Six different stories. One dead world. Tales of the Walking Dead is AMC's episodic anthology series from The Walking Dead Universe, consisting of six original one-hour standalone episodes focused on new and established characters within the walker apocalypse. Each episode has its own distinct tone and point of view — but the stakes are high in each story, pushing new, indelible characters with relentless, life-threatening choices and situations. We get to see the apocalypse through different eyes, discovering more worlds, mythos, and mysteries of the Walking Dead. Directed by Ron Underwood and written by Ben Sokolowski and Maya Goldsmith, Season 1 Episode 1 is Evie/Joe's story.
Read ComicBook's exclusive "Evie/Joe" postmortem with Terry Crews, who makes his Walking Dead debut in the new anthology series.
A Fateful Trip
Day 402 of the apocalypse. It's October 2011. 13 months have passed "Since the Whole World Blew the Game." Inside a basement bunker, former Ohio State Buckeyes football player Joe (Terry Crews) relives his glory days with 30-year-old VHS tapes. Between pumping weights and playing games of Soduku to keep the old noggin' sharp, Joe calls decades-old plays with his best friend: a Doberman dog named Gilligan.
Joe takes man's best — and only — friend outside to relieve himself. A small pack of flesh-eating walkers shambles out of the woods, but Joe is prepared. He springs a trap and goes on defense. A biter breaches the D-Line and sinks its teeth into Gillie.prevnext
After burying his dog, Joe digs out books of printed-out instant messenger chat logs with the username "USHLDBSCRD." Joe, writing under the handle "DOTTHEEYE," confided in his online pen pal: "Being forced to see a therapist. My sister thinks I'm too depressed." Her husband, Tom, died a month before Joe and USHLDBSCRD connected online.
"You got me," Joe wrote back. "Digitally, at least."
She responded: "You're the only one who gets me. Let's meet IRL."
Meet in real life? "I feel insane," Joe answered. "But meeting?"
"Are you afraid?"
Joe never replied. He curses himself a coward.
Recalling details from their chats, Joe pieces together a map. USHLDBSCRD was surrounded by Wolverine fans and factory boys, putting her somewhere near Flint, Michigan. Donning a bulletproof vest and his OSU helmet, Joe revs up his modded motorcycle. "You made it. And everybody else didn't. The hell you doing?"prevnext
Your Next Life
Joe goes road tripping, riding past an outside world gone "bye": junk and abandoned vehicles litter the roads. "Could have gone underground," Joe mutters to himself.
His bike tire punctured by a spike strip, Joe wanders into the woods – and springs a trap, catching himself in a net. Before a walker can tear into Joe, a woman sneaks up behind it and stabs it through the brain.
"May your next life be blessed," says hippie Evie (Olivia Munn). Joe is "ringing a dinner bell for the Toe-Tags," she scolds, offering to cut him loose if he handcuffs himself. "Cuffed and sheltered, or human piñata."prevnext
Inside, Evie tells Joe he answered her prayers. Her place is end-times ready: a greenhouse on a grey water system with lots of organic vegetables and weed plants. ("It's one of my hobbies," Evie explains.)
The only thing stopping Evie from taking off with Joe's bike is a killswitch of his own making. As her "involuntary chauffeur," the tied-up Joe is going to take Evie "wherever I need to go," she tells him at gunpoint.
Joe asks Evie why she wants to leave somewhere she can survive and head out there. "Why did you leave your place?" she counters, figuring him for a prepper.
"Which is why I'm still here kicking, and most everyone else isn't," Joe responds, matter-of-factly. "No one believed this could happen. No one ever thinks bad things will happen. But I was prepared. And I made sure I stayed far enough away so nobody who wasn't, couldn't come crying to me."
Evie puts a crystal necklace around Joe's neck in the hopes it dispels some of his bad vibes. Negative energy draws negative energy. Joe scoffs at Evie's "new age hippie bullshit."
The next day, the two preppers prepare to hit the road, Evie riding shotgun on Joe's bike as they travel through Hamilton, Ohio, to Dayton, to Springfield.prevnext
Puppies and Poetry
On the road, Joe sings along to Charley Pride's "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'." Evie tries to duet, but Joe sings solo.
During a pitstop, Evie goes through Joe's belongings. "Very prepared. You want me to trust you. People only carry important stuff now," she says, thumbing through his encyclopedia-sized chat log.
Evie reads from Joe's IMs to USHLDBSCRD. "'We see eye-to-eye on so much. We don't think the world is going to shit. We're not crazy. We're just prepared because we're survivors. I wish we lived closer. But hope is a thing with feathers.'"
"Puppies and poetry. Who are you?" she asks.
"None of your business." If his hands weren't cuffed, he might just rip the records from her hands.
"If it makes you feel any better," she says, "I'm on the road for love, too. In a way."
Joe rolls over and goes to sleep. Evie covers him with a blanket.prevnext
Some Things Are Still Nice
Evie and Joe road trip through the Buckeye State, traveling across Lima and into Bowling Green. They slow down just long enough to marvel at a sunset.
"Just when I think there's nothing left," she says of the pink and orange sky, "the world reminds me there's still magic."
Joe scoffs. "There's no magic. You're holding a glock on me and we just saw two dead people stumbling around with maggots on their faces." He softens. "I'm sorry. Some things are still nice."
That night, a makeshift alarm around their campfire alerts Evie and Joe to a pack of walkers. Joe urges her to uncuff him. Back to back, they're ready.
Swinging a hammer, Joe takes out a walker with a gaping hole where its heart should be. Evie flip kicks into action, fending off walkers with her skills in the Brazilian martial art capoeira.
"Someone took his heart out!" Joe, blood pumping, utters in awe.
"I hope it happened after they turned," Evie says among scattered bodies. "May your next lives be blessed."
Evie hands over the handcuffs key. Joe hands over the bike key.prevnext
On the road, Evie and Joe duet together, belting out "Kiss an angel good mornin'..." as they ride through Ann Arbor, Michigan, on through Flint.
Evie reveals they're heading for Mount Pleasant, Michigan, not far from where Joe expects to find USHLDBSCRD.
"The fact that we came into each other's lives, that's the universe showing us more magic," Evie tells him.
"The universe. You really think the universe gives a shit about us? Why do you waste your time on that crap? You've got great survivor skills, and you are an equipped woman prepared to handle this shit."
"The universe made me into this. I didn't have it together before. Everybody around me — family, friends, my husband — all of them, in their own way, told me that I was lost."
Evie and her husband, Steven, separated just before the outbreak. They met at an inner discovery retreat and came away with each other.
"But he also came away with something that helped him get rid of his energy vampires, a way to flush out his demons with pastels and brushstrokes," Evie says. "Hate painting."
"I loved him, I think. So if he put me on a canvas, then that would kind of hurt."
"You think he painted you?"
Evie and her husband parted under bad terms. He moved to his family's cabin in Mount Pleasant, but Evie is unsure whether she'll find him there more than a year later.
"I've got to give it a try, right? I've been waiting for a miracle to take me there. And then you came."
Joe hands over his chat log, trusting her enough to help him track down USHLDBSCRD.prevnext
The next day, Evie uncovers a clue to USHLDBSCRD's location: a gluten-free donuts shop that's not far.
"This is the most time I've spent with anyone in years," Joe admits. "I mean, other than Gilligan."
"It's been… nice," Evie replies. "Not how it started, but now."
They spot a lamb tied to a brick with the message: "Thanks for the bike!" Joe gives chase, firing the glock — click click. Empty. They'll make the rest of the journey on foot.
Joe blames Evie for the grand theft auto. "I should have ditched you before! You and your delusional mission."
"What does that mean?"
"You are risking your life to see a goddamn asshole and his painting! Maybe you really do believe he knew you better than you knew yourself. And if that's true, and he painted you, then maybe he was right about you," Joe yells. "You're too naive. You want to know my opinion? I'm on Team Steve here."
Tears in her eyes, she spits back, "What the hell do you understand about relationships, anyways? You want to be a truth teller, then be honest with yourself. We both know that even if you thought the gun was loaded, there were a lot of opportunities for you to get away. But you didn't want to because you're LONELY, Joe!"
"Keep telling yourself that."
"You're the pathetic one! The world may be toast, but at least I have happy memories to keep me going. What the f— do you have? Rations? A septic system? You were so busy trying to survive the end of the world, yours never got started."
Quietly, his only retort is: "F— you."
He ditches the empty gun and walks off. Watching Joe leave, Evie tells him, "May your next life be blessed."prevnext
You Should Be Scared
Joe walks on alone, map in hand, finally coming across the house he recognizes in photos sent by USHLDBSCRD. As walkers close in, he yells into a still-working security camera: "It's me! DOTTHEEYE! You know me! I came to see if you're okay! I lost everything to get here!"
A hatch opens, allowing Joe to jump into the bunker to safety. He hurts his leg dropping in.
In the bunker, Joe finds USHLDBSCRD. IRL, her name is Sandra (Kersti Bryan).
"You never know what you might find in person. But the apocalypse has done you well," Joe tells her.
She laughs. She helps the injured Joe inside.
Elswhere, Evie comes across Steven's cabin. Decorating its walls are his paintings. She thumbs through a stack of unflattering faces. Hated. Hated. Hated. Definitely hated. Finally, she sees it — a portrait of herself. It's flattering, but not.
"I hope you made it."
In Sandra's bunker, she feeds Joe a brownie. "I knew you were a survivor. That you'd make it. I didn't think you'd actually look for me. Not in a million years."
Joe confesses, "I was alone, and I got to thinking. It's hard to find people you connect with."
Suddenly, the room starts to spin. His vision goes blurry. This is some strong stuff. Everything is hazy.
"I wish I had met you when you still were who you actually were," Sandra says through the distortion. "We could have been happy."
As his vision comes into focus, Joe sees the unhinged Sandra's face painted like a clown in war paint. Ranting, she accuses Joe of tracking her down to steal her bunker and slashes at him with her blade.
After 13 months, "People would find me here. They'd bang on my door. They'd plead. So I started listening to the music. Music saved me. And then he got in… do you think he was friendly, neighborly? Hell no. Do you think he would kill me and steal all that I had built? Hell yes. I didn't have a choice… he had a nice watch, so I kept it…" The memento rests in a graveyard of watches.
"I still hear the screams. I already hear yours."prevnext
Sandra slices at Joe, hitting his crystal necklace. Joe fights her off and escapes into the bunker tunnels, but he's too wounded and too drugged to get far. Before Sandra can finish off her prey, Evie triggers her outdoor alarm. Accusing Joe of trying to snake her out and steal her bunker, Sandra takes Joe prisoner and invites Evie inside.
Sandra feeds Evie a brownie but denies ever meeting Joe.
"You know, it's shady to give someone an edible without telling them," Evie tells Sandra. "I'm a connoisseur, and you've been lying this whole time." Capoeira-kicking Sandra's ass, Evie frees Joe, who impales USHLDBSCRD with her own blade. Evie and Joe escape together, leaving a reanimated Sandra in her bunker.
The next day, Evie wakes up on a bridge alone. She calls out for Joe and is relieved when he walks in.
"Mother nature" called. "Why'd you think I left?"
"Maybe you remembered you're a loner. Maybe… I don't know."
"I never thanked you for coming back."
"You don't have to."
He thanks her, anyway. They hug.
"Stupid! My life… it never got started. I had something precious, and I did everything to make sure no one could touch it," Joe says, angry at himself. "I made it worthless that way, Evie! The hell did I do?"
"So start now. It's not over. You have a person standing right in front of you! Maybe there's more out there, too! Look around. You are a part of this screwed-up, beautiful place!"
"Beautiful?" Joe asks.
"Well, not here," Evie explains, surrounded by the dead. "Out there."
As Evie and Joe walk off together, he asks if the lamb has a name. "Any ideas?" In memory of Gilligan, he suggests Skipper. Life starts now.
New episodes of Tales of the Walking Dead premiere Sundays on AMC.prev