick takes the mask off one to kill it and it's skin came off too, you can see a look of true disgust on his face and this is a man that does not get grossed out easily.
They move into the cell block and there are prisoners locked in their cells that have turned. This goes with the notion that one doesn't need to be bit to be a walker. That they all carry the virus and will turn once they die. This brings me to Lori's conversation with Hershel. "Could this baby be dead and tear me up from the inside?", she asked. This is another one of those things that I didn't think of, but I can see how she would be concerned. Being pregnant is one of the most stressful things ever and now she not only has to worry about giving birth but what it means to have a child (probably Shane's) that may try to eat you. Crazy...
Hershel should have never been on the scouting mission. His medical skills are far to valuable to be put at risk. I understand that for the sake of the story something had to happen to him to put Lori and the baby in even more danger but it just didn't make any sense for him to go. When Rick sees that he's been bit they drag him from the hall into a room to do what I'm sure they all knew was coming. I'm sure there was talk about how to handle a situation just like that. This takes more than 30 seconds to get him to a secure place. When Rick goes to take off his belt he has a look of panic in his eyes and even though I know he's fond of the old man, I wonder if he was trying to save the doctor or the man. He needs Hershel in a way that he doesn't need T-Dog or Glenn. He gets to chopping and it takes more than a few chops to get through that pesky bone.(It took ten chops, yes, I counted) The last seconds of the last shot show people on the other side of a partition. They are dressed as prisoners and they utter the last words of this episode that I've been saying all hour..... "Holy Shit!"