Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). (Gene Page/AMC )
At offices across America on Monday, second-guessers will likely be questioning the decision-making of Tony Romo, Drew Brees and otherNFL signal callers.
But this week the water cooler discussion might also involve the botched play calls of Rick Grimes, the protagonist of AMC's The Walking Dead.
At the beginning of Sunday night's second season premiere, we find our scrappy band of zombie-apocalypse survivors starting their 125-mile journey to Fort Benning with two lovable scamps in tow: 12-year-old Sophia and Grimes' own son, Carl. By the end of the episode, (SPOILER ALERT!) Sophia is M.I.A. and Carl has a bullet hole in his chest.
Rick Grimes won't be winning any 'Father of the Year' awards for his performance in this episode.
Let's break down the game film.
Grimes' first slip-up happens after a couple of depraved zombies chase Sophia off into the woods. Rick Grimes gives chase — a noble move — but when he catches up to Sophia at a creek, he inexplicably instructs her to hide out there while he lures the walkers to a remote area of the woods so that he can dispatch them surreptitiously.
Grimes playfully splashes the zombies with water, then bashes their heads in with a rock. He actually heaves the rock at the second one. I only wish another character had been present at the time so that they could have quipped something along the lines of 'Hey, nice throw, Elway. You're a regularFran Tarkenton!'
Anyway, when Grimes returns, Sophia is gone. Why he couldn't have just said 'Hey Sophia, stand behind me while I bash these two zombies' heads in with the butt of this rifle' is beyond me.
Later, in the episode's climactic moment, Grimes and his old cop buddy Shane are escorting little Carl Grimes back to where the rest of the survivors are stuck on the highway.
They hear some scampering in the underbrush, and discover it is only a deer. Shane raises his weapon to bag himself a big buck, but Rick waves him off. Because the gunshot might attract zombies? No, apparently so that Carl Grimes can have a coming-of-age moment by slaying the beast.
In a very odd scene, Carl slowly approaches the stag while Rick and Shane look on with warm, approving smiles. Carl is also smiling as he creeps closer and closer to the animal. Did he even have a gun? What was he going to do, assail it with his pocket knife?
We don't find out, because a bullet rips through the deer and Carl. Fade to black.
Lingering questions: What did Edwin Jenner, theCDC scientist, whisper to Rick Grimes in the season one finale? Also, who shot Carl?
The Circle of Life: At the beginning of the episode we see some dogs eating a human corpse. Shortly after that, we see some zombies eating a dog's corpse. Will we see zombie dogs soon?
Lamest attempt at comic relief: Lori Grimes' story about the family trip to the Grand Canyon.
Rick Grimes: I never knew a baby could throw up so much!
Carl Grimes: Ick!
Lori Grimes: Yes, ick!
Me: Great story, can you tell it again? (sarcasm)
Wittiest novelty sign: The one on Dale's RV that says 'How about a nice cup of shut the hell up' I want that sign for my basement bar.
Creepiest zombie: The one in the church with the veil over its face!
Creepiest tent: The one out in the woods with the lonely hunter in it. Scariest tent since The Blair Witch Project.
Best zombie kill: When Andrea repeatedly stabbed the bathroom invader in the eye with the screwdriver! She was like "I don't care how bad you have to go! This is an RV crapper and it only fits one person at a time!"
Useless information: The sign on the wall of the RV bathroom read: 'This bath is made from inflammables (sic) plastics No cigarettes paper towels in this toilet no sand.'
No tossing butts into the toilet, got it.
BestIndiana Jones reference: When Daryl called Glenn 'Short Round'
Most obvious product placement: When Carl finds the cache of Gerber hatchets and knives in the pickup truck. I haven't seen a young boy so infatuated with weapons since Ralphie wanted the Red Ryder BB gun in A Christmas Story.
Best Dirk Nowitzki look-alike: The zombie in the hipster suit out in the woods that Daryl iced with an arrow through the back of the dome.
Best Grand Guignol moment: When Daryl and Rick gut the Dirk Nowitzki zombie to find out whether he ate Sophia. That was one nasty game of one-upsmanship. The best part was how at the end they said to each other "At least we know..." as if trying to rationalize the hideous act they had just performed.
Damn son! You got served! When Andrea tells off Dale: "I'm not your little girl, I'm not your wife and I'm sure as hell not your problem!" Oh snap! If that exchange took place onJerry Springer, the audience would be hooting and hollering for three minutes.
Oddest fashion statement: The lonely-hunter-in-the-tent corpse was wearing a button on his shirt that said 'No excuse for domestic violence'. Agreed, but who is the target audience for this campaign against domestic violence when you are sitting out in the middle of the woods by yourself, in a tent?
Most biker-friendly church: Southern Baptist of Holy Light. Do they mean likeLance Armstrong bikers, or Harley Davidson bikers?
Hippest reference to Jesus: Daryl, to the crucifixon statue at the church, "Yo JC, you taking requests?"
Bold prediction: Shane and Andrea will shack up together, and Lori will become jealous....
Zombie death count: 8
Human death count: None confirmed
What did you think of Rick Grimes' decision making in the season premiere? Did you enjoy the episode? What do you think will happen next week? What will become of Sophia and Carl? What disgusting act will Daryl perform next week? Will Shane and Andrea really strike out on their own?