Monday, December 6, 2010

The Walking Dead Episode 6: TS-19

WOW. For the first time I am actually able to say that our wretched little band of survivors made all the right decisions. Except for Shane being inappropriate. Oh and the chick that decided to stay and die in the fire - definitely a bad choice.... but I mean as a GROUP they were spot on with the decision making the whole time. So what if most of their choices revolved around "wine or whisky?" or what kind of hair conditioner to grab on the way to the showers? When it really started to hit the fan, they made the decision to keep on keepin' on, which is ALWAYS the way to go when the possible future of humanity rests on your weary shoulders.
  Now whether or not humanity is worth saving is a whoooole other question, and if CDC dude is a prime example of the humanity we're trying to save then the answer is gonna get pretty muddled. This guy screwed our little survivor family over so badly it leaves me with my head in my hands... I mean do you realize how many cases of wine and boxes of powdered eggs they could have packed into that Winny? They could have scavenged guns, soap, medical supplies and high thread count sheets, but CDC guy had to tell them the place was going to explode with 30 minutes left on the clock and then lock them in until the last 4 so not only do they get to take no new supplies with them, but I bet they lost a whole bunch of stuff that they brought! What a horrific waste! OK! I'm done ranting.
      Episode 6 started with a flashback - check off Christmas Wish #4! (Santa's been good to me this year eh?). The Flashback was EPIC! Seriously who wants to have a beer and discuss? I could write an entire blog entry just playing "I notice, I wonder" about the flashback!!  The military was executing people? How long between the first cases and the horrific scene we witnessed at the hospital? Were hospitals the first points of epidemic (what a ridiculous question.... of course they were!) and meanwhile what was going on in the rest of the population? How long did it take society to break down? There must have been other factors because the disease spreads so quickly that it would be hard for it to travel far. I mean think about it, if you get on a plane infected, that plane's NOT going to land so how did it spread to other countries? We saw how Shane really did think that Rick was dead and barricaded him in to protect him. They explained quite a lot in a brief little flashback. I have high, high, hopes that we will see more of these.
   Then we got to see everybody arrive at the CDC. It was soooo nice to see them let down their guard for a bit, get cleaned up, eat, SLEEP with no Zombie attacks, and just re-group a bit even though we knew there had to be a catch. And what a catch it was. We really didn't learn anything new about the Zombies even while watching the TS-19 video. We knew that death came first, and then re-animation, and we already knew they didn't have higher reasoning capacity. We did find out that the ZTT is anywhere from 3 minutes (Terror!) to 8 hours. And then we found out that the place was about to blow. Geez.
     It totally peeves me off when someone gives up and decides to take everyone with them. I mean we're trying to repopulate the world here dude! (If we can find an outpost and find a Zombie free place to shag I mean...) So we finally used the grenade (How weird was it that she had it on her person?? What was it, like stashed in her bra or what? Not exactly something you casually put in your back pocket with your iphone just in case you might need it am I right?) And they all escaped. Dale even got Andrea out so props to him. Now what?
   You know there's a lot of nice countryside around Atlanta. They need to drive out somewhere, find a nice lonely farmhouse and set up shop. They need to hit suburban gun shops and REI's and get some supplies and a few nights sleep. Then have a little group huddle around a map and brainstorm. If they can't find a nice prison to hole up in, how about an Island?? It's pretty far to the coast, but there are some big lakes outside Atlanta and some of them have nice sized Islands. If you could clear one of them, it could be a good place to hang out. Where do you think they should go? No fair using the comic storyline either. After all, we have about 326 days to discuss this until the next episode comes out.......

Monday, November 29, 2010

Walking Dead Episode 5: "Wildfire"

Boy oh Boy.... it's feast or famine with the Zombies in the show eh? I mean until I caught a vague glimpse of one at the end of the episode, there really wasn't a Zombie in sight unless you claim Amy's re-animation (Christmas wish #3 CHECK!) or the clean-up shots from the previous night's ambush. This was actually a kind of touchy-feely episode. Lots of working through our issues and getting in touch with our inner feelings, and let's just HOPE that somewhere out there a psychiatrist made it through the epidemic because these folks are going to need some therapy.
We got Andrea who just has work do. Guilt, regret, missed birthdays, and now she has to suffer the pain of knowing that she allowed her sister to re-animate. If any of you have the choice between putting a pick-axe through my noggin and letting me turn into a Zombie and you choose the latter, I will Eat you AND Haunt you forever!! Friends don't let Friends turn into the undead am I right?
Then we have the battered wife. It's definitely too late for couples counseling but MAN does this chick have unresolved issues or what?
Merle is on his way back to camp probably right? Poor I the only one who remembers his plight? He's being abandoned twice! When Daryl realizes this he's gonna need a soft couch and some tissues for sure.
Shane is going to the dark side. The CDC quest is a nice distraction for a while but he'll crack.
Everyone else just needs a beach vacation. Hammock, hot sand, Margarita.... you know just a little time off from the whole Zombie apocalypse.
So the group cleans up the mess from the ambush and Amy re-animates and then gets shot in the head and we find out that the sunstroked gravedigger got bit. Ruh-ro. Daryl wants to pick-axe him right then and there. I think I would have given him a moment to collect his thoughts and get his mind together and then I would have given the poor guy a choice: pick-axe, gun or cross bow? Daryl has a point and the more I get to know him the more I think I'd want him on my team during a Zombie outbreak (unless I was the one that got bit of course...). But they decide to go on a medic mission instead and try to make it to a CDC outpost about 100 miles away.
   First they have a funeral. Now technically Amy ought to be put in the Zombie fire but I guess there's exceptions for friends and family. I call it Zombie Outbreak Nepotism but whatever. They all cry a bit and fight and Shane almost shoots Rick in the woods (Lord of the Flies prediction? Damn I'm good!). Next the Hispanic family decides that although the main group has made smashingly good decisions from the get go, that they are going to try to forge ahead on their own and go visit their relatives in Alabama. Hello!! All your relatives are shuffling re-animated corpses! And now your kids are gonna need therapy along with the rest of them since you dragged them away from their last playmates on the planet. I do have to say however that this family has the best quest vehicle in the convoy. When they broke off from the main group in that thing I almost cried. The rest of the convoy has higher standards for their vehicles. To be part of the CDC convoy it would seem that the vehicle requirements are:
• pre-1980 manufacturing date
• something that's been hastily repaired with non-original parts and/or duct tape
• bondo
So there you have it. They hobble down back roads until a vehicle breaks down. They leave the sunstroked grave digger to die. What are these people thinking? What's HE thinking? I mean you're either going to be eaten alive or turn into a Zombie yourself dude. Have Daryl take you out the humane way - Lord he's itching to do it! Like my Mom always says "When you make bad choices, bad things happen to you."
So that just leaves us one thing to discuss. The CDC guy. With an epic bullet-proof outpost like he's got, HOW ON EARTH is he the only one left in it? There needs to be some backstory. Like season 2 could ALL be backstory and I'd be happy at this point. I don't really know what to make of this new twist. It would seem to be a secure location - a good place to hole up, stash the women and children and go out foraging for supplies in small fast-moving teams of 2 or 3. But you know it can't ever go that smoothly for our tragic little band of survivors. So what's going to happen? Did the CDC guy infected himself with burning Zombie acid? Did they make such a scene at the door that the place will be overridden with Zombies? Will ANYONE on the show actually ever USE the word "Zombie" instead of "walkers" or the super-annoying "geeks"? Does anyone else ever talk to their TV when the show is on?:

"I would just LOVE to help you with the pick-axing Daryl... it's just getting a little too splattery for me." 
"Ok Carl, Mommy and Daddy need to have a little talk so you just walk back to camp by yourself past all that tall grass there.."
"Hey as we convoy onward, let's all keep our eyes open for better vehicles. We can try to trade up one vehicle at a time.         Or not...."
"Andrea, she's gonna bite you! She's grabbing your hair! It's not LOVE!!"

Can't wait to see what happens next week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Walking Dead Episode 4: "Vatos"

My Christmas wishes are coming true!!! Thank-you Santa. First off-the cuff observations:
•What's the deal with the "deer in the headlights" freeze up among these survivors. You'd think they'd be so on-edge and traumatized as to have almost cat-like reflexes by now right? I mean a Zombie grabs your arm and he's going to do just one thing with it. So maybe don't just stand there in shock watching. This is also why people who make sketchy hobo-camps should check the Backpacker Magazine Gear Guide for tents with 2 doorways. I know, I know, I'm not actually complaining. After all, the wife beating idiot was number one on my "here's hoping you get eaten" wish list and I did give it a resounding "YES!" complete with fist pump when he got his neck munched on, but since I'm here to Monday Morning Quaterback this whole thing I have to say he sat there frozen for a loooong moment where he could have been headed out the back door. There's really no escaping from a tent though is there? I mean even if you have a back door, you gotta find the zipper, then it gets stuck in the fabric, then you realize there's another layer of screen to unzip.... Reason #426 why tents make a HORRIBLE ZOMBIE REFUGE!!! But once again I digress....
• Worst Zombie attack advice ever uttered: "Head for the RV!!!"  Seriously? Without the rescue squad's perfect arrival time, these people would have been toast.
• Somebody agrees with me about naming your kid "Merle". Love it.
• You remember on Star Trek how there was always some new guy in Red that was about to die? We need a Hobo-camp group picture so we can see who the "guys in Red" are. I mean quite a few folks got munched... at least 4 by my count, but I was only able to identify Amy and the wife beater. There seems to be quite a few expendable extras.
• As annoying as they can be when it's group bonding time around the campfire, rednecks are awesome to have around when you're in a Zombie shoot-out. Daryl earned his keep in this episode fo sho.
• Can you actually catch fish in a rock quarry?
• Best lines of the episode:
"You got you some balls for a chinamen"
"I'm Korean"

  Most of the episode focused on the quest to find Merle. The boys followed a bloody trail and Daryl got rid of any Zombies in their path without even flinching. I bet he's played a lot of "Call of Duty" - you take your Zombie-kill training where you can find it am I right? Turns out Merle is SUPER hard-core. I mean he severs his own limb, cracks a few Zombies on the head with a wrench without getting eaten (but maybe he got bit!.. see wish #6 from last week.) And then he cauterized his own wound with an old-fashioned iron. Wow. I mean if Merle can get over his "You handcuffed me to a pipe so I will now kill you and all your hobo-camp friends" issues he'll actually be a useful guy to have around - even with only one hand!
    They don't find Merle, but decide to have a go at getting the bag of guns. Glenn volunteers to play "Zombie-Frogger" and runs out after the bag. Meanwhile Daryl gets jumped by a Hispanic street gang and for a minute there I thought I was watching a whole other show. They take Glenn (why?) and run off but leave one of their guys behind.
     Meanwhile back at the ranch the Tool Nazi's deputy is digging graves (who else knew what he was doing the minute they saw it? Show of hands....) because he has sunstroke so Shane wrestles him to the ground. Is it me or does Shane win the Hobo-Camp yearbook award for "most likely to act like a Lord of the Flies Character"? I mean he MEANS well, but this wrestling people to the ground in the name of law and order thing is becoming kind of a habit. By this time I was kind of wondering if this week's episode was going to be as short on Zombies as last week's. Then we had the whole "Defenders of the Old Folks Home" sub-plot and I was actually starting to doze off before we hit paydirt. The final scene was pretty awesome. Loved the contrast of the cozy fish-feed campfire scene that transitioned right into to EPIC Zombie Hobo-Camp ambush. I was a bit disappointed that it was over so quickly however. I was kind of hoping for the survivors to have to make some kind of stand in the RV so we could get a "Zombies flip the RV over" scene. I mean if Zombies all of a sudden appeared at camp, wouldn't there be a lot more of them?
    This leaves us only to discuss what will happen next. So let's talk about what I would like to happen vs what I think WILL happen.
Like:  The survivors circle up and hug it out. They discuss where to go next in a calm, rational manner discussing the pro's and con's of each idea in turn. Sometime in the middle of this, Amy re-animates and starts coming at them and then Daryl shoots her in the head with his crossbow. Andrea loses it and becomes catatonic for an episode or 2. Finally they decide to hole up at an old US military training facility that has high guard towers and a big fenced-in perimeter. They start to head there, getting in Zombie skirmishes as they go, and at one point they run into Morgan and Duane and save them, thus repaying the life debt that Rick owes. Morgan and Duane join them and they continue their journey to their new base camp.
Will: (Remember I haven't read the comic so I'm flying by the seat of my pants here folks... ) The survivors have a funeral in their little prepared cemetery (waste of time), and then have no idea where to go next so they throw themselves on the mercy of the rest-home people.
My idea is so much better....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Episode 3 - "The Frogs"

Man, oh man, is there anything WORSE than being handcuffed to a pipe with Zombies about to break through the door? The opening sequence had me curled up on the couch biting off all my fingernails in horror. You DO NOT want to be the annoying team member in a Zombie outbreak. The consequences are soooo much worse than being left out of the next girl's night or voted off the Island. If course if it were me I would have been going after the tools with the belt long before the Zombies showed up at the door, but I'm kind of a planner....

So the credits roll and then we see the cast of the Real World Zombieland show up back at the hobo camp. There's a teary reunion filled with shock and tears (awww...) And then Rick says:
"You guys can't be serious living up here like this. There is no way I'm sleeping in a tent tonight. Let's go find an outpost!"
Apparently with all he's been through, Rick has no problem gettin' jiggy with it in the family tent. The mind boggles.
They have a little debrief around the campfire and we meet the next candidate who needs to be chained to a pipe. Everyone's gettin' a little too relaxed at the ol' hobo camp and one guy thinks an extra log on the fire might be a good idea. We also learn that left-behind Merle has a brother who is equally as charming.
The next morning they find a Zombie mackin' on a dead deer right on the edge of camp. They speedily hack it up and then someone says:
"Jeepers! A Zombie right here in our camp! What if it had eaten us in our tents last night? Maybe we should think about moving to a more secure location!"
While I'm being critical, let's talk about the ways we kill the undead. I have to say that I'm lovin' the crossbow!! Shot to the head from a safe distance, then reusable ammo. Limited mess. With a gunbelt full of arrows on one side and baby wipes and purell on the other you could pretty much go on forever with the crossbow.
Guns are good, as long as you don't run out of ammo. If you do, you'd better have a back-up in the form of a knife, machete, or blunt object.
I'm thinking going Midieval isn't a bad plan. A long sword, spear or Lochaber would all be fine to have around in a Zombie outbreak.
Baseball bats, tire irons, and short handled clubs not so much. If this thing is passed from Zombie to person with bites or scratches do you really want flecks of Zombie juice flying through the air landing on your lips, skin, or in your EYE? No dear reader, you don't. Use the face shield or get rid of the baseball bats. I mean you wouldn't get into a fist fight with an Ebola patient am I right? I'm just saying....
So Next our hero decides to go back and get Merle. They convince the others, get a bolt-cutter from the Tool Nazi and his buddy (who are high on my list of people who will get eaten soon) and then Rick says:
"In case the camp gets overrun, let's make a plan to meet up at an alternate location just in case anything goes wrong with either group."
Which means that the camp will almost definitely get overrun maybe as early as next Sunday night! That will separate Rick from his family again and get us back into "Quest Mode" so I'm giving this good odds. Who wants to predict who we lose in the fray? My vote goes to Older Sis, (formerly known as the Angry Blonde), one of the tool guys, and if we're super-lucky the wife slapping, "throw another log on the fire" idiot.
Off they go to save Merle. Next there's a scene at the lake in the Quarry. Now water scenes make me really jumpy. Especially when people are standing in waist deep water. Zombies can totally hang out in water because they don't need to breathe. I mean it's not good for 'em because they get all granny-wrinkled and fish nibble on them so they decay faster, but if they wander in to water they can wander around under the surface for quite a while. So I'm just waiting for a Zombie to break the surface and start going to town which is really distracting so I kind of missed the snit between Shane and Lori. Does it REALLY matter what it was about though? I mean we all just want to see more Zombies - which were in kind of short supply in this episode and I DO know that their fight got Shane so riled up that he beat the PISS out of the misogynist wife-slapper so that's awesome....
So the Merle squad wanders through relatively empty streets (cuz the Zombies are all heading up into the hills to gnaw on the rescuer's families...) and we see the crossbow in action once again - NICE! Then we get up to the roof, fling open the door, and discover that Merle pulled the Aron Ralston. Nice job Einstein. We actually went back to the start of the episode and did a frame by frame to find SEVERAL other things that Merle could have cut up with his hacksaw other than his hand but whatever floats your boat Merle. I mean name your kid "Merle" and they're bound to cut off their own limbs somehow so he was probably long overdue. So Merle is gone, the Zombies at the door are gone, and we're left to wonder if these 2 things go together. How did drippy-stump Merle get past the Zombies and off the roof? He's not a walker himself (yet) because Zombies aren't smart enough to remember vendettas and boy oh boy does Merle have one now! We'll see him again soon.
In the meantime here is my Christmas Wish-list:
I wanna see:
The Hobo camp get invaded
A Zombie come out of the water
Somebody get bitten and then re-animate
A flashback to what it was like getting through the first weeks of the Zombie outbreak for those not on the Coma plan.
The chicks in the show put down the washing and start packing heat!
Merle get turned into a Zombie. Specifically I would like him to show up for revenge bitten but still human. Oh the DRAMA!
The return of Duane and Morgan

Monday, November 8, 2010

Having the "Guts" to hope these people get devoured.

I'm losing my faith in humanity. We now have 2 groups of survivors. We've already met the glue-sniffing, lead-paint eating rocket scientists who are all safe and sound in their Zombie-proof Hobo Camp. We began the episode with a nice little view into their daily lives that had me praying for a mid-shag Zombie assault. It turns out that this enclave of brilliance has a splinter cell that went shopping for supplies in a DOWNTOWN ATLANTA DEPARTMENT STORE. I would have gone to the outlet mall myself. I mean nothing screams "city shopping trip!" like the Zombie apocalypse. This group by the way was cast by the same people who bring you reality TV and all it's contrived clashes. "Let's see, we'll need a bunch of minorities and a racist, a gay person and a homophobe, an atheist and a devout Catholic, Bob Harper and at least one morbidly obese person..." For the rest of this entry we'll refer to this group as:
Or RWZ Cast for short. Just to avoid confusion. And like I said before, I WANT to root for the humans, but these people make it so hard. I'm even losing faith in my buddy Rick. I mean you're really going to stand there looking at mermaid jewelry with the angry blonde chick when there are Zombies beating their way through the glass? How about a policy of "Hey nobody go into the super-scary room where the Zombies are about to break in because if we stop taunting them with our nice juicy selves on the other side of the glass they might get bored and forget about us and walk away." OR "let's use the grenade around the corner of the building to distract them away from the door on the outside." People - if it was you and I in there we would have come up with a better plan am I right?
      And about the Zombies - I'm upgrading them folks. To a 6.5 on the Zombie scale. Turns out they are speedier than we previously thought. Or should I say the CITY ones are speedier than we thought. remember last week in suburbia? Even when Morgan was shooting, they never got above a motivated shuffle. Now they're practically running track. Are the city Zombies hungrier? Hmm... Another reason they get an upgrade is for the fabulous use of stone tools which puts them at least on par with the cavemen. I mean using a rock to pound through Department store glass? Pretty savvy for an individual with a decomposing brain. And extremely terrifying. Don't even get me started on the one that scaled the chain-link fence. I mean some of my long-held Zombie beliefs are crumbling faster than Rick's wife's fidelity. (I still support the State Pen idea I'll have you know. Zombies are really bad at getting over chain link fence with razor wire coils on the top. Plus the Chain link gate in this episode was WEAK.)
    So we spent most of our time in this episode with the RWZ cast on the roof of the Department store and there was a lot of wailing and hand wringing about "we're done for" and "you've killed us all" and a dude named "Dixon" (Dickson?) who got a nice lesson about Karma. Nobody came up with the idea of seeing if they could extend some kind of makeshift bridge to the surrounding buildings and then remove it. But they DID come up with the idea of going into the sewers. Note to self: when in doubt, go UP! Zombies can't climb ladders but they can fall into open manholes....
Questions that need to be answered:
Why is Rick keeping the grenade a secret?
Why didn't we even TRY driving the tank? Driving a tank through a Zombie Horde would be so cool...
Will Dickson show up again? I think he will... after all the bag of tools was kicked over.
Will Zombies eventually "give up" and walk away if they don't think you're in there anymore?
Is Rick enroute to meet up with his wife and new co-husband? Whatever will he do?
Are there so few actors left in the US that will star in a Zombie series that we have to cast it with Brits than can do really good American accents? I'm just saying.....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Post-Zombie Awareness Mistakes

When we last left our hero, he had just had The Big Talk with Morgan. So from now on there should be no blind stumbling around and flailing right? RIGHT? Morgan lets us in on all kinds of Zombie secrets including how one becomes a zombie and how to kill 'em. Shortly after this, Morgan's wife comes calling and we find out about fevers and the ZTT for these suckers. It would seem to me that the Zombies in this world have some sort of residual memory. We see this with Morgan's wife hanging around the house where she died and also with a deputy hanging around the station a bit later in the show. It will be interesting to see if this theory pans out.
      The next morning Rick goes straight out the front door and bludgeons a Zombie to death with a baseball bat. I have 2 comments on this:
1.) There's nothing more satisfying than having that morning coffee and then getting right to work am I right?
2.) Love, Love, LOVE the precautionary face shield Rick! Atta Boy - now we're talking! There is nothing more sketchy than having wet Zombie spackle land on your face right in the middle of a good bludgeoning. I have such high hopes for our hero in this moment. He really DOES show promise!
       Rick decides that his wife and son are still alive and prepares to go off on a quest to find them. Morgan and his boy Duane tell Rick that there is a big survivor refugee camp in Atlanta at the CDC. Rick decides to head there but first he takes his 2 buddies to the station where they all have hot showers, and get a bunch of guns and ammo. While we're here, let's pause for a moment and discuss one of the most important choices you have to make in a Zombie Outbreak: where to hole up.
       Remember that a Zombie populated world is not forever. Zombies are not living beings so you only have to hole up until the main wave literally rots to pieces and then stay vigilant for those infected later in the game and stragglers. In a humid tropical environment you may have to wait as little as a month! If you're in a high-desert region though, you'll have to stay vigilant for years. The dry air can mummify those suckers into sinewy toughness and if they get caught in a fall freeze they'll be up in the mountains all winter and then come striding out of the snowmelt like nothing's even happened. Who wants to be blindsided man? Head south.
   If it's just you and a few close friends you are looking for a place with at least 2-3 exits (windows are exits) that can be defended against a large Zombie mob. You have to assume that if something goes wrong and the Zombies discover where you are (crying child, barking dog, hysterical woman, obsolete blackberry meeting alert that someone never bothered to disable) that they are going to descend on you in large masses. They're not that strong, but hundreds of them over time, will definitely get through boarded up windows and substandard doors. They can even get through exterior walls if it's just plank siding, insulation, and sheet rock. So a house in the suburbs is a bad bet. If you have to hole up in a house, find one with an attic with a pull down stairway and plenty of room. Keep all your necessities up there including lots of water and food. Zombies don't climb well and they are horrible at problem solving. Even if they know you're up there, they'll just wander endlessly below you and have no idea how to reach you in the attic.
        Farmhouses are a better bet than a house in suburbia and will have a better selection of supplies, but try to choose one without a wrap around porch and a million first floor windows, and do look for that attic. There will tend to be fewer Zombies wandering aimlessly as you move away from population centers so if they do find you you'll have less to kill.
Never, Never, NEVER hole up in the root cellar or tornado hideout. If they bust through the door you're cornered like a tasty little gummy bear at the bottom of a Christmas stocking.
      Someone in your party will want to hide out in a Church. Ugh. Creepy. Millions of ground floor windows. Close to population centers. Just say no.
      A modern apartment building (think smooth exterior, not old school with a million fire escapes) is an excellent choice if the door to the apartment is really solid and you can be on the 3rd or 4th floor. You can keep tabs on all the zombies walking around below, take pot shots at them if you have plenty of ammo, and although they will be able to see you, the Zombies will have no idea how to get to you. Just make sure you have a rope ladder as an extra possible exit and watch out for infected ex-residents.
    If you have have met up with other survivors and formed a large group I have 2 words for you: State Penitentiary. Zombies are totally thwarted by chain-link fences. Take your best assault team and sweep the grounds, make sure you have a good supply of food and water (there should be a nice store there already - bonus!) lock yourselves in, and spend your time in the exercise yard and library while you wait for the Zombies to decompose.
        Let's now analyze the station where we last left our heroes. Hot water, strong doors, multiple safe zones and THEY'RE LEAVING!?! Rick needs become aware of the whole "wait for the Zombies to rot away" thing. I mean if the old ball and chain isn't already doing the undead shuffle she's probably somewhere safe. Better to wait a month or 2 and then try for a reunion. We ARE in Georgia remember, so these Zombies are not going to last all that long. But 3 dudes holed up and staying safe in a Sheriff's Station doesn't really make for must-see-TV so off Rick goes to find his wife. Before he leaves he sees a Zombie ex-coworker and he kindly puts him out of his misery. Morgan takes the hint that he might want to do the same for his wife. Morgan goes home, goes upstairs and starts using Zombies for target practice. Finally his wife comes along. He gets her in his scope, and, aaand, aaaaannnnd.... he can't do it. At this point my husband turned to me on the couch, took my hand in his, looked deep into my eyes and said:
"Sweetheart? I would have wasted you."
My teary response:
"I would expect nothing less."
See all the wonderful romantic moments this show provides?
   Rick takes off in a cruiser (good choice) and starts broadcasting on his radio. We cut to a group of survivors who hear him but get cut off before they can talk back. Turns out his wife, son, and best friend/co-husband are in this group so yay! Wife and ex-partner are smooching and all yada, yada, the real drama here is where this group has decided to make their stand. HORROR! All of the sound options discussed above have been discarded and this group has decided to hole up .....wait for it.... IN A HASTILY THROWN TOGETHER HOBO CAMP.
I'm still in awe. They're living in tents. Ok, and an RV. Like that's any better. Zombies see an RV and think "oooh, tinned human!". They'll have that thing flipped over with a side peeled up before you can say "what's going on". And I mean do I even need to discuss the tents? Madness! I mean Come ON people, I want to at least try to root for Team Humanity but you're making me hope you get invaded just so I can see it. (and I'm thinking we'll see it....) I can't talk about it anymore right now.
     Rick runs out of gas. It happens. He finds a farmhouse with a truck but can't find the keys. This would have been a lame choice. The truck gets bad gas mileage and the cruiser has a radio and all kinds of cool Law Enforcement perks that I don't even know about. Definitely stay with the cruiser if you have one right? Does he siphon the gas out of the truck so he can fuel his cruiser? No he does not. He takes a horse. Geez this guy has transportation issues. I should say "THE Horse" because the horse is in all the previews and is even featured in the show icon. So we knew the horse was coming and I don't know about you, but I kinda assumed that the horse was going to be with us for quite a while. Kind of expected a "Lone Ranger and Silver" relationship to develop over the course of at least a couple of episodes. So no one was more shocked than me when Rick got his horse EATEN OUT FROM UNDER HIM by the Zombie horde a mere 4 minutes and 35 seconds after it made it's debut. Nice job Ranger, I didn't even have time to get attached and sentimental about it. It was more like: "hmm, easy come easy go hey Rick?"
    So now Rick is really screwed. He's in a mob and it's a big enough one that he doesn't have to worry about there being enough left of him to be infected. He crawls under a tank. Thankfully it's like the WWII type with the hatch in the floor. Of all the lucky vehicles to crawl under eh! He pulls himself in, shoots a Zombie inside, aaaalllllmost passes out before securing the top hatch due to the gun's firing (which would definitely have been a life-ending mistake), and pauses to catch his breath. Lets hope this thing is gassed up and the keys are in it. Or that his new best friend on the radio has a plan.....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The First Episode: Pre-Zombie Awareness Mistakes

     Oh we have sooo much to talk about. Mistakes were made my friends. Massive, life ending mistakes. Now giving our hero the benefit of the doubt, we're going to break these down into pre and post Zombie awareness mistakes. I don't have a lot of experience with people waking up from comas after several months, but I would assume that in a normal situation if you wake up from a coma there are lovely people to feed you ice chips and apple sauce and put cold compresses on your forehead. So our hero gets mad props for waking up weak and disheveled, ripping medical devices from his flesh and becoming almost immediately ambulatory. We'll discuss the mistakes he makes before he becomes zombie-aware, but we won't judge him too harshly for these lapses...
    Before we go there however, let's define for the duration just exactly what kind of zombies we are dealing with here. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is a "head cocked to the side, extreme slow shuffle zombie" and 10 is an "I am Legend" zombie (shudder) the zombies featured on the show are probably about a 4.5 (this rating may be revised as we learn more zombie details). The good news is that they are non-runners (NOTHING in this world is more terrifying than the un-dead when they can sprint) and can be taken out with a good whack to the head. They also have a very long ZTT (Zombie Turn-around Time). This is how long it takes a person to become a zombie once infected. This is GREAT news because immediate ZTT is terrifying and wreaks havok among all groups of survivors. An excellent example of this is the zombies in the movie "24 Weeks Later". Those zombies score a 9.5 on the zombie scale by the way due to their extremely short ZTT and their incredible speed. The "Legend" Zombies beat them out by a hair only due to their super-strength, higher reasoning, and super scary appearance. But I digress....
    In order to become infected with the Zombie virus you have to be bitten or possibly scratched by one of the undead. This is so much more convenient than an airborne/waterborne/mystery transmission Zombie virus because if you are AWESOME and prepared you can avoid the heartbreak of Zombie infection vs. just getting stricken down due to bad luck. Another plus with these zombies that should limit the transmission rate is that if they get close enough to get you it's a darn good possibility that you won't live to become infected since you will be messily consumed. I mean c'mon if you're stupid enough to get so close to one of these suckers that you get scratched/bitten they probably have you cornered and it's a slim chance that there will be enough of you left over to join the legions of the undead. So that's what our heroes are up against. All in all I'd say it's pretty good news all around!
    Our hero Rick, wakes from his coma and quickly realizes that all is not right with the world. He wanders around for a bit and the place is abandoned and destroyed and then he looks through a door and sees a really nasty body that's all messed up. This should be kind of a watershed moment for Rick. In any situation like this you gotta play worse-case scenario/best-case scenario where best case is maybe a wild animal got into the already abandoned hospital and partially ate an already dead body and worst case is zombie uprising (worst case is ALWAYS zombie uprising...) He sees a door that's been padlocked with creepy white fingers coming through the cracks and to his credit goes the other way. Then he makes massive error #1. He goes into the dark stairwell with no light. RICK! Dude! Even in a best case scenario wild animals are on the loose and there may be more dead bodies out there. Do you really want to step ankle-deep in something wet and squishy in BARE FEET?  No my friends, you don't. He should have scoured the hospital for a flashlight, busted into some vending machines for a temporary food/water stash, and found another exit.
   He wanders out into the light like a helpless newborn kitten and sees row upon row of bodies. So now he should know that the needle is heavily tipping toward the the worst case scenario end of the meter. Then (angels should sing a bit here...) he stumbles upon a military camp that is in good order but abandoned. What luck! A goldmine of survival supplies! Flashlights and first aid kits in every vehicle! Bottled Water! MRE's! Friggin SHOES dude! Guns! Ammo! Machetes! Bullet Proof Vests! Flares!! I think from this you can imagine the scream of frustration that I let out when Rick shuffled through the camp in a hospital gown and bare feet without even rifling through a single tent! Massive, life-ending oversight #2 Rick. Forgiven only because you just woke up from a coma.
    Rick stumbles on and sees a half decomposed zombie flailing in the grass. OK most people would head right into the "I'm dreaming" part of their mind at this point and who can blame them. But you dear readers with the right preparation (if you're still with me you're already preparing...) will be able to move from the Zombie Denial Phase (ZDP) to the Zombie Acceptance Phase (ZAP) so much quicker than the average Joe (and the faster you can do that, the faster you can start killing zombies friends). Rick at this point decides that a riding a bike would be a great idea- this is the first of many bad transportation decisions but more on that later, and arrives home. He cries on the floor for a bit (still in ZDP) and then walks out of the house. At this point I was screaming at the TV "Jeans! Water! You're a cop - Guns! SHOES!! leave the house with SOMETHING Dude!" Mistake #3.
   He sits on his stoop, sees a Zombie heading his way shuffling down the street, and then promptly gets whacked in the head with a shovel. He has been taken out by a dad and his son who are obviously SURVIVORS and all I can think is "Thank God that somebody is going to take this poor boy under their wing as he obviously has ZERO zombie coping skills". They tie him up to make sure that his wound is not a bite which is an excellent precaution and shows a very good awareness of the ZTT (it turns out that they have first-hand experience in this area). Then they let him wake up, make sure he's not infected and then give him THE BRIEFING. So now he knows, and he'd better get with the program because I'm not going to be so forgiving in judging his post-briefing mistakes....