While Lori helps to look after the injured Hershel, Rick and the gang confront a group of convicts hiding out in the prison.
Surprisingly, Hershel survives his zombie biting from the end of the previous episode. Rick’s quick thinking in amputating the lower part of his leg appears to have saved the day. However, this episode gets much of its tension from the ‘will he, won’t he?’ question over whether Hershel will wake up a zombie.
Much of the episode, however, is taken up with Rick’s confrontation with a gang of comedy convicts who have spent the better part of the last year locked up in the prison canteen. Unaware of what’s been going on in the wider world, the group seem prepared to fight to maintain their part of the prison. The prisoners range from the comedy coward to the cliched bulky black guy, predictably called ‘Tiny’.
Their part in the story, though, is to further illuminate how far Rick will go to protect Lori, their baby, Carl and the rest of the group. As soon as he begins to perceive the prisoner’s leader Tomas as a threat, Rick employs his machete. It suggests his ruthless edge—post-Shane—is here to stay. Thankfully, the zombie count is high again.
With no action outside the prison—other than someone spying on Carol’s practice C-section on a zombie corpse—this is a claustrophobic episode that makes great use of the dark maze that the prison’s zombie-infested corridors and cell blocks has become. There’s no Andrea or Michonne here, and still no sign of the much vaunted appearance of David Morrisey…
Verdict: A great enclosed episode making good use of the prison setting, but the show needs to open out a bit again or we’re in for a re-run of Hershel’s farm from last season.
Episode 2 ‘Sick’: 7/10
Brian J. Robb