The Walking Dead: Guts   Rewatch 
November 14, 2014 2:17 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Rick meets a group of survivors in Atlanta, and establishes human putrefaction as the season's hottest fragrance trend. Merle becomes enraged after T-Dog disrespects his Truck Nutz™. Glenn beats his high score on OutRun.
posted by escape from the potato planet (5 comments total)
 
Merle's a buttlord.

Glenn's a baby!

Shane is just gross.

The guts scene still makes me cringe and squirm.

Again we see unusually sophisticated zombie behavior: banging on windows with rocks, climbing fences.

The rain-washing-off-the-guts thing felt contrived to me the first time I saw this episode, and it still does now.

I'd forgotten about the term "geek". Rick's group calls 'em "walkers"; Woodbury calls 'em "biters"; the hospital group call's em "rotters". Just never the Z word. According to Lauren Cohan, popular zombie fiction never existed in The Walking Dead universe, so the characters wouldn't recognize the walkers as something they'd seen in movies or video games – they'd just be like "holy shit why are dead people walking around, this is a completely new and terrifying concept to me". That's probably the best way to handle it.

I didn't think this was an especially great episode, nor a particularly bad one – more of a utilitarian one, just introducing some of the characters and settings that we'll be seeing over the coming episodes. It certainly establishes Merle as someone for the audience to root against – TWD is never very subtle about that.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:22 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Killer episode description, escape from the potato planet!

This was probably the pinnacle of an alternate universe Walking Dead show. Things that happen on this episode don't occur in almost any other episode. You noted the purposeful banging on windows, climbing ladders and fences. And I just noticed today that their vocalizations are almost human like. In that alley scene when Rick first escapes the tank, it really sounds like some of the zombies are yelling at Rick and Glenn. I guess that could be a function of how soon after the 'event' it was.

Our crew was also doing things you only saw happen one other time - wearing pads and gear and helmets.

But I'll disagree about the ep being utilitarian, at least for me. I thought it laid out a lot about the characters, and introduced a whole host of people to know. Jacqui from the city planning office, Andrea, who gets introduced pointing a gun in our hero's face. Glenn, who declares himself as a glass-half-full kind of guy, and who is pretty pragmatic and take charge when trying to get the team out of jams. And Morales, who I liked as a kind of guide.

I had never noticed previously, but I just recently caught that Glenn told Rick to get out of the tank and "Make them count" regarding Rick's Beretta with a 15-round clip. Then he gets inside the department store and they chastize Rick for shooting. Uh, didn't the leader of your scavenging group just tell me to come out firing?

I like this episode a lot, minus the humpfest at the start.
posted by cashman at 6:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


So excited to find this thread, my wife finally persuaded me to watch TWD from the start instead of walking in and asking what was going on.

In that alley scene when Rick first escapes the tank, it really sounds like some of the zombies are yelling at Rick and Glenn. I guess that could be a function of how soon after the 'event' it was.

We figured that over time brain function declined, so early after the outbreak would be when they could use tools and vocalise.
posted by arcticseal at 5:16 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


We figured that over time brain function declined, so early after the outbreak would be when they could use tools and vocalise.

I think this was just a fan theory, or at best, a retcon.

(Not sure what the rules are for future episode spoilers on a rewatch, but spoilers ahead for future seasons.)

It doesn't hold much weight either. We've seen plenty of walkers shortly after they died without showing the same intelligence early S1 zombies showed. And we saw the doctor in Woodbury experimenting with a dying man to see if he retained anything when he came back. And he didn't. So there isn't a very good canon explanation for these changes.
posted by 2ht at 5:27 PM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think it could easily be explained though. It probably won't be, but whatever causes the "issue" might have just not been as widespread. So the early turners got a smaller dose. But as time goes on and more people are stricken, and as it spends more time within each person, it takes a stronger hold upon turning.

Plus there is no telling how it reacts to different humans - thin, fat, those on certain medications, those who have certain illnesses, those who were or weren't vaccinated, those who were subjected to pollutants regularly in a city, those who escaped those largely by being in the country. It could manifest differently in people whose water is fortified with large doses of floride. Age, hormone levels - there are a ton of factors that could explain things.....if that was the point. But it is not the point.

It could be like the Andromeda Strain and kill everyone while leaving a crying baby and an old drunk alive. But that is not what the show has or will be going for, apparently.
posted by cashman at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2014


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