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In The Walking Dead, Season 1 Episode 1, when Rick wakes up from the hospital, he is surprised to see his surrounding and "all the hell that got loose", although he had seen and shot a little Zombie Girl at an abandoned Gas station.

  • Was Rick aware of the fact that there is a disease turning humans to Zombie?

                                       OR
    
  • Did he shoot the little girl because she was coming at him?

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    I assumed that first scene with the little girl was a "flash forward" to some point after his recovery from the hospital?
    – Ash
    Nov 11, 2013 at 9:02
  • I do not think it was a flash forward. Because after his recovery he was fighting for survival and that scene is not shown anywhere afterwards. Nov 11, 2013 at 9:47
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    Couple of forums discussing it as a flash forward, with links to scripts: roamersandlurkers.com/topic/1892-very-first-scene, walkingdeadforums.com/forum/f47/opening-scene-740.html
    – Ash
    Nov 11, 2013 at 10:13
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    @Ash: You should make that an answer.
    – unor
    Nov 11, 2013 at 11:25
  • @unor: Hmm, I wasn't sure they counted as definitive references though? (I have no way to verify if the "script" linked is actually legit, for example). Might add it anyway, see what the community thinks :)
    – Ash
    Nov 11, 2013 at 11:49

2 Answers 2

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I found a couple of forums discussing this issue (many more can be found in search results):

Opinion seems positive that it's a "flash forward" scene, where the "return" to that scene (written to be at the end of the episode) was cut before release.

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    It was obviously a dramatic flash forward. Rick was shot on the job while hunting some criminal and fell into a coma for a while. That was definitely before the apocalyptic outbreak when he was still responsible for law and order. He probably shot the zombie girl while he was on the road, looking for his family. Good opener for a zombie survival show. Nov 11, 2013 at 15:15
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I think the scene before the opening credits has caused a bit of confusion, but to answer the question specifically; No. Rick was not aware of the zombie outbreak before he was admitted to hospital. I think its pretty clear from the events after the opening credits that:

Everything was fine

Rick was shot on the job

Passed out and entered into a coma

Admitted to Hospital

Zombie Outbreak

He wakes up

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