‘The Walking Dead’: Lions and walkers and bears, oh my!

The Walking Dead
February 23, 2014

Tara and an unconscious Glenn bounce around in the back of our new red-headed friend’s military truck, all the while Tara writes … something on her hand with a Sharpie. Where are Sharpies on the list of Zombieland Rules? Bounty paper towels are there, Ziplocks come in at number 23, but no Sharpies? QUITE THE OVERSIGHT, COLUMBUS.

The truck pulls to a stop, attracting the attention of some nearby walkers who shamble towards a panicked Tara. Just as she begins reaching for a nearby gun, the Red-Head stops her, ordering that she NOT FIRE THAT WEAPON. Red-Head proceeds to kill the walkers with nothing more than a tire iron and a wisecrack or two. Tara marvels that she’s never seen someone smile while they killed, and Red-Head explains that he’s smiling because he’s “the luckiest guy in the world,” before ordering her to help him with the cars in the road — they have got some miles left to go.

Somewhere farther down the road, Glenn finally comes to, and is very, very confused as to where he is exactly. When Tara informs him that he is with some new friends and a good three hours past the prison bus, Glenn proceeds to freak out. He bangs on the back window of the truck, trying to get Red-Head to stop, but when that does not work, he resorts to bashing the window in with the butt of a very large gun. This, unsurprisingly, gets Red-Head’s attention, and the truck screeches to a stop. Glenn grabs his bag and hops out of the truck because MAGGGGGIEEEEEE! and Tara follows, even though she doesn’t really know Glenn any better than Red-Head and his friends, and even though sticking with them seems much more safe than wandering around on foot, but sure.

Red-Head, however, is not keen on losing Tara and Glenn: he and his companions are on a Super Secret Mission, and they could use a couple of strong fighters like Tara and Glenn. Red-Head finally introduces himself: He’s Sgt. Abraham Ford, the hot Latina is Rosita, the weirdo with the mullet is Dr. Eugene Porter, and the fate of the human race depends on Abraham getting Dr. Mullet to Washington D.C. He knows exactly what caused this mess. Not that Abraham is willing to share that information because plot contrivances it’s classified. What is important to know is that Dr. Mullet has been on a satellite phone with D.C. — but lately, no one’s been picking up on the other end of the line, which is why they need to get to the Capitol and get there quickly.

“Super, have fun, I’ve got a wife to find,” Glenn explains with a wave, and Tara trots after him, offering that she’s been writing down on her hand the route they’ve been taking with that Sharpie she thought to carry along with her. Sharpies! Now #34 on the Zombieland list. But Abraham is not giving up on them yet, and declares that Glenn’s wife is probably dead, but that doesn’t mean that he has to go out that way, too. Glenn is not convinced by Abraham’s argument, and proceeds to swing a punch at him.

Fight fight struggle fight, and that’s when Dr. Mullet notices the corn field walkers emerging from the side of the road. When he can’t get anyone else’s attention because they are busy rolling around on the asphalt, Dr. Mullet decides to take matters into his own hands and retrieves a gun from the truck. However, Dr. Mullet isn’t much of a shot, and the bullets spray all over the place, including into the truck itself, before Abraham and the rest can assist him. And when it’s all said and done, the gas tank has been shot. SON OF A RICHARD. (Ugh, I love him. Can we keep him?)

Rosita finds Maggie’s picture on the road and returns it to Glenn, who is all, “Sorry about your ride, it’s been real.” And with that, he and Tara stomp back off in the direction of the bus, which must be very very far away now! So far away! Dr. Mullet instructs Abraham that they should go with them until they can find another vehicle: “trust [Billy Ray Cyrus], he’s smarter than [Abraham],” says the man who just sprayed their ride with bullets.

And so they grab their things and follow Tara and Glenn, where Abraham informs Tara that he understands why she’s following Glenn: she’s loyal, and a good person. But what they’re doing, saving the world, is more important. Tara is all: FIRST OF ALL, you don’t know me (language in that link, FYI), and SECOND OF ALL, why are you even going to Washington D.C.? Because you’re a “good person?”

Back at the nice suburban house where Rick, Michonne and Carl have made themselves a comfy little home, Carl and Michonne have A Moment laughing about soy milk, and how Carl would rather drink powdered milk … or even The Baby’s formu … and then he trails off because R.I.P. The Baby.

In the kitchen, Rick thanks Michonne for making Carl laugh; Carl needs her now, he needs a friend.  As for what they all need now: that’d be a plan and some supplies. Michonne orders Rick back to bed to rest  — just one more day — she and Carl will search the nearby houses for stuff and things. Rick notes that it’s 8:15 (LOST NUMBERS, HOLLA), he wants them back by noon, and he sends them on their way, before heading upstairs with the watch that Carol gave him and a good book.

After searching the first house, Michonne asks Carl if he found anything worthwhile inside, candy bars? Comic books? Crazy Cheese or as everyone else on the planet calls it: Easy Cheese (EZCHEEZ)? Because Michonne found some EZ Cheez, and proceeds to spray it directly into her mouth to try to make Carl laugh.

“Is this thing on?”

Carl does not laugh.

Michonne notes that she’s not great at making boys Carl’s age laugh, but she’s huge with three-year-olds, and Carl is all, “Do what now? What three-year-olds?” because suddenly Carl isn’t an idiot. Michonne confesses to Carl that she had a three-year-old son and he thought she was extremely funny, with or without EZ Cheez.

Carl is blown away by this revelation, and as they make their way into the house he begins peppering her with questions: SO WAIT WHAT WAS HIS NAME WERE YOU MARRIED DID YOU HAVE OTHER KIDS TELL ME EVERYTHING. But Michonne, aware that they are in a house that might be filled with flesh-eating zombies, devises a game: she’ll answer one question per room, and only after they’ve cleared it.

So they head into the next room, where Michonne contemplates a painting of some bunnies (NEVER FORGET) and Carl demands to know the name of her son. “Andre Anthony,” she replies. As they make their way through the house, Carl asks if she had any other children and she explains that one was enough for her. In a hallway, Carl offers her a large, wrapped-up painting, and in exchange he wants to know how long has it been? And Michonne answers that it happened after everything, before telling Carl that she’s never told anyone until just now. Carl assures Michonne that her secret is safe with him, and she’s like, “I mean, it’s not really a secret?” But Carl is just going to treat it as one, okthankyou.

As Carl makes his way into the next room, Michonne checks out what, exactly, is on that painting that Carl handed her and discovers that it’s a portrait of the artist as a young walker. YIKES. Michonne then investigates what is in the room behind the door where Carl found the painting and discovers the moldering corpses of the previous owners and their children. On the one hand, they don’t have any walkers to fight off, but on the other, DOUBLE YIKES! She backs out of the room in time to prevent Carl from going in and seeing the mess, assuring him that it’s just a dog behind the door. This makes Carl wistful for The Baby for some reason, and he notes that his father let him name her. “Who knows,” Carl suggests, “maybe The Baby and Andre are together somewhere.” NOPE! Sweet thought though.

Back at the house, Rick wakes up from his nap to hear men arguing downstairs, OH NO! As one of the men heads upstairs to investigate the new digs, Rick slides under the bed with his watch and water bottle and panics. The one set of boots wanders around the room for a while before settling down on the bed above Rick, trapping him there.

And the minute Rick is sure the oaf is asleep and he has a chance to slide himself out from under the bed, that’s when one of the other men comes upstairs to challenge him for the bed. Fight fight struggle fight and Boots #1 has Boots #2 in a stranglehold, inches from Rick’s face. Boots #2 tries to tell Boots #1 about Rick, but it’s kinda hard to talk when you’re being choked to the point of unconsciousness. Good friend times!

So Rick has to wait for Len to fall back asleep before he can carefully slide himself out from under the bed and look for an exit. While searching for an escape, Rick overhears the other men crowing about the still warm women’s clothing they found in one of the bedrooms and the unpleasant intentions they have for the wearer when she returns. (Although I doubt they expect that t-shirt comes with a samurai sword.)

Rick makes his way to the bathroom, where he has to dispatch the dude sitting on the toilet with his pants fully pulled up, as you do. Fight fight struggle fight, and Rick manages to choke the bepantted toilet sitter to the point of unconsciousness? death? it’s unclear. And Rick is able to slip out the window and onto the back porch.

However, Rick is stuck underneath the porch for a while, as one of the men has come outside to enjoy the backyard and practice his bird whistle. Fortunately for our heroes, Bird Whistle is called back inside to handle a walker situation, just as Michonne and Carl round the corner. Run away, everyone! Run away!

And that’s how Rick, Michonne and Carl end up on the railroad tracks where they find the sign advertising Terminus and not a moment too soon, because ENOUGH MOPING ABOUT THE BABY ALREADY.

So how about that Abraham Ford and his crew? We kinda already love them, right? First of all, Abraham seems to promise some much-needed comic relief (although I’m not holding my breath it is going to last — this show takes itself much too seriously for that). Perhaps more importantly, Abraham and his group are finally giving the show a little purpose, a mission, one other than: “wandering around rural Georgia, trying not to be eaten.” Every hero, after all, needs a journey, something to live for. It’s not enough to just survive; one needs meaning, a reason to believe one’s life — and the lives of those whom one has lost — amounts to something. Otherwise, what’s the point? Why not just lie down in the road and submit to the walkers and be done with the whole miserable thing? And while D.C. has been postponed for now, the hope of D.C. and everything it represents, gives not only our characters but the series as a whole, a renewed focus, a direction.

“Weeeeee’re off to see the Wizard ….”

SCROLL OVER FOR A MAJOR COMIC SPOILER. AND SRSLY, IT IS MAJOR. DO NOT PEEK IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN UNSPOILED: At least in the comics — which the series has already diverged from significantly — Dr. Mullet is a complete charlatan. He is a science teacher who has no idea what caused the zombification, no idea how to stop it, and has most certainly not been in communication with anyone in D.C. He made up the whole story with the help of a fake radio because he had no survivalist skills and needed someone like Abraham to protect him. So, at least in the comics, the whole mission and Abraham’s entire sense of purpose is utterly without meaning. There is no Wizard, he’s just man hiding behind a curtain. Bleak! It’s like a metaphor for life or something! 

Finally, since this was a Daryl-less episode, I present you a GIF of Norman Reedus with a puppy.

You’re welcome.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 8/9 p.m.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Tubular.

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