Zombies are roaming the streets, but everybody seems to have enough free time to think about lust, sex and procreation in “Cherokee Rose,” Episode 4 of “The Walking Dead” Season 2.
The gang’s all here as the survivors who stayed on the highway hoping to find the missing Sophia arrive at the farm. At Otis’ funeral/memorial service, Shane is asked to speak on behalf of Otis — who, you’ll remember, he shot and used as bait in order to escape a walker mob. Shane, looking like he’s wearing the Halloween Adventure Redneck Costume in Otis’ oversized overalls and flannel shirt, recounts the story of Otis’ demise and his escape — which, of course, is all a lie, as Shane’s gory flashbacks remind us. Shane keeps trying to tell himself he sacrificed Otis to save himself and get the medical supplies needed to save little Carl’s life. He’s not having such a good time believing that, though.
Otis’ wake consists of Maggie bringing out a map that the survivors will use to track down young Sophia. Rick — weak from giving his son blood transfusions — and Shane — who screwed up his ankle in zombie flight — can’t look for Sophia on foot, so Daryl volunteers to go on his own. Hershel asks everyone to give up their guns if they’re staying on his property; Rick agrees, but not everyone is happy about this decision (cough, Shane, cough, Andrea).
As Daryl sets out on Sophia Search, Hershel lays down another rule: He tells Rick he can’t allow the band of Atlanta survivors to stay at the farm after Sophia’s found and Carl’s healed. Rick reluctantly agrees.
But the day is young and it’s time for some fun! While fetching water, T-Dog and Dale discover a walker — the plumpest, slimiest, Jabba the Hut-est walker you’ve ever seen — stuck down in the well. They can’t shoot its head apart, they realize, because that would contaminate the drinking water. So they decide to go zombie fishing.
It. Is. Hilarious.
Swinging ham on a rope in front of this orc-looking beast isn’t working, so they decide to dangle Glenn on a rope as bait. The pipe they have the rope anchored around breaks, and there are some awesome “oh no!” moments as the others try to pull Glenn to safety. He survives — and even wrassled the walker enough to get the rope around its neck. The plan worked! Except, it totally didn’t.
While pulling up Jabba, Jabba gets stuck. And gets torn in half. Like, torso-with-spinal-cord-exposed left above ground, everything-below-the-belt falling back into the well kind of split in half. It is one of the goriest moments of guts and zombie glory in this series, and it is a thing of beauty —and then T-Dog bashes its head in.
Speaking of beauty (of the non-severed zombie variety), the series has been teasing the idea that Maggie has caught Glenn’s eye. In an innuendo-filled back-and-forth, Maggie enlists Glenn to ride — yes, on horseback, Glenn — into town and raid the pharmacy for more medical supplies. Before they mount up, Lori snags Glenn and asks him to pick up a “personal” item for her in the “feminine hygiene section.” Tampons? Oh, no, no, no — she wants a pregnancy test, soap opera fans! This leads to an awkward exchange between Maggie and Glenn in the pharmacy — Glenn stashes the pregnancy test into his pack and picks up condoms when she strolls over asking what he’s got. And then, naturally they do the deed. Yep, in the middle of the ransacked pharmacy with the “Take What You Need and God Bless” sign in the window, they have sex. Because, you know, there’s slim pickings these days, and who isn’t a little lonely?
Rick’s not lonely, because Carl has survived. He begs Hershel to reconsider forcing the survivors off his land: “I’m not asking for them,” Rick says, “I’m asking for my boy.” They trade philosophical pondering on God and fatherhood, the heavy stuff that tries to give deeper meaning to this show but just tends to slow it down. “If you and your people respect my rules,” Hershel says, “no promises, but I will consider [letting you stay]. You have my word.”
Daryl’s keeping his word too — he is hellbent on finding Sophia. And he may have at least found a sign of her when he stumbles upon a house, checks inside a cupboard, and finds a make-shift sleeping cubby… but no Sophia. He plucks a flower — a Cherokee Rose — and gives it to Sophia’s mom back in the RV. “I believe this one bloomed for your little girl,” he says of the flower that, according to legend, blooms to give grieving mothers strength and hope.
Who’s running out of hope? Shane. When explaining gun lust to the gun-lusting Andrea, he tries to clear his conscience. “If somebody’s gonna die, you better hope you’re the one making the decision,” he tells her.
“How do you do that?” she asks.
“Turn off the switch,” he says. “You don’t think, you just act. Odds are somebody else is counting on you. There ain’t nothing easy about taking a man’s life. You have to forget it. Guess I don’t have that part down yet.”
“But you’re getting there.” says Andrea, unaware of what is weighing on Shane’s mind.
“Hope so,” he says.
But at least he’s got Lori, right? Even if Lori, you know, has that husband who woke out of a coma and fought through zombie hell to find her again. That love triangle is on Lori’s mind as, when night falls, she takes the pregnancy test out into the field to give it a go. (Yes, those authenticity-seeking “Walking Dead” people included the peeing sound in this scene.) And how does that test go? Positively! Though that might not necessarily be a good thing, as Lori starts to cry.