The Walking Dead is back! And it has SO MANY ZOMBIES. I’m sorry, they’re called “Walkers” in this show, but let’s just be for reals and call them zombies because “walkers” is a much less terrifying word.
Season two begins as Sheriff Rick delivers a walkie-talkie monologue chock full of exposition to that guy Morgan we saw a million years ago. It’s very Meredith Grey except instead of talking about feelings and making some extended metaphor about how surgery is just like growing up, he’s telling Morgan that the CDC was a dead end and his motley crew is going to move on to Fort Bennett. What is Fort Bennett? Wiki says it’s in South Dakota, which seems like a crazy distance to travel from Atlanta. But maybe there is a secret Fort Bennett or a closer Fort Bennett that I don’t know about. Maybe Mother Abigail is there. I don’t know.
While Rick is telling Morgan to be safe and keep his eyes open, he also mentions that the CDC Guy (remember the CDC guy? Truman’s best friend from the Truman Show? He showed us that video about the zombie plague and then we found out his wife was the subject of the video) told him something important. What did CDC guy tell Sheriff Rick? That moment was so very Lost in Translation! And are we finally going to find out what he said? No. Rick keeps us hanging, that little bitch.
So the people who are still alive (do we have a name for this gang? Let’s call them the Still Alives) set out in a motorcade and then, oh no, the road is blocked. And the RV’s radiator goes kaput. There are so many cars filled with dead people! The smart people in the Still Alives start looking through the cars and trucks and scavenging clothes and water and weapons. Stupid Lori is like “This is a graveyard,” but, as anyone who plays videogames knows, when you get to graveyard you loot the bodies. LOOT THE BODIES. Maybe you will find a magical sword that gives you +7 Zombie-killing.
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And then Shane finds pay dirt when he discovers a truck filled with bottled water and he showers himself with it, exclaiming, “It’s like being baptized, man!” This is not-at-all subtle foreshadowing that we are going to be dealing with religion at some point soon. It’s like Chekhov’s gun – if you talk about being baptized in act one, there is totally going to be some sort of Jesus thing by Act 3.
And then the zombies come! Oh no! There are so many zombies. Holy FUCK, there are so many zombies! Where did those zombies come from? And what will the Still Alives do? Oh, of course, they will hide under all those cars because zombies just shuffle forward and don’t usually bend to look under cars. And blondie Andrea hides in a bathroom, which is dumb because people always die when they hide in the bathrooms. It’s the zombie-kills-you-in-the-bathroom trope. She survives because Uncle Dale throws her a screwdriver through the sunroof and she stabs the zombie in the eye. Because she doesn’t have a gun. And Uncle Dale decides that she can’t have a gun because she was recently suicidal, so even though there are hordes of zombies around, let’s just make sure she has a never-ending stash of screwdrivers. Smart decision! Screwdrivers are the best weapons.
The Still Alives think they are safe and they all get out from under their hidey-holes, but oh no! There are still zombies and the little girl Sophia shrieks and runs into the woods. Sheriff Rick goes after her, doing a dive-roll down a hill with a loaded gun, which seems ill-advised. He hides her in a dead tree and draws the zombies away and then smashes their skulls in with a rock. Nice skull smash, Sheriff Rick!
But Sophia is missing. So the Stay Alives go off to find her. Sheriff Rick and Daryl-the-redneck track a hippie zombie and kill him and then decide to disembowel him to make sure he didn’t eat the little girl. He didn’t. Schwoo. And then blondie Andrea confronts Dale about how she doesn’t have a gun and he says he feels safer without letting a suicidal lady who doesn’t know how to shoot be the one packing heat. And she gives him this whole speech about how he took her choice away. Let’s support the woman’s right to choose! Give her the gun! U.S. Out of My Uterus.
They still can’t find Sophia so the rest of the Still Alives go into the woods to look for her, except for Dale and T-Dog (the actor who plays T-Dog is named IronE Singleton. I hope he pronounces it “Irone” although I suspect it’s “Iron-E.”) (Like Wall-e!) The find a tent and Sophia’s mom (does she have a name? She was the one who had that mean husband) calls for Sophia, but the only person in the tent is a dead camper wearing a pin that says “No Excuse for Domestic Violence” who killed himself. Daryl takes his gun (LOOT THE BODIES) and then the Still Alives hear bells. They set off in the direction of the ringing noises.
And they discover a church, although there’s no steeple and no bell tower. The mystery of the bells! Inside the church are three church-going zombies. The male Still Alives dispatch the Church Zombies, all of whom appear to be dressed in 18th-century clothing. Maybe the woods outside of Atlanta are also where The Village takes place. This church also features a large crucifix with a statue of Jesus on it. Jesus looks a lot like a zombie. Symbolism. Sophia’s mother, who does have a name (Carol!), prays to Jesus for Sophia’s safety. It would be so awesome if Jesus opened his eyes and made a moaning noise and ate Carol, but this sadly does not happen.
The bells go off again and the gang realizes the bells are just pre-recorded and set to go off on a timer. Fancy church, with your bells on a timer! Sheriff Rick and Shane send the rest of the Still Alives to search the other side of the creek bed, and they decide to stick around in case Sophia also heard those bells. Carl the Kid also stays with them. And Sheriff Rick decides to have his religious moment and begs Not-A-Zombie-Jesus to give him a sign that he’s doing the right thing. Give him a siiiiiign, and hit him, baby, one more time. (There is no excuse for domestic violence.)
Rick and Shane and the kid head back into the woods and hear a noise. Is it Sophia? Is it a zombie? No! It is a magnificent buck. Perhaps even a Yearling, Pa! Surely this is a sign! Thank you, Jesus, for giving us today our daily buck. Carl the Kid gets closer and closer to the animal and I am like “OMG, that animal is going to gore him with his antlers any second.” But noooo, Carl keeps inching closer and closer with this beatific smile on his face, loving his Bambi-moment, until a shot rings out and takes down the buck and the kid in one fell swoop. And then the episode is over before we know if the buck and the kid turn into zombies and ride off into the sunset, although that is probably unlikely but still could be considered a sign. Thank you, Jesus, for sending the deer! And then shooting the kid! You are a confusing dude, Jesus.