'Walking Dead' Recap: The Doctor Is In - Rolling Stone
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‘Walking Dead’ Recap: The Doctor Is In

Carl goes under the knife while Shane and Otis hunt for medical supplies

the walking dead sheriff rick grimes amc zombiesthe walking dead sheriff rick grimes amc zombies

Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince), Patricia (Jane McNeill), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) on AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

Bob Mahoney/AMC

Where we left off: Most of the Still Alives were searching the woods for Sophia and Carl the Kid was shot while he was having a special moment with a buck.

Where we pick up: A long, slow pan across a chain-link fence. Blurry shapes mill around in the background. Are they zombies? No! They’re just mommies, picking up their kids from school. Lost-alert! Flashback time! Pre-zombpocalypse Lori tells another PTA mommy that she and Sheriff Rick had a nasty fight that morning, and she’s so annoyed that he just won’t yell at her no matter how bitchy she gets. Sheriff Rick sounds like a real catch, am I right, ladies? The other mommy asks Lori if she still loves Rick. Lori thinks she does, but she’s trying to remember how that works. (I will tell you, Lori! I read a book about it once! Get naked and wriggle around together and you will probably figure it out.)

Suddenly, a sheriff car Tokyo-drifts around the corner. It’s Shane. Lori instantly realizes that something must be wrong and she asks if Rick is still alive. Shane informs her that Rick was shot and that it was all Shane’s fault. Bad sheriff-helping, Shane! Way to let your best bud get shot when there’s a zombpocalypse about to erupt. Shane tells her she won’t have to go through this alone. (I bet Shane and Lori sure figured out how that works, wocka wocka.)

We cut back to the present day and Rick is running across a field, carrying Carl-the-kid’s floppy body. Both of them are covered in blood. (Mmm, blood is a delicious snack for zombies.) Shane chases a large man, who must be the alleged buck-and-Carl hunter. The large man tells him to talk to Herschel, because Herschel can help. Help him, Herschel!

Rick arrives at a serene farmhouse, where other Alive People are watching him. Herschel demands to know if the kid was bitten, and Rick tells him he was shot. Schwoo! At least he’s not going to turn into a zombie kid. Herschel takes charge, instructing his daughter Maggie to grab painkillers and coagulants. Herschel must be a real doctor if he knows about things like coagulants. This is a very fortunate group of Alive People for Rick to find.

Doc Herschel asks Rick’s blood type, and luckily he is A-positive, the same as Carl. (Is this relevant information? I am filing away that Rick and Carl are both A-positive in case this somehow comes up again in the future when we learn more about the zombie virus. Do you know your blood type in case you ever need to gave someone a transfusion? The more you know.) Shane and the large man (Otis) show up and Shane and Rick share a touching moment in which Shane wipes the blood off Rick’s face with a darling pink washcloth.

Back in the woods, the Still Alives are searching for Sophia. Blondie Andrea tries to comfort Carol, and Carol worries that Sophia will end up like Amy. Carol winces and backtracks, apologizing, “That was the worst thing I’ve ever said.” I know Amy died and turned into a zombie pretty recently, Carol, but is that the worst thing you’ve ever said? There isn’t even any profanity in that sentence, nor are you telling someone to fornicate with a dead waterfowl. I commend you for your cleanliness-of-mouth. Darryl (who used to be sort of a dick but is turning into quite the hero) takes charge and tells the group they’re going to find the little girl. Apparently, Darryl just needed a nice block of time without Shane and sheriff Rick calling the shots, and suddenly he is a wonderful boy scout. I love you, Darryl. Never change.

On the highway, Uncle Dale and T-Dog wait for the other Still Alives. Dale asks T-Dog how he’s feeling and T-Dog ignores him. Maybe Dale forgot their anniversary and now T-Dog is feeling pouty? Nope. T-Dog has crazytalk blood poisoning so they decide to continue scavenging the corpse-filled-cars, trying to find some antibiotics. I hope people in Atlanta travel with antibiotics. Maybe some of those now-dead people stockpiled Cipro during the anthrax scare.

Meanwhile, Doc Herschel operates on Carl-the-kid, trying to remove bullet fragments from his chest. Carl screams and cries and finally passes out from pain and exhaustion. (If I were Doc Herschel, I would have forced the kid to drink a few tumblers of whiskey first, just like in the good ol’ days.) Otis’s ladyfriend takes blood (mmmm, zombie snacks!) from sheriff Rick for a transfusion. Doc Herschel tells everyone that he’ll need actual surgical supplies to remove the rest of the bullet shrapnel and they’ll need a respirator and tube and drapes and sutures. This is a good time to take stock of your own personal first aid kit. Do you have a respirator and a tube and drapes and sutures? If not, you should probably stash those somewhere in your bomb shelter.

Otis wonders where they can find these medical supplies. “The hospital burned down,” he muses. “. . . (extremely long pause) . . . the HIGH SCHOOL.” I suggest that the actor playing Otis work on his delivery a little bit. He should Meisner it up just a tad. Otis and Shane agree to go to the FEMA shelter set up next to the local high school in order to scavenge the stuff Doc needs to do the surgery. Luckily, Otis was a volunteer EMT so he knows what he’s looking for. But does he know how to spell “sphygmomanometer?”

On the highway, T-Dog starts ranting about how the other Still Alives have left him and Dale behind because they are the weakest ones. Dale says he’s crazy and that the other Still Alives are not playing the old card or the race card. It turns out T-Dog is delirious from his blood poisoning fever, and Dale makes him take some ibuprofen and drink some “trendy pink water.” I think that’s supposed to be Vitamin Water but it also looks a lot like the goo from The Abyss.

In the woods, Andrea is lurching through spider webs and falling over logs when a zombie appears out of nowhere and tries to eat her. Andrea scrambles backwards like an inverse crab, screaming her pretty little head off. Just as the zombie is about to munch on her, Maggie gallops through the forest on a horse and wallops the zombie in the head with a baseball bat. She announces “Lori, Rick needs you to come!” (That’s what she said.)

Back at Greene Farm, Rick and the good Doc talk about the plague. Doc believes that there will be a cure to the zombpocalypse and that humankind gets wiped out by plagues every now and again because Mother Nature needs to correct herself and “restore the balance.” Mother Nature is a real bitch if she thinks turning human beings into zombies is a helpful endeavor.

After Lori comforts Carl-the-kid and Rick drinks a glass of orange juice after yet another transfusion, Lori starts to grill the doctor. (But first: how does Doc Herschel still have orange juice? I guess they laid in a good stock of concentrate when the shit first started to hit the fan.) She wants to know how much experience Doc Herschel has at the type of surgery he’ll need to perform on the kid. He tells her that he is a vet. A medic? A combat vet? Nope! A veterinarian. Lori demands to know what sort of animals he’s operated on – horses, pigs? – but before she can list the rest of the barnyard, Rick crumples to the ground. Lori tells the doctor he’s in over his head. He answers, “Ma’am, aren’t we all?”

Meanwhile, Shane and Otis stake out the FEMA trailer. The high school parking lot is crawling with zombies (literally; that is not a metaphor about teenagers today) so Shane uses flares from the trunk of a cop car to get the zombies away from the trailer. These zombies appear to be mostly FEMA employees and army guys. Their uniforms really held up.

Otis and Shane find what they need, including a dandy endotracheal intubator, baby, and all the canisters of oxygen they could ever want. If I were Shane, I would wrap those oxygen tanks in the surgical drapes the Doc requested because those tanks are making a whole lot of noise. As they leave the trailer, the oxygen tanks clank and the zombies notice the humans. Shane and Otis run around the high school, but FEMA and army zombies surround them from all sides. Shane punches one in the jaw, but there are too many zombies to escape. Shane shoots out the doors to the high school and the humans lock themselves behind a metal grate. As they stare down the relentlessly reaching arms of the undead, Shane mutters “Damnit.” Understatement of the year, bucko.


Humans: Other than Little Girl Sophia, who is still somewhere in the woods, the rest of the Still Alives are accounted for although T-Dog has blood poisoning and Carl-the-kid has shrapnel, and new Alive People exist.

Zombies: One woods-walker dispatched by baseball bat. 

LAST EPISODE: When the Zombies Found Jesus

In This Article: The Walking Dead


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