Zombie Round-Up – Well, That Escalated Pretty Quickly…
Good evening Evil Geeks! Welcome to the first installment of what hopefully will be a weekly column during The Walking Dead season, something I’m tentatively calling Zombie Round-Up. I like the name and all, but it kind of feels like I should be writing this while wearing an entrail stained cowboy hat and twirling a lasso, so if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free (just make sure that if we’re having that conversation in my office, you’re standing on the trap door… I meant rug, RUG. It’s the suggestion rug, that’s why it’s there, so use it). Back to the topic at hand, I’m going to be talking every week in this space about the show that has geeks of all brands glued to their TV’s on Sunday nights, The Walking Dead. I’ve been meaning to get this column started earlier in the season, but well let’s face it; we’re the Brotherhood of EVIL Geeks, not the Brotherhood of Highly Motivated Geeks. Let’s get this kicked off by getting caught up on the total lunacy that has been Season 3 so far, then tomorrow we’ll delve into the most recent episode, Killer Within, and the emotional whiplash I’m sure we’re all feeling after the completely heart shredding events that took place. Spoilers ahead, so if you don’t want to know what happens, then go get caught up and run right back here so you can read about everything you just watched.
Last season ended with Rick killing Shane, Carl icing Zombie Shane (who despite the fact that he’s a rotting corpse, probably still smells like Drakkar Noir and scumbag), our band of survivors being chased off Hershel’s farm by a swarm of zombies with Andrea getting separated from the main group, and Rick basically telling everyone who was left alive that he’ll be calling the shots from here on out. After wandering for about 6 months or so, the gang finally runs across an “abandoned” prison. Not really abandoned in the nobody’s there sense, more like abandoned because zombies ate everyone there and are still just hanging around. The group decides to clear the prison of walkers, so that they can set up camp there and perhaps be able to safely ride out the zombie apocalypse. In the course of clearing out the prison, Rick and Co. run across some prisoners who’d been barricaded in the prisons’ kitchen for several months. The prisoners aren’t all exactly welcoming of the new crowd of people, some tensions build, and by the end of the whole ordeal, we’re down a few prisoners. One of them (Big Tiny) is bitten, then immediately hacked to death by another one of the prisoners (Tomas), who then tries half-assedly to kill Rick, who responds by burying a machete into the middle of his brain. One of the remaining prisoners (Andrew), now feeling threatened by Rick and the other survivors, decides to run for his life but ends up getting chased into a zombie filled courtyard by Rick, seemingly to his death. Rick makes a deal with the other prisoners to let them live, if they agree to keep to their own separate cell block. Oh and Hershel gets his ankle chomped on by a walker, so Rick hacks his leg off in quite possibly one of the most brutally graphic scenes ever aired on television.
What about what’s going on with Andrea, you ask? Didn’t we see her get lost after the swarm overran Hershel’s farm? Wasn’t she about to become zombie food before getting rescued by a mysterious, dual zombie-toting, sword slinging, hooded stranger? We did indeed. That mysterious badass being none other than Michonne, a character from the books that the fans have been dying to see brought to life on the show. She has been surviving, somewhat on her own, for a very long time and when she comes across and injured Andrea, she decides to help her out. One of the reasons that Michonne has survived so long, well 2 of the reasons actually, are her de-armed, de-jawed zombie companions. She’s figured out that having the zombies with her prevent other zombies from attacking her. They mask her presence and allow her to slip by undetected. The two former people who are accompanying her were her boyfriend and his best friend. At the start of the season, Andrea and Michonne have been wandering for a while and are starting to be in rough shape. Andrea is pretty sick and their supplies are running dangerously low. While out roaming around, the women happen to witness a helicopter crash, so they decide to check it out. When they arrive to investigate, they find that another group has already beaten them there and are already combing the wreckage. The group of men find a lone survivor among the crash. As the women are observing the new group, they are snuck up on and captured by none other than Merle Dixon (played by the always awesome Michael Rooker), Darryl’s erstwhile brother whom Rick and T Dog left handcuffed to die way back in season one. It seems ol’ Merle hacked his hand off to get out of the cuffs and he is certainly not too happy about that. On the plus side though, he now has a metal stump/blade where his hand used to be, which is pretty cool, so he’s got that going for him. Merle takes the women to the leader of the group, known only as The Governor. The women are taken back to Woodbury, the town that the Governor and his men have secured. Andrea and Michonne are told that they’re not prisoners, but something just doesn’t seem right about Woodbury. The Governor seems like a nice enough guy, until you see him entrap and viciously murder a group of army soldiers (the friends of the people in the helicopter), then you also find out that he has a private menagerie of zombified heads in fish tanks that he enjoys staring at as well. If you’ve read the books, you know that all is not as serene as it seems in Woodbury and soon enough that’s going to spell trouble for the survivors living at the prison.
Believe it or not, that WAS the short version of what’s been going in these first 4 episodes. So far the pace of this season has been neck-breakingly insane. The frenzy kicked off when the zombie heard swept through Hershel’s farm at the end of season 2 was merely the starting point. The season started off with what I considered at the time, to be the best episode of the series to date. After “Killer Within” Sunday night though, I think that bar has been reset. That first episode of the season shows us that life on the run has hardened the survivors, especially in the case of Rick and Carl. Rick is no longer the wussy, play-it-safe, nice guy. By the second episode, when Rick kills Tomas by splitting his skull with a machete, he does it so casually and without hesitation that it’s almost as if after killing Shane, Rick just kind of accepts that fact that sooner or later he’s going to have to kill everyone he knows, zombified or not. Carl has grown into quite the budding badass also (or psychopath, that one can really go either way at this point). In the premiere episode, Carl is strolling through a zombie infested house, popping zombie heads with his silenced pistol like he’s been doing it all his life. He also appears to be turning into quite the horny teenager too. What’s up with him making the sexy eyes at Beth (Hershel’s daughter)? Isn’t she waaayyyyy older than him? Easy man, I realize your options are limited ever since your dad had to put a slug in Sophia’s brain, but I don’t think you’re ready for the older chicks just yet.
Ok, that about catches us up to the most recent episode. Check back with us tomorrow as I talk about the game changing events of “Killer Within”. Where does the Ricktatorship go from here?!?!?!
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