The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 4 - "Cherokee Rose"

Getting caught up today!  Spoilers ahead. . .

While I can imagine the gore-and-gunpowder purists objecting to the interpersonal developments in "Cherokee Rose," I would note that those protesting must have be tone deaf to character.  With Carl recovering from his shooting, there's not much for Rick and Hershel to do in this episode but enter into a quiet sort of negotiations about whether or not the RV Gang will be staying at the farm.  And we find out about Lori what we'd been suspecting all along -- that she's pregnant, although nobody can say if the baby is going to be Rick's or Shane's.  Now that is an interesting development, and a fine peg on which to hang the plot for many episodes to come.

Shane isn't doing so well with his I-Killed-Otis-and-Left-Him-To-Die secret, but in and around his limping sulkiness, he makes time to talk guns with Andrea, who's eager to learn.  For me, Andrea's development can't be moved along quickly enough, as it seems a waste of a fine actor in Laurie Holden.

Everyone's favorite redneck-with-a-crossbow, Daryl Dixon, becomes even more engaging in this episode, dragging his grimy self back into the woods again in search of Sophie, returning only with the flower that gives this episode its name -- Cherokee Rose -- and a lyrical speech to Sophie's suffering mother that offers comfort where none could be found.  If, as the show's producers have been hinting of late, Daryl's super-jerk of a brother Merle does make his return, there's sure to be a grand falling out.  I can't quite put my finger on how Norman Reedus manages to make Daryl into such a compelling character -- something about his ease with solitude and the dogged way he keeps searching for Sophia, I reckon.  There's much there that will be unpacked, I'm sure.

What made the headlines, of course, was the most disgusting zombie of the series yet, another "stranded" sort, this one trapped in the well that's used to water the animals on Hershel's farm.  The RV Gang decides they need to get it out -- all the better to preserve the water quality.  None other that Glenn volunteers to drop down the well and loop a rope around the walker -- call him a wader in this case -- although, as usual, Glenn nearly gets eaten.  And no sooner is the zombie pulled out of the well than --well, you'll just have to see for yourself.  Let's just say that nobody's drinking from that well ever again.  At least Dale and T-Dog had something to do in this episode.

And, just as Glenn has thrilled the crowd yet again with his devil-may-care attitude, he's sent into town to get supplies, along with everybody's favorite farmer's daughter, Maggie Greene.  They ride in on horseback to the drugstore, and, in a moment of misunderstanding (Glenn's getting a pregnancy test for Lori), Maggie all but propositions him.  From this point forward, Glenn will certainly be happy to work on Maggie's farm, although I don't suspect he'll be volunteering to go exploring down any wells again. There's something fresh and hopeful about even this awkward romance in the midst of all the bleakness.

"Cherokee Rose" is another episode of building characters and their relationships, with one great zombie appearance and demise.  There's a great deal of humor and pathos to be found throughout.  For some, this won't be a memorable episode, but it's a necessary one nevertheless.

Zombie Kill of the Week: The RV Gang, with a rope, by the well.
Zombie Quotient - from 1 (none) to 10 (a major herd): 2

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