'The Walking Dead' Review: Episode 4, 'Vatos'

The Walking DeadEpisode Title: "Vatos"

Written By: Robert Kirkman

Story: Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is back in Atlanta alongside Glenn (Steven Yeun), T-Dog (IronE Singleton) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), but Daryl's brother Merle (Michael Rooker) is nowhere in sight — other than his severed hand, that is. The group continues their search for Merle and the guns, but the plan takes an unexpected curve thanks to the arrival of some gun-toting "vatos."

Back at camp, Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) begins digging holes in the ground, confusing and scaring the other survivors. But following the episode's grisly conclusion, the survivors might want to thank Jim for getting some dirty work done in advance.

I Remember My Dream Now: Well... that was a bloodbath of a different color, now wasn't it?

After several episodes of watching Rick Grimes and the folks he's encountered taking on the deadly dead and somehow escaping with their lives intact each and every time, well, something was bound to give. It's only appropriate that Robert Kirkman, the co-creator and writer of the Image Comics series this show is based on, was the first writer allowed to spill major human blood on "The Walking Dead." At his ruthless command, the zombies wiped out the abusive Ed (Adam Minarovich) as well as the lovely Amy (Emma Bell), sister of Andrea (Laurie Holden).

Fans of the comic books have been waiting for the fatal shoe to drop on Amy since she first appeared, and sadly, the shoe has landed. Her death was very similar to how she died in the original comic book run, but that didn't ruin any of the shock value for the small screen retelling, particularly when accounting for Andrea's heartbroken reaction. It was a gut-wrenching scene in more ways than one, to say the least.

Aside from being an hour filled with some of the show's most gruesome carnage to date, "Vatos" continued to illuminate the fact that the surviving humans are just as dangerous as the zombies in the world of "The Walking Dead." Although Guillermo and his cronies ended up being trustworthy in the grand scheme of things, their misunderstanding with Rick and his pals could have ended very violently — but thankfully, their brief skirmish was resolved by the arrival of a grandma, as all skirmishes should be resolved.

Back at the survivor's camp, well before a quarter of the people there got ripped to shreds by zombies, poor old Jim was losing his mind thanks to sun stroke and, more likely, post-traumatic stress over allowing his family to get killed by the dead. It was a powerful performance from a bit player that inspired even greater moments from characters like Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies).

But after the closing events of "Vatos," something tells me that Jim isn't going to be the only one suffering some post-traumatic stress in the coming episodes...

Tell us what you thought of "Vatos" in the comments section and on Twitter!


VMAs 2017