The Walking Dead – Episode 1-4 Review

The writers of The Walking Dead like split the characters up physically, and have two plots running side by side. So far, the results are mixed. With “Vatos,” Rick’s journey in the city, which began as a search for Merle, turns, oddly enough, into a moment of brevity, one which doesn’t have much significance or real tension.On the other side of the spectrum, the business at the camp really carries the heavy emotional load and delivers in the end.

After discovering that Merle actually cauterized his stump, Rick and the others look around for him, but soon find themselves in a pickle. A bunch of Mexicans jump out, beat up Daryl, and nab Glenn. It looks like they are a bunch of Mexican gangbangers along the line of the angry racist or angry wife-beater, and they’d deserve a solid beating.

For a while, it’s a tense situation with Rick and the others on one side and the gangsters on the others, both with their hostages. The biggest problem, however, is that we know the swap will eventually happen and no one will get hurt. With guns pointed at everyone, if someone shoots, everyone shoots and everyone dies. The characters there are important, therefore no one will shoot and no one will die. The only remaining option is to do the prisoner exchange peacefully.

Then something quite amazing happens. Guillermo’s abuela comes out, and the vatos are actually a bunch of guys who take care of their relatives in a nursing home. The situation is quickly defused, the guns divided, and it’s a pretty good comedic moment. The lesson is that despite the world still having nice, decent people, when it comes to basic survival, people can be pushed to do things that wouldn’t otherwise do and obtain a responsibility they wouldn’t otherwise get.

While that plot doesn’t exactly do much, the camp plot is by far the stronger of the two. The episode begins with Andrea and Amy bonding, and we learn there is a 15 year age difference. Later, Jim is acting a little crazy, digging graves without stopping. There’s another enjoyable scene where everyone is huddled around the fire talking and we get a bit of personality out of every character. However, this time it has to be ruined by zombies who bite Ed the wife-beater, Amy, and a couple randoms. Rick and the group manage to get back to save everyone else, but the final scene is directed extremely well as the focus is solely on Andrea, as we see only Andrea in her sorrow but hear the background sounds.

Even though it seems like it began only yesterday, the season comes to an end in two weeks and the second season won’t start until around Halloween of next year.

Score: 8.7/10

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