A weekly recap of (almost) every gory detail in this week’s episode of “Walking Dead.”
Tonight’s episode of “The Walking Dead” — the appropriately titled “Secrets” — taught us an important lesson: Glenn can’t keep one.
Seriously, we barely got 10 minutes into the episode before good ol’ walker bait Glenn blurted out to Dale that there are zombies being harbored in Hershel’s barn and also that, oh by the way, Lori is pregnant. Well, give him credit for being self-aware: “I suck at lying,” he told Maggie before spilling his — forgive the reference — guts to Dale. “I can’t even play poker. It’s too much like lying.”
Glenn’s inability to withhold information was only one revelation in this week’s episode, the penultimate one before “Walking Dead’s” midseason break. We also learned that Carl is up and about again; Sophia remains missing despite Shane’s and Andrea’s best efforts to find her in what appeared to be the neighborhood from Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” remake; Andrea gets horny when she shoots zombies, which explains why she jumped Shane after firing bullets into some walker skulls; and, in keeping with his long-standing Andrea issues, Dale really does not like the idea of Shane sleeping with her. (“I know what kind of man you are,” Dale said, implying he knows Shane’s “secret” — that Otis didn’t exactly die under the most heroic circumstances.)
But the most important plot thread involved Lori’s pregnancy and her dilemma over whether to keep the baby, a dilemma that actually ties in thematically with Hershel’s desire to keep his zombie-fied relatives in the barn and feed them live chickens.
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First of all, props to Glenn for saying to Lori what we’ve all been thinking: “You’re too skinny.” Seriously, if the camera adds 10 pounds, then Sarah Wayne Callies, the actress who plays Lori, clearly doesn’t even outweigh your average pixie stick, which makes it difficult to imagine that she’s now carrying around a second human being in her belly.
Of course, Lori clearly can’t quite grapple with that reality either. Even though she sent Glenn and Maggie back to town to snag her some morning-after pills — nearly turning them into walker meat in the process — she remained conflicted over whether to try to terminate her pregnancy or allow it to continue. (Glenn also brought her some pre-natal vitamins, just in case. That guy can’t keep a secret, but at least he’s thoughtful.)
As she explained during a heart-to-heart with Dale “Up in Everyone’s Business” Horvath, she has reservations about bringing a child — a child she seems certain is Rick’s — into a world where there is essentially little to live for. “This baby won’t have any good memories at all — just fear and pain,” she said.
But after leaving Morning After pills lying around — not exactly a smart move if she really wanted to keep her situation hidden from Rick — Lori finally talked it out with her husband, who doesn’t want her to end the pregnancy.
“We can make it work,” he insisted. How, exactly, Rick? As Lori wisely noted, every time the baby cries, he/she could potentially be sounding a zombie wake-up call. And under the circumstances, how are they going to find diapers, onesies, additional diapers, bouncy seats, still more diapers, a Diaper Genie and all the other necessities of infant parenting? As far as I can tell, the pharmacy in town isn’t exactly as stocked as a Buy Buy Baby.
During their unresolved conversation, Lori also came clean about her affair with Shane, which was kind of anti-climactic since Rick already seemed to have figured out they did the deed while he was in a coma from which, by the way, he still should be feeling some significant after-effects but does not seem to be.
So how do we feel about Lori and the baby? I’m decidedly torn. If I were Lori, I don’t think I’d want to bring a child into the hell on Earth in which they are currently living. But deciding not to feel is like waving a definitive white flag, an admission that there is truly zero hope for humanity.
And that’s where this plot dovetails with Hershel and the walkers in the barn. As Maggie defensively noted to Glenn, those aren’t just moaning freaks in there: they’re loved ones who, maybe, could turn back into regular people. As unlikely as that seems, to give up on them is, also, to abandon hope.
And if Hershel and the Grimes, in their respective ways, go the ditch-optimism route, then everyone in the “Walking Dead” universe may as well just grab one of those widely available guns and shoot themselves, the same way Andrea tried to do last season. Of course, they can’t do that; “Walking Dead” still has at least a season and a half ahead of it.
Still, it’s worth noting that in both scenarios, the key decisions here — to give birth and to provide affordable housing for zombies — are decisions that have much larger ramifications for the survivors and their perceptions of their current realities. When explored in this context, does Hershel’s decision to “safely” keep walkers on his farm make more sense? And what do you think Lori should do about that baby? Weigh in on any or all of these issues by posting a comment.