Walking Dead Recap: Cell Block Tango

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The Walking Dead Season 3If you have yet to watch tonight’s Walking Dead, hit the nearest exit. And we repeat, if you have yet to watch tonight’s Walking Dead, stop reading now. Everyone else. read on...

Not one, not two but three characters kick the bucket in Sunday’s entirely jailhouse-set episode of The Walking Dead. And, by the time the hour is over, things are looking a little iffy for a fourth character, too. Here’s the obits, in all their gory glory:

THE HARD CELL | Though our heroes have their hands full trying to keep Hershel from becoming the limping dead — you remember the hatchet job Rick did on his leg last week, right? — one of the inmates — let’s call him Trigger, shall we? — is nonetheless quick to draw his gun and go all “my house, my rules” on them. In response, Rick stares him down like he’s less an alpha dog than a prison bitch and agrees to trade half the convicts’ food for help clearing them out a cellblock to call their own. (A Survivor style merging of the tribes is never an option. In fact, Lori even gives Rick the green light to waste the criminals, if he thinks it best.)

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DEAD END | Later, as Rick, Daryl and T-Dog are helping the jailbirds secure their new area, another inmate — Big Tiny, and no, I’m not making that name up — is bitten, and, during a brief discussion of whether he can be saved a la Hershel, has his head pulverized by Trigger with a level of enthusiasm not seen since Shane bought the farm. Later still, while battling a zombie onslaught, Trigger “accidentally” takes a swing at Rick, then pushes a walker at him. “Oops!” Trigger says (basically). “Oops!” Rick replies (basically) as he splits Trigger’s head open with a machete. This sets off another of the criminals running — a bad move, it turns out. Rick locks him outdoors with enough walkers to organize an unusually authentic rendition of the “Thriller” dance. Finally, Rick spares the remaining two inmates and turns them loose in their new cell block.

WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO | Back at our group’s cell block, Maggie is working so hard to brace herself for Hershel’s death that she’s all but digging his grave. (Optimistic Beth, by contrast, is re-hemming the amputee’s pants.) Carl again proves his mettle by sneaking off to the infirmary alone and coming back with a bagful of gauze and, you know, medical stuff. (“No big deal,” he insists.) After Hershel stops breathing, Lori performs CPR, resulting in a fantastic fake-out when he grabs her, making us think for a heart-stopping instant that he’s turned. (He hasn’t.) Finally, Carol — who’s apparently been in training to be Hershel’s nurse — enlists Glenn’s help in obtaining a walker on whom she can practice performing a C-section. (Carl, we’re told, was born that way, so there’s reason to believe the new baby will be, too. And, in case Hershel doesn’t make it, she needs to be ready.) Unfortunately, someone — or something — is watching her Dr. Quinn routine in the yard…

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REUNITED, AND IT FEELS SO GOOD? | In Rick and Lori’s few moments together, he continues to give her whichever of his shoulders seems to be the coldest. But she at least gets a little laugh out of him when she jokes, “What’re we gonna do, hire lawyers and get divorced and split our assets?” And, though he doesn’t exactly encourage her — the best he can muster is thanks for saving Hershel — he does touch her shoulder. Which, just then, all things considered, is still pretty encouraging.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? As good as the season’s first? And how beautiful a job did Lauren Cohan do in the scene in which Maggie told her dad it was okay for him to let go if he had to? (A full bowl of popcorn later, and I still can’t get that lump out of my throat!) Hit the comments, and do your thing.

Comments (23)

  • Perfect Episode. When I thought Lori got bit I was like YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by adam – October 21, 2012 07:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Season 3 is great thus far and is going to continue to be awesome.

    Comment by Pat – October 21, 2012 07:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another great, gorefest of an episode. And I do agree Lauren Cohen knocked it out of the park in that scene with Herschel. I was transfixed by her performance. Carl was pretty badass too, sauntering in with the bag full of medical supplies. Naturally Lori had to squash his buzz. Can’t imagine who was spying on Carol outside…

    Next week, the Governor. Can’t wait!

    Comment by JeffDJ – October 21, 2012 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This season is getting so good! I hope the rest of the season continues to be this good. And it looks like Merle returns next week!

    Comment by tvaddict – October 21, 2012 09:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So it WAS Merle?? I’m so excited. Maybe Daryl will actually get a taste of some storyline

      Comment by Mina – October 21, 2012 11:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Trigger’s name is actually Tomas.

    Comment by vdofan – October 21, 2012 10:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1) YES Lauren Cohan was a boss in that goodbye, and the cinematography wasn’t too shabby either… when she lay on his chest… *GULP*
    2) Rick touching Lori’s shoulder was a very very brief moment of hope, but i was more touched by the heartbreaking self-shoulder-snuggle that lori thereafter performed. how much does life stuck right now that that’s the most “affection” she’s had in months, from possibly anyone, and she compensates by snuggling her own shoulder? UGGHH

    Comment by cjeffery7 – October 21, 2012 10:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay i got the need for the first inmate to die, and i definitely got the need for the second inmate to die, but why did Rick let the 3rd guy die like that, don’t think there was a need especially when he could of easily saved him, bit harsh, no?

    Comment by Martin – October 21, 2012 11:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • because this isn’t a democracy

      Comment by Team Daryl Dixon – October 22, 2012 07:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • What was the reason for the 1st inmate to die there all already infected and all it was was a little scratch they saved herechel who was actually bitten

      Comment by Colin – October 23, 2012 05:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was harsh but I think Rick did it because after he killed Tomas that guy took a swing at him with the bat. Rick kicked him away in time, but still. After Shane and the Randall fiasco, Rick is done with that crap.

    Comment by Amy – October 22, 2012 03:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved that swing Rick took on Trigger… that character has grown soooo much. No longer a push over!

    Comment by Denise@americanhorrorstoryfan – October 22, 2012 04:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • great episode and the writers really have done a good job at making Lori more likable. I actually felt sorry for her and agreed with her about Carl running off. While it’s great that he can handle himself and got the supplies they needed, he still left WITH the cell block keys without telling anyone to go alone into uncharted & uncleared territory. They would have been mad if Glen or T-Dog had gone alone because it’s reckless. I think I would have said thanks first then jumped Carl in private instead of in front of the group. He is quite the badass though just like Darryl and Rick.

    Comment by Jen – October 22, 2012 06:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • best Walking Dead episode. this season is definitely redeeming itself from season 2

    Comment by A – October 22, 2012 08:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved Lori’s comment about not winning any Mother of the Year awards, considering many have nicknamed her Mother of the Year Lori Grimes and Lori “Where’s Carl?” Grimes. HAHA.

    Comment by Mikael – October 22, 2012 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved it when the inmates went all prison riot on the walkers & Rick, Daryl & T-Dog just looked at them like they were a bunch of noobs! They were all like WTF?

    Comment by Jim – October 22, 2012 10:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah that was great. They were like; frickin amateurs!

      Comment by The Kaibosh – October 22, 2012 10:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anyone else get nostalgic watching Dr Sara Tancredi talk about the prison infirmary?

    Comment by The Kaibosh – October 22, 2012 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, yes, I did…

      Comment by boningueb – October 22, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh yeah…

      Comment by lilys87 – October 23, 2012 12:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another perfect episode. Only complaint is the hour always goes by to quick. I missed the previews for next week though. I wanted carl dead now I think my opinion on him is changed. He has become a little badass, and I like it. Lori, I thought was getting eating by herch, only it didn’t happen. Oh well I guess there is always next week. I really hope t dog and daryll get atleast one episode focused on them this season.

    Can’t wait till next week and some more great tv.

    Comment by n8dogg – October 22, 2012 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I personally loved the practicality of the prisoners establishing a poop room in the cafeteria. Disgusting, but hilarious, and probably a little true to life. Good episode. It is surprising to see how much Rick has changed, but I like it.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – October 22, 2012 01:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great episode.. the inmate that Rick killed was Tomas though not Trigger, a bit of a different kill then how he died in the book but great nonetheless

    Comment by William – October 22, 2012 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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