Running From The Walking Dead Pt. 2 – Increase tension, finish the story arc

Last week, I talked about how I’d introduce a character into AMC’s The Walking Dead. Now that we’ve established Andrew as a capable secondary character and set up a conflict with Glenn, it’s time to dial it up and explore that conflict a bit further.

Glenn has already been established as self-doubting and indecisive, so we’re going to play on those insecurities with Andrew. At some point early in the season, after Andrew takes the group to his safehouse, he leaves again to scavenge. Glenn and Maggie go along, since that’s their primary role as well, despite Andrew’s reservations about their ability to keep up. The three drive from the safehouse to the edge of the city and proceed in on foot. They gather some supplies, but what they really want (let’s say pharmaceuticals) are in a building across a street and parking lot overrun with walkers. Glenn and Maggie sigh and give up but Andrew stops them with a “where are you going” statement. The two men argue for a moment before Andrew tells them to wait by the truck and starts jogging toward the building. The walkers start to notice and advance, but he easily evades or dispatches them and gets into the building without much effort.

Maggie and Glenn pull the truck to just within site of the building, waiting anxiously. They’re just about to give up and leave when Andrew bursts out of the building, several walkers in tow. He continues to dodge and evade as the rest join in the chase, finally reaching the truck and jumping into the bed as Glenn speeds off. At this point we can break the scene and switch to a different story thread.

The next time we see them, Andrew is in the cab of the truck as they drive back to the prison, with Maggie seated between him and Glenn. Maggie and Andrew are having an excited conversation while Glenn drives, saying little, looking apprehensive and jealous. Maggie is extremely impressed with Andrew’s abilities, and we learn that he used to teach Parkour in Colorado or Seattle or maybe someplace in Canada. If we want to we can use this opportunity to talk about safety, or parkour vision, anything that might be mysterious to the audience. He was in Atlanta visiting friends when the outbreak hit, and still doesn’t know if his family survived. So now not only is he better at scavenging and better looking than Glenn, but we also have a sympathetic angle to humanize him a bit.

We see different aspects of this for several episodes: Andrew is always confident, always calm and casual, as if nothing can stop him or bring him down. He and Maggie start interacting more and, even though Maggie is still romantically linked to Glenn and shows it, he gets more and more jealous and pissed off. About halfway through the season (maybe episode 5 or 6), he finally confronts Maggie about his feelings, at which point she points drops a bomb on Glenn by pointing out that Andrew is gay.

Now, Glenn has never really interacted with a gay man before, so he instantly becomes twice as uncomfortable around Andrew, even though Andrew doesn’t treat him any differently. When Glenn asks him he confirms it, but he doesn’t flirt with Glenn or do anything to act stereotypically gay, he just is. We get one or two episodes of Glenn avoiding Andrew and being generally squirmy before Andrew finally confronts him, and we get some kind of dialog/chewing out, wherein Andrew tries to explain that it’s no different than working with Lori or Andrea, and that Glenn needs to grow the hell up or he’s going to get them both killed.

Eventually (around episode 9 maybe), Glenn does come around when, on another scavenging mission, the two of them are swarmed and cornered. Andrew tells Glenn to hide and starts making a lot of noise, drawing the walkers away from him. He shouts back for Glenn to go without him, he’ll be fine. He waits until Andrew’s drawn the walkers away, but can’t abandon Andrew. He follows and sees that Andrew’s trapped on top of a truck. He scrambles onto the roof of a nearby building and finds something – a length of rope, a curtain, or something – tosses one end over the side, wraps the other end around himself and braces his legs against the edge of the building. Andrew leaps and grabs the rope, and climbs while Glenn pulls him up.

No words of apology or anything are exchanged between Andrew and Glenn, but they’re now much more tightly bonded. We see that Glenn grow up a bit, and we see that Andrew isn’t invulnerable, and can bite off more than he can chew.

At this point, the story arc is finished, and we have to decide what to do with the Andrew character. There are a few different ways we could go with this:

  • If we want to get rid of him for a while (or for good), we don’t have Glenn go after him when he lures the walkers away. He’d probably try, but more walkers would come out of the woodwork and cut him off. He’d have no choice but to run the other direction and escape. He’ll probably look back full of regret, but have no choice but to leave him behind. Andrew’s fate will be a mystery (much like Mearl’s), and he could pop up again later, possibly in a different form.
  • If we like Andrew and want to keep him around, He and Glenn (and possibly Maggie) become a scavenging unit. Andrew starts training them in parkour, and the three of them would be more organized, more coordinated, more effective at retrieving supplies, allowing the rest of the group to get away, rescuing other survivors, etc…

That’s it for now. I think this is a pretty decent attempt to write a traceur into The Walking Dead. What do you think? And AMC if you’re reading, I am available for writing and/or stunt duties.