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The Walking Dead S01E03: We’ve Got To Go Back To The Atlanta!

That mean old racist is still handcuffed to the roof, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much, he seems like he’s having a great time. “I wish someone had handcuffed me to a drainage pipe on the roof of an Atlanta skyscraper with a horde of zombies trying to break down the door years ago, because I am having the TIME OF MY LIFE,” is what he is basically saying. Oh, wait, that’s exposure-induced delirium? My bad. Thought it was a cocktail party. Exposure-induced delirium and cocktail party chit chat are surprisingly similar! Anyway, the mean old racist comes to when he looks down and sees that he is handcuffed. It is true that realizing you are handcuffed alone on a roof will sober you right up. He starts screaming. And that is when he notices the zombies trying to smash down the door. Yikes. I’ll be honest, even if you are a mean old racist, that’s still gotta suck. “I’m handcuffed to a drainage pipe and left for dead AND there’s zombies up here? FML.” The zombies REALLY want to hang out. They probably heard what a fun time the mean old racist was having. Party on the roof! The mean old racist sees the spilled tools, including the spilled hacksaw, and he tries to lasso these things with his belt buckle. It is weird that he didn’t try that a million hours ago? No time to worry about that, though. In the Zombie Apocalypse it is extra important not to sweat the small stuff, I bet.

Meanwhile: Grimes (GRIMES!) is driving the construction truck (which now that you think of it, is very lucky to have been found completely empty! It could have been full of bricks and cement!) full of survivors back to quarry base camp, while Glenn is cruising along in his stolen hot rod, alarm blaring. Wait a second, doesn’t loud noise draw the attention of zombies? Yoops. “My bad, last remaining humans on Earth. Sweet ride, though, riiiiiiiiiiite?”

Everyone at quarry base camp is like “I knew we should have rendered Glenn’s fat into lamp oil,” because come on already with the recklessly driving your super-loud whip all up and down Zombie Coast, GLENNNN. They pop the trunk and turn the alarm off, but it’s going to take hours for the stink eyes to die down. Then the construction truck pulls up and there are so many tearful reunions. It’s kind of like an advertisement for butt cream that takes place at the Arrivals Terminal of an International Airport after a long war. The construction truck is very carefully parked right behind another car so that no one can see who is driving. Ha:

Maybe the truck drove itself! It’s the Zombie Apocalypse, after all, the world IS upside downsies. Just kidding, Grimes drove the truck! But his wife and child and partner are in the camp, so the reveal has to be very dramatic. It helps that we can find it very believable that Grimes needs 15 minutes alone in the cab to gather himself before meeting what he presumes to be a group of unwashed strangers in a field somewhere. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” Grimes tells himself, as he reapplies his lip gloss and irons the blouse of his sheriff’s uniform. While everyone else is having tearful reunions, Grimes’s wife needs to comfort their son, because he always gets sad during tearful reunion time. Aww, poor baby. GROW UP! IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD, SO HOW ABOUT YOUR BALLS DROP AND YOU BE A MAN. But then Grimes pops out of the truck (“deep breath, count to three, don’t forget to SMILE!”) and everyone is like ACTING FACE.

Also, this is easily my favorite face that I have seen on television in a long time.

Enhance.

Enhance.

So, now Grimes and his family are reunited. And Shane has to jerk off on the roof of the RV. (SORRY: SPOILER ALERT!) That night around the campfire, they all exchange war stories. Incidentally, at NO POINT WHATSOEVER does anyone actually explain WHY half of the group was in a department store in Atlanta. Like, everyone was real worried about them, for sure, but no one is like “So, did you get the Fossil watch I asked for?” Weird. I also like that the one lady’s sister has not yet given her the ugly dolphin costume jewelry that she stole from the jewelry counter. They’re probably saving that plot twist for the finale. “WHAT’S IN THE DOLPHIN JEWELRY?!”

One guy, Ed, makes a fire when he KNOWS the rules. No big fires, Ed. Come on, Ed. Use your noodle. Shane is like “use your noodle, Ed.” Ed eventually uses his noodle, but he is NOT happy about it. Something tells me that this is the only problem we’re going to get from Ed, though. He’ll fall back into line and you won’t hear anymore about it.

That night, Grimes turns Lori out. “He won’t wake up,” she says about their son, sleeping on a cot three inches from their genitals. If there is one thing that you can say about Grimes’s wife it is that she is always considerate of her son when it comes to fucking, either in the tent or face-down in the middle of the woods. She keeps apologizing to Grimes without ever really explaining what she’s apologizing for. Cool. It just happens to be the end of the world, no use being honest now and powering through the consequences. Much better to just let it reveal itself later in a moment of crisis. This Mother’s Day, Lori is definitely going to get to set her World’s Best Mom mug down on her brand new World’s Best Decision Maker mousepad. Grimes explains that he always knew she and Carl were alive because when he got home, all the family photo albums were missing. What does he mean? Like, the thumb drives? “I came home and there were no USB-cable 1GB storage devices anywhere, and the WiFi-enabled JPG picture frame your parents gave us for Christmas was not in its usual place on the mantle.”

THANK GOD WE HAVE THIS PHOTO OF CARL’S BIRTHDAY CAKE. It’s called the bare necessities, look it up. And, of course, Shane is forced to masturbate on the roof of the RV.

The next morning, Grimes tells Lori that he thinks he might go back to Atlanta to save Merle. Yikes. Marriage is compromise, but Grimes is pushing it. I love a brave and noble hero as much as the next guy, but even I’m kind of like, really, Grimes? It’s important to maintain your moral compass even when the world spins out of your grasp, but there is such a thing as walking face-first into suicide. Just then: a scream in the woods. It’s Carl! Oh no! Someone save Carl! And then also ask him what he was doing in the woods by himself! (Probably snuck a cigarette out of Lori’s purse just to try it, and I hope they make him smoke a whole pack just to learn his lesson.) It’s a zombie eating a deer.

The gang takes care of it, Kids-style.

Almost. Merle’s brother, Darryl, comes out of the woods and shoots the zombie in the face with a crossbow. “It’s got to be the brain, dang, don’t you people know anything?” He’s got a point! Even I knew that it had to be the brain! Anyway, Darryl was out hunting squirrels and stuff, but now he is back, and it is clear that no one really likes him, but they also want to be honest with him about what is going on with his brother and the whole rooftop and handcuffs thing. There is a knife fight. And a choke hold.

“Choke holding’s illegal!” Haha. Memorable Quotes. Also: classic handful of logs as dramatic tool:

Anyway, a team of people decide to go back to Atlanta and save Merle and also get the duffel bag of guns. Lori and Carl are not happy about it. Shane is also not happy about it. Grimes doesn’t care, because Grimes is in Hero Mode. Shane gives him four bullets, one for each of them. Thanks? I mean, I guess it’s thoughtful, but also the day that I am going to take care of my business because I’m still willing to fight for what I believe is right in a world gone mad and a dear friend who has secretly been screwing my wife from behind in the woods hands me four suicide bullets is the day that I leave for my mission with three suicide bullets and one less friend.

Down at the quarry, the women are doing the laundry, AS THEY SHOULD BE!

Haha. At one point, one of them sees Shane teaching Carl how to catch frogs and wonders at the inequality in the division of labor at the camp, and one of the other women just says “that’s the way it is.” Maybe before they escaped Atlanta, one of the women should have run inside a Barnes and Noble real quick and rescued a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Lori comes down and tells Shane to leave Carl and her alone, because Shane is the one who told her that Grimes was dead. Yikes. Although, seriously, Lori? How’d that conversation go?

Shane: Lori, Grimes is dead.
Lori: I want you inside me.

Shane takes out his anger on Ed’s face after Ed tries to rape his wife, or something. It’s kind of complicated what is going on here, but I cannot say that I am sorry to see Ed receive some of Shane’s mis-directed anger. He deserves it! You’re a punk, Ed, and punks get slapped!

Meanwhile, did anyone else notice how much easier it is to get into Atlanta than to get out? They park the truck and Glenn is like “we walk from here.” Do you? Are you sure you walk from there? Because if I remember correctly, it took everything you had to get that truck. Oh, never mind, two seconds later they are just in the department store no problemo, so I guess Glenn was right, they walk from there. They go up the stairs to the roof. Wait, the stairs that were straight filled with zombies trying to get to Merle? Yup! Those stairs. Completely zombie free now. Considering what we are about to learn, that is hilarious. I wish the show had showed the moment where the zombies all turned to each other and were like “let’s get out of here, man, this place is lame.”

Clip the chain! Faster! Can’t wait to see Merle again, you guys. Just one of the best dudes. Almost can’t believe it was so easy to get up here and save him, but that’s cool, at least the mission is definitely successful. “Merle, we’re here, buddy!” Oh wait. Uh oh. Merle? Buddy?

Oh. Shoot.

“Let’s think this through. I could saw through the chain of my handcuffs and keep my hand, or I could just cut my hand off. You know what, I think there was a pen and a Moleskin notebook in that toolbox. If I can just lasso them with my belt buckle then I can make a Pros and Cons List and figure this out.” — Merle

Unfortunately, the gang now has absolutely no idea where Merle has gone, because he definitely didn’t leave a disgustingly long trail of too much blood leading all the way to his drained corpse. HE COULDN’T BE ANYWHERE!

Next Week: picks up two minutes later and carries us through another 12 hours. This show moves so slow! I kind of love it, though.