The Walking Dead: “Secrets”

Posted on November 21, 2011

One thing you can’t say about the writers of this show is that they’re somehow obscure with their themes. “Secrets” is the title and thus, the narrative is suddenly flooded with them. We thought this was a good-to-excellent episode, with some much-needed emotional payoffs and some small plot and character developments that felt like something new was being added to the story. But we still can’t shake the feeling that everyone in the story is pretty much standing around waiting for something to happen.

On the Rick & Lori front, the cards are out on the table. In this case, almost literally, as Lori leaves a ton of morning after pill packaging laying around to serve as a method of informing Rick he’s going to be a daddy. It’s not foremost among their problems, but the Grimes marriage has some serious issues with communication. At any rate, Rick now knows about Shane, news to which he responds by revealing that he always knew on some level, which is really the only response left to the writers that prevents Rick from looking like a total moron. We had to laugh at Lori’s mortified “Was it that obvious?!?” to Dale. Honey, you two were fucking in the woods about 100 yards from the camp. It’s a little late to be concerned about discretion.

We’re glad that Rick and Lori have aired the dirty Shane laundry but we found ourselves pretty bored at the debate about whether to bring a child into this world. It’s a worthy debate to have, but we’ve been treated to minor variations on this exact argument in about a half-dozen scenes now. At this point, characters are just restating their positions to each other. This show has always had a problem with characters standing around talking way too much, but that problem is about to reach epic proportions if we’re entering a phase where characters stand around repeating themselves to each other.

Worse, it didn’t feel like there was any resolution to the rather pressing question of Lori’s pregnancy. She had the best argument for not going through with it (i.e., it’s dangerous, oh, and also, I don’t want to), but as is so often the case when TV or the movies has a character facing the question of terminating her pregnancy, she simply decides not to, with very little reasoning given as to why. Lori and Rick are mostly on the same page that Lori’s pregnancy would be dangerous to her, plus Lori has serious doubts that it would be a good idea to bring a child into a world where he or she will most likely have a short, brutal, terror-filled life, so… Lori decides to remain pregnant. Alrighty then.

And what’s frustrating is, in the middle of this debate that Lori and Rick are having, they managed to come right up to the line of asking the major question that has to be asked and then backed away from it once again. Namely: what are we fighting for here? What is the end goal? Subsistence living? Re-forming a society? If Rick and Lori plan on having the baby, then what life do they want for that baby and how are they going about making that happen? Is Ft. Benning still a plan? Obviously they can’t stay at Hershel’s much longer, but the longer they go (“they” being the group and not just Rick and Lori) without having this somewhat essential conversation, the less real this story seems to us.

This is another of our issues with the show this season: it’s in serious need of some world-building. After several episodes there, we still don’t know why Hershel’s farm is a zombie-free oasis, where everyone can roam for acres without any fear of stumbling upon a walker. In fact, after countless scenes reiterating the need to be as quiet as possible so as not to attract any walkers, the group inexplicably decides to waste their bullets – which we would assume are in limited supply – with gleeful abandon. It’s great that they’re finally working as a unit and training people to survive, but we’re 12 hours into this story and we only know what a couple of counties in Georgia look like. We’re getting antsy.

Granted, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be at Hershel’s much longer because that place is a powder keg ready to blow and we don’t just mean the barn full of undead friends and family members. The group has gone through some fundamental shifts, making them more volatile and less likely to be welcome to stay by the extremely paranoid and xenophobic Hershel. For one, there’s the whole Shane and Andrea thing. He’s nuts; she’s halfway there, and this is triggering Dale’s God complex and kicking it into overdrive. Seriously, Andrea comes off bitter and irritating in this story (and that “Andrea gains the power of self confidence!” moment with the gun was embarrassingly lame), but Dale sticking his nose into everyone else’s business is getting more and more annoying with each week. We find ourselves going back and forth on the idea of his benevolence. Is he doing what’s best for the group and the individuals in it, or is he something of a moralistic control freak? Either way, it takes a lot for someone to make us take Shane’s side in an argument, but Dale managed to do it – even when Shane wound up making crazy-ass veiled threats. It’s bad enough he gave Glen shit for sleeping with Maggie, but he essentially asked Shane to leave for sleeping with Andrea and inserted himself into Lori’s marital problems. Dale needs to back down and let people conduct what’s left of their personal lives without his input.

In fact, looking back on it in the light of day, all this fretting over who’s pregnant and who’s sleeping with each other really strikes us as bizarre in light of the many, many unanswered questions in their lives. The world has ended, no one knows what to do next, one child was shot (although suddenly up and about) and another is still missing (and her supposed survival has become extremely silly and unlikely) and people are bickering over abortion and who’s sleeping with whom. We don’t know if that’s supposed to serve as a commentary on the basic fecklessness of people or whether it’s just the writers lapsing into soap opera storytelling because they’ve convinced themselves they can’t move the story too quickly for some reason, but while we’re happy the Grimeses are moving forward a bit in their story, the overall story is really not moving at all, to our frustration.



[Photo Credit: AMC]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • I didn’t have a problem with the “what to do about the pregnancy” storyline.  For one thing, women frequently have no reason for keeping a baby and every reason in the world to terminate, and decide against an abortion anyway.  No show will ever really be able to portray how or why accurately:  it’s too subconscious and emotional.  And a lot of women will continue a pregnancy they don’t really want if the father is in the picture and wants the baby. 

    Dale… well, I’d like to think Dale is somewhere in-between benevolent and controlling.  I have a husband who sees no good reasons for ANYONE to cheat EVER!  There are no shades of gray for him, and I see Dale kinda like that.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. I think Dale sees himself as knowing what’s best for others and thinks he’s acting in their welfare when he butts in. He reminds me a lot of some family members — they want to help and they really think they are, but what they’re doing is trying to deal with their discomfort with your choices by making different choices for you. It’s passive-aggressive, but it comes from a place of caring. So I don’t think Dale is abusive in the sense that he wants to control what everyone is doing so he gets his way; it’s more that he wants to get his way because he really does think it will be better for the people he’s controlling. Does that make sense?

      Oh, and I thought the same thing about gun practice. I sat there thinking, “Aren’t they worried about walkers? And wasting bullets?”

      And who didn’t see the walker attack on Maggie at the drugstore coming from a mile away? Hello, obvious insertion of “action” and “horror”.

    • I think my problem with the pregnancy story line is that it was false debate.  I cannot remember a time where a fictional character went through an unwanted pregnancy, had the debate and then terminated the pregnancy.  They just won’t do it.  They didn’t do it on Sex and the City, they didn’t do it on Friends, hell they didn’t even do it on Mad Men or Maude.  

      And sure, individually this makes sense for singular characters, many times a TV pregnancy is covering for a real life pregnancy (that still doesn’t make sense from a story standpoint).  I also can’t say that Joan’s reasoning wasn’t fitting or human.  But if you step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s a trend.  It’s an irritatingly predictable one at that.

      Once characters debate abortion, it’s becomes obvious that no one is going to have one.

      • Actually, the first one I’d seen in forever was Christina, this season on Grey’s Anatomy. As someone who very much never wants children, I was so pissed off that they were going to chicken out, but in the end she didn’t want children, had told her husband before they were married that she didn’t want children and got the damn abortion. Finally.

        • I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, but I’m curious:  why didn’t one of them take permanent measures to prevent this?  I always wonder about that…  You don’t see a lot of people on TV deciding they don’t want kids and getting fixed to make sure, and that seems like the sensible course of action to me!

          • Speaking as a childless woman who never wants kids, it’s realistic that Christina didn’t have permanent measures taken because most doctors will refuse to sterilize childless women, especially if they’re under 40.  I’ve been trying to find a doctor to tie my tubes for years, cash for the procedure in hand, and no one will do it.  They’re all too afraid I’ll change my mind later and sue them.  One doctor even told me that she believes that I’ll never change my mind and wishes she could help me, but if her malpractice insurance found out, her rates would shoot through the roof.  

            Hell, I had to prove that birth control pills could kill me (I’m at high risk of stroke) before I could find a doctor to give me a reversible IUD.  I’d previously been refused even that because I’ve never had kids.

          • Anonymous

            My sister had her tubes tied at age 25 BUT the doctor insisted she go to counseling before he would do the procedure.  But that was also about 20 years ago and I’m sure doctors are even more worried about malpractice now.

            Oh and Becky on Friday Night Lights is another one who actually went through with the abortion. 

            And Maude too. 

          • Well, I was wondering more why didn’t they as a couple take steps?  Vasectomies are generally reversible and pretty reliable.  And there are more things available now, including a weird wire thing for the tubes that has a similar effect….

            I’m also wondering how ANYONE would win a case that the procedure they asked for shouldn’t have been done… I mean, they’ll give me a nose job — what if I discover that I want my old nose back later?!? 

            I’m in no way doubting you, I just find it appalling and ludicrous that it’s made that difficult.  I personally know 4 different guys who have been sterilized with no children, so it’s doubly stupid!

          • I doubt Owen would get a vasectomy, since it seems he does want kids.  But you’re right about access to vasectomies.  I’ve had childless male friends who’ve been able to get them with no trouble.  Urologists do not have the same malpractice insurance worries that OB/GYNs have.

            The wire thing for the tubes (Essure) is permanent, so doctors are reluctant to do that as they are to do tubal ligations.  I may have finally convinced the doctor who installed my IUD to permanently sterilize me.  She said she’ll do it if I still want it when my IUD expires.  That’s only a five year waiting period to make sure I won’t change my mind.  😛

          • I doubt Owen would get a vasectomy, since it seems he does want kids.  But you’re right about access to vasectomies.  I’ve had childless male friends who’ve been able to get them with no trouble.  Urologists do not have the same malpractice insurance worries that OB/GYNs have.

            The wire thing for the tubes (Essure) is permanent, so doctors are reluctant to do that as they are to do tubal ligations.  I may have finally convinced the doctor who installed my IUD to permanently sterilize me.  She said she’ll do it if I still want it when my IUD expires.  That’s only a five year waiting period to make sure I won’t change my mind.  😛

        • I never really got into Grey’s Anatomy, so that’s refreshing to hear.  On the previous season of House MD, Dr. Taub’s adamantly childfree wife got pregnant and kept the baby….cuz babies.  The girl he was sleeping with on the side did too.

          My eyes rolled right out of my head, onto the floor, out the door, down the street and as far as I know, are still out there rolling around.

      • I agree, but most of the women I know who have discussed what to do about an unwanted pregnancy HAVEN’T had the abortion, so I have more tolerance for it on TV.  I’ve had that particular talk twice — with my oldest I made it all the way through the pre-abortion counseling mandated by the state… 

        And they did reference Carrie’s pre-show days abortion on Sex and the City, so that’s something. 

        • We have different experiences.  The women I know who’ve had unwanted pregnancies, about half decided to terminate.  It’s a small sample size of 4, but there you go.

          In television you’re allowed to talk about abortion in the abstract.  Characters who have abortions have had them in the nebulous past, hand waved into the background.  I can think of a dozen shows like that.  But once a present character is faced with the actual choice?  It doesn’t happen.  They’re too gun-shy.  I’m less forgiving for TV treating abortion this way because it strikes me repeatedly as unrealistic and what’s more, makes it seem like there’s a “right” choice, the one everyone will make.  And again, it’s completely contrary to my experiences.

          • Anonymous

            I’m with you Barbara.  If there was ever a situation where a non-therapeutic abortion would be understandable, this was it–everyone’s lives will be at greater risk during the pregnancy and while threre’s a baby–but there was no way the writers were going to go *there*.  Which is kind of funny, because we’ve seen all sorts of other things–murder, suicide, etc.–but abortion’s just way too much of a hot-button topic to get more than a cursory glance.

            Birth rates drop dramatically in unstable environments.  In a “real” situation, a pregnancy would be a no-go for most of the women I know.

      • Anonymous

        Actually I believe Maude did have the abortion.

        • You are correct, I for some reason remember it as her having a miscarriage.

      • Anonymous

        Claire on Six Feet Under had an abortion.  Although she didn’t really have a discussion; she just went and did it. The discussion sort of came after.

      • Anonymous

        Claire on Six Feet Under had an abortion.  Although she didn’t really have a discussion; she just went and did it. The discussion sort of came after.

    • Anonymous

      I kind of understand Lori too. It pretty much needed to be done, but she just couldn’t.I just wish they would continue to show her problem: trying to do something (and I mean actually doing it), then sabotaging herself.

  • Anonymous

    Of course rick knew about Shane & Lori, that was obvious.  I felt he was a little thoughtless in his attack on Lori upon discovering the morning after pill boxes (and seriously? How f’ing careless is this bunch?).  Yes, he should have been told but looking at the bizarro world they are in how on earth could Lori being reacting to an unplanned pregnancy in an sort of normal way?
    I see them setting up Glen to become a de facto leader of the Herschal clan somehow, that could be interesting.
    And Sofia is dead folks, time to move on.
    I do ask in general that commentators familiar with the book series this is based on not to reveal too much of what is in store to those of us not in the loop, thanks!

    • She wasn’t so concerned with hiding those pills.  She regretted taking them as soon as she swallowed and ran out to throw them up. 

  • I’m starting to wonder why you guys bother watching this show anymore. I, for one, find the show pretty damn fun week after week.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  Even with respect to a “good to excellent” episode, there’s nothing but criticism.  I thought last night’s episode was a lot of fun, myself.  And I very much enjoyed the developments in Andrea’s character.

      Although you’d think that Lori (and Maggie) would know that a “morning after” pill means the morning after you have sex, not the morning after you find out you’re pregnant!

      • I was actually surprised that these guys liked the episode, considering everything felt so sloppy. But I do have to agree with you that the whole Keep Baby/Kill Baby drama was rendered moot because Lori was using Morning After pills. I mean, come on!!

      • She did say at one point that she wasn’t sure they’d work. I think she was using whatever she could get her (or Glenn’s) hands on. It’s the apocalypse, after all.

        • Andrea

          there are a lot more drugs out there that could cause a miscarriage/abortion… morning after pills are about the least effective choice I can think of lol

      • I think she was hoping that taking a large dose would cause a miscarriage.  She opened more than one pack.  My problem with that though, is what did she think would happen if she did?  There can be serious complications from a miscarriage and they only have a veterinarian for medical help.

        • Yeah… what if her body didn’t do what it’s supposed to in that case?  I had a missed miscarriage (basically, when you should miscarry and your body doesn’t expel the tissues) and none of the medication worked to get it going on its own.  I had to have a D&C to prevent serious health problems.

  • Terence Ng

    It WOULD be refreshing to see a character on TV who has sex, suspects she might be pregnant the next day or so, goes to get a morning after pill, takes it, then goes on with her day. It’s not like every purchaser of a morning after pill sits there in silence in a quiet room with a clock ticking and the pill and a glass of water sitting on the table in front of her.

    • Anonymous

      That would be great… but that’s not how the pill works. You take the pill after unprotected sex (in a time span of like a week). You cant take it already if you are preggo or if it’s been over that short window. And no woman would know if she was pregnant for about 2 or 3 months without a test available. 

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know about every woman, but I knew I was pregnant about as soon as I missed my period:  the smell of coffee made me nauseated, and I normally love the smell of coffee.  That happened with all three of my pregnancies.

        • Anonymous

          The story they told about meat being cooked made me laugh. My aunt was the same way in her second trimester. She became a vegetarian for 6 months because of it. Too bad her husband and sons are all champion deer hunters! 

        • By the time you miss your period, it’s WAY too late for the morning after pill anyway.  I knew as soon as mine was even a day late — the only time I wasn’t was when I had mono.

        • But at the point where you miss your period, you are already one month pregnant.  That’s not “the morning after”.

      • Anonymous

        I think she was just taking it in a desperate attempt to miscarry- that’s pretty much all she has access to in terms of family planning. 

        Also – you can definitely know or strongly suspect you’re pregnant without a test.

        • Anonymous

          You can “strongly” know or have some idea. But most women, according to a couple baby books I’ve read, do not know until they are around 2 1/2 to 3 months. They may have some early signs, but you can get nauseous from eating a bad burrito or, you know, seeing dead people around you all the time!  And since a good portion of society’s women do not have regular periods, a missed period wouldn’t set many women off until the second one doesn’t show itself.

          • Anonymous

            Not to belabor the point, but I knew pretty much the day after I got pregnant- without any nausea or other signs. It’s not always about symptoms; sometimes ladies just know they’re pregnant. 

          • Anonymous

            Those are some strong, womanly vibes you’ve got going! 🙂 Also, I’m a lady as well. The one time I was preggo, I didn’t know till my boobs hurt like crazy about two months in.

          • Anonymous

            Ha! Yes, I’m such an earth-mother 🙂 Although that status might be in jeopardy given that were I in her situation I would do my damndest to be terminating that pregnancy. It’s so unsafe to have a child with no access to medical care – she’s seriously putting her life and health in jeopardy if this pregnancy continues.

            I’m just so annoyed with the whole pregnancy storyline in general now, and how she’s being cornered into keeping it from Dale, Rick, and Maggie’s bitchy little dig at her “abortion pills”. 

          • Anonymous

            Girl, I hear you. I am so pissy when it comes to the morning after pill being called an “abortion pill.” I dont care if she’s supposed to be a conservative redneck. There is no reason why she should call it the “abortion pill!” 

          • Anonymous

            I have a greater problem with the writers, who don’t seem to know that the “abortion pill” and the “morning after pill” are two different things.  Since Lori’s pregnancy is of enough duration to register on a home test, it’s far too late for morning after pills, which are high-dose birth control pills used for emergency contraception by women who recently had unprotected sex.  Generally, they work by making the uterus inhospitable to pregnancy so that, if conception has occurred, the embryo is unable to attach to the uterine wall.  If one is of the belief that life begins at conception, then one might be inclined to call this method an “abortion pill,” although it might be more correct to say “potential abortion pill,” since it is administered before a woman can or does know for certain if she conceived.  It is  commonly offered to rape victims undergoing “rape kit” examinations.  The “abortion pill” (what used to be called RU486, but is now branded as Mifeprex), on the other hand, actually is just that: a pill that induces therapeutic abortions of known, established pregnancies by causing miscarriage, and can be used in the  US through the 7th week.  So, while, depending upon one’s point of view, Maggie might have been inaccurate in her choice of words, the writer (or, more precisely, the propmaster) was lazy in implying that positively-pregnant Lori was going to achieve the desired result by, essentially, OD-ing on birth control pills.  

          • Actually, I believe it can be used later for medical purposes, such as a missed miscarriage — you do have a pharmaceutical option that basically spurs your body to finish the miscarriage.  They’ll give it to you up to 13 weeks, with doctor supervision.  Though that may be a different pill.

          • Anonymous

            If you’re referring to Mifeprex, it is effective and is used much later in pregnancy outside the US.  For ELECTIVE abortions in the US, the FDA cut-off is 7 weeks.  The guidelines might very well be different for treating medical conditions like incomplete miscarriages, because it is how the FDA tends to operate.

          • Well, the later you “miscarry” the more dangerous it is — so they limit the pill to early on because they don’t want a woman taking it without medical supervision.  When I was offered it rather than a D&C, they told me I’d have to be monitored to ensure that it went smoothly.

          • [added comment then deleted ’cause when I clicked to the next page of comments I saw that jeeplibby02 was more-than-capably on the case!]

          • What?!?  Seriously?  Who doesn’t know for that long?!?  Every woman I knows takes a test if they don’t get a period within a week or two of expecting one.

            I think that’s kind of outdated, from when pregnancy tests required killing a bunny…

          • parissweetheart

            Some people’s cycles are not regular and it would be normal for them to not have a period every month.

          • Maybe I just know seriously paranoid people…

        • Where did all the birth control go?  Why not hit any pharmacy?  Most of them would have BC pills left over since they would hardly be the first thing grabbed in a survival situation.  Sure, you wouldn’t necessarily know which ones would be most effective for you or the right dose to grab, but something’s better than nothing. 

      • Terence Ng

        Well, that’s why I wrote “the next day or so”, well within the one-week, and I assume she might suspect she’s pregnant if she’s been having sex in a zombie apocalypse sans condom and birth control. Why Lori leaves morning-after pills around if it’s been months is beyond me. What did she think they would do?

        • Wishful thinking… same reason women throughout history have tried all kinds of crazy shit to cause a miscarriage.

          • Terence Ng

            She needs a witch with some herbs. Also, you’d think the stress alone of living in a world of reanimated dead with your lover, your returned husband, and your bullet riddled child, and passive aggressive crazy people you call a crew would have caused a miscarriage.

          • No.  The “stress-induced miscarriage” seems to be a myth.  Yeah, stressed out women miscarry, but probably for other reasons…

            Though a witch with some herbs wouldn’t be that much of a stress.  My mother tells stories from when she was in high school — when you couldn’t get the pill unless you were married and abortions were still totally illegal — that are absurd, risky, and totally ineffective. 

        • Wishful thinking… same reason women throughout history have tried all kinds of crazy shit to cause a miscarriage.

  • Of course they focus on their personal problems and dynamics because those are short-term and in their faces and because they are the issues that are of a scope that they can deal with. The catastrophe is still quite recent; of course they haven’t decided how (or if) they have aspirations to rebuild civilization. They don’t even know IF there is a civilization yet. I don’t mind following this group of people and seeing this apocalypse from their perspective at all. 

    I personally hated the episode. While it’s good that they finally start addressing some of the elephants in the room (finally), it wasn’t necessary to do it all in the same episode considering the past 4 episodes where the secondary characters outside of Rick/Lori/Shane drama have literally stood around doing nothing (with the exception of Darryl).
    Also, I had to laugh at the Lori/Rick conversation about Shane. I was hoping they would at least establish “How long did Laurie mourn before jumping into bed with Shane?” but they didn’t. When Rick gives his cheating wife the benefit of the doubt that the world had gone to hell and Shane was there, she just gives a nervous look then a really fast “Yeah, sure, let’s go with that,” nod. 
    And I’m sorry, but I would not mind one bit if Andrea gets eaten by the Walkers. She’s so annoying.

    • Andrea – Ack! I was hoping she’d somehow manage to shoot herself in that suburban cul-de-sac.

      She sure does have an interesting way of flirting, doesn’t she? (No moral judgment. It just really cracked me up)

  • Anonymous

    I am SO pissed at this show. As much as I love it, I cannot believe that they called the Morning After an “abortion pill.” As someone who is really concerned about how the world views a woman’s choice, I almost threw a shoe at the tv when they then went on to show her scarfing down a handful of those things when most people know that there are only 2 or 3 pills per package.

    So irresponsible. So stupid. Do these writers not have fact checkers? Were one of those writers even a woman with common sense? UGH.

    As for the rest of this episode… total snore. 

    • Sadly, this episode was WRITTEN by a woman. 

      I’m so disgusted after last night’s episode that I’m done with the series.

    • parissweetheart

      It could be due to the series taking place in Georgia. There are laws about pressuring girls to hear the heartbeat, listening to literature about not having an abortion, etc. It makes sense to me that it could be called an abortion pill. It’s just another way to drive the point of what it’s for.

      I’m not from Georgia, but I’m from Texas. These sorts of things come up often in the news.

  • MilaXX

    This show is slowly losing my attention. Sunday night is jam packed with shows I like, causing a lot of  juggling between the DVR/On Demand and lie viewing. More and more nothing happens and I’m starting to wonder why bother. If this keeps up, I’ll probably finish this season and check out. Each week I watch and think, “yeah that happened.”

  • Anonymous

    I thought this was the best episode yet this season.  I sort of love that when Glen became the keeper of all the group’s miscellaneous secrets, they all tumble out into the open because he just can’t help himself.  Even better, everyone apparently figured out that he was the source, despite being given BS cover-up stories.  

    And can I just say I am glad, glad, glad that finally Rick knows everything.  They were seriously getting to the point where everyone at the farm knew about both Lori’s affair and her pregnancy except for her husband, which makes her seem cruel and he seem like a total fool.  I was glad for the final scene, and it made me realize one source of this season’s problems.  Even more than the alternate characters and fates, for me the biggest divergence from the source is that Rick isn’t really the center of the story any more.  He has gone from carrying 99% of the pilot episode by himself to getting about 10 minutes per episode.  As the leader of the group, and the one who has the most potential to transform, he has been featured fairly minimally lately.  I understand it’s a group drama and the others needed to be fleshed out, but I think part of the restlessness with this season is because our central character has faded a bit.

    Great episode though.  But what’s this about a “mid-season finale”?  Going off the air already?  Noooo!  (Doesn’t a TV “season” get its name because it’s a continuous run of the show?  Sigh.)

    • Anonymous

      it’s coming back in a few months. standard cable ploy of splitting up a season

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I figured as much.  I still think it’s silly… not quite approaching the level of silly of the BSG “fractional seasons” (3.5!) but still silly.   

  • Anonymous

    I, for one, was pleasantly surprised that they moved along with the secrets, so it seems the story will move onto something else… and my only complain was the apparent disregard for using all their ammo for target practice and how Shane and Andrea seemed to pick a random house to search for Sofia: at some point I thought I missed some kind of discussion about how they chose that particular house…. at least it provided some gruesome scenes of dead (not zombie) people (some seemed like very badly burned, but the house still standing…. kind of weird….). 
    And I think the lack of discussion of the fundamental question about what the future holds is based on their complacency brought by being in kind of safe place, so they are in denial and enjoying their relative and transient peace, so it’s easy to forget they need to discuss those fundamental questions, which would probably make them leave the place and being in the run again…. So I don’t see it as so foreign to what people would actually do…. 

  • Lori will terminate her pregnancy when the writers decide to make her a full-fledged villain.  Barring that development, there are only two possible resolutions to an unwanted pregnancy storyline:
    1.  Woman decides to keep the baby with very little reason given as to why
    2.  Woman has a convenient miscarriage, saving her from having to make an actual decision

  • Anonymous

    I hear what you are saying about Dale. He actually was kind of stupid admitting to Shane what he saw last season. He really should have told Rick about his reservations concerning Shane and let Rick deal with it.

    I did wish they went more into the relatives in the barn. It’s not surprising that it exists. It’s an extention of the issue present in the first episode where that man cannot bring himself to shoot his wife even though he and his son knows she’s a zombie.

    BTW as a humorous side note, at the local comicon here in Austin last week, a guy dressed up as Rick. The ironic thing is 5 min later I ran into a girl dressed as an anime type zombie creature with a brain in her hand. Was not able to get them in a picture together sadly.

    • Anonymous

      I think it was the way the show chose to give us our weekly: Hey, remember Shane’s crazy? He’s dangerous! and mean!

  • Anonymous

    BTW – How is Glen “…a leader” and according to Maggie?  I expect her to leave with them (and start sleeping with someone else when she gets tired of Glen), but that was a weird statement to make.  Granted, he’s smart and doesn’t get enough kudos from the group – but I can’t see him leading, well, this group anyway.

    Dale’s glued-on look of surprise and disgust has worn thin on me. Dude, YOU ARE TOO OLD FOR ANDREA!!!! Once Glen becomes ASE certified, bu-bye Dale.

  • This episode looked like it was edited by the McKinley High AV Club. I know there was a lot of drama after the season 1 with the show’s budget getting slashed, but AMC is just embarrassing itself if it continues to air such shoddily edited material when it knows how many millions are tuning in to watch. 

  • Anonymous

    I basically hated every single character in this episode. (Except Daryl. I love Daryl.) I am having a hard time remaining interested in a show that is providing me very little in the way of emotional investment in the characters who populate the story.  I seriously wouldn’t care if any of them were zombie food or were turned into a walker.

    And the Sophia story line lost me about 4 episodes back.  She just wasn’t an important enough character to justify spending almost the entire season thus far watching the others half-heartedly search for her.  I really don’t care about this sub-plot at all.

    And the whole pregnancy story line is really getting to me.  Rick was very justified in his anger at Lori for keeping such a secret from him, but I really dislike the fact that the writers are inserting moral judgment on her ambivalence to keeping a child (as was also present in her conversation with Dale and in Maggie’s “here’s your abortion pills” snit).

    • Anonymous

      I think I could have taken all the Lori stuff if she had stood up for herself and reminded everyone that this was her body and her decision. And really, they even added people telling her to tell Rick, all to get the message across: what you are doing is wrong.

  • As a big believer in a woman’s right to chose I found them playing fast and loose with the “abortion pill” vs. the Morning After Pill very disturbing. As others have said, the Morning After Pill is just that-for the next day after risky sex, rape or some other event that makes you think you are at risk of becoming pregnant. What Lori wanted was RU-486 which terminates a pregnancy after conception and implantation. This pill must be taken under the care of a doctor to prevent unwanted DEATH or other side effects.

    For anyone to judge this woman (or any other, but that’s another story) for wanting to terminate a pregnancy under these conditions is ludicrous and speaks to our ridiculously backward ideas about the sanctity of “life”.

    All in all it was a good episode, but I’m ready for them to move on too. Hershel’s farm isn’t going to make for a very interesting backdrop (if it ever did) and there just aren’t enough edge of your seat moments to keep most people hooked.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed about the farm -it’s way boring.  I did have high hopes that would change after the reveal of the barn full of walkers; I was thinking it would be something way more sinister than the naivete of believing “they’re still my family”.  Like, I don’t know, maybe for some reason he’d be breeding an army of walkers. I just wanted something more creepy and alarming out of that.

    • I didn’t find it disturbing — I found it believable.  Conservative sneers about the “abortion pill”?  Very likely in that situation.  A woman not realizing that the MORNING-AFTER pill wouldn’t help her that far along?  In Georgia?  Oh, that’s quite probable.

  • If the world were still normal, Lori would absolutely want that baby and I think that’s what she’s struggling with.  She keeps thinking about the world they are bringing that baby into but who says the baby will ever get born?  What happens when she’s 6, 7, 8 months pregnant and can no longer run?  She’d be a sitting duck for a walker.  Rick says he wants to protect Lori and Carl, he needs to think about that.

    Also, I don’t think Maggie’s “abortion pill” dig was a moral judgement as much as her being pissed she nearly got killed to go get it.  And did Lori really ask for a “Soap Opera Digest?”  What’s she catching up on?

  • Anonymous

    I thought this was a really good episode…I finally felt like there was some progression in the story, hopefully enough to create some literal movement with the group.
    I think focusing on “surviving” is going to make the story fizzle out in short order if the characters don’t move toward “living” as well.  If there’s no life in their lives, they might as well give up.

    Speaking of giving up, I’m ready to beat Sophia’s ass myself for running off to-hell-and-gone or whatever the hell she’s done.

    As for Dale–I don’t see him as benevolent or controlling, really.  I see someone who is very insightful and sometimes steps a bit deeper than is warranted.  But he’s sort of the elder of the group, and I’m thinking he feels the fatherly need to dispense advice.

  • I loved it, but then, I don’t mind all the talking. Never have.  Frankly, the comics are the same way and while I know we’re not supposed to mention them here, I think the show has been faithful to the tone in a way that is so refreshing.  It’s rare to see adapted material that doesn’t ruin the original.

    They laid a LOT of pipe in this episode. And Shane got his pipe laid.  Not even violence for you this week?  Here’s some sex.

    Which, by the way, when have you EVER seen a girl grab a guy’s package on primetime TV?  Can’t recall ever seeing that.

    • Pennymac

      It was rather bold for Sunday night at 9:30, wasn’t it? I laughed at the car stopping and the beep of the horn. People are still people, even after the zombie apocolypse.

  • Anonymous

    I think it was more of a “desperately hoping” case. A none of these people seem to have any medical knowledge beyond ‘blood belongs inside the body. Try to keep it there’

  • Pennymac

    I am really enjoying this show. It seems like forever since I’ve been as interested in plot developments and the like, since I’ve become a raging reality tv addict. (I do draw the line at the Housewives of Whatever and Jersey Shore, though)

    It’s very much a soap opera, lots of talking, and the realization if they went about solving their problems in an honest and direct way there’d be no reason to continue tuning in. I did find myself exhaling a sigh of relief that Lori finally told Rick about Shane, and I’m grateful that the writers didn’t make him look like a total tool by not having a clue whatsoever.

  • I think part of the reason they aren’t talking about how to rebuild society is that they are still hoping that society is out there somewhere waiting for them, maybe the next state over, with people who have already made the decisions about how to plan the future.  The thought that scattered bands like themselves or enclaves like Herschel’s are all that’s left is too much to contemplate, though it was at the root of Lori’s doubt about her pregnancy.

  • Michael Telles

    Along with the critical analysis of the show, which are always well down, the best part of T-Lo reviews are always the little references  to other movies/shows that come into play. “Andrea gains the power of self confidence!” from the Scott Pilgrim universe has to be the best one yet.

  • Anonymous

    You know, I like to think the source of most of the tremendous stupidity the characters are showing comes from their belief that they are staying at Hershel’s for good. Wasting bullets? That’s OK, the farm is safe. Not storing food or water? What for, there’s plenty. Sleep with one of my group? I’m a big girl, so why not. If worse come to worst, is not like I’ll have to sit in the same RV as him. Group:we’re staying here forever 😀

    I don’t really care about anything Andrea related, but at least now you can hand her a gun and not have her shot anyone in her victory dance. And if this show is even remotely fair, Carl will fuck up trying to impress Shane.

    I admit I take a little satisfaction on Maggie (probably) thinking that maybe those misled troglodytes were right. And she was terrified and shocked, so unless you can’t afford to, no words out of her mouth should be taken seriously/into account. I propose we all pretend the group knows this, and Glen is just ignoring the rule.

    Dear Rick:You are an amazingly sweet, earnest and caring asshole. Put on your big boy pants and tell them already. And since you are not competing to be Miss. Universe, make the sensible decision, even if it’s hard. When John Lennon said ‘all you need is love’? He was lying. 

  • Anonymous

    I actually thought Lori was going to ask Hershel to terminate the pregnancy when she talked to him at the fence. As a vet, I think he could probably handle the procedure (especially as he has already done surgery). I didn’t buy the whole Rick getting upset about Lori wanting to terminate the pregnancy. I think it made him look even more buffoonish considering the the danger having the baby poses to Lori, not to mention the group. A screaming baby is pretty much going to be the “bat signal” to walkers. Oh, I am sure the writers have some hooey about the baby = hope or some nonsense like that. I will find a helmet and be prepared to be beaten over the head with that idea. 

    Overall, I really liked the episode though. I though Andrea and Shane heading off on foot and leaving their vehicle open or creating a situation where walkers could get between them and their vehicle was dumb. 

    • Anonymous

      It was especially dumb after what happened to Shane the last time he did that. 

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t get that impression.  I got more of a sense of her laying the groundwork of asking for yet another favor….revealing that she was pregnant and could the old horse doc help manage her pregnancy.  All that flew out the window when Hershel let loose with his Ease On Down the Road song and dance on Lori.  I think then is when she really started thinking about termination.

  • Anonymous

    First episode of True Blood, maybe even the first scene, a wild girl gives a hand jobbie to her boyfriend. That is the only other time I have seen it on tv. 

    Men all over America applauded, I bet. lol

  • What was all this at the end of the show about next week’s mid-season finale?  Is the show going away after next week?

    • Anonymous

      It is going on hiatus and will be back on February 12, 2012. Lots of shows take a break over the Christmas holiday but this break seems especially long to me. 

      Link where I got this information:

      • Thanks! Though that is sad to hear it’s going to be over two months.  I thought they’d be back right after the holidays, which is why the use of “finale” threw me.

  • foodycat

    I don’t watch this show – but how in the world was a morning after pill supposed to terminate a pregnancy? That’s not what they do!

  • I’m new to the series, and being dvr challenged, I don’t dvr the show, and it interferes with my Dexter. Anyway, I didn’t see Season One and have no idea how much time has supposedly lapsed. Can anyone help me with this? I just need a basic timeline of how long ago the apocalypse took place and how long they’ve been searching for Sophia. 

    • It’s been less than a week since they have been looking for Sophia.  I can’t remember how long Rick was in a coma during the first episode, but I think season one only covered a week or so, maybe two (season one was only six episodes long).

      • So Carl was near death and now is walking around and doing great and it’s less than a week?!? Well, I liked the show but my suspension of disbelief is being seriously messed with. 

        • And T-Dog. He sure got up and going fast, too.

          I could be wrong about the timeline, but I see no one’s corrected me yet, and that’s what it looks like to me.

  • We keep hoping Sophia will turn up as The Governor.

  • Karyn Washington

    Okay, y’all, look.  For everyone who’s griping about “THEY CALLED THE MORNING AFTER PILL THE ABORTION PILL!!!!!!11111!!ELEVENTY!!” … it’s Georgia.  Deep. South. Georgia.  I guarantee you, a LOT of people in that area believe the morning-after pill DOES cause abortions, and Maggie may or may not be one of them.  Furthermore, I know plenty of women who, intelligently, know that the morning after pill is not going to cause an abortion (particularly a month or so after pregnancy) but, in a moment of desperation, will try ANYTHING to end it.  Particularly in a situation where the baby may or may not be her husband’s, in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, she may have been grasping at straws.

    • Heather Hayes

      If rural Georgia is anything like good ol’ Texas, reproductive health and sex ed simply isn’t taught beyond the “sex is bad, mmmmkay?” mantra of abstinence.  There is *all kinds* of misinformation in that environment.  It is absolutely unsurprising that they’d call it an abortion pill, and that Maggie would be offended by the idea of it. 

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t seen this mentioned in any of the reviews I’ve read, but I’m assuming Dale told Shane to take a hike because now that Lori is pregnant, Dale knows that if Rick hasn’t put 2 and 2 together, he will now.  Dale recognizes that Rick is what’s holding the group together, and doesn’t want a Shane-Rick rift to form and split the group.  All of that being said, Dale sure is a Nosy Nancy.

  • Apologies if this has been brought up in comments already, but most, if not all, of Lori’s dilemma seemed to be about bringing a child into the the post-apocalyptic zombieland.  I don’t recall any real weight being given to the bigger risk, which is that pregnancy is f*cking dangerous in what is essentially now a primitive country.  It was all, “Is it right to bring a life into this awful world?” and not, “Is it right to seriously risk leaving Carl with no mom in said awful world?”

    Not to mention her attempting to abort an at least 8-week pregnancy with the morning-after pill made me seriously hope that any women dating the writing staff are taking charge of their own contraception because clearly the writers don’t know thing one about the subject.  Sweet Jesus, all she had to do was read the damn insert.

  • Anonymous

    I just assumed they would call it an abortion pill so everyone watching would know what it is. If they used the medical term a lot of people would say “what’s that?” 

  • Anonymous

    Which means both Rich and little Carl have AMAZING powers of recovery from gunshot wounds.  Seriously, Carl was shot in the chest and had quite a bit of blood loss but is up and around stealing guns?  Damn.

  • Anonymous

     I feel like they should have called this episode The Secret of Life.  Literally and figuratively.  What is life?  Lori’s possible baby?  Hershel thinks the things in the barn are still the living embodiment of his wife and stepson.  So much so that he takes the possible food out of the mouths of unrotted living to give to the rotted unliving.  Ask Terri Schiavo’s parents the definition of life and then you’ll understand Hershel’s need to keep the Walker kin in his barn no matter how much flesh falls from their wretched frames.  Then there’s the secret of the life that Lori knew but longer has.  What are they doing?  What is their life?  Is it just their little group?  Are they going to try and find some place to hole up and let Lori have her baby?  What kind of life will that baby have?  Should no more children ever be born in the world of zombies?  All I know is that they need to stop wasting bullets and gas (driving to the shooting range???) and Rick needs to supply up and get moving again.  Because Hershel is not going to add a bunch of unruly, uncontrollable bohunks to his already hard to control group.  On the flip side, Dale may have stepped in a bigger pile of Shane than he realized.  The passive aggressive bullshit he so obviously used to pulling in his old life may lead him to a life full of hurt.  Shane is trying his hardest to keep his old shit together but if Dale pushes him hard enough, about Otis, about Lori, about Rick, he just might edge him into a new, much more dangerous life, where Dale finds himself unexpectedly shoved into a barn full of smelly kinfolk looking for a picnic.

  • To be fair, those morning after pills wouldn’t have worked anyway. At best they might have killed her.

  • Anonymous

    I liked this ep. Thanks for the recap. Just my couple of thoughts… 

    Lori & the pills – She was at Glenn’s mercy. Who knows what she asked him to look for actually. All we know is what they brought her back. Maggie was looking through a lot of pills and might not have found what Lori asked for, exactly.  In any case, she’s desperate and willing to try anything. Her resources are almost nil. 

    Maggie & the pills – It seemed clear to me that Maggie was pissed at Lori for endangering Glenn (and herself) for an errand Maggie deemed selfish — not one she necessarily found immoral. I didn’t feel she was necessarily mad about the pills. Yes, she made a crappy comment about the ‘abortion pills’ but she also was bitchy about the magazine, etc and has no problems with sex or condoms. She and Hershel clearly have differing opinions on a bunch of things. 

    Shane & Dale – Ooops, Dale!!  lol  I agree Dale is way too assertive with his advice, but its sometimes necessary to the story. Someone has to stir the pot. Also, this convo does make sense if you’re Dale.  Dale knows Lori is pregnant. Shane — unhinged as he is — is not likely to take that news very well. I could see Shane insisting the baby is his too, regardless of what Lori is saying. That situation goes nowhere good. He is protective of Andrea also. Seeing her getting pulled into that mess — or ending up pregnant herself — must have been the final straw. Nope, it’s none of Dale’s business and he was clumsy about it but he can see the trainwreck coming. So, trying to get Shane to leave before he finds out about Lori’s pregnancy, honestly, is not a bad thought.  

  • I’m surprised you managed to get through a whole discussion of that episode without mentioning Glen. Especially that meta moment when Maggie calls him “walker bait”. I was fine with the fairly stagnated “main” plots because there was so much motion for Glen this episode. 

    “You need medicine and vitamins and….a nice pillow!” Oh Glen, you’re wonderful.

  • Just want to say for all his flaws-and there are many-Shane is a sexy beast. I would have so jumped him in that car. 

  • Re the pregnancy and pills, did we actually see what was written on Glen’s paper? Did it say “Abortion Pill” or “Morning after pill”? He showed the list to Maggie and she went  looking for the pills. Could have been a simple misunderstanding and then when the pills got back to Lori, maybe she was already so upset she just took them. I noticed they said “morning after” but at that time, I had no real concept of time. I knew it hadn’t been just one day, but maybe a couple? Either way, desperate situation. 

  • Anonymous

    I liked the episode. As the mom of a newborn and 4 year old, I take Lori’s concern about the crying kid to heart. If one kid isn’t screaming, the other is. If they actually let her have the baby, hopefully it’s a mute. I’m also so over the ‘pregnancy is life and death, danger danger!’ story we always get. Yes, that is true at times. But for more healthy women, it is a normal healthy biological experience. No clue how healthy Lori actually is, and yes, she’s under world-ending stress… but still I hope they’ll avoid that tired trope. I knew they wouldn’t let her carry through with the pills, so I’m hoping she’ll get the convenient miscarriage, as someone else noted. 

    Andrea’s transformation was a little quick and convenient, but I hope this means we’ll get at least one ass-kicking gal now. I also see Dale’s affection for her as more father/daughter than romantic. 

    I’m enjoying this and looking forward to what happens next! I hope they wrap up the Sophia story already.

  • Anonymous

    While this ep was better than most, this show is trying my patience with people standing around talking about the same shit over and over again.  You said it, boys.  When a show featuring people standing around talking starts repeating what they’ve been standing around talking about for episodes, there is a problem, Houston.  But a serious problem I am having is in the editing.  It’s so choppy – take the last scene and the end of it abruptly being the end of the ep – it’s horrible and you can see the Mad Men Effect – I know you all love Mad Men, but I resent how it’s impacted both this show and Breaking Bad, which is the superior show.

    Carl is up and about and handing the backkick of a handgun???!  Seriously??  He had six bullet fragments in his chest and was operated on by a vet.  Seriously??!  And he seemed perfectly normal, not even tired or weak.  Everyone has already ranted about the morning after pill crap, which annoyed me to no end.  Yes, let’s spin a little more misinformation out there to a seriously misinformed public watching the show.

    Andrea’s turnaround to be a sudden crack shot after the Darryl incident is just too much, though the scenes with her and Shane were some of the best of the ep, including the crotch grab.  I laughed out loud at that.  Humans are still so at the mercy of hormones – I have killed so now I must screw!  But I just don’t understand the lackadasical search for Sophia.  Just drop it already.  There is no urgency, nothing.  It’s ridiculous.

    I liked the development with Glen but that attack on Maggie was so expected and again, when they left the horses outside, I was terrified for them….again.  Dale is annoying me as usual, the zombies in the barn are just there, and there was hardly any Darryl – booo.  If Carl is up and around like nothing happened, I expected Darryl to be swinging from trees like Tarzan.

    Let’s hope for a humdinger of a “mid-season finale” – Shane still has to find out Lori is preggers, which should be interesting.  The zombies are still in the damn barn and let’s wrap up the Sophia non-story please!  Either they take over the farm or leave it, but something needs to happen!

  • Guys, I love you like a good unborn fawn but I do have two comments. One, sorry but as a woman while I understand why she or anyone should terminate in that scenario, i can just as easily understand why she didn’t. Because only a woman (and only those who have been in that situation) can understand what it feels like to have a life growing inside you. Some women just can’t do it, it’s those damn hormones.
    Two, this is another post in which you have said that it was good or great episode and then just complained for a few more paragraphs. I understand the frustration, I just wish maybe you could highlight parts you liked a little bit more….still a devoted minion though!! 

  • Anonymous

    Lori always struck me as someone who doesn’t want more kids.  SO if you are going to get laid you’re going to use protection.  I don’t care if it’s the end of the world.  If you don’t want kids that bad, you tell your man to pick up some condoms the next he’s getting shampoo, plain and simple.  I think they wussed out with her not having an abortion.  She will probably fall down a flight of stairs later on and oops nature happened.  
    As for the standing and talking totally agree with your thoughts.  I can’t help but wonder if the budget cuts had something to do with it.  They are in the same locations for how long?  Save money right?  The least they could do is make these characters have realistic conversations.  What is this group’s goal?  
    That being said I can’t wait until Sunday.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving guys!

  • Anonymous

    So most importantly, who do you think in going to get trapped in the barn? I smelled some foreshadowing…I am betting on Glen, my husband says Maggie.
    Wasting the bullets not to mention the noise seemed to be pretty poor thinking on the groups part.
    Shane and Andrea are an interestingly volatile match up.