The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1 recap

Welcome to the weekly recaps of The Walking Dead. When thinking about what to do for these recaps, I started thinking about how TWD is a true water cooler show. DVR has kind of eliminated the water cooler show as most everyone watches stuff off their DVR now which means everyone’s viewing schedules are messed up and chances are if you start trying to talk about a show at work/school/wherever, someone is going to scream “SPOILERS NOOOO” and run out of the room crying and cursing your mother. But TWD is something I hear people talk about immediately. If you didn’t catch TWD on Sunday night you’re pretty much SOL when it comes to remaining spoiler-free on Monday. From there I started thinking about the people not watching TWD that get left out on Monday and decided to write these recaps for those of you who aren’t watching TWD so that you can still have friends come Monday. So here is everything you need to know about TWD 2.1.

The remaining survivors (the season-one-ending explosion at the CDC wiped out the last of the characters no one cared about) are leaving Atlanta for Fort Benning. Officer Rick is still speaking to Morgan through the walkie-talkie. What was the range on that thing again? Because they’re getting pretty far apart.

Horrible Lori is less horrible for now. She’s trying really hard to get back on track with Rick. They have a pointless conversation about going to the Grand Canyon in the car with their son, Carl. Carl is still just annoying enough that I kind of hope he gets eaten by a zombie.

Stupid Shane is riding with Dale in his RV, cleaning his guns because handling firearms in an old Winnebago on the rough, body-strewn roads of post-apocalyptic America is a super good idea. Stupid Shane is still stupid.

Andrea is still being mopey and a general downer. I know your kid sister got eaten by a zombie that one time and you had to blow her brains out because she was infected, but I really need you to be ass-kicking Andrea already, not mopey emo Andrea.

Stupid Shane offers to teach Andrea how to break down her gun. Yes, let’s take the two most emotionally unstable members of the group and encourage them to spend time together while caressing their firearms. This could not possibly end in mass homicide.

Dale’s RV does the predictable and breaks down while the group is stranded on a highway. The highway looks like it was overrun by zombies while people were trying to flee. This is the first fifteen minutes of the show and it is terribly tense and effective.

While scavenging amongst the cars for supplies, Officer Rick and Dale notice a large herd of zombies headed their way. Rick instructs everyone to hide under cars. This is pretty much the only good decision he’ll make for the next eighty minutes.

T-Dog suffers a serious injury and is bleeding everywhere. Showing his continued recovery from racist-asshole-dom, Daryl comes to his rescue. The proximity of the zombies prompts Daryl to cover T-Dog and himself with corpses. This isn’t the worst thing we’ll see this episode, though it is pretty vomity.

Andrea, signaling better things to come, character-wise, stabs a zombie to death in the RV as Dale looks on. Judging her emotional state to be too uneven, Dale takes away her gun. This leads to an episode-long discussion about who should have guns and who shouldn’t.

Just as the herd seems to clear up, 11 year old Sophia spazzes and alerts a zombie to her presence. She takes off for the woods and Rick follows her. He tells her to wait in a hiding place while he goes off to dispatch the zombies. It’s a bad decision as Sophia once again loses her sh*t and runs off before Rick comes back. I’ve heard some complaints about Rick’s sh*tty decision making, but he’s almost too preternaturally in control in the comics so I think here they’re really trying to show that he’s a normal guy as opposed to the a nearly-omnipotent figurehead.

The group searches for Sophia. Carl is allowed to accompany Rick and Stupid Shane on the search. Stupid Shane has been cold and short-tempered with Carl because Lori got mad when Stupid Shane tried to rape her back at the CDC, and also because she went back to Rick when it turned out he was alive after all. So Stupid Shane is being a dick to her 11 year old son.

The group stumbles upon a tent. Turns out that a hunter “opted out” inside his tent. You know you watch too many crime shows when you can tell a dude committed suicide just by the angle of his jaw.

The search for Sophia continues, eventually leading to a church where Rick, Daryl and Stupid Shane have to put down three walkers inside the church. Still not the worst thing we’ve seen this episode. Rick has a crisis of faith, begs for a sign.

Rick and Stupid Shane, and Carl, keep searching as the others head back to the road. The men come across a deer. In a bizarre moment, Carl is encouraged to approach it. What is he going to do? Kill the deer with his bare hands? Hug it? At the last moment, there is gunfire and the deer and Carl collapse. Cut to Rick’s horrified face.

Status check:
Officer Rick – Just a guy who will make mistakes.
Horrible Lori – Less horrible for now.
Stupid Shane – Everyone hates him.
Daryl – Slightly less racist.
Andrea: Not fun yet.
Sophia: Still MIA.
Carl: Shot.

Worst thing seen/heard this episode: The zombie autopsy.

Zombie kill of the week: Andrea in the RV with the screwdriver.