Episode 4 - Cherokee Rose
8 March 2013
Synopsis: With Carl recovering Hershel expects Rick to move his people on. Rick asks him to reconsider. Dale finds a Walker trapped in a well and the group try to pull him out. Glen and Maggie go to the local pharmacy and end up having sex. Darryl is the only one fit to go searching for Sophia and he finds some potential clues. Lori takes a pregnancy test.
The Good: Maggie seducing Glen in the pharmacy was a much needed light moment and led to a couple of genuine laugh lines (see Best Moment). Darryl's humanisation continued as he searches for Sophia and comforts Carol. The after effects of shooting Otis weighed clearly on Shane and I liked his warnings to Andrea about how much tougher it is to shoot a person than a target.
The discussion between Rick and Hershel over where the group would go next was interesting. We have now seen three separate groups of humans (remember the gang in Atlanta from 104) that have managed to survive. So it's not silly for a character like Hershel to suggest that they go their separate ways and find different places to live as they wait for the Walkers to die off. However things do seem bleak enough that it's also not mad to suggest that everyone would be better off if they stuck together.
The Bad: Following on from that though is the question of how long would it take for a Walker to die? Back in Atlanta we saw a Walker down in the sewer feeding on a rat and in the woods this season a Walker had eaten animals to survive. It would seem like a Walker can go on eating and breathing like any human. However we then get a Walker who has fallen down a well and is still surviving. Surely he should have starved by now? His bloated appearance seemed to indicate that he had been in the water a very long time. It's all a big vague and leaves you wondering quite what the survivors are up against.
It also leads to situations where the show and the characters look really dumb. The bloated Walker looked silly to me. He no longer resembled a dead human and seemed more like a demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don't really understand how he was supposed to have turned into that.
Still that wasn't quite as bad as the plan to lower Glen down the well to lasso him. That was a terrible, terrible idea and Glen should never have agreed to it. Surely they should have exhausted more plans before putting someone's life in such danger. The dramatic fall that then followed felt entirely manufactured and silly. I thought the whole idea was a big mistake. I don't think it helped Glen's character either. I had forgotten that his role back in Atlanta was to sneak in and out undetected. He seems so timid now that his bravery in the face of Walkers doesn't blend well with everything else we've seen from him.
This episode couldn't escape the criticisms which have been levelled at this season. The plot doesn't have to move forward dramatically for the character interactions to be more interesting. T-Dog and Dale revisit their earlier conversation on the highway, as do Andrea and Shane. Rick's never ending guilt continues to hang around his neck and Carol has nothing else to talk about but Sophia. It's not as if those moments don't deserve attention but the script didn't attempt to introduce anything new.
Did we need to hear Lori peeing?
The Unknown: Did Darryl find one of Sophia's sleeping places or someone else's?
I don't see why Rick would choose now to take off his Sherriff's badges. What is it about this moment that makes him think civilisation has gone or that he doesn't deserve to lead anymore? I suppose maybe it just hit him that there was no point in wearing them anymore but it felt out of context.
My sense of how much time has passed on the show isn't very strong. However I assume Lori's baby has to be Shane's. Obviously within the story that will be the problem and I can't say it's a great development. I knew that the affair would come out eventually but in a depressing show that badly needs some lightness this feels like more misery being heaped upon good people.
Best Moment: The idea that Maggie and Glen would have sex in a pharmacy without much of a flirtation makes sense in a world where human interaction is thin on the ground. When she tells him what they are about to do, he responds "Really? Why?" which was pretty funny. Even better though was her cutting him off as they rode home together with a simple "Don't spoil it."
Conclusion: Since Carl got shot the plot has ground to a halt. That's not a problem when there is good character stuff going on but at the moment there isn't. There were glimpses of it here but in general this feels like a poor adaption of the comic. When reading a comic your imagination fills in the 10 minute conversations that characters have that you don't see. On TV we need to see them.
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