The Walking Dead: 30 Days Without an Accident

Posted on October 14, 2013

TWDS4E1+2

Scott Wilson and Andrew Lincoln in AMC’s The Walking Dead

 

With a history of cycling through showrunners like they were red shirts on the Enterprise, it’s probably become something of a tradition for The Walking Dead‘s season premiere to be a mission statement for the story going forward; a declaration by the new guy that this is what it’s all about. And apparently the new Walking Dead is all about stating its themes openly and clearly, Mad Men-style, over and over again. Never name your pigs and never name your zombies. Also, guns don’t sprout food when you bury them. Or something.

Aw, we’re being cranky. We’ll start again:

With the title of this episode, we get a firm declaration of where we are and a not-so-subtle implication as to where we’re going. After all, this episode’s title lets you know just how safe everyone’s been for a while, but it also implies an end to that safety. At some point, the numbers need to be re-set, as they were at the end of this episode. But the staunch declarations don’t end there. The opening few seconds of the show depicted flowers growing, clean water, and birds singing – three things you pretty much never encountered in the previous seasons of the show.  The prison is now a garden. No, wait. The prison is now a farm. No, that doesn’t quite sum it up either. With dozens of new faces milling about in both the foreground and background, offering a sense of purpose and camaraderie literally never seen in this world before, it’s clear what the prison really is. Civilization. Not the tense, fascist version attempted by  The Governor, but something communal and cooperative; a place with “storytime” and work shifts. A place to literally bury your guns (because symbolism) and raise your children. But the guns will eventually get dug up (SYMBOLISM) and the farmer’s togs will eventually have to be shed for a sheriff’s hat and star (SYMBOLISM). This isn’t a zombie story anymore. This isn’t even a post-apocalyptic story. When you add all of these symbols and declarations up, every single one of these tropes (lawman-to-farmer-to-lawman, gardens in the middle of a wasteland, casual indifference to suffering and death underneath all the niceties, brave boys saying goodbye to their sweethearts) what you get is a classic western.

At the heart of most classic movie westerns is one story, told over and over again: a man brings the law to a lawless land. Civilization is formed out of nothing but grit, determination, and moral fortitude. Brave pioneers surrounded by a savage enemy are determined to build a schoolhouse or a church to keep them at bay. This is what we’re seeing with this first episode and of course, it’s all going to fall down around them. Classic westerns almost always end with the law asserting itself and civilization securing a foothold in the wild. The chances of that happening in this world are almost nil.

And that kind of frustrates us. We think we’d love to see a wild frontier town in the post-apocalypse trying to build itself into a community, but aren’t we all just sitting and waiting for the nihilism to take over again and burn everything to the ground? Again? In other words, it’s a given that the (relative) idyll that greeted us with this episode is soon to end. The barbarians are at the gate, literally.

But we wonder if that’s what we want out of this story; more burn-it-all pessimism. We’re not arguing for a hopeful, uplifitng zombie apocalypse, but one of the reasons we stopped reading the comic series the show’s based on was because of its unrelenting grimness; a moody adolescent’s take on human nature with no peaks or valleys; just a straight decline for humanity into hell. We’ve long wondered whether a television show with a much larger audience could or should sustain that kind of darkness indefinitely over its run. We wouldn’t want this to be an uplifting show in the traditional sense, but we’d like to see a show that doesn’t assume that any attempts by people to build something better is inevitably going to fail or be torn down by other people.

Having said that, it was a fairly enjoyable hour for the show, with plenty of eyebrow-raising moments, not the least of which was seeing Michonne joking and laughing, instead of giving us her usual scowl. The show hasn’t lost its knack for eye-popping action set pieces and the Big Lots showdown certainly qualifies, even if the particulars of how it happened are kind of vague. In this world, putting a wine bottle back on a shelf somehow causes a roof to collapse. In other news, the prison community – which, tellingly, doesn’t seem to have a name for itself (SYMBOLISM!!!!!!!) – is humming along nicely and everyone seems to get along with everyone else; a dynamic that no long-time viewer of this show believes is going to sustain itself. There’s even a “council” and everything. And they’re concerned about Rick, unlike us.

Seriously, creators. Rick Grimes is no Don Draper or Walter White. You can’t continue to hang the story around his neck because frankly, he’s never been that interesting a character. With the special focus he got in this episode, as well as the obvious farmer-to-sheriff plotline being set up, we’re kind of disappointed. This has never been the strongest of ensembles, and there’s been a huge turnover with each season, but there are enough strong characters and good actors to spread the story out a little more. Rick doesn’t need to be the center here. No one does. It’s a town.

If we sound skeptical, well… we mean to be. The Walking Dead is probably one of the most uneven shows on television right now. Each season has given us some amazing moments but each one’s also given us some “Oh, come ON!” moments too – and the latter moments threatened to overwhelm the show last season, turning Andrea into a flaming moron and the Governor into some sort of snorting supervillain. TWD season openers always look promising – and make no mistake, despite our slight bitching, this one does too – but we’ve been burned by the plotting too many times to be too optimistic. We like what we see, for the most part, but we’ll just have to see how it plays out. If they really go the classic western route, this could be entertaining. If its another angry teenager playing with action figures – like most of the last season – we’re gonna wind up questioning whether there’s a story worth telling here.

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC]

    • OhSayNow

      I have not even watched the season opener yet, but I just wanted to say that I really hope that one of this season’s story arcs is Darryl getting a hair cut.

    • Eric Stott

      An influx of so many new characters suggests that one or more of the core characters are going to die

      • Nicole Little

        Or a protective shield of redcoats has sprung up to defend the core for a while.

    • Tracy M

      It was incredibly ham-fisted in its imagery. The close-up of the spider as Rick follows the manic-pixie half-zombie woman through the woods- just in case we didn’t get that it was a trap. The closeup of the shower-head and focus on water, just in case we didn’t get there’s a new pathogen. The kids naming the zombies. Beth not saying goodbye- the setups were dismaying predictable. I’ve loved this show, but I really hope we’re not treated to a full season of sledgehammer foreshadowing. Did you get it?! Did you GET IT??! HUH? DID YOU GET IT??! It’s wearying.

      • Mismarker

        New pathogen? I guess I didn’t get that. :( You mean the water caused Patrick to die?

        • Tracy M

          No, I don’t know about that. But the pig dying, the water buckets, the kid going to die in the showers, the focus on the shower-head, all seemed to be openly telegraphing that we should be paying attention to the water.

          • tereliz

            THIS.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            The boar in the forest, along with the pig, implies some kind of super-swine flu.

            • Angela_the_Librarian

              That was my guess. Either a swine flu amplified somehow by the zombie virus, or perhaps something like a hemorrhagic fever virus spread by pigs?

            • NYCGlamourpuss

              Yeah, I think so too. I would also guess it’s not that the water’s infected, but it’s the animal meat. I don’t think the focus was so much on the water when Patrick died in the shower, because remember, he was already very sick/dying when he went into the shower. That just happened to be where he died, not what killed him.

            • BigShamu

              Or biblical. Swear off the swine or else.

            • marishka1

              ZOMBIE PIGS!

            • hmariec19

              More importantly – ZOMBIE BACON!

          • Mismarker

            Gotcha. My attention was a bit divided while watching last night and I missed some important stuff!

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            That sounds plausible too.

            Another thing – they kept focusing on that one zombie at the fence who’s eyes were red and bloody. Patrick’s eyes were also red and bloody when he died. There’s definitely some kind of connection with this new strain of disease.

            • Tracy M

              And the only times we’ve ever seen a particular zombie more than once is when they’ve been key to killing a character- so this is either one of those zombies, or is being telegraphed (SYMBOLISM!) via his eyeballs matching Ferb’s, that we need to pay attention.

          • YoungSally

            Maybe someone is drinking the zombie teabag water from season 2

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          My guess is that the deer meat that Daryl cooked the day before was infected (Patrick complimented him on how good it was), also causing both the pig at the prison and the pig out in the forest that Clara was going after to both die. We don’t know what it is yet, but that’s part of the suspense.

        • Nelliebelle1197

          There was a casting call in my town (near some of the filming) for animals that could play zombies. I have a three-legged, blind, deaf, 16 year old Jack Russell with a drooping face that would have been perfect except for the scabs and smells, but we decided it was too cruel to take her in. I am guessing animals are now infected.

          • Shelley

            I remember an interview on the Talking Dead with Kirkman that specifically said that animals were not infected – and he implied that would not be happening. That being said, you never know with this crazy show.

            • Shelley

              BTW – this was during season two when there was a shot of the zombies downtown prior to making their way to the farm. There were dogs running around and some zombies chomping on one, so the Talking Dead host asked him about animal zombies.

            • Nelliebelle1197

              I remember that, as well, now that you mention it. But the casting call was real, I swear. Could have been for a PR shot. My dog is just too infirm
              But she would not need an ounce of makeup, sadly

            • Nelliebelle1197

              I remember that, as well, now that you mention it. But the casting call was real, I swear. Could have been for a PR shot. My dog is just too infirm
              But she would not need an ounce of makeup, sadly

            • Shelley

              I believe you! I just remembered that conversation as I read your post. As you well know, this show has a way of turning things upside down, so maybe they’ve decided to shake things up by creating zombie animals. If so, I look forward to it! :-)

            • Nelliebelle1197

              Shelley, sorry, Disqus snorted some ‘tina and did a glitter ball all over the page ;)

            • Nelliebelle1197

              I remember that, too, now that you bring it up. Something about animals having immunity, right?

            • Nelliebelle1197

              I remember that, too, now that you bring it up. Something about animals having immunity, right?

            • Nelliebelle1197

              I remember that, too, now that you bring it up. Something about animals having immunity, right?

            • Nelliebelle1197

              I remember that, too, now that you bring it up. Something about animals having immunity, right?

            • Shelley

              You know, I’m not totally sure, but that may have been it. I just remember the host of Talking Dead getting all upset that animals might “change” and Kirkman assured him that wasn’t going to happen. Maybe he just meant during that season.

      • tereliz

        That was the only real game changer for me, the evolution of the virus as an airborne/waterborne disease. Everything else at the prison seemed to be going along making too much logical sense. It did have that Western feel, and while I enjoyed the troops getting out of the prison for a while, Rick’s story was just a waste of time as far as I’m concerned. It did nothing to advance plot or develop anyone’s character at all.

        Carole’s knives may have been the most “punch-in-the-gut” scene for me.

        • Tracy M

          Actually, Carol’s knives made sense to me. She’s a mother who lost her daughter. That’s a defining facet of who she is now- and if she’s going to teach children, teaching them to actually survive in the world the way it is now makes sense. She couldn’t save Sophia, but maybe she can save one of these children, and if that means defying convention or pissing off Rick, she will.

          • MilaXX

            She is actually one of the better developed characters on the show. Her growth is the one that feels the most natural and true.

            • Eric Stott

              she’s also MUCH smarter than Rick

          • tereliz

            Oh, it made sense to me, too. I should have been more clear that it was the only scene that elicited an emotional response from me because of how much more the show has made you care about her character, so much more than we ever cared about Sophia. An emotional punch in the gut, as it were. :)

          • muzan-e

            She’s also a survivor of abuse. In-home abuse, at that: unlike so many of them, she already knew what it was to live in a state of constant threat, not only to herself but to her children. She’s free of that, now. These children are, as well.

            There’s no way she’s going to leave them vulnerable to anything like that again.

      • Shelley

        I can’t believe I didn’t get the imagery about the spider….good call. The rest of it was definitely very obvious to me. Especially the “don’t name the pigs” and “don’t name the zombies”! Plus the whole water emphasis. A bit heavy handed, for sure.

    • Mismarker

      I agree with spreading the story around a bit. As much as I enjoy Andrew Lincoln, Rick is not the most compelling character.

      Is it wrong that I’m shipping Rick and Michonne?

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        Nothing wrong with that. I’d love to see them get together.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        I’ve been shipping Carol and Daryl… seems like that’s not gonna happen, but Rick and Michonne maybe. Rick should be so lucky.

        • Mismarker

          I also wanted “Caryl” to happen but after seasons of will they?, won’t they?, have they?, Carol and Daryl have evolved into a bizarrely flirtatious brother and sister. I’m putting all my eggs in the Rick/Michonne basket.

      • MilaXX

        Apparently a lot of people ship them.

        • Mismarker

          I knew I couldn’t be the only one! While I share Daryl’s disdain of the romance novel ideal, a relationship between Rick and Michonne could be pretty amazing. Especially if the show continues to be all Rick all the time. Give him a partner who is interesting, strong, loyal, and sexy as hell. Please?

          • MilaXX

            I’m not a Rick/Michonne shipper, but a lot of folks on line are. I recall seeing an interview where even Lincoln commented on it, so even the actors are aware of it.

            • Mismarker

              Brief search online reveals R/M fan fiction? Wow. I’m for it but I’m not *that* for it. ; )

            • NYCGlamourpuss

              I’m not one of the comic book people, but I thought I read that they were a couple in the comic books after Lori’s death?

            • Mismarker

              No, he gets involved with someone else.

            • NYCGlamourpuss

              Ahh, thanks! I’ll Google it if you don’t want to post a spoiler here – I don’t really have any plans to read the comic book, since I hear it’s SO different, I don’t want two vastly conflicting story lines to try and keep straight.

            • Mismarker

              Did you find it? I don’t think it is giving anything away to say it is a relationship they won’t be able to explore in the tv series. ; )

            • NYCGlamourpuss

              Ohhhh, I found it. Makes me glad I don’t read the comic, LOL! “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I hurl that comic book clean across the room? My bad.”

            • MilaXX

              I thought they were bed buddies in the comics.

            • Mismarker

              I have not read all of the comics but the comic wiki mentions nothing about them doing the deed though romantic feelings between them are hinted at.

            • MilaXX

              I haven’t read. I only know that from what comic book readers have posted. No romance between them, just the occasional scratching an itch.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      I thought last night’s episode was a strong start for the season. Rick’s storyline was the only real clunker. I didn’t really understand the point of following him around for half an episode just to demonstrate that he’s shell shocked. I was most pleased to see that Carol keeps evolving into a strong character. I’m not sure why here knife skills class had to be taught in secret–that seems like essential survival skills for living in the zombie apocalypse. I also think Michonne’s story (her relentless pursuit of The Governor) is going to be really strong this season.

      I am most interested in how the kid at the end died. A strain of porcine hemorrhagic fever? Maybe it’s swine flu but it’s magnified and made worse by interacting with the zombie virus? They haven’t done a great job of showing that everyday illnesses like flu, strep, and even TB would likely becoming big problems again in a broken down society will little access to modern medicine.

      • Nice_Shirt

        I had a similar thought as well. Why something new? Why not something old, like typhus, cholera, meningitis or plague? They would be just as deadly, given the group’s medical limitations.

      • BeccaGo

        I thought Andrea’s illness at the beginning of season 3 sort of hinted at that. I’ve had strep throat so many times, that would scare the hell out of me. And I don’t even want to think about what I’d do if I skipped a period during the zombie apocalypse. *flashback to Lori on the boiler room floor* *shudder*

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I completely forgot about Andrea’s illness last season (think I’m trying to forget her character all together). I think if the zombie apocalypse did really happen I would go straight for the Walgreens first and stock up on antibiotics!

    • Sam Smith

      Me to husband, I don’t like new characters. Husband to me, don’t worry some or all will be dead by the end of the first episode. He was right, three new characters dead. The half zombie lady was interesting to me. I was trying to figure out if she was trying to blend in or if she really was caught in some middle ground. Then Zack died so it does seem like there is some new illness afoot.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        She was just a dirty, crazy lady. I don’t think she was ill in any way other than psychologically, but the make up was designed to make her look zombie-ish. She was the most interesting thing about this episode.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          Honestly, for the first couple of minutes, I thought that Rick was going crazy again, and was hallucinating that a zombie was still talking to him like a normal person. For a moment there, I thought if he got too close, she’d zombie-out and attack him once he snapped back to reality. Then when I saw that clearly wasn’t going to happen, I thought, “Oh, okay, they went way overboard with the zombie makeup on a regular person who’s just supposed to be dirty and gross.”

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I wondered if he was going nuts again too, and I think Rick had the same thought we did. The make up was just more heavy-handedness on the part of the show. We get it, she’s “gone zombie.” In World War Z, there were people who weren’t infected who began behaving like zombies out of some weird Stockholm Syndrome. She seems like one of those people.

          • Shelley

            I had the exact same thoughts about her suddenly turning zombie on Rick’s ass. I read somewhere that there will be a new kind of zombie this season. I took that to mean as maybe super-zombies that don’t adhere to the stereotypical zombie characteristics. Maybe they move faster? Can climb fences? More human-like characteristics? Who knows, but I have a feeling the zombie at the fence that they kept showing might end up being one of them, as well as the kid that died in the shower. They had the exact same creepy look. Well, creepier than your average zombie, that is.

      • MilaXX

        I think she was just so ill equipped for survival in the wild, she was barely getting by and miss was literally growing on her.

    • Paigealicious

      I found this episode boring, especially for a season opener.

      • Mismarker

        I also found it boring. Especially in contrast to the tautness of last season’s opener.

        • muzan-e

          Tragedy: I’d been raving excitedly about this show to my husband for months, and last night was the one time he sat down with me to watch an episode. Awesome, I thought! He is going to eat this up!

          And then came an hour of two people trapped in disparate prisons, getting nowhere and accomplishing nothing. Okay, Homeland. I get what you’re saying. Could’ve condensed that into a ten-minute montage, guys. Really.

          • Mismarker

            I can picture your tragedy because I had much the same scenario in my house last night. Have him watch with you next week. The action is supposedly going to ramp up quite quickly after the relative calm of this first episode.

      • lexilexi

        I liked it, and compared to Homeland, it was a 10! (Homeland: never has a show gone from so darn good to so horrible so quickly)

        • Mismarker

          Haha. I’m glad I don’t watch Homeland!

        • ShaoLinKitten

          Homeland seems to have lost its way. Last night’s episode had my mouth hanging open in surprise at how stupid Brody seems to have become.

      • Suzanne Moore

        Me too. I though this episode was boring. So boring that I started playing word games on my phone while it was airing. With all the hype, I was prepared to be blown away, but instead…meh.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      The death of the kid in the shower brings home another point–if they all know that everyone who dies turns into a zombie, wouldn’t they all do a head count and lock themselves in at night, every night? It seems to me the most obvious danger of a closed society like the prison would be someone dropping dead unexpectedly and then taking everyone by surprise. No one thinks of this? Really?

      Also, are we supposed to get the sense that Beth has the hots for Daryl? I mean, he is obviously the most desirable unattached man in the prison (sorry Rick… and Tyrese is taken).

      • ellisd123

        This was one of the first points my partner and I brought up (not locking themselves in their cells) after watching.

        • NYCGlamourpuss

          You know, I can be a little slow on the uptake, I admit. I never ever thought about that – locking themselves into the cells at night to prevent nocturnal zombie attacks just in case. That’s smart – you’d think they’d be doing that by now!

      • tereliz

        Yup, husband and I were yelling at all those open cell doors. I mean, come ON. On the off chance that someone dies of natural causes during the night, you’d think they’d be a little more cautious.

      • YoungSally

        Well, Beth is finally starting to show her practical side….and Daryl is practically the best choice around….but I am pretty sure that Hershel will have something to say about that….I mean weren’t some looking at her and Carl as a potential hookup last season….

        • ShaoLinKitten

          How old is Beth supposed to be? She seems like maybe 18? 19? Too old for Carl, though I think he had a wee crush. Could be an interesting storyline–Carl crushing on Beth, Beth hooking up with Daryl. I believe I read an interview with Norman Reedus where he said he was playing Daryl as a virgin, which would be interesting to see play out.

          • BeccaGo

            She’s supposed to be 17, maybe 18 by now. Axel asked her how old she was last season right before his “You’re not a lesbian? But you have short hair” encounter with Carol. :)

            • ShaoLinKitten

              The actress graduated college in 2006… so she’s pushing 30 :) I know Norman Reedus is in his mid-forties (though he looks much younger). It’s hard to figure out how old Daryl is supposed to be. 30? 32? Is that too old to date an 18 year old in a post-apocalyptic world? Would Hershel really have a problem with it, considering his daughter’s other prospects?

      • MilaXX

        It made me wonder why there are no filters or even lids on any of the water storage containers. I mean Rick just washes his nasty morning face in one barrel. Patrick goes in the shower and coughs all over that one. Why would they think they didn’t need to insure that the water doesn’t get contaminated with dead zombies all over the place?

      • Shelley

        I didn’t take the Beth/Daryl interaction as anything sexual – at least not on Daryl’s part. If I had to guess, I’d say Beth has a crush on Daryl, but I’m pretty sure she’s still like 16 or 17 years old – way too young for Daryl at this point – so I can’t believe he would ever pursue anything. Maybe it was more about pushing Daryl’s character further and exploring his ability to emotionally connect with folks (did you see how awkward he was when she hugged him?). Consider how far he’s come since season one – maybe they want to explore that further. Personally, I’d welcome more emphasis on Daryl. Just love him.

    • Nancy Skaggs

      Everyone seems to think that Irish Half-Zombie Lady was talking about her hsuband. I was convinced she had a zombie baby. I was so waiting for that burlap bag to open and a “crawler” to come out.

      • MilaXX

        They said on The Talking Dead it was just a head, but the writers felt it was creepier to not show it.

      • Paigealicious

        I knew it’d be a zombie of some sort even when she was talking about her husband (she did refer to “Eddie” as her husband). Didn’t expect just the head, but I figured it’d still be the tired old “my loved one isn’t dead, they’re just different” storyline.

      • BeccaGo

        She specifically said “help me get this back to my husband” about the boar and that they were on their way to their honeymoon when they were stranded in the airport. I just re-watched to double-check (yeah, sure, that’s why, not for the zombie rain) because so many Interwebz types were saying the same thing – they thought it was going to be a baby. Which would have been AWESOME.

      • Shelley

        I love how when she and Rick approached her camp she referred to her husband by saying “He’s just ahead….”. Get it, he’s JUST A HEAD. That killed me.

    • ellisd123

      This show always leaves me wondering how most of these people have survived this long. Why is it that Rick is still hesitating and making terrible mistakes when it comes to assessing people? How is Tyrese so spineless, and yet surviving? That’s my issue with the show. There’s no evolution of survival instinct among characters that should have it.

      My other gripe is manufactured drama. “Will I be able to maintain sobriety during this zompocalypse?” Really?!

      • Mismarker

        Yeah, I initially balked at the whole drama in the liquor aisle until I remembered this guy is still sort of in a probationary period with the prison group. Whatever issue he has with alcohol, it’s not going to help him get the “in” he needs with the group. Didn’t feel false to me after thinking about it that way.

      • BeccaGo

        I wouldn’t call Tyrese spineless, just sensitive. I mean, he didn’t run away and hide or anything. He just needs a hug. :D

      • Ashley Stacey

        Yeah I have no clue as to how the nerdy kid that died survived that long in the first place…

    • rumcg66

      I don’t know if anyone mentioned this yet, but the wine bottle thing did make sense. He put the wine bottle back and the whole rack, which must have been unstable (ok, that part isn’t explained) fell on him. The noise roused the zombies who were up near the roof, and we’d already seen the roof was leaking, so it was weakened. The zombies walked onto the roof and because it was so weakened by leaks, it collapsed.

      I’m not sure why I felt compelled to explain that. I have a problem.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        I don’t think that actually explains it, though. The zombies were already on the roof. I suspect the idea was that the zombies all walked over to the weakened area by the helicopter but even that doesn’t make sense because they were falling through the roof from all over the store, not just in one spot.

        • Mismarker

          Implausibility aside, that whole sequence just plain looked bad. Greg Nicotero is an amazingly talented makeup artist but only a so-so director.

        • MilaXX

          I got the impression that the entire roof was bad, from cracks due to the helicopter crashing, but I guess you call it ground zero was the weakest because water had pooled there. However once that crashed it was sort of a ripple effect and the entire roof started collapsing from the combination of water damage, the cracks in the structure and the combined weight of the zombies plus the helicopter, plus any water pooled in the ceiling.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            That’s what I assumed too.

            • Shelley

              Me too.

        • FunButNutz

          At the beginning of the episode a lot of them were near the edge of the roof, probably because they could hear/smell live people below and were attracted to them. What I think happened was that the noise brought all of them to the middle and it set off a chain reaction.

        • Shelley

          When it comes to this show, I think you have to suspend belief to a certain degree. :-)

        • BmoreKate

          Remember when D’Angelo was checking out the wine on the shelf and he noticed something was dripping? I think it must have been gas/something leaking from the helicopter that weakened that section of the roof. Then when the shelf collapsed and all the zombies moved toward the noise, they collapsed that section.

      • YoungSally

        When I saw that roof cave in, I reminded myself not to go to any superstores in the zombie apocalypse…except Costco….it will still be nice.

    • mjude

      I liked the opening to the show as it is the setup for things to come. glad its back!

    • MilaXX

      A few things stuck out to me. Now I’m a city gal, but when an animal in your food supply suddenly becomes sick like Violet, don’t you 1)separate her from the rest of the food supply, and 2)watch the rest of that particular herd before using any more of it for food? This pic getting sick other than Symbolism! didn’t seem to raise much concern. The we have Rick once again putting on blinders. This time he has swung the other way and is pretending their community is much safer than it really is. There is no reason why Carol should have to sneak and give these children weapons training. It should be just as much part of their training as the storytime because *that’s* what childhood looks like in the zombie apocalypse. Also if there are concerns about the zombie herds on the fence, why are there spike all around instead of just at that one entrance? Wouldn’t you want to make it as difficult as possible to get to those fences?

      I don’t now if you guys watch The Talking Dead afterwards, but they had some interesting tidbits to add. Nathan Fillion was the celebrity superfan and he apparently watches a lot of youtube videos where the shelves to collapse that easily. I can give them that one. Especially if the shelf is weakened by the slow, steady dripping of the water from the roof. My other question is when they surveyed that area and decided to distract the walkers to that area, why didn’t they notice the weakened infrastructure due to the helicopter crash. Other tidbits from TTD: 3 characters from the comic books will be introduced. The tension from the end of this ep ratchets up at least thru the fourth. The actor who plays Patrick is the voice of Phineas on the cartoon Phineas & Ferb.

      Speaking of Patrick, did anyone else get a 28 Days later vibe from how the virus seems to have manifest itself in him?

      • NYCGlamourpuss

        Here was my take on why Carol didn’t want Rick to know that she was teaching the kids how to handle knives. I got the impression that over the past handful of months, Rick has now swung the other way – however temporarily – from wanting or needing kids to grow up fast and become little child soldiers, to trying to help maintain their childhood for however long. I think this stems from his realization that his own son killed an unarmed teenager point blank at the end of last season. Then last night, he asks Carl to just “Go read some comic books. Go to Storytime.” In other words, “I was wrong to try and force a cold-blooded adulthood on to you. Please try to be a kid again for as long as you’re able to.” Now, that might be too late for Carl – this is a kid who had to shoot his own mother in the head, and has been a reliable shot with a gun since last season. But it could be that Rick is seeing this and regretting it a little too late. And I think he doesn’t want the same fate for the smaller children they’ve taken in. He may know on some subconscious level that it’s too late for his own son, but maybe not for these other kids.

        I know that brings up a lot of the social and philosophical questions from last season, i.e. “Has Carl Grown Up Way Too Fast? Is It Good That He’s an Ace Shot To Help Protect The Group, or is He a Pre-Teen Sociopath?”, etc. On the one hand, he saved Rick from Shane by being able to handle a gun. On the other hand, Rick is still alive to know that his kid killed another kid at point blank range.

        • MilaXX

          But that’s my point Rick has now swung the too far in the opposite direction. From not picking up the hitchhiker and trusting no one, to want a community. That’s fine but he’s so invested in this little community being a safe haven he’s put on blinders (once again) to the realities of this new world. He fails to realize that children in this new world need both storytime AND weapons training.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            Oh, I know, I know – and I agree. But I’m guessing raising your kids in a zombie apocalypse is going to lead to some conflicting feelings on the matter.

        • muzan-e

          I’d love to see the story jumped forward twenty years, so that we can see what the world looks like under the governance of this new and upcoming generation. These are the kids who didn’t hesitate to reach for the dog-food when it was offered, because it was food, it was meaty, and eating it made perfect sense; for them, there was no shame attached to it. These are kids who are – eventually, later if not sooner – going to grow accustomed to the idea of shooting and mutilating humanoid things, accustomed in the sense that it is a fact of their daily existence as surely as the rising and setting of the sun.

          At what point does ‘sociopath’ start beginning to equate with ‘perfectly adapted to this new world’? I’m not saying that it should, mind – but I find the idea of their futures so intriguing!

      • BigShamu

        I haven’t seen the epi yet but if the pig got sick, was Hershel attending to it since pre-zombie he was a veterinarian? Why wasn’t he doing all the things you point out?

        • MilaXX

          They actually didn’t show anyone tending to tending the pigs.

    • FunButNutz

      Let’s be frank…..Andrea was always a flaming idiot.

    • BookishBren

      I particularly enjoyed Daryl having fans among the newbies considering the fan base the actor/character has. I felt like that was a cute acknowledgement of the passionate fanbase the character has. :)

    • Christiane Truelove

      The illness is really bugging the ever-loving crap out of me. Flu virus and hemorrhagic fever viruses (dengue, ebola, yellow fever, Japanese equine encephalitis) are different virus families. ALSO – Herschel was a vet. Why the hell wasn’t he looking at the livestock? It’s also difficult for a virus to jump from pig to human – the people who become “patient zeros” are working very closely with diseased livestock, and I didn’t see Patrick hanging out at the pigpen.

      Then again, there are zombies and the zombie pathogen is completely unknown so maybe it can alter virus RNA and make it more deadly. I dunno. All I know is that even lethal swine flu doesn’t make you bleed out the eyeballs.

      • Ashley Stacey

        There were a lot of scenes involving water (the first one when rick washed his face, the water leaking and rotting the ceiling away, and of course the shower scene) so I have a feeling that the virus is being carried in the water… I think it is definitely mutating. And I agree, Hershel should have worried less about the tomato plant and more about why the pig dropped dead!

        • Christiane Truelove

          There’s a waterborne virus that matches Patrick’s symptoms (except for the hemorrhaging) and would kill a pig – SARS, a coronavirus.

          Whatever this virus is, it’s worse than the zombie pathogen, because it’s cross-species. That means it won’t burn itself out too soon. Heck, if might be the fault of the survivors that this virus popped up – I can’t imagine that dead and rotting zombies are good for the water supply, and a previously mild virus may have been transformed by the pathogen in the wild, or in living humans themselves (I would imagine that they shed zombie virus all the time).

          • Angela_the_Librarian

            Ooh, I just read an excellent book about animals-human virus cross-over called Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic . It is a really well-written book and discusses a lot of the issues you point out here (viruses changing once they cross from animal to humans, etc.). You sound like you may be an infectious diseases expert. It’s a subject I find absolutely fascinating!

    • Goldie

      I wrote about this last night but why didn’t Rick have Herschel look at the pig? He’s a veterinarian for Pete’s sake! Also, why is Carol teaching the kids about weapons in secret? Yes, Rick may have a problem with it, but I doubt the rest of the council would.

      • YoungSally

        Good point about Hershel….I was thinking that maybe Violet was expecting….zombie piglet bacon for all!!!

    • YoungSally

      The prison is a kibbutz.

    • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

      I don’t watch the Walking Dead, but judging from what you wrote here, you guys may enjoy “Defiance”, which has pretty much what you descibe here as its status quo (except with aliens instead of zombies). The vibe overall is optimistic, and the bugetary limits of the show pretty much ensure that the central town of Defiance will be left standing, no matter what happens. It’s right there in the show’s title.

    • Crystal

      They introduced a new black guy without killing another one!

      • BeccaGo

        That was by far my favorite part of the whole episode. :D

        • Crystal

          That and seeing Michonne smile/hearing her say more than a handful of words at one time!

      • ShaoLinKitten

        And it’s Larry Gilliard from The Wire! That makes two Wire alums on the show. I hope they both stick around for a while.

      • tereliz

        D’Angelo AND Cutty! Love seeing them both back on TV.

        • MilaXX

          and as always Dee just can’t cut it in the world hes forced to live.

    • *crickets*

      One thing that stood out for me was when Patrick had to leave the storytime group because he felt sick and Carol just shrugged it off, when she knows that infected people get sick and die, then “wake up” as Zombies. She’s seen it happen. So this should have set off alarm bells for her–Patrick should have been quarantined immediately. Instead the writers just have her laughingly wave him off, and go on with what she was doing. Bad writers, BAD!

      • Ashley Stacey

        No one had turned into a zombie before that hadn’t been bitten first though. Add onto the fact that he was known for being “immature” as he put it, so she just assumed he wasn’t ready to stomach a knife lesson. My question is more about how had he survived that long? He was clearly not a very strong person mentally or physically…

        • Mismarker

          I assume Patrick was a Woodbury resident and most all of the Woodbury residents, certainly the children, were very sheltered. He may not have survived as long as he did had he not been in Woodbury.

        • MilaXX

          Shane did. He died and came back to attack Rick. He wasn’t bitten. I assumed survived because he was in Woodbury.

          • BeccaGo

            Randall, too.

          • Trickytrisha

            But haven’t they determined that when anyone dies they come back as a walker?

            • Shelley

              Yes. Anyone who dies comes back as a walker because they all carry the virus (even if they haven’t been bitten). I felt it was quite strange that Carol, who appears to be very maternal, didn’t check up on Patrick. I mean, he’s basically an orphan and he clearly did not feel well at all. You’d think she would at least check up on him. I’m already nervous about what’s going to happen next week once he gets back on his (zombie) feet….oy vey…

            • Trickytrisha

              Yep, all those nice tender little kids snug in their beds… oy vey indeed.

      • MilaXX

        She thought he was squeamish about using knives.

      • ~Heather

        Wonder why Patrick is sick – what does he have that’s bad enough to kill him?

        Could it be a water-borne thing, like cholera that could start to make everyone else sick? Rick threw barrel water on his face, Patrick was serving food to others and shaking Darryl’s hand, before he ran off to “yak”, then Patrick splatted all over the water in the showers. It may not just be the zombies and other humans trying to kill off Rick’s people, disease may be the next enemy.

      • veriance

        Patrick died and the pig (Violet) died. Hello swine flu.

        In Carol’s defense, I think she thought he was squeamish.

    • AutumnInNY

      Any thoughts on why Rick didn’t kill Clara? Will we be seeing her again as a walker at the barbed wire fence?
      Wondering if she had some connection to the Governor? How did she survive so long out there alone?

    • Trickytrisha

      I’m not usually easily overset by blood and guts after three seasons of Walking Dead, but I made the mistake of eating a meatloaf sandwich with BBQ sauce during this show . First time the gore actually made me a bit sick, especially during the “raining zombies” section. Good wholesome fun!!!

    • Glammie

      Great summation. I kind of burned out on the Walking Dead midway through last season and am trying to figure out whether to pick it up again. The nihilism you talk about is *exactly* what makes me leery. It starts to turn into a video-game story arc that’s all about body counts if you don’t leave some possibility for the continuity of some sort of human society.

    • ZnSD

      I didn’t think it looked promising at all. It seemed very slow and flat, frankly. I’d rather watch AHS Coven.