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.

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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