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The Walking Dead: Episodes 4 & 5

November 29, 2010

Episode 4, “Vatos,” had decent beginning, a mediocre middle with a magical abuela, and a shocking, awful ending. Zombies found their way to camp and took a lot of lives. We had a hint that they’d arrive last episode when a lone walker feasted on a freshly killed deer. But I have a theory as to how and why they showed up at camp after the jump.

Vatos opens with the sisters Amy and Andrea fishing at the quarry. The scene is slow as the pair bond, and it is obvious in retrospect that something awful is going to happen to at least one of them. Meanwhile, the hunt for Merle begins back in the city. Even though he was mostly delirious, he managed to apply a tourniquet, walk down a set of unlocked stairs the undead somehow missed, take out a few of the undead, cauterize his gushing stump, and hop off out into the city where he steals a van. Rick and crew get distracted from Merle while they try to recover the guns and walkie talkie by a gang of thugs who swipe Glenn and take off with him.

Tom and Lorenzo brought up a good point: How dangerous can Atlanta be if there’s a pocket of geriatrics living in the middle of it all? And honestly, the old lady wandering in and taking an armed stranger by the hand and leading him inside was a bit of a stretch. Yes, it was a fun twist that these thug gangstas are actually nurses and custodians, but the means to reveal it was kind of weak. And why all these people aren’t banding together is beyond me. Someone needs to say, “Hey, we’ve got a bunch of able-bodied folks in the woods, you’re pretty fortified here and surrounded by supplies, let’s join forces!” But as soon as Rick gets back to camp, the old folks are instantly forgotten. (Along with Merle.)

Which brings me to my theory: Merle took the van. He was probably being chased by zombies as he ran to it. Maybe he even lured them to it. Stumpy Dixon does some quick maneuvering to get a small gaggle of the undead into the van, and he drives back to camp to exact his revenge.

Anyhow, by the end, Amy is dead, wife-beater is dead, and so are a bunch of other background/red shirt characters who never spoke, leaving us with the core group. Dad was kind enough to grab my leg and yell “Booga!” during Amy’s death scene when we were all waiting for her to come back to unlife.

By episode 5, the core group has decided it might be a good idea to move on. Again, Andrea takes too long to say goodbye, and why shooting a moving sister in the head is better than a “sleeping” one is beyond me. But okay, Andrea, have it your way. I’ll admit it was hella suspenseful waiting for her to pop back to life, and again Dad took advantage of the fact by spooking me and making me jump twice more.

Shane grows a whole lot creepier in this episode, after rightfully calling Rick out on abandoning the group. Later, he debates just killing Rick and getting him out of the way. Then he does a strange 180 and sides with Rick, agreeing that they need to head to the CDC rather than the army base.

Hispanic family parts ways, thinning the herd further as they all take off for the CDC, where we find that only one man remains alive. But he may not be alive for long. The acid he spilled on his sample and wiped away with his HAND was burning a bit too quickly through both his gloves and no doubt into his skin. I’m marking CDC Guy as a goner.

There’s only one episode left with lots of loose ends to tie up. Or not tie up. This show could go anywhere! We might have to have a live blog for the finale, kids.


  • Throughout this episode and last, Jim showed himself to be a tragic, sad character doomed to die. Great performance. We’ll be seeing him again in zombie form.
  • I want to see more of the battered wife, who apparently is named Carol. Or just more of the women in general.
  • Where is Merle now? When will he be coming back?
  • And Morgan?
  • A lot of people are drawing parallels of this show to Lost. I’ve never seen Lost. What do you think?
  • This point is where the show is said to deviate the most from the comics, and I’m interested to see what people who have read all the comics have to say on the subject.
  • Chekov’s Gun remains: Rick still has that grenade is his pocket.
One Comment leave one →
  1. Encrazed Crafts permalink
    November 29, 2010 8:42 pm

    Haha, tell your dad that he is awesome. I totally should have done that to the Misses, and now am already regretting I did not think doing so.

    I think Shane did a 180 by aiming at Rick in the first place, not siding with him. (I think he only did that to keep Dale from piping up that Shane has homicidal tendencies outta no where. Jim was a target for digging holes and Shane isn’t a target for wanting to *fill* them? With human beings still alive, no less?)

    CDC is more than likely infected, drunk, and knows that he’s infected in the next episode. And Andrea deserves a lot of negative karmatic treatment after pulling a gun a Rick. A cold shower in a sterile environment is far less that what she deserves. Merle did the same thing and has not been seen in two full episodes AND is minus a hand. Just sayin’.

    I’ve noted comic-reading fans of the series peg Merle as to being a certain “governor” character from the graphic novels. A sadistic guy who rules with violence, generally all around bad dood. I think the idea fits, and you are the only other person I have read that suggested Merle for starting the zombie attack. (The other person suggested he came back and cut the tin can line of defense they had. Which they never brought up this episode which suggests that this was not the case, and that suggesting “we need more tin cans” as they did in this episode is so moronically obvious they all should have been killed by zombies to make Darwin happy. So their bright idea was to block off an eighth of their perimeter with alarms? Since zombies only attack from the East, or something? They had shovels, for cryin’ out loud! If I learned anything from Minecraft it is to dig a dry moat around whatever you want to be safe in deep enough to prevent anyone from climbing us and surprising you. Walker survivors. Pfft. Noobs.)

    And I forgot about that grenade. Though I did remember it during the awkward at best Mexican Standoff with the Vatos. Alas, he did not use it. Though Daryle might have the last laugh there. He shot that one guy in the butt with a bolt that wasn’t cleaned after at least four zombie head-shots. I’d say he just got that guy infected, and within a week that compound will be full of shambling zombies after all. GG Daryle! (However it is spelled!)

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