It’s hard to say which character has had it the worst in The Walking Dead. Is it Carol, who, while initially surviving with her family intact, was abused by her husband (now dead) and has just lost her daughter in the woods? Is it Andrea, who had to kill her zombified sister before barely escaping the same fate both of the last two days? Or is it Lori, who started the apocalypse wondering if her husband would recover from a gunshot wound and now is wondering the same about her son.
Seeing how Carl is now in the hands of a country vet who needs a respirator that’s in the hands of two men trapped by a horde of zombies, Lori has as much claim as anyone not yet shot, bit or—like Merle—missing the hand they cut off.
The good news for the Atlanta survivors is that Carl is still alive and safe from zombies in the lovely farmhouse of Hershel and his daughters, decent people still holding out hope for a cure. But by right now that’s little consolation as Sophia is still missing, Carl is bleeding internally and Shane is trapped in the high-school-turned-FEMA-center-turned-zombie-playground. And these military zombies are in good shape.
The side plots of this one—T-Dog fever talking about being the weakest link after his sliced-up arm gets infected, the continued hunt for Sophia, a flashback about Lori learning Rick has been shot—take a back seat to the happenings at the farmhouse. It’s clear, though, that next week will focus mostly on the Escape From Zombie High.
In the meantime, it’s finally Rick’s turn to be a mess. He’s been struggling to hold everything together for the sake of the group, but the sheriff is feeling the helplessness of every parent who’s sat by as a doctor tries to save his or her child.
A freak hunting accident, a self-destructing CDC, a jagged piece of a mangled car door—it’s not just zombies bringing death in the apocalypse. Everybody’s got it bad, but they’ve still got each other. And now they’ve got a few new friends and a sweet country estate to call home.