The Walking Dead Rewatch – Season 1, Episode 4 (Vatos)

Because The Walking Dead season 10 finale has been delayed thanks to the real-world virus, I have decided that to fill the void left in the schedule, to start a re-watch of the series. I live tweeted the episode as if it were playing live in the regular 9pm GMT slot on FOX TV UK. You can see all the tweets here or embedded below.

Vatos is the first episode of The Walking Dead that pulls the “nobody lives happily ever after” trick. This is where characters seemingly find happiness only to have it ripped from them, sometimes quite literally. It starts out slow, with Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Amy (Emma Bell) out on a boat, fishing and reminiscing. They share a tearful memory of their father who loved his daughters, despite them being so different. They later return to the camp with armfuls of fish.

Having spent too long in the sun, Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) starts to dig random holes around the camp, grave like holes. After being physically stopped and restrained by Shane (Jon Bernthal) he starts to return to himself and claims it was all part of a vision he had. In that vision he saw Rick (Andrew Lincoln) being a hero to them all.

In Atlanta, Rick, Glenn (Steven Yeun), T-Dogg (Irone Singleton) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) hunt for Merle (Michael Rooker) having found his hand atop the roof. This is the first real signs of Daryl’s tracking skill. Having discovered that Merle is a real bad ass, having cauterised his own wound on a stove, they decide to make a play for the guns first, before they wander the streets looking for him.

Whilst making a play for the weapons, the group are ambushed and Glenn is kidnapped! Luckily, Daryl takes one of their too which allows for a switch to occur later. The standoff is tense and the threats seem all too real. It looks as though it’s not just the zombies who are dangerous if encountered. Hostilities run rampant, until an old lady appears and diffuses the whole situation. Turns out these guys are just custodians and orderly’s at a care home trying to keep everyone alive.

The gang head back to camp but find their van is gone, maybe Merle took it? Luckily, at camp all is fine and they poke fun at Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) for still wearing a watch. He recants a tale about time, whilst over at Ed’s (Adam Minarovich) tent he is bothered by someone scuffling outside. Thinking it’s his wife he goes to lash out at her, only to find it’s a walker who tears his face off. There are walkers in the camp! Dozens of them! Everyone flees, some don’t survive, including Amy. Rick and gang return just in time to help out but not to save them all. Jim then suddenly remembers his vision and why he dug the graves.

The episode ends with a fantastic brawl at the camp, under the cover of darkness makes it even more frightening but the gore is no less bloody. The stand-off in Atlanta played out with a bit of humour with the hand interrogation tactic and Satan’s hounds, but ultimately felt like it was slowing the episode down.

Overall Rating: 7.5