|Season 2, Episode 6|
|Air Date|| November 20, 2011|
AMC (United States)
November 25, 2011
Fox (United Kingdom)
|Written By||Angela Kang|
|Directed By||David Boyd|
|U.S. Viewers||6.08 million|
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"Pretty Much Dead Already"
| Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes|
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horvath
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
| Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier|
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
The morning after the discovery of the secret of the farm, the Atlanta survivors are busily doing chores around the farm. Finally back on his feet, Carl and Lori talk about the chickens they are feeding, Patricia cripples live chickens to feed the Walkers that the family keep in the barn. Meanwhile, Glenn is watching the barn, with Maggie begging him to keep their secret. Glenn walks away to give food to Dale and T-Dog.
Andrea visits Daryl to apologize by giving him a book, and he quickly tells her that they are fine because she was only trying to protect the group. Glenn confronts Lori about her pregnancy and whether she has told Rick about it yet; offering to go to town to get supplies for her. Jimmy, Rick, and Shane busily plan their search for Sophia, agreeing to search a nearby abandoned housing development after gun practice. Beth Greene and Patricia both ask to be trained as Otis was the only member of the farm trained; though Rick will only do so if Hershel agrees. Carl also asks Shane to teach him and it is discovered that he has taken a gun from Dale's RV. This leads to a heated conversation between Lori and Rick where Carl argues that he only wants to help. Lori agrees to allow Carl to learn how to handle the weapon. Glenn is asked if he wants to learn, but he excuses himself by saying he’s going to be helping Dale. Unbeknownst to Glenn, Dale was nearby and overheard. He kept up the ruse and confronted Glenn after the others had left, leading Glenn to reveal the secrets of both Lori and Hershel.
At the firing range, Andrea is proving to be a natural at handling a firearm. She asks Shane what made him decide to stay with the camp, but he doesn’t answer and only stares at Carl and Lori with Rick. Back at the farm, Dale speaks with Hershel and brings up the walkers. Hershel argues that the Walkers are still people and that every one that is killed is, in the end, murder. Dale tries to make Hershel realize the truth about the Walkers, but he will not accept the reality of the apocalypse. Dale offers to help reinforce the barn, but Hershel rebuffs him and asks him to keep the secret of the barn to himself if he truly wants to help.
As Lori and Hershel repair a fence, she thanks him again for everything he has done and tells him that they will earn their place at the farm. Hershel again reminds her that he expects them to move on to Fort Benning soon. Andrea and Shane are trying advanced target training with a mobile target and Shane badgers Andrea by bringing up her sister Amy. Andrea walks away. Lori confronts Rick about Hershel’s desire for them to leave and why he hasn't told anyone else in the group. Rick tells her that they have to give Hershel space if he’s going to change their mind; nonetheless, Rick reminds her if they have to leave his first priority is her and Carl. Shane follows Andrea in his car after she storms away, but she wants nothing to do with him. Shane uses Sophia to get her to respond to him by telling her about the housing project. She agrees to search it with him. Back at camp, Dale tells Lori about his wife’s miscarriage and admits that Glenn told him about her pregnancy. She tells him about Shane, but she’s sure that the baby belongs to Rick. Dale assures her that the baby can have good memories, but he sits in silence when Lori asks if he thinks her child could live a long life.
Glenn apologizes to Lori while chopping firewood, but Lori tells him not to worry about it. She asks him to go to town to get supplies and Maggie goes with him. The two argue over the nature of walkers and Maggie tells him that her father is angry at her for letting him find out. She tells him that they’re still people and tells him not to call them walkers anymore, reciting their names to him. They return to the pharmacy where Maggie is attacked and only escapes after Glenn kills the walker. As this is happening, Andrea and Shane explore the housing community they believe Sophia is hiding in. They decide to search house by house. Maggie blows up on Lori for risking their lives, and then argues with Glenn over his being little more than the errand boy for the Atlanta survivors when he could be a leader. While searching a home in the housing community, Andrea and Shane are swarmed by walkers. Shane uses this as an opportunity to test Andrea’s shooting ability and handling of stress, especially after her gun jams in the middle of a swarm. She eventually gets the hang of it, hitting headshot after headshot.
Lori and Glenn talk about the attack at the pharmacy and Lori apologizes because she thought the town was safe. Glenn gives Lori the morning after pills she asked for, but also gives her prenatal vitamins that he found at the pharmacy. He urges her to let Rick help her make the choice and not make it for the both of them after confirming their friendship. Meanwhile, Andrea and Shane have sex while Lori takes the morning after pills. She immediately afterward sticks her fingers down her throat to make herself vomit. After returning, Andrea apologizes to Carol and the two leave. Dale confronts Shane about the night Otis died and brings up Shane’s attempt on Rick. Dale tells him its time for him to leave because he knows who he really is, leading Shane to challenge Dale and threaten him. After returning to the tent, Rick finds the empty container of pills and goes to find Lori. The two argue about whether it is right to bring the baby into the world because of the risks, but Rick feels it’s worth the risks. He asks if there are any more secrets and Lori reveals that she slept with Shane when she thought he was dead, he tells her he already knew.
- Tony Gowell as Arnold Greene
- Blade as Nelly
- Clair Danielle Canterbury as Walker
- Katherine Neslund as Traveler
- John Ridings as Traveler
- Andrew Rusk as Drug Store Walker
- Triston Johnson as Walker
- Ashton Lee Woolen as Walker
- Josh McClenney as Walker
- Andrew Jenkins as Walker
- Amanda Adams as Walker
"Secrets" initially aired in the United States on November 20, 2011 on AMC. Upon airing, the episode acquired 6.08 million viewers and attained a 3.1 rating in the 18–49 demographic, according to Nielsen ratings. It was the second highest-rated cable program of the day, having been beaten by a stock car racing event as part of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "Secrets" became the fourth most-watched program of the week, as well as the highest-rated non-sports cable program of the week. Total viewership and ratings slightly declined from the previous episode, "Chupacabra", which was viewed by 6.12 million viewers and garnered a 3.2 rating in the 18–49 demographic. In the United Kingdom, the episode received 561,000 viewers and became the highest-rated television program on FX for the week dated November 27.
"Secrets" was well received by television critics. Gina McIntyre of the Los Angeles Times concluded that the episode "dispensed with almost every hidden truth the survivors have been keeping from one another."Scott Meslow of The Atlantic described the episode as one focused on love and relationships. IGN's Eric Goldman evaluated the episode as "satisfying", and added that its character development was executed strongly. Ultimately, he issued "Secrets" an eight out of ten, signifying a "great" rating. Aaron Rutkoff of The Wall Street Journal echoed synonymous sentiments; "Viewers tuning in each week in the hope of watching pulse-quickening battles between overmatched humans and armies of the undead are sure to be frustrated. Things are static in an action sense, but the show’s admirably nuanced characters are changing and reacting to the world in surprising and complicated ways." Writing for Cinema Blend, Nick Venable stated that the characters became more distinguishable.
Not all reviewers were as enthusiastic about "Secrets" as the general consensus. Starlee Kine of New York stated that despite having high hopes in the beginning of "Secrets", the episode overall failed to meet her expectations. The A.V. Club's Zach Halden opined that despite containing solid scenes, the episode harbored several issues. Halden cited the pace of the storyline progression and the execution of the character development as weaknesses. Concluding his review, he gave the episode a B grade. Although Andrew Conrad of The Baltimore Sun touted the character development, he pointed out that there was very little action. The Portland Mercury's Steven Humphrey panned the episode, describing it as "boring".
The opening segment of "Secrets" was widely lauded by critics. Halden thought that it was a great start to the episode, and Kine felt that the show returned to form following the sequence. She wrote: "This week's opening functioned like an adrenaline shot to my weary heart. At the sight of all those undead relatives in the barn, I, too, briefly, came to life."
Critics were polarized with the characters' reaction to Lori opting for an abortion. Halden criticized the character's opposing views on the matter, and stated that their reasonings were invalid. Halden wrote. "I'm not even sure it would be possible for her to abort the pregnancy at this point, but the show's working on the assumption that having a child in a world where death literally lurks around every corner is an unequivocal good. The only person who’s been anti-pregnancy is Lori, and the show hasn't managed to cast her in a very good light, so it’s not like her arguments hold much water—which is also ridiculous, because ultimately, her opinion is the only one that matters."[ HitFix writer Alan Sepinwall reflected similar thoughts, and stated that Rick's arguments against Lori's attempts were obsolete.
The love triangle involving Lori, Rick, and Shane was cited as an episode highlight. Meslow felt that the interactions between Lori and Rick possessed "as much rawness and honesty as could be hoped for." Kine criticized the emotion during the interactions between Shane and Rick, and summated that it was a "standard Walking Dead attempt at trying to convince us that Grimes and Shane are friends by way of showing us their casual, good-old-boy-tinged banter." Ritkoff expressed that the episode's conclusion was a rational and level-headed resolution to the storyline; "Whatever jealousy he might feel, it would have been absurd for Rick to punish the woman he loves most in the world for post-apocalyptic infidelity under these circumstances." Sepinwall commended Rick's reaction to Lori's confessions, and Goldman felt that their interaction was well acted and perfectly scripted. Venable appraised the segment as "very engaging", and applauded Lincoln's performance. He wrote, "Andrew Lincoln delivered these lines of pitiable understanding as well as anyone could." CNN's Henry Hanks opined: "If you thought Rick and Shane had blow-ups before, you ain't seen nothing yet."
Critics applauded the growing relationship between Andrea and Shane, as well as Dale's confrontation with Shane. Despite describing them as an "unlikely pairing", Meslow asserted that it was superior to the storyline between Andrea and Dale. "There's something to be said for the occasional post-apocalyptic tryst, which allows two characters who've experienced almost nothing but misery to have, even for a moment, something that resembles joy," he articulated. Meslow retorted that it was wise to underplay the tryst between Shane and Andrea, which he predicted would not lead to anything serious. Venable wrote: " Dale’s lack of personality traits, beyond being the wise sage who gets in everyone’s business, makes him an unpredictable foe in my book, and could be as interesting as Shane’s violent selfishness." Morgan Jeffrey of Digital Spy avouched that Shane continued to be an interesting character; "Just as we were beginning to like him again, he murdered Otis in cold blood. And it seems like his downward spiral is set to continue—he's threatening poor Dale and embarking on an ill-advised affair with Andrea."
The progressing relationship between Maggie Greene and Glenn was well received by critics. Nate Rawlings of Time asserted that their interactions carried the most emotional poignance. Rawlings opined: "She's forced to confront, perhaps for the first time, that these creatures are slobbering monsters. Before her attack, she yelled at Dale [sic] for calling them Walkers; to her they're mom, her brother, the neighbors. After her attack, her mind might be changed."
"Secrets" attracted criticism from political commentators for its "potentially misleading perception" of emergency contraception. Shawn Rhea of Planned Parenthood cited that the morning-after pills do not induce abortion, as the episode implies. Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel wrote: "Lori would have been better off sending the men off to loot a shop that sells herbal remedies and brewing herself some pennyroyal tea or climbing a tree and jumping out in hopes that the impact would end the pregnancy. Both of those things are dangerous and might not work, but they're about as effective as OD'ing on levonorgestrel." Ryan prescribed that actual abortion pills are administered by medical professionals and are not available at pharmacies. Danielle Aronson of ACLU summated that the effectiveness of terminating a pregnancy with emergency contraception would be equivalent to "cutting a zombie's finger off to kill it."Similarly, Slate's Amanda Marcotte opined: "The problem with this storyline, outside the tedious fear of getting letters from irate anti-choicers that dictates TV's near-absolute approach to unintended pregnancy, is simple: Morning-after pills are not abortion." Marcotte asserted that abortion pills, commonly RU-486, were only provided by medical personnel. "Morning-after pills are contraception, and they work by stifling ovulation before any sperm can make their way toward the Fallopian tubes."
- "There is considerable confusion about the difference between medication abortion and emergency contraception, and it was distressing to see this misunderstanding further spread by a show like The Walking Dead. Aren't they supposed to have fact checkers to catch this kind of thing? Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy and is especially useful in cases of unanticipated sexual activity, contraceptive failure, or sexual assault."
- —Danielle Aronson, ACLU
This prompted showrunner Glen Mazzara to respond to such criticism. In his interview with The Daily Beast, he stated: "The producers and writers of The Walking Dead are fully aware that the morning-after pill would not induce an abortion or miscarriage, we exercised our artistic creative license to explore a storyline with one of our characters, not to make any pro-life or pro-choice political statement. We sincerely hope that people are not turning to the fictional world of The Walking Dead for accurate medical information." The episode itself does not, in fact, claim the morning after pills will work, as Glenn questions Lori over that fact, to which she replies that she does not know.
- The name of the episode, "Secrets," may refer to each group of survivors and their secrets with some being revealed.
- The Walkers inside The Greene Family's Barn.
- Lori's pregnancy and affair with Shane.
- Shane and Andrea's relationship.
- Carl obtaining a gun.
- Shane's involvement in Otis's death.
- The housing development seen in this episode is the TV Series equivalent of the Wiltshire Estates in the Comic Series as said in an interview with Robert Kirkman at the Arizona Comic-Con.
- Shane causes another shift to the Comic Series story in this episode to start a relationship with Andrea and stand well between her and Dale. In the Comic Series, Andrea and Dale developed a love relationship.
- The title of the book that Andrea gives Daryl is "The Case of the Missing Man." This title may be a reference to Merle, who was missing at this time.
- When Glenn and Maggie go to get medical supplies, when Maggie gets attacked, the camera pans onto Glenn showing his reaction and you can see someone in the background standing next to their horse/car. This person is definitely not a "Walker".
- When Andrea and Shane exit the car to go and search for Sophia, she loads an empty magazine into her Beretta pistol.
- Kevin Fitzpatrick, The Walking Dead 2.06 "Secrets" Comic-to-TV Comparison, (November, 2011).
|Episodes of The Walking Dead|
|Season 1||"Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"|
|Season 2||"What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"|
|Season 3||"Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"|
|Season 4||"30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"|
|Season 5||"No Sanctuary"|