New relationships begin and old relationships come to light in this week's episode
Like most of The Walking Dead's second season, last night's episode, "Secrets," spent less time on zombie attacks and more time on the various entanglements between the show's characters. The overarching plot continues to inch forward—we're still stuck at Hershel Greene's farm, and Sophia is still missing. But the lack of forward momentum is softened by sideways momentum in "Secrets," as the survivors confront what it means to love in the time of zombies.
The week's unlikeliest pairing was between Shane and Andrea, who fight over Shane's tough-love gun training before succumbing to their mutual attraction in the front seat of a car. The Walking Dead wisely doesn't have either character make a big deal about it; after all, Andrea knows that Shane still has feelings for Lori. But 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. It's a far from perfect but it's certainly a step up from the creepily possessive love that Dale has for Andrea. Dale's concerns about Shane are well-founded, but they're too entrenched in his own jealousy to carry any weight. Earlier this season, Andrea angrily reminded Dale that she's neither his daughter nor his wife. He continues to treat her like she's both.
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On the surface, there's a lot of similarity between Andrea and Shane's hookup and the connection between Glenn and Maggie Greene, which began with an "Oh, what the hell" tryst on the floor of an abandoned pharmacy. Ever since, Glenn has clearly been interested in something more with Maggie—even if the "more" was just "more sex"—but "Secrets" offers evidence that Maggie cares about and understands Glenn more than she lets on. Her anger at Lori isn't just because her own life was in danger; it's because she's tired, perhaps rightly, of the group treating Glenn like he's disposable. It's not yet clear how deeply Maggie cares for Glenn, but she's clearly looking to anchor herself to something real, and he's a better anchor than anything she'll find on the farm.