Once the first of the Tales of the Walking Dead was told in Sunday’s “Evie/Joe,” a single question loomed large: Did the premiere of the anthology series — the third spinoff of the AMC drama that wraps its 11-season run this fall — leave you eager to return for a second story… and a third… ? Before you answer in the comments section, let’s go over the plot that made a tag team of Terry Crews and Olivia Munn, shall we?
As the episode got underway, we met Joe (Crews), an amiable survivalist who was doing just fine in his bunker a year after the end of the world. That is, he was until his beloved Doberman was killed by walkers. Suddenly lonely, Joe decided to hop on his souped-up motorcycle and take a road trip in hopes of meeting a fellow doomsday prepper with whom he’d been flirtatiously corresponding online prior to the apocalypse.
Long before Joe could reach his destination, he fell prey to booby traps set by Evie (Munn), a hippie type eager to make tracks herself to find out whether there was still a chance that she and estranged husband Steven could make a go of it. Since Joe’s bike was equipped with a kill switch, Evie was forced to make him her involuntary chauffeur, handcuffs and all.
As you’d rather expect, Joe’s initial animosity toward Evie lessened over time. Yes, she annoyed the crap out of him. But she was also sorry when she pried into his business by reading his journal against his wishes, and she was kind enough to throw a blanket over him as they slept in the woods. Finally, after fighting off a group of walkers together, they became less frenemies than friends. (He even let her drive for a change!)
During a pit stop, Joe invited Evie to read his journal for clues as to the exact whereabouts of his mystery woman’s home. Since Evie’s husband was supposedly holed up nearby, she knew the area. Unfortunately, when she had a “By George, I’ve got it!” moment, Joe left the bike unattended just long enough for it to be stolen by a man who left a lamb in its place.
Furious, Joe lashed out at Evie, going so far as to declare himself Team Steve. In turn, she called Joe all the way out. “You were so busy trying to survive the end of the world,” she yelled, “yours never got started!”
Harsh words exchanged, Joe took his leave of Evie, and finally made his way to the home of his mystery woman. “The apocalypse has done you well,” he said upon meeting Sandra face to face. It hadn’t done wonders for her mental health, though. Quicker than you could say “Oh, s—t,” she’d gotten him baked on a pot brownie, painted her face like Baby Jane Hudson and, certain that he wanted to steal her bunker, begun menacing him with a butcher knife.
After Evie got the closure that she needed from Steven — she didn’t find him but a painting that indicated that he hadn’t hated her after all — she and the lamb headed for Sandra’s. Again, the madwoman served up a spiked brownie, but being a connoisseur, Evie wasn’t taken in. So as Sandra went full-on Fatal Attraction running around with a knife, Evie was able to defend herself and free a tied-up Joe just in time for him to hurl a weapon into his would-be girlfriend’s chest.
The morning after, Joe expressed his thanks to Evie for coming back for him — and his regret. She’d been right. He had wasted his life. “So start now,” she challenged him. “You have a person standing right in front of you.” And there were more out there. And if that wasn’t a happy enough ending,
the lamb Skipper didn’t end up going the way of Tabitha the Goat on The Walking Dead.