The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2

I watched the first season of The Walking Dead with weekly devotion. I created a little ritual for myself where I would drink some scotch on a Sunday night and pay a little price on Monday morning for an hour of sipping good spirits and watching good TV.  Eagerly I looked forward to this season. Last week opened with a new bottle of scotch and a full day marathon of last year's shows, and the premiere of Season 2.  I was in zombie heaven.

Before I go on, I feel the need to say that NO I did not read the graphic novels. I don't care what is in them. I don't care if they explain back story and I don't care if you think the comics are better than the show.  I am responding ONLY to the show.

Now, upon watching the shows a second time, all at once, I started having issues.

First of all, the show is outstanding. AMC is good at creating gripping drama that works.  The characters in the show, and how they react to the situations they find themselves, make for good, watchable TV. But that does not mean nerds cannot pick it apart!

SPOILER ALERT. If you do not want to read possible spoilers, stop reading here.








What is my beef?  First off, before I can review each episode, I have some issues with the series as a whole. Trust me, this is not going to be an article bashing WD. I like the show. But some points need to be made and accepted before I can talk further.

Well, as zombie apocalypse shows go, it is well done. I think that the visual effects are outstanding for a cable TV series.  It looks great.  But there still has to be an element that remains believable in order for us to remain interested.  I think that WD flirts with that line a little too much.  Allow me to point out a few things:

First of all, time. The show speeds up certain things like the affair between Ricks wife and Shane, and the spread of the plague and slows down time in other areas. They don't really explain how much time elapsed while Rick was in a coma unless I missed it. But you get the sense that it was a couple of months. He got shot, and you get the sense that the plague spread shortly after. So there were probably a few weeks of slow breakdown while the government hushed things up, then a few more while things went to crap. Then comes the scene where the military is executing any one in the hospital that is sick, and Shane is with Rick, trying to wake him up. Shane escapes, and barricades Rick's door with a mobile cot. Now the clock is ticking.  A human being can survive for 3 days without water. He had an IV, dripping fluid, and we can assume that a fresh one was administered right before Shane left him.  I am no medical expert, but I cannot imagine one of those IV bags lasting more than a day.  That means that it could not be possible for more than 5 days or so to elapse between Shane escaping the hospital and Rick waking up.

A couple more nights pass while Rick is getting debriefed by the black dude in the suburbs. I would say it can be accepted that a week has passed from the time Shane leaves Rick at the hospital, to the time that Rick is reunited with them at the quarry.  During that time, Shane moved in on Rick's wife and Atlanta along with the rest of the world that we can see has been completely over run. The military has completely failed and roving packs of survivors have resorted to dangerous trips into populated areas to scavenge for supplies.

You just don't get a solid sense of reasonable time. But the time is the least of all my issues.

My big ones? The military collapsing, and the scavenging for supplies.

The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us and the military goes down like a two dollar whore!

Ok, I am not in the military, though I have two brothers and a father that were/are.  But that doesn't matter. It does not take a genius to have a basic understanding of military tactics.  Lets look back at the turning point in modern warfare in the industrial age.

World War One:

Step one: set up trench system that forces charging enemies into choke point.
Step two: set up machine guns at strategic positions for maxim coverage of said choke point
Step three: wait for enemy to come. when they come, pull trigger and mow the lawn.

This basic concept should apply to zombie apocalypse tactics.  Create choke points, wait for the walkers to come, and mow them down.

Now, the program does not take the time to show us the time that elapses between Rick getting shot and waking up. So,  in order to suspend my disbelief, I try to make allowances for the military. Like, they didn't know the zombie apocalypse was coming... Hmmm... no, can't buy it.  I have to believe that in light of a zombie plague, the military would have been on alert before places like Fort Benning were overrun.  Hell, even if they were not, army bases are designed to keep the public out.  In other words. Even an unsuspecting military base checkpoint manned by a couple of snot nosed privates should have been able to repel what must have been a minimal zombie attack in the early days of the plague.  But I simply cannot believe that any base would not have been on alert.

So, how come places like the CDC were overrun, and strategic choke points like the one where Rick first encounters the zombies in Atlanta were abandoned? If you look at most of the gun nests, they still had ammo belts fed into the chambers! You could say the tank ran out of ammo, but when Rick was inside, there were rounds ready to fire.  I guess you can say the tank ran out of gas... But damn, if those vehicles in Atlanta had been overrun, I would imagine the tank plus the squad in the hummer would have put up a fight, and mowed down a few hundred zombies before being killed.  There were none.

I guess the gun emplacements could have run out of ammo and not been resupplied fast enough because the zombies broke the supply chain? Yah those big military transports are pretty vulnerable to the zombie advance.  Oh and what about all of those helicopters we have?  It is not like they have to dodge rocket propelled grenades in Somalia.  They can just find large hordes of zombies, hover and fire. When they run dry, they fly back to a secure staging area and rearm while the next one comes in and continues the zombie massacre.  Given that it takes 10 minutes to unload the ammo on the dead, 10 minutes to fly back to base, 10 minutes to reload and 10 minutes to fly back, four or five choppers working together can lay down a continual flow of gunfire in protection of vital locations like the CDC.

And the guns nowadays are a bit more effective than the ones in 1914.  You don't need to kill the zombies by shooting them in the head.  Most squads carry a SAW, a squad sized heavy machine gun, a grenade launcher, and a bunch of M-16s.  All of these weapons are capable of cutting a human in half.

Even if half of the soldiers went AWOL and/or crazy from unreality of the scene, I have to believe there was still enough fingers to pull triggers and waste zombies!

Now, it is not like the military was trying to defend a foot hold in Normandy. They were fighting a battle in the very streets of Atlanta and the suburbs.  This means there was a pretty much limitless flow of resources.  The nearest Home Depot would have had enough chainlink fence to erect a suitable choke point in a matter of hours. Plus they could have gotten some heavy machinery from any one of the major construction sites nearby to bring in rubble, to reinforce the chainlink, or hell, use the thousands of cars sitting around.  Build a fence, to keep them out in the short term, then as the choppers cut down waves of dead, bring in cars to reinforce the chainlink.

I didn't even start with Mines, mortars, claymores and god knows what else is available. Even fire trucks with high power hoses would work against zombies.  Use the hoses to funnel them all into a nice clump and napalm them. Or just save the ammo and run them over with a bunch of tanks.

Any way, the military could not do this. In stead they sent small groups of solders in hasmat suits into overrun buildings to execute straggling sick people. Since the program does not show us the military, we can only speculate as to what happened. Personally I think this would be the program we all want to see! Lets see some of those last stand fights! Lets see the tank in the streets of Atlanta get overrun! Did it run out of gas? Break down? What happened??

The other issue I have with the show is the scavenging.

Why the hell are they struggling to maintain a 30 year old RV in the middle of Georgia? For the love of god Georgia is the home of the Recreational Vehicle! You would think that at any point they could have pulled off the road and found a modern one.  But no, they continue to drive that gas hog with a broken radiator instead. Further, they continue to drive past thousands and thousands of cars stuck in traffic on the interstate heading out of Atlanta.  Why would they not at any point just have taken one of those vehicles? Why did they not syphon gas out of every car there? While I am on it, why would they not have picked up any of the dozens of military assault rifles sitting around the CDC?

Lookie all those cars full of gas and loot! 

Also, Atlanta is the perfect city. It is built like a wheel. The city itself is the hub, and public transit spokes out from there connecting all of the neatly planned suburbs to the city. Each of the suburbs is more or less a self contained community complete with Friendly's, Wal-Marts and Home Depot's.  All of these commercial areas need distribution, and I'm sure Atlanta has an equally efficient distribution network where stuff is stockpiled to the gills. Granted that the time line from outbreak to Rick waking up is a couple of months, it probably took time for the distribution of goods to and from these hubs to stop. Meaning, there is probably still a horde of stuff from bottled water to Granola bars sitting around just waiting. Certainly the Wal-marts will be picked clean. But I have to believe that they would find at least once distribution center that is NOT infested with dead. It's not like they are placed in heavily populated areas, plus they are usually fenced!  Not to mention the fleet of loaded trucks stuck on the road.  (They did find a water truck in the traffic snarl.) I wonder where all Hostess trucks are?

But no. In Episode 2, they are driving two vehicles. A 30 year old camper, and an 80s SUV.  Neither of which should be on the road at all.  The get to the traffic snarl, and complain about not being able to turn back because they were out of gas.  It was not until then that some one decided they could syphon???  Logic would suggest that when you are in a situation where there are NOT a lot of zombies coming at you, you stop and get gas. If there are, you drive away from them until there are not.  It is amazing to me that after how ever long these survivors were camped, they finally came to the realization that they could loot cars in this episode.

Jesus, they risked going into Atlanta, surrounded by zombies, to loot a department store, when they had to pass a line of stalled cars miles long that are a veritable Wal-Mart on wheels.  You think all those people trying to get out of Atlanta did not stock up only to leave their crap on the interstate?  And no, don't say that the area was too hot with Zombies.  Rick passed the whole line on his way into the city on Horseback at a slow trot. When they left Atlanta, they passed the same cars.  This is just one small example of the same situation that could have played out any dozens of times as they were heading out of Atlanta towards the CDC.  "Oh hey Rick, look at that, a RV dealership... think we can risk getting us a new RV?" "Oh and it is next to a Toyota dealership... how bout we upgrade your 1987 Jeep Cherokee to a 2011 Highlander Hybrid?"

There. Got that off my chest.

Now for the show.  One thing they did right, is that they are smart enough not to fire their guns. The noise attracts the walkers. So they realize that they have to stealth kill the zombies when they encounter them. Nice.

 So they went to the CDC and met the doctor slowly fading into insanity. The doctor decided to kill himself, along with some people. The survivors escape the explosion, leave the plethora of sturdy Hummvees and assault rifles where they are, and get away, now heading for Fort Benning. But on the way, they encounter a traffic snarl.  Then the radiator blows on the RV. Of course.  While they are looting the cars and getting gas, finally, Rick and the old dude are on watch.  Here is something I don't get.  The old dude is up on top of the RV with binoculars. Behind them is open highway with the exception of a few cars they tried to weave around to get through the snarl.  They were driving down the road for what must have been a good while, and had no sign of zombies.  But then while on watch, they spot one, then as the camera pans back, there is hundreds. Where the hell did they come from? How do you miss hundreds of zombies shambling toward you from the direction you just traversed? I guess they could have shambled out of the woods onto the highway, then turned to follow the highway, coming out from behind the bus. But come on. It was a cool scene I suppose, but in a program already pushing the envelope of reality, they need to tread wisely.

So, every one under the trucks.  Lets hide.  Some how these zombies snuck up on us and it is too late to run into the woods and hide for a few minutes.  This brings me to another nit pick.  In season one, Rick and Glen coated themselves with guts and gore and limbs and intestines so that they could infiltrate the shambling horde and get to a construction yard to take a truck.  The zombies, unable to tell their smell from other dead, let them go. Until, of course it starts to rain the most unfortunate and timely rain squalls. As it rains, and washes off the dead smell, zombies start to smell the living bodies, then chase ensues.  Now they are walking just as close to the living bodies as before, and the bodies are not covered in death, but have been sitting unwashed in the Georgia summer for a day at least, and not a single zombie smells them.  Logic leap!  Rainy day, people covered in body parts, zombies smell them. Sunny day, hot sweaty people sans dead parts, no zombie smells. Hmm.

So the zombies pass except for a couple who find the little girl, who runs for her life into the woods. Rick chases, kills the zombies, but loses the girl.  The rest of the episode is spent looking for her.  But here is where the genius of the producers shows.  The zombies are not the drama, the characters are. The dead are a tool, a plot device, not the show.  The show is about putting these people into whacked situations and seeing how they will react! And that is why I love it.  At the end of the season 2 premiere, Rick's son is shot by a hunter. And the new episode opens with Rick sprinting towards a farm house carrying the boy.

What is great about this is that you finally see the cold, calculating and calm Rick unfold. His breaking point was his son. You see him literally transform from the well controlled and planning Sherriff into a shrieking crazy. Great scenes, great acting and great plot twists suck you in. Drama is almost forced though. Just when things look bleak, and you need something to happen, a zombie jumps out from behind a tree and nearly gets the blonde. Then we are right back into the story and drama.

Rick and his wife are now at the farm house, while the other survivors are dealing with  the dilema of driving away or waiting for the little girl to return. The revelation that the doctor is just a vet is expected but necessary. It provided the opportunity for the line "Well I think we are all in over our head."  Great stuff. I mean, blammo!  Who are they to be picky about what kind of doctor is fixing their son!

Then comes the end zombie chase scene. I suspect we will see a lot of them.  Shane and the redneck hunter go to a FEMA med shack to get supplies. When they get there, it is surrounded by zombies of course.  They need a diversion!  The answer?  Open the squad car and get the flares that Shane happens to know right where they are cause he is a cop, then throw them to a spot away from the shack.  Zombies go that way, we go in!  But what happens when the zombies come back... Of course that was not important. Why didn't shane just get into the truck and drive over to the zombies, then drive away slowly, just fast enough to keep them close.  He could lead them away for miles! Then kick it up to 60, run over a few in the way, and turn around and get back to the FEMA shack, meanwhile redneck medic dude is rummaging through the shack safely. IT would take at least 15 minutes for the horde to shamble back to the shed! Shane pulls up in truck and uses his shotgun on any remaining zombies, (Who cares about noise, you are already surrounded.) redneck jumps in the back with the stuff, and away they go.  Nah.  The two of them go into the shack while the zombies attention is on the flares. Get the stuff, then open the door to find hundreds of zombies right back where they started. Unable to run back the direction they came, they end up inside the school.  Fade to black on a rickety fence keeping the zombies out of the school. Sigh.  The writers need to work on having some less stupid characters. Another example of forcing drama by writing stupid characters.  I love the show but the writers should work a little harder.

I wonder what happened to these chicks during the zombie apocalypse? 
Please let them be dead.


The episode serves a few purposes. One was to introduce a pool of new characters. The original group was splitting up and getting killed. I think that the young girl on the horse will end up joining the group. The Vet is a famous guy and the show tends to use the famous actors as one and done characters like Merl and the black dude who was on Jericho. So I doubt he will last much longer than the crisis with the kid.  But the guy's daughter is cute, and capable.  I think we will see more of her.  Hopefully the blonde will die off soon.  Her season 2 character shift has become annoying, with her antics and the old dude trying to protect her. Shane needs to man up and toe the line.

Doctor Old Guy is gonzo but his cute daughter will remain!

Ok thats it, Fingers hurt. Next week, now that I have my gripes about the series out of the way, I will focus on character development and what is good about it.

Jawaballs

29 comments:

Black Matt said...

My tune has changed in regard to the show and I think you've hit it head on. The first season I watched the show as a zombie movie/ show and I was annoyed @ the end by the concentration on the characters instead of their crazy situation. My wife and I now watch it as a drama with a zombie background or plot development element. It's obvious the zombies are still the major part of the show but how long could a series about the zombie apocalypse go with a turn to character development.

One thing I'd like to say about the initial overrun and the military is that no organization, the military/government whatever, could see the zom Apoc until it was in the middle of it. And that is where the zombies would be dangerous. I dont think its over for the military, not completely anyway. Hopefully the cdc guy was wrong or mis informed.

Lykum said...

Most of the plot things you're talking about (ie: the show being a drama with a zombie background) is on par with the book. They've jumbled up the story a bit, which is a good thing since I don't need to see a shot for shot remake of the books.
My major issue is the lack of consistency within the zombie physiology. Hiding under the cars was retarded whether or not the zombies can smell you. They're creating this world, and as a result they can do whatever they want. However, when the 'rules' of the world change for no reason the story is less believable.

Oh, and the cute farmer's daughter sticks around.

Jawaballs said...

Yah I figured we would see more of her. That was a classic character insertion. Notice how the hunter and his wife were more just character archtypes while the daughter actually did things? I expect to see the hunter sacrifice himself next episode to atone for shooting the boy, and at some point the guys wife will go kicking and screaming from a surprise zombie attack while the Vet is killed trying to hold off a zombie rush. That, or the survivors will leave but the Vet will insist that the daughter goes with them. At any rate, they don't have the budget to keep paying that guy. He wont last more than a few episodes.

I figured the comics were more about psychological drama than zombie action. Take a guy, establish his character, and continue to place him into weirder and crazier situations. Then see how he reacts.

And yes, I think the writers will find that they are walking a fine line. Their audience, and by that I mean US, is fickle. We will like things one week, and hate them the next. Look at my article! I move from hating the show to loving it over and over, sometimes within single paragraphs! If they continue to conveniently change the rules to create situational drama, they will lose their audience. We like consistency more than we like situations.

Jawaballs said...

And Matt, you are right about the organizations not knowing they are in the middle of a Zombie Apoc until it is too late. To a degree. Based on what I gathered from the doctor in the CDC, they were sorta on top of the outbreak from the start. At the very least they had a pretty good grasp of the implications.

There would have been attempts to contain the spread, and there would have been underestimating the zombies, thus we would have seen a single tank supported by a single hummer like we found in Atlanta. But the military should not be stupid either. At some point, some colonel would realize, "shit, we are in trouble." And order a total regroup. At that point all military forces would fall back to fort benning and draw up new tactics. I also believe that the 101st airborne is not far from there. A whole base full of special forces!

The military would have taken early losses, lost more to deserting, but then got their act together. Especially once they realized that they were infact just fighting people. Unarmed, slow moving, and simple people. Five tanks supported by five squads of infantry with APCs with five Black Hawks over head, with great big flame throwers mounted on all the vehicles could single handedly clear out all of Atlanta. The zombies make it easy by clumping up!

Psybilliah said...

Jawa, read world war Z. It has a good take on why the military would not be successful and its very well written.

Jawaballs said...

can you paraphrase it? :) The last thing I have time to do is read even MORE stuff.

Crimsonshark said...

http://zombie.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_of_Yonkers


This is a great look at the reason why the Military failed in the initial conflict with the undead. You can get the Audio book of World War Z and listen while painting. It has a Great cast of actors doing the different characters.

Wildhermit said...

Jawa,

I agree, I like the show and will continue to watch the show. However, being prior service myself… The complete failure of the Military just blows my mind. Fragile individuals that break down at the first sign of panic turn out just fine but men and women who have been in Combat in Iraq and Afghanistan do not? I saw the World War Z and have been thinking about picking it up, but still… Just do not buy it. Head shots are not the only way to take out a zombie… rendering the body inoperable would work just fine according to most fiction. Not sure if you have seen modern weapons, but they leave a sizeable exit wound… And that is just with one shot. True, you would have awols, lots of them. But to be frank, there are plenty of guys that server just so they can get the rush. Deploying only enhances that feeling so much so that at least my unit had a cool down period upon our return to acclimate ourselves back to society. Overrunning a military base? Perhaps some… but there are a lot of compounds that you are not overrunning… Sorry. Ft. Benning, Ft. Hood, Ft Bragg… These guys are going to eat some things. I am not saying they are going to win the “Z” war, but stand more of a chance than some cop and random people he discovers.

Jawaballs said...

I read the wiki on the battle of yonkers thing. And I don't agree with it. I think it was the author intentionally dumbing down the military to show his distaste for the establishment. First of all, no commander will be dumb enough to try to take out millions of bodies with anti tank weapons mounted on artillery batteries and choppers. Sure they may fire them knowing that they wont do much but buck up the troops, but no one would build their battle plan around them. Not even against live people.

I can buy that they underestimated some of their weapons, like the ones that burst living tissue through concussion. The failure to forsee the lack of effectiveness of these weapons can be acceptable. But that still brings me to what Wildhermit is saying. Look at the zombie that Rick encountered in the park. The torso with an arm. How much of a threat was that? None. How bout a hundred thousand of them? Still not much more. They are dragging themselves head first after all. The head is an easier shot since it is pointing at you.

Well, once some of those mounted heavy machine guns tore into the waves of zombies, using the training discussed in the book where soldiers are trained to aim big and put the enemy down, there would be thousands of zombie heads, and arms, and exploded torsos trying to drag themselves forward. And it said that packed mobs of zombies made it harder to kill them? Just the opposite would happen. A 50 calliber round would now go until it finally lost enough momentum to NOT explode whatever flesh it hit.

Thats just it. I remember some live chopper infrared footage a couple years ago, where some pilots found some Iraqi soldiers at night. The guys were trying to man an AA gun, and hide out of sight. Well, the IR cam found them. The gunner targeted them, and let out a short burst. The result? Exploded body. When a round the size of a shot glass hits a body, it breaks apart. Dead or alive.

Wildhermit said...

A further note, not that it really matters, but brainstorming is fun :)

A claymore mine is essentially lots of steel balls packed in real tight and "directed" towards the enemy with explosive. These things leave nothing behind when they go off. Movies do not do them justice. They simply shred everything in their killzone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minigun

Miniguns and the gunner in charge would have a field day with tightly packed slow moving targets :)

Crimsonshark said...

Besides you kind of need the military to bite...hehe...it fast in this Genre, otherwise there would be no show, book, movie....etc, if everything went the way it should go, well the outbreak would last a couple hours and most people in the country would not even know it had happened, for this genre to be viable the Army as an organisation needs to be Dumb, they need to fail fast, the Zombies need to be underestimated and the threat believed to be minor. It needs mass desertions and panic in the ranks as the soldiers go to protect their own families. That is the only way that a true Zombie appoc would work.

If we go in looking at it as They would never do that, they have all the info they need, the weapons are so effective and devastating that they cause the threat to be neutralized even without killing the brain, then of course every Zombie movie, show, book, hell even the 40K Zombie uprisings would have no effect.

To work you need things to breakdown.

Chad said...

I watched the "Talking Dead" show that comes on after WD and the creator has said that the inhabitants of his world have never heard of Zombies, they had no Romero films or any kind of Zombie pop culture, so they wouldn't understand what's happening at first, and many, MANY people would be bitten trying to help the Walkers, not knowing they need to protect against being bitten. After enough are bitten it's a matter of numbers. And the fact that people would be hoping and trying to help their loved ones, if you hadn't heard of Zombies and your wife and child were turned (Universe forbid) would you destroy their brains, or try to find them help?
Also, we don't know how or where the outbreak started, maybe it was started in many locations and spread fast because it didn't need far to go.

As for the military, they didn't know what was happening at first either, how many Forts and bases had service people bitten and brought them inside the protected areas to try to treat them medically, then it spreads from there. Also I recently saw a Zombie movie where there was a group of students trying to escape the Zombie Apocalypse and when they ran into the military they were stripped of supplies and sent on their way. Nobody knows how the military will react, I mean if they have a ton of guns, ammo and almost everything else they need, why would they allow a possible breach of security, unless they were like the military in 28 Days Later, who took in the survivors because they had "plans" for them. I mean no offence to anyone seving in the military, I'm sure there are those that would want to genuinely help, but I would still have reservations.

Now as for the smelling, Walkers aren't Bloodhounds, if you rewatch the episode where Rick and Glen cover themselves in guts, yes the Walkers start looking and sniffing in their direction, but they don't actually move toward them or start chasing them until they (Rick and Glen) start running away from the Walkers because they get scared. In the traffic jam scene I have no problem with the Walkers walking past everyone, with the exception of T-Dog, he had a massive gash on his forearm, and it's been said by the WD creator that Walkers don't eat each other because "it would be like eating cold rotten meat, and Walkers like fresh, warm meat.", so I would think if they smelled T-Dog's blood would stop to eat his body, even if he wasn't alive, cause it would be fresh and warm.

I think the thing to keep in mind is the inhabitants have had no prior knowledge of Zombies so had to slowly figure out what was going on, and killing (even Walkers) isn't something a lot of people are used to, it would take a bit to get over how hard it would be to kill someone (again, even Walkers).

And to finish, I also hope they keep the Farmer's Daughter around. She's badass (riding by taking a bat to a Walker all non chalant),and I think the group needs a woman that's not going to scream and wait to be saved if a Walker comes after them. I also would like to see Darryl step up, he kind of leads from the back, pushing people when they need to see things more clearly, but I want to see him stand up and lead a little.

Hope you keep the Walking Dead posts coming, I love that show!!

Crimsonshark said...

The Zombie Rick encounters would be a threat in the Dark, or tall grass where it is hard to see, Imagine stepping on it and being bitten, not all the crawlers would be so out in the open and visible. Think of them as Zombie Mines. Easy to disarm if you know they are there, but deadly if you do not.

Wildhermit said...

I can see the plot point, and realize it would be tough to show a proper collapse. However, Jawa's point struck a nerve as that is what I thought while watching. Not enough to rage quit the show, but I did comment to my wife :)

Crimsonshark said...

I can see your point and have experienced it with other Shows and Movies, the one that I was talking to a friend about the other day was the Blair Witch movie. I went to that with the idea that the film makers were spouting that this was true events from discovered film, of course I was a bit skeptical, but went with friends anyway. Well I had had enough as soon as they tried to leave while fearing for their lives, but kept filming and lugging around a 16lb camera, crossing the streams instead of following, brought me so out of the realm of suspended disbelief that the movie got tedious from that point and stopped being believable. But that was just me, and I am sure others, but my step brother after watching was convinced it was real and took quite a while to change that opinion.

Crimsonshark said...

Brainstorming is fun Wildhermit!

Of course the other problem the Military would have is trying to help everyone, if it is nation wide event then the forces would be stretched very thin, Perhaps in terms of the show, the few vehicles and positions you see are due to the fact that they did not have enough bodies to cover all positions, as a result, and due to the fact that they did not understand what they were up against, the many spread out positions and units were more easily overwhelmed and overrun than a larger concentrated force would have been. Also due to the fact that they did not comprehend the true threat, they may not have provided the proper equipment to those positions.

It is just like in the commentary for Battlestar Galactica where Ron Moore said that the biggest problem that he had when working on Star Trek TNG was that they had all the tech to do anything they wanted, so in order to have a show where someone is trapped on the surface of the planet, they needed to write pages of dialog explaining why the transporters would not work to bring them back up. After he said that I watched an episode and it is true, there is always some point where they can't use the tech to solve the problem and have to do it the hard way.

inquisitor_dunn said...

I don't have a problem with how they portrayed the military yet. The cdc was not a military base and who knows how many soldiers were sent there to protect it. As for where is the rest of the armed forces, it's a big country. They are probably holed up in bases. It is doubtful they would have the numbers to make a push to eliminate and clear areas yet.

As far as timeline for supplies and everything going to hell.... you have 3 days in an emergency. Thats the number used by emergecy planners on how long food and water will last in any major city. New Orleans went down hill day 3 with looting and shooting. Grocery stores rely on resupply 2-3 time per week. With out the trucks running and everyone panicing, they get real bare fast. You should see a store after a blizard warning!

As far as gas, does anyone remember 911? In the midwest our gas stations were out of gas by the end of the day. Lines were over an hour long waiting, making good zombie bait.

Around here there is no military. It is all reserves. Do you think they would report in this situation? maybe maybe not. Could they get to the depos? I know there is enough guns around here not in depos that the depo could be over run by survivers before the military reports.

Best chances for survival is in the country. Older people's houses especially. People that survived the depression stock up on food. Rural areas will survive, cities will be tough.

I love the show and the conversation it spurs. I spent an hour talking to our local county emergency manager about it the other night in training class.

inquisitor_dunn said...

Oh and one more thing. What if their are other things besides zombies............ala Resident Evil style. just saying.

greatmantis said...

"Well, once some of those mounted heavy machine guns tore into the waves of zombies, using the training discussed in the book where soldiers are trained to aim big and put the enemy down, there would be thousands of zombie heads, and arms, and exploded torsos trying to drag themselves forward. And it said that packed mobs of zombies made it harder to kill them? Just the opposite would happen. A 50 calliber round would now go until it finally lost enough momentum to NOT explode whatever flesh it hit. "

They would be harder to hit. You have to aim at scrambling ankle biters plus the rest of the hoard still suging forward. They just don't lay there like the park zombie example, where there was like what a dozen ....pffft. there's a million of them at Yonkers. There's also the psychological effects that should not be underestimated. Oh and did I mention there's a million of them. All of your machine gun hits are gonna be head shots. And you'll need a million bullets. Helicopters were used to good effectiveness they just ran outta ammo. The military does eventually prevail they just change their tactics in the next battle.

Wildhermit said...

Atlanta does have quite a bit of military in the area. I see your point about the CDC not being a military base, but it does have a military presence. Guns like the 50 cal, minigun, and M249 are not designed to "aim", you "Walk the Dog". They are built for suppressive fire, but in the case of Zombies, would just be a torrent of fire. Those weapons do have sights, but when training/qualifying, one generally just watches where the rounds hit and "walk" the bullets in.

I shot expert on the M249, I know how that one works very well at least :)

Jawa, great conversation starter man. I have been lurking here for at least a couple of years and I think this is the first time I have ever really posted... On a non-40k topic no less.

Jawaballs said...

Yah this has been a good discussion so far. I have learned some good things, and seen some interesting points. Is this really the internet?

I agree that any first major confrontation will probably go pretty bad. That is true of any two unknown forces meeting for the first time. Especially when one of them believes it has the upper hand. Number of bullets? I have no proof, but I am pretty sure any major base or armory will probably have enough ammo to kill every resident of the US a couple times over. Getting that ammo to gun emplacements is a different matter.

The most interesting thing about World War Z is the idea that zombies freeze. That being the case though, I can't imagine any zombie conflict in the parts of the country that have winter lasting more than a year! I know that my zombie apoc survival plan with my friends relies upon winter as our major advantage! I love the cold and it would be a zombie bashing happy christmas.

greatmantis said...

You should read a synopsis of the book sometime. To paraphrase lots of people went north with the same idea. The cold did freeze the zombies and kept them safe,but most people didn't know how to rough in the cold and began to starve, then disease came. People began turning on each other for food and killing each other. Plus the odd zombie would come in now and then. After that winter the ice thawed and guess what. The zombies thawed too and attacked the weakened travelers.

Theres a book named "Day by Day Armageddon" written by a marine I believe. It's a soliders perspective during a zombie apocalypse. He has a little heads up and goes in detail with what he does to prepare for it while home on leave. The guns he uses, night vision , tactics traps. Very detailed and accurate. It's got crazy good reviews but I'm sure there's a synopsis somewhere.

I think an oil rig is the best place to be. Unlimited food, unlimited power, 100% zombie proof. Unless one of your friends kicks the bucket of natural causes.

Jawaballs said...

The whole zombie survival discussion gets a little annoying because every one references many different authors, who have different rules. Thats why I stopped doing my zombie apocalypse posts a couple years ago. Instead of a fun conversation about creative ideas and interesting situations, people just kept telling me I was wrong because some guys book said differently.

Back to my beef with The battle of Yonkers... Not to belabor the point, but I'm still stuck on the using of anti tank rounds vs zombies. The military still has firebombs. Even the most inept commander must have known that simply flying up and down the line of millions of zombies and dropping these incendiaries would have been much more valuable than Paladin rockets and M-16s. With the slow moving zombies and no threat of AA defense, the military could be as methodical as they wish! Just find a way to bottle them up, like bulldozing massive piles of earth in their way, and hose em down with flaming prometheum!

Any way, lets refocus discussion to The Walking Dead to avoid confusion. For example. How come no one wears eye protection? I get that Georgia is hot, but I would pretty much not leave camp without protection. Sports gear is plentiful and great for this. And it is designed to be worn in hot weather! Lacrosse gloves, football pads, you name it. But perhaps the most important bit of gear I would carry would be a respirator and safety goggles. In the last episode, they went into a church and started hacking away with cool little axes and stuff. Well, the blood splattered all over the place, including on themselves. All it would take is a single spatter in the eye and its all over. Unless of course the writers have established that the plague is not passed on by zombie blood. But Rick did say not to get any in the eyes at some point.

greatmantis said...

Good point about the eye thing. I dunno. Maybe splatter in the eye isn't sufficient enough? But yeah when you don't know wtf is going on you would be goin for eye protection respirators.

I've always thought axes were stupid zombie weapons. Also people really like swords a whole lot. Seems stupid to me. There's a slow creature that relies on close range. Let's go up and hit it! Also if I miss inflicting the perfect head wound my weapon runs the risk of being stuck in it. Now I'm close and weaponless.

Armors a tricky subject. I think maybe cloth armor (padding) might be your best bet.

Jawaballs said...

I agree. Bladed weapons are not as good as blunt. To me, the best weapon is a good sturdy pipe. As for armor, high quality padded armor like used by Samurais would be great. Light weight, movable. But even that is not necessary. We don't need body army. Zombies are mostly going to go for extremities. Arms, Hands, legs, and if they get close enough, head, neck and shoulder.

What then instead of composite body armor? Heavy athletic gloves like Hockey or Lacrosse. Soccer shinguards strapped around the wrists of a heavy leather shirt. Hockey or Lacrosse upper body pads. football are too big and bulky.

What might be the easiest to get? Fireman gear! A fireman coat and hat would probably protect you from that first aggressive push of zombie contact. At least long enough to stop the zombie from biting through while your friend bashes his head in with a pipe.

Steel toe boots, football thigh, and shin guards. tactical knee pads. Motorcycle protective gear. Dont forget the elbow pads.

The best part about this stuff is that while Wal-Mart will be devoid of any thing edible, you will probably find lots of skating/bicycling/sporting equipment. I am pretty sure I could slip into a post Z wal-mart and through the magic of duct tape and discount sporting goods, emerge a veritable zombie killing machine.

The Inner Geek said...

You echoed many of my thoughts on the "problems" of the show. My biggest is the timeline. As you mentioned there is no way to make it add up. Didn't the CDC guy say this thing spread (the Wildfire reference) 120 something days ago? At that point Rick had only been awake a couple weeks at the very most.

I'll chime in on some stuff I don't know anything about here. I think there is a very finite amount of bullets in any one place. As someone mentioned above, not every bullet is a head shot, or even a hit (panic fire!). I think with enough zombies at the door you'll eventually be overrun. Especially at the smaller outposts.

And weapons. I feel this is where the anime geeks will come into their own. Even a cheap replica 'samurai sword' can sharpened to a pretty good edge. That's a lot of cutting edge and leverage for smacking zombie knobs.

Think of the advantage we have as a society over the ones in most zombie movies. We'd know what was going on. If my neighbor comes shambling towards me one morning, drooling with a nasty wound, he better make it clear he's hung over from a rough night before I can find something to bean him with.

40k Junkie said...

I agree completely Jawa. Being ex-military myself from Ft Benning I can tell you with the up most certainty that place should be standing strong. All of our Military bases should be. I don't like how inept the show portrays the military. I also really don't like when a writer breaks their own rules.

rcl said...

If you would take the time to read the graphic novels, you would find a much more satisfying zombie universe. Except that in the books, Rick, through his blind stupidity, gets a lot of people killed. Until he realizes a few things as well. It explains a little better the events, I think. Also, Inner Geek, you are right swords are a much better weapon, and are used extensively in the books.

Jawaballs said...

I have no doubt I would find a richer universe in reading graphic novels. Movies and TV translated from printed medium lacks the blunt and finite expository writing that accompanies print. On screen, they have to rely on acting to portray what is going on. In a book, it is literally spelled out for you, giving people a better understanding of what is going on. That's why people always say "the book is better." It's because they understand better!

It is also why I don't like comparing screen to print. Things just don't compare.

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