RECAP: In the beginning of this premiere episode “What Lies Ahead”, the clan begins heading towards Fort Bennett. Since we already know that most of Season two will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, I assume that is where Fort Bennett is. The group has split up and are taking separate vehicles.
On their way, they come across a vast area of abandoned vehicles, a “graveyard” if you will, and the RV breaks down. The group goes through the vehicles, all the while trying to keep a lookout for the walking dead. Once a zombie is spotted, Rick notices that there are dozens of them coming towards the area where they broke down. The group quickly runs underneath nearby vehicles for protection. May I just take this time to say that the makeup/effects team has clearly reached their very highest potential. I cannot believe how realistic and terrifying these things look.
During this, Andrea gets attacked in the bathroom of the RV, but manages to not only refrain from getting bitten, but manages to kill a walker with a screwdriver… to his eye. T-Dog cut himself on one of the cars, dripping blood everywhere. Although zombies were obviously attracted by this, Daryl throws a dead body on top of himself and T-Dog, and this keeps them from attacking. Sadly, little Sophia is chased by walkers into the woods. Rick tells her exactly where to head for, and he kills the two walkers.
I am sure you remember Shane’s mishap with Lori in Season 1. When Shane and Lori are alone, Shane tells her that he is going to be veering from the group. He is fixing himself up a new ride, and he is leaving the pack.
When Rick and Daryl are in the woods looking for Sophia, they find a walker with skin caught in his teeth. Daryl opens his stomach with a knife and they dive in. They gut him. I have to say that this part made me slightly nauseous. It was the most disgusting thing I think I have ever seen… and I have seen some pretty gnarly stuff. As it turns out, it was a Woodchuck.
Against her wishes, Andrea’s gun was taken by Dale. He said he was not comfortable with her having it, and frankly, I understand why. When I first saw her working on her gun in the RV, I figured she was going to kill herself, since that was what she was going to do at the CDC last season.
After much looking, Sophia’s trail went cold and Rick and Daryl had to stop looking. They said they would pick it up again at daylight, but Carol being the over-protective mother that she is (I understand) she was UNHAPPY to say the least.
Since Carl finds an arsenal of very dangerous weapons that aren’t guns, the group is carrying those instead of guns. Rick, Daryl, and Shane are the only ones carrying guns at this point. The group spreads out and covers the woods, talking Carl along with them, to find Sophia.
Andrea told Dale that she was not going into the woods without her gun, and Dale refused to give it back to her. She explained that she wanted to die her own way, not being torn apart by walkers, and he took that right away from her. The only choices back at the CDC were either stay in and die, having Dale’s blood on her hands, because he said that if she stayed he was staying, or go and they both live. Reluctantly, she chose life.
The group begins hearing bells being rung while they are in the woods, and runs towards them. They assume that either Sophia is ringing them herself, or she hears them and will go towards them.
COMMERCIAL BREAKS ARE KILLING ME!
When the group comes across a church.. where they heard the bells… there are 3 walkers inside. They quickly get rid of them. They discover that the bells are on a timer that goes of at per-determined times.
Shane is very bent out of shape about losing Lori. As upset as he is, Lori is the one in the worse situation, because her child, Carl, got dragged into it. Rick is completely unaware of the situation between Lori and Shane, but while Shane was explaining to Lori why this was too hard to stick around, Andrea happened to be outside the church where they were talking. Shane noticed her after Lori walked away.
Carol turns to the statue of Jesus on the crucifix for comfort. She prays to him to show mercy on Sophia. After this, Andrea tells Shane that she wants to join him in leaving the group. Some of the group heads back to the RV, but Shane, Rick, Carl, and Daryl stay to look for another hour for Sophia.
Rick heads into the church to talk to Jesus, although he is not a very religious person. Rick says that he could use some sign that he is doing the right thing. That the group could use some acknowledgment that everything is going to be okay.
At the end of the episode, Lori gives Andrea her gun. She confronts the group that is headed back to the RV. She tells Carol to stop blaming Rick, because she is sure none of them would have done what he did any better or at all. Andrea gives Lori her gun back, and they keep moving. This is a big moment, because Andrea has already said to Shane that she wants to leave the group.
Also, Shane, Rick, and Carl find a deer in the woods. Someone shoots the deer (we don’t see who), but the bullet goes through the deer and hits Carl. The episode ends there, so I have no idea what his condition is. I suppose we will have to wait until next week to find out.
REACTION: I do have to say that this is one of the most heart-wrenching episodes that I have seen. They introduced religion into the series, which is something that I understand. If I were in that situation, I would need my faith to keep going. In my opinion, without faith, what are you living to work towards? A few more years of existing? I don’t know if that was the point they were making with that, but that is my thought.
With Sophia missing still and little Carl being shot, this episode leaves the me with a disturbed and slightly depressed feeling about the group, and what they are going to do at this point. It is hard to believe that they are going to find Sophia unharmed AND Carl is going to survive and be okay. That is a tad unrealistic. With the children both out of the picture, what would happen to the group? I feel like Sophia is the only thing holding the very emotionally unstable Carol together. And Carl is seemingly the only thing keeping Lori from explaining the Shane situation to Rick. Even if Carl survives and they DO find Sophia, they will disable the group. I think Carol would get even more overprotective and if Carl survives, he will not be in tip-top shape. He will obviously need special care, at least for a little while, which would no doubt hold the group back, and possibly put them in danger.
I cannot wait for next Sunday!
As far as premiere episodes go, 5/5. This episode hit all of the necessary exciting points to keep your pulse way too fast, and your ass at the edge of the seat.