At the end of last weekâ€™s premiere, we left Rick Grimes holed up in a tank surrounded by zombies. Miraculously, a voice had come through the radio just in time to give Grimes a glimpse of hope. Last night (in an episode entitled â€œGutsâ€) we met the person attached to the voice: a beautiful scamp named Glenn.
A nimble scavenger, Glenn helps Rick out of his predicament by instructing him to make a mad dash for a fenced-off alley nearby. Picking off every zombie between him and the alley, Rick makes it to the temporary safe haven. He then scrambles up a series of ladders with Glenn, almost followed by a particularly adroit quasi-climbing zombie. When they get to the rest of Glennâ€™s group and nervous blonde Andrea pulls a gun on Rick, it becomes abundantly clear that interpersonal violence is going to be as much of a threat (if not moreso) than any zombie attack.
Glennâ€™s group comprises a ragtag assortment of survivors sent to scavenge Atlanta by the outlying survivor camp we met last week â€“ the one that includes Rickâ€™s estranged wife Lori. The groupâ€™s got Andrea, Rickâ€™s lovable yet terrified potential love interest; Merle Dixon, a rabidly bigoted sharpshooter; T-Dog, the unfortunate target of Merleâ€™s racism; and a few other scrappy survivors. Merleâ€™s opinions land him handcuffed to a pipe on the roof of a department store, and when the group has to make a quick getaway, T-Dog accidentally drops the key down a vent. Looks like Merle gets to juggle starvation, heat stroke, and the buildingâ€™s eventual zombie infestation in the episodes to come.
The groupâ€™s escape hinges on Rick and Glenn covering themselves with zombie guts (hence the episode title) in order to shuffle undetected through a throng of zombies. Theyâ€™re about to make it untilâ€¦cue thundercrack. Our two heroes just barely scale the fence that protects the moving van before another surprisingly agile zombie climbs over the barrier. This begs the question: are there zombies that can do more than saunter? It could be that the more deft â€œwalkersâ€ are fresher corpses, so they retain more of their prior abilities. On the other hand, it could be that some zombies are called â€œwalkersâ€ because other zombies do much more than that.
Thanks to Glennâ€™s hot-wiring capabilities and a very loud car alarm, heâ€™s able to lead most of the zombies away from the loading dock where Rick picks up the rest of the group. The episode ends on Glennâ€™s triumphant yee-haw, barreling out of Atlanta in a screaming red coupe.
Other items of note: Shane and Loriâ€™s forest sexcapade surprisingly doesnâ€™t end with a breathy zombie standing idly by, and the tank that Rick hides in is none other than the famous Abrams model. If Frank Darabont can insert a few more million last names into the script, he might just amass the audience this show deserves.
photo from AMC.com