A recap and some thoughts about the latest Walking Dead episode.
"Cherokee Rose" was in many ways a breather episode for the Walking Dead. While the first three episodes of this season has been filled with zombie herds and life and death situations, "Cherokee Rose" gave the survivors of The Walking Dead a break and instead showcased the show's (temporary) new status quo.
The episode opens with Rick's group of survivors reuniting at Hershel's farm, just in time to attend Otis' funeral. Hershel and Patricia ask Shane to share Otis' final words and actions to reinforce that the departed EMS's death had meaning. Of course, Shane lies to the rest of the group about how Otis' passes, spinning a heroic tale of Otis sacrificing himself to let Shane escape. Of course, Otis had been sacrificed to let Shane get away, but as the short flashback interspersed throughout Shane's speech showed, Otis hadn't exactly allowed Shane to get away.
With Otis properly memorialized, Hershel allows the survivors to stay at the farm to spearhead their search for Sofia. Although Rick had told his son Carl that she was safe, the girl is still missing. As Hershel explains the lay of the land to Rick and Shane, he asks that the survivors don't carry guns on the property as the farm has so far avoided turning into an armed camp. He also insists that neither Shane nor Rick wander too far as both are medically unfit to wander in the woods for the next day or so. When Andrea asks the obvious question as to what to do should Sofia be found bitten, Rick tells her that they'll do what needs to be done, leading Maggie and Hershel to exchange a significant look.
Maggie offers to run into town for supplies and Rick volunteers Glenn to accompany her. Glenn's absolutely okay with this, of course, as Maggie's easily the most attractive character to appear on the show thus far. However, their trip is interrupted when T-Dogg and Dale discover a zombie trapped in one of the wells on the farm. Shane, Maggie and the others decide that they need to pull the zombie out of the well before killing him to ensure the well's usability. After a failed attempt to lure the zombie out of the well with a piece of meat, Andrea realizes that they'll need live bait and volunteers Glenn to head down to throw a rope around the zombie's neck. While the group uses an elaborate pulley system to try to ensure Glenn's safety, Glenn still almost winds up as zombie chow when a well pump used to control his descent breaks and causes him to almost fall into the zombie's hands. However, everyone pulls together to drag Glenn up and Glenn manages to ensnare the zombie after all.
While the rest of the group is out fishing for zombies, Darryl goes off in search of Sofia. Although Rick tries to convince Darryl that he doesn't have to go out alone, Darryl is dead set on finding the girl and comes across an abandoned house with a few clues that someone's been inhabiting the building recently. However, he's unable to find Sofia alone and is instead admires a single white flower growing outside.
Back at the ranch, Maggie and the Atlanta survivors manage to partially pull the zombie out of the well. Unfortunately, all of their effort is in vain when the zombie rips in half after the creature's legs become stuck on the edge of the well. While the top half of the zombie is pulled up onto the ground, the legs and a slew of guts fall back into the well, effectively contaminating it from further use. Maggie turns away in disgust as T-Dogg beats the zombie to death.
After the well incident, Glenn and Maggie head into town to gather supplies from a local pharmacy. Before leaving, Glenn is asked to retrieve a specific item by Lori, who had previously reiterated to Shane that she wanted him to stay. Giving Maggie the rest of the list, Glenn looks for Lori's request in the feminine hygiene section. However, his attempt to be discreet fails and Maggie catches Glenn with a box of condoms in his hand. After a hilarious back and forth, Maggie offers to sleep with Glenn, explaining that Glenn's not the only one that's lonely around here.
While Maggie and Glenn get to know each other, Rick attempts to convince Hershel that staying at the farm would be his group of survivors' best option. Hershel is not entirely convinced by Rick's plea and is reluctant to allow them to stay, telling Rick that he can't explain all the reasons behind his hesitancy. Hershel eventually agrees that he will consider Rick's request as long as the survivors follow his rules after listening to Rick mention that he's worried that he's failing his son. When Glenn and Maggie return to the farm, Maggie tells Glenn that their tryst was a one-time affair and tells Hershel that nothing of consequence happened in town.
Carol leaves a sign for Sofia on the highway and retires back to the RV to clean it in preparation for the girl's return. Darryl returns from his search and comforts Carol with the flower that he had seen earlier, explaining that it was a Cherokee Rose. The Cherokee Rose was named for an Indian tale that said the flower grew from the tears of Cherokee mothers who had lost their children on the Trail of Tears. While Darryl didn't believe that anyone cried about his brother, he did believe that flower grew because of Carol's love for Sofia.
That night, Rick goes to confess to Carl that he had lied about Sofia's safety but learns that Carl had already learned the truth from Lori. Carl jokes that he and his father are alike as both have been the victims of gunshot wounds. Rick and Carl bond over their shared wound and Rick gives Carl his sheriff's hat to show that he's now a member of "the club". Seeing his son safe and happy, Rick takes off his badges and symbolically puts them away for Lori. The episode ends with Lori using the item that Glenn had retrieved for her, which is revealed to be a pregnancy test. Lori heads out to a field and takes the test. Lori and the viewers learn that she is with child, leaving everyone to wonder exactly who the father is.
While the episode didn't have a lot of action, there certainly was a lot of setup. Between the pregnancy reveal, Maggie and Glenn's eventful incursion to the pharmacy, and Hershel's reluctance to grant harbor to the Atlanta survivors as his barn features prominently in the background, there's plenty for the rest of this season to build upon. It's clear that while Rick and his friends have found a temporary shelter from the madness they live in, it may not be as safe as it seems.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer