Monday, November 8, 2010

The Walking Dead: Season 1 Episode 2 - Guts (Quick Thoughts)

Hello fans of the gore-tastic! Couldn't resist sharing my quick thoughts on the 2nd installment of The Walking Dead. It was another great suspensful, dramatic and "gutsy" outing for this brand new show. And this episode sealed it for me: I am glad that we aren't able to SMELL TV shows! At least not shows dealing with Undead walkers, guts-splattered clothing, sewers, rats and what not! Lots of new characters met in this episode. Ones that I'm guessing will be sticking around for a bit as this unlikely group of strangers unite together to fight for survival. (hmmm, that sure sounds like another show that some of us dedicated 6 years of our lives to) There isn't much to recap in this show for the time being, but there is plenty to discuss, so I'm just going to share some of my quick thoughts once again. I look forward to hearing any of yours too!  Let's dive in.
  • Well one big thing we found out in this episode is that the group of folks receiving walkie transmissions out in the middle of nowhere aren't really in the middle of nowhere. We could just see the top of the Atlanta skyline in one of the opening scenes. It turns out furthermore that they are related to the group of folks inside the city that went on a mission to grab some supplies.
  • We left Rick in the tank surrounded by walkers last episode. He was saved by Glenn, the guy that was talking on the CB. Awesome scene of Rick leaving the tank with his 15 rounds and making a run for it. Now, I tried to count the bullets he shot off and I'm pretty sure there were more than 15. And it's a shame that he never used the grenade. But maybe it will still come in handy!
  • Lots of drama with Rick's introduction to the group of scavengers, who were scared that Rick had killed them all with all of the gunfire and attraction of the walkers to their area. They were trapped in a building, surrounded by hungry walkers.
  • We met Andrea, Glenn, Jacqui, Morales, T-Dog and the outsider-looking in Merle Dixon. (I know the guy has been in lots of movies, but I always think of Mallrats when he ate those "chocolate" covered pretzels from Brody - may have been more disgusting than some stuff on this show!) We first meet Merle causing more attention to the walkers by sniping them one by one from the roof. More on him in a bit.
  • I'll go ahead and say that Andrea may end up being a romantic interest for Rick if things go south with his wife once reunited. Of course, this would be a slow burn over the series (should it be renewed for a 2nd season. I'm guessing this is a given already due to its awesome ratings last week). We find out that Andrea has a sister and it implied that Amy (the other girl with the RV crew) is her sister. Andrea "stole" a trinket for her of a mermaid. It was a small indication that these people are in SURVIVAL mode and "looting" is okay.
  • And of course survival instincts comes into play when discussing Merle Dixon. Like another survival show there is a very diverse cast of "human beings" on this show. All of them must put aside their racial differences and LIVE TOGETHER or DIE ALONE (sorry, couldn't resist). But, of course you have the racist among them. So I liken Merle to the SAWYER of this show, should he be sticking around as a series regular. He called T-Dog a very nasty word (and shocked to hear it on TV) and then start beating the snot out of him. Rick had to intervene and cuff him to a pipe on the roof. Merle's anger turned from T-Dog to Rick and now we're stuck debating whether we can trust to let this guy free or not. And we'll be thinking about it for a week. Even though Rick had every intention of letting Merle free, T-Dog conveniently dropped the key down a pipe as accurately as Luke dropped some photon torpedos into the death star. I mean, what are the ODDS!?!? So, instead of sticking around and sawing the guy loose, he ran for his life to get to the truck. At the time, it was really all he could do.
  • So, how did they escape the building? Glad you asked! The first scoped out a sewer that ran underneath the building. Morales and Glenn checked it out. It's one thing to have a stomach for watching rats scattering around in a dark sewer. It's another to see a zombie eating one to the bone on the other side of a gate! Ewww! Anyway, that path is not going to work.
  • So then we get a little intel on the WALKERS which helps Rick come up with a plan. Zombies are attracted to sound, movement and smell (of the living). Rick devises a plan to "walk amongst the dead" by chopping up a dead zombie and spreading the guts all over themselves, walking to a construction site (zombie style) and grabbing a vehicle. Pretty great idea, if not totally disgusting! And it would've worked perfectly had we not heard thunder the whole episode when they were perched on the roof. Let me say though that Rick taking a moment to respect the dead body they were about to dismember was great. It also reminded me of LOST (and I apologize for my constant comparisons, but there is lots to compare to that first season! both tales of survival and both very engaging stories). Rick took his wallet and read a little bit about the man. And you have to love Glenn's 2 cents that he was also an organ donor. Perfect. And yes, the line "WE NEED MORE GUTS" is going to live in infamy. I can see the Walking Dead Fan T-Shirts already being printed.
  • Rick and Glen walking amongst the dead was equal parts terrifying and hysterical. When Glenn talked and the one walker came up on him? creeepy!! And then things really kicked into gear when the rain came in! How about these zombies being able to turn on the RUNNING and even CLIMBING of fences? These aren't your run-of-the-mill zombies you have seen in the past. They are very AGILE zombies!
  • The diversion with the sports car was a good time and the eventual escape was great. Glenn's pure excitement of driving down the highway at top speed on the wrong side of the street was an awesome site. We know they are all heading back to their survival camp....where Rick will come face to face with Lori and Shane. Will the news be broken to Rick on what was going on? Will we find out when it started? I'm guessing it will remain a secret for a little while longer. But, we do only have 4 more eps this season so we'll see!
  • It's also probably important to note how Shane explained to Amy that Andrea is gone because she was trapped in a building.  When Amy refused to believe this and ran off, Shane gave Lori a knowing glance to go talk to her.  It's a pretty safe bet that Shane probably used this logic to explain that Rick died as well.  Can't wait for the drama to unfold!
  • Another thing to note: The HELICOPTER. The gang said that Rick imagined it. But we saw it too, right? It was real. So, the question we have to ask is how far this zombie breakout has spread? Is it the whole world or just a subsection of the world? There always has to be a LAND OF HOPE in these tales right? Somewhere they have to caravan to that will be their salvation and place where the human race will repopulate, right?? Is that where this helicopter is from? Or does some other band of survivors just happen to have possession of one of these? I'm sure this chopper will be a plot movement device eventually.
Anyway, that's really all I have for now (more again than I planned on writing). I'm enjoying this show and loving the potential of where it can go. Anyone else out there watching and want to share some of your thoughts? Go for it! And just a quick plug: THE EVENT returns tonight and I will be recapping. Fringe will be new on Thursday and I will be recapping. Come back and join in on the fun! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you later.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love the post!!! I'm super excited that you are blogging it. Gives me something to read at work again :)

Laine

Mike V. said...

Thanks Laine! I'm hoping I can keep up the commentary with my dedicated recaps to Fringe and The Event this year too. Of course, with a 6 episode season order, it definitely makes it a little less intimidating :-)

Chris Stedman said...

Love the show and great recap Mike.

I’m intrigued by the helicopter as well. Was it his imagination or is there civilization out there and the Atlanta region is just quarantined off.

As for the origin of the Zombie out break, I hope they never answer it. From the info they’ve given us, the living get bit, die from high fever, than after a while get reanimated, a zombie outbreak would never get to the point we’ve seen in Atlanta. But maybe this is in the questions we aren’t supposed to ask column. Let’s just hope they stay with the survival story.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Chris! I gotta think that helicopter wasn't imagined. But, hey, maybe it was. Either way would be an interesting direction to take the show. I agree, how the zombie outbreak does not matter. Just that it did. After the first episode I thought I might want to know...but I have been convinced otherwise lol

The survival story is definitely what is going to be the most intriguing part of the show. Although, I wonder if at some point it needs to shift gears into a "zombie eradication" story. I guess I'd have to know more about the comics/graphic novels to know if that's a part of the story.

As for Atlanta being the only place quarantined. I thought of that, but I think Rick and crew are from some place in Kentucky. Just looked it up. He's from Cynthiana, Kentucky. It's 413 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia on I-75. So, if the outbreak is in Kentucky as well...it's definitely a bigger deal than just one city and its suburbs. But, of course, we know helicopters are short range vehicles, so where is it coming from?? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Mike V. said...

EW interviews the Comic book's creator (and also a writer on the show) Rob Kirkman Interview with Kirkman

I love that he remembers Michael Rooker from Mallrats too LOL

Here's the Doc Jensen/Dan Snierson recap as well:
Doc Jensen/Snierson Recap

Mike V. said...

13 episode 2nd Season was just confirmed via TV Guide!

Anonymous said...

Hello MikeV,
I am so glad to hear The Walking Dead has been picked-up for a second season of 13 episodes. This is certainly an action-packed, gripping drama! I totally enjoyed the pilot episode and this second episode was fantastic as well. This show goes for no-holds barred, full-throttle creepy, crawly horror as well as intense, personal drama.
I like how the characters are dealing with their bleak, apocalyptic surroundings. Lori and Shane are together (we will see how this plays out once Rick joins the survivor camp). Andrea found a few moments escape admiring and obtaining the mermaid necklace for her younger sister even though she was surrounded by hordes of zombies. Glen raced down the deserted Atlanta highway in an alarm-blaring, bright red Dodge Challenger, hooting in victory.
Dee

AUStarwars said...

I thought it was a good episode and the use of the zombie guts was a nice touch..but i still dont understand why he didnt at least TRY and turn the tank on and use it...i mean...just SHOW US the Tank wont start or something..

Mike V. said...

@AUSW - Totally agree about turning the tank on. I thought for sure that he would at least attempt that!

@Dee - I'm thrilled that we're getting a full 2nd season too. And love all of the character moments you pointed out as well.

They really are doing a good job of balancing the gore out with meaningful moments with these characters and making us care about the consequences of what they're up against..personally and ZOMBILLY lol

Can't wait for ep 3!

Anonymous said...

Hello MikeV,
I do not believe it would have been that difficult to start the up the tank. It probably would be like driving a bulldozer. However, with all the vehicles (cars, army vehicles and at least one helicopter) and other rubbish blocking the streets in Atlanta, I wonder if Rick could have traveled far enough and fast enough to make a safe, effective escape. The tank may have run out of gas or diesel fuel already (tanks only get 3 mpg) and the remaining tank crew exited by opening the bottom and top hatches. The tank, once started, certainly would have drawn every zombie from miles around. The zombies would have followed it like it was a Good Humor ice cream truck.
Dee

Mike V. said...

Hey Dee,
There's no doubt in my mind that operating that tank may have not been the best idea or it may have been inoperational or he didn't know how to use it. But I think the point AUSW brought up and I agreed to was that he didn't even TRY to turn the thing on! Yeah, it may have been a bad idea to turn it on and make some loud noise to attract the walkers....but he was in a pretty grim situation with not many options until Glen reached out to him. And even that was a crazy idea. I wasn't even considering him moving the tank...I was just thinking he could try and opperate the cannon on the end of it and blow some zombies away!

But, in the end, it all worked out in a different fashion and for the better since we were introduced to more of the cast lol

MJ said...

Loving this new show, and thrilled it's getting a second season. I"m behind on a lot of shows right now but caught up with this one right away.

I also believe that the helicopter is real. I'm sure the zombie bug is far spread, but I'm also sure that parts of the military are still in place to look after all the gov't types and protect all the mucky-mucks. Kinda like the evac from Resident Evil 2, important people got out. But we shall see.

Mike V. said...

Welcome back MJ! Didn't you go to Disney/Potter Park? How was it? We're leaving in a month!

Yeah, I'm loving Walking Dead too. It was awesome right off the bat. I would agree that the zombie bug has spread out pretty far and that the chopper is real. Can't comment on Resident Evil 2....but yeah...there are probably some factions of government still operating. It's a good point. I like them focusing on this rag-tag group of people instead though (for now). I'm sure depending on how long the show runs...they'll peel back another layer of the onion to reveal more to the Zombie infested world. Looking forward to it!

Anonymous said...

Hello MikeV,
I just read the following on the blogs.amctv.com webpage:
“If you've somehow missed the first two episodes and are feeling out of the loop, now's your chance to catch up: On Sun., Nov. 14 at 8PM | 7C, AMC will re-air the first two episodes of The Walking Dead with limited commercial interruption. The all-new Episode 3 ("Tell It To The Frogs") follows at 10/9c.”

I have been talking about this series to all of my family, friends, and co-workers. I hope anyone interested in the series but has not yet viewed it will watch on Sunday and become an instant fan.
Dee

Mike V. said...

Thanks for the info Dee. I'll definitely pass on the news!

Candidate said...

Mike..great recap. I had a few laughs reading it. I think that this show is by far the best thing on T.V. going right now. The acting is fantastic. The leads are absolutely emmy worthy. The make-up and constumes are totally creepy and the camera angles and direction...storywriting..it's all there. The guts scene was INTENSE!!! I have a feeling the affair between Rick's wife and his partner has been going on for some time before the Coma and Zombie outbreak.
I probably would not have watched this show had you not mentioned it on your Event comments..so thanks again Mike for the heads up on another great series.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Candidate! I agree with all of your sentiments (but I'm still partial to FRINGE too as far as best shows on TV go lol)....this show is a good one and I'm glad it's getting a bigger season 2. I would not be surprised if the affair has been going on for some time. Especially with that chat that Rick and Shane had PRE-ZOMBIE outbreak. It seemed like things weren't going well in either of their relationships....so who knows? Glad that I was able to give you the heads up on the new show!

It's a tough job to replace LOST, but as long as we keep tuning in to some new shows...we may just find something (or a few somethings) to talk about one of these days! lol

daxina said...

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