While the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead may have left us on the edge of our seats, cursing AMC for leaving us hanging until February, there was one moment that many fans of the show would have been happy to see make a reappearance. After Rick and some of the gang realized they needed to get to safer ground quickly, they employed a technique that we saw way back in Season 1 -- covering themselves in walker guts.
The scene was a welcome relief to many fans who have been calling out for the characters to be using this method more often:
As you may remember, it was Glenn and Rick who smeared themselves in walker guts back in Season 1, episode 2 of the series, an episode aptly named 'Guts.' The disguise allowed the pair to walk among the zombies on the streets of Atlanta until an ill-timed shower of rain started to wash off the smell. Despite the rain, fortunately the disguise held long enough for the pair to be able to finish their mission and make it back to the others in their group with a vehicle.
However, in the 5 seasons since 'Guts,' the walker guts technique had been sadly under used -- until the Season 6 mid-season finale that is. So why don't we see it used on screen a lot more? Well, Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman tried to explain the reasoning on The Talking Dead, saying:
"There's a lot of reasons for that. One, it's not very practical, being in close contact with that material is also going to cause all sorts of illnesses aside from any kind of zombie-related nonsense, and you don't want to be doing that all the time. Two, it's not going to last, you would have to be replenishing those zombie guts constantly because they're going to dry out, they're going to lose their nastiness, they're not going to smell. It's just not a practical way to go about things."
Hmm, OK Kirkman, I'm not sure I agree with you, but if that's what you say! Personally, I would take my chances with a healthy smearing of walker guts over my clothes than dice with death, but maybe that's just me?
Another tactic that it seems like the show employed once when it was convenient, and have since abandoned, is the idea of having disarmed (quite literally!) walkers accompany you and ensuring safety, much like Michonne with her pets in Seasons 2 and 3.
It seems bizarre that Michonne used this technique for so long, protecting both her and Andrea, but then the show has chosen never to repeat it again.
While I understand using certain things for advancing a narrative, it just sometimes seems so obvious, and something the fans have been calling out for for seasons. But perhaps with the return of the walker guts disguise in the mid-season finale, the show could be warming up to use this approach more often? Time will certainly tell.
'The Walking Dead' returns with the mid-season premiere on February 14th on AMC