ZPAA ratingLate teen and up
Gore level7 out of 10--chicken leg broken (while it's still alive); zombies eating a bunch of live chickens; zombies shot in the head; rotting corpses with flies; blunt trauma to a zombie's head.
Other offensive contentLies, lots of lies (with a title like "Secrets" what did you expect?); some language; abortion issues; woman grabs a guy's crotch as a prelude to an off-screen sexual encounter; inability to distinguish between "being a zombie" and "being sick."
How much zombie mythology/contentThe interesting discussion of whether zombies are really the people they once were (and deserve the respect due to a person) is given some airing during this episode. The story favors the idea that they are not, though not all the characters do.
How much funHumor is at a minimum this episode; humane drama is at an average level, with occasional spikes as the secrets are revealed or discussed.
Synopsis & ReviewThis episode starts off with the problem of the walkers in the barn, which looms throughout the episode but is not brought out in the open by the end. More of Rick's people find out about it and some discussions about whether they are really the people they once were (and by implication that they are curable) begin but are not resolved. A fundamental assumption about zombies is involved here, so fundamental that it seems unprovable but only known through intuition. Either they are curable and the person they once were is buried somewhere inside, or they are just flesh that has been taken up again by something completely foreign to the person who once was there. In this case, taken up by a virus that dictates a thoughtless imperative--feed on the living at all costs. Hershel and his family don't see it that way, though why has not been explained.
Other secrets in this episode: Maggie and Glenn's affair remains (mostly) a secret though they are clearly growing closer to each other through adversity. While Glenn is on a run to get Lori pregnancy ending supplies, Maggie comes along. They are attacked. When they return safely, she gives Lori an earful about wanting to terminate her child.
That is indeed the big secret of the episode: Lori's pregnancy, of which Rick is unaware, despite the growing number of other cast members who find out. She tries to work out what to do and has motives for trying to decide on her own, though even Glenn is astute enough to realize that she needs help, not only physically but also in making such a decision. Will she tell Rick and get his input? The end of the episode begins to unravel this tricky problem for them both.
Another subplot involves firearms training. Many of the characters take advantage of Shane's instruction, including some of Hershel's people. Debates over whether Rick and Lori's son Carl should learn are central (especially since Carl tried to steal a handgun), as is the proficiency of Andrea, who winds up helping out Shane on the continued hunt for Sophia. The whole search for Sophia subplot is getting less service than it deserves, almost as if the writers have given up before the characters have.
I'm looking forward to next week's episode!