Review: The Walking Dead: Season 1

Story:

Rick wakes up from a coma to find the zombie apocalypse happened while he was unconscious and now he’s got to survive while finding his family. He meets other survivors and lots of people die.

Review:

The first season is not as good as I remember it being overall. There are only a few episodes that I actually like and that’s down to Daryl being insensitive or the horror is really good. The zombie apocalypse is my favourite apocalypse and it was the novelty of a zombie TV series that let me ignore all it’s flaws the first time around.

The Characters:

The characters are mostly annoying. Watching it the first time I think I found Daryl entertaining but because I didn’t know what he would become I didn’t like him that much. The same with Carol. I only appreciate the character now because I know where she’s going and that she becomes one of my favourite characters. Glen is the only one I think is likeable at this point. The rest of them are all awful and most only get worse.
There’s a problem with the female characters. Lori is presented as the villain in her marriage with Rick and I hated her the first time I watched this. Now though I’m blaming it on bad writing for making me feel that way.
Andrea is the most annoying though. She’s irrational (so is Lori) and hot headed. She’s presented as not knowing what she’s doing and is always complaining.

The Best Episode:

The first episode is the best not only of this season but I’d say one of the best in the entire show. It’s got the wonderfully creepy opening hospital scene with the walkers trapped inside the cafeteria and Rick leaving via pitch black stairway out, into the chaos of a war zone. Lots of dead bodies and wreckage.
There’s also not a lot of talking or moralising. Rick’s better when he’s not talking. And we get my favourite parent child duo. Morgan and Dwight.

The Worst Episode:

The worst episode is probably Wildfire. I’d say TS-19 but for some reason there is something compelling about it.
Wildfire is a whole lot of talking and burying people because it’s an aftermath of a big tragedy and features Dale and Andrea prominently. There’s no zombies and I’m not sure what they’re trying to do with Jim. The only good part is Daryl being insensitive and even he can’t save it.

The Best moment:

Glen saving Rick in the tank. I was going to put one of Daryl’s many insensitive moments but Glen calling Rick an idiot and then saving him was great. There’s a moment there when you wonder how he’s going to get out when he’s so surrounded.

The Worst Moment:

Dale convincing Andrea to live by bluffing about committing suicide with her. We were so close to getting rid of two of the most annoying characters and it didn’t happen. Biggest let down ever. Also this sets up a whole load of crap for season two that I could have done without.

Overall:

It was a good start to the show. Setting up the world and how the walkers work. Having them come across another group of survivors and showing how that can go wrong. The potential of where they can go with the horror and gore.
If you’re a zombie fan you won’t be disappointed because that’s what they do best. They put a lot of thought into the walkers.

You can buy the first season of The Walking Dead on Amazon. The Walking Dead – Season 1 [DVD]

Episode Recaps

Previous: The Walking Dead- TS-19                       Next: The Walking Dead- What Lies Ahead

Next Review: The Walking Dead Season 2

The Walking Dead: TS-19

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

The virus is explained a bit and not a lot else happens until the end of the episode.

Thoughts:

This episode starts with a flashback to when Rick was in the coma. Shane’s trying to get someone to help but the soldiers are shooting civilians and walkers alike.

He grabs a gurney to get Rick out but all the machines beep at him when he tries to pick Rick up. A soldier comes in and he hides.

He begs Rick to wake up or give him a sign that he’ll live. The power goes out and Shane blocks the door when walkers turn up. This is a useful scene because it shows you Shane’s not a completely awful person and you need that with all the bad stuff he’s going to do.

Back to the present and Jenna tells them a blood test is the price of admission and once the door is closed it stays closed.

They go underground and Jenna tells them he’s the only one left. Andrea complains about the blood the test because of course she does.

Then they have a party to celebrate. They give Carl some wine and eat a lot but Shane brings them down by wanting to know where all the other scientists are. Lots of people left to be with their families, the others bolted when the military got overrun and the rest were suicides. Jenna’s kept working just trying to do some good. Glen calls Shane a buzz kill.

They all enjoy their showers again apart from Andrea. She starts throwing up and is all depressed because there’s nothing left. Every thing’s gone. Dale tells her they can make a new start.

Drunk Rick goes to thank Jenna and tells him he doesn’t know what it’s like out there. I hate to break it to you Rick but it gets so much worse after this. Rick kept all his doubts in to lead the group but is now unloading them on Jenna.

Shane creepily watches Lori browse the books. Lori is still angry that Shane told her Rick was dead. She’s being irrational and could probably do with being a bit more understanding about the awful position Shane was in but he needs to back off and let it go.

He then forces himself on her even though she tells him to stop and she has to scratch him to get him off her. I wonder if everyone would agree this would have been rape if he’d kept going because she tells him to stop or if we’d have a game of thrones situation where no one seems to know what rape is. It’s bad when an attempted rape is refreshing because you can point to it and say that’s bad behaviour.

The next morning everyone’s hung over. Glen doesn’t want to drink ever again. Shane says he scratched himself in his sleep and he says it wasn’t like him at all while looking at Lori. That sounds like it should be an apology. Like him saying he wasn’t himself but it comes off more like he’s blaming her for defending herself.

Jenna shows them the brain of test subject 19 after being bitten. The first event invades the brain like meningitis and causes death. The second event causes resurrection and the time varies (this is probably plot convenience so they can have walkers come to life when they need it). It restarts the brain stem to get them up and moving but with no memories or personality. It could be anything that causes it. Virus, microbe, wrath of god. He has no communication with anyone else on the planet.

Dale asks about a clock on the wall counting down. Jenna says that’s when the generators run out of power. They ask what happens then and the computer answers decontamination but doesn’t say that means they’re all going to get blown up.

They head down to look at the generators and the lights go out and air has stopped circulating.

Jenna looks at a photo of his wife telling her he did the best he could.

They ask him what’s happening and he tells them the building is prioritizing electricity because zone 5 is shutting itself down. Rick tells the others to get their stuff.

The French thought they were close to a solution but they ran out of power.

At the 30 minute point he seals them in. The CDC has a lot of nasty viruses so the building needs to be destroyed . The air is going to be set on fire and they’ll die painless deaths.

He points out he told them those doors wouldn’t open again. I think you need to be more explicit with what will happen and the consequences.

They attack the door with axes but don’t even make a dent.

Jenna says those doors could withstand a rocket launcher and Daryl comes back with ‘well your head ain’t’ and attacks him with an axe. It’s the best moment in the episode.

Jenna carries on rambling. ‘This is our extinction event’ and it’s an easier way to go.

Then it’s Shane’s turn to attack Jenna but he’s got a shot gun. Rick points out if he kills Jenna then they’re all dead. They start fighting and Rick wins.

Jenna says there’s no hope but Rick says he’s lying because he chose to stay. So then we get some Jenna back story. He made a promise to his wife who was test subject 19. She was way smarter than him. Wow I think we might have found that rare couple where the man loves his wife for her intelligence rather than the other way round. And I found it in the walking dead of all places.

They want a choice to keep trying for as long as they can. Jenna’s wife didn’t have a choice but he does. They just want a chance.

Jenna releases the door but the ones on the building above are still locked.

Rick’s grateful but Jenna says a time will come when Rick won’t be.

Jackie decides to stay and so does Andrea but Dale refuses to leave without her.

Up top they’re struggling to get out the bullet proof windows. Until Carol pulls a grenade out of her handbag that she found in Rick’s pocket when she washed his clothes. See I told you it was a plot point. Although she really shouldn’t be stealing other people’s weapons.

Andrea tells Dale to go. He says you don’t get to come into someone’s life and make them care and then check out. She can’t have Dale’s death on her conscience but would it really matter you’ve only got minutes to live. Just close you’re eyes and pretend he’s not there. I hate Dale for making her live.

If I was Jackie I’d be pissed no one cared enough about me to make an ultimatum like that. Why couldn’t she have survived and Andrea died.

The explosion rips through the building. That’s going to draw a lot of walkers.

This episode was again light on walkers and I think the money it cost for special effects to blow up the building was probably to blame. It really wasn’t worth it.

I find the whole CDC thing weird. It didn’t feel necessary, like they felt they had to explain the virus when they really didn’t.

Despite that it’s not a bad episode just a bit boring and there wasn’t enough Daryl attacking people and being insensitive to make it entertaining. The scene when they got sealed in was the best scene because so much was going on at once. It felt desperate.

As a season final I guess they wanted a big ending but they should have kept it focused on the walkers.

Previous The Walking Dead: Wildfire                                             Next The Walking Dead: What Lies Ahead

The Walking Dead: Wildfire

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Andrea’s a moron, Dale’s annoying and everyone else is arguing over what to do. That leaves Daryl to save the episode by being insensitively entertaining.

Thoughts:

Rick’s talking to Morgan on the radio telling him not to enter the city and that he’s found his family. I hope he’s done this before because he should have warned Morgan when he came back from the city the first time. Also the group was just attacked and loads of people are dead maybe you should be helping with that.

Andrea’s still with Amy’s body who hasn’t turned yet even though it must be hours because the sun’s now up. Lori’s trying to convince her to let them take her because she’s going to turn soon.

Rick decides he’s going to tell Andrea ‘how it is’ but she pulls a gun on him and this time’s the safety’s off. He backs away apologising.

Daryl wants to shoot Amy from where they’re standing and gets annoyed when no one else agrees.

Glen then gets upset when Daryl starts burning the bodies of their friends with the walkers. He thinks they should be buried respectfully and stands up to Daryl making him put the body in the line to be buried.

Daryl gets more annoyed and tells them they had this coming because they left his brother to die. This all happens next to where Andrea is still sat with Amy’s body.

Jackie finds out Jim’s been bitten and alerts the others by shouting about it. They all overreact. He’s not turning into a walker this second. He’s got to die first. Amy’s been dead for hours and she hasn’t turned yet.

Daryl’s reaction is the best because he just wants to put a pickaxe through Jim’s head and Dale agrees (which is strange) but Rick says where do they draw the line.

They then start arguing over where they’re going to go. To the CDC ,which might be able to help Jim, or a military base but then Daryl runs at Jim with a pickaxe.

Rick pulls a gun and says ‘we don’t kill the living’ and Daryl points out Rick is pointing a gun at him. I think the situation is quite simple you ask him what he wants. If he wants to die now or die later and you kill him in the most painless way possible. It’s not that hard.

Dale goes to pay his respects to Amy and talks about how angry he was when his wife died. And she talks about how she always managed to miss Amy’s birthdays. Then she puts the necklace she looted on Amy. This scene isn’t too bad. Usually I hate both of them but nothing idiotic came out of either of their mouths so I guess it’s the writing that makes me hate them and not the actors.

Daryl is pickaxing dead bodies when he gets to Ed’s. Carol wants to do it because he was her husband. She pulverizes his head way past what was necessary. It’s cathartic for her and I really hope Sophia didn’t see that.

Amy starts twitching and making noises. I don’t know why you’d want your loved one to come back as a walker but Andrea has never been rational. The first time I saw this I thought Andrea was going to commit suicide by way of dead walker sister but I was disappointed. She apologises to Amy and shoots her.

Rick and Shane are digging graves. Shane thinks less would have died if he hadn’t gone to the city. Rick thinks more would have died without the guns.

Daryl’s driving the bodies up to the graves and still thinks they should be burnt. Lori says they need time to mourn and bury the dead.

Then we get a scene that should be sad but comes off more funny than anything else. Andrea refusing to let anyone help her put her sister in the grave. It’s the way Dale’s hovering and she’s such a moron.

Carl asks if they’re safe and Rick promises not to leave again then he asks Lori if she blames him for not being there but he did get the guns. She points out there’s now less people. She says they’re both right and that’s the best she can do.

Jim’s slowly dying in the caravan and he asks Rick if one of those graves is for him. Rick says nobody wants that but Jim says god’s laughing while you make plans and it’s not about what you want. Rick wants to get him help.

Shane goes to Lori to get her to talk some sense into Rick but he tells her nows not the time to play the dutiful wife. She says to leave her marriage out of it and people can decide for themselves. Then Rick comes out of the caravan and there’s more tension before they decide to do a sweep of the woods.

Rick and Shane have yet another conversation about where they should go. Rick doesn’t want to travel hundreds of miles through hostile territory and Shane would understand if it was his family. Shane gets angry because he protected them.

They separate to search and Shane aims a gun at Rick through the trees. He turns to find Dale watching him and makes a comment about how they should all wear reflective vests out here. Dale doesn’t believe him and that’s a storyline that only gets more annoying later.

Shane backs Rick in front of the group. Rick radios Morgan saying he’s left a note taped to a red car.

Shane lays out the rules of the caravan and one family decides to be morons and go their own way. So they get given some weapons which they’ll probably use to commit suicide when they all get bitten.

Then we get epic music as the road trip begins. And in the next scene the caravan has broken down.

Jim’s dying and wants to be left on the side of the road because the drive is killing him. I think I’d rather be shot.

Dale supports what Jim wants but Shane says he couldn’t live with himself and Lori points out it’s not his call.

They lean him against a tree and everyone says goodbye. Jim refuses a gun and they drive away. We don’t see the next scene where walkers find him and eat him alive. That’s what I think happened anyway.

Then we switch to a scientist going about his business doing science and living underground. A computer says wildfire is active and a disease has gone global. He accidentally knocks over a vial and decontamination happens so all the other samples are now gone as well. He goes a little crazy on his vlog but he knows no one is listening. Tomorrow he might blow his brains out but tonight he’s getting drunk.

The group pull up at the CDC. There are tanks and dead bodies everywhere. They can’t get in so panic happens because they can’t be this close to the city after dark.

The scientist watches them and just wants them to go away.

Rick sees the camera move and starts pleading and shouting about how he’s killing them. No you’re going to kill them by making all that noise and drawing walkers to you.

The others are trying to get Rick to leave as the doors open. I like how it’s a really bright light like the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re dying. And just how accurate that turns out to be.

I found this episode a bit boring. There was way too much talking and no zombie action. The only thing that saved it was Daryl being his normal entertaining self. The sad scenes weren’t sad and it’s worse now because I know how much more Andrea and Dale we have to put up with. It gets so much worse next season.

I like Carol’s little arc though. She starts by being the beaten wife and now she’s pickaxed her husband.

Previous The Walking Dead: Vatos                                             Next The Walking Dead: TS-19

The Walking Dead: Vatos

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Rick faces off against a gang in the city who also want the guns while Jim gets sunstroke and starts digging.

Thoughts:

This episode starts with Amy and Andrea fishing in a boat having a conversation about their father and they start crying which apparently scares the fish. Their dad told them that so they wouldn’t cry in the boat. And doesn’t that show just how annoying Andrea is.

Then it’s up to Dale on top of his caravan watching Jim digging holes.

In the city Daryl’s just discovered his brother had chopped off his own hand to escape the cuffs so decides to shoot T-Dog but Rick pulls a gun because we have to save him.

But Daryl decides not to shoot and instead picks up the hand for some reason. They don’t have a surgeon to reattach it so it’s kind of pointless unless he’s going to bury it and have a mini funeral if he can’t find him. The best part though is that he wraps it in a piece of cloth and puts it in Glen’s backpack.

They start tracking Meryl and T-Dog does something right by picking up Dale’s tools. At least he’s a little bit useful.

Dale goes to see Jim who’s still digging and fails at getting him to stop.

Andrea and Amy come back with loads of fish and Dale ruins the mood with news of Jim and his digging.

Back to the search and Daryl starts calling for Meryl which Rick doesn’t like but Daryl’s all screw that. I agree with him this is the first season they probably don’t have enough money for more walkers and it’s not quite as brutal or tough to stay alive as it is in later seasons. That’s why there are so many useless people around.

Meryl despite being chained to a roof for a night so is dehydrated and starving. Then must have major blood loss from cutting off his own hand, even if he did use his belt as a tourniquet. Has managed to take out a few walkers and cauterized his own wound using gas and left the building.

Rick and Daryl argue about their next move while Glen gets nervous about the noise they’re making. Too late to try and get us worried about that, Daryl was shouting in the previous scene. The plan is to grab the guns then check for Meryl for a few blocks.

Jim still won’t stop digging. Lori says he’s scaring the children. Well take the children away then don’t take them up there to where you’re confronting the man who’s having some sort of breakdown. You could probably hide it from them completely just leave them in the caravan.

Shane wants the shovel and Jim asks if he’ll get the same treatment as Ed. The others back up Shane and say Ed was hurting Carol. I wasn’t sure they would because the extent of the beating and the disgusted looks he got from some of them.

But Jim says who made him judge jury and executioner. Shane doesn’t like being questioned that much and tries to just take the shovel. Jim fights back and gets pinned to the floor.

Jim decides this is the moment to talk about his dead family and what happened. This is why the kids shouldn’t be there.

The only reason he got away was the dead were too busy eating his family. Well that’s depressing.

Back in the city and Glen makes a plan that is well thought out and thorough. Daryl’s impressed and asked what he did before. Pizza delivery.

The plan goes wrong but only because other people show up. A boy comes across Daryl and starts shouting for help. Daryl gets beaten up while some guys kidnap Glen and he manages to shoot one in the arse.

Jim gets tied to a tree right next to where Lori is teaching Carl. Again I think the kids should be kept away from possibly upsetting things. The world has become awful and they should be exposed to walkers so they know how to deal but a guy they know who is losing his mind probably not so much.

Shane brings him water and says he’ll only let him go when he’s sure he’s not a danger to himself or others.

Everyone thinks he had sunstroke but he also says he was doing it because of something in a dream he doesn’t remember. They don’t explore this issue now but what would you do with someone with a mental illness in the zombie apocalypse?

He praises Rick for reasons then tells Lori to keep Carl close. It’s almost like he can see the future and just how terrible she’s going to become at that.

Back in the city they start questioning the boy who decides to insult Meryl’s name and Daryl attacks him but Rick stops him. Daryl abandons whatever he was going to do with Meryl’s hand and throws it at the boy saying this time he’s starting with the feet. I love that line and it works to get him talking.

They get to where the gang is. The leader wants the guns, T-Dog’s the sniper (why would you have him as a sniper) and the gang threaten to push Glen off the roof. They get told to come back with the guns.

Rick owes Glen his life. He was an idiot stuck in a tank and Glen saved him. So they take the gang a few guns and their hostage.

Things escalate badly until an old lady shows up and asks Rick not to arrest her grandson. Rick tells her Felipe (the one Daryl shot) is helping them find a missing person. She leads them to Glen who’s not a prisoner and is hanging out with the old people.

The best scene is Glen’s reply to one of them asking what is this? And he replies ‘an asthma attack’. T-Dog says we thought you were being eating by dogs and the camera shows chihuahuas.

Rick pulls Gee aside to have a word. The staff left the old people to die and Gee was the custodian and Felipe was a nurse. Rick’s annoyed because he was going to shoot them all and then the old people would be defenseless and he’d be responsible. Lori would not be happy if he adopted a lot of old people. So Rick shares the guns.

They get back to where they left the van and it’s gone. Meryl’s screwed them over and Daryl thinks he’s going to be taking vengeance back to the camp. Daryl’s already being a good guy and actually caring about the others.

In the camp they’re having a small party with the fish. Ed refuses to join in and doesn’t want Sophia to either but carol stands up to him.

He gets eaten first and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. Then Amy gets eaten and I think I should feel worse about it but we barely know her and I know I can’t stand Andrea so all it means is we get more Andrea screen time.

Shane keeps Lori and Carl safe. Rick shows up and they take out loads of walker with the guns. But loads of people are already dead or dying.

Jim remembers his dream. He was digging graves. I don’t know what I’m meant to do with that information. Is he meant to be psychic? Because I don’t remember anyone else in the series having premonitions and the disease is science based. Maybe it’s just showing how bleak the future is.

I hate the start of this episode because I hate Andrea and she only gets worse as the show goes on.

Daryl is still really entertaining and so was the stuff in the city. It’s easy to see why Daryl became so popular because most of the characters in these early episodes are awful.

Jim digging holes is annoying because it involves all the characters I hate. It just makes me wish the walking dead was about the people protecting the old people in the city.

There wasn’t much walker action until the end and that scene felt like a huge pay off. Now no where is safe and you can’t stay in one place. They haven’t quite learned that lesson yet it takes another season.

Previous The Walking Dead: Tell it to the Frogs                                    Next The Walking Dead: Wildfire

The Walking Dead: Tell it to the Frogs

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Rick reunites with his family but immediately abandons them to go be a hero and save Meryl. Secretly it’s all about the guns he lost but he doesn’t want to spread that around because then he’s less of a hero.

Thoughts:

Meryl’s still on the roof and is a bit delirious. He’s talking to himself and finding it hilarious. Then he has a tantrum so walkers can hear him and starts begging God to save him. Then he gets angry at God, I’m assuming. It’s hard to tell with all the babbling. The only thing clear is that as soon as he realises he can get himself out of his predicament he stops asking God for help.

Back at the camp Lori’s giving Carl a hair cut and Shane’s going to teach him to catch frogs. Then they hear Glen who drives the posh car right up to camp with the car alarm still going.

Everyone jumps on him. Dale tells him to turn it off and Amy wants to know about Andrea. Then they get mad about the noise and the possibility of it drawing walkers. Dale thinks it’s okay because the noise was bouncing around the hills so it’s hard to pinpoint.

Carl gets upset over everyone reuniting. Then he spots his Dad and I can’t stand any of the characters involved but I love this reunion. The way Rick runs to Carl and falls over in his relief at seeing him. Lori just stands in the background stunned until Rick comes up and hugs her too.

Then we cut to around the campfire and Rick’s trying to express his feelings at seeing his family alive and his gratitude to Shane for keeping them that way. Dale decides to ruin the moment with old man wisdom.

Lori and Shane keep having meaningful glances as Rick talks about being disorientated and grateful to Shane.

Shane has to go deal with Ed who’s built his fire too high and Carol apologises for him. I like the little arc that happens for Carol but it takes her a while to stop being the beaten wife and start being interesting.

Still around the camp fire and Dale’s worrying about what they tell Daryl. T-Dog and Rick argue over who’s responsible and it’s so annoying. I hate self righteous people.

Although it is T-Dog’s fault because he dropped the key. Glen says it will sound better coming from a white guy. T-Dog then decides to tell them Meryl’s still alive because he chained the door shut. He’s been sitting on this knowledge for about a day and decided to wait until it’s night to tell anyone.

In their tent and Rick says he knew they were alive because the family albums were gone so they take this moment to look at the albums. Lori apologises for all the bad times and mistakes. They decide to have sex in the tent next to Carl. Lori says he won’t wake up and it makes me wonder if she used to do the same with Shane.

Carol’s washed Rick’s clothes and it actually becomes a plot point at the end of the season. While Glen’s sad because they’re stripping the posh car of parts.

Rick’s been thinking about saving Meryl and Lori hates the idea. She’s right Rick should be protecting his family.

Screaming happens in the woods and the adults go running. Why have they let the kids wander off on their own?

There’s a Walker eating a deer and everyone’s shocked because they never come this far up the mountain which means they’ve run out of food in the city. Apparently no one considered the possibility that people can die anywhere and become walkers. It may not be a walker form the city. Or you know the noise from the car is responsible and Dale was wrong.

They deal with the walker by decapitation and Daryl shows up with a lot of squirrels. Shane goes to talk to Daryl who just wants to know if his brother’s dead. Rick comes out with what he did and Daryl attacks him but they take him down.

Then T-Dog decides to make everything better by telling Daryl he dropped the key. I love his response ‘You couldn’t pick it up’ and T-Dog’s answer ‘I dropped it down a drain’ then Daryl’s reply ‘that supposed to make me feel better’. This is why you should keep your mouth shut if it’s not gong to make the other person feel better.

Then Shane tries to convince Rick not to go get Meryl because he’s not worth it. With Daryl sitting right there who tells him to watch it.

Rick asks Glen to go with them because he’s competent. Then T-Dog volunteers and he’s the opposite of competent. I’m surprised he’s survived this long.

Rick bargains with Dale for bolt cutters. Dale wants his tools that T-Dog left on the roof back and to strip the van of parts.

Shane gives Rick a gun with a bullet for each of them because Rick doesn’t want to fire a gun in the city. As this conversation’s happening Daryl is getting agitated and blowing the horn of the van.

Lori asks Dale where Carl is (and so begins Lori never knowing where Carl is). He’s being taught how to catch frogs by Shane in the Quarry.

The women are washing the clothes and Jackie’s questioning the division of labour while Carol says it’s just the way it is.

They talk about what they miss. Andrea misses her vibrator and Carol agrees. They have fun until Ed comes over and tells them to focus on their work.

Lori sends Carl back to camp and tells Shane off. He told her Rick was dead. He’s not to come near her family again. She also says ‘tell it to the frogs’ so they got the title in again.

In the City they enter the shop and take out walkers quietly with the crossbow. There aren’t that many at all so something must have drawn them off or they were all overreacting when they were there before.

Andrea tells Ed to do his laundry himself if he doesn’t like how it’s done. The other women stand up to him when he starts ordering Carol around. He hits Carol and Shane gets involved.

He takes all his frustrations out on Ed’s face and won’t stop. Shane tells Ed if he lays hands on Carol or Sophia next time he won’t stop.

Carol is distraught at the whole thing and apologises to ED as he’s still on the ground.

Back in the City they get to the roof top and the chain’s still on the door but Meryl has chopped off his own hand and gone. Daryl’s not happy.

The best parts of this episode were Daryl. He’s so funny and he throws himself head first into everything. Without him this episode wouldn’t have been half as entertaining as it was.

I like how different Daryl and Carol are now compared to these early episodes. At the time I found Carol boring and Daryl a thug.

Now the only characters I hate are Dale, Andrea and Lori (who doesn’t seem to have an unemotional rational bone in her body).

Previous The Walking Dead: Guts                                                              Next The Walking Dead: Vatos

The Walking Dead: Guts

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Glen gets Rick out of the tank and to safety. Then we meet a load of characters, most of them I want pushed off the roof, who are trapped in the shop because of Rick being a ‘dumb ass’. So now they’ve got to escape and that involves draping intestines around their necks to smell dead to get past the walkers.

Thoughts:

We meet more of the camp and half of them I’d completely forgotten because most of them are dead. I don’t think that’s a spoiler for the rest of the series because this is a zombie show, lots of people die.

Lori goes off into the woods alone to have sex with Shane and the writers decide to try and trick us into thinking there’s something out there with her so we get lots of noises and someone watching her. I wasn’t fooled the first time I watched this and now it’s just wasting my time.

They have sex and she takes off the wedding ring she has on a chain around her neck. Oh no she’s taking off her dead husband’s wedding ring so she can move on with her life what an awful person.

Then we’re back to the city and I love the shot of the street from above. The walkers are still eating the horse and Rick is still trapped in the tank.

Rick’s talking to Glen on the radio and asks Glen his name but Glen’s to the point and asks if he’s been listening because he’s running out of time. Glen says if he could see what he sees he’d feel so much worse but he should make a run for it with Glen guiding him.

Glen calls them walkers but he also calls them geeks and so do others several times in the episode. Is that an American thing because it seems like a pretty strange thing to call someone as an insult.

Rick makes it to the alley while taking out walkers with his gun. Glen makes fun of Rick for being a sheriff and a dumb ass. They climb a ladder and apparently so can walkers. Glen’s a glass half full kind of guy and says that at least the fall will be what kills them not the walkers eating them. Rick asks him why he helped and Glen says he likes to think someone would do the same for him.

They get inside the shop and there’s Andrea who I hate so much more than Lori. She pulls a gun on Rick and gets in his face about bringing the walkers down on them. She’s right but this reaction’s a bit much.

They show Rick the front of the shop where walkers are trying to get in through the glass doors. One is using a rock to try and smash the doors. They all stand there in full view of the walkers trying to get in, giving the walkers a reason to want to get in.

They talk about trying to get the others on the radio and Rick asks about the refugee camp and Jackie says they’re waiting with biscuits. I love people making fun of Rick.

Shots come from the roof and they find Meryl taking out walkers with a rifle and laughing. T-dog gets angry and Meryl says you should be more polite to a man with a gun. That might be the motto of the series.

Meryl then tosses around a lot of racial slurs, starts a fight, punches Rick who goes flying, pulls a gun and demands they all vote for him as leader. Apparently this is a democracy which is something Rick forgets in later seasons.

Ricks hits him with the abandoned rifle and cuffs him to the roof. Then we get a Rick speech about racism while calling Meryl white trash.

They try the others on the radio again but Andrea’s so pessimistic saying they can’t help anyway. Everything that comes out of Andrea’s mouth is negative.

They decide to try the sewers and so Glen’s got to go down and scout it out. He doesn’t want them all coming with him though. They’ll get him killed if he can’t get out quickly so he only takes one person and sends Rick to go guard the front of the shop because he can shoot. Before this he only came to the city alone so taking people with him is a failure. I think he just took the wrong people.

Rick and Andrea decide to stand in front of the doors again, in full view, instead of watching from behind a counter or something so they don’t rile up the walkers anymore than they already are.

Andrea apologises to Rick, sort of ,for threatening to shoot him. He tells her the safety on her gun is on and shows her how to take it off. You’d have thought Shane would have gone over gun basics with her before she left for the city.

T-dog’s up on the roof with Meryl so we can have more delightful racist banter. Two stereotypes who I hope kill each other. This scene is just Meryl trying to get T-dog to release him and he doesn’t so it’s kind of pointless.

Glen’s found the sewer but there’s bars that would take a while to get through and a walker with a dead rat on the other side so we can have a jump scare.

Back to Andrea and Rick still in front of the walkers. Andrea wants to take a necklace for her sister but worries its looting. Rick says he doesn’t think those rules apply anymore. Another theme of the series.

Walkers shatter the first set of doors so they go to the roof to look at options. There’s a construction site and there’ll be spare keys in the office but they need a distraction.

To get there they cover themselves with walker guts so they smell dead. They snatch a walker form the alley and Rick goes to chop it with the Axe but can’t do it. He goes through the walkers pockets and has a mini funeral for him. He was an organ donor called Wayne.

Then Rick starts chopping and you don’t really see anything but the noises are enough. I’ve seen a post mortem before and I’ll never forget the sound of the ribs cracking open.

They start smearing it on coats they’ve put on to protect their clothes. Glen keeps saying ‘oh it’s bad’ as they drape intestines around his neck.

Rick gives T-dog the key to Meryl’s cuffs then decides they need more guts. See how they got the title of the episode in there. Then it’s out to the street where they sort of move like walkers but they’ve both got weapons which makes one walker give them a funny look.

On the roof they watch their progress with binoculars. Clouds gather and it’s obvious what’s going to happen.

Back at the camp Shane’s teaching Carl knots when the scavengers get through on the radio but only manage to say they’re trapped. Great now you’ve panicked everyone.

Shane says they can’t risk the rest of the group. Amy who’s Andrea’s sister tells him off. I remember her being so much more likable than Andrea.

Back to Glen and Rick on the street and it starts raining. The walkers start noticing them so they run and get over the fence of the construction site but apparently walkers can climb fences as well.

They get the keys to a lorry and drive off. They stop and Rick breaks the window of a car setting the alarm off which will be the distraction and tells Glen to lead the walkers away.

Up on the roof and they all leave Meryl only T-dog gets a conscience and comes back to set him free but drops the key down a drain accidentally. So he chains the door to the roof closed so nothing can get up there.

Walkers break through the second set of doors and chase them onto the lorry. Meanwhile Meryl’s having a tantrum on the roof and Glen’s having fun driving the expensive posh car.

This episode introduces us to a lot of characters and not all of them are likable. Meryl’s not meant to be because he’s a villain. He’s racist, sexist, selfish and an idiot but good with a gun. So he’s a great villain that you want to see dead but makes things more entertaining. Where as I’ve already had enough of Andrea. Nobody that unstable should have a gun. At this point Glen is my favourite character because he’s actually useful and he lightens the mood.

There weren’t enough horror moments to make this a good episode. The sewers were too brief, there was no point in adding that as a subplot. Walking through the walkers was good and Glen makes everything better. Especially when he tries to talk to Rick but a walker notices so he starts making walker noises instead.

Next episode we get some pay off with Rick showing up at the camp and finding his family.

Previous The Walking Dead: Days Gone By                                          Next The Walking Dead: Tell it to the Frogs

The Walking Dead: Days Gone By

Spoilers for the episode

The Story:

Rick wakes up in a hospital after the zombie apocalypse and manages to survive long enough to get back to his house where his family is missing. He gets saved by a father and son and decides to head to Atlanta to find a refugee camp.

Thoughts:

The show opens on Rick stopping to get petrol where at some point a lot of people were camped out. There’s a lot of dead people in cars and loads of abandoned tents. Basically every thing’s abandoned and rotting.

Then Rick comes across a little girl walker who picks up a teddy. She might be the only walker to do something human in the show just to trick a character into thinking she’s human. Rick has to shoot her in the head. That sets the tone for the rest of the series. Doing things you don’t want to do in order to survive and every thing is miserable.

It’s weird seeing Rick back in the uniform, clean, with short hair and without a beard. I haven’t seen these episodes in a while and I’m used to a Rick who hasn’t had a shower or cut his hair in a long time.

Then we get the title sequence which is one of the few of all the TV shows I watch that I actually like to watch. The music and the images are a great combination to show the lives that have been destroyed.

The momentum gets ruined by the next scene being a flashback to before the outbreak with Rick and Shane in their police car.

All this scene does is show they’re best friends and are both sexist. They could have easily cut this. It’s shown later that they’re friends when Shane won’t leave Rick’s bedside in the hospital. We don’t need to be told he’s got problems with his wife that can be shown later when we actually meet her and they get to interact. This way she’s made to be the bad guy before we even meet her. No wonder I never liked Lori.

So Rick gets shot doing cop business and wakes up from a coma in hospital with no one around. Just like in ‘28 Days Later’ but he’s not naked.

The flowers are dead which I’m sure is meant to be symbolic and the clock’s stopped so it must be linked to the Internet to keep the exact time because the batteries wouldn’t run out that quickly.

Rick manages to get to the hallway which is wrecked. The lights flicker ominously and there’s blood splattered every where.

He finds a half eaten corpse and whoever was shooting couldn’t have been aiming for the head because there aren’t any dead walkers on the floor.

I love when he finds the room with the walkers barricaded inside. The noise they make and their long fingers trying to stretch through the gap in the door. Even though I’ve seen it before I’m still waiting for something to get him from behind as he stares at the door in horror.

Then it’s on to the pitch black stairway with only matches to light the way. This so freaked me out when I first saw it. The one thing this show does well is horror.

Every loud noise he makes is cringe inducing. The emergency door clanging as it opens and closes. It seems louder because there’s no music. They only play music when they want you to be sad.

The mass of bodies outside and the helicopter gives you an idea of the scale of the disaster.

Then Rick steals a half eaten walker’s bike. She’s got webisodes dedicated to how she got there. It’s a little mini story of the first days of the outbreak.

He gets to his house and starts shouting for Lori and Carl before he breaks down sobbing on the floor. The only reason he hasn’t been eaten yet is that he’s the main character and it’s early days for the show so everything is a bit easier. He then goes outside and tries to make friends with a walker but the plot intervenes and he gets hit by a shovel and saved before he can die.

His saviours are Morgan and his son Duane. Morgan shoots the walker and then interrogates Rick about his injuries to see if he’s been bitten.

Rick, who’s probably got a concussion now, looses consciousness and wakes up tied to a bed. Morgan sets the rules which involves staying away from the walkers.

This father and son are so much better than Rick and Carl. I’d rather follow these guys instead. Morgan makes sure his son has manners and talks properly even though it’s a zombie apocalypse.

Turns out that Morgan’s wife is a walker and she keeps returning to the house they stayed in when she died like the zombies in ‘Dawn of the Dead’ returned to the mall. She also still knows how to turn a door handle. I can’t think of any other walkers doing that so she’s another one that still acts a bit human. It’s creepy as Rick looks through the peephole and it’s like she’s looking right back.

Rick takes them to the police station where there’s running water and they clear out the weapons.

They each take a radio and Rick promises to turn it on at a certain time each day so if they come to Atlanta they can find each other.

So Rick goes back to the park with the half eaten walker to waste time killing it then he drives off to where the episode started.

Morgan sets his gun up on the second floor and starts shooting walkers to draw his wife out so he can deal with her. We don’t see him shoot her because he breaks down crying when he aims at her and that’s the last we see. I think he doesn’t do it but I can’t remember what’s said in later episodes.

Rick’s going to Atlanta because Morgan heard they were setting up a refugee camp and that’s where they were going before his wife got bitten.

Rick tries to radio ahead to anyone who might be listening. He gets through to survivors but he can’t hear them.

They say he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. Combine this with Morgan telling him to stay away from large groups of walkers and that’s a good incentive to stay out of the city.

The camp of survivors have an argument about what to do about him and if they should warn him. This includes Lori, Shane and Carl. Shane and Lori argue over putting warning signs up on the road. So the first time we see Lori it’s her nagging Shane and then storming off. Not a great introduction for any character unless you want to make them the bad guy. I think they want to villanise her.

Then Shane follows and calms her down. Turns out they’re having sex making her the bad guy in her marriage because the shot goes from her kissing Shane to a shot of Rick gazing longingly at a picture of his family. The devoted husband trying to find his family while his wife cheats on him.

Rick runs out of petrol before he gets to Atlanta and finds a horse instead. The next scene where he says he’s rusty and the horse takes off at a gallop is always funny to me.

So he decides to ride the horse into Atlanta despite Morgan telling him to avoid large groups of walkers.

The music disappears again so the noise of the hooves stands out and you know something bad is about to happen.

The horse at least gets nervous even if Rick is too stupid to. He says ‘it’s just a few, nothing we can’t out run’. Where did he think most of the population of that city had gone?

Then he sees a helicopter and charges off after it right into a herd of walkers. He tries to evade them but they come from all directions and the horse goes down.

The poor horse gets eaten while Rick looses the guns but makes it under a tank and we get a moment when you think he’s got no where to go as walkers approach from both ends. He puts the gun to his head as he sees a hatch up into the tank.

He gets in safely but there’s a body that he doesn’t check is actually dead and sure enough it comes alive and he has to shoot it. Deafening himself in the process. He opens the top hatch but has to close it quickly as walkers start climbing the tank. Now he’s stuck.

He might have also learned the number one rule always check the bodies are truly dead. The other rule is that if something nice happens or you feel a bit happy something bad will happen to crush that feeling. In this case make a horse friend, have fun riding said horse. Horse gets eaten graphically in front of you.

So he thinks he’s trapped and we get Glenn’s voice on the radio calling him ‘the dumb-ass in the tank’. I love Glenn.

This is one of the best episodes they ever did. The horror parts are really good and while there is gore it doesn’t feel like that’s the focus. There’s not a lot of talking either. Conversation and moralising isn’t this shows strong point.

The bad parts are Shane and Lori who I hate equally but we don’t see a lot of this episode. Rick isn’t annoying yet but I think that’s because he hasn’t said a lot yet.

My favourite things about post apocalyptic worlds is the story in the set dressing which they do well. All the wreckage and things in odd places making you wonder how they got there. I also love the random tank Rick gets stuck in. It makes me want to know what happened to the people in it.

Next The Walking Dead: Guts