Episode 192: Unfinished Business

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Zombie Cliché Lookout: Unfinished Business

When it comes to getting away from the ravenous hordes of the living dead, you need a pretty damn compelling reason to stick around any longer than absolutely necessary. But zombie stories love to force characters to stay in dangerous situations way longer than any of us would be willing. Because of, you know, unfinished business.

The unfinished business is generally one of two things: a character needs to find someone (the first half of The Walking Dead season two) who was left behind/lost/made a valiant heroic stand, or a character needs to complete some secret – usually sinister – goal they’re hiding from the rest of the survivors (Resident Evil is a good example of this).

Of course, sometimes writers have to come up with a reason to keep characters stuck in one place for a while because of various issues behind the scenes, often budgetary (I suspect season two of The Walking Dead had these issues). Sometimes this works out well, and allows you to explore the characters in more depth, and sometimes it’s just a punishing slog.

Discussion Question: Getting Around

It seems like the majority of zombie stories involve a group of characters sticking around a single location, although there are a few pretty notable exceptions. In those exceptions, characters travel from place to place, generally either on foot or in cars. One thing that has always bothered me is that, after a few months, how likely would it be that cars sitting unattended for that long would start or run reliably? How long does gas stay good? It seems to me that motor vehicles wouldn’t be the most reliable way of getting around in the post apocalyptic world, at least after some time has passed.

So what’s your transit plan? Hoofing it? Bikes? Horses?

39 thoughts on “Episode 192: Unfinished Business”

  1. While Murphy’s concern about this missing person shows that he cares, I wonder if it can even be completed? Let’s say the missing person is now a zombie or has died of starvation – what will he do then? Even worse, if he’s talking about Sam, I wonder if they’ll even have a clue where to look? 😀

    • That’s the trouble. Good thing he’s got Stewart and Cheryl looking for clues.

  2. Well, from a quick google search I found that fuel stabalizer mixed in will keep the gas good for a little longer but even fresh gas goes bad after a couple months, so I personally would ride a bike/ hoof-it. Unless of course I can find an electric car and manage to put a solar panel array on top of it.
    Or, since I live in a place with a lot of cows(it’s in oregon), I might be able to use a cow for moving around, it wouldn’t be very fast but it would conserve my energy.

    • Cows? at the first sight of a zombie it’ll throw you off and run away!

      horses would have the same problem along with any other animal. I’d take a car until the petrol goes bad then walk. with walking you can climb to the tops of buildings and take shortcuts through houses which you can’t do with any other form of transport.

      • I’ve always liked the idea of animals reacting to zeds. It’d be really cool in a historical zombie story. A western, perhaps.

      • The cow would only be when I’m not in a hurry anywhere. But the minute I spot a zombie, ill ditch the cow and run like a mofo.

    • oh my, I love this cow riding image… and another good point, you could always eat it at some point!

      • Ride slowing down? Time for a steak.

    • I don’t know how well riding cows would work, but I’d love to see you try.

      • I’m sure that in the first season of TWD Rick would have looked way cooler on a cow instead of riding a horse. No kidding.

      • while riding a dairy cow wouldn’t be a good idea. the large beef cows would be good for short distances you don’t plan on rushing to get through in a hurry(cows don’t usually run unless they get scared or hurt I.E. branding or a zombie.).

  3. Hm…I’d say wait for the initial calm-down (about four days) when most people have been turned or are in hiding, then steal a car and get moving with your group. Be sure to raid a deserted fuel station on the way so it can last…or actually pay for it if you’re that type of loser.

    Alternatively, a push-bike is an option, but you won’t get very far. At least a car acts like a mini-house from weaker members of the undead. Course, a bike is quieter and less likely to attract the undead.

    • but the gas will go bad after a couple months.

      • Indeed it will. And cars tires will go flat, and the battery will lose charge, etc.

    • I think a bike would be the way to go so long as you’re somewhere you can maneuver. Packed in tight, you’d be screwed.

      • Parkour training. Get up high and fast quickly.

  4. I think that I would choose bike/hoofin’ it. I feel it’s just more practical generally, it’s not like cars ever seem to protect people in the event of apocolypse Z. So not only do you contend with gases going bad, but becoming the newest version of meals-o-wheels. Or as I explained to my son, “it’s like the book-mobile, only tastier.”

    • Another thought: while the car might protect you in the short term, if you get surrounded and can’t move, you’re just stuck inside, starving to death.

  5. Another person??? I thought that zeb on the gurney was the only one. I think in such small terms! lol

    • Hah. You’re over-thinking it. Who do we know that’s missing right now? And also, kind of out of shape.

    • Oh wait… it’s Sam. hahahahahaha

      • 🙂

  6. I would want to stay in a big vehilce but I know that would only be a short term plan. Eventually I think we would walk until we found a place to make a perminate home.

    I would personally love to keep a horse since they are can carry us and our stuff but the spooked animal thing would suck,

  7. In my experience though, gas is not the problem, the battery is. Sometimes it seems like a battery can die overnight. Not a problem if you have another handy or can go get one, but in the event of zombies…

    In other news, I’ve gone away for school and come back months later to start my car up and take off just fine. On the other hand, it was my father’s before I bought it off him, and he had trouble leaving it alone for more than a couple weeks, so maybe I’ve just got the magic touch.

    • Oh yeah, the battery is another huge liability, especially in older cars.

  8. On getting around after a zombie apocalypse, I reckon a tractor would be a pretty effective mobile weapon. The kind of prime movers they use for hauling heavy cargo sporting a heavy steel bullbar would be ideal.

    Open up the throttle, find a wide open highway, and you’re driving down it going 96 .. 97 .. 98 .. 99 .. The numbers being the numbers of zombies or slow natives! 😀 You’d have to stop occasionally to clean the stuff off the bullbar and for fuel but at least you wouldn’t be worried about it going stale! 😀

    • Tractors would be able to get through a lot of shit, but you’ve got to know how to maintain them. My old man has a smaller John Deere and he’s constantly fixing that thing.

  9. Well Dave id have to say an RV. They can go medium speed, you can carry extra tires and extra batteries, and it is a mini home.

    • I was thinking that at first but they are so hard to manuver you’d get stuck in the traffic of abandoned cars.

    • In the country, and RV would be pretty awesome. The downside is fuel economy, but you’re trading that for storage, and negating the need to have to find shelter all the time.

      Agreed with Angelina that it’d be a huge liability in more urban areas though.

  10. Why not hit the zombified guy with the massive sledgehammer that Lyle is holding?

    • Psychological. They all know the guy. Pulling the trigger would be hard enough, but mashing him up with a hammer, all up close and personal like that? I doubt many people could handle that.

      • Good Answer. 🙂

      • I’m hoping we see how this situation gets resolved on Monday! 😀

        Someone’s got to do it. My guess would be Murphy because, difficult though it was, he did shoot Shannon so she wouldn’t come back! 😀

        If they don’t get this over with, the chances random zombies would find them increases greatly with time! 😀

  11. I still don’t understand where the rest of the group is, or how Murphy will know where to find them…

    • Stewart and Cheryl are right around the corner. Finding Sam is going to be a challenge.

  12. I’m gonna have to go with a horse. If I remember correctly, part of the reason Rick survived in the first episode of TWD is because the Walkers were eating the horse. A pretty sick way to distract Walkers in my opinion.

    • It worked great in the comic too. He started off in a car, but eventually couldn’t find gas anymore. The horse got him into the city and then ended up saving him from the zeds.

  13. Screw cars, I would prefer a decent 4×4 for mobility around my outpost. Get one of a model you can maintain yourself, obviously. Gasoline or diesel fuel only goes off if exposed to air, if you have decent cans you can stockpile fuel for years, and with the right equipment you can even make diesel from other oils.