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The Bloom is Off the WALKING DEAD Rose




Season 2, episode 4: “Cherokee Rose”

[All photos: AMC]

Okay, I know you’re used to Mr. Harvey doing the intro, but I’m watching “The Walking Dead” alone tonight as he is off being an Award Winning Filmmaker. Don’t worry, you’ll still get plenty of his sass after he watches the episode. Let’s get started, shall we?

Well, actually, it was just a read-through. The award-winning filmmaking will be in December. Did you know that Dustin is also an Award Winning Filmmaker? ‘Tis true. But I digress.

Farm = Boring. As the people of Green Farm are gathering firewood in a kind of lazy and haphazard way, when Team Zombie arrives in full force, Daryl leading the way on his motorcycle. Shane, all decked out in Dead Fat Otis’s clothes watches with what can only be assumed is a sense of dread. Shane isn’t the best at the ‘face acting’ he’s more of a ‘peck actor.’

In the farmhouse, Carl wakes up, it looks like he’s gonna be fine. The first thing he asks about is Sophia, he wants to know if she’s okay and Rick, being the best dad ever, lies to him.

The rest of Team Zombie are happy that Carl will be all right. But Shane looks like Lenny from Of Mice and Men in Otis’s clothes. I wouldn’t trust him around any bunnies for a while.

Bunnies. Dogs. Cats. Children. Adults. Anything it’s possible to betray…

Once Team Zombie has arrived, there is a little bodiless funeral for Otis, where everyone is super sad.  Except for Shane, who is feeling a little guilt, especially since Otis’s wife is like, right there. Shane tells a little white lie about how Otis sacrificed himself to save Carl. Shane = a right bastard, and maybe a little bit of a sociopath.

You know, there’s something about the actor who plays Hershel… His delivery is so even, it’s kinda creepy. Not anywhere as creepy as Shane here. He’s talking completely differently than he has before, and on top of the shaving scene last week, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he’s losing his damn mind. Ok, ok, lost.

Maggie brings out a survey map and they open it on the hood of Carol’s SUV. The search for Sophia can start in earnest now. Even though it’s day three, and they should just go ahead and call it a body hunt now. I would like a good look at that map. Rick and Hershel decide they should wait until the next day to start the official search.  But Daryl is having literally exactly none of that, and decides he’s heading back to the woods that day.

Um. How many people are here? It’s necessary to wait for Rick and Shane to be rested for the search to resume? I mean, sure, Rick is sort of the main character, but there’s a missing child here! Oh well, I’m sure she’s fine, out alone in the woods for days. It’s not like there’s anything out there that could hurt her. Oh yeah. There are zombies out there aren’t there? Riiiiggghhhhtt.

Shane asks whether or not they are gonna shoot Sophia’s ass if she’s been bit. And Rick says yeah.  Maggie and Hershel look aghast that they would make that choice ((foreshadowing)) and Maggie asks what they would tell Carol if they had to kill Little Zombie Sophia. With probably the most steely look I have ever seen, Andrea locks eyes with Maggie and says “The truth.” For as annoying as I find Andrea at this point, I have to say, this episode really bumped up  my esteem for her. Actually, I like nearly everyone better after tonight. It’s a little disconcerting.

Well, let’s see… this episode is short on the Monologue Club moments, and oh my goodness, things actually happen! And Shane is talking normally again here, like he was before he tossed Otis to the zombies. Yep, crazy.

At this point, Hershel decides to tell Team Zombie that while they are living on his farm, he would feel more comfortable if they kept the guns put away. Rick agrees, even though everyone says they would feel naked without their guns. Hershel says the Green Farm has survived this long without taking up arms against the dead, and he’d like to keep that up for as long as possible. ((foreshadowing))

Wow. Rick and Shane are awfully agreeable to giving up everyone’s guns here. Good thing there aren’t any zombies around…

Maggie has to go to town to get more medical supplies. Rick rightly freaks out, thinking that she’s gonna head back to the high school, but then she’s like “Nah, the pharmacy in town is like totally safe.” So Rick throttles both her and the writers for sending Shane and Otis on a dangerous mission to the high school for no reason.

Such a shame. Maggie seemed like such a nice girl, but I’m pretty sure that a jury would let Rick off, especially on the count involving the writers… oh wait.

I kid. I know that they needed more advanced medical supplies than a pharmacy can provide, but the look on his face when she casually says the pharmacy in town is relatively save is priceless. Instead, he suggests she take Glenn with her. Glenn is good at getting in and out of sticky situations and he could be an asset.

Meanwhile,  Lori and Shane have an awkward moment where Shane asks Lori if she meant it when she asked him to stay with Team Zombie, she says yes. This will inevitably come back to bite her full on the ass.

See above. Bunnies. Bunnies people!

Maggie asks Glenn to come to the pharmacy with her. Glenn stammers out a ‘yes’ before Dale interrupts the awkward to ask Maggie where they can find a little water. She sends him out to the well in the cow pasture.

Um Glenn? Your crush is showing.

Back at the RV, Shane is gathering all the guns together so they can be locked away. Andrea and Shane bond over their respective memberships in the NRA, and how pointless it is to lock all the guns away. Shane decides to use the cleaning and storage of the guns as an opportunity to teach Andrea a little about gun cleaning and maintenance. Maybe with someone to teach her, she’ll stop being such a horrible person.

Over at the house, Daryl is preparing to head out to search for Sophia all on his own. Rick tries to convince him to wait until the next day, when they can make a more comprehensive effort, and Daryl basically calls “foul” on all that and heads out into the woods.

Daryl really is the most sensible person in the show lately, isn’t he? In fact, he’s developing into such a good character I’m in great fear for his continued existence.

After he’s gone, Hershel tells Rick that the Green farm is not used to taking in strangers, so after they find Sophia, and Carl is well enough to move, Team Zombie has to get up out. Rick is basically too flabbergasted to argue.

Lori gives Glenn a list of stuff for the pharmacy, including a ‘personal item’ she wants him to be discreet about. Glenn asks what it is, and Lori basically tells him to mind his own damn business already.

Ok, now wait… Mmmm, I’ll come back to this, but really?

Theodore, and Dale, out in the cow pasture, have a little heart-to-heart about how Theodore is not a quitter, and how when he suggested that they abandon the others, it was the blood poisoning talking. Dale and Theodore resolve to keep their little mini mutiny talk to themselves, which, honestly, I don’t understand why they even decided to bring it up in the first place except to give these two characters a reason to ever speak to each other again out in a cow pasture.

Theodore starts to pump water for the camp as Dale goes wandering around, looking at the pasture. A sound from the well draws his attention, and he looks down inside.  Theodore, finished pumping the water, takes the ladle to his lips and is about to drink before Dale slaps the ladle out of his hands. There is a walker down in the well, and the water might be contaminated.

Wow. We’re like, 15 minutes in. Looks like stuff is gonna actually happen this episode.

Team Zombie, sans Rick, but plus Maggie tries to figure out how to get the big bloated walker out of the well. Theodore suggests they shoot it and then pull it out, but Dale says that if the water’s not contaminated already, splattering it’s brains all over the well will do the job just fine. They have to think of another way to fish the damn thing out.

Off in a far field, Hershel and Rick look at the map, apparently there  are rivers and streams all over the woods, and if Sophia took the wrong one, she could be lost for days (duh.) After dropping this bomb, Hershel wanders off and looks at the admittedly lovely view of the valley. Then things get a little metaphysical as they talk about God. Rick says that the last time he asked God for a favor, Carl got shot, so he’s done with The Almighty for the time being. Hershel reminds him that his coma, and his journey afterwards, including finding his family against all odds, is the hand of God working in his life. Rick is not ready to hear it.

Meanwhile, back in the Three Stooges episode the rest of Team Zombie is trying to recreate, the gang is trying to snag the walker… er… swimmer in a lasso using a canned ham as bait, but the stuck lil’ guy doesn’t want dead flesh, he want the real thing.

So everyone looks at Glenn.

Glenn, you ever think about saying no to these crazy plans? ‘Cause you might want to think about saying no. Just a suggestion.

Smash cut to Glenn, all trussed up, repelling his way down into the well with the lasso. The rest of team Zombie has used the well pump as a pulley to lower him down. This is so stupid. I thought Glenn and Maggie were going to the pharmacy.

It seems to me that this is not the best of all possible plans.

Oh c’mon. What could go wrong?

All my fears or confirmed when the pump breaks dropping Glenn a little too close to the swimmer for comfort. Everyone freaks out, but Glenn proves to be awesome and actually snares the swimmer while he’s down there. Even three inches from death, Glenn is still badass.

Meanwhile Daryl is on The Hunt for Red Sophia, he finds and abandoned house and goes about searching it. Looks like someone has been eating sardines in the place, and sleeping in the little bed in the cupboard, but whoever it was has since vacated. If it were me, and I found a safe place with food, I would bug out after a day or so, too. It’s not like there are ZOMBIES EVERYWHERE.

Team Zombie pulls the swimmer up and almost out of the well, he’s sufficiently gross. But he gets stuck on the lip of the well. In their pulling they break the poor lil’ guy in half and contaminate the well when his lower body and guts fall back into the well.

All together now… “Oops!”

The upper part of the body kind of writhes around, and Maggie is right in the middle of asking what they should do about it when Theodore bashed it’s water logged brains in. Maggie looks positively disgusted ((FORESHADOWING))

Theodore wins line of the week: “Good thing we didn’t do anything stupid like shoot it.”

I laughed out loud, I really did. Oh people. It is a rotting corpse, you know that right?

Back at the road, Carol waits for Sophia to show back up. She has left out food and written a note on the windshield of a car telling Sophia to wait there if she shows back up. Shane and Andrea try to comfort her, but Carol is having exactly none of it. The three of them head back to the green farm.

Andrea and Shane have a conversation about when she can have her gun back. Shane tells her that she needs to learn how to use a gun properly before he wants to give it back to her. Shane says the only way to properly unload a gun into someone is to turn off the switch that makes you human and become cold. Sounds to me like Shane has been watching a little too much “Vampire Diaries”. In his little speech, Shane gets super close to admitting to Andrea that he killed Otis. Like, to the point that it would not be out of the blue for Andrea to ask if he was talking about Otis.

It’s scenes like this that make me dislike Shane a little less… it’s good, I suppose, that we’re keeping some positive layers to the character, because when it all goes sideways it’ll be that much more dramatic, but surely people have to notice that Shane is all over the place here.

Andrea and Shane are bonding a little. I think I can get behind their pairing if the show decides to go that way.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Glenn are headed to the pharmacy. Maggie is disgusted by how easy it is for Team Zombie to kill. Glenn tries to explain that life on the road can make you hard, but Maggie is just a little too sheltered to listen.

It’s cute that Glenn starts off trying to show off here; it’s such a young guy thing to do. “It’s sorta my thing, you know? I’m a loner.” He gets points for realizing that Maggie isn’t buying into it, and seems a little abashed by it. Ah, young love.

They arrive at the pharmacy and head inside to begin their scavenging. Glenn goes for Lori’s ‘personal item’ he finds it and realizes it’s a pregnancy test. Duh, Glenn.

Alright. Seriously? Glenn looked at the piece of paper Lori gave him, didn’t he? He did. We saw him do it. And just now he’s realizing it’s a pregnancy test? What did it say on the paper that he didn’t know what it was before he got to pharmacy? I would think it would be something like, oh, I don’t know, pregnancy test? Somehow I really doubt Lori specified a brand.

Maggie arrives and Glenn freaks out and grabs the first thing , which just so happens to be a box of condoms. This creates a great romantic comedy moment where Glenn stammers and Maggie offers to bone him if he wants.

Right there.
In the pharmacy.

Glenn, jumps at the chance. Clothes come off and Maggie finds a new way to ‘connect’.

Ah, young… physical release? Good thing there aren’t any zombies around. That would be embarrassing. It’s a good scene, if a little abrupt, but hey, the world’s a little different now, isn’t it?

Hershel and Rick survey the camp. Rick begs Hershel to allow Team Zombie to stay. He says that if Hershel really believes in God, he would let them stay. Rick invokes Carl and Otis in his begging. I just hate you so much, Rick.

Hershel tells the story about how his father was a drunk and an abuser, and therefore Rick is an awesome dad by comparison.
Hershel says as long as Team Zombie respects the rules they can stay. ((foreshadowing)) I wonder if he would feel the same way if he knew Team Zombie reduced the farm’s available water by half?

Now, now, it’s only by a fifth. Of course, that only works if none of the wells connect to the same source.

Rick relieves Lori of sitting with shot Carl.

Maggie and Glenn arrive back at the farm, and Maggie tells him that their boinking was a one time thing. Sure it was, sweetie. Sure it was.

Heh. Check out the look on Glenn’s face… ouch! Don’t worry Glenn, she likes you. We can tell, even if she gives Hershel the worst “nothing happened” look ever.

Lori goes out for her pregnancy test. And Glen looks super disappointed in her. I guess she and  Shane didn’t keep their affair very secret when Rick was supposed dead.

Daryl arrives back at the RV and discovers that Carol has spent the day cleaning it. He gives Carol a Cherokee Rose and tells her the story about it. Oh, Daryl, all I want to do is hold you in my arms and whisper sweet nothings.

Well, I want you to take a bath first, but then sweet nothings.

He tells her that he thinks the Cherokee Rose bloomed for Sophia… so now does everyone thing the kid is dead?

While I don’t share Dustin’s amorous designs on him, again, Daryl is shaping up to be the best character in the show. Clearly the writers like him, too, although he does get to join the Monologue Club here. Luckily for everyone involved, this one has a point.

Carl tells Rick that he knows Sophia is still missing. Lori told him. I can now see the whole dynamic of Rick and Lori’s married life.  Rick blubbers to Carl about how they will find Sophia then the two of them bond over the fact that they had both been shot. Rick gives Carl his hat. This is a special moment and I kind of love it. They exchange “I love you’s” and Carl falls back asleep, hat perched on his head.

It is a good moment, and it’s nice to see Rick interacting with his son without all the weirdness of last week. Which leads us to…

Rick symbolically removes sheriff’s star and all his other stuff. Then he undresses oh… so… slowly while Lori watches. They catch a glimpse of each other and have a tender moment as Rick puts his badge away. I suppose symbolizing his abandonment of the world they used to know.

… this nice moment. Also nice to see a tender moment between Lori and Rick, especially since…

Lori, knife in hand, goes to take her pregnancy test in a field. We get to hear the urine sounds and everything.  I guess it’s an instant read test that totally exists in the real world, because Lori confirms she’s pregnant before she even stands up. She cries, and wishes Maury Povich wasn’t eaten by zombies.

Thank goodness that she has such a stable relationship history, and I’m sure Rick will be happy to learn he’s going to be a father again, and oh, wait. Yeah. Um, good thing the father is so stable and well-adjusted and oh, wait. Whoops. 

And that’s it for this episode folks. The lesson here? Getting pregnancy tests will get you laid. Or something like that. See you next week!

[Official Show Site at AMC]

Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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