So another apocalypse has passed and we’re all still here. The world was supposed to end, again, on Friday, but the closest we came was the season 2 premiere of The Walking Dead. Feels like a result to me!
The first thing that struck me was the accents. During the break between the seasons, our favourite zombie killing cop buddies, Rick and Shane seem to have started a competition to see who could talk in the thickest Southern accent. It must be hard work, though, as by the end of the episode they seemed to have reverted to something more manageable.
In classic The Walking Dead style, the show wasted no time in building some nerve-shredding tension. While fleeing Atlanta, our rag-tag group of survivors ran into a major hold up: the road was blocked by a bunch of abandoned vehicles many of which had dead bodies inside. During the first season Dale spent half of his time fixing the radiator hose on his camper van. And you guessed it… just as the group was weaving through the vehicles, the radiator hose blew. So our group had to pick through the wreckage and hover over dead bodies, any of which could have creaked into life, to find spare parts and supplies. Unfortunately for our heroes a large group of zombies decided to shuffle on up the road before they were done.
The characters imaginatively decided that the correct term for a large group of zombies should be a herd. A herd! Really? There are some great creaturely collective nouns e.g. a murder of crows, an army of ants or a horde of hamsters. Hamsters have a cool collective noun like horde and the writers at The Walking Dead decide to land zombies with herd. Why not just tie cow bells round their necks and milk the damned things?
Anyway, much terrified hiding and a few quiet zombie kills ensued before a couple of stragglers chased little Sophie into the woods. Needless to say Rick went after her. He managed to find her, stash her in a manky hollow and draw off the cannibal cadavers. Our heroic cop then quietly and very easily smashed their heads in with a large rock before returning for Sophie. Alas, our poor little girl had wandered off into the woods all alone.
This lead us to a charming scene where Rick and Dale came across a zombie in the woods and decide they needed to know if it had eaten little Sophie. So, how do you find out if a zombie has eaten a little girl? Kill it, slice it open and rip out its stomach with your bare hands of course! Fortunately, no little girl body parts were found.
So, the hunt continued on to a church full of zombie Christians who had their brains unceremoniously smashed out. This blood-splattered, corpse-laden church was the perfect setting for Rick to plead for God to give him a sign that he was following the right path.
At the end of the episode it looked like God had responded when Rick, Shane and little Carl had a magical moment in the woods complete with joyous ethereal background music. The boys stumbled upon a beautiful fearless stag that seemed happy to let little Carl approach. As the hopeful Rick and joy-filled Shane watched on, little Carl reached out to touch the majestic creature and… BLAM… a shot rips through the stag and takes down Carl too. I mean, ok, there’s joyous ethereal music playing, but still, who lets their kid wander up to an antlered wild animal in zombie infested woods? Tut-tut, you were just asking for trouble, Rick.
Anyway, time for a quick round up of the other happenings:
- Andrea made a depressingly compelling case for suicide in a post-zombie-apocalypse world.
- Shane told Lori he was planning to do a runner. Andrea overheard and told Shane she wants to tag along.
All-in-all it was a pretty good season premier for our favourite zombie TV show. There was classic horror tension, there were surprises, there was plenty of gore and radiator hose drama.
Is Carl going to die? Where’s Sophie? Will Shane and Andrea split from the group? Will Dale ever sort out that pesky radiator hose once and for all? Feel free to speculate and share your thoughts in the comments box below.