Spoilers ahead for the latest "Walking Dead."
After encountering five prisoners at the close of the "Walking Dead" season three premiere, we didn't have to wait very long to find out what the future had in store for these inmates. By the end of the season's second episode, "Sick," only two of these prisoners remain alive — and their conditions are almost worse than before, if you can believe it.
The dwindling number of inmates falls squarely on Rick Grimes' shoulders. The former lawman cut one of these prisoners down in cold blood, and allowed another one to perish as well. But was Rick right to kill these men off? Or is it another sign that the Ricktatorship has irreversibly transformed the "Walking Dead" hero?
Read on for more on that and our other burning questions from the latest episode of "The Walking Dead."
Is Rick Grimes A Murderer?
Rick killed his first warm-blooded human being since Shane this week. You could even say that he killed two men; not only did he split Tomas' skull in half, he also left Andrew to die in a courtyard filled with walkers. Tomas had taken swings at Rick, so you can argue that it was a self-defense measure. But what about Andrew, who was clearly desperate and afraid? Law and morality are fickle beasts in the apocalypse, we know, but we can't shake the feeling that Rick's actions this week were lifted directly from the Shane Walsh playbook. Did Rick cross a terrible line here, or did he do what he had to do to keep his people safe? You be the judge.
Can We Trust Axel And Oscar?
The remaining two prisoners are relatively harmless, but Rick still decides it's best to keep them in exile. Is that the fair choice — are they guilty by their association with the deceased Tomas and Andrew? Or should they be given another chance? Considering that Robert Kirkman told MTV News last week that we'll be seeing more of Axel, we're very certain that this issue hasn't been put to rest.
Is T-Dog Making New Friends?
Before leaving Axel and Oscar alone in their new cell block, T-Dog gave them some parting words of advice: "Take the bodies outside and burn them." Are these simply the words of a man empathizing with Axel and Oscar's plight, or is T-Dog presenting himself as a possible friend to these guys? We've heard that IronE Singleton's character will have more to do than ever before in season three — a friendship with Axel and Oscar would certainly lay the groundwork for that.
How Long Will Hershel Survive?
Alright, quit your sobbing. His leg is dead and gone, but Hershel Greene himself lives on to fight another day. But the question is, for how long? A legless elder in the zombie apocalypse isn't exactly a valuable commodity, even if he is the group's leading medical expert. If Rick and company need to leave the prison in a rush, Hershel will only slow them down. He's dodged a bullet — err, a hatchet — for now. But if we were placing bets, we would not put money down on Hershel making it through the prison story alive.
Where Is Woodbury?
As much fun as we're having in the prison, we're ready to see what else is out there — especially given how little we saw of Andrea and Michonne in the season premiere, and their complete absence in this week's episode. There's also the promise of a certain deranged Governor out there. Our first look at Woodbury is just around the corner. But after two high-quality prison-focused episodes, will the show's other new community keep us quite as captivated? We'll find out soon.
What did you think of the latest "Walking Dead" episode? Tell us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @roundhoward!