Just a few more days left until Season 4 starts and we have some episodes left of Season 3 to dissect and cross section before that occurs. Here we get to Episode 2 entitled “Sick”. The obvious is Herschel, now with an amputated leg, is fighting a fever to stay alive. The team hand cuff the old fella to his bed just in case he turns into a Walker. Not sure if that’s lack of confidence in Rick’s choice of cutting the bitten leg off or just normal uncertainty since none of the characters to this point are really sure what the virus is, how to slow it or how it makes people change. They only know they everyone is infected and you need a solid head blow to stop a Walker.
There are a couple other more subtle themes that lend to the Sick premise of this episode. The team discovers a few prisoner survivors and Rick needs to figure how to interact with them. It’s during this situation we find that Rick’s state of mind might not be all there. Sickness is skewing his judgment and this is clearly seen when he locks the youngest prisoner outside in a courtyard filled with Walkers saying only, “You better run.” before Rick locks the door and returns inside.
And as noted in the prior installment the marriage/partnership between Rick and Lori is very sick and possibly beyond repair at this point. Especially now when it seems that Rick is slipping mentally in trying to keep the team safe and provided for. This could be the first time where we may see a weakness or a sense of doubt since Rick earned leadership of the group. He may have put too much pressure on himself when he declared that the group was not a democracy and that everyone had to follow him.
Herschel’s fever does break and the team can go back to settling in and relaxing as much as they can considering. If you were in this situation, how would you handle it? For almost a year you are in a group surviving the outbreak and don’t come into contact with any other survivor. Then suddenly you are face to face with a few or maybe many survivors also tired, hungry, desperate to live. Do you focus more on protecting the group or do you try to forge alliances? This concept comes up a lot in Season 3 and I believe truly comes to a head in Season 4.
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