Sick (The Walking Dead)

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The Walking Dead episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 2
Directed by Billy Gierhart
Written by Nichole Beattie
Original air date October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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The Walking Dead (season 3)
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"Sick" is the second episode of the third season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead, which aired on AMC in the United States on October 21, 2012.


After amputating Hershel's right lower leg, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group immediately rush an unconscious Hershel from the prison cafeteria as the five prisoners watch, astounded. Carol (Melissa McBride) and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) immediately tend to Hershel while Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus), and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) confront the prisoners who have followed them to their cell block. Rick learns that the prisoners have been shut away from the world for ten months and proceeds to describe the extent of the zombie pandemic. Rick and the prisoners come to an impasse when Tomas and Andrew try to claim rights to the prison; Rick prevails, asserting that the prison is his because his group spilled blood to clear it, while the prisoners were "locked in the broom closet". The two groups compromise to share the prison on the condition that the two groups never interact. Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog pledge to help the prisoners clear out their own cell block in exchange for half of the food remaining in the commissary's storeroom. Tomas and Andrew first did not agree to this compromise at first but soon agree.

Rick's camp members console each other as Hershel remains in critical condition. Upon returning with the food, Rick advises handcuffing Hershel as a precaution in case he dies and reanimates, and he leaves Glenn to deal with that eventuality. Rick confides in Lori about the threat these prisoners may pose and contemplates killing them. Carl (Chandler Riggs) sneaks off alone to find the prison infirmary, brings back much-needed medical supplies, and is scolded by his mother. Carl snaps at her and Beth tries to calm him down, when he runs off.

Rick arms the prisoners with blunt tools and explains how to go about combatting the walkers. Although the prisoners initially ignore Rick's instructions, they quickly become proficient. One prisoner, Big Tiny, breaks Rick's command and leaves formation, resulting in his being scratched on the back by a walker. The other prisoners advocate quarantining their friend. Andrew demands Rick to act and save him, like he did Hershel, but Rick refuses to act because of where his wound was, to Andrew's disgust. Tiny tries to convince the others that he would be okay, but Tomas, brutally and mercilessly, hacks him to death, and continues. Rick reaches for his revolver in case he needs to kill him. Upon arriving at a set of double doors leading to the promised cell block, Rick orders Tomas to open one door, in order to restrict the flow of walkers exiting the block. Tomas disobeys and opens both doors, flooding the area with walkers. In the ensuing chaos, he attempts to kill Rick with his axe and fails, then throws a walker at him–-claiming he merely reacted instinctively. At first, Rick pretended not to be phased by the incident, then drives his machete into his head and chases down Andrew, Tomas' right-hand man, who attempted to retaliate. Andrew finds himself in a courtyard full of walkers, and Rick locks him out of the re-entry door, advising him to run. Rick shuts the door, hearing Andrew's pleads and screams from the other side, then walks away.

At Carol's request, Glenn (Steven Yeun) escorts her to the prison yard, where she kills a female walker and uses its corpse to practice performing a C-section in preparation for Lori's pregnancy, in the event that Hershel does not recover. As Carol performs this trial surgery, she is being watched from a distance by an unknown figure. In Carol's absence, Hershel stops breathing and Lori attempts to resuscitate him. He grabs her, scaring Maggie, Beth and Carl. Hershel releases her, Carl aiming his gun at him in case he had turned, and starts breathing again.

Upon returning, Rick shows mercy to the two remaining prisoners - Axel and Oscar, who had surrendered and appeared to be uninvolved in the plot against Rick's life – by sparing their lives and allotting them the cell block as promised. Rick's group leaves the prisoners with some parting words before returning to their own cell block. Hershel is showing positive signs of recovery and is conscious when Rick returns. Later on, Lori tries to strike up an intimate conversation with Rick, who simply thanks her for helping with Hershel, and then coldly walks away.


Critical response[edit]

The episode was generally well received. Zack Handlen, writing for The A.V. Club, gave the episode a B+ on a scale from A to F.[1] Eric Goldman at IGN gave the episode an 8.0 out of 10.[2]


Upon its initial broadcast on October 21, 2012, "Sick" was watched by an estimated 9.55 million viewers,[3] down from the season premiere which broke several records when it reached 10.9 million viewers, becoming the most-watched scripted drama telecast on a basic cable network in history, and the most-watched episode of the series to date.[4]


  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (October 21, 2012). "Sick". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ Goldman, Eric (October 21, 2012). "'Sick' Review". IGN. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 23, 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings:'Walking Dead' Kills it Again, + 'Breaking Amish', 'Dexter', 'Long Island Medium', 'NFL Countdown', & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Ho, Rodney (October 15, 2012). "AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 opens with record 11,2 million viewers". AccessAtlanta. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]