'Walking Dead' Recap: Welcome to Zombie High - Rolling Stone
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‘Walking Dead’ Recap: Welcome to Zombie High

What does a zombie wear to the first day of school?

walking dead

Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) fights off zombies in AMC's 'The Walking Dead.'

Gene Page/AMC

Where we left offShane and Otis went to scavenge medical supplies from a FEMA trailer at a high school overrun by zombies. Carl the Kid needs surgery to remove bullet fragments. Little Girl Sophia is still missing in the woods.

Where we pick up – Someone is taking a hot shower! This must be a flashback because who has power to run a water heater in the zombpocalypse? Shane is shaving his head. He breathes heavily and stares at himself in the mirror. It is very much like the end of Twin Peaks and you sort of expect him to smash his head into the glass and cackle, “How’s Annie?”

Oh wait! We’re back at the high school. Shane and Otis run through the halls, chased by zombies. Good gracious, there are so many scary zombies.

Now we’re back at the farm. Sheriff Rick eats a sandwich and drinks some milk, because I guess the zombies didn’t eat the farm’s cows. Carl the Kid looks very pale. Come back, Shane! Come back with the medical supplies!

On the highway, Carol weeps in the RV. Andrea cleans Daryl’s gun (that’s what she said). Daryl announces that he’s going to walk the road and keep looking for Sophia. It seems rather foolish to go outside and sweep a flashlight around an area they know is crawling with zombies. Wouldn’t a zombie in the woods see the light and run up to devour you? And if you shot that zombie, wouldn’t that noise notify other zombies? You people in this TV show! You consistently make choices that seem crazytalk.

At the high school, Shane and Otis run through the gym. A high school gym is always a terrifying place, but this one is the WORST because it is filled with nasty, snarling zombies. Shane and Otis decide they’ll divide and conquer – Otis will draw the zombies’ attention and flee via the locker room, while Shane jumps out of a 20-foot-high window. Otis starts to run and a zombie grabs his leg! The zombie grabbing his leg has no legs! There must be a leglessness theme! Maybe someone read their Owen Meany! Shane starts climbing to the window and zombies chase him up the stairs. He breaks the window and climbs outside, pausing to steel himself before he jumps.

AND THEN A ZOMBIE GRABS HIS FACE and I screamed and knocked over my seltzer onto the cat. Hoo boy. Shane shoots the zombie in the face and falls to the ground. He falls from such great heights. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Glen and T-dog arrive at Greene Farm. The farmhouse is all ablaze. One). They must have a lot of fuel to power that generator that they must own? How would the grid still be up? Two). Why would you keep your secluded farmhouse all lit up like Vegas? Wouldn’t that attract zombies! Again, do I have to tell you people in this TV show everything? Doc Hershel tells Sheriff Rick and Lori that Carl the Kid is running out of time and they’re going to have to choose between waiting for the medical supplies or going ahead and operating.

In the woods, on the never-ending Sophia quest, Andrea asks Daryl if he thinks they’re actually going to find the little girl. Daryl answers that when he was a kid he was lost in the woods for nine days, wiping his ass with poison oak. And look how great he turned out! Surely, Sophia will be a-okay. Also, besides, these are the woods of Georgia, not the mountains of Tibet. Nice Tibet reference, Daryl!

Lori, who really ought to be wearing a sweater, is having some sort of existential crisis. She’s thinking about how the CDC Guy (whose name was Jenner, like the bad rat in Secret of Nimh) offered them the choice to give up and die instead of facing the terrible zombpocalypse. She thinks that maybe they could let Carl the Kid die instead of living in a world full of hunger, anger, struggles, and terrible horrible zombies who want to munch their flesh. Does Sheriff Rick agree? Let’s take an extremely long pause before we –

Cut back to the high school! Shane is surrounded by zombies! There is a never-ending stream of zombies. Shane hurt himself in the fall and now he is limping just like the zombies. Perhaps the zombies are not so different from you and me, eh, Shane? Shane tries to find a way to escape but there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Suddenly, a shot rings out behind him. Otis is there! He’s okay! And he’s shooting the zombies! Hooray for Otis.

Lori and Sheriff Rick hear Carl coughing and they run into the bedroom. Carl the Kid is awake! He’s in a lot of pain but he starts talking about that damn buck. The deer was so pretty, mom! And so close! And Carl the Kid has never been … oh wait, Carl stopped talking. Is he dead? Did he go gently into that good zombie-ridden night? No wait, he’s just having a seizure. Schwoo.

In the woods, Daryl and Andrea discover a tent. Is it the same tent they found last time? No, it’s a new tent! There are so many people who camp in tents near the highways in Atlanta! This tent features a hanging zombie. A man suspends from a noose with the letter “Got bit / Fever hit / World gone to shit / Might as well quit” pinned to his chest. Stupid zombie. You should have shot yourself in the head. Now you are a zombie in a noose.

At the farmhouse, Maggie sneaks up on Glen and startles him while he’s trying to pray. They talk about god and being religious but it seems like an awfully flirty McBerty conversation to me. And, seriously, they’re outside and they left all the lights on in every single room of the house. That’s a serious waste of energy and also, oh my god, the zombies might see you, you fools!

Sheriff Rick tells Lori that when Carl the Kid came to, he was talking about that deer. He was so overcome with joy at the moment of seeing that buck that he had to tell his mom about it! As in: duh, Lori, Carl the Kid was talking about beauty and life and you have to stop being so pessimistic and maybe you should start taking Lexapro if the good doc has any.

Shane and Otis discuss how much ammo they have left – four rounds and five rounds, respectively. They need to make it to the truck to drive back to the farmhouse and save Carl the Kid, but there are, holy shitballs, so very many zombies.

Doc Hershel tells Lori and Sheriff Rick that they need to make the choice whether to operate on Carl without the supplies, or let him die. Lori is like “Yes, the deer! The deer was a thing of beauty and life! Do the surgery!” (She doesn’t say that with her mouth, but you can hear it coming out of her eyes).

But the truck is back! The truck! Surely Shane and Otis have miraculously returned with the surgical equipment and the respirator and the clankety-clanky oxygen tanks! Oh no, only Shane emerges. He explains that they ran out of bullets and he ran and he turned back and … so long, Otis. It’s been good to know you.

We don’t get to see the surgery (I really wanted to see them use the respirator) but Doc Hershel tells us that Carl the Kid is stable. Hooray! Shane limps in to the bedroom and Lori tells him to stay (big picture stay, she means). He limps out of the room and Maggie gives him a clean set of clothes. (Otis’s clothes! Let the body get cold, Maggie! I guess there’s no body because the zombies ate it, but still!)

Shane runs the tap. Oh, wait; THIS is what we saw at the beginning of the show. This farmhouse has a functional hot water heater! Shane takes off his shirt, and dude, that guy is cut. And then he peers at his head and … his head is also cut? He is certainly missing a patch of hair.

Very-recent-flashback! At the high school, Otis and Shane talk about their ammo and flee from zombies! I remember! You have four rounds and five rounds apiece!

In the bathroom, Shane rummages through the vanity until he finds an electric shaver.

Very-recent-flashback, continued: Otis and Shane are down to their last bullets. Shane shoots Otis in the leg (leglessness!) and now Otis is going to be zombie food. Otis digs his hands into Shane’s scalp as they struggle. He yanks out a patch of hair just as the zombies start to dig in. As the zombies devour Otis, Shane gets away.

As the farmhouse, Shane shaves his head. He stares into the mirror. It’s about to get seriously Black Lodge up in here.


Humans: We lost Otis. Sophia is still missing. Carl’s going to be okay.

Zombies: at least 15 killed in the high school; one hanging zombie took an arrow to the head to end his misery.

LAST EPISODE: The Doctor Is In

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