This review contains spoilers!
After the brilliant episode last week, Episode 2 kept up the intense pace. It picked up straight where we left off, with Hershel on the floor and the newly discovered prison inmates looking on. They get Hershel back to the cells but are followed by the inmates, led by their “leader” Tomas. They come to an agreement with the inmates, securing themselves half of the remaining food supply. In return Rick, Daryl and T-Dogg will help clear out a separate cell block for them. There is a cool scene in which the inmates try to kill some walkers, using their own slightly goofy prison fighting style, with Axel stabbing a zombie in the gut with a shiv. They soon learn to fight more productively, aiming for the head instead of just mindless stabbing.
Whilst all of this is happening, the rest of the gang is taking care of Hershel. I honestly thought Hershel was going to die. They kept us guessing throughout the episode, but he was saved in the end, thanks mostly to Carl. This episode really pushed the whole “Carl is a bad-ass thing” that I was saying about the last episode. He found the infirmary and vital medicine for Hershel and he probably saved his life. Lori didn’t like this (of course). Carl then did what many others wish they could do, he talked back to Lori! After a quick argument, Beth talked him down and he listened, reinforcing that SOMETHING is being hinted at between those two. Still it was a great scene, and it showed Lori isn’t completely sure how to communicate with her young son. In her own words, she’s “not winning any mother of the year awards”.
From the moment you meet them, you get a pretty good idea that Tomas is going to be the bad guy of this episode. He starts off the episode as a slightly stereotypical gang member, he even holds his gun sideways! He soon becomes more of a psychopath when Big Tiny gets scratched and within minutes Tomas is smashing his head in. When they come to the final set of double doors, Rick tells Tomas to open ONE door. After the scene with Big Tiny, you know Tomas is not going to listen to him. He doesn’t, and the team gets swarmed. Tomas ‘s explanation is “Shit happens!” This scene is great, with all the gang killing walkers left, right and center. Rick is almost hit by a swing from Tomas however, and that’s were things get really interesting. Tomas then pushes a walker a Rick, almost getting him. Things then calm down and you’re left wondering what Rick will do. Old Rick would be left speechless, but the new morally grey Rick isn’t. “Shit happens” he says before stabbing Tomas in the head. I really like this new Rick. He’s unpredictable and angry now, although I’m guessing not everyone is going to agree with all of his decisions.
Elsewhere in the prison, Carol is practicing a cesarean on a walker. This was a pretty unnerving scene, made weirder by the fact that someone was watching Carol from the trees, presumably somebody from Woodbury. Ultimately it was great to just see Carol get a decent role, she’s really becoming one of my favorites this season.
To wrap up, I loved this episode. The scene in which Rick killed Tomas is one of my all time favourites of all 3 seasons, my jaw hit the floor when it happened; it was brilliant. This series so far has been less gory and violent than the previous two but it looks like it may be better than both. Bring on the Governor and Episode 3!