TWD TBT: Rick’s Sign From Above in Epx201 What Lies Ahead
Bicycle Girl takes a look at Rick’s plea for a sign and the answer he receives in Epx201 What Lies Ahead in this week’s The Walking Dead Throwback Thursday post
Hey, hey, Deadheads! It’s the last throwback Thursday before the 6B Premiere, and I’m going all to pieces with excitement. Literally.
This week I was inspired to rewatch the Season 2 Premiere–What Lies Ahead– after a conversation with @on Twitter.
While searching for Sophia, the group hears the sound of a church bell and heads off, hoping that the sound might draw the missing girl or that she might even be the one ringing it.
As they approach the church, we see this:
Of course, I felt a pang in the place where my heart used to be at the sight of that bicycle there against the tree, but then I noticed the scripture reference, which says:
“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!'”
The next verse continues
“The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
What this part of the Bible is describing is the last sign that proceeds the end of the world. It heralds in the beginning of the end, the time when the righteous are saved and the damned are faced with the horrors of the end of the world. Just keep this in mind as we go on, Guys.
The episode continues with the group searching the church. They find walkers, but not Sophia. Carol issues a heartfelt plea to the Lord to save her daughter, and the group splits up, as Rick is not willing to give up the search just yet. He tells Shane
Before Shane, Carl and Rick continue with the search, Rick goes into the church, sits in a pew, and addresses the statue of crucified Jesus. At the end, he makes a request:
When we next see the trio, they stumble upon a deer. It is peacefully eating, unaware of their presence.
Shane raises his gun, thinking to shoot the animal and bring the group dinner, but Rick stops him. Carl wants to have a closer look.
As he approaches, his eyes bright and full of innocence, the deer raises his head and looks back. Rather than running in fright, it waits patiently as if equally curious about the young boy.
When the camera cuts to Rick, we see him overcome with emotion. He can’t believe the deer is just standing there so calmly.
You can see hope in his eyes. Is this the sign he was asking for? Is this the proof that he was on the right track, that someone upstairs is watching him?
With each step, we feel our own hope rise. The moment is perfect. Uplifting music furthers the upswell of sentiment within us.
just like that the moment is pierced as easily as Carl’s flesh is by the bullet. Rick and Shane look on in horror as the bullet tears through him, through their hope and through our own.
Lifeless, Carl falls to the ground. The deer lays dead not far from him.
So much for signs of hope, Rick. The moment may as well have been the seventh angel emptying his bowl, setting the end times in motion.
When you view the episode in isolation, 202 is bleak. But when you put it context with what comes next, it takes on a different meaning. We know that ultimately the farm does become the thing Rick asked for that “little something” to keep them going.
It’s the place where Glenn and Maggie fall in love. The place where they meet Hershel who will go onto become such a powerfully positive influence on the group. It’s the place where the group truly becomes a family.
Maybe there is a benevolent force taking pity, trying to set these good people on a path to survival.
But the farm is not all joy.
It’s the place where Dale dies. The place where Sophia takes those heartbreaking steps out of the barn. The place where Shane’s madness leads to his death.
A place ultimately lost not by thunder and earthquakes but fires and the invading dead.
Maybe that deity Rick called out to for help has damned the group and is leading them to the farm to be punished.
But I think
If there is someone watching over the world of The Walking Dead, he (or she!) seems content to let mankind do what it will. Believe or not believe. Do good or do bad. The end result is the same.
While you live, you fear the living and you run from the dead.
When you die, there is no rest, only more walking, more roaming.
Episode 201 sets the group up for what lies ahead, the good and the bad.