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The Walking Dead Season 2: "Secrets"

Written by Royal Nonesuch on Monday, November 21 2011 and posted in Reviews

Secrets secrets are no fun.  Secrets secrets hurt someone.

"Everything's food for something else."

Pity poor Glenn.  Once the nerdy Asian guy at the edge of the group picture, he somehow became the guy who falls ass backwards into everyone else's secrets.  First, he finds out about Lori's pregnancy, and then last week stumbles upon a barn full of Walkers.  He acknowledges to Maggie that he isn't any good at lying to people, so he spends a lot of time exhibiting all this nervous twitchiness before Dale finally asks him what's bugging him.  Glenn just can't stands it no more, so he just blurts out everything that's on his mind in one swift "therearewalkersinthebarnLori'spregnant!"  As Dale later tells Lori, "the boy has no guile." 

It's funny stuff, but it highligts some real issues.  How long can secrets survive in such an intense survivalist environment, where you're pretty much stuck (by necessity) with the same people every single day.  What effects would hidden truths have on a group like this?  In "Secrets," the group dynamics get spotlighted more, in a way they hadn't been up to this point.  This season of The Walking Dead has had a habit of splitting up the group into pairs and examining interrelationships that way.  Glenn, after putting in some time with Lori and Dale, gets to head back into town with Maggie, whose pissed at him for blabbing about the zombie barn (Dale decides to have an old man conference with Hershel wherein the latter reveals that his wife and stepson are among the walkers in there, and that he sees the undead as an illness to be cured – a new take on the twisted morality this show is ostensibly about).  While picking up stuff for Lori (Glenn ends up telling Maggie about Lori's pregnancy too), Maggie is attacked by a zombie, which Glenn decisively dispatches.  When they return to camp, Maggie lashes out at Lori for almost getting them killed, but later reveals that the only reason she's so upset is that she sees Glenn as a natural leader, while his group sees him as the runt of the litter.  Glenn shows a little bit of the tendencies that Maggie sees in him when he gives Lori some cogent, sobering advice about talking to Rick.   

"Secrets" really lives up to its name by loading up its running time with all kinds of under-the-surface tension and resentments coming to the fore.  Everybody's keeping something, and everybody this week has something to say.  After some firearm training, Andrea storms out on Shane for acting like a drill sargeant and crossing a line by mentioning Andrea's sister Amy getting zombified.  He apologizes, and they head down a suburban street together looking for Sophia.  All they find is a garage full of fully decomposed bodies (which doesn't seem to affect Andrea quite as viscerally as seeing the single zombie hanging from a tree did a few weeks ago).  Andrea's firearm training kicks in, and she's able to gun down a bunch of attacking walkers herself, which has the effect firing a gun would have on any sexy woman: she gets totally horny.  After a bit of "if the minivan's rocking, don't come a-knocking," she and Shane return to camp.  They don't say anything about their sexy time, but Dale, who can apparently read people better than anyone, figures out what happened between the two of them and starts yelling at Shane, telling him that he should just leave for the good of the group.  Dale lets on that he doesn't really believe Shane's account of what happened to Otis, and then brings up the fact that he saw Shane point his gun at Rick from a distance last season.  You can almost see the darkness well up inside Shane as he responds to the accusations with not-so-veiled threats.  The Shane character continues to straddle that fence between sensible sidekick to possible psycho.  He's reasonable enough earlier in the episode when young Carl asks him to teach him to shoot, but then he has these other moments where he reminds us of theepisode-6-andrea-walkers evil he's potentially capable of.  Dale says to him, "I know exactly what kind of man you are," but he's still pretty hard to pin down.  The fact is, he can do either way.  He's either one of the greatest assets the group has, or he'll be the thing that dooms it.  Trying to figure out which he is is one of the greatest joys of The Walking Dead as a series.

At the climax of the episode, Rick and Lori have a lot to hash out.  Amongst the supplies she had sent Glenn to town to get are (clearly-labelled) morning after pills (he makes sure to pick up some pre-natal vitamins too, just to give he a choice).  She impulsively swallows a handful of the pills before running out into a field and regurgitating them.  Rick finds the empty packaging and confronts Lori about her keeping her pregnancy from him after she yelled at him earlier for not telling her that Hershel wants the group to skedaddle.  The two of them engage in a passionate back-and-forth about the merits of bringing up a child in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, but also about their marriage and their relationship.  It's a fantastic scene that's well acted and shot, but the real kicker comes right at the end.  When Lori finally comes clean about her shacking up with Shane, Rick says that he already knew, but isn't too broken up about it because he knew that she thought Rick was dead.  When Rick asks for confirmation of that, Lori says "yes."  It isn't her answer that tells the story, but the look on her face as she hesitates before saying it. 

There was some fan speculation early in the first season of The Walking Dead that Shane and Lori's relationship had started before either of them were willing to publicly admit to.  Could they have been having an affair before the zombies show up? 

Written or Contributed by: Royal Nonesuch

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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch

As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.


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