The Walking Dead: “What Lies Ahead”

Posted on October 17, 2011

Maybe we’re reading too much into it, but “What Lies Ahead,” might just be genius-level writing simply as the title of this premiere episode of season two. Not only does it reference the title of a horror movie, What Lies Beneath; not only does it serve to explain that this episode is setting the tone, plots, and character arcs for the coming season, but it also serves as a sort of pun: the dead don’t lie beneath these characters, they’re literally ahead of them – and behind them, and surrounding them on all sides.

Right from the get-go we are thrown back into the world of The Walking Dead at roughly the exact moment we last saw them; on the road out of Atlanta, the smoking ruins of the CDC in their wake, and Fort Benning (hopefully) on the horizon. And just in case we all forgot what the characters are all up against, we find them in the middle of a horrifying herd of walkers, in a set piece that sets the tone for the series: horror is sometimes terrifyingly still and quiet. Hands up: who held their breath through that entire scene as the cast huddled under cars in mortal terror, hands clamped over mouths for fear of making a sound? And wasn’t there something strangely beautiful and disturbing about that threesome of zombies just sitting in the pews of an empty church, facing the altar, seemingly out of instinct, because that’s what they did in life? Three mindless beings, going through the motions of prayer and meditation; a tiny pantomime congregation.

But we have to be honest. As much as the horror in this show can be unnervingly top-notch, it’s the character work that makes the story and there were times – just as there were last season – when we found ourselves rolling our eyes or fidgeting in our seats because people were saying unlikely things or doing unnecessarily stupid things. Foremost among these were any of the scenes involving Lori and Shane. A reminder: the very last scene these two had together resulted in him sexually assaulting her and her leaving bloody scratch marks in his neck. Now, she’s berating him for not being nice to her son and pleading with him not to leave the group. Um…what? One of the things we like about Lori – about most of the characters, in fact – is that they’re very human; meaning, they’re inconsistent and sometimes hard to root for. But this was a bit too much for us to handle. We might buy the idea of her having conflicting feelings about Shane if he was more of a romantic figure, but he is constantly exposed as a dangerous, potentially violent piece of shit of a man. Oh sure, there are shades of grey there, but if they want us to accept that she somehow has feelings for him – even after he attempted to force himself on her and she violently resisted him – they’re going to have to do a lot better than that to convince us of it. But – again, in that nuanced way of drawing characters in conflicting shades – she did have that wonderful moment where she basically told the rest of the group to get over their shit and stop blaming her husband for not being as perfect a hero as they’d all like him to be.

As for Rick, he continues to walk that fine line between Barney Fife and John Wayne, and we still love him for it. That he can be so completely unaware of the drama playing out between his wife and his best friend doesn’t exactly make him look like the smartest guy in the world, but that still doesn’t take away from his moments of great heroism, like going after Sophia without hesitating, or his moments of great heart, like pleading with God to give him some form of hope because the hope he has is only an illusion and he’s hanging on by his fingernails.

Andrea also got a great moment when she tore into Dale for not allowing her to be her own person and own her decisions. We can’t come firmly down on her side because she is being kind of a bitch about it to him, but she has the right to determine her fate, especially in a world like this. And Dale infantilizing her, even if it’s with the best intentions, is understandably infuriating. In fact, Dale, as likeable as he is, does come across this episode as somewhat controlling; not only with Andrea, but also with the group as a whole, by lying to them all about the status of his RV. Yes, he’s doing it for good-hearted reasons, but it’s another instance of him taking decisions out of people’s hands against their will, and in this case, against their knowledge. He’s an interesting character and the fact that he sets himself somewhat apart from – or above – the group gives him a slightly darker edge.

But we still find ourselves yelling at these characters for their stupidity. For all the talk about staying in each other’s sight lines, they all wander away from each other with a frequency that makes no sense. Given everything they’ve been through, the way they sauntered all over that highway before the herd came was a little unbelievable. Then again, the staging on that scene was odd, because Dale was supposedly keeping watch on top of the RV but somehow missed the gigantic herd of zombies until they were right upon them. In addition, we couldn’t understand at all why the group was hanging around that church for such a long time knowing that a child was missing somewhere in the woods. Why would Carol spend all that time praying instead of tearing through the rest of them to help her find her child? Sure; great character moment, but it had us saying “Hello? Did everyone forget the missing girl and the sun going down? Pray later.” And why the hell did Lori and Rick take Carl into the woods with them? Why did she leave him with Rick and Shane? Don’t tell us it was because she wants Shane to play nice with him because that just makes her seem reckless.

Still, there was way more to like than to complain about here. Several conflicts and storylines have been set up or continued, from the inexplicable triangle of Shane, Lori, and Rick, to the missing Sophia, to Andrea and Shane’s plan to leave the group, and possibly to a darker side of Dale emerging. And to top it off, we got another kid shot, just like in the premiere episode of season one. Horror, melodrama, kids getting shot and an impromptu zombie autopsy just to see if he happened to eat a little girl recently. What more could you ask for from you horror TV? A solid opening to what looks to be another great season.

Two bits o’housekeeping: Please don’t spoil anything from the comic series in the comments section, especially now, when certain events from the comics are taking center stage in the story. Secondly, to the tiny handful of people who asked what happened to our Boardwalk Empire posts, the fact that only a tiny handful asked is indicative of why we’re taking a break from them. The topic simply doesn’t get much of a response. BE isn’t the easiest show in the world to write about on a weekly basis, and with The Walking Dead back, we’d rather focus on the crowd-pleasers. We may check in on the show from time to time.



[Photo Credit: AMC]

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  • MilaXX

    Visually last night was awesome, but I completely agree that these folks continue to be a bunch of ninnies. Why spread out like that? Why aren’t the kids locked up in the RV while they re-con the area? Why didn’t Dale see that herd of walkers until they were right up on them?
    None the less I enjoyed the show last night, it’s not Breaking Bad, but it was an enjoyable hour of tv.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry, I’ve posted about this before in another post, but dear T and Lo, is there a way of configuring Disqus somehow so that it’s easier to maneuver through big threads, such as the “Blah Blah” PR thread a few posts down? I’m enjoying reading it but long threads are so difficult to read/go through. New posts keep getting posted right below the posts they’re replying to (which in one sense makes it easier to follow that particular conversation, but also makes the whole thing harder); all the page numbers aren’t linked at the bottom so you have to click through each page to get to a middle page; and you can’t right click and open a page number in another thread because it sends you right back to page 1. At the very least, does Disqus have a feature that allows you to open the entire thread (no matter how long-ass it is) in just one page? Sometimes what I do is stop the loading process just as it’s about to be completed so I can see most of the comments on one page, though without the formatting so it’s hard to follow.

    Sorry for the long OT post, just wondering if there’s anything to be done about it (if I’m not the only one frustrated by it), or if at least there’s something I can do on my end to make the reading process easier. Thank you guys!

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t watch this show S1 but got sucked into the marathon yesterday. (On the couch with a skewed neck/back thing going on)  Now I am hooked but dear lord yes, they do make some very bad decisions that fly in the face of clearly stated objectives.  “Do not seperate, stay in sight” “Oh, I’m just going to walk around over here alone for a bit.  la de da de da…. ZOMBIES!”  “Kids, never leave my sight.” “Hi, I’m Carl and I am just going to wander around over here and climb into cars full of dead people and look for huge scary weapons.  AAlone.  Out of sight. La de da de da….. DEAD PEOPLE!”    It is a visually fun show and I think I am going to enjoy it a lot.

  • Jessica Rowe

    You are spot on about Lori!  Yeah, you just tried to rape me, but please be nice to my son?  I was so confused. It’s still a great show though, and I love Daryl.  Somehow, redneck with a cross-bow just seems to do it for me.

    • Anonymous

      yeah! what’s up with that? somehow they managed to make Daryl likable… I was surprised at myself for liking him…

      • Anonymous

        It took me awhile during S1 to recognize Daryl.  Did anyone notice that he’s Murphy from the Boondock Saints?

    • Anonymous

      My feeling was that Lori doesn’t want to act like there is any problem between her and Shane because she is afraid that then Rick will find out that she slept with Shane.  And if Shane leaves, Rick will wonder why, again possibly leading to him finding out.   

    • I don’t see the problem with Lori, actually.  And there’s a good reason…

      In apocalyptic stories, women very often revert to a very old mentality of “whatever keeps me and my child alive.” Be nice to a raptist?  Absolutely.  Sleep with the strongest man in the group regardless of personal feelings?  Constantly.  And it’s not unbelievable.  Women have done this throughout human history in times of crisis.  In fact, if I thought keeping him around would keep my kid alive, you can bet I wouldn’t say boo about the attempted rape.  It’s a lesser of two evils kind of thing, and for women in that kind of world, EVERYTHING is less important than keeping a child safe.

      • Anonymous

        If keeping her child safe is THE most important thing then why in the world does Lori let her son go out of the line of sight AND also let him go off into the woods to find the girl. Twice she lets him go off. Because she’s tired of being the “bad guy”? WTH? That’s what makes Lori annoying and sometimes stupid. But all the characters have done stupid things.

    • Anonymous

      Late to the party and then some, but I´m going to take a wild guess here and think that she chose to dismiss it. Considering, this is hardly the most traumatic thing that has happened, and making a big deal out of it might seem too much work when she has other concerns. Plus, I think that by now, they are all masters at the repress-and-deny dance. 
      And I admit I kind of get it. It is possible that she doesn´t want Shane to leave the group because he´s holding him as plan B, in case anything happens to Rick. There might be feelings involved too, for both Shane and Rick, but were I there, I would be doing my level best to increase my son´s chances of survival. I rather he have a second father figure that can protect him even if I have to swallow down my own feelings about it.

  • Christina MacDonnell

    Not spoiling anything – but the reason there may have been some inconsistencies with character building in this episode might have to do with the writers trying to follow more closely the storyline from the comics.  I think it’s a better choice than all the leeway from last season, and it makes me excited for what’s to come.  So for a little bit, there may be some character gaps while they get back on track.  All I’ll say.

  • I love that there’s a zombie show on TV, but I’m beginning to think that this is all the allure the show has. It’s about zombies, and people love them some zombies. For the most part, last season was ham acting and poor plotting. The season two premiere had some good stuff, but the characters are mostly still awful and the dialogue (especially the opening Rick monologue) is cringe-worthy and sloppily put together. The highway setpiece gave me hope for the show, everything else left me cold. Also, I can’t mention anything from the comic, but there was a (I believe) sexist alteration to her character immediately visible in this episode that left me incredibly annoyed (man needs to show her how to use a gun, anybody?). Add this to Lori’s insanely bizarre reactions to Shane her would-be-rapist, and this is another horrific example of males writing for female characters (see: Kate Austen, Claire Littleton, Shannon Rutherford, etc. of LOST).

    • Terence Ng

      That was sort of the appeal for the comic for a while, though it had more moments of excellent writing. It eventual settles into human drama cliches. It seems like right now, the show is also passing through everything you’re supposed to expect from the human condition of living in a zombie apocalypse that you’ve seen before.

      I got pulled into the marathon last night and caught the premiere. I thought it was all good enough. but the intro with the walkie monologue was so cheesy and ham-fisted, I got hungry. But seriously, for a writer like Kirkman, I was disappointed that the opening was such a cliche.

      Overall, the season seems worth watching. It’s better than most things on TV, and occupied a genre few shows have done (since Dark Shadows, and until  American Horror Story, which is excellent, btw).

      And personally, I also found Lori’s characterization and demands to be ludicrous. The way she’s being written is just making her come off as an insane person. I also think Shane’s been written like an average person caught in a ridiculous life and death situation. I don’t think it depicts him as being abnormally mentally unhinged. He tried to save his friend’s life, heard his heartbeat and figured he was dead, took care of his best friend’s wife and kid, only to have it all ripped away from him when his best friend returns (which is a complete conflicting interest for him, since the guy is his best friend). On top of that, the woman he loves and cared for hates him so much for “lying” to her (when he actually didn’t) that she hates him and wants him to have nothing to do with her son, which is basically a big “eff you” for trying to care for them and love them, and then she turns around and goes into hysterics when he wants to leave and actually tries NOT to have anything to do with her son. He beats up a vicious woman-beater, and freaks out when they’re trapped in a building that’s about to explode, which are all things I would expect a regular person to do.

      The only truly reprehensible thing he did was assault Lori, which, while inexcusable, doesn’t come out of a vacuum–he’s not just trying to rape her because he saw her walking down the street. And then, after he does it, it makes him realize that he can’t be around her or any of them and he wants to take off. But of course, Lori has a problem with THAT too…

      If it wasn’t for the moments where Lori tells everyone to cool it, I would think she’s the most toxic person in the Lori/Shane/Rick triangle.

  • Anonymous

    The only reason I didn’t mention the lack of a BE post last week was because I didn’t want to be a pest.  But every time you posted something new, I wanted to reply with “this post needs more BE”.  

    • Yeah, same here. 🙁 So sad to hear that you’re taking a break from the BE recaps. I’ll have to catch up on Walking Dead with my DVDs. Too many shows!

    • Anonymous

      Same.  I haz a sad.  Also, Chalky White could pwn the zombies with just a look. 

    • Yep, I’ll be missing the BE recaps too! I thought last night’s episode was fantastic, especially the scenes with Angela and Harrow.

    • Absolutely! I never commented because I didn’t know where to!  LOOOOOOVE your BE posts…and all your TV posts, actually.

  • Bummer about BE — one of the first things I did Monday morning was click over here to hear your thoughts about the newest episode! I think I’m taking a break from Walking Dead myself and will catch up when the new season is on DVD. Too many other shows now, and too little time.

  • Anonymous

    It was such a great episode! The character work was solid and the horror was intense. But I do wonder if they’re going to revisit the topic of Merle and explain what happens there. And I really like Daryl, he’s probably my favorite right now.

  • Anonymous

    I will say the acting on both the part of Rick and Shane was outstanding in the final moments of the show.  The pure joy and elation in their eyes while watching Carl go towards the buck, the pride you saw from both of them (showing you Shane really does love the boy), then when he was shot, the looks of horror on their face and the way Rick buckled just a bit, it was masterful.  I sat there watching that scene and I knew the other shoe was about to drop for poor Carl.  I thought it would be zombie, I was wrong.  I don’t think I exhaled during the entire “under car scene” and I thought that it was great to show Daryl being the one who rescued whomever the guy who was bleeding everywhere, what a stark contrast to his brother.  Daryl was also the one who went into the woods to help Rick and Sophia.  I think that is why I love this show so much, all of the characters have flaws, but are still capable of being great people when push comes to shove.  It is that sort of “everything is falling apart” mentality that you expect.  Sometimes they are gigantic douches and others they rise up and show you how great humanity can be.  This is why this show is head and shoulders above most everything else on TV.  I also LOVED the moment when Lori stood up for Rick, saying “you want him to be a leader because you don’t want to make the decisions, but then you get angry with him for the decisions he makes”.  This is so true of humans.  We blame those who step up as leaders while refusing to do much about it ourselves. 

  • I never thought I would say this but right now, Daryl is my favorite character.  Interesting that his feelings towards T-bone have changed completely, given that he has saved him twice now.  Daryl seems to be the voice of reason most of time.  Seems his survival skills are way above anyone else at this point.

    • suz72350

      Yes! Me too. Daryl’s survival skills are what’s saving our crew so far. 

    • Mary McClelland

      Ditto. LOVE LOVE LOVE me some Daryl. 

    • I know! Daryl was the most level headed out of the bunch and kicked major zombie butt! I want to be on Daryl’s team when the zombie apocalypse comes.

  • Anonymous

    What I still don’t get is why they don’t seem to worry about getting zombie blood all over themselves. It’s splattered on their faces and all over their hands and clothes. Is a bite now the only thing that turns one into a zombie? I also wish I would stop watching this show right before bedtime. It was zombie nightmares all night long!

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I kept wondering why being covered in zombie blood is no longer a problem. And there’s no way I’d be able to watch this before bed. I was definitely holding my breath during the highway zombie herd scene.

      • I watched this alone right before bed. BIG mistake. I kept “hearing” zombies outside all night long!

        • Sarafina Angstadt-Leto

          I have zombies on the brain in the worst way. I was dreaming about being the zombie apocalypse all night. Then in the morning I wasn’t sure I wanted to go downstairs.

  • I think the triangle with Lori/Shane/Rick is rather interesting.  Lori is a complex character and she seems like the type who wants to latch on to the alpha male of the group — as she did with Shane, then switching to Rick.  I think her desire to keep Shane around says she’s hedging her bets so she’ll be in good with whatever man gets to be top dog. (This isn’t spoilers from the comics b/c the storyline in the TV show has so wildly veered from the comics that I’m basing my opinions solely on the TV show!)  Anyway, Lori is prepared to defend her husband to the group, but hey, why not keep Shane around in case Rick becomes zombie chow?

    • Exactly.  Shane is a back-up father for her son.  If Rick is killed, she’ll be back in Shane’s arms as quickly as possible.

    • Mary McClelland

      I also think she sees Shane as “good for the group” on some level. He’s competent, has a wide skillset, is strong, and he works well with her husband as leader and deputy.  Also, explaining to Carl why Shane – a man he cares for and admires – would be another tragic event in this boy’s life.

      I also tried to put stock in the fact that she may just want PEOPLE around. With limited human contact the thought of another person disappearing might be too traumatic. I think if I were her I would just want people around. 

  • Anonymous

    The giant, bloody crucifix surrounded by kneelers seemed waaay more Catholic than “Southern Baptist.”

    • Anonymous

      Ha, true enough.

  • muzan-e

    I can’t buy Shane as an unrelenting asshole. It just doesn’t jive with the implication that until Rick’s arrival, Shane was an absolutely competent, nurturing guardian – or, perhaps more importantly, that his first and most powerful reaction to Rick’s return was overwhelming joy. It was almost boyish, as boyish as Shane dousing himself with a shower of fresh water this episode – and I think that’s key for him.

    Shane needs to grow up, by which I mean that Shane needs to get out of there and find his own tribe.  There’s never been any real rivalry between he and Rick because his love for Rick overwhelms his need to be leader – guardian – provider – shepherd.  But that absolutely cannot last forever, and he needs to get out now before all that love starts corroding into bitterness.

    • I think Shane was more relieved than joyous about Rick’s return — because it meant he could finally turn over the leadership role to someone else.  Shane knows he isn’t cut out for that job and was glad to hand it over.  If Rick is a great leader — awesome, less responsibility for Shane.  If Rick fails — awesome, b/c then Shane looks better in comparison.  It’s a win/win for him.

  • Amanda in Austin

    I came across this show last night while channel surfing. I could only watch for about 30 seconds, however, because it was so terrifying. I don’t need television to give me fodder for my nightmares. I get enough of that in real life. I couldn’t help thinking that this subject would have only been in movies 20 or 25 years ago. Now it’s an ordinary night on cable television. SCARY!

  • Adrienn Keszei

    Excellent post, keep up the good work guys!

  • I think Dale missed the zombies because he was busy looking out in the other direction.  He was taking turns, looking out one way, then the other.  With all the wrecked vehicles on the road, it’s possible he missed them when he was facing that way and they advanced while he was looking the other.

    My question is…Why were there so many dead bodies just sitting in the cars?  Why weren’t they zombies?  Did they all just sit there in their cars until they died?

    • Jennifer Kearney

      Goldie, I’m with you.  I think that’s the biggest ‘WTH’ from last night.  Can’t figure out why they are all just dead in their cars.

      • Karyn Washington

        Well, if we’re going off the premise that the walkers are walkers by virtue of being bitten by another walker and not merely being dead in and of themselves, then there may be a simple reason they aren’t up and moving yet – perhaps in the initial swarm out of the city, people locked themselves in their cars with the windows up to keep the existing walkers out of their cars. Maybe a lot of these people were overheated or passed out during the night while trying to keep safe in the car and never woke up? Just throwing out theories.

        This is, of course, all assuming that the virus is transmitted by virtue of a bite/scratch/some other bodily contact. Has there been any instance of anyone dying from a natural cause and then coming back as a walker?

        As far as why they weren’t eaten entirely: given the decomposition on some of these guys, you can’t tell how “eaten” they may be. The walkers don’t seem to have any interest in eating other walkers (or else they’d just chow down on each other and the problem would be solved), so maybe the bodies in the cars were partially nibbled on after death – and then some living schmuck came along and became the entree to the non-walker-corpse appetizer.

      • If they died in an automobile collision, head trauma would mean they would not rise as a zombie.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto.  It’s not like The Stand where there’s a general plague with people dying.  I thought everyone who caught this virus became a zombie.  Otherwise, why were they dead?  The pile up wasn’t bad enough for there to be dead people sitting in cars all over the place.  Other dead bodies we’ve seen have been shot or eaten.

      • KAO TV

        some people in their cars just committed suicide i think..

        • Anonymous

          Maybe they are going to become zombies and haven’t yet?  The doctor at the CDC said the length of time varied between death and resurrection.

  • Anonymous

    So glad this show is back.  Overall this was a solid episode.  I think the deviations from the comic work best when they mix in elements from the original story rather than go off on complete tangents, like the CDC.  Some of the dialog was indeed a bit clunky, but it worked on most levels.  It is getting a little ridiculous that practically everyone but Rick is cluing in to Shane and Lori’s shenanigans — thanks mostly to their penchant for talking about it in public.  I hope they reach some sort of resolution rather than extending it indefinitely, since they have chosen to deal with it so differently.

  • Mariah J

    No spoilers but I am glad to see they are finally going to tackle a major plotline from the comics. Good episode but yes they were being incredibly stupid at certain moments.

  • Anonymous

    Carol is one of the most irritating, irrational characters is the graphic novel (Lori is more irritating, but at least she’s consistent), so last night seemed in line with her usual behavior for me. Last night was okay, but I’m not sure it merited ninety minutes.

  • Marjorie Walter

    Oh dear.  I never commented on the lack of a new BE post (or anything else) because I’m a shy lurker.  And also I can see from the content how much work those posts are and you guys are busy so I would never presume to ask when the new post was coming … obviously you have to write about what inspires you and if BE isn’t doing that anymore, then taking a break is good.  But I just wanted to let you know that I always eagerly awaited and very much enjoyed your BE posts and feel like they have enhanced my enjoyment of the show.  So thank you for that.

    • Anonymous

      I second this!!

      • Anonymous

        Third! Although I’m just now halfway through the 1st season.

  • I personally don’t know why Sophia’s mother didn’t go out into the forest with the four men when they first discovered Sophia was missing. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do but if I was her mother I wouldn’t regard that and I would be searching for my daughter! 
    I do love this show, it has such a great capacity to make me as tense as it possible can and usually leave an expression of shock on my face at the end of every episode

  • Anonymous

    Overall, I thought it was a solid opener but I wasn’t as gung-ho as the series premier last season.  All the zombie stuff was top notch, as it always is, and left me sitting on the edge of my seat.  However, some of the character development was incredibly weak.  I frankly did not like Andrea’s constant whining about not having a gun every five seconds – she was portrayed as an intelligent woman last season and now seems like a petulant brat.  While going off on Dale in theory was a great moment, the writing was not up to snuff.  Same with all the praying  – Carol prays, Rick prays.  I really wanted the Jesus to lift his head and snarl like a zombie at Rick and tell him to get looking for the kid, idiot. Pray later! Carl’s shooting wasn’t  a total shock – you knew something was going to happen to him, whether a zombie jumped out or the deer gored him or him getting shot. This show doesn’t allow for happy, inspirational moments.  Rick continues to have the best character development; Shane the weakest, but he’s so locked into a stock nasty piece of shit character, I’m not sure where the writers can take him that would make sense. By the end of the ep, I wanted him and Andrea to go already.  And I totally agree about Lori and her response to Shane (I actually wrote Shame! heh heh) and then her coming back with a kick ass response to the group and to Andrea’s gun-whining.

    The biggest problem.  AMC. WTF with 40 minutes of commercials?  A five minute run of commercials every five minutes in the last 45 min of the show.  Thank the gods they didn’t do that to Breaking Bad.

    • Anonymous

      Right?  I swear that additional half hour was completely taken up with commercials and promos!

  • Joshua

    I was a bit underwhelmed by the episode on the whole. I did like the zombie herd and the creepy silence of it all as opposed to the typical level of adrenaline you might expect from a series opener, but for a series opener, it did still seem to be missing something. Maybe I just expect too much. The whole church thing seemed to be a lost opportunity at introspection but it wasted on the fact, like you say, they were supposed to be searching for a missing girl.

  • I really love the show.  I’ve been a big fan of the comics for years and I’m glad that they are bringing back to some of Robert Kirkman’s original storyline. 

  • Anonymous

    Given everything they’ve been through, the way they sauntered all over that highway before the herd came was a little unbelievable

    21st century parents are afraid to let their little darlings out of the yard in their nice, stepford-suburban neighborhoods. But Lori and Carol, in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, don’t have any problem letting their kids wander wherever they want.

    And if walkers are so contagious that a single scratch from one turns you into a zombie, shouldn’t Rick and Daryl be a little more careful when slicing one open?

  • This episode kind of infuriated me more than any of the others. I didn’t think anything anyone did made any sense. And Andrea harping on and on about not being able to have a gun was super annoying. It’s not like there weren’t good points made — she DOESN’T know how to use it, and they should only be using them sparingly anything because they are zombie flares.

  • I just don’t understand why they don’t trade up for a new RV.  An interstate full of vehicles and they stick with 80’s model that continually breaks down. It’s killing me!

    • Anonymous

      Haha!!  I thought the same thing when they pushed an almost new looking SUV out of the RV’s way. I was like “why does no one take the newer/more dependable models?”  Even Rick’s ride is pretty old. 

      • Deana Grenberg

        Exactly.  It’s like Bruce Willis running around dead shoe-wearing guys in “Die Hard.”

    • My husband and I had the exact same conversation.  Hubby thought someone should have driven the water truck.

  • Anonymous

    The scene that made no sense to me was at the very end, after they had already identified that the sound they heard was a deer, Shane aimed his gun at the deer as if he was about to shoot it. They spent the entire episode avoiding using a gun for fear that it would attract other walkers, but now they were going to shoot a deer? Were they planning to abandon their search for Sophia and turn their attention to preparing a venison feast? There was no mention during the episode of food being an issue.

  • Susan Walker

    Have the Zombies lost their sense of smell?  Last season they were covering themselves in guts and now they just need to hide?

    • Deana Grenberg

      In the after-show thing “Talking Dead,” kirkman says that they were never “bloodhounds,” just that they could smell the difference between alive and dead.  So they didn’t have Super Smelling or anything.  But still…seems weak to me, too.

    • They covered themselves in guts because they needed to walk through walker infested streets to get somewhere (I forget where).

      The zombies aren’t exactly geniuses.  They can smell living people nearby but I don’t think they’re smart enough to look under the cars unless they hear something.

  • Figured something was going to happen to Carl since all of a sudden he had more than one line per episode.

  • Sadness re: Boardwalk Empire. I loved your posts on ’em.

  • Re letting Carl go off into the woods with Rick and Shane–my initial reaction to that was are they crazy, but when you think about it, his chances of running into a walker are about the same in the woods or back on the highway, maybe even a higher chance on the highway.  So why not leave him with the two armed men who would risk life and limb to save him, especially when he might also be helpful in finding Sophia?

    Happy to see the Boondock Saint is redeeming himself, even if the character is really verging on Sawyer territory, right down to nicknames…

  • AMC is airing a discussion show called The Talking Dead at midnight after the episodes are aired–Robert Kirkland, the comic writer and this episode’s writer, responded to exactly that question.  He said that the zombies can smell the difference between human and zombie when they are right up next to a living person, but they aren’t bloodhounds and don’t hunt via scent, you don’t see them wandering about sniffing the air as they shamble around.  That isn’t totally the impression we got from season 1, but I’m willing to let his word override precedent.

    • Deana Grenberg

      Oops, responded before I saw your post.

      I stopped watching last season and decided to try again this season, but meh.  I just can’t love it.  The accents cause me physical pain.  The people just do and say really stupid crap.  Much as I love a TLo recap, I’m letting this one go.

  • Anonymous

    I think theses people just forget at times their surroundings, not because they are stupid or anything, but I think a tiny piece of their brains tell them everything is normal you’ll be ok, and they revert back to pre-zombie behavior, not being careful etc.  They let their guard down occasionally, and I’m not surprised.

    I held my breath and swear I didn’t blink at the beginning of the show.  The end was sweet until the gunshot, and I flipped out!  I knew he was going to get hurt, but didn’t think about that way.  The juxtaposition (right word?) of those scenes was beautiful and heart breaking. 

    Can’t wait until next week!!!

  • TJ

    Memo to set designer: Southern Baptist Churches would not have a crucifix of Jesus on their altars…

  • Anonymous

    I really liked the season premiere. Bring on the zombies! They are going for it with the back-to-back adrenaline moments and also plenty of gratuitous gore. Good times.  I also wondered about the Catholic crucifix in the Southern Baptist church but I’m a Jew so what do I know?

  • Rodica Rodica

    I never commented here, but that’s only because I can’t always express myself properly as I’d like given that english is not my mother tongue, but I felt compelled to say something in regards to Boardwalk Empire. It is my favorite show right now and though I really love the series, it was your posts about the episodes I used to look forward to the most. It really saddens me that a parcel of your readers,  “a tiny handful”, as you call it. seem to be not as important as the others. 

    I know I’m a silent reader and as such my voice shouldn’t be heard. But I’ve been a faithful one for the past 5 years and I almost feel betrayed. It is really sad and disappointing not to see such a great show being reviewed anymore because it’s not a “crowd pleaser”. It should be reviewed because it is a masterpiece. I guess I’ll just go look for snarky comments on Project Runway, insightful reviews about Boardwalk Empire and and inspiring analysis of Glee somewhere else.

    Thank you.

    • It has nothing to do with which of our readers are more important than others. The number of hits our BE posts got were our lowest hits of the week, by far. Very few people, comparatively speaking, were reading the BE posts and they were some of the more labor intensive of the posts we write. This is our job, after all. So if you’re going to go off in a huff and never read anything we ever write again because you’re somehow offended by the idea that we have to make money to support ourselves, be our guest.

  • Cristina Escamilla

    Def, zombies over BE. 

  • “And wasn’t there something strangely beautiful and disturbing about that
    threesome of zombies just sitting in the pews of an empty church,
    facing the altar, seemingly out of instinct, because that’s what they
    did in life? Three mindless beings, going through the motions of prayer
    and meditation; a tiny pantomime congregation.” My thought was a bit more tragic: these people were mortally wounded or fatally ill and went to the church to die in hopes that God would save them and they wouldn’t come back as zombies. Didn’t work.

  • Nicole Runde

    Sad to hear about Boardwalk Empire!! I love hearing your recaps, they are so insightful and I feel like they enhance my experience of the show!