In “Sick,” we are introduced to the last surviving inmates of the prison Rick and the other survivors now call home. While the comic versions of the inmates were brutal, there is only so much brutality a comic panel can hold. The TV version amplifies their comic counterparts tenfold and really drives the point home that they cannot, under any circumstances, be trusted within close proximity to Rick’s group. Despite giving them the option to stay in their own cellblock, that wasn’t enough for the prisoners. As the leader said, it’s their prison and Rick’s group has no business there.
Rick, Daryl and T-Dog know things won’t end well and can only keep an eye on the prisoners as they deal with walkers and their bitten comrades in the most violent ways possible. In one encounter, the leader throws a walker on top of Rick in hopes of killing him. After Daryl kills the walker, Rick stands up and puts a machete through the leader’s head. No more sugar coating, no more second chances, only Comic Rick. Shit happens.
Yes, ‘Comic Rick’ has finally shown his bearded face. It’s a welcome change after nearly an entire season of ‘Stupidly Hopeful Rick’ in season two. Even Carl is changing into his comic version right in front of our eyes. All that not staying in the house has finally paid off, as Rick knows his boy is more valuable than his mother and fans of the show have him credit for. “Don’t tell mom,” Rick tells Carl as he sends him off to look for supplies. No more telling him to stay out of the way, only to have him disobey orders and get himself into trouble. Useful Carl is here to stay and that’s a welcome change.
T-Dog got some spoken lines, which is always a treat. I really hope the writers are starting to flush out his character and not just provide fan service. Honestly, the entire episode felt like a response to most Reddit discussion threads. T-Dog speaks, Carl is useful, Comic Rick shows his face and there’s a whole lot of killing. What’s left to criticize?
Oh, right… Lori. While my heart broke for Lori toward the end of the episode when she tried to talk to her husband about their relationship and he just turned away from her, what she did earlier in the episode was all kinds of stupid. She gave mouth to mouth to a potential walker. Granted, she did save Hershel’s life by doing so, but everyone thought the old one-legged fart had kicked the bucket. Maybe she’s not stupid, but simply feels she needs to prove her worth to the others instead of being a useless pregnant lady living in the end times. By saving Hershel, she did prove herself for once.
Of course, the burden of her pregnancy isn’t only hers to bear. Saving a one-legged veterinarian won’t make the birth of Shane’s child any easier on the group. Given the condition of the closest thing to a doctor the group has, Carol decides that she may have to be the one to deliver this baby. Without any prior knowledge of how to preform a C-Section, she decides to practice on a dead walker. While she’s doing the deed out in the yard, a pair of eyes watches her closely. Is it Merle? Someone from Woodbury? Maybe we will find out on the next episode of The Walking Dead.
If “Sick” set the mood for the rest of the season, I can’t help but welcome it. Up until now it has felt like character development was put on hiatus without any reason. Now that both leading and supporting characters are starting to reflect their comic versions, I have high hopes that The Walking Dead will finally live up to its legacy.