Shiny Shelf

The Walking Dead #1.2: Guts

By Julio Angel Ortiz on 12 November 2010

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

As if there was any more apt title for an episode, ‘Guts’ fits the bill for the latest installment of ‘The Walking Dead’.

The latest episode veers into familiar territory, with Rick falling in with a band of survivors at, of all places, a store.

This is a well-worn path in the zombie genre, and ‘Guts’ has some subtle social commentary embedded here, but nothing we haven’t seen before. I couldn’t tell if this was a nod to ‘Dawn of the Dead’ or simply a natural development of events, but either way, it serves the purposes of the story.

What is missing from ‘Guts’ that was in the premiere episode is emotional intensity. In ‘Guts’ we are in full-on survival mode, with few segues into character territory such as Rick and Andrea’s discussion over the mermaid necklace in the store.

It is unfortunate, because those are the moments that give us the greatest value in a series such as this. The use of Dixon as a stereotypical redneck racist is a bit eye-rolling, because it is so heavy handed and obtuse in getting the message across. Also, why in the world would he be associated with the rest of the survivors to get supplies? Who thought pairing him with a group of black, Hispanic, and Asian-descent was a good idea? It’s a plot contrivance that forms a weak link in the story.

I will give the producers credit for using, as the crux of the episode, the plot point of Rick and Glen covering themselves in zombie gore to get past the walkers to the truck. This is preceded by a wonderful moment where Rick goes through the downed zombie’s wallet and learns about the man he was and shares it with the rest of the group. An understated scene and which was the best one in the entire episode.

A nitpick about the episode: the show can’t seem to quite decide whether it wants to stick with the slow, shambling zombies of George Romero’s ‘Dead’ movies, or the fast moving ones of the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake. So currently we get a mix of shambling (when moseying about) and humorous zombie jogging when they are chasing prey.

It’s not even consistent in the same episode in how to tackle zombie abilities. It establishes that the zombies can tell humans apart from each other via smell. Early in the episode, Rick and Glen escape up a ladder, and no zombies climb up after them (I would have thrown something at the television had that been the case). However, when Rick and Glen later own make their way to the construction site, the zombies not only semi-run as they give chase, one climbs the fence and continues to pursue them. What?

Nevertheless, ‘Guts’ is an entertaining episode. While it lacks the strength of the premiere, this could be chalked up to being a more action-oriented episode. In the end, we continue to care about Rick and his journey to reach his family, and that’s what matters.

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By Julio Angel Ortiz

Julio Angel Ortiz maintains his collection of curiosities at You can also Like him on Facebook as well and check out his latest writing projects.

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