As you may recall from last week, the end of Episode 1 of Season 3 of The Walking Dead involved Rick hacking off Hershel's leg with an axe in an attempt to save him from becoming undead after being bitten by a zombie (natch). Get ready to high-five someone in the vicinity because Episode 2 picks up right where we left off. Also, you may recall, that the amputation incident was witnessed by a bunch of not-undead prisoners. So, is Hershel alive? And are the not-undead criminals about to murder everyone? Let's get going ...
Our beloved crew of survivors drags Hershel's (now one-legged) body to the safe zone in the prison -- where the rest of the crew are hanging out, having made it secure enough to live in last week -- and indulge in the kind of make-shift medical care that makes Charles Dickens' back catalog such a pleasure to read.
Meanwhile, Daryl deals with the five living prisoners left untouched by zombie-dom. These guys are understandably concerned about the de-legging that's been going on with the prison's new guests, as well as the obvious fact that if the living are breaking into prisons for safety, the outside must be even worse than they'd assumed. Daryl points a crossbow at them. Which is probably not helpful.
One of the prisoners, in reference to Hershel, asks Rick: "You guys rob a bank or somethin'? Why don't you take him to a hospital?" Clearly demonstrating that, even in the zombie apocalypse, not only will some prison residents not leave their government-mandated home, they'll also not look out the window. Ever. The prisoners explain that they've been locked in the cafeteria, waiting for the national guard. For almost a year. This makes zero logical sense, whatsoever, but hey. This is a zombie show. We'll just keep suspending our disbelief.
"There is no army. No government, no hospitals, no police ... it's all gone," Rick explains. "No phones, no computers. As far as we can see, at least half the population has been wiped out. Probably more." Imagine getting told that news! Total bummer. To prove the point, Rick encourages the prisoners to, you know, look outside. About freakin' time.
On the plus side, once the prisoners see the carnage outside, some cerebral capacity kicks in, they get all survivalist and they declare that the prison is theirs, despite Rick's objections. Some bargaining ensues, during which Rick says he'll help "clear out" another cell block for the prisoners to live in, if they'll share supplies with Rick and his crew -- but also stay away from all of them. "Bet you got more food than you've got choices," Rick says. Fair point. The prisoners agree. (Rick has a way with words, you know).
Meanwhile, Carol is blood-soaked and tending to Hershel's new half-leg. Glenn comforts Maggie who is understandably concerned about her father, and Beth is busy adjusting all Hershel's pants to be one-legged. By God, zombie apocalypses make people practical. Then Lori tells her husband Rick that, if he feels like it, he should kill all the prisoners they've just met, if it means "keeping the group safe." Man. Don't even think about messing with pregnant ladies -- they are merciless.
Glenn handcuffs Hershel to a bed (just in case he tries to spring up and eat their faces) and Maggie takes a minute alone with her father to tell him not to fight anymore and that her and Beth will be just fine without him. "If it's time to go, it's okay," she weeps. Man. Zombie ankle bites are the worst. This is sad.
Across the prison, Rick plus crew, plus prisoners, are trying to clear another wing. The prisoners do a whole bunch of crazy shanking on the zombies. Because they're criminals, don't you know -- that's what criminals do! Rick and co. show their new friends that brain destruction is the only way to go and that belly stabs achieve nothing with the undead. Cue brain splatter times 20 and one bitten prisoner. Who then has to be killed. Which kinda sucks, but one of his prison buddies does it, so that's something. Except we're pretty sure that the guy in question -- we'll call him Oily Mullet, on account of his sweet hair cut -- is going to turn into a total liability, a la Shane last season, if he's allowed to stick around.
Carl presents the rest of the crew with essential medical supplies he just retrieved from the prison hospital after apparently killing two walkers. His mom is pissed because he did it alone. Way to say thanks, Lori. Some people just can't muster a simple thank you. Sheesh.
Carol insists on talking to Glenn outside and requests that he practice gynecology on re-dead-ified zombie ladies since Lori might need a C-section when her baby comes and Dr. Hershel may no longer be able to help with that (because getting bitten by zombies and having your leg hacked off can really take a toll on one's mental capabilities). Carol stabs a lady corpse in the eye through the chain link fence around the prison and goes about retrieving the body. Really, Carol has come an awfully long way in three seasons. Respect.
Rick and co., plus prisoners, go on a massive zombie killing spree. Many arrows land in many heads, but it seems a great deal like Oily Mullet is trying to get Rick killed. Clearly, this is not an optimal situation, so Rick stabs Mullet through the skull with his massive knife. As you do. Then he locks one of the other prisoners out in a zombie-filled prison yard until harrowing screams can be heard. Remember when Rick gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and was an all-round good dude? Yeah. That guy doesn't live here anymore.
Rick and Daryl then come extraordinarily close to killing off the two remaining prisoners, though they don't actually go through with it, so maybe not all hope is lost. Rick and Daryl present the prison dudes with their lovely new body-filled cell block and tell them to stay in it. "If you think this is sick, you don't wanna know what's outside," Daryl says. The man is not wrong.
Maggie has been holding vigil at Hershel's bedside when she notices his breathing becoming more labored. Lori performs CPR and brings him back from the brink. Which is great, because if dude dies, they have an instant zombie problem. Not ideal. Hershel wakes up briefly, everyone stares at him hopefully. Just get the man some crutches already! He'll be fine!
"We've got food, Hershel's alive," Lori notes to Rick outside. "Today was a good day."
We'd beg to differ but we're more concerned with who is watching Carol dissecting lady zombies' lady parts out in the yard. Can't wait to see where that's going.