'Walking Dead' episode two: Five questions about 'Guts'
Caution: Spoilers ahead if you haven't yet watched "Guts."
On most television shows, we rarely get the chance to see the rotting, drippy entrails of a human corpse draped across our protagonist's shoulders. But "Walking Dead" is different, dang it. As Sunday night's second episode -- appropriately titled "Guts" -- demonstrated, the team behind AMC's zombie-pocalypse drama has no problem spreading the viscera around.
"Give me the axe," Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes said while continuing to hack into that dead body that eventually became a disguise. "I need more guts." How very Dexter of him.
While we enjoyed every ooky, suspenseful moment of watching Grimes and Glenn make their stanky attempt at escape -- Rain! Why didn't they come up with a plan B in case of rain?! -- last night's installment also raised a few questions in our minds. Join us and let's discuss.
1. Who *hasn't* tried the 'ol "Spread guts on yourselves and no one will smell you" routine when trying to get out of an awkward situation?
I mean, come on. We've all been there. At the very least, Simon Pegg and co. attempted a variation on this "just act like a zombie and no one will notice us" tactic in "Shaun of the Dead," which worked only briefly. For Grimes and Glenn to cut up a corpse and spread its internal slime on themselves in order to mask their scent? Well, that takes it to a whole other level. Too bad they had no way to consult a weather forecast.
(For the record, Liz and I also tried this exact same thing one day when we wanted to sneak out of work early, but it was not a success. No one in the newsroom noticed the ripe odor of undead all over us. It was the undeniable smell of guilt that gave us away.)
2. Why does it take so long for zombies to break through glass?
It took almost an hour -- closer to 43 minutes without the commercial breaks -- for that ragingly undead posse outside an Atlanta department store to break through both sets of glass doors. And apparently at least one of them had a brick in his hand. We realize that zombies are a little on the slow side, what with the lack of genuine blood flow and the decay taking over their bodies and all. But surely their collective weight alone could have toppled that less than stable glass, at least before Andrea decided to snag that mermaid necklace for her sister. This leads us to our next question...
3. How come the zombies could suddenly move so fast when Grimes and Glenn's nasty cover began to wash away?
This is an ongoing debate among the academic zombie community. Are they supposed to move achingly slowly, as they did in George Romero's original "Night of the Living Dead"? Or can they spring quickly into desiccated action, a la the zombies in Zack Snyder's remake of "Night of the Living Dead"? "The Walking Dead" seems to have settled on the following answer: both.
Generally speaking, our zombies so far seem to be lurchers, dead-eyed and flesh-hungry travelers who can't crank their speeds up much above 1 mph. But once Grimes and Glenn started to lose their flesh jackets and zoomed closer to that gate, it was as though some of the zombies suddenly turned into way less cuter versions of the Roadrunner, leaping onto those chainlinks maybe not super-quickly, but pretty fast for zombies. We suppose that's an inevitability; the writers have to maintain suspense in action sequences and if the zombies are always dragging what's left of their feet, that may not work. All we ask is that, in a future episode, one of the zombies actually gets to say "Meep! Meep!"
4. Can zombies not climb ladders?
To continue the dissection of what the undead can, and can not do, when Grimes escaped the tank he made a run for it past a battalion of zombies to follow Glenn up a fire escape to safety. But why exactly was that safe? The zombies congregate at the bottom of the ladder for several minutes before one starts making a move to maybe mount the ladder, but we never get confirmation that the zombies actually follow Grimes and Glenn up to the top of the building. So why can zombies scale tanks and fences, but not ladders? Are we to believe that perhaps there is a sub-class of super-stupid zombies who don't know how to climb or effectively throw bricks through plate-glass windows?
5. Why no catheter, doc?
We're reaching back to the pilot for this question, but it bears consideration. Accustomed as we are to shows (cough "Lost" cough) in which every detail counts, it struck us -- and some readers -- as a bit odd that when Dep. Grimes woke up in the hospital, he was hooked up to an IV and oxygen, but umm, no catheter. Not to be gross (although we've already talked about "viscera" and "flesh jackets"), but we're left to conclude that either Grimes managed -- while in a coma -- make it to the bathroom when he needed evacuate all those IV fluids or left the hospital sheets in serious need of laundering. Or, option three, that was our first clue that Grimes is a superhuman -- a man capable of absorbing his body's own waste in order to more efficiently escape zombies.
If you missed the first two episodes, watch online at AMCtv.com.
Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
| November 8, 2010; 10:14 AM ET
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