After the attack on the camp, the question of what to do with the dead was always going to be a sensitive subject. While Daryl wants to burn anyone who’s been bitten or killed, Glenn is adamant that they bury their fellow survivors. And when you think of it, they both make pretty good points. If you don’t kill them now, there’s always a chance that that decision will come back to bite you (pun very much intended) in the future. On the other hand, you need to maintain a certain bit of humanity in situations like this or there’s nothing separating you from the monsters.
Of course, before they decide what they’re going to do with the bodies, they need to figure out how they’re going to pry one of them – Amy – out of Andrea’s arms. She’s obviously still coping with the death of her little sister and feeling especially guilty that she wasn’t always there for her when they were younger. But neither Rick nor Lori can get through to Andrea, and it takes Dale’s story about losing his wife to cancer (and how the two sisters are the closest thing he’s had to family since her death) to get her to finally snap out of it. Just in time, too, as Amy begins to come back to life as a zombie and Andrea is forced to shoot her in the head.
With all the discussion going on about how to handle the dead, you can hardly blame Jim for trying to keep his bite a secret. It was only a matter of time before someone found out, however, although everyone took it a lot better than he probably imagined they would. Only Daryl seemed willing to shoot him right there on the spot (then again, that’s pretty much his answer for everything), but Rick believes that the Center for Disease Control might have a cure, and suggests that the group heads there for refuge now that the camp is compromised. Shane disagrees, and wants to go to the military base at Fort Benning instead, even if it’s 100 miles away.
That’s not the only thing Shane disagrees about, either. He thinks that Rick made a serious mistake by going back to Atlanta to retrieve the guns, while Rick believes that without them, they would have suffered even more casualties. It’s pretty clear that Shane doesn’t like how Rick has suddenly taken over the leadership duties since his arrival, and he finally snaps when Rick implies that he’s incapable of making certain decisions because he doesn’t have a family to worry about. It might have gotten worse had they not been interrupted by a sound in the woods, and when they split up to check it out, the only person in Shane’s crosshair was Rick. He even seemed to be seriously contemplating pulling the trigger (no doubt prepared to chalk it up as an accident) until Dale spotted him in the act.
It’s hard to say whether Shane truly stands by Rick’s plan or if he’s just feeling guilty about what happened in the woods, but when they get back to camp, Shane announces to the group that they’ll be leaving for the CDC the next morning. Morales won’t be joining them, however, because he’s decided to go to Birmingham with his wife and kid to meet up with other family. Jim, meanwhile, is really starting to feel the effects of the infection – spitting up blood and hallucinating – so when the caravan is forced to a stop after Dale’s RV overheats, he asks Rick to leave him on the side of the road so he can die in peace. And when the group finally does arrive at the CDC, there’s no one there to greet them aside from a few hungry walkers.
At least, that’s what they think, but there is someone inside the CDC and his name is Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich). Through a series of video transmissions, we learn that it’s been 194 days since Project Wildfire was declared (probably the first documented case of the virus), and 63 days since the zombie virus went global. Jenner has been living in the CDC all this time working on a cure, but after he spills a chemical that burns through his glove, he’s forced to decontaminate the area, destroying all of his best samples. Believing that he’s the last man alive on Earth, Jenner plans to kill himself until he’s alerted of the survivors’ arrival and, somewhat begrudgingly, opens the security doors to let them in. But if Jenner is nowhere closer to finding a cure, how much can he of any help to Rick and the others apart from giving them a place to stay? Or perhaps the better question is: why is Jenner all alone and where are his colleagues?