Episode Title: Guts
Original Airdate: 11-7-10
When we last left Rick entombed in the abandoned tank surrounded by Walkers, he heard someone trying to get him on the radio. That someone is Glenn, who helps Rick escape into a nearby alley and onto the roof of a department store. Once inside, Rick meets a few other survivors who, with Glenn, have a nearby camp and were in the city on a supply run. Unfortunately, Rick’s cowboy ride into town and subsequent gunshots alerted a massive horde of Walkers to the department store, making escape for the group nearly impossible. The group decides their best chance is for Rick and Glenn to camouflage themselves in Walker blood and guts to reach a moving truck, which will get everyone out of the city. The plan works, but not without some hiccups, including one member of the group being left handcuffed to the roof as the Walkers close in.
The second episode of the series is nice follow-up to the premiere. Where the first episode gave us plenty of character development and reflection, “Guts” doesn’t allow much time to breathe as the small group becomes more desperate with each passing minute. From the fight that breaks out between the living to the dead beating down the store’s glass doors with big rocks, there is a definite not-a-second-to-waste feel. The intensity hits a high as Glenn and Rick shamble through Walkers, unsure if the guts plan will actually work and then the thunder rolls and you can feel things begin to slip apart.
Meanwhile, we’re introduced to a few new characters, who are all dead by Season 5, except Glenn, and have our first true glance into the evil living without laws. What’s so intriguing by this small sample of the group is that even in the hellish nightmare they all live, stupid, racist rednecks like Merle still believe themselves superior, when Walkers don’t care what color the skin they rip through is. Over the seasons, we know there will be far worse, but Merle was a good way to ease Rick into the sad truth that when it’s the living versus the dead, not all of us will put our differences aside to come together and sing “Kumbaya.” It’s also a notable moment early on in the apocalypse because Season 5 Rick would probably have put Merle down with little hesitation, instead of handcuffing him to a pipe. This Rick still believes there is law and order to be had.
As the end credits roll, we’re armed with the knowledge that these survivors are on their way back to camp, the same camp that holds Rick’s family, still unbeknownst to him though, and with the impending reunion at our fingertips, we are certainly left wanting more.