Walking Dead Discussion Thread: S3 E2, “Sick”


Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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38 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    Luckily Carl seems to have recovered his “Plot Teleportation” skills, which allow him to vanish and reappear wherever needed – often traveling over long, walker-infested distances – in a manner convenient to the plot, but always completely out of sight of any one of the adults (LIKE SAY LORI) who should be keeping an eye on THE LAST KID IN THE WORLD.

    Also, where were the cafeteria inmates getting their water for 10 months? Or do GA state prisoners get Fiji with their meals, and we just didn’t see the stacked pallets of bottles?Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I’m wondering where the water came from too. I think we discussed last season that a lot of prisons have independent utilities so maybe the group will get to enjoy some hot showers and Playstation.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        That’d be good. Also, that psycho inmates’ leader guy (the one who got a machete to the head), sure fell far.

        I know he used to be a bad valet, but I never thought he’d come to that.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    I noted with some exasperation that this group which, minutes before had been fleeing in disorganized terror from zombies, suddenly turned back into the hyper-competant zombie killers and were easily able to get Hershel back to their block.

    The zombies seem in this prison also seem to have some significant strategic sense since they mostly seem to have run away when this happened. There was what, like three of them left in the hallways?Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Actually, this would seem to be decent programming on the zombie part;

      IF (passage forward blocked for > X minutes) THEN (resume randomized distributed searching algorithm)Report

  3. Avatar Sam says:

    1. Seriously, why on Earth didn’t they open that door to the catacombs and let the room between their cellblock and that door fill up with whatever came up? Better still – position in front of that door to the catacombs and kill the walkers that emerge one at a time. Unbelievable.


    3. The show has no idea how zombies become zombies. None. It used to be that a bite created a zombie; now, because we’re all infected, it seems that death triggers zombification. But then why chop of Hershel’s leg? Was the bite going to kill him? Why would the bite kill him but the Civil War amputation wouldn’t? And why kill Big Tiny? He was scratched. He should have easily survived that.

    4. Theory: Carl is Nightcrawler. Discuss.

    5. Those prisoners didn’t get out of the kitchen for 10 months, but they did have razors. Good to know.

    6. I could do this all day.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      “The show has no idea how zombies become zombies. None. It used to be that a bite created a zombie; now, because we’re all infected, it seems that death triggers zombification.”

      We discussed this last week. A bite can kill. In season one Jim was part of the group at the campground and he was bitten when they were overrun. He began getting sick shortly after. They tried to get him to the CDC but when his symptoms got too severe they left him on the side of the road. That’s why they were watching Hershel for a fever last night and why they knew Big Tiny was toast.Report

      • Avatar Sam says:


        I’m not sure that answer holds. How does the bite kill? Presumably, infection, but then is the zombifaction entirely unrelated to the bite? In other words, is getting bit by a zombie like getting bit by a komodo dragon? The infection will get you and then the OTHER infection will zombify you?Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          It’s a 6-stage infection.

          Stage 1: Complete loss of anything resembling rational human thought or consistent behavior (all are infected, obviously).

          Stage 2: Expire (this can be via natural causes, misadventure, homicide/suicide, or zombie bites or scratches, as plot-convenient)

          Stage 3: Zombification

          Stage 4: Pickaxe to the brainpan

          Stage 5: The Sweet Release of Death (for us the viewers, who never have to complain about THAT annoying character again).

          Stage 6: Hey, is there any ice cream left in the freezer?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            “The Sweet Release of Death”

            Question for theologians: Assuming there is a soul, does it depart the body when they die the first time and the zombie is without soul or is the soul trapped in the zombie body until the pickaxe?Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              Not sure about theologically, but I always assume that upon zombification (or vampirization) their soul is gone (have you ever seen them dance? Just painful to watch, I tell you).

              Maybe I am just assuaging my conscience in case I am the one who whacks ’em.

              But werewolves definitely still have their souls.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

          I think the komodo dragon analogy is solid. The bite kills from infection then zombie OR you can be killed by some other means and then you become a zombie. More examples:

          – At the CDC Jenner shows a video of his wife who is sick (she was bitten) and then died and came back as a zombie.

          – Morgan, the guy that helped Rick after he left the hospital, says his wife got bitten and then got sick and he left he outside to become a zombie

          – Bicycle girl in Season One was partialy eaten and then became a zombie

          This also matches up with zombie canon as set down by Night of the Living Dead (the Coope family all die from bites and become zombies).Report

          • Avatar Sam says:

            Okay, so the infection that the zombies are giving via bite is some sort of standard thing that isn’t in anyway zombie specific? The show’s never shown a character that survived a bite though, right? Every single bitten person turns, which would seem to imply connection between the bite and the zombification. I’M SO CONFUSED!Report

        • Avatar North says:

          Everyone is infected with a latent strain of the zombie virus. Very clearly this strain traded of lethality for the ability to transmit itself by simple vectors: most likely by the air. The world of the Walking dead was likely well on its way to 100% infection long before the actual Walking dead presented as a problem. We can call this Zombie Virus Alpha.

          Upon death by natural causes the latent zombie virus (no longer encumbered by a living immune system) infests host corpse and generates an animate zombie (Walkers). Walkers hunger for living flesh.

          Walkers are seething hosts of the zombie virus. In addition their saliva is laden with super high concentrations of beefed up zombie virus. This virus is incapable of transmitting except via direct contact with a victim’s body but it is highly virulent. Call it Zombie Virus Omega. Being bitten by a walker injects a killer load of the ZVomega into the host body where it teams up with ZValpha and overwhelms the host immune system. Fever and various other symptoms follow concluding in death and zombification.

          *North Theory* ZVomega is a saliva based virus. We have seen walkers eating with their hands. Walker scratched are at risk of transmitting ZVomega via saliva on hands from eating but it appears a considerably less certain delivery vector. Zombie bites have 100% chance of delivering ZVomega to a victim. Scratches have varying levels of risk.

          *additional North theory* Zombie blood and non-saliva seem very oddly non-infectous. The way these people have been caked with walker blood it’s beyond me how they haven’t passively infected themselves. I can only theorize that ZVomega is exclusively saliva based.

          The amputation performed on Hershel’s leg could have saved him if it was performed before ZVomega progressed into his blood stream and was carried throughout his body. Considering how hard his blood was pumping and how much time happened between the chomp and the actual amputation this seems improbable but A) he as bit on a calf muscle not the artery and B) hey TV show.Report

          • Avatar Sam says:

            So basically, zombification works like this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DztMQOG20jcReport

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            This is an excellent explanation North. The non-transmission via blood thing is getting out of hand though. I mean, they are geting hosed down by the stuff on a weekly basis. And I can tell you that as much time as I spend in the woods I almost always have some kind of cut somewhere on my person (bug bites, briar patches, barbed wire fences). In their world the chance for injury has got to be greatly more than that. I mean, during the entire last scene from E2 Rick is talking to Lori with a huge patch of zombie blood on his forehead. Not to mention, Carol is out there in the yard cutting one open without any gloves on.Report

            • Avatar Sam says:

              We’re mere episodes away from the survivors eating zombies and having no ill-effects.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              I agree. Really the only things I can offer is that Zombie Virus Omega only presents in saliva speficically or Hey Television! Certainly caking the characters in gore is more telegenic. Plot wise of couse having the zombies be capable of passively infecting with their blood would pretty much be a “game over” condition. You couldn’t kill zombies safely without a faceguard (bloodsplatters could be inhaled). I guess it’s just a bridge too far.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      “Those prisoners didn’t get out of the kitchen for 10 months, but they did have razors. Good to know.”

      I was even more interested in how the one guy waxed his mustache. Lard?Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      heh, I hit Carl’s teleportation skills above.

      Also, if you are going to handcuff Herschel, HOW ABOUT BOTH HANDS? Not just the one to the nearer bedpost, so that he can still use his free arm to grab you as he rolls over and sinks his dentures into yer jugular. Of course, genius Lori is going for mouth to mouth anyway, so I guess why bother.Report

  4. Avatar Glyph says:

    I thought it was actually a touching, human moment when Maggie’s giving Herschel permission to die; the actress really sold it I thought. Was nice to see some real acting on the show.

    Of course, the cut to commercial then had that ‘Talking Dead’ host braying about Herschel’s gross bloody stump, which kind of broke the moment faster than a Chevy commercial. I’m not saying that TWD needs to be treated like serious art, but a moment like that should be allowed to have some weight/breathing room.Report

  5. Avatar Sam says:

    Why not welcome Mustache Man and Prideful Man into the group? Why put them into their own cellblock?Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I get the impression that Mustache Man is going to be a problem. I also get the impression Prideful Man will end up being accepted. In the meantime, they were both in jail for a reason so it’s best not to mingle.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I wondered that too. You’d think that after Rick’s demonstration of ‘one strike and you’re out, via a machete to the skull’ they might fall in line OK. As a lawman though, I guess Rick is predisposed to mistrust any prisoner, esp. ones that were following a complete psycho like they were.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      My own suspiscion is we’re looking at the beginning of a pendulum arc. Rick’s defeated Shane by supressing his own humanistic impulses. He’s turned the group into an effective zombie fighting force of survivors (except when the plot narrative requires that they temporarily turn into panicked fools but hey TV) by enforcing the Ricktatorship. I think his excessive suspiscion of all other humans is one of the first of his decisions that the groups eventually going to hold up as examples of “you’re going too far, you’re turning into Shane, you shouldn’t be Ricktating without some check on your authority”.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Is anyone else on board with me in enjoying the bromance between Rick and Darryl? The two have clearly become close and the interaction between them and the way Darryl rushed to save Rick while they were clearing the cellblock made it obvious. Since it’s been well-publicized that Merle is coming back this season, it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      I’m loving it myself.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        A ‘lieutenant/second-in-command’ character can add a lot to a show (they need not be actually ‘good’, just interesting). See also: Spock, Tigh – heck, even Shane was one of the more interesting characters this show has had, to me.

        Daryl seems tough, smart, resourceful and loyal (once you’re proved yrself in his eyes). A good person to bounce ideas off and have at yr back.Report