The Walking Dead 2.6 – Secrets

Zombie killing = lady boners. Oh yes. I think there is money to be made from this connection. Offing the undead is an easy way to get chicks! Perhaps this is how the zombie apocalypse was triggered in the first place. I had speculated that it was the fault of Jeff Dunham and his terrifying fan army, but now I see that it could be something that got out of a lab that was innocently looking for the Holy Grail of medical research…lady boners.


We start this episode with Lori feeding chickens with Carl. Yup Carl is finally on his feet. He looks pretty good for a gunshot victim whose just been operated on by a farm vet. He’s even spunky enough to be sexist! Awww. When her young son already sees her as nothing but a housewife, Lori tricks herself into feeling like everything is okay. But then Carl comments that the baby chicks have no mother. She says, “Maybe she’s just somewhere else.” But Carl says that he thinks mama chicken is probably dead. “Everything’s food for something else.” he says. (Oh no! He isn’t totally unaffected by all the death he’s seen in his young life!)

Otis’s somber widow listens to their conversation as she works in the chicken coop. She takes with her selection to a part of the coop with a nice view of the barn, and we know she’s not throwing together a simple, but classy coq-a-vín for tonight’s repast. Nope. There’s a barn-full of reeking, ill-mannered relatives waiting to be fed. (A little nod to the Thanksgiving dinners going on around the country this week, perhaps?) She makes sure Carl and Lori are out of earshot and grimly breaks the chicken’s legs. Into an already bulging and quivering burlap goes the squawking bird. She uses a wheelbarrow to cart the sack of maimed fowl towards the barn.

As she nears, a riderless horse runs by. Looks like Nellie, the horse that Daryl borrowed without permission has returned home. (There are no backward-facing boots in the stirrups, but this is definitely a funerary symbol. Whose funeral? Don’t know. But from the looks of the barn, it looks like we’re due at least 20.) Otis’s sad old lady goes up into the hayloft Glenn had such high hopes for last week and dumps the sack of hobbled chickens to the floor. They scatter and screech as the guests at the barn dance fall upon them. It’s dinnertime. And these people are HUN-GRY! (They don’t seem to be particularly picky eaters, I’m sure people taste just like chicken anyway.)

Cut to Glenn staring at the barn through a pair of binoculars. “Could you be more obvious?” asks Maggie. She’s brought some peaches to the camp of visitors and Glenn asks if she’s trying to buy his silence with…fruit. “Of course not. There’s also jerky.” she says. Glenn wants to know why her father has a “secret barn full of walkers. It’s creepy. You know that, right?” Maggie shushes him and tells him that he has to keep this secret. Glenn is concerned with the fact that he is a terrible liar. He says he can’t even play poker because it’s “too much like lying.” (C’mon Glenn. If you ever want to bust into your condom stash, you’d better learn to play it a little cooler, buddy.)

Glenn is no good at concealing anything. He passes out fruit to the group. He’s a stuttering mess. T-Dog asks him, “What’s up?” and he can’t hide his deceit. (11 condoms aaaaand holding.)

In his tent, Daryl is bored and poking holes in the screen with his arrows. (He’s tougher than mosquito!) Andrea comes in to apologize for shooting him in the head by bringing him a book to read. (Um, that’s not the currency we use in the zombie apocalypse, honey. I don’t care how much of a feminist you are.) Daryl looks the book over and notes that it doesn’t have any pictures. Andrea says she’s sorry and that she feels like shit. “You and me both.” Daryl replies. But he knows she’s being earnest and lets her off the hook since she was just protecting the group. As she leaves, he says, “But hey! You shoot me again? You best pray I’m dead.” She bats her eyes at him. (No sympathy bang? Ugh. This bitch needs to learn some manners.)

Glenn runs into the constantly brooding Lori and immediately asks what Rick had to say about her pregnancy. He wants her to have some comforts like vitamins, medicine, and a nice pillow. He offers to go to town and get her whatever she needs. She says she needs him to be quiet about the pregnancy. He comments on how skinny she has become. (She is getting pretty skeletal. Method acting?) He even offers her his share of jerky. (Mangia, lady!) But he keeps at her and finally says that if she won’t let Rick take care of her, somebody has to.

Somebody whistles for him, and Glenn joins a group of guys planning the day’s search for Sophia using one of Herschel’s maps. Rick assigns Shane to check out a subdivision that went in nearby about 10 years earlier. He tells him that he wants them to stay in pairs and that Shane should take his pick from the group he’ll be taking to the shooting range that morning for lessons. Glenn gives the guys their peaches, while Lori looks on, literally brandishing a big stick. He gives them his binoculars and stiffly walks off. They know he’s acting weird, but as he leaves, Otis’s widow and another younger woman from Herschel’s group come up and ask for some of Shane’s Shooting School. When they say that they have Herschel’s permission since Otis was the one of their group that really knew guns, Rick—having learned his lesson previously—will not take them at their word. He’ll run it by the old man himself, thank you. They can come if their story checks out.

Shane spots Carl hanging out near the Winnebago and goes to talk to him. Seem little Carl wants to take shooting lessons. He asks Shane to talk to his parents for him. He thinks they’ll listen to Shane. As he starts to walk away, Shane asks him what he’s carrying. Carl lifts his shirt revealing a pistol tucked into his belt. Shane’s face takes on a disgusted look. (Busted!)

Cut to Lori chambering the pistol and demanding to know how this happened. Dale says it’s his fault since he let Carl into the Winnebago, albeit under false premises. Lori is pissed that on top of everything else, he has lied. Rick understands his son wanting to learn to shoot. Shane offers his services. Lori shakes her head, “Well I’m not comfortable with it.” (Boo hoo! I wanted a mama’s boy who would never be able to leave me. Someone to hear me whine and cry constantly. Sob!) She doesn’t want the group to think she’s being unreasonable and argues that Carl was JUST shot and is just now back on his feet. (Someone should point out at this point that Carl did not shoot himself.)

Rick wants his son to be able to defend himself and to not be afraid of guns since they are now a part of everyday life in the camp. Lori says, “He’s as safe as he’ll ever be, right here.” (“Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through.” Right. Yuck.) She brings up the whole “going to the woods” thing again, laying on a thick layer of guilt that you know Rick will never hear the end of until the day he ends up as walker scat. When she says that Carl is not mature enough, Carl apologizes for breaking her trust and says that he knows that a gun isn’t a toy. He wants to look for Sophia and defend the camp. He can’t do those things without a gun. Rick trys again to sell her on Shane’s School telling her that he’s taught kids younger than Carl. Finally Lori relents and lectures Carl about this new responsibility. Rick promises that Carl will not let her down. He raises his eyebrows as a warning to Carl. (Oh crap! Anything but the meaningful eyebrow raise!)

As the student’s pack into three cars (Use all the gas you want!) for Shane’s School, Rick tells Carl to do exactly what Shane says and to be safe. Glenn says he can’t come because he has to help Dale clean spark plugs on the RV and learn mechanics. Dale is lurking nearby and knows Glenn is holding out on him. He asks what’s going on. Glenn says, “You’re old. You know things.” (Poor Dale. Everyone has to comment on his age. I’m sure he was hoping that Andrea wouldn’t notice.  Glenn will need to pick up some Grecian Formula next time he goes into town.) Dale tells Glenn to “just spit it out.” Now’s Glenn’s chance, and he takes it with, “There’s walkers in the barn and Lori’s pregnant.” (There you go! Perfectly succinct. We need a little more of that around this camp.) Dale stares, opened mouthed.

At the shooting range, pretty colored bottles filled with water are being used as targets. T-Dog tells one of Herschel’s boys not to “give him that gangsta shit” when he sees him holding his gun sideways. (It’s not racist if the black guy says it!) Shane walks the line approving his students. When he gets to Andrea, he tells her, “Don’t be discouraged. You’ll hit the target eventually.” Andrea swaggers and boasts, “Who says I didn’t hit my target?” Shane uses the binoculars to site a “No Trespassing” sign far off in the distance. Andrea has put a tight cluster of holes in the center of the “O.” He gives her a heavier, better-balanced gun with twice the rounds. She immediately takes out a blue can. Shane thinks she has the hang of it. Rick says that “She’s ready for the advanced class.” (Elbow nudge. Somebody is gonna get pumped full of, er, lead.) Andrea flirts with Shane saying, “So you decided not to leave us. Something change your mind?” (She means her badass shooting and her badass ass. Oooh. Gross.) Carl is doing well as Lori observes from her hovering position.

Back at the horse barn, Herschel is brushing down Nervous Nellie. Dale asks if that’s indeed her and if she found her own way home. Herschel says that he found her in her stall that morning. Dale feeds the horse some alfalfa and comments to the other man that he loves his fields. He says that he took a long walk that morning. Even went near the barn. He’s heard the moans. Herschel says, “That’s unfortunate.” Dale says that he’s sure he has his reasons for keeping this particular secret.

Then they argue about the humanity of the undead. Herschel says he watched the broadcasts before they stopped. He saw the atrocities committed out of irrational fear…like the one perpetrated at his well. Dale says they “put down a walker.” Hersch says you “killed a person.” Dale says that the broadcasts also showed walkers attacking and killing. That they’re dangerous. Herschel says that paranoid schizophrenics are dangerous, but we don’t shoot sick people. Dale counters that the other old man is cut off at his remote farm. He tells him he’s seen people he cared about die and come back. And that they come back no longer “people.”

Fixing him with a black stare, Herschel says “My wife and stepson are in that barn. They’re people.” Dale wants to make the barn more secure and tell Rick what he knows, but Herschel says no. The barn is already secure. He says, “Rick’s a man of conscience. But are you so sure about everyone in your group?” (Hmmm. Come to think of it. I’d have to say, no.)

Lori goes to mend fences with Herschel while he’s literally mending a fence. She thanks him for saving Carl’s life and says that she’s eternally grateful. He tells her to be glad she doesn’t have a daughter. (Apparently they’re a bitch to raise because they want to do more than learn to shoot.) When Lori says that they’ll earn their keep, he mentions that they’ll be moving on to Fort Benning soon. (Oops! Awww-kward!)

Shane is private tutoring his star pupil, Andrea in the woods. He’s tied up a piece of tree trunk and hung it like a swing. It’s time to shoot at things that move. Andrea just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Shane tells her, “You’re still a virgin!” when she misses again. (Oh Andrea, so easily frustrated!) He taunts her with, “You think a walker’s gonna stand still?” He berates her like a drill sergeant and tries to get her to focus her anger. He shoots the swinging tree trunk mid-rant and keeps yelling at her. Finally he yells at her “That’s the walker that got Amy. Now you shoot that son of a bitch! Shoot ’em!” Andrea looks at him horrified. He smirks. She walks away.

Back at camp, Lori confronts Rick with the knowledge that Herschel is expecting them to leave. She wants to know if anyone else knows and if he was going to tell her. She also wants to know how long he has know that they were expected to hit the road. He tells her that she doesn’t need to worry about this. But she realizes that on this farm they have shelter, and food, and water, and medical care. Rick doesn’t think their departure is set in stone, but Lori says that Herschel seems to think that it is. She wants to plead with Herschel, but Rick wants to give him some space. Lori says that when the group learns what’s up, they’ll be devastated. Rick doesn’t want Lori to act scared. She doesn’t understand how he could keep something like this from her.

“Carl is barely on his feet, and Sophia is missing, and Daryl and T-Dog are hurt. How can we leave?” He finally calms her down a little by telling her that he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her and Carl safe. (I’m assuming “whatever it takes” means the rest of the group can fend for themselves.)

Andrea is hoofing it down the road on foot away from her tutorial session in the woods. She’s really pissed this time. (As opposed to the rest of the time?) Shane follows in his mint green econo car. He wants to give her a lift. He says, “Hey, look. I’m just tryin’ to get you rattled. Alright? Give you an idea of what it’s really like when the shit starts to fly.” “Is that an apology?” she asks. He admits that he crossed the line when he brought Amy into it, and that, yes, it is an apology. “You’re a real dick sometimes.” she says. He acknowledges this quickly. When he asks her to be his backup on following a lead on Sophia, Andrea relents.

At camp Dale is cooking some sort of meat over the fire. Carol walks in front of Lori with her portion. Lori quickly covers her nose with her hair and walks away. Ever-lurking Dale notices and uses her desire for privacy to tell her he knows what’s up. He tells the story of his wife’s pregnancy (which ended in miscarriage) and of her aversion to the smell of meat cooking. She apparently needed two days of house airing out before she could come back after Thanksgiving…and she was a meat-eating gal! She seems miffed that Glenn couldn’t keep a secret, but Dale sticks up for him with, “The boy has no guile.”

Lori tells him that she hasn’t told Rick yet. He wants to know if it’s because of Shane. She asks if it was that obvious. (Yes. Yes it was Lori.) No. No it wasn’t, he says. He thinks nobody knew and says he wasn’t even sure until just now. (Riiiight, lurky, lurkerton.) She defends herself by saying that she thought her husband was dead and she felt like she’d died with him. She wanted to feel something. Anything. (Preferably an orgasm.) Now she hates herself for it. (Never feel guilty about an orgasm, girl!) Dale wants to know if she knows who is the baby daddy. It’s Rick’s. (Oh. Of course. Because a woman knows? Because Shane gloved up? Because Shane is impotent?) Dale doesn’t understand her concern if Rick is indeed the father.

“Memories are what keep me going now. Memories of what life used to be. And I got a deep well to draw on. I still remember joy. But I think Carl’s well is already runnin’ dry. This baby? Baby wouldn’t have any good memories at all. Only fear and pain.”

Dale tells her she can’t think that way and that they can still find joy and strength in each other. She wants to know if Dale really thinks that her baby could grow up to be his age and die happy. (Ouch! Dale has got to be sick of these ageist pricks.) Lori stalks off when she gets no answer.

Glenn is chopping wood and goes on the defensive when Lori approaches. She lets him off the hook by saying that she never should have made him keep a secret for her. She asks him for his help getting some things from town. He’s happy to help, but is weirded out by her lingering hug.

Glenn and Maggie are on horseback riding into town on another drugstore run. Maggie is NOT in a good mood. She knows Glenn did not keep the secret of what was in the barn. Her father is mad at her. She asked for his trust and he betrayed it. He doesn’t see how she can agree with her father and the idea that the people in the barn are just sick. Maggie also claims to not know what she saw at the well that day. Glenn says she does know what she saw and that if she’d seen Atlanta, she would not have a barn full of walkers. “I wish you’d stop calling them that!” she snarls. “What do you call them?” he asks. “Mom, Shaun, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher, Lacy, Duncan.” He gets it now. Doesn’t like it, but gets it.

Inside the store Maggie wants to know what she wants now. She knows Lori is behind this latest errand. When Glenn says that he can’t say, she’s seriously annoyed, but he hands her the note. He asks her to crawl out of his butt and help him look. (Such romantic talk! I’m sure he’ll be in her pants in no time.) When she reads the request, she’s even more annoyed and says, “You must be kidding me.” She takes a shopping basket to the back and starts to paw through the bottles. Glenn starts to fill a basket at the front of the store. But something is wrong. They are not paying attention. They are too wrapped up in their tiff. Something bad is about to go down.

Suddenly a decomposing arm shoots through the pharmacy shelves and grabs Maggie by the wrist. She struggles with its surprising strength. Glenn comes to the rescue by grabbing a metal display shelf and wielding it like an ax, nearly decapitating the walker. Maggie is horrified. Glenn rushes to see if she has been bitten and hold her. During the embrace, Maggie sees the undead thing rise up from the floor, its head barely attached. Glenn has time to get out his hatchet/machete which he sinks into the forehead of the walker. He then remembers the double-tap. But he doesn’t stop there. No. He gives it seven more good chops. (One for each condom he hopes to use.) He and Maggie embrace again and you can see that she is thankful to her rescuer.

Shane and Andrea take the little green Hyundai to the nearby suburb. And man does that little car screech. Not very good product placement. That’s going to bring walkers. They are supposedly there to look for Sophia. Their whole plan is to start at one end and search house to house. Andrea seems confident that if Sophia made it this far, she’d have a good chance of still being alive. Shane says nothing. (What? Does he know something we don’t? Don’t tell me that he shot  Sophia in the knee, too.)

Maggie is furious with Lori and she’s not holding back. She’s filled with righteous indignation. She resents being sent on Lori’s little shopping trip because she is pro-life and she could have been killed trying to get morning-after pills to abort a baby. She tells Lori if she wants something, she needs to get it herself and that she and Glenn are not her errand boys. She seethes, “Here are your abortion pills!” as she throws them on the ground and stomps away. Lori snatches up the medication. Glenn is speechless. He follows Maggie and tells her, “That was not cool.”

“Which part? The part where that bitch almost got us killed?” she asks.

Glenn says he should have gone alone and that Maggie should blame him if she wants to blame somebody. She tells him that “for a smart guy, you’re really stupid.” He’s confused by her. She kisses him passionately. (Maybe they’ll need more condoms! Hooray!) But when she pulls away, she says “I’ve already lost three of the people I care about most in this world. You’re smart. You’re brave. And you’re a leader, but you don’t know it. And your friends don’t want to know it. They’d rather have you fetchin’ peaches. There’s a dead guy in the well? Send Glenn down. You’re walker-bait. I can’t take you becomin’ one of them.” Price Is Right – Loser Horn (Nope. They will not need more condoms.)

Blam! Shane and Andrea slam their way into the first house and do a search. What they find is lots and lots of really, really dead people. This house was apparently used in some sort of last stand for the neighborhood. Nasty! And surprise! No Sophia. But they do find that they’ve alerted the local walkers to their presence. They have to get away fast. They’re going to have to shoot their way out. Of course.

Shane easily picks off the walkers around the car. Andrea is having trouble with her moving head-shots. The walkers keep coming. Andrea’s gun jams. Shane tells her to stay focused and clear the jam. He picks off the nearest walker. She fumbles with the gun and finally gets it reloaded. Shane stands down to let her take the nearest shot. “Are you kidding me?” she cries, but does take the shot, and the walker goes down. She’s now suddenly in the zone and gets three more head-shots before she hears Shane tell her to get in the car. She goes to get in but can’t resist taking down one more for the road.

Glenn meets up with Lori in her tent. She asks about the blood on Maggie’s shirt. He tells her that she was attacked, but nobody was bitten. He also allays her guilt about sending them into town by reminding her that he offered. Glenn is curious if the morning-after pills will even work. She doesn’t know if she wants them to. Just in case she decides to keep the baby, he’s brought her a stock of prenatal vitamins. (Gotta get that folic acid!) Glenn suggests that she shouldn’t make her choice alone. (GTFO My body. My choice.)

Shane is driving away from the zombie shootout when Andrea, looking more peaceful than she has this whole season, reaches over and grabs a handful of Shane. (Killing zombies = lady boner!) The brake lights go on quickly. A gravelly, “Come on, then.” from Shane is all it takes and Andrea is in his lap in the tiny car. The horn honks.

Back to Lori and her pills. (What? Wait. I want to see what’s going on in the Hyundai! Back up!) She’s crying and finally takes a handful of morning-after pills. She immediately regrets it and runs from the tent. A quick, practiced two-finger induced gag, and she pukes up the capsules. (Yay! We get to have a baby shower after all!)

As soon as the little green car speeds to a stop outside the Winnebago, Carol comes out for news of Sophia. She’s told that they didn’t find anything, but will cover more ground tomorrow. Dale is immediately suspicious. Andrea looks relaxed. Someone’s sullied his lady! Carol leads Andrea away by the hand and says, “Let’s get you cleaned up.” (Ugh. You smell like decomp, cordite, and used-up whore. Maybe Glenn remembered the strawberry douche.)

Dale confronts Shane and tells him that since he has a nice new car and plenty of gas, he might as well GTFO. Shane wants to know if this is about Andrea. Dale claims to be looking out for the the group. Shane asks him if he thinks the group would be better off without him. He doesn’t think Rick or Lori would agree since their boy would be dead without his having put his ass on the line. “And Otis’s.” Dale reminds him.

Shane shakes his head and starts to walk away, but Dale keeps at him. He accuses Shane of being vague about the night Otis was killed. When he claims that Otis died a hero, Dale says that he’s just sticking to his original vague story. Shane says that a little boy is alive because of what went down that night and that Dale should show some gratitude. He wasn’t there that night.

Dale says, “Ah, but I was the time that you raised your gun on Rick. You had him in your sights. And you held him there. I know what kind of man you are.” Well Dale, if you really do know what kind of man he is, you must have giant balls. And a drooping ball sac does not count. This guy is dangerous. (Ha! Another “old guy” jab.) Shane claims that he loves Rick like a brother. And if he’d draw down on his own brother, what does Dale think a guy like that would do to someone he doesn’t even like? Dale must have balls of steel. He doesn’t seem very scared of Shane.

Rick goes into his tent, takes off his holster, and finds the empty morning-after pill packets Lori left behind after she took off for a quick purge. He finds Lori sitting in the grass near the fence and asks if there’s something she needs to tell him. “We can’t leave. I’m pregnant.” Finally! Spit it out like Glenn! It’s a better way to live. Rick wants to know if she still is. He’s brandishing the empty pill packets. She says she threw them up. She tells him to yell if he wants or scream.  She just wants him to talk to her. (Back to that again.) He asks how long she has known. She wants to know if it matters. And in a second you can tell that he’s always known about the Shane thing. He’s angry that Glenn knows.

Lori mentions that they won’t be living on this farm much longer, but he doesn’t want to be blamed. He’s angry that she’s been on him about keeping secrets when she’s been keeping one this big. He thinks that throwing up the pills shows she wants the baby. But she says, “Not like this. I’m not giving birth in a ditch. Not when its life will hang by a thread the second its born. Not when every cry will put it and Carl and everyone we care about into danger. That’s not right.”

“Not even giving it a chance isn’t right, either.” replies Rick. Lori knew he’d be like this and tells him that she had wanted to keep the decision off his conscience. He finally tells her that he’s tired of living like this and doesn’t want to. He wants to know if there is anything else she hasn’t told him. Ah. Finally.

“Shane and I.” she says. “I know. Of course I know.” he says. “You thought I was dead. The world went to shit and you thought I was dead. Right?”

“Yeah.” Lori nods. (Good man. Everybody deserves a pass or two during the zombie apocalypse.)

Next week: Will Shane get rid of Dale and his giant silver balls? Will Andrea come to her senses and realize that yellowed Winnebagos are sexier than mint green Hyundais? When does Daryl get a piece? Where is Herschel’s secret lab? Sophia? Sophia this is really getting old! Sophia?