This is a Recap of AMC’s The Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 4, entitled “Vatos”, originally airing November 21, 2010. There are many spoilers ahead, particularly in the last 10 minutes of the post, when a bunch of the spoilers get mauled by zombies.
We’re four episodes in, and the zombies are gettin’ grosser:
Classic dentist waiting room poster.
This week’s episode opens with Andrea and Amy sitting in a boat on the lake discussing fishing knots. ZOMBIES??? Hang on, hang on, we’ll get to them. The sisters find out their dad had different fish-killing policies for the two of them because of their opposite sensitivities, but always stuck to one rule: “No crying in the boat.” Andrea says “I think that rule was for him.” Amy says “Nah, A League of Their Own came out that summer and he just kept quoting it.”
Back on the roof, Daryl is doing his best to answer every commenter’s ‘Merle’ questions from last week: “Looks like the saw was too dull to cut through the chain. Looks like he used a tourniquet or there’d be more blood. Looks like the five million zombies that were on this stairwell are gone because they, like, found a cow or something.”
Meanwhile, back at camp, Jim is furiously digging a hole and ignores Hatguy’s suggestion to take a break, but because he’s freaking everyone else out, Shane “The Fist Of Reason” forces him to stop:
In Atlanta, the group attempts to follow Merle’s trail of blood and murdered black zombies, but find no Merle, and Rick decides that they first need to pick up the bag of guns while they can. Daryl responds with my favorite line of the episode: “Who voted you king boss?” Uhh, no one votes for King Boss, dummy, they’re appointed divinely.
Glenn volunteers to grab the guns himself, prompting Daryl to compliment “You got some balls for a Chinaman.” Do even racist people still use the term ‘Chinaman’? Daryl may in fact be an 1800s railroad supervisor who traveled ahead in time, but we’ll answer those questions in Episode 5.
Just as Glenn is grabbing the guns, the plan gets broken up not by zombies, but by the most dangerous game of all: MAN. Glenn is kidnapped by a gang, but Daryl manages to kidnap one of the gang members, and after a rousing game of Good Cop / Hand Cop, Rick gets the kidnapped gang member to take him to his gang base, for gangsters:
The gang leader Guillermo offers Rick an ultimatum: Hand over the prisoner and the bag of guns and they won’t throw Glenn off the roof blindfolded. MAN these are some ruthless gangsters, aren’t they? My opinion about them is formed, fully, and will not change from here on out: They are dangerous killers.
Wait a minute, what’s that voice?
ABUELA!!! INSTANT BEST CHARACTER! When I checked my work email this morning, Michelle had sent me one that just said:
Subject: lol x 1 mill
WHEN THE ABUELA SHOWED UP
The Mexican standoff is interrupted (not racist, it literally also was one!) when one of the gangster’s grandma comes out, and when Rick sympathetically tells her he’s not there to arrest anyone but just looking for a missing person, she welcomes him into the building and shows him around:
(Ed Note – I wasn’t sure how to convey ‘cartooney Spanish grandma voice’ in text form without it sounding Italian, so I just left it as is. My job is really, really hard.)
The grandmother brings Rick to the back where Glenn and a number of other gang members are taking care of old people, and it turns out, they’re not a gang, they’re former hospital employees and families of the old people who’ve formed their own old person sanctuary:
So there you have it – Guillermo isn’t a vicious gangster, but actually a former custodian with a heart of gold. Shame on you for jumping to conclusions that he was just a gang member when he was holding 6,000 guns to Rick’s head and threatening to execute his friend if they didn’t give him more guns. He was doing it for the old folks. Don’t you see – now WE’RE the Dixons. Rick and Guillermo split the bag of guns (cute!) and when Rick realizes the van has been stolen (probably by Merle), the gang of four walks back to camp.
At this point in the episode, I actually thought to myself, “Wow, hardly any zombies this week – I guess this is what people were talking about when they said The Walking Dead is more about the people dealing with the situation than about the actual zombie attack itself.” With only 7 minutes left in the episode, I am confident that this prediction will remain accurate.
Back at camp, the group is sitting around the campfire, listening to Hatguy quote Faulkner about watches. Ok, still no zombies. Then, the bombshell – Amy says “I have to go pee” and walks away from the group. RED FLAG.
Checking our handy “Going To Pee In Movies” chart, we find that when someone says “I have to go pee,” here’s what happens:
99.99% Of The Time – Person gets instantly murdered
0.01% Of The Time – Person returns to find Samuel L. Jackson and Tim Roth in a showdown
Uhoh, I do NOT like those odds for Amy. Good thing Ed is safe and sound in his recovery tent. There’s a shadow at the door – probably just Wifey Shorthair…
Bye Ed! Though really, Shane could’ve just cut out the middleman and taken care of this last week. How’s Amy doing?
Yikes! Two characters down in a flash. But no one’s kicking MORALES off the show so fast:
Rick and Co. arrive mid-attack and help Shane, Jim, and Morales kill the rest of the zombies. Umm, so…kind of holy sh*t? This show is seriously the best show at making up for “That sentimentality doesn’t seem totally forced, but it’s also not entirely interesting…” with instantly redemptive “HOLY EFFING S!” sequences, and the last 5 minutes of this episode were about as HOLY EFFING S as television can get, so well done there, Walking Dead.
Walking Dead Episode 4 Thoughts? Favorite / Least Favorite Parts? Stuff We Missed? Abuela Reactions? Only two episodes left so comment away.