Words: Jake Tobin
'The Walking Dead' Episode 4: 'Vatos'
SYNOPSIS: "Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) mission to Atlanta is jeopardized when things go awry. Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) becomes unhinged in camp." (fxuk.com)
After 'Tell It To The Frogs' kept most of the action back at the survivor’s camp, 'Vatos' again splits the action of 'The Walking Dead' into two plots, one in the Atlanta and one at the camp. This double narrative allows the program to examine the psychology of the survivors, both those in the camp away from the city, and that of those who have returned to it and the other people we meet in the city.
The group who have returned to city don’t take long to meet other survivors, though not in the best of circumstances. The others that they find are an interesting group, superficially they are an aggressive gang out to defend themselves over all others, but as the episode progresses we find out that they are actually protecting their elderly and sick relatives. This group give an interesting insight into the human condition in this post-apocalyptic world, despite the situation that all of humanity is in, aggression and self-defence is their first reaction to interaction with other humans, and much of Guillermo’s (Neil Brown Jr) dialogue expands upon this.
It’s interesting to think that all these outwardly aggressive people are just trying to protect themselves and their families, and that humanity can’t pull together despite of its turmoil. I don’t know whether the show is trying to say that this is human nature, or whether it’s because of the visual similarity between human’s and their new predator.
Back at the camp we delve deeper into the character of the two sisters, Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Amy (Emma Bell), their relationship to each other and then their father; before focusing on the group as a whole. Jim’s dream is a scary thought, and his reaction to it is somewhat understandable, as is the group’s reaction to him. The raised tensions of the group show that there is no such thing as an idyllic life in these post-apocalyptic world, no matter how hard they try. The final scene completely throws of the whole of the episode, especially most of the development that occurred at the camp.
This episode was good, mixing the psychological reality of the life these characters are living with the action and tension that we expect from a zombie show, and once again left us with a dramatic, intriguing ending. As the characters are reunited for the finale we once again face the prospect of a world where nowhere is safe and the must continue to move on. If the show can keep this mix of drama and action I can’t see it receiving less acclaim any time soon.
New episodes air Fridays at 10pm on FX in the UK and are repeated throughout the week. Viewers elsewhere should go here to find out where they can watch the series.