Flu All But Wipes Out 'The Walking Dead'

The last few episodes of The Walking Dead have been heavy on drama and dialogue, but this week everything (well, most things) hit the fan. So what went down on Sunday's new episode, which centered on a troublesome fence and that ever-present flu? Let's rewind to the beginning:

  • Rick return to the prison and it is pretty obvious that Carol did not come back with him. Maggie and Hershel are the only people Rick tells about Carol killing Karen and David. They are (oddly) okay with Rick’s decision not to being her back to the prison. Really, we’re all just waiting for the reactions of Daryl and Tyreese, but at this point they are still in the dark.
  • You might have forgotten about that pesky buildup of zombies on the fence, but it’s back! The fence is about to cave in, so Maggie and Rick start to prop it up with wood. Shots went off in the sick ward (we’ll get to that in a minute), and Rick tells Maggie to go help out there instead of dealing with the fence. Even though what is happening inside is important, Rick can’t forget about the fence. So Carl is enlisted to help — and somehow he manages to not completely mess things up this time! (Twist!) The wood Rick and Carl are using to prop up the fence ends up snapping and zombies start flooding into the prison. Which means: it’s time for the big guns, aka Carl’s dream come true. The father-son duo managed to take down the mob of walkers with some assault rifles and ended up making it through the whole fence debacle alive. They seemed to have bonded over their killing spree (aw) — the pair went back to being farmers and eating Rick’s peas by the end of the episode.
  • Hershel manages to hold everything down in the sick ward for a while, but it was only a matter of time before everyone ended up dying. And, uh, turning into zombies and killing everyone. Yep: A few people pass on from the flu, and Glenn/Sasha/Hershel keep quiet about it by privately stabbing the dead in the head before they could turn. Then things get bad. A couple people turn and start attacking. One dude ends up getting munched on before the flu could take him out. Yikes. In all the commotion, Hershel perfects his zombie-stabbing skills and Maggie makes her way into the sick ward as much needed backup. There are a number of casualties from the sick ward, all of which were ex-Woodbury residents that we knew very little about. (Naturally.) Hershel takes a moment to remember perhaps the most well-known of the deceased, Caleb (Dr. S.).
  • Lizzie’s role has been getting increasingly significant — not sure if I saw that coming, but considering the fact that she is actually still alive, we should probably start paying attention to her. Kudos to her this week for Saving-Glenn’s-Life Part 1. She heroically guides “Zombie Emery” out of the cell and down the hall like a dog. Could creepy compassion for zombies be a new survival strategy? (Yeah, I don’t think so.)
  • Alright, all Glenn fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Even though it was looking pretty bad for Glenn, it seems like will be around at least another episode. Glenn was in the last stage of the flu sickness; coughing blood and unable to breathe. But Hershel manages to keep him alive by wrestling a zombie on a wire canopy (who is then shot by Maggie) to get the ventilator bag. Hershel and Maggie’s success in getting Glenn to breathe again ends Saving-Glenn’s-Life Part 2.
  • Remember how Daryl’s group was bringing back medicine? Great! They’re back with the medicine just in time to save everyone in the… Oh, yeah. Everyone already died. Whoops. Well, at least they made it time to get medicine to Lizzie, Sasha, Hershel and Glenn. (Is anyone else from the sick ward alive?) Thank you to Daryl’s group for Saving-Glenn’s-Life Part 3.
  • The return of “The Governor.” Need I say more?

Hershel deserves a shout-out after this episode for being possibly the most likable character for these three reasons:

  1. Hershel was never one who liked to kill zombies, especially people he knew. We all remember his former zombie-hoarding days, don’t we? But on this week’s episode, he kills several of his “patients” once they turned.
  2. Let’s not forget that Hershel is not a doctor. He was a veterinarian. He also has no reason to even be helping the sick at all.
  3. Even in the face of danger, Hershel remains calm. He was more concerned with Glenn and Sasha’s well-being than he was with concerned with the threat of a) getting sick, or b) getting attacked by a zombie.

We can only hope that they find some spaghetti soon so Hershel can follow through with his suggestion to have “Spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday.”

Image: FX