In case you were wondering whether Lori and Shane were having any regrets about their secret relationship, well, you pretty much got your answer at the top of tonight’s episode. We still don’t know whether the romance is new (like in the comics) or if it’s been going on for some time, but one thing is certain: they don’t seem too conflicted now that they think Rick is dead. Granted, Lori did look a little remorseful when Shane unbuttoned her shirt to reveal her wedding ring hanging from a necklace, but the ease in which she just tossed it aside definitely didn’t help her case. In any event, you can bet that both of them will be feeling pretty shitty about themselves when Rick comes waltzing into camp next week.
For the time being, though, he just needs to stay alive – something that’s easier said than done considering we last left him surrounded by hundreds of zombies. The voice over the radio tells him that his best bet is to make a run for it while the horde is preoccupied with their latest meal, but not before grabbing a grenade that he discovers on the dead soldier. (I can’t imagine this won’t come back into play in the future, though I was actually waiting for him to use it all episode.) And after shooting his way to safety, Rick meets Glenn (the voice on the radio) in the alley, and the pair hightails it through one of the buildings to meet up with the rest of Glenn’s group.
Though Glenn is the go-to scavenger of the bunch, he’s agreed to bring some of the other people from the survivor camp with him on his latest trip in order to gather more supplies. And they’re not too impressed by Rick’s cowboy heroics, which have attracted every zombie in the area, making it virtually impossible for them to get out alive. Of course, they’re not saints either, and within minutes of arriving, Rick witnesses a power struggle between racist redneck Merle (the great Michael Rooker) and the rest of the group. Luckily for them, Rick steps in to take care of Merle before he can do any more damage to the unfortunately named T-Dog’s face, handcuffing him to a pipe on the roof while they devise a plan for escape.
With no safe way out of the city by road, Rick suggests that they travel underground instead. But when Glenn climbs down to the sub-basement of the building to investigate, he discovers that the sewers are blocked off by a metal grate. So instead, Rick decides to get a little creative. If zombies can only tell the living apart from their scent, then all they need to do is pretend to be dead. It’s a great idea, but one that no one really wants to be a part of – especially when it involves chopping up a dead zombie – and Glenn finally agrees to join Rick in covering himself in rotting blood and guts so that they can walk the streets unnoticed. But as Glenn is all too keen to point out, at least the guy they were chopping up was an organ donor.
Better yet, the plan actually works. That is, until a rain storm washes off their disguise and the zombies start to take notice, forcing Rick and Glenn to make quick use of their weapons. Fortunately, they get to the truck in time, leaving the others to wonder if they’re ever coming back. But Rick knows that he wouldn’t be able to rescue them under the current circumstances, so he jacks a car with an alarm system and has Glenn drive around the city to lure the zombies away from the building. The rest of the group heads down to the loading garage to meet Rick, but T-Dog’s conscience gets the best of him and he goes back to help Merle, only to lose the key down a drainage pipe when he trips and falls. Merle thinks he did it on purpose, but at least T-Dog was kind enough to lock the door on his way out. Plus, there’s no way they’re going to get rid of Rooker that easy, and I’m sure that hacksaw will play a role in his eventual escape.
Overall, another solid episode, and one that delivered a lot more action compared to last week’s premiere. Andrea, Merle and Glenn are all great additions to the cast (particularly the latter, whose portrayal by Steven Yuen will likely transform him into the breakout star of the show), although I can’t really say the same for the other three characters. There’s just not a whole lot of depth to any of them, and they might as well have targets drawn on their backs, because the chances of them surviving the season are slim. After all, what would a zombie story be without a few victims?