The Walking Dead: Cherokee Rose Review -

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Mania Grade: A

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  • TV Series: The Walking Dead
  • Episode: Cherokee Rose
  • Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Rick Grimes, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey DeMunn
  • Written By: Tony Moore, Charlie Adlar, and Evan T. Reilly
  • Directed By: Bill Gierhart
  • Network: AMC
  • Series: Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Cherokee Rose Review

Everbody’s Got Something to Hide ‘Cept for Me and My Zombie

By Joe Oesterle     November 07, 2011


Now this is the way I remember this show. Nicely written, lots of tension, well acted, and some not so well kept secrets. And speaking of wells, there was a zombie in one. Just a single zombie in this episode, but the scene with Glenn being lowered to that reservoir felt at least every bit as tense as Shane’s trip to the high school last week and Shane shot an innocent man and used him as live bait. When this show is on and clicking on all cylinders it can be this gripping, this horrifying, this touching and this funny.
   That’s not to say this episode was without flaws, but they were small enough to forgive – though large enough to merit mention.
   First off the well-walker looked a little Troma-ish at times. Not to say it ruined the scene in the watering hole at all – I loved it. I simply thought at certain angles that zombie looked a little like Chris Farley in a filthy wetsuit. Also, pardon me, but Maggie said that water has been used for the cows. I wouldn’t have to be lactose intolerant to decline a glass of whole zombie nutrified milk.
   I believe it’s unanimous that everyone loves the character of Darryl. He’s been a standout surprise in the cast, and as many of us know he’s not a character from the popular comic book series. That said, I felt his scene with little lost girl, Sophia’s mother seemed forced. The acting was fine, and the legend of the Cherokee Rose is actually historically accurate, but even given that, it just seemed a little too on the nose for me. I realize many of you might take umbrage with me for calling out this scene, but while I didn’t hate it, it did take me out of the moment because the parallel was a tad too convenient for me. It was however forgivable.
   What I couldn’t forgive however was Carl’s first words when he came to this time around. “So-Sophia… is she OK?” Eh, maybe I’m being dickish about this, and I realize the kid delivering those lines is only like ten years old and he’s being asked to convey some pretty heavy reality, but it simply fell flat for me. For the most part, pre-teen actor, Chandler Riggs has handled his thespian duties without criticism, but this week I don’t think it’s any secret the kid was asked to do some big lifting, and his little frame wasn’t up to the task.
   Speaking of secrets, that seemed to be the through line of tonight’s episode. People are confiding in one another. Alliances are being consummated and some will in all likelihood be betrayed.
  Dale is keeping TDog’s drug-induced rantings confidential, Glenn and Maggie plan to keep their little trip to the pharmacy on the down low. Shane has a secret he keeps letting out in slow little leaks, as though if he cops enough of it a little at a time to different people he will somehow be absolved of the guilt that’s eating at him. It’s a poorly-kept secret (and I won’t get into on these pages what Hershel is keeping secret) Lori secretly asks Shane to stay, then secretly asks Glenn to get her a secret home pregnancy test so she could secretly take it.
   I’m willing to bet that was the first time American television has broadcast a woman squatting on a babyy tester in the middle of a zombie filled woodland. I say American television because Great Britain currently runs three shows that deal with no other subject than women pissing on sticks during a post-zombie-apocalypse. Those Brits. They are so far ahead of us – culturally speaking.
   I particularly enjoyed Shane’s oration on Otis’ passing. Clearly Shane is conflicted and realizes on many levels what he did was wrong, but as he explained to Andrea, he shuts down some part of his brain as time speeds up in these situations and makes the best call for all concerned – especially his partner. Shane is desperately trying to convince himself he made the right call, and assuming his mission was to get back with medical supplies for Carl, mission accomplished.
   It’s important to note once again that I am, and have always been in the “Shane is a conflicted good guy in a terrible situation” camp. Shane is simply a pretty good man – not a great one. Rick however is our hero. At this point in time Rick wouldn’t have done or behaved the way Shane has in certain predicaments, but every man has his breaking point, and it’s a decent guess if this program stays on the air long enough we may get to witness Rick’s.
   It was nice to see TDog pay his share of the rent this week as he crushed some bloated zombie skull. So far that guy has been little more than a lame name and a rotund albatross around the collective group neck. If however we’re talking about secondary characters showing up big in the spotlight, let’s give it up for Steven Yeun’s, Glenn.
   Yeun plays the goofy, nerdy, unsure romantic as convincingly as anyone, and at the risk of sounding racist, I think a part of me roots for Glenn because he’s everything I ever wanted Short Round to be. I don’t want people to believe I think all Asians in baseball caps look-alike, but so far I’ve only seen two of them, and the similarity cannot be denied. I would pay good money to hear Stevn Yeun say, "Okey dokey, Dr. Jones! Hold on to your potatoes!"
   Not sure why Hershel thinks he has the strategic high ground to inform Rick he and his group aren’t welcome on his land. At last count Hershel is about 68, he’s living with two unarmed women and one unnamed man. Rick and company are carrying plenty enough ammo and are in much better physical condition to take orders from some old guy – even if he had a legal claim to that property before the epidemic. I believe that was the symbolic meaning of Rick placing his badges in the drawer. It was two-fold. One, I live here, and plan on doing so for some time, so I put things in drawers. Two, once I remove these sheriff stars, I’m just a man, and that man may not care about trivialities like property deeds when his friends and family are on the verge of eviction.
   It sounded like Rick may have struck the right nerve with Hershel when he plainly spoke as a loving, protective father. Hershel is a father himself, and even though he chose to share his not so cherished memories of his own uncaring dad, Hershel was moved enough to mull Rick’s pleas over – abiding the group obeys his rules – which you know damn well someone won’t. Who likes Shane in that pool?
   So that about cover this portion of the review. Now let’s get into the business of communal discussions down below. As always I love hearing from everyone who writes in, and encourage those of you who normally only read to take the time and join in the comment boxes below. I check daily and usually respond to each comment – when time allows.
   Also, and this is apropos to this article, please check out some of my photography from the “Dia de las Muertos” celebration recently at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It was a good time.
Click this link to check out some of Joe Oesterle’s Dia de las Muertos photography at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and feel free to browse the site for some unedited stories from his book, “Weird Hollywood.”


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jedibanner 11/7/2011 7:26:56 AM

Really?  Really?

Here is a resume of the last 5 episodes for you in case you missed it: girl got lost...boy got shot....guy has sex...

What's to come: girl stil lost...boy getting better....girl pregnant...

Hope this doesn't spoil it for anyone.

I just find it is just wayyyyy too slow compared to the first year and this week didn't changed anything. I don't really mind that there isn't much zombies in it but at least if they were moving, something was happening other then wood....boy in bed.....wood again....back to boy in bed...

Just really disapointed in this season and the ratings ARE going down if anyone noticed so (yes they are still good but still)'s a sign I ain't the only one feeling this show is not the same anymore.



millean 11/7/2011 7:55:21 AM

It was a good episode.  Though I admit I was very worried at the beginning.  They say clothes make the man, and I swear Shane was channeling his inner red neck at the eulogy with his over-alls, shaved head, and what appeared to be an accent of someone speaking with a mouthful of Skoal or something.  Made me cringe.

Glenn may be my favorite character.  Glad he got some screen time... and some Maggie time.  Though I hope they don't play him as a lovesick puppy from this point forward.

This show also seems to throw at least one tired, overused cliched/gag moment at us every week.  We've had the trip while being chased through the woods gag.  We've had the let's use the flashback scene to show everybody how cool we are gag.  Those are tolerable, but this week's was the biggest disappointment of all - the surprise pregnancy and we don't know who the father is.  Haven't they done that bit enough in every single television show ever made?  (Now if Glenn turned out to be the father, that would be beyond awesome but since we all know something like that ain't happening I care absolutely less than zero about that plot thread.)

Hershel is actually proving rather intriguing to me.  We obviously know that he has something to hide, I just hope it isn't anything too bad.  I like having a character that is a source of encouragement.

And yep, I thought that was the Toxic avenger trapped down in the well.  What are the chances that Zombie's name was (little) Timmy?

monkeyfoot 11/7/2011 8:16:37 AM

I'm completely pleased with the show. It seems to be moving at the right pace for the number of episodes that will air this season. Last year's was a short one so things moved at a faster rate. I haven't read the comic so I have no idea if it is running close in plot to that. Overall this episode was slightly slower than the previous this year but that was fine with me.

Joe, I have to disagree with you on that Well Walker. It seemed we had pretty much seen the variety of decaying zombies that can show up on this show. But for me the sight and idea of this waterlogged, bloated, mushy.....YUCK! That image after being pulled out of the well sticks with me too long (You should have used it for the Mania Review pic at the head of this article). More disgusting that the hanged walker from last week.

The continuing drama between the characters keeps me hooked and I really have no complaints about the show.

Your milk comment reminded me of a question that I keep thinking about: how infectious is this Zombie Virus?  Can you get it from the cows that have been drinking from the well? Everybody has been in close contact with walkers and killed them with resulting blood splatter. Can it infect you if you get it on your skin/ your eye/ a slight cut?

Chopsaki 11/7/2011 8:41:09 AM

 Grats to Glen for scoring some hot country girl ass. See people, the zombie apocolypse isn't all bad.

JonnyRotten 11/7/2011 8:51:36 AM

Well ... lets see ... I disagree with your opinion of the Darrly and the flower moment, for his character to do this was BANG ON, an emotional redneck would act this way ... he's not sure of the response he would get for showing sympathy (normally a backhand) so he acted a little timid ... next weeks preview has me concerned for his character.

Glen and Maggie hmmm not sure what that was about, but I like the direction its going.

Rick needs to grow a pair ... I'm getting sick of him being "wimpy",  I know your kids been shot and you have given about 50 pints of blood but come-on don't take shit from Hershal, if you want to stay, STAY Period. 

Whats Hershal hiding??



jedibanner 11/7/2011 8:57:34 AM

Millean. the pregnant story comes from the comic, not ''regular tv''. It's one of those that id they didn't follow-up enough of the comic, they would get crucified...same thing with Hershel...if you read the comic, you know there may or may not be something to hide.

And yes chopsaki...she is a hot country girl so, glad they followed the comic on this one also.

TheMovieGuy28 11/7/2011 9:47:14 AM

Am glad this episode got an 'A', as it was exactly what I was thinking it should have gotten. Too many B this season, like it has to work hard at getting an A.

I'm gonna say it right now, Darryl has probably become my favorite character. I agree with Jonny. I didn't think the scene felt forced at all, and it fit the type of person Darryl would be. I don't see him as always having been the "evil redneck" but the kid who was just born into the world of hate through his family. I'm gonna be a dork here, but who cares. I kind of got misty-eyed when he told the rose story. It was just perfect. And the fact that he brought the rose in a beer bottle was just perfect redneck.

Anyone else but me, albeit briefly, think the well zombie was Otis, who'd somehow managed to come back to his home, like Morgan's wife in season one? I definitely didn't think the zombie was gonna split in half, that was some good f/x. If it wasn't, which it looks like, then like the reviewer and others have said, how long was it down in the well and how long were cows drinking from there? Is it possible the Herschel clan has someone slowly turning to zombie, but the effects are different because they're eating infected meat, as opposed to being bit or exposed to zombie blood?

Glen is aso starting to be a great character. In season 1, I expected him to die or be the sacrifice two or three times, but he's resiliant, he's the "go to town" guy like Rick. But it's great to see this show expanding with the secondary cast, giving us more to think about than just the Rick/Lori/Shane triangle.

Lastly, I have been a staunch supporter of T-Dog from day one. The guy just got screwed with a crappy name. Him & Dale have been given the short end of the stick in terms of dialogue/screen time, but they'r effective characters. T-dog's drug rant was exactly that. How many of us have even been looped up on something and said things we didn't mean, but those things had some form of truth to them? T-dog will have his day.


Great episode. Great tension in the well. Great acting. This is why the Walking Dead is the best show on television (well, outside Breaking Bad but that's off for the season). These two shows could put out a C- grade and still be better than 99% of everything else out there.

iceknight52 11/7/2011 10:51:13 AM


Was I the only one that got pretty pumped when Hershel told Ric that his group doesn't need to be close to the barn, and the way they show Maggie and his reactions to the killing of zombies? Screw everyone who thinks this series is going to slow. I love the fact that they are keeping some great elements from the graphic novels, and when they finally open the barn...boom! I just hope all the tools bashing this series have stopped watching so that I can geek out with the rest of the true fans. The prison is right around the corner...hehehehehe.

samson 11/7/2011 10:52:42 AM

A lot of people I know personally are complaining about the pace of the show. I like it. It's AMC and all of their shows are more about story than anything else. Great, suspensful, story telling punctuated with tasty morsels (no pun intended) of zombie action is what will keep this going strong. If it had more action and a faster over all flow, the audeince would get numb to it and loose interest. I know I would. The show would become a cliche' at that point.

On another point, I  have a prediction to make; I think Merle has Sophia. They showed a clip of him in the previews for next week. He has her and that's why they haven't found her.

Let me say, I haven't read the comics so the only hing I know about the show is what I see on TV.

millean 11/7/2011 11:19:38 AM

Jedi, I haven't read the comics at all, and don't plan to at least until after the TV show is off the air.  While the pregnacy thing does seem a little bit easier to swallow if it came from the comics, I still don't care for it.  As I've said, it just seems like I've seen it done so often in other places, so I don't really care who the baby daddy is.

Having not read the comics is both advantageous and does have drawbacks.

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