83. “I Delivered Pizza…Why?”
Episode 104 “Vatos”
Original Airdate: 11/21/2010
Submitted By: Charlotte Anne
Many viewers who miss Glenn and his refreshing naivety will probably remember that moment fondly. It was a short, humorous scene but it had much to say about both Glenn and Daryl. As they are about to set out on a mission to retrieve Rick’s bag of guns from the walkers-filled streets of Atlanta, Glenn suggests a plan. Using a map drawn on the ground, he effortlessly comes up with a very clear and well-thought out strategy, prompting Daryl to ask: “Dude, what did you do before all this?” Which Glenn answers with: “I delivered pizza… Why?”
Chances are that you probably already loved Glenn at this point. He had been introduced as a fundamentally good character, helping Rick get out of a bad situation out of sheer altruism. The “Why?” shows that, in addition to being nice and capable, Glenn is also humble. He doesn’t really realize that Daryl is indirectly paying him a compliment. This humbleness and naivety is a recurring feature of Glenn in the early seasons, and the same “Why?” is used with a similar comical effect in the pharmacy scene with Maggie.
Many viewers have also pointed out how important Glenn’s character was as a non-stereotypical Asian character – something that remains far too rare on television. By revealing Glenn’s abilities in planning and strategy, this short scene also signals to the viewers that Glenn is not going to be the usual “sidekick” Asian character, or the “geeky” guy who has lots of theoretical knowledge but struggles in the real, physical world. Glenn can be more than that, and can definitely hold his own when it comes to dealing with practical issues or even action scenes and physical fights.
More generally, this scene is really cool because it highlights the way the apocalypse can reveal qualities in people that were underused in their previous, pre-apocalypse lives. Of course, one could point out that being an efficient pizza delivery boy probably does actually require some strategic thinking – picking the fastest road, adapting to changing circumstances like traffic jams and reacting quickly. What makes Glenn’s answer funny is that we don’t usually tend to associate pizza delivery with the military-type strategic thinking he displays here.
Finally, although this scene is primarily about Glenn, it is also a very important scene for Daryl. His surprise at hearing Glenn’s answer could be seen as foreshadowing Daryl’s own future development: Daryl is another, even more striking example of someone who had a low social status by the standards of pre-apocalypse society, and who turned out to be extremely capable once the world went to hell. It is also, of course, one of the first indications that Daryl is not Merle: he may have been raised in a racist, “white trash” kind of environment, but he can immediately recognize Glenn’s abilities and his value to the group. This lays the ground for two important scenes. The first is Daryl’s appreciative (but still racist) comment to Glenn about his bravery in a scene that immediately follows (Daryl: “You’ve got some balls for a Chinaman!”, Glenn: “I’m Korean!”, Daryl: “Whatever!”). The second is Daryl’s big “declaration of independence” moment with Merle in season 3: the same dialogue is used, but this time, Daryl is the one insisting that Glenn is Korean, not Chinese. Merle’s own baffled “Whatever!” is funny but also expresses Merle’s pain and incomprehension at finding his brother a changed person.