“The Walking Dead,” Season 1, Episode 4: “Vatos”

“The Walking Dead’s” fourth episode opened with some pretty subtle foreshadowing.

Andrea and Amy are fishing and reminiscing about how their father taught them to fish. It was a tender family moment, but a bit forced. I immediately knew something was going to happen to one of them. Also in the opening scene, we see Jim frantically digging holes. Is he looking for something or is he digging graves? Oh, it’s probably just nothing.

In the city, Rick, Glenn, T-Dog and Daryl realize Merle cut his hand off to escape and is definitely still alive. They follow his blood trail for awhile then hatch a plan to re-claim the bag of guns Rick left behind earlier. Glenn goes for the bags but is intercepted by another group of survivors who appear to be gang members. They kidnap Glenn but leave behind one of their own, leaving Rick and crew with some leverage.

They meet up with the gang to exchange “prisoners.” Yeah, I know, it seemed like a lot of unnecessary and boring drama to me too. Then we find out the gang is really just guarding a deserted nursing home still filled with patients. Lame. Boring.

So they call a truce, share some guns and decide to head back to their own survivor camp. But their van is missing. Uh oh. Merle. They believe Merle is headed back to the survivor camp to start trouble.


As we’re expecting Merle to crash in on the nice little fish fry at the camp, we’re surprised by a zombie attack. The first victim is the much deserving Ed. But then Amy is attacked. Brutally. So that’s what that family moment in the beginning was about.

About 12 more zombies show up and they’re grabbing survivors left and right. The survivors start fighting back but the attack isn’t over until Rick and company return to help. It’s unclear of what the body count is, but Amy seems to be the only surprise victim.

At least there are some graves started thanks to Jim’s premonition.

The episode was pretty slow. I was almost annoyed over the Glenn kidnapping and gang element. I’m just in the belief that walking dead people and the drama within the survivor camp are plenty to deal with. But the show redeemed itself at the end with the gory zombie attack. That also still leaves open what will happen when Merle finds his way back to the group.

What did you think of this episode? And there are only two more left. What do you hope happens?

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