so this episode has two plots going on, Firstly you've got Shane and his being all large and in charge of camp while Rick and his posse are out looking for Merle Dixon(see character prospectus) and you have Rick and his posse fighting a gang. I liked Rick's story I didn't care so much for Shane's.
There's gonna be some spoilers. at this point of the series if you're reading a review for episode 4 then expect some spoilers. I mean COME ON!
REGARDLESS! I'm breaking up the review into Shane and Rick's stories, and then I'll combine them. it'll be fun I promise.
So we last left our hero Rick on top of a department store in the middle of Atlanta looking at the sawed off hand of Merle Dixon with his brother Daryl, the man who handcuffed him T-Dog, and the little asian man, Glenn. This rag tag group of........zombie apocalypse survivors? Makes their way through the exit they figure Merle took. They find some Schafer sternos (those little fire things you use to keep buffets hot) and apparently this is where Merle decided to cauterize the wound. Later they find a window that apparently Merle broke out of. This means Merle is gone and now they need to focus their attention on the bag of guns that Rick dropped in the hot streets of Atlanta. I added hot to that sentence because I feel it's important to note how hot Atlanta is and how pavement absorbs heat and etc. So to non jibberish! either way Little Asian comes up with a plan where he has Rick and T-dog protecting his escape and Daryl protecting his departure, during this time period they're jumped by some hispanic gang bangers, they also want the guns that are contained within Rick's bag. As a result hate crimes almost ensue. One of the gangbangers gets an arrow to the ass compliments of Daryl. Glenn is taken prisoner by said Gangbangers, and now Rick feels he owes it to Glenn to go after him.
Ok, just a side note here, Rick has only been awake in this Zombie infested world for like a week, he's already abandoned 1 man, gotten another kidnapped and formed rescue parties for both of them he's also inadvertently caused 1 wife beater to get beaten, I'm pretty sure he's gotten the hopes up of some blonde girl(pretty sure the girl who pulled a gun on him in episode 2 wants to jump his bones) , encouraged looting, broken his best friends heart, worried his family, gotten some spaniard shot in the ass with an arrow, Regardless to say Rick has been a busy busy boy, and it really doesn't seem that he's helped ANYONE!
Continuing on, I'm not gonna talk about what happens with the gang because quite frankly some of the strongest moments of the show are featured in that 20 minutes and I'd like to keep those, but the rescue party returns to camp without Merle and this is where the two stories collide, SOOOOO this is all going on back at camp!
SOOOO we open with the two hot blondes, the younger one being the much much hotter of the two, fishing. Here we get some inane story about fishing and how their dad taught them to fish and he taught the older daughter how to catch fish and the younger daughter how to...release them? because.....they're different.... and they needed to know different things? Seriously, this was painful to watch, and HUGE spoiler alert here, but they kill the hotter of the two blondes and that's exactly why they had this scene! She had been in the show for a total of 5 minutes, and they were desperately trying to make you feel for her, or at least her sister. moving on, one of the members of the survivors is obviously digging graves (haven't met this gent before, at least i don't think so) the rest of the survivors confront him try to get him to stop, he won't, Shane beats him up and handcuffs him to a tree, pours water on his head, then they discuss why he was obviously digging graves. That's seriously it then they have a fish fry. This is a good 40% of the episode, and it seemed real forced. This is the worst part of this show, the group of survivors is huge, and zombie movies all work the best when they're between 2-5 people, that way you've got a couple expendables, a couple none expendables who end up being expendable (see dawn of the dead for an example, either remake or original) This show has "obviously expendables" "obviously not expendables" and finally "will eventually fall in to the category of expendable or not expendable" if an episode quickly starts to expand a character they're toast, if they slowly add to his character he'll be fine. that's not much different than what I phrased earlier but it is different enough to be noticeable. regardless, not entirely important more a personal problem it's still an enjoyable show, but for a station that has great character dramas with incredible development like Mad Men, and for a character drama that I was actually praising the character development in the first two episodes, i have recently felt like I've misplaced some of the faith I placed in the show.
The ending of the episode, depsite all the complaining, combines the two stories nicely and does leave you waiting for the next episode. I do wish AMC had ordered more of a season because parts are starting to feel rushed. I still won't say if you're not a zombie fan don't check it out, all and all it's a great zombie drama. BUT I don't think I can recommend it to non zombie fans, the last two episodes will determine that.