The first two episodes of this season seemed slower and more thoughtfully paced to me than last season, which was a little frenetic at times. The Walking Dead, like the zombie hordes populating the show’s sets, seems to do its best work at a slow gait. This week, Rick and Shane take the wounded Carl back to a farmhouse, where the hunter who shot Carl and a few other survivors have holed up. An older man, who we first assume is a doctor but whom Rick later learns (to his horror) us actually just a veterinarian, does what he can with the bullet fragments but eventually realizes that he needs more medical supplies to save the boy. Shane and the hunter head off to the local high school where some supplies have been stockpiled, where they run into a horde of walkers that cut off their escape route. The episode ends with Shane and the hunter, cowering behind a flimsy metal door grate held in place with a wobbly, rusty looking pin.
Last week I predicted that Rick and Shane would be separated from the rest of the group, but that’s not quite what happens. The others are informed of what happened, and head to the farmhouse (with the exception of Daryl, and someone else, I forget whom, who wait back on the highway to construct a sign for Sophia. I really think it would have been interesting to split the survivors into two groups and have them travel along separately for a while before merging back together again. It would have given us some added tension, and maybe some new, interesting group dynamics. The writers decided not to go that way, though, which is fine because the episode was really well done anyway. I am looking forward to seeing how the survivors interact with the people in the farmhouse once this crisis is over. A gravely wounded little boy is doing a good job of forcing both groups to work together, but if the values and objectives of both groups aren’t exactly in line, there’s bound to be some tension once the immediate crisis has passed.
It was funny to hear the old veterinarian talk about how humanity would find someway to survive this zombie plague; Rick wasn’t buying it, and I’m not so sure I would either, especially after what they saw at the CDC. I feel like the doctor and the people at the house may be hiding something. Even though the farmhouse is relatively isolated, I’m not sure how they managed to stay there so long without suffering any serious attacks. All the folks in the house looked pretty strong and not particularly overstressed. How have they survived in such good condition so far? I’d like to see an answer to that in the next few episodes. All in all, a very good start to the season. I can’t wait for more.
Crazy Violence Level: 3 of 10
Comments: Lots of blood from poor Carl, but not much zombie killing.
* Daryl telling a zombie to “shut up” and then crossbowing it in the head.