Episode 1 "What Lies Ahead" has many intense moments that will leave you biting your nails in anticipation of what could possibly happen next.
The show starts out with Rick and gang leaving Atlanta. Unfortunately, Dale's RV breaks down on the freeway, which has turned into a parking lot after a huge multiple car collision caused by a large semi-truck. The accident left the road littered with abandoned cars; some of which have dead bodies in them, other with sorely needed supplies like food and water.
Just when you think that they are safe from any sort of walker attack, a huge mob of zombies starts heading their way.
The group panics and mayhem ensues as they hide under cars, dead bodies, and in the RV as the herd of undead shuffles past.
T-Dog backs into a flipped over car with a ripped open side door and cuts a deep gash into his arm on the sharp metal. Surprisingly Daryl (who seems to be getting over his racist ways) comes to his aid, and manages to bury him and himself under corpses just as the crowd of walkers heads their way. For those of you that missed it, he does this to hide their scent as the zombies of "The Walking Dead" hunt by smell and sound.
Andrea is attacked in the RV bathroom by a walker, and barely manages to kill it as it breaks through the flimsy folding bathroom door.
The kids, Sophia and Carl, are separated from their moms- of all which are hiding under cars. When a pair of straggling walkers discovers her as she crawls out from under the car, Sophia--being a skittish and scared 12 year old girl--runs off the road and into the surrounding woods.
Rick runs after her, gets her to hide in a safe spot while he takes out the two zombies on her trail. Upon his return to her, he discovers her missing.
Daryl tracks Sophia from the creek where she was last seen to the middle of the woods, where her trail runs cold. An automated bell at a nearby church draws the group to it, but Sophia is not there, only some zombie parishioners.
After losing Sophia, Rick begins to doubt himself and his actions. Did he do the right thing? Is he making smart choices for the group or only leading them into more danger? His guilt drives him to prayer in front of the cross where he asks God for a sign. Crosses in churches are always crucifixes in movieland. They just look cool. However, it would behoove me to point out that a southern Baptist church using a Catholic icon instead of a simple cross at the pulpit is highly unlikely.
Rick and Shane decide to continue searching for Sophia, and order the others to return to their vehicles to get everything ready. Carl insists on staying with them to help, as Sophia is his friend. And for once, his parents do not object and let him go.
The trio heads out further into the woods and Rick spots a young buck (that's a male deer for you city folk) foraging for food. Shane is about to shoot it when Carl steps forward and begins to approach it. So the two men hang back and let him get close to the deer.
And then the cliffhanger ending occurs as Carl is shot in the torso by another hunter, who was also trying to kill the deer for food.
For those complaining about the plausibility of such an occurrence, I encourage you to talk to any hunters you know. It is possible to shoot your hunting buddy if he is standing behind a buck and you don't see him and miss the deer with your shot. Or have you already forgotten about our esteemed former Vice President's infamous hunting "incident?"
At the end of the episode it is clear that the main reason for Carl's character development is that it is necessary for the plot to move forward. The ramifications of Carl being shot is the focus and the main driving force of the next episode. And I just can't wait to see what happens next. How about you?
It has come to my attention that the un-animated corpses seen in some of the vehicles during the opening scene seems to have brought about some confusion for viewers.
Allow me to clarify that for you:
The un-animated corpses are most likely drivers/passengers that died due to wounds inflicted during the huge traffic accident or natural causes. These are things that can occur during moments of huge emotional stress or shock, such as a deadly heart attack or stroke. Another possibility is that some were trapped in their vehicles and died from heat exhaustion or dehydration. In any of these scenarios, the people that died never came into contact with the pathogen that reanimates the dead, and that is why they are not zombies.
Remember: A part of horror is the ability to cause a viewer to feel tense, and the suspense that one of the corpses might actually be a zombie and not just a dead person, is what makes the opening scene so good.
If you missed it, you can watch Season 2 Episode 1 online here at amctv.com.
Screenshots courtesy of amctv.com.