Review – The Walking Dead: Season 1 Episode 4

cross posted at Simply Television

I presume you’ve had to take a rest to recover, as I did, from that ordeal. Astounding. Heartbreaking. Jaw dropping. What the heck? Who exactly is left now? And where is Merle?
 
This episode was packed. Amy and Andrea fishing. Jim totally creeping everyone out. Trying to find Merle. Trying to save Glenn. The gang – “vatos” – who turn out to be good guys. Jim’s dream. Truck stolen by Merle. The campfire. Ed recovering in the tent. And of course…
 
Again I was reminded of LOST in this episode, most especially in those last few minutes. Just like in LOST, no one in The Walking Dead is safe. And the question of leadership:

Guillermo: “People here, they all look to me now, I don’t even know why.”
Rick: “Because they can.”

Did anyone else hear echoes of Jack saying he never asked to be a leader, and Locke’s response “and yet they all treat you like one”?
 
Too many things happened this week to find an obvious central theme, but several things stood out for me. The episode title roughly translates to “dudes” or “homies” –and refers to the newly-revealed gang who were transformed before our eyes from scary ruthless profiteers to valiant soldiers and protectors of the weak. How beautifully perfect was it that it was the grandmother who caused them all to see things as they really were. The dogs were an excellent sight gag. And a terrific synopsis of the conundrum of the series: “Guess the world has changed.” “No, it’s the same as it ever was, the weak get taken.”
 
The search for Merle. “Any man can pass out from blood loss, no matter how tough he is” was an excellent point, and a reminder that, as unbelievable as the whole premise of this show is, no one is a superman. “We can help look for a few blocks around but only if we keep a level head” from Rick, with Daryl’s response “I could do that” – WHAT? Could it possibly be that Merle’s brother can be reasonable? This may prove to be excellent news for the group.
 
The Jim story was completely creepy. No one says it but it’s clear he’s digging graves. “Sorry I scared your girl, your boy… You’re not scared now, are you?” Are you kidding me? These kids have seen zombies. Still, Jim’s words to the boy “there ain’t anything that’s gonna stop him from getting back to you and your mom, I promise you that” He was right, of course – he had that dream …
 
Once that settled down, the camp is lulled into a false – ridiculously false – sense of calm and security. I have to pee…
 
Amy’s bite is straight out of Jaws. The special effects coordinator actually played that zombie, to ensure that it was done perfectly. And then the last reminder of LOST for the night – who ARE those people who are being attacked? Did we even know there were others in the camp besides those people who are part of the “in crowd”? Other than the scene where the group confronts Jim while he was still digging, have we seen these others? This would be my only complaint about the series to date; they needed to show us more of the other people there, so that we would understand that not everyone who was attacked was a main player. A tiny complaint that should be lost in the sea of accolades this series, and this episode in particular, must earn.
 
Two episodes left in this first series. I. Can’t. Wait.
 
Favorite line: “I’m not strolling the streets of Atlanta with just my good intentions, okay?”

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