The Walking Dead: Down in a Hole.

Sweet Jebus, I’m getting frustrated with this show. I hate to sound like a fanboy, but the books are SOOOOO much better. This is the fourth episode of the first half of the season, and so far only three days in actual show-time have passed. And yet we’re still looking for Sophia? She’s now officially this show’s WAAAAAALLLLLT!

Just for that, I’m not gonna write this recap as a fanboy; I’m gonna write it as a hater. As in I hate what the stupid writers are doing to my show!


This week’s episode starts off the morning after Carl’s surgery. He wakes up and the first thing he asks about is Sophia. So now he’s woke up twice, and all he’s talked about are the stupid deer and a missing girl. You’d think he’d be all, “WTF? Why is there some smelly old veterinarian poking around in my innards? Did I get shot? Thanks Dad!” Rick lies and tells him that Sophia is fine, because that’s what Rick does. In his defense, I’m sure he already feels guilty enough about his bad parenting skills. Who lets their kid try to touch a deer? It could’ve been a zombie deer for all he knew.

Outside, the rest of the group finally makes it to the farm, led by Daryl on his other brother Merle’s loud-ass Harley. Okay, it’s been pretty well established that the walkers are attracted to noise, so wouldn’t it make more sense to drive something a little more quiet, like maybe a ten-speed? Whatevs. Hershel doesn’t seem to care, and as long as the group remembered to latch the gate behind them I’m sure Maggie will give everyone a pass as well.

Once they get there, everybody has to hug each other. It’s all very Kumbaya and all, since they haven’t seen each other for at least a few hours now. At least they’re not mouth hugging, although I’m sure that’ll show up on the Skinemax version: The Walking Head.

Okay, now that all the niceties are out of the way, let’s go bury us a fattie. Well, not literally, since Shane left him for dead back at the high school. Instead, the gang’s going to build a big fat pile of rocks in his honor. I’m surprised they didn’t dress the rocks in the 3X overalls Shane’s waddling around in.

Hershel leads the procession, telling the group that Otis died as he lived: out of breath. He also noted that Otis “gave his life to save a child, now more than ever our most precious asset.” Really, Hershel? A child is more valuable than a rocket launcher or a tank? How about a flamethrower or Gatling gun? Hell, I’d gladly trade both Carl AND Sophia for a staple gun at this point. In fact, the whole idea that Otis gave his life to save a kid who doesn’t know how to do anything useful is pretty messed up when you think about it. Sure, he feels guilty for shooting Carl, but it’s not like he did it on purpose. What the hell was Carl doing trying to pet a deer in the first place? And it’s not like Carl brings any useful skills to the table. At least Otis was a volunteer EMT. What was the last thing Carl volunteered for? Clapping erasers?

But I digress.

Otis’ girlfriend asks Shane to talk about Otis’ last minutes on Earth, to assure her that his death had meaning. Oh, his death had meaning all right. It meant that Shane got to live. And Carl, too. But mostly Shane. He adds a rock onto the pile, and then shuffles off to squeeze pet a rabbit.

That bit of unpleasantness out of the way, it’s time to start looking for WAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLT Sophia again. Maggie brings out a surveyor’s map of the area, so they can all see just how pathetic their previous attempts at a search were. There’s all kinds of places that Sophia could be dying hiding; Regulators saddle up! Well, except for you Rick, because you’ve donated too much blood. And you Shane, because you busted your ankle. That means Daryl’s off on his own again, because none of the womenfolk know how to handle a gun.

Speaking of guns, Hershel says he doesn’t want anyone carrying one on his property. He brings this up now? Rick, Shane and Otis have been doing nothing BUT carrying guns since they got to your farm. (Although, in Otis’ defense, he did kind of need one since Shane went all murderface on him.) Rick agrees, and puts the Python (his name for his really big pistol) on the hood of the truck. Wait a second: didn’t Rick just give that gun to Otis yesterday? How did he get it back? Doesn’t anyone check continuity on these scripts?

Shane asks Rick what they should do if they find Sophia and she’s been turned. “You do what has to be done,” Rick says. Although I bet Shane would shoot Sophia even if she’s still alive. After all, she could definitely outrun him, what with his gimpy ankle and oversized overalls. And while I understood, but didn’t support, Shane’s decision to shoot Otis, I totally got his back if he decides to shoot Sophia. And Carol. And Andrea. And Lori. Hell, pretty much everyone except Daryl and T-Doug. Daryl because he’s awesome, and T-Doug because I don’t want to be called a racist.

Over by the RV, Shane and Lori bump into each other. Not as exciting as when they were bumping uglies, but Shane will take what he can get at this point. “Did you mean it?” he asks, referring to when she asked him to stay last night. She says she did, then turns and walks into the RV, leaving Shane to wonder if she meant it meant it, or if she really meant it meant it.

Daryl is off in the woods looking for WAAAAAAALLLLLT!! Sophia when he comes across an abandoned farmhouse. This one isn’t nearly as fabulous as Hershel’s farm, so I’m guessing it didn’t belong to the Beekman Boys. Still, since he’s here he might as well have himself a little looksee.

Inside, there are all kinds of scary creaks and other noises, all of which are designed to make us think there’s a walker on the premises. Or Sophia. I keep hoping she runs out from her hiding spot and Daryl shoots her in the face with an arrow, but the place turns out to be empty. He does find a little hidey-hole and a half-eaten can of sardines, though, so it’s not a total bust. Chances are good that Sophia has been here, and she may come back. It’s probably best he doesn’t tell Shane, though, since he’ll probably just shoot her in the leg.

He also finds a Cherokee rose, which he takes back to Carol in the RV. Evidently, Native Americans believed it was a sign from God that their children were protected. I believe it’s a sign that Daryl might be going soft. Quick, Daryl, go kill something!

“First, I’m gonna wipe my ass with this flower, then I’m gonna go straight inside the kitchen and make myself a sandwich.”

Maggie says she needs to ride into town to get some more antibiotics. Rick suggests she ask their “go-to-town expert” Glenn if he wants to go with, and Glenn’s all, “Hells yeah!” When Lori hears Glenn is going to the drug store, she asks him to pick something up for her from the feminine hygiene section, but she won’t tell him what it is. Instead, she hands him a piece of paper and asks him to keep it a secret. Really? A note? Why couldn’t she just say she needed a pregnancy test? What is Glenn going to do if they don’t have her brand? Hopefully he’ll be smart enough to grab the generic equivalent, the Wal-Pee-on-a-Stick.

Dale asks Maggie about the water situation. She says there are five wells on the property, and points him toward one they use for the animals. Because if it’s good enough for cows, it’s good enough for our merry band of survivors.

Dale and T-Doug head over to the well and start filling up jugs as T-Doug tells Dale he didn’t mean any of that happy horseshit he was spouting off two days ago on the highway; it was just the fever talking. Dale assures him it’s all good, and then knocks the ladle out of The Doug’s hand and tells him not to drink the water. Turns out there’s a big fat zombie down in the well. It’s like Baby Jessica all over again. Except in this case Jessica died and turned into a bloated walker floater.

A few of the survivors put their heads together and decide they have to pull the zombie out of the well in order to protect the integrity of the water. I’m no hydrologist, but I don’t think simply removing the zombie from the well is going to make the water safe to drink. And just how are they going to test for that? It’s not like there’s a test kit that lets you check your well for safe levels of zombie. At this point, the best plan of action would be to board up the well and use one of the OTHER FOUR WELLS that Maggie just told you about not five minutes ago!

What’s that? The best thing is to lasso the zombie around the neck and try to pull it out? A bloated, waterlogged, pus-filled and very agitated zombie? Sure, that makes perfect sense. Someone get a rope and try to toss it around the zombie’s neck. Wait, what? You think it’d be better just to lower Glenn down in the well and let HIM try to put a rope around the zombie instead? Sure, why not. It’s not like he’s going to stand up for himself and tell them no.

So they tie a rope around Glenn and lower him into the hole. And the pipe breaks. And Glenn falls down to within inches of certain death. And they pull him up just in time. And he still managed to rope the zombie, because Glenn is just that damn good.

Well, now that they have the zombie roped, they’re kind of obligated to pull it up. At the top of the well, though, it gets stuck, and then it rips in half, showering the well with zombie guts and other bodily fluids. So it turns out after all that, the water is still undrinkable. But we did meet our zombie quota.

Unfortunately, the top half of the zombie is still flailing around on the ground, so T-Doug smashes its head in. “Good thing we didn’t do anything stupid, like shoot it,” he says. Yeah, that would’ve been totally stupid. Not to mention a lot safer.

While all this is going on, Hershel and Rick are having a little heart-to-heart palaver. Earlier Hershel had told Rick as soon as Carl recovers and they find Sophia, he expected them to move on. Ain’t no room for no interlopers on Hershel’s farm! Now, they’ve stopped to admire the view and contemplate the existence of God. Hershel can’t believe Rick doesn’t feel touched: after all, he survived a coma and found his family, and then his son survived getting shot. Hershel thinks God had a hand in all of that. Rick doesn’t say it, but he has to be wondering if God also had a hand in the millions of other people who weren’t so lucky in the zombiepocalypse lottery. I know I would. I wonder if Hershel thinks God cares who wins Survivor?

Later, Shane, Lori and Carol go off to the highway to leave some supplies for Sophia. On the way back, they scout out some potential firing ranges. Because if they’re worried about one gunshot attracting a herd, a bunch of shots should cancel each other out. Shane tells Andrea that wanting to learn to shoot is good, but eventually she’ll have to learn to live with taking someone else’s life. Well, only if she shoots someone who’s STILL ALIVE, Shane.

“I wish now I’d have taught that girl how to read.”

Maggie and Glenn ride off to town to get some more antibiotics at the store. Here’s a question: if she’s been there before, why didn’t she just grab all the antibiotics then? Sure, let’s just make a bunch of totally unnecessary trips into town, picking up a couple prescriptions this time, a few more next time. No hurry, no worry. It’s not like there are herds of zombies roaming the countryside or anything.

While Maggie’s in the back opening a case of Tylenol to get the two bottles on her list, Glen is looking for Lori’s special request. He finds it and sticks it in his bag right before Maggie gets back. She asks what he’s doing, and he says he’s looking for some condoms, and she says she’ll have sex with him because her only other options at this point are Daryl, a redneck; Shane, a murderer; Dale, a seasoned citizen; her brother; and T-Doug, a non-Caucasian. She’s not really down with interracial romance, but since Glenn at least looks half-American, she’ll make an exception just this one time. Glenn’s cool with that.

“Gimme some sugar, baby.”

Back at the farmhouse, Rick asks Hershel to reconsider his decision to give them the boot. Rick says if Hershel had any idea what it was really like out there on the road, he’d never make them leave. Hershel says he’ll think about it, but if he does let them stay, they’ll have to live by his rules. “There are aspects to this that I can’t and won’t discuss,” he tells Rick. Yeah, this is gonna end well.

His hopes now neither dashed nor undashed, Rick goes inside to check on Carl. He starts to tell him the truth about Sophia, but Carl says Lori already told him. Way to go, Lori. You just ruined Rick’s chance to not lie to his kid for once. Carl is excited that he and his dad finally have something in common – they’ve both been shot. Rick gives Carl his sheriff’s hat, and then they talk about boners. Yay bonding!

Finally, Lori goes out into a field carrying a knife and the pregnancy test she got from Glenn. If it’s positive, I hope she’s going to give herself an abortion. That would rule. She drops her pants and pees, and gets an instant positive result. But instead of cutting the little bugger out, she just sits there and cries.


So, what did you think of this episode? In case you couldn’t tell, I was a tad disappointed. Eventually, I’m afraid we’re going to find out the zombies come from a glowing stream and the farm is really purgatory sort of and then Rick is going to cry a river of rears.

copygodd | 11.09.11 | Filed in The Walking Dead

Back to the top

Comments are closed.