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The Walking Dead S01E01: Hide Yo Kid, Hide Yo Wife, Etc

A police cruiser is driving along a quiet country road and pulls to a stop at the shoulder. The deputy gets out of the vehicle, goes around to the trunk, and pulls out a gas tank. Already something might be up. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but why doesn’t he just go to a gas station like normal people? As he walks through the intersection, we see a minivan flipped over onto its roof, and an 18-wheeler jack-knifed in the road. Another truck comes into view, its insides all burned out and its chassis blackened by smoke. The cop doesn’t even seem to care. Uh, dude, that is NOT how cars usually are? They’re usually driving! With humans in them! Or parked respectfully. These cars are unusual! Something is definitely UP. The cop makes his way down a hill towards a gas station and there are cars everywhere, and tents, and oh also SUPER DEAD BODIES. Again, the cop is just like, whatever corpses, this gas tank isn’t going to fill itself! There’s a sign up at the gas station that says “No Gas.” Shoot! I’m no Survival Expert, but if I was in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse Wasteland looking desperately for gas and I walked up to a gas station with a sign on it that said “No Gas” and a lawn full of burned out cars filled with charred corpses, again, just speaking as me here, I’d turn on my heel and head right back to my car. “Hey, let’s wander around a little bit, see what this terrifying abandoned gas station with no gas is all about” is NOT something you would hear me mutter to myself because the sound of a human voice, even if it is just my own, keeps my tattered sanity from Total Collapse. The cop hears a noise. It’s a pair of tiny feet shuffling along in dirty slippers. Oh, I’m sure this is just a normal person in need of some assistance. “Little girl, don’t worry, I’m a cop, I want to help you,” the cop says to the little girl’s receding back. And AGAIN, this cop can do whatever he wants, OK? I’m not trying to tell him how to do his job. But if it’s me and the world has been ravaged by the Rage Virus I tell you this: no face no service. SHOW YOURSELF, ZOMBIES! The little girl turns around and not to say I told you so but I TOLD YOU SO. The cop is like, “so you DON’T need my help?” And then he shoots the little girl in the head.

BOOM! HELLO, THE WALKING DEAD!

The cop’s name is Rick Grimes and his marriage is NOT going well. In the squad car with his partner, Shane Walsh, he is like “my marriage is NOT going well.” His partner is like “some kind of sexist bullshit about lightbulbs, I don’t know, we’re cops!” Just then there is a call on the radio. 10-4!!! They drive out to a country road and lay down some spikes. Then they have some banter. Guys! Focus! The bad guys come up the road and hit the spikes and their car loses its shit. Bad guys crawl out and start shooting. Grimes is hit! The cops shoot the bad guys. Grimes is wheezing, but he’s OK. The bullet caught him in his bulletproof vest, he’s just winded. Do NOT tell his wi–OH SHIT, SECRET BAD GUY! Grimes is shot but for real this time. His partner goes all blurry face. Hang in there, buddy.

CUT TO: INT. HOSPITAL – LATER

Grimes is in the hospital and he looks rough. Apparently, the bullet badly ruptured his SKIN TONE. (Although, his beard is pretty well maintained.) His partner comes to visit him and brings him flowers, NO HOMO. He assures him that everyone is waiting for him to come back to work. Classic shot cop sick bed talk. And Shane is the only visitor? Cool wife. Cool son. Grimes makes some joke about the vase. You know how cops are: always ribbing each other about vases and other pottery. It’s called gallows humor, look it up. But Shane isn’t there. And the flowers are dead. How long has he been out? LONG ENOUGH, GET UP LAZYHEAD. Grimes gets up and immediately falls down. At which point, a zombie casually strolls in and takes its sweet time shuffling over to the dude with the atrophied legs and eats his face. JUST KIDDING. Grimes calls desperately for a nurse, at which point, a zombie nurse casually strolls in and EATS HIS FACE. Again, I am just kidding, but I think we can all agree that Grimes is very lucky there is not any zombies around because he cannot even walk. As he makes his way out of the hospital, he has a thought: “why aren’t there more haunted houses in hospitals? If you decorated a hospital like a haunted house for a couple weeks every October you could make fat bank.” Enough with the small business concepts, Grimes, GET OUT OF THERE. Needless to say, shit’s fucked up.

Grimes steals a zombie’s bike and goes home, but his wife and child are nowhere to be found. Maybe they’re on their way to the hospital to visit you for the first time? Wouldn’t that be funny? “I can’t believe we left for the hospital five minutes before you came home. Hahaha. Ships in the night!” Just kidding, THEY’RE DEAD. Grimes cries. Grimes gets hit in the head with a shovel by our generation’s Walt. WALLLLLLLLLLT!

When he wakes up, Grimes is tied to a bed about 2 get raped. Just kidding. He is tied to the bed because a man and his son want to make sure they are not about to rape a zombie. Just kidding. NO RAPE! Why do people keep saying Grimes is about to get raped? He’s not going to get raped, you guys, stop saying that. Morgan (the father) shows him a knife. Oh wait, is he about to get raped? No. Morgan tells him that if he tries anything he will get raped I MEAN KILLED. Then Morgan tells him to get dressed and come down to dinner. Haha. “See how sharp this knife is? If you try anything, it’s dinner time.” ANYWAY. Dinner. Prayers. Explanations. In case anyone is still curious as to what is going on out there, it is DEFINITELY a Zombie Apocalypse. I CALLED IT! I’M A GENIUS! Morgan gives Grimes some fun facts: the zombies are attracted to light and noise. They’re manageable in small numbers, but look out for zombie flash mobs. Then there is a pretty sad and scary scene in which it becomes clear that Duane’s mom is still alive/undead and that she loves coming up onto the porch and turning the doorknob. Yikes. Oh well, let her in. JUST KIDDING DON’T LET HER IN SHE IS A ZOMBIE SHE WILL EAT YOUR FACE!

The next morning, zombies are just passed out everywhere.

Grimes feels kind of weird about killing zombies because of how they used to be people. Totally. That would be weird! Grimes shows just how hesitant and uncomfortable he is by taking a baseball bat and hitting a zombie in the head ONE MILLION TIMES AS HARD AS HE CAN. “It’s just so hard, you know, POP POP CRUNCH POP BLAM DIE FUCK DIE POP because of how they were people, you know?” Totally, Grimes. Totally. (I’m worried about Grimes, you guys.) Grimes explains to Morgan that his wife and kid are still alive because there aren’t any framed photos on the wall. Encyclopedia Grimes over here. (P.S. Zombie Apocalypse Pro-Tip: frames are bulky and unwieldy. Fucking leave them behind.) Morgan remembers that one time his wife had a photograph. More crying. “Hey little buddy,” Grimes says, “I know what would turn that frown upside down! How about a group shower and then a trip to the Gun Store?! Hold on, let me get my keys!” Grimes is a total keyhead.

Duane loves a group shower.

Guns.

Morgan and Grimes go their separate ways, for now. Oh wait, hold on, Grimes just has to shoot this dude in the head.

OK, now they can go their separate ways. But they make plans to meet later. “Hit me up on my two way pager CHIRP CHIRP,” etc. Back home, Morgan goes upstairs with his new rifle and tests it out on some zombies. Yup, it works! He tells Duane to stay downstairs. He also tells him “earmuffs.” Daddy and mommy are just talking. They are not shooting each other in the zombie head because of anything you did. They both love you very much. Well, one of them does not love you because she is a zombie. Anyway, Morgan can’t do it. Whoops. House is totally surrounded by zombies now and you used up some much-needed bullets. Oh well. Marriage is compromise.

Meanwhile, Grimes goes to the park to see his girlfriend.

He heads to Atlanta to see if it is true that there is a huge, military-protected refugee center and also his wife and child. Something tells me none of those things are there. It’s interesting that zombie movies (and TV shows) take place in an alternate universe where the zombie virus is real and where no one has ever actually seen a zombie movie. Anyway, Grimes is cruising along making I Am Legend announcements on the bandwidth. There is a group of humans who hear him, but they can’t get the radio to work. Also, one of those humans is his former partner and two of those people are his wife and kid. I know that the Zombie Apocalypse is going to be very stressful, or whatever, but you would think that perhaps one of the THREE CLOSEST PEOPLE in Grimes’s life might recognize his voice. Most notably, his partner, Shane, whose professional life involved lots of radio discussions with Grimes would recognize his voice. Oh well, whatever, no biggie. I’m sure they’ll all laugh about it later, right after they’re done laughing about how Shane has straight moved in on Grimes’s wife two days after the Zombie Apocalypse started. “I thought you were dead. It’s been hours!”

Grimes gets a horse (long story) and makes it to Altanta (surprisingly short story). Seems like a good idea. What better place to be during an apocalyptic Zombie Crisis than a major city? “I was top of my class in Common Sense at boot camp,” is what Grimes always tells everyone. “I’m going to visit Zombie Coke World!” At first everything seems pretty chill. Just a couple of zombies on a crosstown bus. But then Grimes turns a corner and WHOOOOOOPS, looks like all the zombies heard about the new Improv Everywhere mission but Agent Grimes didn’t get the text blast.

The zombies get the horse. Yum. “We’re gonna need a bigger horsebag!” Grimes crawls under a tank, but these are Crouching Zombies, so that’s no good. They’re all crawling after him. Fuck. He’s definitely going to turn into a zombie and I did not realize this show was only one episode long. Oh well! It was pretty good, though, right guys? Grimes pulls out a gun and is about to shoot himself in the head, at which point he casually looks up and sees that there is a doorway into the tank. Phew. He crawls into the tank and closes the door. Easy enough. Oh shoot, there’s a zombie in the tank.

Grimes shoots the zombie. But now he is deaf. Yoops. Oh well, if you had to either be deaf or be a zombie, I guess I’d choose deaf. Although, to be completely honest, I’m not really clear on the appeal of staying alive after the Zombie Apocalypse? Definitely looks like a never ending nightmare of existential terror, maddening loneliness, and canned beans. The human instinct for survival is strong, sure, but perhaps it is too strong? Anyway, Grimes looks up again just in time to see another doorway, which he gets closed just before the zombies get him again. It’s just like Alec Baldwin said in Glengarry Glen Zombies: Always Be Looking Up For Secret Doorways. Just then there is a voice over the intercom. The voice is talking to Grimes. “Hey dumbass, yeah, you. In the tank. How you doing in there? Comfy?” Whoa.

There are other survivors! AND THEY’RE SARCASTIC ASSHOLES!