The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 4 – ‘Cherokee Rose’ Review and Synopsis.

This episode opens on the Hershel farm, with livestock intact and something making a ruckus in the barn though as to what the audience does not know. Daryl rides in all billy bad ass on his motorcycle, really the only calm and collected character outside of Glen. He’s really an awesome character and I’m glad he has become a regular cast member because his bad ass woodsmen skills have been more than invaluable on more than one occassion. Rick and Lori’s son Carl has survived his surgery and is now resting with his mother and father by his side. These scenes depict the most normalcy seen in the series thus far, with season one concerned primarily with survival and escape and this season thus far hewing much to the same format. The farm is bright and vibrant, teeming with livestock and people. Further, cinematography is noticeably brighter, especially when looking upon the vistas, casting the Hershel farm in a kind of otherworldly glow. Even when a zombie does show up in this episode it is more for a comical rather than terrifying effect.


A rock pile is arranged to commemorate Otis’ ‘sacrifice’ and Dr. Hershel asks Shane to speak for Otis, and Shane is visibly uncomfortable with the notion. Given his having shot poor Otis in the leg to sacrifice him to the horde of zombies, it is easy to understand why Shane might be somewhat uncomforable giving a eulogy for the man he murdered. Shane’s recounting of Otis’ fate is believable only when he says that without Otis he would not have made it out alive. That much is definitely true. Shane and Rick agree to begin firearms training with the group as promised while Dr. Hershel is uncomfortable with guns being on his farm, again displaying a strange kind of detachment from the gravity of the situation facing the survivors. Rick, always honorable, vows that they will honor Hershel’s rules as they are his guests on his property.


Glen and Maggie go into town together to retrieve pharmaceuticals, giving them both some time to themselves that surely they won’t mind having. Things are completely awkward between Shane and Lori. Lori is hard to like most of the time, all haggard and slimy, but if she’s thankful for what Shane did for Carl, it’s understandable she might be more ambivalent with regard to her feelings for him. Shane and Andrea continue to have their soldiers of fortune moments together, which is odd given Andrea’s stories in season one about her father being such a gunsmith. That she is just now learning the basics is somewhat disheartening. Also, last time she was fooling around with her gun a zombie nearly ate her face off after she dropped some pieces of her unnecessarily deconstructed gun on the floor. T-Dog apologizes for his fever induced comments and asks Dale to not tell anyone about what he had said. Dale feigns ignorance as to what T-Dog is talking about and, while not the most useful character, Dale does seem to function as an emotional outlet for some of the others.


Lori asks Glen to get her a pregnancy test, since I can’t imagine her asking for anything else that would require him to be discreet. Dale and T-Dog find a zombie writhing in the well, bloated from having been in the water for so long. The zombie needs to be brought out of the water but without killing it so as to not contaminate the water, though who would want the water after a zombie had marinated in it for a while is beyond me. This sounds like a great idea. I’d say just leave the damn thing in the water because there is no amount of boiling that water that would bring me to drink it. In a conversation between Rick and Dr. Hershel the audience learns that, for obvious reasons, Rick has some reservations when it comes to religion. This is what happens when one goes and asks for a sign then one’s son gets shot afterward – it tends to have a faith lessening effect in spite of the lessons of the Book of Job.


Back at the dunk-a-zombie, our team of heroes is trying to entice the zombie to eat what looks like ham from a can. One, why are they wasting ham in this post-apocalypse world? Two, it’s a zombie, of course it does not want to eat a ham. If the zombies could be so easily appeased all the nation would have to do to solve the crisis is throw open the doors of every Wal-Mart and lure the zombies to their inevitable deaths in the Supercenter’s grocery section. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to dip Glen down into the well like fishing bait merits consideration and makes me question how any of these people have made it this far. It would appear that if Rick or Daryl isn’t around the group is incapable of making intelligent choices.


Speaking of Daryl, our shining knight from the hills of Georgia is off alone exploring an abandoned country house in a scene fraught with suspense. His bow is quite a cool weapon and a refreshing change from the typical shotgun or mallet. Daryl finds evidence of what may have been Sophia’s having recently slept in the abandoned house when he finds a bed setup in the pantry closet.


Back to aqua zombie, in a gruesome scene filled with entrails and blood, our heroes have decided to haul him up the well by noosing him around the neck and hauling. This works until the zombie’s decayed body splits in twain with blood and offal spraying all over the place and into the well water, thoroughly contaminating it with all manner of horrible. In the soldier training between Andrea and Shane, Shane inadvertently reveals his sociopathic tendencies with his talk about his mental switch and how one can forget things like sympathy or of anything other than survival.


Glen and Maggie go scavenging together in town on horseback. Glen’s awkward attempts at conversation with Maggie belie his crush on her. All that can be said of their encounter is that Maggie is incredibly straight forward. Good for Glen, he’s been nothing but a team player from the beginning and he probably needed a little love. Dr. Hershel has asked Rick and his company to leave the farm and Rick does not want to do this. Rick puts away his badges, signifying his loss of faith in the purity of municipal authority, a faith many of us lost without the need of a zombie apocalypse and its trials. We watch Lori take her pregnancy test out into the field and we can only assume that she’s pregnant, but it’s unknown as to whether Rick or Shane is the father because it’s like that with Lori. The error proof test confirms her pregnancy but really, we didn’t need to see that, we know she’s pregnant. If she’s not pregnant we just watched Lori pee in a field and that would be just horrible. The music is appropriately creepy the whole time too so at least they got that ambience right. Overall a slower episode made fulfilling only by the zombie being ripped in twain. Everything else felt plodding and the plot seems to have stagnated somewhat. Most likely the next episode will be action packed to make up for the lack thereof in this one.

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