We pick up with our little weary band of idiots, shortly after the CDC explosion. They are leaving Atlanta and heading off to a military base, which Rick tells Morgan about... in detail. Dude, if Morgan's listening, I'm sure he doesn't want to hear your full confession on a daily basis. Anyway, they don't get too far down the road before they run into a bunch of parked cars blocking their way, and naturally Dale's radiator springs a leak.
They all get out and start ransacking the vehicles, even though Lori gets a bit of a conscience about it being a graveyard. And then of course the Walker hoards come after them en masse. Everyone tries to hide out under cars, as quietly as possible, except Andrea who is obliviously playing with her gun inside the RV. A zombie comes in and attacks her, but thankfully Dale is on the roof and throws a screwdriver down to her just in the nick of time.
It looks like poor T-Dog (the only black character left) is going to be the next causality as he slices his arm open on a piece of rusty metal. But then, out of nowhere super racist Daryl sneak attacks the Walker and totally kills him to save T-Dog. And then he hides under a dead corpse in order to avoid attention. It's probably wrong that I love Daryl as much as I do.
Then Sophia is the freaking worst listener ever and totally needs a time out. She's hiding under a truck and decides to leave her safe hiding place to go be with her mother, and of course draws the Walkers attention. Instead of, oh, I don't know, waiting for some help that is right behind her, she takes off down the highway embankment and into the woods. Idiot. I know she's only like nine or whatever, but she's really a moron. Compounded by the fact that when Rick finds her, he puts her in a cave and says to stay there, but after he distracts the zombies, she takes off instantly, into the woods and not at all towards the highway like he asked.
Once Rick smashes the brains of a couple walkers with a big ass rock, he finds she's not in her hidey hole so he has to get Shane, Daryl and Glenn to help out. Daryl is an excellent tracker, and finds that instead of heading back to safety she went off in a completely different direction. So Shane and Glenn go back to keep the group busy, while Daryl and Rick take down a Walker. When they realize he's fed recently, they gut him open to find out if its Sophia in his belly. They cut away from all the good chopping bits, and all we get to see is the random entrails… which are not Sophia's remains. Boo!
While Rick and Darryl are hunting, the rest of the folks continue salvaging. Carl snags himself a sweet bag of weapons off of a rotting corpse, so at least both kids aren't useless. Shane and Lori talk while he fixes up a car, and she thinks they should figure out how to communicate, though he plans on running away from the group as soon as he gets a chance. That's the best idea I've heard in ages. Shane on his own and not talking? Love it to pieces. Carol just stands staring in the woods. Andrea gripes that Dale took her gun away, but given that she doesn't even know how to put it together, it's probably a wise idea.
When Rick and Daryl come back without Sophia, Carol starts freaking out. They say they'll go back in the morning, but Carol starts blaming Rick for leaving her alone. Yeah, maybe if you'd taught your kid to listen better this wouldn't be happening.
At first light, they all take some of Carl's weapons and head out on a search party. Carl demands to be allowed to come, and Rick agrees. Andrea and Dale fight about the gun, and the fact that he thinks she's going to commit suicide at any given moment. She blames him for the fact that she's still alive, and he's taken aback by it. Aw, poor Dale, who is left alone with his endless guilt and the injured T-Dog.
After a dead end at a tent, the search party hears bells and heads in that direction. They go into church, and find some religious sorts of Walkers hanging out. Then there's lots of blood spatters in front of a crucifix, which Rick looks remotely guilty about. Carol has some guilty feelings of her own because she prayed for her abusive husband to die, and now she thinks that she's being punished. Andrea catches wind of Shane's escape plan and begs for a ride away from these people. She is also a genius. She and Shane are two of the more irritating characters on the show, so put them in a car and have a zombie herd get them? I think that's brilliant.
Then the group splits up, with Shane, Carl and Rick staying in the vicinity of the church, while the rest of the group treks back to the highway. Rick endlessly babbles about his feelings in the church (after he already endlessly babbled on the walkie-talkie to Morgan just two days ago). He starts begging for a sign, before heading out into the woods. Most of their searching involves Carl trying to take down a deer. But just as he's close to the buck, a shot hits him right into the gut. Not sure that was the sign Rick was looking for, but I totally didn't see that coming. Nice one, Show. I would have rather it had been the annoying little girl who got shot, instead of the mildly tolerable little boy, but shooting a kid in the premiere is fairly commendable. Now if the other child gets eaten by zombies, you might just have my attention for the whole season, even if I have to suffer through awkwardly delivered conversations and Rick's endless monologues.
Previously: Everyone decided to go to Atlanta to escape from the zombies, but it turns out that the CDC was the worst place to be. Thankfully, a nutjob there blew the building up and tried (but failed) to kill the little ragtag group of survivors that we're following.
It's apparently the morning after the big CDC explosion and Rick is back on the walkie-talkie trying to get a message to Morgan. I refuse to weecap the stilted monologue that's being terribly delivered by Rick, as it's all exposition about what happened before and we already know all of that. And these Rick Recaps are likely even annoying to Morgan, who would maybe just like Rick and company to stay in one place so he can catch up (if he's even following him) instead of listening in on Rick's feelings about a group of people who are total strangers to Morgan. Just because the walkie-talkie is a one-way device, doesn't mean that it's a free confessional. And if someone other than Morgan is on the other end, I really feel bad for that person. Oh, and Morgan's kid. Does he have to listen to this inane babble every morning? If anything, it might convince me not to join up with Rick, who can't seem to keep all of his people safe from the zombies anyway.
The next destination is Fort Benning, which is over 100 miles outside of Atlanta. While they are packing up, Shane watches Rick and Lori kiss and looks awfully sad. At the end of Rick's speech to Morgan, he tells him to stay off the road and stay safe... and then immediately starts driving on the road with his crew. Also, there are plenty of Walkers in the woods, so it doesn't seem like entirely sound advice.
In the car with Rick, Carl, Sophia and Carol, Lori starts reminiscing about a trip to the Grand Canyon that she and Rick tried to take when Carl was just an infant (because I'm sure a baby would appreciate the scenic vistas). Apparently, young Carl started puking all over the place and they had to turn around in Fort Worth and never made it to the Grand Canyon. But they still remember the trip fondly. Carl says he'd like to see the Grand Canyon (now that he's old enough to appreciate its stunning beauty... though it is probably covered with flesh-eating monsters) and his parents promise him they'll take him. And then awkwardly tell Sophia and Carol that they are part of the family now and can come too. I'm sure they feel just so included.