Rick Grimes is a Sociopath: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2 Recap and Review

These guys are soooo fucked.

When last we left those intrepid nomads incapable of traveling more than 2 miles in 3 months, they had cleared part of a prison to serve as Babymaking Base Alpha, sung around a campfire, hurled dog food, lurched into puberty (well, that was just Carl), learned that the infection apparently makes it impossible for their hair to grow (with the exception of facial hair and Carl), and hacked off the leg of the only person with medical experience despite having exactly no medical supplies like peroxide or alcohol or baby aspirin or, apparently, rags of any sort.

Which leads me to another question. These people who’ve been sweating and zombie-killing and digging ditches in the same exact clothes for over a year now haven’t changed their clothes at all? Seriously, fuck how bad the living dead must smell. I can only imagine the Walking Stench this group is carrying around. That shit’s nasty, guys. Find an undershirt. If they can’t be bothered to change their clothes, imagine how disgusting their breath must be. Gahh, dog food and months of plaque build-up and I’m gonna hurl if I keep going with this.

I can recap this show in one slightly run-on sentence: Rick talks to the prisoners, cut to close-up of Herschel’s severed leg surrounded by sadface, Rick talks to the prisoners, cut to close-up of Herschel’s severed leg surrounded by sadface, Rick talks to the prisoners, cut to close-up of Herschel’s severed leg surrounded by sadface, Rick talks to the prisoners, cut to close-up of Herschel’s severed leg surrounded by sadface, Rick and the prisoners fight zombies, cut to close-up of Herschel’s severed leg surrounded by sadface, Rick talks to the prisoners, cut to close-up of Herschel’s severed leg surrounded by happyface as he wakes up. That’s pretty much it.

I’ll expound.

So, after introducing himself to the prisoners trapped inside the prison cafeteria by dragging in an old man, hacking off his lower leg, and shouting and threatening them, Rick drags Herschel back to the main group. The prisoners, three African Americans and the Southern version of the Count of Monte Cristo led by a Hispanic-looking dude (I guess), follow Rick’s group back to their main spot. Macho posturing ensues. Rick comes across less rational than Shane, because he no longer gives a fuck about anyone at all, and a lot of “this is my cell block” followed by “No, this is my cell block” goes back and forth. I’ll spare you the full ten-minute recital and sum it up: Rick will help the prisoners clear a cell block of their own in exchange for half the remaining food in the cafeteria. The prisoners reluctantly agree.

Imagine 20 minutes of this, and you’ve got half the episode. Just needs more stump close-ups.

Meanwhile, Herschel’s stump begins the first of its roughly 5,000 close-ups as the non-coms look worried and say dramatic things. We might lose him, he’s our doctor, whatever will we do, poor Herschel, it shoulda been you Lori, etc. OK, I made up the last one, but everyone’s thinking it, or should be at least. Herschel’s stump is wavin’ in the breeze because, again, with several months to gather things like, umm, clean towels or shirts or anything, the group has exactly nothing to dress the wound with. Maybe they think the air is good for it. I half-expected them to smear butter on it, but then I remembered that they probably ate all the butter.

Rick, Darryl, and T-Dogg lead the prisoners to the cell block “next door” after Rick and Lori Have A Talk. She’s worried about having the prisoners close by. Rick assures her that he’ll kill them all. Lori assures him that he’s no killer even though he’s killed just about every person they’ve met who didn’t live on a farm and that he’s made it clear he’ll kill everyone they ever meet. He is reassured that he’s no killer, just a man forced to do drastic things under moderate conditions. Seriously, thank god that hothead Shane is no longer around, because then there would be tension and potential violence. Also, Rick tells Glenn to kill Herschel if he comes back dead. He gives him handcuffs. Glenn looks angsty about killing his girlfriend’s dad.

So the group goes off. The survivors give the prisoners specific instructions on how to kill the walking dead. In the first encounter, they go into combat like a group of prisoners attacking correctional officers. One holds a zombie while another wails on their gut with knives and blunt instruments. This fails to work, but not for lack of trying. Rick and Darryl look disgusted. Death warrant: written.

Close-up of Herschel’s stump. Dramatic tension. Worry. Despondence. Despair.

Rick and the team show the prisoners how to kill zombies by lightly striking them in the head. Breakthrough! The prisoners get into it, all except for the biggest guy, who looks sickened at the prospect of smashing the brains of walking corpses. Like anyone in a movie or TV show who gets scared, he slowly backs up staring in one direction only. He goes a short way back the way the group just came, and didn’t gauge the respawn timers well enough, because now there are Stealth Zombies behind them. Zombies make a lot of noise unless your back is to them, apparently. I don’t know where the zombies came from. The group literally just came through there, but they come through the walls or something. Whatever. One of them is handcuffed and rips off his hand to get out because he wouldn’t just reach mindlessly for the living human in front of him like a dead thing hungry for flesh, even though he’s been handcuffed for a year now and it never bothered him all that much, but now he feels constricted and can’t get into his cannibalistic ouerve constrained by the shackles of The Man anymore. So now his razor sharp arm bones are exposed and he punches the big dude in the back as another attacks the big dude from the front.

Close-up of Herschel’s stump. Dramatic tension. Worry. Despondence. Despair. Carl comes up with a bag full of supplies from the infirmary that he found while wandering around a prison full of corpses and nobody noticed he was gone because Carl. Lori is all upset that he wandered alone through a prison and Carl gives her sass and Lori gets snippy and Carl feeds her heavy sass and the Singin’ Chick that Carl wants to climb on top of and make grunty noises with upbraids Carl for giving his mom sass and Carl shuts up because she’s purty and goes off alone because Carl. Carol dresses Herschel’s leg with the stuff Carl brought.

Rick and the rest finish off the zombies in front of them and are like “Hey, zombies behind us” and Rick takes down one while the still-pomaded leader of the prisoners shoots Razorwrist with his .38 held gangsta-style even though Rick said no guns, resulting in Rick giving the dude Murdereyes. He drags his deathgaze away from Pomade long enough to tell the big guy he’s sorry. Dude’s like, “WTF, I’m cool, it’s a scratch, I’m good” but Rick is all “I’m sorry, but you’re a newcomer and I’mma have to kill you because I haven’t killed a human in a little while and I’m getting twitchy” and Big Dude is like “Seriously WTF” and then WHAM Pomade takes out the big guy in with repeated blows. He looks exactly like Rick did when he hacked off his friend’s leg, so Rick gives him the stinkeye again. No one kills humans except Rick. Darryl and Rick mutter about how they don’t trust him now. Darryl tells Rick he’ll put him down, just give him a signal.

Close-up of Herschel’s stump. Glenn handcuffs Herschel so he doesn’t eat anyone, choosing the wrist on the outside of the bed so if Herschel comes back from being dead he’ll be able to get up and have more range for attacking people. Carol wants Glenn to come with her to an undisclosed location for a secret reason. He says, “Rick told me to stay with Herschel” and she says “Please, it’s important” and he looks torn because the leader of their group gave him detailed and specific instructions but then Maggie tells him it’s OK and he leaves, because lady bits trump everything if you ever want to get those lady bits again and you’re in an apocalypse and you can’t be choosy when you’re gettin’ some and literally no one else is.

Luckily the cafeteria had plenty of razors and mustache wax.

Time to open the cell block door. Rick tells Pomade to do it, and the simmering stares they give each other is either hostility or the burgeoning fires of the love that dares not speak its name. Seriously, these two are eyebanging each other like crazy and it’s some serious BDSM they’re contemplating. Rick tells him to open only one door, Pomade nods. Rick notices the smallest dude who’s holding a bat looking scared and backing away from the door. Murdereyes show up again, because fear is not acceptable. Both doors are opened, because Rick gave the job to someone he doesn’t trust and who doesn’t like him. Zombies come piling in and they begin fighting. Pomade takes a swing at a zombie that almost hits Rick and it’s obvious the dude is trying to take Rick out accidentally. Murdereyes.

Close-up of Herschel’s stump. Old man looks like he’s dying. Maggie is upset. Singin’ Chick is upset. Herschel appears to stop breathing. They get upset. Lori leans over Herschel and gives CPR in a manner that would ensure you never get CPR certified. Herschel groans and clutches Lori! He’s a zombie! Lori is going to die kicking and screaming! No, it’s OK, he was brought back from dying the OK way. Lori saves his life. I guess.

Glenn and Carol are wandering the outer perimeter, because she wants corpses to cut open because she’s gonna have to give Lori a C-section, apparently. She needs to be able to cut through the stomach and uterus without killing Lori. She picks one out, kills it, Glenn drags off the others gathered because he’s a monk and can feign death if it’s a bad pull.

Pomade grabs an attacking zombie and blatantly throws it at Rick to try to kill him. Darryl saves Rick. The zombies are all killed. Rick and Pomade face off. Rick never accuses Pomade of anything, which might have been helpful for the edification of everyone else, and instead gives Darryl the signal. The signal apparently consists of slamming his machete in the middle of Pomade’s forehead. This kills him instantly. The prisoners freak the fuck out, because, well, one of them just got a machete in the head. T-Dogg and Darryl just shrug because that’s how the Ricktator deals with anyone who’s not in their little group. The smallest dude, the one who backed away before, takes off running, afraid that he’s gonna be next, while the Count and the other guy are forced down on their knees with weapons in their faces, because Rick is a better person to deal with volatile situations and if Shane were around there might be bloodshed. Rick says he’ll go after the little guy, because Rick hates a runner.

So the little guy runs through the zombie-infested prison. Rick is hot after him. Why? I don’t know. To save him from the danger he’s unwittingly plunging headlong into? To explain why he did what he did to their fellow prisoner? To gut him and eat his entrails where no one can see? It’s entirely unclear. The little guy makes it outside to a fenced in area full of zombies. He’s scared, realizing he’s trapped. Rick appears at the door. The guy runs back towards Rick and the dubious safety of a murderous former sheriff who, by all appearances, killed a man in cold blood with a machete. Rick…. Ahem.  Rick….


Rick slams the barred gate in front of this panicking kid’s face, leaving him trapped in a small area full of the living dead. He’s like a fucking supervillain at this point. The kid begs for his life but Rick just says, “You better run.” Where, exactly? Is he supposed to run in fucking circles until the dead guys, what, give up? What the fuck does that even mean? Rick doesn’t give a flying rat’s ass. He’s no killer. He just kills people or leaves them in abject terror, forced to live their last minutes on earth surrounded by the living dead and screaming as their flesh gets gnawed off their kicking bodies as they watch their lifeblood spill over the decaying faces of people they once knew and die under the most horrible fucking circumstances possible. Rick just walks away as the kid screams and screams and he’s no killer, it’s all good. Sure, he’s a murderous sociopath whose first reaction to a situation that might be dangerous is to fucking kill everyone involved – and remember, Shane was a bad person because he was a hothead. Rick’s much better because he’s a cold, vicious killer who shows no remorse. I still don’t know what the fucking kid’s crime was. He was scared? He ran? Did Rick want to witness his death? Make sure he didn’t squeal? What the fuck was that?

Anyway, cut to Carol dissecting a corpse with the worst-ever panty-shot ever shown in any medium. Someone’s watching her through the woods. Who is it? Who cares. Rick just left some poor kid to get eaten alive. Rick goes back to terrify the Count and Other Dude, pressing the barrel of his gun to their heads because they know a guy that once tried to kill Rick. The Count begs for his life, saying they aren’t violent criminals. Other Dude just looks at Rick like he’s another power-hungry asshole who loves lording over people behind the protection of a badge and says he doesn’t give a fuck, he ain’t begging. I instantly like this guy more than anyone on the show except Darryl. They take the two guys and shove them into a cell block and say Peace Out. T-Dogg stops, looks back at the people who’ve just been fucked in the ass by Rick Grimes with some measure of I Don’t Know What the Fuck Just Happened But I’m Makin’ Damn Sure It Don’t Happen To Me, and finally tells the other two that he’d burn the bodies if it were him. Luckily, they leave the two without fuel or matches to do that. See ya!

The group goes back to the non-coms and finds out Herschel’s doing better because Lori saved his life. Herschel lifts a hand not to Lori who saved him or his kids, but to Rick. Rick holds the old man’s hand with the same one he used to slam a steel gate shut in the face of a terrified kid who had no idea the world had turned to shit until Rick showed up and bossed him around and finally left him to die like a rat surrounded by hyenas. Lori walks off, looking like she can’t win. The writers are clearly trying to make her sympathetic. I still don’t give a shit about her. The show ends with Rick and Lori talking about marital problems. He hilariously says that he doesn’t think she’s a bad mom. It’s all good. She doesn’t think Rick’s a killer.

Seriously, man. Rick Grimes is a fucking loon. He’s crazy with a capital Out of His Fucking Mind Sadistic Powertripping I Don’t Give A Fuck, I Will Skullfuck You and The Horse You Rode In On And Leave You To Die In the Worst Way I Can Think Of. Wow. And I’m still rooting for this guy, right? That’s what I’m supposed to do? OK. He’s a the hero. Check. Got it. Shane = bad, Rick = good. OK.

What the fuck ever.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on October 26, 2012, in Reviews, Zombies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Yes, yes he is and I am enjoying it way too much…

  2. Seriously, I’m not a fan of what they’re doing with the show. It doesn’t have to be an exact copy of the comic but come on! I didn’t start hating Rick till much later when I read the comics. Lori has always been annoying though.

    • It’s really, really weird. It’s like Season 1 and the first half of Season 2 were about the Right Way to Do Things versus the Expedient Way, and then they decided to chuck it all out and make it about Rick being… whatever Rick is now.

      And Lori is indeed awful.

  3. First of all, I love these recaps…

    Now on to the episode… I actually love the violence this year. Rick, for the first time IMO, is acting like a bad @$$. I laughed when he shot that guy in the face. Outloud. And Herschel’s gone now so we don’t have to look at his stump anymore.

    I’m not looking forward to the Andrea storyline. They should have killed her last year instead of Shane. She is so annoying… just like Lori.

    • Ha! I’m glad you like ’em. I either have to do them or die drowning in my own bile.

      And I’m not sure we’re rid of ole Herschel so easily. We still need Old Guy Wisdom. Or the writers think we do.

  4. Hay your falling behind, or are you done reviewing the show??

  5. Thank you for this brilliant article. Will at present more daily . Greetings from Cologne

  6. This is a stupid article. I, and I think any sane person would want to be able to do what Rick does in these situations. He saves his entire groups life.

    BTW, you spelt Daryl wrong…

    • For a second there i thought the world was taken over by stupid people (of which hordes of zombies in film are a great analogy). Thankfully there are still some bright people like you about. Unfortunately i think most people would think the character Rick Grimes is psycho. Enlightened folk know otherwise.

    • “He saves his entire groups life.” over 50% of the group since being under his leadership has died.

      okay buddy.

  7. I just watched this episode and you perfectly captured the essence of the insanity contained within this episode. Well done! Btw, to all those who think Rick is an okay guy… he is a complete nut-job.

  8. I have wondered exactly the same thing! Why don’t these people change their clothes? For example: Rick has been wearing the same jeans for years now and jeans start smelling pretty bad pretty soon:D

  9. I was almost about to give up on The Walking Dead by the end of season 2, but around this episode was when I realized that it was still extremely entertaining if taken as a comedic cautionary tale about how not to survive a major disaster. Like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, with zombies.

  10. I don’t think Rick is a sociopath, though. He’s just a dumb cop who’s gotten in over his head and isn’t smart enough not to leverage his charisma.

  11. Brazo! Rick won a Nobel in Season 3

  12. Your musings and rants appear to be devoid of critical analysis and contextual consideration. Im hoping for your sake that this is the point of them☺

  13. It’s brilliant, this article. Brilliant. Everything about it is spot on. How many times have they walked into a store with clothes hanging all over the place and walked out wearing the same tattered rags? There are so many amazingly obvious flaws in the show, every single episode…and Rick is a complete loony bin…and yet I still have enjoyed the whole thing.

  14. I decided to re-watch The Walking Dead (completely filled with regret trying to drag myself through season 2 for the 3rd time) and I loved reading your articles after every episode. You completely captured the essence of the show and understood exactly what was what. Thank you for writing this far, it was an absolute joy to read (Especially the rants of Dale and Lori).

    Just curious why you stopped writing on it? Did you stop watching the show? If not I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you think now (wherever you are up to).

    • I did stop watching the show. The scene in season 3 where the National Guard – who would have all been combat veterans in Iraq and/or Afghanistan – get ambushed by a bunch of yokels and don’t manage to get off a shot – in the middle of an apocalypse they’ve otherwise survived – broke me. I couldn’t do it anymore, and haven’t seen an episode since. I couldn’t even enjoyably hate-watch the show anymore.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  15. I don’t know why I’ve decided to go back and re-read these reviews. Probably this last comment bringing back up to the front again, and really long, boring days at work; and I could always use a good laugh. I might go back and re-read some of my old FB notes while I’m at it.

    It made me wonder though if you’ve ever gotten around to playing Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead series, and if you’ve given TWD spin-off (Fear The Walking Dead) a chance? … Personally, I think FTWD is much better, especially on the realism scale – you can tell because it has lower ratings; the characters are more believable, even if I would still enjoy watching some of them die. With the exception of the first 2 season finales, it’s mostly solid so far.

    • I never have, for either of those things. I’ve heard really good things about Tell Tale’s game, though, and I’ve always been interested in giving it a try. I think I’d like playing the games a lot more than the show, because my main problem with the show was always the characters and ridiculous decisions they made. I might give FTWD a shot, especially if the characters are more believable, after I play the game like I’ve been meaning to for way too long.

      And as an aside, it always fascinates me when people comment on these old posts, especially the ones that are really mad at me. The one post I did, Why I Hate on the Walking Dead So Much (I think it was called), was the one that would just get a random comment shitting all over me years after it was posted. It’s one of my favorite things. I can’t even get mad at them.

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