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How did Rick Survive the Hospital?

This is a discussion on How did Rick Survive the Hospital? within the The Walking Dead Television Series forums, part of the The Walking Dead TV Series category. "Originally Posted by Dillon Michael Ok, here is what I'm going with. At the end of season 1, Jenner whispers ..."

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  1. #11
    Bassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillon Michael View Post
    Ok, here is what I'm going with. At the end of season 1, Jenner whispers something to Rick and Rick goes pale. I'm thinking that based on Shane listening for Rick's heartbeat that he was dead in the hospital. BUT Rick contracted a rare form of the virus in which Rick is dead but still technically a walker. Jenner finding this out from the blood tests
    Wow man. Thats a bit of a stretch. It's possible of course, but I doubt it. If anything, Jenner told Rick about a certain plot point from the comics regarding Lori.

    As for Rick surviving the hospital, I would say it's possible. We know that Morgan says something about it being a month since the dead first walked, but that doesn't mean Rick was there for a whole month by himself. Considering that the military was there protecting the hospital until the last minute, I would say rick was there for a week or less after Shane blocked the door. With a slow iv drip keeping him hydrated, he could make it a few days to a week.
    Last edited by Bassman; 10-11-2011 at 08:47 AM.

  2. #12
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    From a similar post in the episode 1 thread... They don't make it clear in the TV show or the comics, but in episode 5 (Wildfire), Jenner says it is "Day 194 since wildfire was declared and 63 days since the disease abruptly went global". This would be the fourth day since Rick woke up. This means the disease has been spreading for over 6 months and has been an international pandemic for 2 months.

    When he wakes up, Rick seems to have several weeks of beard stubble on his face, and the flowers on the nightstand have been dead for at least a couple of weeks. When he meets Morgan and they go to the police station, Morgan says the gas lines have been shut down for "maybe a month". Since the gas lines are in the same town as the hospital, we can assume the hospital shut down around the same time as the gas. In episode 6 (TS-19), Jenner says he has "been in the dark [meaning he hasn't had communications with anyone else] for almost a month". It is hard to believe the CDC would collapse as quickly as a small-town hospital in Georgia, but that seems to be the case.

    The problem is that none of this tells us anything about how long Rick was comatose, only how long he was comatose AFTER the hospital was overrun - about a month. The stubble on his face proves that, but the hospital (or Lori) could have been shaving him while he was in the coma right up until the hospital went down.

    In the first episode (Days Gone Bye), just before Rick gets shot, he and Shane are chatting about women and relationships. That would lead me to believe the disease is not in the USA yet, as they would be preoccupied with handling the outbreak (they ARE cops, and cops would be the first responders in a zombie crisis), or at least DISCUSSING it.

    So if "wildfire" began outside the US, and only got to the US when it 'abruptly went global', Rick was probably in the coma for at least 2 months - at least one month while the hospital was still operational, and about one month after it was abandoned. If 'wildfire' began in the US, however, Rick has probably been in the coma for about 6 months - 5 months before the hospital shut down, and one month after.

    In any case, we can be sure that he wasn't in the coma for more than a month or so after the hospital was abandoned. Although he WAS hooked up to an IV fluid drip, those bags only last a few hours to a day at most before going dry. Tube feeding would have stopped immediately upon the nurses leaving the hospital.

    It is true that a person can live without food for over 2 months (though they usually lose consciousness after a month or so), and possibly longer if they are in a coma; however, we die very quickly without water. Even in relatively cool weather, going as little as 3 days without fluids can be fatal, and very few people have survived more than a couple of weeks without drinking. I've never heard of anyone living for a month without water, but it might be possible. Anything more than a few weeks to a month and Rick would never have woken up.

    The only other possibility is that Rick was shot AFTER the disease became a global problem, and yet he somehow heard nothing about the outbreak or the zombies until he woke up and found Morgan.

  3. #13
    Bassman's Avatar
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    I realize everyone's facial hair grows at different rates, but I think you're over shooting your estimate regarding Rick's beard. The beard he has in episode one could easily be grown within a couple weeks. Not to mention the beard was growing long before he was abandoned in episode six. Same with the flowers. You can see them wilting and leaning over in the last episode. From where they were in that state, they would be dried out to the point where Rick finds them within a week. Especially without water or nutrients.

    As you say, Jenner's comments on the Wildfire program starting and the "global" outbreak really has no bearing on Rick's timeline.

    You're onto something with his beard and the flowers, but you're taking those hints as if they started after he was abandoned, when they were really growing/dying before Shane blocked the door and left him alone. Which, imo, still points to the fact that he was alone maybe a week.

  4. #14
    Loc's Avatar
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    Good call. Didn't even think about it that.

  5. #15
    Okay here is my theory overall. Im not sure how the comic book is going but I hear the storyline on TV will be different. I think that its possible that the 'virus' creating the walkers was designed to bring the dead back to life(real life) but that it failed and only results in bringing the brainstem back to life. I think that Rick was infected and because of his coma or other reasons when he died or was transitioning to death in the hospital that the virus succeeded and resulted in him coming back to full life. It's possible that since the brain starts to die instantly after death from lack of oxygen that the virus cannot resurrect more than the brain stem but that Rick's coma may have been the proper breeding ground for the virus' to take its proper effect and cure him, e.g. it may have started to cure him before he actually died. The entire process may have taken a long time and when it finally kicked in he awoke in the hospital which I felt had been abandoned for some time. The way Shane and Lori had developed a relationship, the amount of walkers, decay and general surroundings of the hospital made it seem like at least some substantial time had passed since Shane left the hospital and Rick's medical apparatus turned off.

    If this was the case what does it mean? Is he immune to getting bit? Does he have other abilities? Does it simply mean he survived death once and that's it, or he has some biological solutions in his body? Hard to say.

    Do I think the writers of the show will take this route? Probably not. Too much science alas, I think they will stick to more dramatic human interaction.

  6. #16
    Bassman's Avatar
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    I think it's a bit premature to jump to the conclusion that it's a virus. There's been no clear explanation on what's causing the dead to rise. Just Jenner's results on HOW the brain restarts. Not WHY. Remember that he also didn't shoot down the suggestion that it could be the wrath of god.

    At this point, much like Romero's holy trilogy, there is no answer for why things are happening. They just are. Only theories to the cause.

    I definitely don't think it has anything to do with Rick somehow being infected and pulling through with an immunity.

  7. #17
    Jakobi's Avatar
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    David welcome to forums! Loving this thread because these are things that never even crossed my mind!

  8. #18
    Neuropyramidal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Noo View Post
    Okay here is my theory overall. Im not sure how the comic book is going but I hear the storyline on TV will be different. I think that its possible that the 'virus' creating the walkers was designed to bring the dead back to life(real life) but that it failed and only results in bringing the brainstem back to life. I think that Rick was infected and because of his coma or other reasons when he died or was transitioning to death in the hospital that the virus succeeded and resulted in him coming back to full life. It's possible that since the brain starts to die instantly after death from lack of oxygen that the virus cannot resurrect more than the brain stem but that Rick's coma may have been the proper breeding ground for the virus' to take its proper effect and cure him, e.g. it may have started to cure him before he actually died. The entire process may have taken a long time and when it finally kicked in he awoke in the hospital which I felt had been abandoned for some time. The way Shane and Lori had developed a relationship, the amount of walkers, decay and general surroundings of the hospital made it seem like at least some substantial time had passed since Shane left the hospital and Rick's medical apparatus turned off.

    If this was the case what does it mean? Is he immune to getting bit? Does he have other abilities? Does it simply mean he survived death once and that's it, or he has some biological solutions in his body? Hard to say.

    Do I think the writers of the show will take this route? Probably not. Too much science alas, I think they will stick to more dramatic human interaction.
    Oh, David Noo... I always enjoy your posts.

  9. #19
    Guys... What Jenner whispered to rick at the end of season 1 was that they all have the virus. Rick said so at the end of season 2. But I'm just assuming he was still receiving his IV fluids until the power went out & then woke up a little while after that, so wasn't completely with out nutrients & water the entire time. & I'm sure Shane didn't hear a heartbeat bc being in a coma would probably make it pretty slow & I'm sure Shane's was beating out of his chest at the time he checked, not to mention the gun fire going on in the background. It seems like it was 3 to 4 weeks that he was in a coma as well.

  10. #20

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    He might have had a zombie nurse looking after him, anything possible its television.

    He might have come back to screw Lori one more time since everybody else was getting a piece of the action.


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