63 min., 2011
Written by Ardeth Bey/Robert Kirkman
Directed by Ernest Dickerson/Gwyneth Horder-Payton
My rating: ★★★★★
Second verse, ain’t same as the first.
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Sheriff Rick Grimes after waking from a coma, finding his family and a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world. He attempts to lead his family and survivors to safety at Fort Bennett after the CDC and its lone scientist are destroyed, crushing any hope they had of finding a cure.
The following review is rated ABMT (Angry Black Man Talking), it contains several rants that appear at random. The views here do not reflect the thoughts of a completely sane person. They are being presented by a person of African-American descent who has grown up in a rather unseemly portion of town, taken recreational narcotics and has been molested by a clown. Feel free to skip certain paragraphs, if you simply want a recap and continued review of the episode. Hipster, child, feline and vegan discretion is advised.
Hey there ladies and corpse reanimating germs, looks like I’m back in the saddle with our favorite cowboy Rick Grimes and a whole new season of the Walking Dead to review. Due to the popular demand (of one person who shall remain nameless, thanks mom) I’m back with Rick and company since last season’s debacle with TS-19 at the CDC last season. The season opens with Rick talking into his walkie to Morgan (whom we haven’t seen past episode 1) giving him a very nice recap of events so far warning him away from Atlanta and directing him to their next destination, Fort Bennett.
They hit the road and at some point reach the congested highway backed up with abandoned cars with dried out corpses still resident in the seats. They would like to move on but that darn radiator hose has blown on the RV again. So, they stop to make repairs and check the cars for supplies but soon enough the impromptu shopping spree is brought to a halt when a herd of walkers starts heading their way. They all scurry to find shelter under various cars and struggle not to make noise as the herd passes. Things were going fine until Andrea gets cornered on the RV and can’t put together her gun to cap the zombie breaking down the bathroom door. She stabs him in the eye with a screwdriver thanks to Dale. Outside a walker at the end of the herd discovers Sophia under the car and two chase her into the woods, forcing Rick to come tumbling after. Rick catches up with her but then they have to split up again as he tries to lure the walkers away from their position. Sophia doesn’t return per Rick’s instructions and this prompts him and Darryl to go search for her. Meanwhile Lori and Shane have words about the way he has been so cold to her and her son. She reminds him of his actions at the CDC and plainly states this is the reason for her own guarded nature. He states it was a terrible mistake but that he has grown tired of the tip toeing around them and that he is planning to ride off into the sunset as soon as he is able.
With the sun setting, the search for the young girl is called off till morning, leaving her mother to point an accusing finger at Rick for leaving her alone in the first place. The next morning, as the search is getting ready to begin, Amy asks for her gun back which Dale is holding on to under the pretense of preventing its loud use and drawing a herd of walkers to their location. He claims it makes him uncomfortable that she has it and she reads him the riot act for interfering with her choice to end it back at the CDC. Dale thinks she should be grateful that he saved her life, but instead she says she didn’t go through with it because she did not want his blood on her hands. So everyone other than a consistently clumsy T-Dog with his mangled arm and Dale go out tromping all over the woods in search of Sophia. Andrea finds out Shane’s plans and decides to jump ship and go with him, leading to an awkward moment between them. They hear church bells and head over to a chapel filled with zombies rather than a happy and sheltered Sophia. They dispatch of them and Rick asks god for a sign that there’s still hope in this world. The group decides to split up all Scooby Doo style, Daryl and Glen go back to camp with the women while Shane, Rick and Carl go search the area leading to an all-male bonding session, Shane, Carl, and Rick happen upon a buck in the woods and it stands perfectly still long enough for Carl to get within arm’s reach. It’s a moment when Rick can see his prayers answered… until of course someone fires off a round that goes through the buck and nails Carl. End episode.
I didn’t say much at the beginning but the one running theme of T-Dog ruins everything is beginning to drive me a little crazy. The whole inept, bumbling, fumbling slapstick can’t get right black man routine is beginning to rub me the wrong way. First he drops that key last season, and he’s barely any real help in the group, then this episode he flays his arm open so wide it may as well be a tray of appetizers for the undead. If his only purpose is to be the group buffoon or a plot device I would rather they just get to chomping on him already. I mean I understand the need for each group to have its Gilligan but damn man this is just a bit much. Other than that the relationships this season seem to be growing deeper, Rick seems to be firmly in his role as the unelected leader and Shane is staying in his place as second in command and hating every second of it. They are building relationships and keeping them relevant to the events that will lead them forward rather than all the filler I saw in season 1. I’m glad they got back on task this season and I hope that there is more of this to come. It seems inevitable that a show based on anything has to stick rigidly to the character everyone came to know and love from the comic or movie or video game the first season. But as they gravitate toward what they want to show of the character and make it their own you see real acting rather than a caricature of the person that originated the role. I don’t wanna jump the semiautomatic shotgun here but it looks like that’s what’s in store this season. I am truly impressed. May all your films bring fright and I will see you next time with my review of episode 2: Bloodletting. It’s good to be back.Have You Read...?