Daryl: “Mm-hmm gotta be.”
Well, The Walking Dead we know, love and cringe at is back in all its gory glory. The initial scene with Karen in the bathroom is one of the creepiest on the show yet. I had trouble watching it. And while I hate child zombies, pre-pubescent ones are just nasty. Patrick as a zombie/walker was horrifying. You can’t help remembering what an adorable dweeb he was but then he just walks in and starts eating a guy who is sleeping with no fuss. Did he know to rip out his throat so he wouldn’t make a noise? I was on the edge of my seat wondering who was next and the flash to Rick and Judith didn’t help. While I wouldn’t say I “enjoyed” this bit, it was really well done.
One of the things I appreciate about The Walking Dead is they follow up an excellent piece of horror with a return to an examination of the human condition. After the set-up provided by the premiere we can see the threats and issues that will plague our band of survivors this season. It is interesting that although one of the threats will be the walkers, it looks like the big bad this season will be something pre-apocalypse – contagion of a very human (and pig) kind. Although I’ve never seen or heard of a flu that kills this quickly or nastily, it is easy to guess that we are going to lose a whole lot more of our ‘red shirts’ after a quick introduction (or not). It also won’t take much to tear apart the peaceful, co-operative community that has been built in the prison. I’m really not sure if Karen and David were quickly disposed of after dying of the flu or if someone slaughtered them like the little piglets that were sacrificed to the walkers threatening the fence. And I don’t think Tyreese is going to care and Tyreese on a rampage is a problem all in itself.
The theme of ‘not coming back’ was evident in the struggle that Rick was having in keeping to his farmer idea of himself. He has purposely not carried his gun or engaged in killing the walkers. He didn’t like what being a part of that was doing to him or Carl. By the end of the episode it’s clear that he doesn’t really have a choice to engage or not. If he wants to keep the people he loves safe, he has to be part of the battle against the walkers. Although it seems you can’t go back to who you were maybe you can find a new way to maintain your humanity and survive. I think the best illustrations of this are Beth and Carol. They haven’t lost their kindness or caring but they are not hiding from reality either. Beth knows that people are dying but gives herself time to be ready to deal with it. Carol is willing to care for Lizzie and Mika as if they were her own but she will also make sure they know how to kill when they need to kill.
I find the children one of the most interesting parts of the show. How will children grow up in this world? I was fairly sure that Carl was working his way to psychopath status a la Governor but he seems to have mellowed and is working hard to please his father. Perhaps, even in a world as messed up as this one, children still look to the adults to model themselves after. Once his father became saner, Carl could as well. At the same time, children can lead in adaptation. The children are quite happy to learn about weapons and obviously have not told their parents. Carl encourages his father to take the lead again. He knows that he needs to.
There were some nice tidbits in this episode. We get to see the council in action and they are willing to make the hard choices of separating those who are sick. It looks like they have also developed a well-rehearsed plan for a walker breach in the prison. We got a little bit of Michonne’s back story. There was obviously a baby in her past. Quite possibly it was hers.
Bits and Pieces
So some crazy is feeding the zombies and drawing them to the fence. This would mean they have to catch the rats and go out at night on their own with a flashlight.
6 a.m. is rise and shine at the prison. I wonder why?
Things I could live without – zombie coming apart through the fence. Poor little piglets getting sliced. It’s bad enough that they are going to be eaten by walkers.
Things I could live without but definitely admire the special effects – the guy standing up and losing his intestines.
The zombies are acting very herd-like. After the gate was closed they went right back to the fence. Can they learn? Do they know they are bringing the fence down?
The group has a doctor now – Dr. S.
This group is really bad at quarantine. Carl hugs his dad and then goes back to Michonne and Maggie. Sasha joins the council who have all been exposed. You don’t wait until people start coughing!
Tyreese: “It used to be that we all had acquaintances, people moving in and out of your life. No big. See them down the road sometime. Now a handful of people you know, that’s it. They might as well be the only people left in the world.”
Rick: “I got other plans involving dirt and cucumbers.”
Glenn: “Death row? I’m not sure that’s much of an upgrade.”
Mika: “She’s messed up. She’s not weak.”
Daryl: “For what it’s worth, where you see mistakes, I see when the shit hits, you’re standing there with the shovel.”
Beth: “When you care about people, hurt is kinda part of the package.”
Beth: “I just sing her what I like. I figure it’s better than ashes or cradles fallin’ out of trees.”