Hello, friends! Welcome to TVgasm’s coverage of The Walking Dead Season 2! This will be my second season of Dead coverage, and I’m extremely excited to see what they have in store for us this season. Or at the very least, morbidly curious.
Before we get started with our season premier, I’m going do a super short recap of the first season to get us all up to speed. Then I’ll do an even shorter list of events we might expect to see this season. If you feel sufficiently caught up in your Dead knowledge, feel free to skip ahead to page three for the recap.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the behind-the-scenes shenanigans, because they actually could affect what Season 2 is like. So: last year, The Walking Dead series premier was the highest rated premier in AMC’s history. And then everything changed. First there was the whole “Frank Darabont fires the writing staff” thing. That was the first warning sign. Why would the showrunner of a hit show cut the people who helped him make it a hit? Maybe there was turmoil! But that happened back in December, so it looked like he had time to figure out how to make a kick ass second season.
But then there was the whole “AMC fires Frank Darabont” thing. Even though The Walking Dead was AMC’s highest rated show EVER, the network felt the show cost too much to produce—you know, having 1,000 extras in full zombie makeup every episode. That kind of thing. AMC was asking Darabont to cut corners, for example by having the audience hear those 1,000 zombies offscreen instead of actually seeing them. The rumor mill says he didn’t take too kindly to that. And then Frank Darabont was gone.
And finally, during season one I was still putting two spaces between sentences in everything I wrote. I told you things have changed.
So we’ll see what we get in season two. It could be amazing. It could be a mess. It would be pretty sad if a great show with SO MUCH promise couldn’t live up to it. But it would also be pretty hilarious if a show about the collapse of civilization were to itself collapse.
OK. Here’s the quick rundown on Season 1:
Episode 1…Our protagonist, Sheriff Rick, wakes up from a coma to realize the world has become overrun with zombies. He manages to get himself cleaned up, find a shitload of guns, and ride on horseback to Atlanta, where hopes to find a military relief camp. Surprise: zombies have overrun Atlanta, too. This is also when we first see the survivor camp. Rick’s wife Laurie, son Carl, and former partner Shane have all survived—and Shane and Laurie are bonin’.
Episode 2…Trapped inside a burnt-out tank in Atlanta, Rick is saved at the last minute by a group of scavengers from the survivor camp, including: Glen, Andrea, Morales, T-Dog, Jacqui, and everyone’s favorite methhead white supremacist, Merle. (Rick also forgot his shitload of guns—that’s important later on). Merle has used the zombiepocalypse as an opportunity to throw the ol’ Social Contract right out the window and is poised to treat the other survivors as basically slaves—until Rick handcuffs him to a pipe, restoring law and order. Unfortunately, while the group was squabbling the zombies have surrounded them, so they have to come up with a way to escape. Which they do in the nick of time—but they didn’t have time to free Merle.
Episodes 3…Rick and company make it back to the survivor camp, where Rick is reunited with Laurie and Carl, and Shane and Laurie’s new relationship comes to a full, awkward stop. MORE awkwardness results when Rick learns Merle’s brother Daryl is also at the survivor camp, and is only slightly less ornery than Merle was. And rather than just lie and say Merle is dead, Rick tells Daryl the truth about leaving his brother behind. The gang decides to go BACK to zombie-infested Atlanta to rescue Merle and retrieve Rick’s guns. But when they get back to the city, they discover Merle has sawed his hand off and fled to parts unknown.
Episode 4…This episode was kinda bullshit. After not finding Merle, the rescue party ran into a group of gangbangers who had stayed in the city to protect the retirement home where their ailing grandparents lived. The only important this is that the moment the rescue party gets back to camp, zombies attack. Dead this week: Amy, Ed
Episode 5…After the zombie attack the remaining survivors spend an entire episode debating whether they should leave the area, which they finally do once someone has the idea to travel to the Center for Disease Contro, where they might be a cure for zombie-it is in the works. When they arrive they meet the CDC’s last remaining scientist, Jenner. Dead this week: Jim, (also, this is when Morales and his family split off from the group that had the cars and the two armed cops and the crossbow guy and the food and water. Like you would).
Episode 6…We learn the name of the zombie virus is Wildfire, and that the US is pretty much entirely overrun but that labs in France might be close to a cure. Shane drunkenly makes a pass at Laurie and she claws his face, which nearly reveals their secret to Rick. Also, Jenner forgot to mention this when he let everyone inside, but the CDC is about to self-destruct. Jacqui and Andrea decide to stay inside to die in the explosion, but Old Man Dale pleads with Andrea to go on living. Apparently he was totally cool with Jacqui dying, though. Dead this week: Jenner, Jacqui
And that’s where we begin Season Two. Lots of questions about this season. Like…
-Will Merle come back? (Honestly, if they don’t address that in Season Two they’ve majorly fucked up)
-Will Shane and Laurie’s secret come out?
-Will we learn more backstory about the other members of the camp? Or if not,will they at least die in a meaningful way that will reveal why they were on the show in the first place? See: Jacqui.
-What did Jenner whisper to Rick as everyone was fleeing the CDC?
-Morgan and Duane. Will they come back, too? (They’re the father-son duo who first helped Rick after he came out of his coma)
-Wildfire. First, what kind of biological agent is it? Virus, bacteria, what? And second, can us hum-ons ever stop it?
-Hopefully we’ll get a clearer picture of what the world is like since Wildfire hit. How many other survivors are there? Has civilization totally collapsed or is there still some kind of government operating out there somewhere? Has everything become all post-apocalyptic and crazy, or will The Walking Dead take itself a little more seriously?
I hope not. I want Rick and the gang to fight Lord Humongous
Let’s get to the recap.
Season Two picks up a couple days after the end of the Season One finale. We open on the hero of our show, Rick. He’s alone on a rooftop, making a transmission on his walkie-talkie—back in the pilot, Rick promised he would contact Morgan and Duane every morning to keep them up to date on his progress.
To begin, Rick starts relaying the message Jenner whispered into his ear as they were fleeing the CDC…but he stops himself, feeling it’s pointless. Gah! We’ll have to wait longer to hear what Jenner said.
My prediction: “Wildfire isn’t sexually transmitted, so you can totally bang the zombie corpses and not get infected. Kinda wish I was joining you!”
Rick has no idea if Morgan and Duane are alive on the other end, so the rest of the message is more directed at himself than anything. Rick is literally leading his group into the unknown. They hope to get to Fort Benning, Georgia, but they don’t know if there’s an army relief camp there or not. Furthermore, they don’t know the state of the roads or what’s on them, they barely have enough gas, and their vehicles are falling apart. And most of all, there could easily be no hope of survival whatsoever. They just have to move forward.
All of this is done with sorrowful violin music over it. That gradually gives way to the frenetic violins of the show’s theme song, and the opening titles roll.
The journey has started. Daryl leads the three-vehicle convoy on his motorcycle, followed by Dale’s Winnebago and then Rick’s station wagon. The road is wide open.
I do hope for the zombie-pocalypse sometimes, because at least there wouldn’t be any traffic. But maybe that’s because I live in Los Angeles.
Maybe the open road is a good omen. In Rick’s car the mood even begins to lighten. In a weird way, being in the car reminds Rick and Laurie of a road trip they took long ago, before both the world and their marriage was falling apart.
Carl was too young to remember that trip, so they fill him in. They were headed for the Grand Canyon but Carl got sick. They had to stop in Fort Worth and take him to a doctor, but it took so long they had to turn around and head home.
SPOILER: Holy shit, that’s a lot of foreshadowing for the end of the episode.
Despite the trip not being a success, it’s a great memory, so Carl asks if they can go to the Grand Canyon again some day. Rick stalls, knowing that’s likely never going to happen.
Carol and Sophia are also in the car but until now have kept quiet. Sophia asks if she and her mom can tag along on the future Grand Canyon trip, and Rick tells her, not to worry, they’d go anywhere without them.
ANOTHER SPOILER: Holy shit that’s even MORE foreshadowing.
Shane is passing the time by field-stripping and cleaning all the guns in the survivors’ arsenal. Currently he’s working on Andrea’s pistol. She watches closely, learning how the job is done. (Ohhhhh yeah. Porn music).
A message from the Department of When Are They Going To Start Fucking Already?!: when are Shane and Andrea going to start fucking already?
Andrea tells Shane how she came to own a gun in the first place…she and her recently departed sister Amy were going on a road trip and their father gave it to them for protection. As we’ll see, that gun’s pretty important to Andrea.
But we’ll come back to that. Up ahead Dale sees an overturned 18-wheeler blocking all three lanes of the highway. With about a thousand derelict cars beyond it. (And many have their dead owners still inside).
There’s no way they could have predicted this. No-siree Bob.
Wait, actually. Maybe there is. Remember the pilot, how Rick took the highway into Atlanta on horseback?
Yeah…there’s no way Rick would have known the highway was blocked
Maybe someone suggested they should switch lanes to the one that ISN’T clogged, but I bet Rick refused because then they would be driving on the wrong side of the road. Law and order FOREVER!
Dale inches the RV forward. Ahead of him Daryl spots an opening the Winnebago might be able to squeeze through.
Aaaaaaaaand of course, the Winnebago conks out at this exact moment. Well shit, again.
So not ten miles out of town, and not seven minutes into Season Two, the survivors are dealing with the same shit all over again. Car trouble. Gotta be aggravating.
Everyone gets out of their vehicles and says as much…until Dale realizes that, hey, those thousand cars belonged to people escaping the city. Which means they’ll be full of the people’s possessions. Scavenger hunt!
Laurie steps in as the obligatory voice of morality at this point. Isn’t the field of cars sort of a graveyard? Should they really be disturbing the dead like this? Never mind that anyone in a disaster scenario would ditch that mindset five minutes after the air-raid sirens went off.
If you don’t agree with me, go check with, um, all of human history
So everyone fans out to look for supplies. Glen sticks around with Dale to learn a little car maintenance, which will probably come in handy when Dale dies in a couple episodes. From being old.
Shane finds an entire truck full of water jugs. Andrea returns to the Winnebago to teach herself to strip and reassemble her gun. T-Dog siphons gas. Carol finds some new clothes and remarks how happy she is nw that the zombie-pocalypse has hit, since her dead husband Ed “never let her wear nice things”.
Like a $10 Target blouse. I didn’t realize Carol and Ed are fucking Amish.
Laurie reminds Carl to always stay within sight of her. More foreshadowin’! (That was supposed to be in a Southern accent). And for a moment, everyone’s cautious optimism returns.
But sure enough, the moment any of our characters starts feeling something other than sheer mortal terror, things go wrong. Dale is up on top of the Winnebago on lookout…and he spots a zombie. He motions to Rick, and Rick picks up his rifle to polish it off.
But then Rick spots a second zombie. And then, yup:
They thought the boonies would have way fewer zombies than the city did. But the truth is, lots of zombies just want to move to the suburbs and start families.
It’s too many for them to fight, so their only option is to hide. As quietly as possible Rick runs around to everyone and tells them to slide down underneath one of the cars. And just barely, everyone gets out of sight as the zombies start to make their way through the field of cars.
But even getting everyone hidden doesn’t go off without a hitch. Carol gets separated from Sophia. Andrea is still inside the RV, so she continues to sit by the window absorbed in her gun. Eventually she senses something is off, looks up to see the hundred zombies outside the window, and dives under the table.
What’s more, T-Dog for some reason waits until the very last second to get under a car, and he accidentally slices open his forearm on a jagged car door. It looks bad. But he can’t make a sound because he’ll give everyone away, so he has to tough it out.
And then Andrea hears a zombie RIGHT OUTSIDE THE RV DOOR. She hurries into the bathroom as it shambles in. She barely gets the door closed behind her without being seen. She DID manage to bring a gun inside with her but it’s still disassembled and she can’t remember how to put it back together. But the zombie decides nothing inside the RV is worth his time, so he turns to leave.
…and Andrea drops a piece of the gun on the floor. The zombie turns back around.
The zombie bangs on the bathroom door and opens it just enough to see Andrea inside. She freaks. She tries to leg-press the door shut but the zombie is insistent. This time it isn’t gonna leave the RV without some tasty lady-flesh.
Luckily, the RV has a rooftop ventilation window, and Dale is right above her!
“I mostly use this window to secretly watch you pee, but I guess it’s pretty handy, too!”
In the nick of time he drops a screwdriver down to her, and Andi stabs the zombie in the eye. Disaster averted.
Back outside, T-Dog is simultaneously trying to slide under a car and keep his blood inside his body when a zombie finds him. He’s trapped.
But luckily AGAIN, Daryl pops out of his hiding spot with a knife and stabs the zombie in the back of the neck, killing the zombie and racism simultaneously. He grabs a dead body from one of the cars and drapes it over T-Dog, then another body and cover himself. Posing as more dead bodies, T-Dog and Daryl are able to avoid the rest of the zombies pass by.
Everyone waits for a while for the zombies to disperse, and finally they begin to emerge from their hiding spots. It looks like they rode this one out…
…but no. Sophia peeks out a moment too early and a zombie spots her. Game on.
The zombie reaches down after her and she crawls out the other side of the car and sprints off the road and into the woods. Another zombie show up, and the two of them chase after her.
As all the other survivors look on in shock, Rick leaps into action and runs to help. There’s a narrow strip of grass next to the road and after that a steep ravine into the woods, and Rick is running so fast that he tumbles headfirst downhill into the forest.
Once he gets up he assesses the situation. The zombies are chasing Sophia away from the road. Rick can’t catch up to them, but he quickly realizes he can intercept Sophia before the zombies get to her, so he takes off running. Soon, he’s got her in his arms—but the zombies are between them and the road and are closing in fast. Sophia wants Rick to shoot them, but that would probably attract more zombies, so they have to run for it, and Rick takes Sophia into his arms.
A short distance later Rick and Sophia come upon a creek. Rick has a plan. The plan involves using Sophia as bait so he can escape. Not really, but it should be.
He would be doing the human race a favor. She’s twelve and still takes a doll everywhere
I’m just saying, at some point you have to start thinking about eugenics.
The plan is this: Sophia will hide by the creek embankment while Rick draws the zombies away. That will give her an opening to run back to the road. Rick gives her a quick orienteering lesson—keep the sun over your left shoulder!—and leaves her in the creek.
There is no way this can go wrong.
So Sophia hides, and Rick waves his arms to draw the zombies’ attention. He runs off, leading the zombies away, and Sophia makes a break for it.
The camera follows Rick down the way a piece. He takes up an ambush position behind a large tree and grabs a large rock. When the first zombie gets close he brains it, and when the second follows he chucks the rock at its face.
Well that was easy. Was anyone else thinking he could have accomplished this WITHOUT abandoning Sophia?
AT THE CREEK IN THE WOODS
And Sophia has gone missing. Oops.
Rick has brought Shane, Glen, and Daryl back to the spot where he left Sophia. They’re trying to figure out which direction Sophia might have run off in. As Rick retraces their steps you can already hear the defensiveness in his voice, but Shane reminds him to focus.
Luckily, Daryl is a redneck and thus has excellent tracker skills from all the time he spends hunting. He picks up Sophia’s footprints and the four of them follow her trail.
A bit later Daryl brings them to a halt. According to him it looks like Sophia was running in the right direction—i.e. towards the road—until for some reason she veered off. There aren’t any other footprints, so they rule out a zombie chasing her away.
Rick decides they only need two people to continue the search, so he sends Shane and Glen back to the road to update the others and to get them back to scavenging from the cars. Because why maximize your chances of finding the lost girl, right?
Up top, everyone else is taking a breather to process what’s happened today. Carol wants to know why only Rick and Daryl are searching for Sophia and not all of them. The others don’t really have an answer. They’re even starting to think about leaving. Carol doesn’t like that nobody seems to be as concerned as she is, but Laurie reassures her they’ll find her daughter.
I guess the gravity hasn’t sunk in quite yet.
Rick can’t see any more footprints. He thinks the trail has gone cold. But Daryl can still make out faint tracks with his Redneck Powers. They keep going.
Now, a short time ago Laurie told Carl not to leave her sight. And he’s already ignored that order.
Carl wanders up to a pickup truck and peers through the window. A dead body is inside, (although with Wildfire you never REALLY know who’s dead), but Carl spots something interesting. It looks like a hatchet tucked under the corpse’s arm.
He pops open the door. The corpse’s arm falls limp at its side. Ugh. Carl reaches in and pulls on the hatchet but it doesn’t budge. So he has to climb on top of the body and wrench it free. He pulls so hard the body slumps over and Carl goes tumbling out of the cab.
But hey, it was worth the effort because Carl discovers that the hatchet is wrapped in a nylon sheath that contains a bunch of other sharp weapons. Jackpot!
He runs back to the others, but Laurie isn’t happy he disobeyed her. Still, he asks her if he can keep one, but she tells him to take the weapons parcel over to Dale. Carl presses his luck and asks Shane to get Laurie to let him have a weapon, and Shane snaps back that he needs to obey his mother.
A little too hard. After Carl leaves Laurie confronts him on it, then scoffs when Shane gives her the cold shoulder. She doesn’t think he’s earned that after his drunken pretty-much-sexual-assault on her back at the CDC.
But Shane claims he’s just staying away from her, like she asked him to. He admits what happened back at the CDC was a mistake, but they’ve both made mistakes in the past. The point is, neither of them has been willing to deal with the elephant in the room ever since Rick came back from the dead, and the repercussions keep playing themselves out.
So Shane’s decided to flee rather than resolve anything. While they’ve been talking he’s been fixing up one of the abandoned cars. He turns the key in the ignition and the radio comes on. An emergency broadcast is playing, briefly returning their attention to the ongoing zombie thing. But the message doesn’t say much beyond “Help is on the way!”, so Shane just turns it off.
“Don’t mind me, just throwing my BAGGAGE in the car.”
The hunt for Sophia continues when Rick and Daryl hear a rustling in brush nearby. It’s a zombie. Rick scampers ahead to draw the zombie’s attention and Daryl shoots it through the head.
Luckily the zombie was alone. Killing it was easy part.
Rick and Daryl now face a stomach-turning task…the zombie they just killed was near Sophia’s last known location. They have to know if it found her before they did.
Rick starts examining the zombie corpse for any signs that it might have just had dinner—he checks the fingernails and the teeth for evidence. And there’s skin in the teeth. Hoo-ray.
They have to know for sure what KIND of flesh it is, and there’s only one way to find out. Rick straddles the zombie corpse and pulls out his knife, but Daryl stops him. He has a sharper knife and more gutting experience. He’ll be the one to do the job.
Daryl slices open the zombie corpse and begins removing the organs. It’s positively revolting.
…which is why I’m including a picture! I’m a dick
Eventually Daryl finds the stomach. It’s full. Uh-oh…but when he opens it up he finds a woodchuck skill.
The hunt continues, but they’re running out of time.
It’s dusk. And this is kind of a filler scene, where three separate things occur that unrelated to each other but all move different parts of the plot along…
First, Carol stands by the guardrail looking down into the woods, waiting for any sign of Rick and Daryl or her daughter. Andrea comes over and tries to comfort her.
Then Andrea turns around and her mood completely changes to pissed off. She storms over to Dale for a confrontation. Somewhere over the past few hours Dale has confiscated her gun. She isn’t happy about that. Dale simply explains that he doesn’t feel comfortable with her packing, even though it’s HER property, not after she recently tried to kill herself. Andrea appeals to Shane, but he actually agrees on principle. Only a few of the survivors are actually trained to use guns so the fewer floating around camp, the better.
And third, Rick and Daryl walk out of the woods, without Sophia. They have to suspend the search because of darkness.
Carol tries to make sense of everything that’s happening. She knows on some level they’re doing everything they can, but that’s at odds with the complete panic that’s beginning to set in. Rick tries to fill the void by explaining his actions from that day, how the only shot he had at saving Sophia was to draw the zombies off. He promises everyone will resume the search tomorrow at first light.
But Carol just stares off into the middle distance and says, “My little girl got left in the woods.” That’s complete past tense, without subjunctives. On some level, maybe she’s begun to realize that the worst-case scenario looks very possible.
The next morning, the survivors prepare to resume the search. Everyone is joining in except Dale and T-Dog, whose sliced arm is now bandaged heavily. The plan is to return to the creek and follow it for five miles before crossing to the other side and coming back.
It’s been decided that only Rick, Shane, and Dale get to carry gun because, (they’re just now realizing), everyone else has no idea how to use them. Instead, the survivors will be carrying the weapons Carl found in that truck yesterday. Carl takes the opportunity to try to finagle his way onto the search party. Laurie punts to Rick, and, maybe because he’s sleep deprived, he agrees.
“Why stop at one dead child on my conscience? I’m doubling down. Let’s make this zombie-pocalypse interesting!”
As everyone else picks out a weapon for the search, Andrea once again brings up her irritation with having her gun taken away. Shane and Rick remind her why—the zombies are still close by and one errant shot could bring the whole herd running—but when the see that Andrea is directing all her wrath at Dale, they give them some space.
To Andrea, this is all part of a theme between Dale and herself. Revoking her gun is just another instance of him taking away her right to make her own decisions. He did the same thing back at the CDC in the Season One finale…Jenner gave everyone a choice to live or die. She chose a quick death in the explosion over prolonged agony out in zombieland. And when Dale refused to leave the CDC without her, she was forced to relent so as not to have his blood on her hands.
Dale’s pretty dumbstruck by all this. In his mind he did right by Andrea by saving her friggin’ life. He’s probably also thinking she’s not seeing things too clearly since her sister died less than a week ago, but he keeps that to himself.
Andrea makes herself crystal clear…she and Dale barely know each other. She’s not his daughter, wife, or problem. And that’s final.
As the search party tries to pick up Sophia’s trail in the woods, Carl is engrossed with the new knife he’s earned for finding the cache of weapons in the truck. He tries to show it off to Shane but once again Shane blows him off. Laurie tries her best to comfort her son, telling him Shane’s just worried about Sophia, but Carl can probably tell something is up with the grown-ups.
Carl will probably have trouble trusting anyone ever again. But it’s better to get kids started early on that.
Up ahead, Daryl sees something. It looks like an abandoned tent in the middle of the woods. They decide to investigate—at this point they’ll take any chance of finding Sophia, even a really slim one like this. Daryl takes the point and draws his hunting knife. He approaches the tent but can’t get a look inside.
Rick brings Carol forward to call out to Sophia, the idea being that Carol’s voice is the first one Sophia should hear, should she be hiding inside. Carol softly calls out and gets no reply.
Finally Daryl opens the tent. There’s a body inside, long dead and covered in maggots. It’s got a .38 special in its hand. The guy killed himself. Daryl takes the gun and hides it in his waistband, directly disobeying the group-wide gun control rules.
Then, off in the distance, they hear a bell ringing. It sounds like church bells. They run through all the possibilities in their heads…is it Sophia calling for help? They run to investigate.
Back at the RV, Dale is standing on the roof with the binoculars keeping watch. What’s more important to T-Dog is what Dale isn’t doing, which is fixing the radiator. What if the search party returns with Sophia and Rick wants to get moving?
Dale explains that he finished fixing the radiator a day ago and has only been pretending to fix it. In Dale’s mind, when the others realize they’re mobile is when they start to lose interest in finding Sophia. Dale wants to hold that off as long as possible. T-Dog agrees to play along.
A CHURCH IN THE WOODS
The search party, meanwhile, finds the source of the bells…maybe? They come upon a small chapel in the woods. There isn’t a steeple so they’re not sure it’s the right place.
They go inside anyway, and there they find three zombies sitting in pews.
You do know why the zombies are praying to Jesus, right? He came back from the dead first. Jesus was the original zombie.
Hack hack hack, slash slash slash, and the three zombies are done. As Rick carves up one he realizes he’s standing in front of the crucifix and seems to get self-conscious.
The group is starting to get frantic now. Shane insists this is the wrong church, and right on cue they hear the bells again. The sound is coming from right outside the church entrance. They run out to investigate and discover an electric church bell system set on a timer. That explains it.
No sign of Sophia. As time passes there’s less and less chance they’ll ever find her, and they’ve just burned off a good hour on a dead end. What to do?
Everyone disperses for a moment to catch their breaths. Andrea walks over to he side of the building and sits down, exhausted. Then, she hears some voices. Shane and Laurie have found each other in the churchyard nearby and are picking up their discussion earlier about Shane’s decision to leave.
Laurie wants to know if he’s reconsidered, and he hasn’t, so she lays a guilt trip on him. How can Shane abandon the group? How can he leave without telling Rick? How can he leave Carl behind? Shane tries to explain that his recent jerkass behavior has been intended to distance himself from Carl, but Laurie doesn’t buy it. Neither does he, really.
Laurie leaves him to join the others. And Andrea comes around the corner to face Shane. Busted.
Inside, Carol kneels before the Jesus statue to pray. Even though she’s in the middle of every parent’s worst nightmare, she begins by profusely thanking God for all he’s ALREADY done for her, like allow her to escape Atlanta and free her from Ed.
On second thought…she admits that she did in fact pray for Ed’s death. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Carol wonders if Sophia going missing is punishment for it. If that’s the case, she begs for God to punish her some other way
So, what does Andrea do with her newfound knowledge of Shane and Laurie’s secret? She sees an opportunity for a fresh start. She wants Shane to take her with him. She sort of goes into her reason why…she feels like the odd woman out of the group…but if you ask me it’s kinda crazy to give up the relative safety of the group like that, even if you are angry at Dale. Either way Shane isn’t receptive. He’s leaving to get away from everybody, not to have another person to worry about. But he’ll think about it.
For now, they have to decide what to do with the little daylight they have left. Shane approaches Rick with his opinion. He’s being a realist. Everyone is exhausted and they’re a long way from the road. The pragmatic move is to pack up and go home.
Rick can’t even consider that idea. He has to keep searching. To him, abandoning Sophia is defeat, not pragmatism, and they can’t give in to defeat, ever. That’s when it all ends.
Shane makes a compromise. He walks over to the rest of the group, (without Rick’s say-so, I might add), and tells them the plan. They will all be returning to the road first. He and Rick will stay behind to search for Sophia just a little longer. The other survivors don’t object, not even Carol.
But Carl still wants to be part of the search. He asks Rick if he can stay behind with him…and once again Rick and Laurie allow it. So let’s see…Rick’s already had two chances to NOT put a child in harm’s way and he’s blown both of them. Let’s flip God off once more, eh Rick?
“Dude, I keep giving you an out. Take the fucking out!”
That was Jesus talking in that joke in case it was unclear.
Rick, Shane, and Carl say their goodbyes to the others. Rick tries to give Laurie his six-shooter but she won’t take it since that’d leave him unarmed. Surprisingly, Daryl pulls out the .38 and hands it to Laurie. I was kinda thinking they’d make a bigger deal out of Daryl pulling that shit, but whatever.
And our final act begins like the previous one did, inside the church. Rick has taken a moment alone to do some praying of his own. It’s not much different than how he began the episode with his radio address.
Rick isn’t really prayerful, either. He just puts everything bluntly. He feels totally alone and hopeless, and he feels totally removed from God, too. He admits he’s never been much of a believer, but now all he’s asking for is some kind of sign. Anything. He looks like he’s starting to lose it.
The rest of the group trudges through the woods, trying to keep their spirits up, but finally Carol cracks. She asks rhetorically if Rick has any idea what the hell he’s doing. Daryl and Andrea start bitching, too.
And Laurie has had enough. In her mind everyone is being douchey. One by one she shoots down their complaints. She hands Andrea the .38 to get her to finally shut up about having her gun taken away. To Carol, she realizes this is a tough situation but reminds her that Rick was the only one who tried to rescue Sophia in the first place. The point is, everyone asks Rick to carry them and then jumps on him when he stumbles.
Laurie’s words register. Andrea hands the gun back, feeling sheepish.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WOODS
And finally, Rick, Shane, and Carl are concluding their search when they hear twigs snapping. They look through the trees. It’s a buck. It’s so unexpected all they can do is stare in awe.
Shane raises his shotgun to take the thing down, (and what, drag it five miles back to the RV to cook it?), but Rick stops him since Carl is so amazed. Rick and Shane let the kid slowly approach the deer.
And then a shot rings out. A bullet hits the deer, travels through it, and hits Carl in the chest.
I’m gonna shake things up a bit for this season of TWD recaps with a couple recurring features. Pretty much every week, a) there’s a new clue as to the nature of the Wildfire, and b) the characters do something wildly dumb that nobody in real life would actually do. I’m calling the first one What’s Up with Wildfire? I have one thought this week:
-Most of the cars that had dead bodies inside. They looked exactly like the zombies but there wasn’t any indication that non-infected people came along and put bullets in their heads, so…does that mean there are different strands of Wildfire now, some that zombie-fy you and some that just flat out kill you? (And did they establish that already?)
…and I’m calling the other feature What the Hell is Wrong with Them?!?!?! I have a little more on that subject…
-Ditch the fucking RV!!! There’s gotta be another recreational vehicle among the abandoned cars that has at least a working radiator hose. Maybe the cars were mostly CGI and AMC didn’t want to pony up for a completely new vehicle the gang would have to drive around this season.
-What the fuck is Sophia’s problem?!?!?! Why do you think Sophia got sidetracked on her way back to the road? Daryl ruled out a zombie because there weren’t any tracks. My guess? Sophia is dumb.
-But most of all, why the shit couldn’t Rick kill two zombies AND keep Sophia by his side?! Christ. Maybe he was dehydrated and not thinking straight or something.
Here are some other thoughts…
-How about Dale this week? I know HE likes to frame himself as someone who always does what’s right even if it’s unpopular…but I kinda think that’s the cover for some pretty serious narcissism. I thought Andrea had a point. Even if she wanted to kill herself, he still took away her right to choose. Not cool. (I guess that makes me a libertarian, and Dale is Big Government).
-Amy and Andrea came to Atlanta on a road trip and then the zombie-pocalypse happened? That sucksssssss. I want to be at home when it happens, not on vacation somewhere.
-I also noticed on the side of the RV that it said “Dale and Irma”. So his dead wife’s name is Irma. Did we know that already?
-You couldn’t see it unless you hit pause, but in the scene when the search party found the dead guy in the tent, the corpse had a button on his vest. It was one of those “There’s no excuse for domestic violence” buttons. What is that about? Are they referencing Carol and Ed? Because that happened like four episodes ago and doesn’t even come up this week until Carol prays. (And, if they ARE referencing it…maybe they should have made the button visible).
-One thing I really liked was the sequence when it was just Daryl and Rick searching the woods…it began with Daryl assuming a leadership position because he had the tracking expertise (or “Redneck Sense”), but it flipped when they killed the walker and Rick knew to investigate the corpse for evidence, which was more or less police work. Good stuff.
All right, I’m done gabbing for this week. Thanks for reading!
Jesus and Zombies,