Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 2: Guts

Wow, I'm really enjoying this series so far! I haven't been this excited about a TV show since the first episode of LOST (Hopefully The Walking Dead won't sputter and fizzle out like that did!). I just wish it was going to last more than six episodes.

This week we find out that Rick's wife Lori is a little too close to his best friend Shane. Meanwhile, Rick, still trapped in the tank, is rescued by Glen. Glen is part of the same group of survivors that Lori, Carl and Shane belong to. Glen and a few others ventured into Atlanta to hunt for supplies. The scavenger group is furious with Rick for getting them trapped in a department store. With no way out other than through the zombies, Rick and Glen smear themselves with zombie guts to disguise their human scent. They walk undetected through the zombie horde to a construction site, where Rick steals a truck and manages to rescue the survivors.

I like that the series seems to be more or less following the comic, but not exactly. That way I have a good idea of what's to come, but can still be surprised. So far the characters seem to be behaving realistically; doing what most people would probably do in the same situation instead of wandering off by themselves to be picked off.
 
This episode really ramped up my hatred for Shane. I'm also not a big fan of Lori either. So far she's much less sympathetic in the series than she was in the comic. I get the feeling she and Shane were an item long before Rick was in his coma.

Back in Atlanta, Glen and Andrea (the blond woman) are the only characters that were in the comic. The rest of the group is new for TV. I suspect these newbies will soon serve as cannon fodder.

Among the new characters is Merle Dixon, a racist, meth head hillbilly played by Michael Rooker (star of Slither and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). I don't ever recall seeing Rooker on a TV show before, so good for the producers for snagging him. He does here what he does best: play a psychotic asshole. It was pretty shocking to actually hear the "N" word on TV; not that I want to hear it, mind you, but I've got to give props to the producers for having the guts to use it.

I've read complaints from others that the Merle character was over the top and unrealistic, and that no one would act like that in the middle of a zombie epidemic. Bushwah! I have no trouble believing there are people in the world who'd behave like Merle, especially after the normal rules of society have flown out the window.  

We last see Merle handcuffed to the roof of the department store, left for dead. The show very deliberately mentioned a hacksaw several times, and the T-Dog character accidentally dropped a toolbox near Merle before abandoning him. I would not be surprised if next time we see Merle, he's a little short-handed (see what I did there?).

The highlight of this episode was definitely when Rick chopped up the zombie body so that he and Glen could cover themselves in the bloody remains and disguise themselves from the zombies. Never thought I'd see something like that on TV! That scene was straight out of the comic by the way, and was definitely not for the squeamish. The sudden rainstorm had me on the edge of my seat!

Can't wait for next week!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this one Bob, as I was unable to see episode two (dang it :(
    Your review is one of the best I've read of this second intallment.
    best,
    r/e

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  2. I completely agree with your thoughts on this week's show.
    *I too think Lori got with Shane a little too easily.
    *I held my breath when Rick and Glen were walking through the undead masses, especially after the thunder rolled. Eeeeekkk!
    *The chopping up of the body was sickening but necessary. That whole scene made me shiver.
    I am happy to report I got my hubby watching it too now :) He loves it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. rogue: Thanks! If you ever miss an episode, I'm pretty sure AMC plays them several more times during the week. I think they're available on hulu.com as well.

    Dawn: In "Shaun of the Dead," there was a scene in which the characters walked and moaned like zombies and were able to walk amongst them and get away. But this is the first time I've seen any characters smear themselves with zombie guts in order to smell like them!

    I think I'm liking the show so much because it's so intense and suspenseful. Most TV is the same old thing every week. I just wish it wasn't going to end so soon.

    Glad your husband is watching too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This new mini-series is amazing--my wife is even hooked! Can't wait for tonights episode!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mark Fullerton: It's surprises me to hear about how many women seem to like this show. It sounds stereotypical, but most women I know don't like horror movies. Maybe they like this one because it's more about people than zombies?

    ReplyDelete

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