Success and Failure

Season 1 Episode 4 “Vatos”

The Episode

Our group is split once again. Rick, T-Dog, Glenn and Daryl are off rescuing Merle in Atlanta. The rest are back at camp holding down the fort. Both groups have quite the day experiencing both success and failure.

Andrea and Amy have that touching moment in the boat at the start of the episode.  I really like that dialogue about their father and how he taught them different fishing strategies. They also catch a literal boat load of fish for the camp. Unfortunately, Jim is not having such a good day and loses it and starts digging graves. Appearing to suffer from heat stroke, the camp (mostly Shane) have to subdue Jim and tie him to a tree. Poor fella.

campfireThe conflict also calls out Shane’s growing anger management problem. Jim mentions how Ed got his ass handed to him by Shane, raising concerns about Shane’s authoritarian nature of late. I think you’re on to something Jim.


Meanwhile, the Atlanta group is now searching for a one-handed Merle and trying to recover their guns. As they get the guns and try to get away, another group attacks them, kidnapping Glenn. But they manage to kidnap one of theirs in return and hang on to the guns. Oy vey, now we have to rescue Glenn!

Rescue mission in motion, Rick and the gang ultimately get Glenn back

and learn a little something about not judging a book by its cover. The rival group isn’t just a bunch of thugs and gang members, they are actually a nice group of fellas taking care of the elderly who were left to die.  It’s a nice show of humanity here as two groups get to know one another and realize that although both were ready for violence, all they wanted was to protect their own.

A recurring theme comes up in this episode. When Glenn is asked what he did before all this, he said “delivered pizzas”. When in the nursing home, Rick asks them what they did before and the leader says he was a custodian. I feel it’s a way to remind us that these people are here representing all of us regular folks. These aren’t marines or trained assassins or anything like that; these are ordinary people put into a fight for their existence. We’re watching average people rise up and face death every day.

Unfortunately the episode ends in massive failure and our first saddest moment ever. While enjoying their fish feast, the camp is attacked by a large group of walkers. Fortunately, Ed gets taken out first.  Bye Ed! But then poor Amy gets bit and all hell breaks loose. Rick and the gang show up mid-attack and help defeat the walkers. But we lose Ed, Amy and several others. Jim takes this moment to remember why he was digging a bunch of graves. Thanks Jim.

black rose

Amy, she wasn’t with us long but she sure was nice. While Andrea is a bit of a b-word, Amy was her much sweeter counterpart. How will Andrea handle this coming up?

Going back to the boat at the beginning of the episode. After seeing this episode numerous times, this was the first time I actually noticed the boat had a name, “we•no•nah”. I decided to look it up and this is the name of an actual canoe company. But more interestingly is the meaning. The name “Wenonah” means ‘first-born daughter’. And I think that is highly interesting and not coincidental considering that Andrea was the first-born daughter and a major moment in the episode was her losing her little sister.

The name of the episode is also interesting. I looked that up too (see how dedicated I am). The meaning of this word loosely refers to brothers or family. Also somewhat connected to being gang-related. But I think it is interesting here as well that the conflict related to the “vatos” is connected to Daryl’s search for his brother. Those Walking Dead folks don’t miss an opportunity.

Best of the Episode

I really do love that boat talk between Andrea and Amy. The backdrop was beautiful and the organic discussion leading to that discovery of their father’s touching teaching practices is sweet and moving.

The walker camp attack. There’s one particular moment when Rick shows up and blasts one in the stomach and it goes flying. It’s an easy to miss moment but it makes me laugh even though the overall attack is supposed to be frightening. Shane is also clearly jealous that he’s there protecting Lori and Carl but Rick shows up and gets the hugs. A real tragic moment for our group overall.

Of Future Importance

“Nobody can kill Merle but Merle”-Daryl

“I’m Korean”-Glenn



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