The Walking Dead, “Guts”: D-d-d-do you have it?

Remember last week when I talked about your typical zombie story, with your typical group of survivors doing typical things? Well, the show gave us about as typical an episode as you can get this week, with Rick hooking up with a small group of survivors trying to get out of Atlanta. This is one of those instances in which the show strays from the comic book. In the comic, Rick meets up with Glenn and it’s the two of them who escape the city. Here, we were introduced to the blandest group of survivors imaginable who didn’t seem to have much purpose beyond being ethnic, cowering in front of the racist guy, and dropping little bits of knowledge to advance the story here and there. All in all, it was not great.

Well, I’m being too harsh. Overall, the episode wasn’t great, but there were great bits sprinkled throughout. One of those moments can be seen above, in which Rick and Glenn smother themselves in zombie guts in an elaborate attempt to hijack a moving truck. It’s beats like these in which I feel the show is treading some new ground, showing us things we’ve never seen before in a story like this. Other times, not so much. Case in point, the aforementioned group of stereotypes. If I were Rick and Glenn, I would have hijacked the moving truck and peeled out of there. What was so great about the pilot was the eerie quiet, the sense of desolation. I think a lot of this could still have been preserved with the hordes of zombies and even Glenn around, but with these other jokers there’s just no chance.

Another bit that rubbed me the wrong way, and that I’m having trouble finding an eloquent way to fit into this review: Before Rick and co. can get down and dirty with this guy they’re going to chop up, Rick pulls out the guy’s wallet and says a few words about him. I understand that the “walking dead” in the title refer more to the survivors than it does the zombies, and when all is said and done these characters may be in very, very bad places, so the writers need to show the gradual declination of their humanity, but still, can we get rid of trite stuff like this and just chop the guy’s head off? I’m sure there are better ways to show the audience Rick’s humanity, and none of them involve him saying, “Don’t kill the living!”

Back at the survivor camp, the writers are really trying to impress on us that SHANE IS SLEEPING WITH LORI. And for those of you who don’t understand the importance of this, Lori is Rick’s wife. And when Rick comes back, he will like finding out that his friend and ex-partner has been keeping his side of the bed warm none too much. Give us some credit. We don’t need EVERYTHING spelled out for us. I like Shane this week about as much as I did last week, which is to say not much at all. I think the real fireworks are going to begin in the next episode, when Shane sees his leadership role in the group threatened by Rick. That’ll be some good stuff (foreknowledge!).

I know I just spent most of the review hating on this episode, but my feelings toward the show aren’t that bad and certainly not pessimistic. I think the show has the potential to be truly great and a more-than-worthy addition to AMC’s lineup, but like so many shows before it, it’s got to find its way. I’m just hoping that way doesn’t tread too much through stock characters and trite platitudes about humanity.

Things that Happened In the Episode that Don’t Happen In Real Life:

  • People don’t call rainstorms cloudbursts.
  • People don’t slap handcuffs on some piece of white trash, then walk ten feet away to gaze into the distance and collect their thoughts.
  • Big black guys with backwards Kangol caps don’t go down that easy.
  • People don’t wait that long to step in when the aforementioned white trash is beating up on the aforementioned black guy.

3 responses to “The Walking Dead, “Guts”: D-d-d-do you have it?

  1. Do we know yet if Shane was sleeping with Lori before Rick was shot and the zombie apocalypse began? Were we supposed to assume that? Because I still can’t get a good handle on how much time passed while Rick was in the hospital and the world was being taken over by the undead, so I could see a scenario where, believe her husband to be dead, Lori takes comfort in Shane… which would make both of them slighly more sympathetic, but not much so.

  2. Well, Rick couldn’t have been in the hospital more than a couple of weeks while everything fell apart on the outside. Actually, I don’t see how he could have been there more than a couple of days without someone watching over him, but if he were fed intravenously or something like that then I guess I could suspend my disbelief.

    In the comic (SPOILER ALERT), Lori first has sex with Shane while they’re stuck on the highway trying to get out of the city. It’s one of those spur of the moment things that just keeps going and going. I guess I can feel some sympathy for Lori, having just lost her husband (or so she believes) and all. But Shane is just a dick who wants Rick’s life.

  3. Aye, this time-warp is a big mystery. I figured they could stretch it with special TV-time fantasy powers and claim it to be about two weeks since we see Shane put those flowers up in his room. (Takes that long for them to wilt like that, even with proper water etc.) Also, Rick had an IV in him when he woke up, possibly earlier than his body would like due to lack of fluids, kind of opposite to real life when you’ve gone to bed after drinking like three gallons of water on a hot day. The body wills it, and it is so.

    BUT that does not explain how that IV lasted him that long. Most people get several IVs a day, but I can let it slide that it lasted him 3 days. Three days later he is nearly dehydrated, and wakes up, which is just shy a week. I still cannot come up with what happened during that second week of time, but what blows my theory is out of the water is Morgan telling Rick that the power has been out for about a month when they take a shower and Rick says the pilot light is still on.

    A friggin’ month? How the hell did he last that long in bed with no help? My only guess other than magic Hollywood logic, is that Shane DID show up about a week before Rick woke up, and that Shane knew how bad the situation was in the hospital. That would involve Shane lying right from the start though, and I think he is still more of a ‘if it looks bad, cut em loose’ sort of mind process, not the mindless self indulgence that this scenario would imply. We’ll see how it turns out though!

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