***Happy Halloween! Warning – Spoliers***
Last night’s third episode of the new season of The Walking Dead opens with steaming hot water spilling out of a shower head and Shane giving himself a buzz cut. Why? Because something happened when he want back to that zombie infested High School to scrounge up badly needed medical supplies so the vet can do some equally badly needed surgery on poor Carl who is literally at death’s door.
It turns out that Shane and Otis (remember him? He’s the guy who accidentally shot Carl during the close encounters of the deer kind at the end of the season opener) managed to get the medical supplies but are being chased through the hallway at the high school by a swarm of the living dead. Will they make it? Well, somebody does. I didn’t give Otis much hope of surviving a foot race with the monsters since he’s about four hundred pounds.
Downstairs, Sheriff Rick (who looks to be fairly drained of blood now) is munching away on a sandwich (where did he get that? And why does this comfy farmhouse have power and hot water, while we’re at it? It is the apocalypse, after all) while wife Lori maintains a constant vigil at Carl’s bedside.
Meanwhile at the Winnebago, Sophie is still MIA and Darryl gets sick of listening to her mother sobbing about her missing daughter, so he and Andrea decide to recommence the search, just the two of them, in the middle of the night avec big-ass flashlights. Old man Dale, the spiritual leader of the group, asks Darryl if it’s a good idea (read: hey I don’t think you should be going out into the woods with flashlights that can attract zombies after dark) and Andrea (who is only slightly less bitchy this episode) basically tells him to pound salt. She’s good that way.
Back at the high school, Shane and Otis run through the gym which is where many people have met their doom in other zombie movies, btw, find a safe place atop the bleachers. They decide to split up: 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 legless zombie grabs his leg! (Note the irony there) Shane makes it to the window and zombies chase him up the stairs. He clubs ’em, breaks the window and climbs outside. Just before he jumps, a zombie tries to get at Shane through the window and is promptly shot in the face as Shane falls, twisting his ankle badly.
Back at the farm, Glen and T-Dog arrive. T-Dog still looks pretty rough but no worries, he’ll get stitched up and be good to go in no time. Lori is having an existential crisis and muses to Rick about whether this new scary zombie infested world is the best place to raise a kid. She’s hinting that maybe its best for Carl to pass on into the next world and Rick, tears in his eyes, pleads with his wife to get her head out of her ass.
Meanwhile back in the woods, Darryl and Andrea find a zombie swinging from a noose. Turns out the guy had been bitten and ended it all before turning – guess he didn’t realize you have to shoot yourself in the head if you want to avoid resurrecting into a zombie. The creature’s legs have been chewed down to the bone and Andrea barfs. She’s starting to realize that maybe being alive isn’t necessarily a bad thing because look what happened to this guy who committed suicide?
Flash to the farmhouse. Lori is still all existential crisisy. The doc, Hershel, tells Rick and Lori that they absolutely have to decide to operate ASAP to save Carl but Carl will probably die anyway. Meh.
Back at the high school, things look pretty bad for Shane. He’s got creeps hot on his heels and things look hopeless until Otis shows up. Back at the farmhouse, Maggie sneaks up on Glen who is praying. There’s an exchange about faith and then she heads back into the house.
Back at the high school, Otis and Shane are running for their lives. Will they make it?
At the farmhouse, the Doc is just about to operate when Shane arrives with the goods to save poor Carl. He breaks the news that Otis didn’t make it. The Doc informs them that they’ll tell Otis’s wife after the surgery and Shane heads inside to take a shower but only after looking in on Carl and Lori who Shane still pines for.
And now we’re back in the shower. Shane is checking out his head for scratches and bumps and begins the process of clipping his hair off as he recalls what really happened at the high school. Yes, you see, Otis and Shane were nearly out of bullets save for just a couple so Shane shoots Otis in the leg thereby providing a four hundred pound buffet for the living dead and securing a chance to escape. Poor Otis is torn to pieces (but we knew he was going to die because the fat guy always dies in zombie lore) and Shane gets away .
Shane, you ignorant prick. How could you do that to poor Otis?
Thus ends the third episode. Sophie is still … freaking … missing. Andrea is still pissy at Dale and Shane is starting to come apart. Overall this was a good episode and I like how we’re seeing Shane’s sanity or values or whatever the hell you want to call it begin to unravel. I like how Darryl (who is becoming my favorite guy on the show) is taking charge. Dale is getting kind of boring but then he is old and wise and he does have a beard. The writers aren’t doing much with Glen at all this season, so I suspect he’ll be zombie chow in an upcoming episode. I’m also starting to wonder if Shane, having lost the love of his life to his best friend that he thought was dead and after having murdered poor Otis to save himself isn’t going to off himself at some point.
As a footnote, I watched another zombie movie yesterday on SyFy. It’s called Zombie Apocalypse, a SyFy original movie. It sucked. It blew. It was terrible and Ving Rhames has gained about a jillion pounds. The effects were terrible and in one scene, I actually saw a zombie run away from the chick with the sword. Clearly the writers have never seen The Walking Dead