“Welcome to Zombieland”: Recap – AMC’s The Walking Dead – S01E01 – Days Gone By

You know how excited I was to discover there is a zombie TV series to recap?

As my blogger friend KJewls from TV Recappers Anonymous would say, so excited it made me want to dance.


Incidentally, her Vampire Diaries recaps make me want to dance too!

Now, I’ve long been on Team Bloodsucker, but I’m also on Team Braiiiins too! What makes me love zombies so much? On the one hand, they are dirty, rotting mindless beasts with a one-track mind for human brains and flesh. On the other hand, zombie apocalypse tales, when done well, have really cool mythologies. First, you find out what caused the zombification of the population in the first place. Then you discover the characteristics of the zombies themselves (Fast movers or Romero slow?), how many zombies there are (Is the outbreak limited to a small locale or are we dealing with an apocalypse of globally epic proportions?), and what happens if characters get bitten (Instant or slow-burn turn?).

How dangerous is a zombie


In honour of my favourite zombie movie of all time, Zombieland, my recaps will each feature:

A Zombie Kill of the Week

Zombie Kill of the Week

Zombieland was a comedy and part of its charm were the over-the-top zombie killings. The Walking Dead is much more serious and has much less humour, even of the undeadpan variety, so in most cases this will go to the most meaningful zombie kill of the episode.

More Badass Than Tallahassee Moment of the Week

More Badass Than Tallahassee Moment of the Week

I’m an unabashed fangirl of Zombieland character Tallahassee, badass of nature and mighty of snarkage. A More Badass Than Tallahasse Moment might refer to ass-kicking action or sharp dialogue.

Twinkie Moment of the Week

Twinkie Moment of the Week

Tallahassee was obsessed with finding the last remaining Twinkie in his post-apocalyptic world. A Twinkie Moment will be defined by nothing else other than that it will be awesome.

With all that out of the way, let’s go forth onto the recap, shall we?

Notes: This recap is done in what I like to call the Thomas Galvin style of recapping. Thomas, if you’re out there, I love your stuff :). Dialogue in italics does not refer to direct quotes unless they have quotation marks around them.

– Crossroads of carnage with scorched and toppled cars –

Spidey Sense: Is tingling (for danger, not pop culture, this time!)

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes AKA English actor Andrew Lincoln: Pulls up in his cruiser and hops out to retrieve a gas tank from the car’s trunk, when what appears to be a little girl approaches him.

Keira Knightley: Hey, aren’t you meant to be pledging undying love to me in Love Actually?

Cute five-year-old zombette: I’m wearing bunny slippers but I still want your braiiiiins!

Little bunny slippered zombie girl

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: With a world-weary sigh after realising that the girl has been zombified, shoots her point blank in the forehead.

Cute five-year-old zombette: Drops to ground with more slow motion than a Matrix movie.

Spidey Sense: Awards this Zombie Kill of the Week. Why? This kill sets the whole tone for the series and shows the bleak, hold-no-prisoners approach it is going to take. Seriously though, that ground drop was like the Never Ending Story.

Spidey Sense: Will be referring to the Deputy Sheriff with his full title because she loves a man in uniform.

– Flashback to Pre-Zombieland Period –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Eats lunch in cruiser with partner Shane Walsh.

Spidey Sense: Wonders if every human meal in this series is going to make her think of zombies feeding on entrails and innards.

Shane Walsh: You know what I hate about my girlfriend? She always leaves the lights on.

Spidey Sense (who is a woman): Well, men always leave the bloody toilet seat up, so let’s call it even!

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Actually, I’m usually the one to forget to turn the lights off, not my wife.

Spidey Sense: Is Team Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Is also worried that his strained relationship with his wife Lori is upsetting for his son Carl. This strained relationship will become important later.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes and Shane Walsh: Join other officers on a deserted road after receiving a radio call about a high-speed pursuit and lie in wait for a getaway car.

The DS and Shane Walsh

Officers: Police crew assemble!

Getaway car: Takes a tumble into the brush and rolls for a few metres, forcing the baddies to GTFO and rear their ugly heads.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Gets clipped by one baddie.

Spidey Sense: Considers feasting on the flesh of AMC for hurting her precious Deputy Sheriff.

Baddie: Gets taken out by the other police officers, as does his fellow baddie.

Spidey Sense: Huzzah!

Shane Walsh: Drops to Rick’s side to see if he is okay.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Is okay.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes’ Protective Vest: Took the brunt.

An 11th hour baddie: Hates Spidey Sense so wriggles out of the car wreckage and delivers a final shot at her DS.

Shane Walsh: Comforts Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes while his world fades to black.

– Hospital Clinic of Hypertension –

Spidey Sense: O Meter is going off the charts.

The s**t: Is gonna hit the fan. You can cut the tension with a knife.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Regains consciousness and stares up at Walsh through blurry eyes.

Shane Walsh: Shows his kinder, softer side by dropping flowers at the DS’s beside table. Aww, they really are best friends as well as partners!

Flowers of foreboding: Look pretty, like the calm before the storm.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Turns to Rick to jokingly accuse him of stealing the flower vase from his grandmother, but Shane is gone.

Flowers of foreboding: Are now withered and dead.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Has apparently been in a coma.

Jim from 28 Days Later: Wonders why he feels proprietorial.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Realises his room is deserted and tries to stand up, but, weakened from his coma, collapses to the ground.

Spidey Sense: The producers of this show really do like their dramatic falls, don’t they?

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Calls for a nurse but gets no answer.

– Passageway of purgatory –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Is greeted by the disturbing sight of overturned gurneys and then a dead woman who is mere skin and bones.

Spidey Sense: Feels sorry for Dead Woman, who is lying there looking like she has been mauled and discarded without a second thought.

The healthcare system in America: Is either in serious decline, or we have a zombie epidemic on our hands!

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Stumbles away from the gruesome sight of Dead Woman down to the hall to and is met by Double Door of Doom.

Double Door of Doom: Has graffiti that reads “Don’t Open Dead Outside”.

Don't open dead inside

Creepy fingers: Writhe between the doors.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Is not your typical blonde, brainless horror movie character and heeds this advice, leaving the door closed and getting the hell away from it.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Finally finds an exit route out of Hospital of Hypertension and into morning light.

– Harsh light of day –

Copious amounts of cadavers: Is the sight that greets Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes.

Corpse pile

Spidey Sense: Doesn’t know about Rick, but this is more cadavers than she can take before her morning hit of caffeine.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Stumbles up a hill and finds a deserted military base.

A helicopter: Just sits there looking all portentous.

Spidey Sense: Is having Lost flashbacks. Or is that Lost flash sideways?? Anyway, helicopters or planes = not good in Lostverse, and is sure to be the same here.

– Zombieburbs –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Wanders into a grassy suburban area.

Bicycle: Lies in the grass.

Zombie Torso Chic: Drags herself towards the bike with a sad, desperate need.

Torso chick and the DS

Bet this never happened in a Twilight meadow!


Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Decides he needs the bike more than a zombified torso, and pedals away.

Spidey Sense: Kinda hopes Zombie Torso Chic finds her soul mate Zombie Lower Half and they have lots of flesh eating babies together.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Pedals until he reaches his house and calls out for Carl and Lori, but they are gone.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Questions whether any of this is real and says to himself “Wake up”.

Spidey Sense: Suspects pinching yourself doesn’t get the desired results in a post-apocalyptic zombie world.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Heads out of his house and sits on the lawn, and suddenly he spots a zombie man in a suit shambling up the road towards him.

Kiss of shovel: Suddenly smacks Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes on the head.

Spidey Sense: Thinks that between this coma and the shovelsmack, the DS is having a very bad head day.

Little boy: “Daddy, I got him!”

Little boy’s Daddy: Kills the zombie man in the suit with a single bullet to the brain.

Spidey Sense: Gets her first mythology moment – how to kill zombies in The Walking Dead world.

Little boy’s Daddy: Wants to know about Rick’s gunshot wound, and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t tell.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Passes out before he can say anything useful.

The DS’s sense of self-preservation: Was pretty low in that scene.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Wakes up tied to a bed.

Spidey Sense: Spidey says Going to sleep tied to a bed? Sometimes kinky good. This reversal? Bad.

Little Boy AKA Duane and Little Boy’s Daddy AKA Morgan: Are watching over Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes in his bed-tied state.

Spidey Sense: Wants to be Duane and Morgan.

Duane and Morgan: Have apparently realised the DS doesn’t want them for their brains and tell him to join them in the dining room.

– Eating area of exposition –

Most awkward dinner conversation ever

Morgan: Lets the DS know all about the “Walkers”. The word “zombies” is never mentioned.

Spidey Sense: Is sorry guys, but she’ll be referring to the undead in her recaps as zombies, thank you very much!

Walkers: make her think of blue haired grannies toddling down the street, not fearsome flesh eating monsters.

Spidey Sense: Gets more mythology moments. Zombies are attracted by sounds, particularly loud ones like gunshots. When you get bitten, you get sick and die, but then you resurrect yourself from the dead.

Duane: Asks his father to say grace, which is pretty poignant given the God-forsaken situation he is in.

Car alarm: Blares outside.

Spidey Sense: Yippee! Zombie time!

Human trio: Peer outside, where there is zombies everywhere. One is Morgan’s wife and Duane’s mother.

Spidey Sense’s Icy Heart: Is melted a little by this sad development.

Zombie Mom: Tries the knob of the house.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes’ eyeball: Peers through door’s peephole and does an amazing acting job of conveying his horror and pity at the sight before him.

Morgan: Explains that he watched Zombie Mom wife die in this house and there was nothing he could do about it. He couldn’t bring himself to give her the Zombie final death.

– The next morning –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Finally changes out of his hospital gear and goes outside, where he kills a zombie with a baseball bat.

Bats at the ready

Spidey Sense: Kinda wishes he had killed his first zombie with a Flying Record of Death ala Shaun of the Dead.

– Back in the house –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Explains that his wife and son must be alive because select clothes and family photos were missing from his house.

Morgan: Says they must be in Atlanta, which is still a safe haven.

– Police station of purpose –

Trio: Shower and freshen up so they don’t look like zombies.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Suggests that they all go to Atlanta, partly because it will help father and son move on from Zombie Mom’s death.

Delena Fans Through-out The World: ROAD TRIP!

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Hands a gun to Morgan with a Meaningful Look.

Morgan: Knows he has been given the gun to finally kill his Zombie Mom wife and move on.

Spidey Sense: Thinks they acted the hell outta that scene.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Leaves to go in search of Carl and Lori.

Morgan: Ultimately decides to stay back to deal with unfinished business.

Delena Fans Through-out The World: Are saddened by the loneliness of the DS’s road trip.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Gives Morgan a walkie talkie so they can stay in touch.

– Still in house –

Morgan: Tells his poor little boy to go read a comic while he goes upstairs to find a good vantage point to kill his Zombie Mom wife.

Spidey Sense Icy Heart: Melts a little more, though she thinks this is a clever nod to the fact that The Walking Dead was originally a comic.

Morgan: Fires a shot to attract the zombies, but ultimately can’t kill his wife.

Morgan tries to shoot his Zombie Mom wife

– Meanwhile, on the loneliest road trip ever –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Drives along and suddenly is not alone.

Zombie Torso Chic: Hi Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes!

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Nails the awesome line “I’m sorry this happened to you” before mercy killing Zombie Torso Chic.

Spidey Sense: Is sad she never got to meet her soul mate Lower Half.

– Highway 85 –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Broadcasts the emergency radio channel in the hopes that someone will hear his voice.

Group of survivors: Hear him on their radio and try to respond, but the frequency is only one-way in this case.

Shane Walsh: Is their leader.

Spidey Sense: Worries about the survival possibilities of this motley group.

Lori and Carl: Are part of this band of survivors.

Carl: Is wearing a Science Dog t-shirt and is officially awesome.

No-one: Recognises that it is Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes’s voice on the radio. To them it is just a stranger heading to Atlanta.

Atlanta: Is apparently, contrary to what Morgan thought, bad news and the survivors wish they had left a warning sign or something.

Lori: Wants to put up the warning sign but Shane Walsh convinces her not to; partly because it is dangerous and partly because they are having sex.

Spidey Sense: That is what we call a tangled web!

Spidey Sense: Doesn’t think Lori is committing adultery per see if this occurred after she thought she was a widow. Unless, of course, she and Shane Walsh were at it like rabbits before the zombieocalypse.

– Farmhouse of forbiddingness –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Journeys to an abandoned farmhouse, and we have now flash-forwarded past the opening incident with Cute Five-year-old Zombette, with the DS still in search of gas to make up for his rapidly-running-out supplies.

Suicide Pact Corpses: Are the terrible sight that greet him.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Must be reaching his breaking point but nevertheless continues on, and goes to start their truck but cannot find a key.

Horse (let’s call him Columbus): Hi Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes!

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes and Columbus: Ride out together towards Atlanta on an abandoned highway, giving the totally cool iconic image from the show’s main promo posters.

The Walking Dead promo poster

Exiting Lane: Is riddled with abandoned and damaged vehicles.

A Couple Errant Zombies: appear and our DS moves to avoid them.

Zombie leers at Rick and Columbus

Crows: Pick at a cadaver because y’all, we clearly aren’t getting enough of a icky vibe from everything else.

– Zombie-addled city of Atlanta –

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes and Columbus: Ride in and a helicopter passes overhead.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Tries to attract attention of the helicopter by spurring Columbus into a gallop and makes loads of NOISE.

Zombie Block Party: Wants Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes to party like it’s his birthday and swarm around the man and his horse.

Zombie Block Party greets the DS and Columbus

Spidey Sense: Gets another mythology moment. These zombies don’t just eat human flesh, because they start going for poor Columbus.

Columbus becomes a zombie buffet

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Hits the pavement and scrambles under a tank.

Spidey Sense: Oh yeah, did I forget to mention there was a tank sitting there?

Columbus: Becomes a zombie all-you-can-eat buffet.

Mr Ed: Does not approve.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Has lost the bag of weapons he took with him on his road trip out onto the streets, but still has one gun. He fires at zombies that come at him and realises there are too many for him to fight.

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Raises gun to his temple and says “Lori, Carl, I’m sorry”, but before he can shoot he notices a Deus Ex Machina – ahem!- open hatch on the bottom of the tank.

Zombie Tank Man: Hi Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes!

Spidey Sense: Godammit! They’re giving him no breaks at all, are they?

Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes: Disarms Zombie Tank Man and then sends him to his final death.

– Upper hatch of tank –

Camera: Pulls back to reveal a city of zombies converging on the tank like bugs on a dead carcass.

Zombies converge on tank


Spidey Sense: Awards this Twinkie Moment of the Week because it was a stunning shot and she can’t wait to see how the hell he gets out of this one.

Radio Static: Sounds off and voice suddenly talks.

Voice: “Hey, you. Dumbass. Yeah, you in the tank. Cozy in there?”

Spidey Sense: Awards this Voice More Badass Than Tallahassee Moment of the Week because she is pretty sure this is the introduction of the most kick ass character from The Walking Dead comic book series.

Until next episode: Fin.

Your next recap The Walking Dead recap will be up in a day or two since I just started this blog and am playing catch up! Then come back each week for coverage with (hopefully!) smarts and Braiiins!

About Cherie

My name is Cherie, and I’m an Australian Occupational Therapy Student who hopes to help people with any condition that inhibits their ability to participate in valued occupations, tasks, activities, as I believe they’re an essential part of identity, happiness and health. My favourite occupation is hiking, which enables me to move past through the forest literally and metaphorically! View all posts by Cherie

14 responses to ““Welcome to Zombieland”: Recap – AMC’s The Walking Dead – S01E01 – Days Gone By

  • kjewls

    AWESOME first recap, Cherie! I loved all the pictures you used, especially that kickass Thriller GIF! (Thanks for the sweet shout out, by the way!)

    And, you are right. I definitely think the “Thomas Galvin” style of recapping is perfect for this type of action-packed, “Wham, Bam, Thankyou Zombie” – type series.

    Wow, I knew the guy who played Sheriff Grimes, looked familiar. But I never would have placed him as the Love Actually Guy! Squeee! I love that scene with him and Keira Knightly! (If you think about it, it’s VERY similar to the scene between Damon and Elena in last week’s TVD episode, right? ;))

    Ooh, and wasn’t there a point in that scene where one of Love Actually Guy’s signs said, “I’ll love you even when you look like THIS,” and there was a picture of a zombie, on the next sign. It’s like they knew . . .

    By the way, have you ever checked out AMCTV.com? Best . . . website . . . ever! (Well, second to CWTV, of course.) I used it when I was recapping Mad Men, and it was SO HELPFUL. After each episode, they post: a 3-minute video recap, an “inside look” at each episode, interviews with cast and crew, “most talked about scenes” from the episode, and big glossy screencaps from the episode that just aired. It’s a TV Recappers Dream!

    Great job, Cherie! I’ll definitely be back for more! 🙂

    • myspideysenseistingling

      You’re so sweet! You have no idea how excited I am to have the recapping queen reading MY blog 🙂

      Trust me, that isn’t the last you have seen of the Thriller GIF. I’ll be doing the Hot List on the blog, and one of my category winners actually did a recreation of the Thriller vid … needless to say, if I wasn’t already head over heels in love with him at that point, pushing my zombie button did me in!!

      Ohh, thank you, thank you, thank you for the tip about AMCTV.com! You’re right, it is a bloggers’ paradise in there. *rubs hands shiftily as she thinks of all the recaps she can unleash into the blogosphere.

      I think at some point I’ll start doing recaps of Veronica Mars season one, which I just know you’ll LoVe 🙂

  • Marc

    If you thought Woody Harrelson was badass in Zombieland, you should see him and Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers playing as Mickey and Mallorey Knox.

    NB: Juliette Lewis is also in Dusk till Dawn.

    • myspideysenseistingling

      Natural Born Killers is one of those movies that I’ve always intended to see but just never gotten around to it for some reason – kind of like Rocky Horror Picture shows.

      I’ll definitely have to check out Dusk till Dawn and make a posting about it, Salma Hayek’s vampire dancing skills included!

  • Marc

    Well it’s more stripper dancing, but that’s not why it’s memorable (well it is, I’m just trying not to sound like a dirty old man).

    Natural Born Killers is intense. It’s a movie I would describe as a ‘psychadelic shocker’. Some people dislike it as they believe it takes things too far in the message it’s trying to give out. Simply shocking for the sake of shocking, but I don’t think the movie could, or should, ever be made in any other way.

    • myspideysenseistingling

      It sounds like Fight Club in a way – visually arresting and sometimes makes you feel sick to your stomach, but the heightened reality is an integral part of the film. Besides, I think the success of shows like True Blood shows that people kind of like shocks for the sake of shocks.

      And LOL at the stripper dancing. Believe me, you never EVER have to defend guilty pleasures with me. I have more than enough of them 🙂

  • Marc

    And funnily enough – as much as I love Fight Club (and Snatch and not to mention Inglorious Basterds) my favourite Brad Pitt movie would have to be The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.

    Long and slow movie, but there are just so many mentally unbalanced people making each other more and more paranoid that I couldn’t not love it.

    What I didn’t like though is that they described Jesse James as “Constantly blinking as though the sight of the world was too much for him” or something along those lines, and I did not see Brad Pitt blink once.

  • This Week on the Web: 12 Nov. 2010 - Thomas-Galvin.com

    […] Walking Dead recaps: Vampires aren’t the only undead americans tearing up pop culture: zombies are also making a, erm, killing. Reader Cherie is doing screenplay-style recaps of The Walking Dead, a new zombie apocalypse series by AMC. Reeeeeeecaaaaaaapsssss. […]

  • Marc

    One thing I’m curious about – How does Walking Dead compare to Dead Set?

    • myspideysenseistingling

      For the uninitiated, the premise of Dead Set is that a zombieocalypse has coincided with a Big Brother eviction night, leaving the shows’ housemates and production staff stranded inside.

      In terms of the zombie mythologies, Dead Set is the quick and the dead to Walking Dead’s more traditional slow zombie set up. However, I am waiting for the day that a WD zombie suddenly sprints after Shane Walsh, a day on which I will clap my hands together in glee 🙂

      Both series are clever and inventive, breathing new life (!) into the zombie genre. They are also character-driven; the action of zombie evasion is secondary to examining how people respond to the high stakes situations they are suddenly thrust into. However, WD is much less tongue-in-cheek than the satirical Dead Set, which pokes a lot of fun at society’s obsession with reality TV. Having said that, there is the occasional slice of dark humour in WD, and the character of Glenn is sure to be a burst of comic relief.

      WD also has a much more distinctive visual style, though that may be the stamp of Frank Darabont as director.

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