AMC’s The Walking Dead is so bloody/complex (or is it bloody complex?) that EW writers Jeff Jensen and Dan Snierson are getting together once a week to watch and recap it. Plus, frankly, zombies are a little less scary when you’re not viewing them all alone. Below is a transcript of Jeff and Dan’s conversation.
JEFF: Last week on Halloween, Frank Darabont and the tricky team behind AMC’s The Walking Dead left us with a quite a treat: The grisly spectacle of zombies gnawing into a horse and gulping its organs while our hero Rick Grimes was just yards away, trapped inside a tank, wondering how he was ever going to escape. It was a hell of a way to end a pilot–vaguely existential, certifiably queasy, classic cliffhanger–and there was little chance The Walking Dead could ever top that moment. Right, Dan?
DAN: Jeff, to quote the Family Feud buzzer…. X! The horse feast proved to be a mere amuse bouche to the gross-out entrée that was the graphic gutting of a zombie: Think Chef Boyardee and Sloppy Joe having a bloody love child. (Actually, don’t think that. Too disturbing.) But we’ll get to that gore-ific scene a bit later. Let us kick off the convo with the opening scene, which appeared to be a zombie stalking of Rick’s wife, Lori, yet morphed into something almost as unsettling: an animalistic love scene between Lori and Rick’s partner, Shane. That was no innocent roll in the HEY! It was more like forbidden fruit. And we’re left to believe that when Rick finally meets up with the RV refugees, we will bare witness to a lot of awkwardness.
JEFF: Some lovers spend their sexy time playing Doctor, French Maid, or Pizza Delivery Man. Shane and Lori? They get kinky with Fake Zombie Attack. I guess it’s true what they say: Fear–and especially fear of being ravaged by a fetid, flaking corpse–is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Seriously, their “lovemaking” was passionate, desperate, sad, scared, and even angry. Having Lori hit PAUSE so she could yank away the reminder of Rick–the wedding band on her necklace–contributed to the illicit vibe. Assuming Shane and Lori weren’t romantically involved prior to the zombie apocalypse—
DAN: A risky assumption–but continue.
JEFF: Is Lori committing adultery? She has every right to presume that she’s a widow.
DAN: We pieced together from last week’s episode that it’s been a month since the zombie plague hit. Call me old-fashioned, but when you lose a spouse, I think you should be “closed for business” for at least, I dunno… four months?
JEFF: I don’t blame her for craving some visceral, profound human connection amid what must be very difficult circumstances. Regardless, I’ve spent a lot of time with Rick. I’m moved by his quest to reunite with his wife and child. So to see Lori faithlessly diddling his best friend isn’t all that endearing. Will I warm to her? TBD. But let’s make like Sherman and march into Atlanta…
DAN: Yes, let’s. Truth is, I’m much more eager to spend time with Rick on the road than hang at base camp; I don’t know which of those folks I’m rooting for yet. (Maybe when Rick gets there, my interest in the RV refugees will perk up.) In Atlanta, Rick met up with a gang of scavengers (all of whom were later revealed to be part of Shane’s camp of survivors), beginning with a likable dude named Glenn, a.k.a. the voice on the other end of the tank radio. He was full of helpful info (serving as Rick’s eyes so he could escape from the tank without getting munched) and gallows banter (Rick: “There is no good news?” Glenn, after a long beat: “No.”); his sidekick vibe gave this fairly somber show a bit of a wink. But it was interesting that Glenn referred to Rick as “Clint Eastwood,” the first time the show has explicitly referenced pop culture. Can a zombie-movie joke be far behind?
NEXT: Our story is set in the south, so of course there’s a predictably off-his-rocker bigot. (Sigh.)