The Walking Dead 1.4 – Vatos

Just like in the pages of Robert Kirkman’s comic, tonight’s episode (which he also wrote) picked up right where the last one left off, with Daryl not taking the discovery of Merle’s chopped-off hand particularly well. Fortunately, it appears that Merle is doing just fine on his own, as a trail of blood down the opposite staircase leads Rick and Co. to find evidence that Merle has not only taken out a few zombies, but also cauterized his stump on a hot plate before getting the hell out of Dodge. Worried about his safety all alone in the city, Daryl wants to go chasing after him, but Rick warns to keep a cool head and suggests they retrieve the guns first.

But instead of bum-rushing the bag as a group, Glenn volunteers to go alone because he can do it quickly and stealthily. Better yet, he’s even devised a fail-safe plan for protection involving the other three guys that leads Daryl to ask in disbelief, “Hey kid, what’d you do before this?” “I delivered pizzas.” Unfortunately, not even the best-laid plans always go as intended, and when Daryl gets distracted by some Mexican kid and is promptly attacked by his friends, Glenn comes running back down the alley straight into all the trouble. Daryl manages to shoot one of the Mexicans in the back of the leg, but not before they can grab Glenn and drive away.

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Of course, they also left the kid behind, and although he isn’t very cooperative at first, Daryl’s threats to cut off his feet seemed to do the trick. (If only he knew that Daryl was bluffing with his own brother’s hand.) Nevertheless, he takes them to the kidnappers’ hideout, which is run by a guy named Guillermo, who tells Rick that he wants the kid and the guns in trade for Glenn. The odds were certainly stacked against him, but good old Rick just waltzed right into their little fort and stuck a gun in Guillermo’s face, as if to say, “You want a fight? Let’s go.” Luckily, none of that was necessary, as it turns out Guillermo wasn’t such a bad guy after all, but just a custodian trying to protect the retirement where he used to work. After seeing all the sick, elderly people depending on Guillermo’s care, Rick leaves him a few of the guns and heads back with the others to the van, only to discover that someone (presumably Merle) has taken off with it.

Meanwhile, back at the camp, as Andrea and Amy reminiscence about their days fishing with their father, Jim is going a little crazy digging graves in the hot Atlanta heat. When the others start to get worried about him, Shane steps in and ties him to a tree, even though Jim wasn’t really getting in anyone’s way. Granted, he was going to pass out eventually from heat exhaustion, but if the guy wants to cope with the loss of his family by digging graves, then let him dig graves. Plus, he was doing it because of a dream he had, though he can’t remember what it was about.

We didn’t have to wait long for the answer, however, as the camp was soon attacked by a large group of zombies. Ed was the first to go, and there were plenty of red shirts thrown in as additional fodder, but the big death of the night was obviously Amy – although, even those that haven’t read the comic had to see that one coming after Andrea’s chat with Dale about the birthday gift. Still, it was a great (and even somewhat emotional) scene between the two actresses – particularly Laurie Holden, who hasn’t had very much to do yet this season. Now that she’s free of her sister (I know that sounds horrible, but trust me, it’s for the best), her character can finally start evolving into the Andrea everyone loves from the comics.

It might have seemed a little unrealistic that Andrea could just stand heaped over Amy’s body wailing without so much as a zombie bumping in to her, but I have to imagine that Shane’s shotgun was drawing a majority of the attention. His heroics weren’t quite enough, though, and the survivors were almost forced to retreat before Rick and the rest of the guys rushed in with guns blazing. Of course, now that the campsite has been compromised, they’ll have no other choice but to go on the move, and that’s sure to create some tension within the group. I say, bring it on.

  

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