Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season 1, Episode 4: Vatos

We open with Andrea and Amy on the lake, fishing and reminiscing over the old times. We learn a lot about them, their relationship, their age difference, how they're differences and how their father treated them differently – and how their father knew how different they both were. Either way their father taught them they manage to pull back quite a haul of fish

Meanwhile Dale keeps watch and Jim... digs holes for no apparent reason. He keeps digging holes in full Georgia sunlight without pausing even to drink. Dale is concerned and calls Shane (who isn't dead) and the other refugees. Jim points out he's not hurting people so why do they care – and he challenges Shane, saying he thinks Shane attacked Ed to establish his power and control. Jim tries to hit Shane when he tries to take the shovel, but Shane quickly physically overpowers him. It's interesting to look at because while we can largely agree with Shane's actions (if not his motivations) he has assumed defacto leadership and control over the other refugees by being bigger and stronger than them. We also find that Jim has lost his family to the Walkers. Jim is tied up until he settles down.

Later he wakes up with sunstroke and apologises, not even remembering why he was digging – just that he dreamed and felt the need to.

Back in Atlanta, Daryl is rather perturbed by his brother having cut his own hand off to escape. Daryl has a lot of lash out moments that he can be talked down from, making me think he's a cut above his brother Merle. He loses his temper, he acts out then can be talked back.

Despite being one handed Merle has escaped into the building, taken out 2 Walkers and then used a gas stove to cauterise his stump. Yeah, ow ow and more ewww. He's apparently left the building trying to survive.

They make a plan to recover the bag of guns and search for Merle and again we see Glen's not only superior knowledge of the city but his extremely good planning skills. The plan is working until another group of humans grab the back of guns and kidnap Glenn. They end up with their own captive who leads them to Guillermo who has a large force of hispanic men

We have a tense show down. Rick wants to exchange prisoners but Guillermo wants the bag of guns as well. There is a tense show down that is broken up by... an old lady. War called on account of old lady who shows them where Glenn is. I have to say the image of an old lady holding back both these sides of fighters pleases me no end. Grandmas for peace and co-operation!

We find out the building is a sanctuary for elderly people and the hispanic “gang members” used to work there or are relatives of the people inside. They protect the food and medicine and provide a sanctuary for the old folks inside. I think this is a wonderful stereotype breaker – the minute we see a large number of hispanic young men armed with weapons we're supposed to think gang members – it's great to see that twisted.

We learn that most other survivors who are wandering around are plunderers and raiders. They have to defend themselves against both the Walkers and any other survivors. They can't move because the elderly can't travel. Rick leaves them some of the guns and ammo and they head back to camp – only to find the van has been stolen and they have to run home (not being able to find another van or car to steal?) They assume Merle has stolen the van.

Meanwhile at the camp they're having a fish fry, Andrea's wrapping Amy's present and Carol is standing up to Ed, demanding she and Sophia get to join in. They have a joke about Dale winding his watch every day – again it's little scenes like this that are a wonderful comment on how people handle a crisis. Dale is winding his watch, even though time has ceased to have meaning, he gives himself that old habit.

A huge number of Walkers attack! Fight scene! The Atlanta group run in half way through the attack and manage to break through the Walkers.

Ed is killed (yay), Amy is killed, so are several other refugees I don't recognise – implying there were more in the camp than we saw? Jim remembers why he dug the holes – to bury the bodies.