This is the episode where it all begins to unfold. For readers of the comics, we already know what was in the barn and why Hershel was so protective of it, but here we finally see what the secrets cost everyone. Glenn is very lucky he didn’t just jump in to the barn preparing for Maggie. Investigating goes a long way in the zombie apocalypse, folks. This opening is much screwier than most episodes of the show as Carl is being his usual petulant self to Lori, while Hershel’s helper Patricia hobbles a bunch of chickens to feed to the walkers in the barn. The show has a penchant for animal cruelty, but it also serves to emphasize the eat or be eaten mentality that the world has become.
There’s definitely the unfolding of Shane the psychopath here as he seems to be taking Andrea under his wing more and more. Andrea’s eagerness for the guns is grating and absolutely obnoxious, but I’m glad there are characters here to kind of smack her in to place and at least tame that need to hold a gun. We see glimpses of Andrea during the big scene involving the target practice, but damned if we’re seeing the apocalyptic warrior she’ll evolve in to. It’s a shame not much is made of her ability to shoot targets from afar, as we see in season three, but for the brief nuggets of classic Andrea, Laurie Holden pulls it off. It’s just a shame not much is made of it later on.
Here we see the Wiltshire Estates and how Andrea is able to transform in to a wonderful shooter at will, and there’s definitely the intimation that the exhilaration of the event gives her a high that Shane takes advantage of. That’s a quality of this version of the character definitely explored in season three, unfortunately. There’s a lot of friction for Glenn and Maggie, as Glenn makes it known that the barn is full of walkers, inspiring a lot of hatred from her. They’re definitely a part of that grouping of people still convinced the walkers are still people. That theory comes crashing down when she’s attacked in the abandoned pharmacy. Still want to have sex there, guys?
I’m not sure the pills that Lori sends out for would have worked so far in to the pregnancy, but it’s worth noting that Lori explains it was all out of desperation and frustration. It’s shocking to know what Rick catches on quickly, both in this regard and in the secret affair she was having with Shane. This is another episode before the shifting of show runners that seems to want to go somewhere but instead seems to prop up a lot of future storylines. There’s marksman Andrea becoming marksman Andrea, there’s Carl leaning how to shoot thanks to Shane, there’s the barn full of walkers.
It’s just a shame that a lot of it is left for next season, or not really confronted at all. I’m saddened we also never really got to see the romance bloom between Andrea and Dale, as he seems much too protective over her in this installment just to write it off as being a doting father-like figure. “Secrets” is a very good episode, and one that set the stage for Andrea to evolve as a warrior. That’s about it does if you’ve seen season three, unfortunately.