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Cover 2 Cristiana
"What Lies Ahead"
is the first episode of Season 2 of The Walking Dead.

Plot Synopsis

After narrowly escaping from the Center of Decease Control in Atlanta, Daniel and the rest of the group decide to leave the metropolis for good. Atlanta is firmly in the hands of the walkers, and they decide to give Paquete's idea of finding refuge at the army base at Fort Benning a try.                     

As the group prepares for their journey. The group abandons some of the vehicles in their convoy, bringing just the RV, a Jeep Cherokee, and Kiko's motorcycles.

Kiko drives the RV, while Fábio studies a road map with Caramelo.

The convoy has come upon a traffic snarl, with hundreds of derelict vehicles, abandoned or littered with corpses, impeding their route. On Kiko's motorcycle, Paquete leads them through a snaked out path that was likely carved through by other survivors. Fábio nervously points out a highway overpass a few miles back, but Kiko dismisses it. "We can't spare the fuel," he tells him.

The group nervously crawls through the wreckage, with no way to know what sort of dangers lurk within. The situation worsens when the RV's radiator hose breaks down again, forcing them to stop altogether - their cars trapped within the snarl.

"If you can't find a radiator hose here..." Paquete points out, and the group surveys the potential supplies they could gather from the abandoned cars along the highway. "We could siphon more fuel from these cars, for a start," says Kiko; "Maybe some water?" Sophia asks. Cassandra is quick to point out that this traffic snarl is a graveyard. "I don't know how I feel about this," Leandra says slowly, as the group looks to one another for a sign. Silently, they agree the supplies are most important, and Paquete announces, "Gather what you can, y'all."

Kiko enlists Gonçalo with fixing the radiator hose. "Sometimes the points get corroded," he says, handing him the proper screwdriver. "Radiator hose clamp is always a flat-head," he tells him. Daniel takes watch with a rifle in top of the RV. Cristiana looks half-interested into a few cars before she heads back inside the RV to go to the bathroom.

Cassandra, Carina, Leandra, and Ana look through cars further up. Paquete, Fábio, and Caramelo work together to siphon fuel. Johanne finds a delivery van with several canisters of fresh water still inside.

Daniel catches sight of a walker heading towards them through the traffic snarl at the same time. He raises his gun to shoot, but his focus shifts to a second walker coming up behind the first. By the time he has both square in his sights, there's a third - but he quickly realizes there are a lot more than that. He tells Gonçalo and kiko to warn the others and they run forward, in a forced whisper telling Cassandra, Leandra, and Ana to get under the cars. On her way down, Cassandra grabs Carina, and they watch together in helpless silence. Johanne and Sophia spot the walkers, Sophia hides under a car with Leandra as Johanne crouchs and hides under another car and is quickly joined by Ruth, next to Mariana and Bruno who are hiding under a truck.

Daniel lies flat on the roof of the RV as a mass collection of walkers passes through the wreckage. Cristiana's alone in the bathroom of th RV. She gets out of the bathroom but stops when she catches movement outside. Stunned by the sheer number of walkers outside the window, she cowers on the floor.

Fábio cuts his arm on a broken car frame, an artery spilling huge amounts of blood and rendering him almost completely helpless. Walkers approach him and he runs behind a car, but more are coming for him.

Cristiana scrambles into the bathroom of the RV when a stray walker wanders through the open door. She sits silently, and he tries to follow her scent but comes up empty, turning back and heading for the road. But, the crying of Cristiana alerts the walker to her location. Cristiana presses her feet to the door in desperation, but the walker presses in violently.

She screams, and Daniel looks through the screened sunroof. She glares at him and he grabs a screwdriver from his pocket. He slices open the screen and throws the weapon down to her waiting hand. The walker charges at her inside the bathroom, and she leans forward, stabbing the walker repeatedly through the eye with the tool until it stops moving. She sobs, covered in the walker's blood, catching her breath.

Fábio is losing blood at an alarming rate - his entire shirt, white just minutes earlier, is now a deep shade of red. As walkers descend on him, Kiko emerges from behind a car and kills them. Then, Paquete appears, grabbing corpses from the abandoned cars and covering he, Kiko and Fábio, dousing their smell. The group is almost safe when a few stragglers find Ana hiding underneath the car. She flees down a ditch to the nearby woods and Daniel and Gonçalo follow her, with Daniel quickly stopping to check on Cristiana, ordering Mariana to stay with her. Cassandra cries out for Ana, and Sophia grabs her to keep her from running after them into the woods.

Chased by two walkers, Ana stumbles, but Gonçalo and Daniel get to her before the dead. "Shoot them!" Ana cries, grabbing for Gonçalo's gun. But he won't risk shooting and drawing even more walkers into the woods.

Instead, he tells Ana to wait for him under a creek bed while he draws the walkers away, and he tells her, "If we don't come back, run back to the highway. Keep the sun on your left shoulder."

Using a rock, Gonçalo's able to kill one of the walkers, and Daniel then kills another one with a knife but Ana has vanished by the time they return.

They bring back Kiko and Paquete to look for Ana, and Paquete wonders if Ana really understood Gonçalo's direction. "She understood me fine," Gonçalo responds firmly, and Daniel offers an assured, "We're gonna find her. She's gonna be tuckered out hiding in the bush somewhere."

Gonçalo leads them on Ana's trail, saying she was headed back to the highway just fine, before she veered off in another direction.

While Gonçalo, Kiko, and Paquete continue to search through the forest for Ana, Daniel returns to the traffic snarl to try to keep peace in the group and occupy them with jobs at the abandoned cars. Getting the road cleared means they can turn the RV around once it's repaired, and double back to the bypass Caramelo flagged on the map, they explain, to get around the snarl now that they had fuel.

"Can't be soon enough for me," Cristiana chimes in, "I'm still freaked out about that herd that passed us by - or whatever you'd call it." Johanne's just as freaked out by the huge crowd of walkers traveling together. "Herd...that sounds about right," Daniel agrees. "Like the night camp got attacked. Just a wandering pack, only fewer."

Cassandra argues that they should all be looking for Ana, and Sophia assures her that they wouldn't leave her behind.

Bruno finds a collection of knives on the lap of a rotting corpse in a pick-up truck, and he excitedly shows them to Daniel, who congratulates Bruno for the good job, telling him to keep one of the knives with him, just in case.

Cassandra asks Daniel to teach her to shoot but he refuses. "You let a kid walk around with a knife but you won't teach me to protect myself", Daniel says that he trusts his brother and adds "Why do you want me to teach you to shoot a gun, so you can commit suicide?". She tells him that it sounded the best idea at that moment but she wouldn't shot herself. Daniel walks away and leaves Cassandra furious.

Gonçalo picks up Ana's trail again and leads Paquete and Kiko through the dense forest. They kill a Walker and Kiko examines it for skin under the fingernails and in its teeth. He finds flesh and begins to cut him open - but Paquete, steps in. "I'll do it," he says, pulling out his knife. Comparing it to Kiko's he adds smugly, "Mine's sharper."

Paquete guts the walker, ripping out the Walker's stomach only to find he only had eaten a woodchuck.

Sophia comforts Cassandra as the sun sets and Ana hasn't returned to the highway, before Cassandra asks Daniel to be teached to shoot again but Daniel denies it again and is backed up by Sophia. "The less guns floating around camp, the better. That herd is still near us, we don't want to attract it to us again," Sophia says. "Y'all need proper training, but until that time I think it's best if we keep 'em all accounted for." says Daniel. Cassandra stalks off as Caramelo spots Paquete, Gonçalo and Kiko, who've returned without Ana.

Sophia is beside herself. "You didn't find anything?" she cries, as Gonçalo explains her trail went cold. As Sophia objects to Ana spending the night alone in the woods, Gonçalo steps forward. "Hunting in the dark's no good," he tells her, and reconforts her, telling her that they'll all search for her in the morning. Cassandra spots the Walker's blood on Paquete's pants, and as she panics they admit they gutted it to make sure it wasn't near Ana.

Cassandra angrily accuses Daniel and Gonçalo of leaving Ana in the woods, and as Daniel tries to explain himself, Cristiana tells Cassandra to back off, defending Daniel.

The next morning, Daniel and Paquete arm the group and Cassandra, again, demands a gun, only to have her request dismissed by the others out of fear she'll use it to kill herself. Bruno announces he's joining the search for Ana, and Daniel accepts it

Before leaving, Cassandra confronts Daniel about teaching her to shoot a gun in front of the others, and angrily tells him that Leandra took away her only chance to die peacefully, that she robbed her of her choice by forcing her to save her life. Leandra admits she expected gratitude, but she finishes by telling her, "I'm not your little girl. I'm not your sister. And I'm sure as hell not your problem." The survivors leave Kiko, Caramelo, and Fábio, whose arm has been bandaged, at the RV, and head out to search the forest for Ana.

As the day wears on, the group is tired and worn from a long, fruitless search, coming upon a campsite where a man "opted out," and little else.

At the RV, Kiko is taking watch with his binoculars, and Caramelo asks why he's not fixing the radiator hose so they can get out of there if and when the group comes back with Ana. Kiko admits he and Gonçalo fixed the hose the day before, but that he's trying to keep the group united in the search for Ana. "If they know we're mobile," he reasons. "They'll want to mobilize."

The group is overjoyed when they hear the sound of church bells in the woods, with hope that Ana is setting them off. They run towards the noise and find a small Baptist church, but Paquete insists it's the wrong one, because it doesn't have a steeple.

They head inside anyway - Daniel, Paquete, and Gonçalo killing Walkers, but they find no trace of Ana. Gonçalo continues insisting it's the wrong church, when the bells ring again. They run outside, and find the automated bell toll around the side of the building. Gonçalo unhooks the bells in frustration as some of the group members go back inside the church and others rest a bit outside. Cassandra takes a rest outside in the shade. She overhears Johanne and Paquete talking about his plans to leave, and hears Johanne tell Paquete she thinks he's making the wrong choice to go, but he insists she's wrong and that she should go with her but she refuses and walks away.

Outside the church, Cassandra asks Paquete to take her with him when he leaves, pointing out that the two of them don't belong in the group. He tells her she's too dramatic and that she would only slow him down.

With daylight fading, the others decide to head back to the RV, but Daniel isn't ready to give up the search for Ana. Gonçalo agrees to stay behind. when Sophia says she's staying too.

Gonçalo tries to give Johanne his gun, but she won't leave him unarmed, so Daniel hands her the gun he grabbed off the man in the tent that afternoon. Cassandra rolls her eyes visibly.

On their way back to the highway, Cassandra expresses frustration that their search turned up no new leads on Ana, and Gonçalo, too, doesn't like that the group has been further split up. Cassandra chooses the moment to attack Johanne for carrying a gun when she's been denied one for two days, and Johanne hands it to her without a second thought. "You want it? I'm sick of the looks you're givin' me."

Mariana and Cristiana add that they have to stop blaming Daniel and Gonçalo for what had happened to Ana, because no one else ran after her like they did. And Cristiana also tells them that any of them are free to leave any time they want. Feeling guilty, Cassandra hands back the gun and the group continues back to the highway.

Meanwhile, as Daniel, Gonçalo, and Sophia search the woods, they come upon a buck stopped in a clearing. Daniel raises his gun to shoot it, but Gonçalo holds him back as a curious Sophia moves slowly closer. Smiling.

They don't move. Gonçalo grins. Suddenly, a gunshot, and as the deer falls, Sophia, too, goes down, blood seeping from her chest.


Deaths

  • None

Trivia

  • This episode's cover features a zombified Cristiana.
    • Even though Cristiana is a walker in the cover, Cristiana survives and is still alive.
    • Cristiana is the first living character to be featured as a walker in a cover, the second one being Daniel in two covers. She's also the first character to be featured as a walker in a cover, the second being Ana, who really turned, and the third being Daniel.
  • This episode was originally going to be called, "Miles Behind Us." This is the same name as the second Volume of the Walking Dead Comic Series. It would have been a reference to the fact that it has been a great distance since the survivors left Atlanta, leaving miles behind them. Calling the episode, "What Lies Ahead", incites an opposite feeling - not that the group has left miles behind them, but that the group has no idea what dangers might lie ahead as they take off out of Atlanta. It sets the tone for the start of a new season, while, "Miles Behind Us", feels more like an ending.
  • Initially, the episode would have started exactly where they finished after the last episode. Rick and his group would travel to the city to return to Home Hospice of Atlanta, where he would find it completely destroyed and massacred by zombies. After recovering the weapons they had shared, they decide to leave the city heading to Fort Benning. Neil Brown Jr. (Guillermo) was hired for this episode and several scenes were filmed in this story, but eventually the entire sequence was removed from the final editing and start up scene was re-recorded.
  • It is interesting to note that in the Season Finale, it is revealed that all humans are carriers, and will reanimate upon death unless severe brain damage has occurred. Yet there are many, many dead victims in cars that have not sustained enough damage to appear as a lethal car accident. Whether the lack of reanimation on death, or lack of damage the cars have sustained to depict a lethal car accident is a design oversight is unknown, but this might be the virus not being airborne yet

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