Remember the days of The Walking Dead season one, when Rick Grimes and company were more focused on survival rather than rebuilding civilisation?
We had Shane, Lori, Andrea, and Dale. Glenn was still alive.
Back in episode 4, the group came upon a gang hiding out at a nursing home in Atlanta, protecting their own family. Rick left behind guns and ammo for them, before leaving.
But what became of the Vatos?
A deleted scene from the season two premiere (available on DVD), which has in the past few days been circulating social media, sees Rick’s group returning. However, a tragic and grisly fate awaited the community.
Yes, they’re all dead.
The nursing home got overrun by walkers, but investigating further, Rick’s group discovers that the gang were actually killed by human pillagers.
And here’s another tidbit you may not have known: the season two premiere ‘What Lies Ahead’ was actually two episodes combined – which explains some of the cut material they had.
There was originally meant to be another episode which preceded ‘What Lies Ahead’, connecting seasons one and two together (hence Rick’s group returning to the Vatos gang).
Following the CDC being blown up in the season one finale, Shane accidentally got left behind and had to catch up with the others on foot while contending with a horde of walkers.
Rick decides to return to the Vatos gang (seen above), only to find that they’re all dead – and then the group begins their journey to Fort Benning.
That’s when, of course, the Sophia stuff goes down near the highway – which ended up being used in the final version of ‘What Lies Ahead’, the extended episode which would go on to air on TV.
It’s unclear why AMC and the producers decided to make significant changes to the episodes, but Robert Kirkman and Glen Mazzara said at the time that there was interest in driving the story at a quicker pace.
Also, because the Vatos’ fate never aired, we never got confirmation on who killed the gang. Could it have been the first tease of the Governor?
Maybe we’ll never know.