The secret word of the day, friends, was "Guts."
There were literal guts and figurative guts splashed all over the my TV screen last night as I watched the second stellar episode of the new AMC series The Walking Dead.
The non-dead folks of the greater Atlanta area were divided into two factions last night: The City Mice and the Country Mice. Let's talk about each of them in turn.
The City Mice: When the episode began, our hero Rick was still stuck inside a zombie infested tank and was talking to an unfamiliar human voice on the radio. The voice, it turned out, was a young guy named Glenn, who had a walkie-talkie and a good vantage point to talk Rick through a plan for escaping the Tank of Doom.
On the dead zombie soldier in the tank, Rick found a Baretta with fifteen rounds that he used to take out as many zombies as possible before finding his new BFF Glenn and his posse of outlaws. Glenn rushed Rick up a ladder, over a couple of buildings, and into a deserted department store where they were greeted by a blonde woman wielding a gun and a very sour attitude. This turned out to be Andrea and she is emotional and thinks Rick is going to get everybody killed...
But Rick was very soon let off the hook because of the group's token redneck, Merle Dixon, who was up on the rooftop using his shotgun on the zombies (or "geeks") and causing a lot of general mayhem. The posse moved up to the roof where Merle was given the opportunity to say some really charming racist things before ex-sheriff's deputy Rick brought the law down on him and handcuffed Merle to the roof. Trust in Rick: Established.
Back down in the department store, Andrea looted a really hideous mermaid necklace for her sister while the zombies made their eventual way into the vestibule of the jewelry department. Now there was only a thin pane of glass separating our posse from the geeks. The humans knew they needed to get the frak out of Atlanta, but how?
Glenn and Morales decided to check out the sewer system after Jacqui, who used to work for the city's zoning office (helpful!), told them about an internal entrance to the underground. It was a great plan, but too bad they found zombies down there.
The next plan involved getting to a construction site that was a veritable Candyland of cars and trucks. The only problem was the scores of undead folks blocking their path to escape. But the team had a great plan: If the humans can mask their smell, maybe they can get past the zombies. So they dragged a zombie corpse into the department store, and after a fitting memorial service reminiscent of the one in LOST where the castaways eulogize their fellow Oceanic 815 passengers, they hacked the poor guy's corpse into a bloody mess of guts and entrails. Oh, and then they smeared the guy's innards all over their clothes.
Rick and Glenn took off in zombie fashion (read: slow) toward the construction site. The zombies noticed them, but seemed to accept the two humans as their own. Until it started to rain and their lovely living scent permeated through all the death and decay. Fortunately, Rick and Glenn were merely steps from the construction site, so they quickly climbed the fence, slammed an axe into a zombie's head for good measure, and hopped into their vehicles.
Rick took the driver's seat in a large truck so he could go back and pick up the rest of the posse. Glenn got into a small car and drove around like a mad man to set off car alarms all around the city to distract the zombies.
Rick pulled up to the department store to pick up the posse and everyone got inside the truck -- except Merle Dixon. T-Dog tried to unlock his handcuffs, but he dropped the key down a hole. Whoops. So he left the racist redneck to die of starvation or zombie bite.
Meanwhile, Glenn escaped the confines of Atlanta and found himself speeding out of the city alone. Will he end up at the refugee camp or will he go off on his own?
The Country Mice: The humans that live in the trailers by the woods spend their time worrying about the rest of the humans, looking for mushrooms in the wild, and, oh yeah, boning in the trees.
That's how the episode began for Rick's wife Lori and his best friend Shane anyway.
The big thing we learned about the people in the camp is that they're all related to the City Mice. Andrea's mermaid loving sister, Amy, is there. Rick's family is there. Oh, and Big Dead(?) Merle's equally redneck brother Daryl is there (I wonder if Merle also has another brother Daryl).
Looks like next week we'll be spending more time at the refugee camp.
1. I love how perfectly diverse the posse in the city was. Nearly every ethnic group was represented among them. That's how it always happens in disaster movies. Somehow, despite all the chaos of trying to stay alive and whatnot, perfect racial parity is always achieved.
2. I think the zombies are evolving and getting smarter, kind of like Bub in Day of the Dead. By season 2 we'll be having True Blood-esque zombie on human romantic relationships.
What did I miss? What did you think of episode 2?