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Recap: The Walking Dead, Episode 2.06 “Secrets”

 “You’re old–you know things. So, what if someone told you something that somebody else should know–”

 “Stop being dramatic and spit it out!”

 “There’s walkers in the barn and Lori is pregnant.”

Let’s get this out of the way: there was an unacceptable amount of Daryl in this episode.  I know there’s a lot of (rightfully deserved) ire at other issues in this episode, but for me, this was a low point. On the plus side, this was a very good episode if you were a B-plot character, because Dale, Glenn, and Maggie got some great scenes, Andrea got her gun on, and even T-Dog got a snarky little one liner during the training montage.

 

There’s only one more episode left before the mid-season hiatus. So that means at least one of the shows two storylines needs to come to some sort of resolution and it ended up being the one I least care about. Lori’s pregnancy is revealed.

I suppose on a different show where they had some sort of respect or development for the female characters, it wouldn’t bug me so much that Lori’s main stories always hinge on her motherhood. It’s a perfectly valid point to explore; small children are tremendous liabilities on the run, and they’re also the future of your existence. But the only things that define Lori are her relationships to the two men she’s boned and her child(ren). It’s not even a multi-leveled portrayal–she’s always shrill or hysterical. Her concerns are constantly derided and we’re left with a character who, frankly, most of the audience hates.

Lori sends Glenn out to get “abortion pills,” which are not actually abortion pills and wouldn’t work on a biological level even if she hadn’t thrown them up, wouldn’t work on a story level because the show needs her to remain pregnant. There’s no drama if everyone faced up to the realities of their world. Women under the best care still die in childbirth. Lori, as she points out, is going to be giving birth in a ditch, during a food shortage, with limited to no medical care (even if they could convince Hershel to let them stay, which they won’t, because they are Bad News Bears), carrying an infant around while trying to avoid hordes of walkers. Think about how the first episode of this season would have gone if Lori already had their baby. When they all need to fling themselves under cars to escape the herd of zombies? How would that end with an infant? They’d all be dead.

 

So Lori’s concerns get painted as baseless even as the men–and its only men she speaks to about it–keep telling her its her “choice” to not have the baby, when all they do is throw up the reasons to have it and no one mentions the even bigger problem–where the hell would she get an abortion from anyway?

Rick also finds out about the Shane-Lori tryst, which he takes better than Lori keeping her pregnancy a secret. It certainly improved my opinion of him–how could he blame her? Every sign pointed to Rick being dead. There was no way she could have known otherwise.  The interesting question, of course, is what Shane is going to do when Rick tells him he knows and forgives them. Will he be relieved? Is that guilt part of what’s pushing him to disconnect from his mortality?

Hey, did everyone notice Shane’s new car? I assume, because Cthulhu knows that new cars don’t just fall out of the sky (not in zombie flicks at least), that the gang just keeps going back to the traffic jam on the interstate and picking up new rides. As far as product placements go, I suppose it was mostly subtle if you discount the beginning of Dale’s confrontation: “I was thinking you got that nice new ride of yours. Plenty of fuel. Enough to get far away from here.”

Dale is a consummate meddler. He is the now the world’s champion meddler, because most of the other meddlers are probably dead, since they probably snooped their way into a zombie attack. Dale gets All of the Secrets out of Lori and Glenn, confronts Hershel about his walker infestation, reveals he’s pretty sure Shane killed Otis, and then does something that I haven’t quite decided was brave or incredibly stupid–he lets Shane know he knows.

Dale: I know what kind of man you are.
Shane: You think I’d shoot Rick? That is my best friend. That’s a man I love. I love him like he’s my brother. You think that’s the kind of man I am?
Dale: That’s right.
Shane: Well, maybe we ought to just think that through. So I’m the kind of man who would gun down his own best friend? What do you think I’d do to some guy I don’t even like. When he starts throwing accusations around my way. What do you think?

Shane, my friends, has gone full cuckoo.

Next week, they have to deal with this:

 

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of powderroom.jezebel.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at slay@persephonemagazine.com.

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

5 replies on “Recap: The Walking Dead, Episode 2.06 “Secrets””

I was always under the impression that Lori and Shane were having an affair before Rick was shot, which makes all of the “We thought you were dead!” business a nice cover-up. It’s been a while since I saw the pilot, but it seemed to me that when Rick and Shane were discussing Rick’s marital woes, Shane was acting kind of shady for a best buddy, but perhaps he was just uncomfortable about the subject matter…

I think that’s it in a nutshell for me — the female characters in the main groups all have very, VERY legitimate priorities and concerns, but they are not conveyed with any respect. It comes across as an individual’s “issues” instead.

Andrea: Hey, my sister died about a week ago and I killed her when she turned into a zombie. When I decided to end my life in a way of my choice, someone basically guilted me into leaving so I wouldn’t have his blood on my hands. Now these assholes won’t give me a gun because they are afraid I will kill myself, meaning when I was attacked by a zombie I had to defend myself with a spork. I want to start defending myself and the group, and no one is taking me seriously, except for Shane.

Lori: Look, I made a desperation move and slept with my husband’s best friend once my husband had died. It turned out he wasn’t dead and that I was pregnant. I wanted to make a decision about whether to go through with the pregnancy considering that we live in hell on earth and my other son was just shot, only to be berated by my husband, guilted by Glenn and judged by Maggie. My only priority is my family and my children — everything else takes a distant second. That is my value system, my choice, and I’m going to try to uphold it. 

Carol: Listen, my twelve-year-old daughter has been loose in the woods for about a week. There is a possibility she might be EATEN by zombies. I am naturally a fucking nervous wreck and since I have no training in weaponry  I have to rely on the mens to do it. Oh yeah, I also have some serious issues because my abusive marriage just ended because my husband was killed by zombies, meaning that I didn’t leave the marriage, I was saved from it by the undead. So I hate myself all the more for failing my daughter yet again.

Meanwhile Rick’s “good guy trying to do Right for everyone” issue is treated like a sacrament.

There was a couple of really great comments on the female characters on Walking Dead over at Pajiba. The commentator touches on a lot of important points that have been dragging down the quality of the show this season and bascially says it better than I could:

http://www.pajiba.com/tv_reviews/the-walking-dead-chupacabra-i-was-pushing-forward-back.php#comments (look for “Posted by: Artemis at November 15, 2011 2:08 PM”)

and

http://www.pajiba.com/tv_reviews/the-walking-dead-secrets-she-she-wanted-to-be-a-secret-girl.php (look for “Posted by: Artemis at November 22, 2011 12:41 PM”)

Sorry for the lack of permanent links to the comments.

Ah, I was hoping you’d mention Glenn’s awesome line. Such a relief to me after all my griping last week about him being the secret-keeper.

I missed Darryl as well but I guess he needed a week to recover from his physical and psychological trauma from last week.

I liked that Andrea finally started to follow through on her much-verbalized desire to get comfortable with guns and be able to protect herself and the group. But the payoff was not quite what it could have been because it seemed so abrupt. I’m sure shooting a zombie point-blank in the head is a major moment, but after it she just looked up and was suddenly calm, confident, and making perfect headshots? It just felt a smidge rushed. Also, good for her for banging Shane in the car, because she doesn’t know yet how crazy he is but she does know that he’s hot.

I will say the zombie scene in the subdivision was pretty scary. It reminded me of the panicky fear we had so much of in last season. I’m hoping they leave the farm soon so we can be scared a little more often.

I struggle with how much to recapp versus comment on in these posts, so stuff always gets left out, but the house they go into was just chilling. I’ve spent more than a good amount of time wondering what the story was there — with all the walkers dead near the crib (which always makes my blood run cold, just on the helplessness of the situation) and the burned bodies in the garage. Were they more walkers? The people from the house?

I think what the show does very well are these little background vignettes that aren’t usually commented on but feel very authentic and lived in — all those lives that were lost, all the terror that had to have been felt.

I got mad when Lori threw up the pills because it was a waste of perfectly good medicine that Andrea might have used! I don’t think Shane’s the kind of guy who believes in wrapping his shit up.

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