Well, it certainly seems that The Walking Dead has delivered on the promise of its pilot episode, and then some. When we last left Rick, his hapless steed was serving as zombie kibble, and Rick seemed doomed, trapped in a tank, surrounded by the walking dead.
This episode began at the base camp for the other survivors. That camp happens to include Lori (Rick’s wife) and Shane (Rick’s partner.) Lori announces her intentions of going into the forest to forage for food (presumably.) In actuality, she nabs a little nooky from Shane.
Last week, I was willing to give Lori the benefit of the doubt when it came to her dalliance with Shane. I thought perhaps they hooked up after the zombie apocalypse. However, this week I felt that their rapport was just too familiar, and I get the distinct feeling that these two have been going at it for quite some time. Am I way off base here?
At any rate, things are going to get a tad awkward when Rick enters the campsite. Did anyone notice that Lori very deliberately removed her necklace that had a ring and a heart pendant before she let Shane jump her bones? I found it interesting that she did not remove her wedding ring. In fact, the camera lingered on it for just a moment.
Meanwhile, back at the tank, Rick is receiving a radio message from someone who is telling him that he is surrounded by walkers, but he must make a run for it. The voice further explains that the zombies are distracted because they are eating the horse. Rick takes note of his ammunition, and puts good faith in the voice.
He meets Glenn (Steven Yeun), a feisty Asian-American who leads him to a small pod of survivors holed up in a department store. They are not pleased to make his acquaintance, accusing Rick of “ringing the dinner bell” for the zombies by making so much noise with his weapons. Indeed, it looks grim, what with the zombies pressing up against the storefront’s windows. Andrea (Laurie Holden) is particularly peeved by this development.
Next up, we get to meet Dixon (Michael Rooker, who will always be Henry to me), a hate spewing southern red-neck racist. He’s an equal opportunity offender: not only does he spout the “n” word, but he manages to work in a reference to “sugar tits.”
He’s on the rooftop, presumably picking off zombies, but this is not acceptable, because the sound of the gunfire is actually attracting the zombies. Rick takes charge of the situation and promptly handcuffs Dixon to a pipe on the rooftop.
Conveniently the group has a member who has personal knowledge about the underground sewer system. Glenn decides to make a go of it, but he is quickly brought down to earth when zombies show up.
While Rick and Andrea are in the department store, Andrea spies a mermaid necklace she thinks her sister would love. Rick gives her the okay to take it, when the zombies break through the storefront.
Things are looking dire for the group, and after gleaning some information about zombies, Rick concocts a crazy (and disgusting) plan. He proposes that he (and Glenn) cover themselves with zombies entrails to mask their scent. This will buy them enough time to make it to a delivery truck outside the store, which they can drive to safety.
It’s a logical plan, but they are human, after all. Taking an ax to a zombie cadaver is gut-wrenching (pun intended.) Rick takes out the wallet of the deceased, and vows that if he ever sees his family again, he will tell them about Wayne, the man he is about to hack into bloody bits.
We find out that Andrea is part of Lori’s camp. She voluntarily left, though it is not readily apparent why. Her sister is outraged when Shane vetoes going on a rescue mission after they hear the group’s radio pleas.
After a particularly gruesome sequence, Glenn and Rick cover themselves in Zombie guts and make their way outside. Wouldn’t you know it, it starts to rain. Curses, foiled. As their scent washes off, the men make a dash for the getaway van.
Back on the rooftop, some delicious irony is playing out. Dixon’s fate hangs in the balance as the key to his handcuffs is held by the African American.
Glenn drives a decoy car with an alarm going off to distract the zombies, and the rest of the group makes it onto the van. Except Dixon, who is left cursing after T-Dog accidentally drops his handcuff key down a drainpipe. T-Dog seems haunted by this chain of events, and is visibly upset to leave Dixon, despite his nasty tirades.
So there we go. Our gang is headed to base camp, and Dixon is left on the rooftop.