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- "These people all look to me now. I don't even know why."
- —Guillermo to Rick regarding his leadership and the members of his group.[src]
The Vatos Gang is a fairly large group of Hispanic/Latino survivors. They consist of gang members and civilians, such as nurses, elderly people and sick patients. They first appeared in Season 1's episode, "Vatos".
Hardly anything is known about the gang's life prior to the outbreak. All that is known is they were located in Atlanta, Georgia. When the outbreak began, the gang, along with Mr. Gilbert and Abuela, were barricaded in a nursing home.
Glenn and Daryl climb down the ladder to the alley, and Glenn drops his backpack while Daryl stays behind to cover him. On the street, Glenn runs towards the tank. Walkers are waking up all around him, but he grabs the bag — and Rick's hat — without much trouble and heads back toward Daryl. In the alley, a teenager, Miguel, approaches Daryl, who trains his crossbow on the teen, interrogating him about his brother Merle. Miguel screams, "Help me!" in Spanish despite Daryl's warnings.
Rick and T-Dog, hearing Miguel's screams, also head for the alley. Daryl is jumped by two men, Jorge and Felipe, who have also come for the guns — which Glenn has just arrived to the alley with. He turns to run the other way but the men grab and start beating him, taking the bag of guns. Daryl fires an arrow into Felipe's butt, and he yells in pain as he drops the bag. But he and Jorge instead grab Glenn, throw him in a getaway car while fighting off walkers, and drive off — leaving Miguel and the guns behind. Daryl shuts the gate in the alley to keep out the walkers before turning on the teenager. Rick and T-Dog arrive just in time to pull Daryl off Miguel as Daryl explains that his friends took Glenn. Taking Miguel with them, Rick grabs the bag of guns, and his hat, and they head back up the ladder to the roof. Back inside the abandoned office building, Rick's looking for answers while a confused T-Dog wonders what they've gotten themselves into. Daryl's still seething over Glenn's kidnapping and getting jumped by Miguel's men. Miguel points out he jumped him first, demanding to know what he did with his brother. He further insults him by saying, "Merle? What kind of a hick name is that? I wouldn't name my dog Merle." Daryl threatens Miguel by throwing Merle's severed hand in his lap, letting him think that's what happened to the last guy who crossed him. Miguel cowers and Rick throws Daryl off him. He just wants to know where to find Glenn, and manages to convince Miguel to take them there.
Miguel leads Rick, Daryl and T-Dog to an abandoned factory, where the leader of the group, Guillermo, emerges. Rick proposes trading Miguel for Glenn, but has no interest in giving up his bag of guns. With T-Dog aiming a sniper's bullet at his head from a nearby rooftop, Guillermo demands the bag of guns, threatening to kill Glenn if they don't hand it over. "I see two options," says Guillermo, as his men emerge carrying weapons. They shove Glenn on the edge of a rooftop, his mouth covered with tape and his hands tied behind his back. "You come back with Miguel and my bag of guns, everybody walks. Or you come back locked and loaded. We'll see which side spills more blood."
Rick and the group retreat to a nearby foreman's office, where Daryl argues that the guns are more valuable than Glenn — but Rick insists he owes more than that to him. "What life I have I owe to him," he says, loading his shotgun while he recalls what Glenn did for him when he was stuck inside the tank. Rick knows how dangerous the mission could be, that he might get killed when he goes back to the factory, and tells Daryl and T-Dog to head back to the campsite. But they won't let him go alone and wouldn't know what to tell his family, so they too load their guns and grab Miguel. Rick escorts him into the warehouse carrying the guns on his back. Rick cuts Miguel loose and demands Guillermo hand over Glenn. Guillermo tells Rick that he's going to chop up Glenn and feed him to his three vicious man-eating dogs. "You said come locked and loaded," Rick says. "We're here." Guillermo's men raise their guns in response.
An old woman wearing a nightgown, Abuela (Felipe's grandmother), shuffles into the middle of the stand-off, asking Felipe for help with "Mr. Gilbert." She notices Rick's uniform and begs him not to take Felipe away, saying he's turned his life around and they need him here. Rick tells the old woman that Felipe is helping him find a missing person. "The Asian boy? He's with Mr. Gilbert," she says, taking Rick's hand.
Abuela leads Rick into a nursing home auditorium, where several elderly people (and Glenn) are grouped around an asthmatic man. Felipe helps the man with an inhaler. Guillermo's "three vicious dogs" are teacup-sized chihuahuas, and they yap at the group as the survivors realize what's really going on.
Rick pulls Guillermo aside and tells him, "You're the dumbest son of a bitch I ever met. We came in here ready to kill every last one of you." Guillermo explains he was only trying to protect the food and medicine for the residents. The staff abandoned the patients, Guillermo explains, leaving only himself (the building custodian) and Felipe (a nurse) behind. People will trickle in to check on their grandparents, and suddenly he's the leader of a group of young men, women, and the elderly. Guillermo wonders why the people look to him for leadership. "Because they can," Rick says with tears in his eyes, handing him some of his guns and ammunition.
Rick, Glenn, T-Dog, and Daryl walk back to the cube van, and Glenn jokes, "Admit it. You only came back to Atlanta for the hat." Rick smiles. "Don't tell anybody," he says. They find the van missing. "Merle," Rick says. "He's going to be taking some vengeance back to camp," Daryl predicts, and they take off running for the hills with no other cars in sight.
Non-Canon: Originally, this episode was supposed to feature the return of the Vatos. After the CDC explodes, Rick's group was going to head to the Vatos shelter as a place to rest. Upon arrival, they would have found it overrun by walkers, although many of the inhabitants had gunshot wounds to the head of unknown origin. The group would then kill some of the walkers, before taking back the guns they gave them, and continuing on to Fort Benning. The sequence was cut but some of the scenes can be seen in the Season 2 Trailer, their current fate is unknown.
- Guillermo (Leader)
- Mr. Gilbert
- At least 15 Vatos gang members
- At least 16 elderly patients and nurses
This list shows the victims the Vatos gang have killed:
- Numerous counts of zombies.
- "What Lies Ahead" (Corpse)
- "Vatos" is a Spanish term for "Dudes".
- A couple of the extras who portray members of the Vatos gang and nursing home reappear in future episodes as different characters: