Welcome to Whedonopolis’ first ever “She Said, He Said” review of The Walking Dead! In this segment, we have combined reviews from two individuals with different positions on what they are reviewing. Let’s begin.
Hi, I’m Kelly. I love The Walking Dead! It’s the first zombie show/movie that I’ve ever been able to watch without getting nightmares. (Although, that one time, I probably have to blame the Ruffles I ate before bed.) I’ve watched every episode from the beginning and am fully invested in the characters.
Hi! I’m Stu, and I… am a skeptic of all things zombies. I just have a hard time feeling the tension of being chased by something with a top speed of 1 mph that lacks the navigational skills of a first-generation Roomba. That said, while I started as quite the skeptic, I was starting to really like The Walking Dead. But, lately, with the Governor’s return and fall, the skeptic has returned.
We’re going to be talking about the episode “Claimed” in this review. But to catch up a little, Stu will give a recap of what has happened since the mid-season premiere.
******** WARNING ******* SPOILERS AHEAD ******* WARNING ********
Carl and Rick pick their way across the wilderness, collecting and eating bags of food at regular intervals.
They stop at a house, Carl eats a gallon of pudding, whines at his Dad for a bit,
and then was humbled by tripping over a couple slow-moving Walkers.
Michonne tracks them down, making her way through the same wilderness, slaying a whole gang of Walkers without trouble, never needing a bite to eat.
Daryl and Beth are off wandering together, and I can only assume both are taking a good hour each day with their wonderfully coiffed hair. Daryl is a little quieter, but just as gruffly lovable as always, Beth is speaking volumes (relatively). Glenn is a badass in search of his true love (The Dread Pirate Roberts would be proud),
and Tyreese, with baby Judith, reunites with the sometimes-homicidal Carol, who arrives just in time to save Judith from the infanticidal, always-crazy Lizzie.
Maggie and the rest are pretty much just wandering around.
The show opened with Walkers trying to reach some balloons stuck on a sign as the truck that Glenn and Tara are riding in with Abraham (heading who knows where), drives home the fact that the world is not right. Those should have been a bunch of kids trying to get the balloons, not a bunch of dead people.
We start off by adding a little bit to the horrifying Walker lore. They, apparently, can be rendered essentially impotent by tying a balloon to a stop sign, and walking away.
Act 1 – Michonne and Carl
Now that Michonne has found Rick and Carl, they seem to be trying to get back to some sense of normalcy, living in an actual house, sleeping in beds, having breakfast at the table. Michonne and Carl’s easy friendship seems almost out of place in this Walker infested world. But when Carl mentions Judith, his mood changes, he withdraws and becomes more aloof to Michonne. When even Michonne being the “’Crazy Cheese’ Walker” couldn’t get a smile out of Carl, she knew exactly what he needed. She shared that she had a child and lost him when “everything” happened. Carl is grieving the loss of a child, his sister, and the shared pain brings them closer together, easing the burden on them both.
Michonne almost gets a bite to eat, but as she fills her spoon, she starts to get Carl to laugh and smile. This being a bit too cheerful for the Walking Dead censors, we are back to the same old angst before Michonne gets the spoon to her mouth. Obviously, with the addition of Michonne to their little band, they’re going to need a lot more food, so Carl goes off with her to search for supplies, taking Rick’s gun, leaving Rick alone with a knife. Always a safe bet to leave at least one person alone with no weapons.
Carl and Michonne have a pleasantly realistic, awkward conversation reminiscing about Michonne’s past. You know, the kind of getting-to-know-you-and-your-dead bonding talk that you have with your favorite big sister stand-in. They both start smiling a little, which means it’s time for a Walking Dead angst smackdown. Remembering your children makes you smile? Let us see what is behind random door number four? DEAD CHILDREN. Sigh. Yes, what a shock… My disappointment was tangible. I was hoping for Crazy Walker Ninja Baby Judith to bust out in full mini-Michonne regalia, with two swords crossed behind her back, an anti-heroic Walker who does backflips, and refuses to eat brains – mainly because she’s already smarter than everyone else. But, no, we just get a family driven suicidal by being locked up with too much pink decor. Oh well. At least we saw Michonne smile, and Carl didn’t whine about it. And the best part was – Michonne finally got something to eat! Turns out all she needs is a shot of Crazy Cheese every 150 miles or so.
Act 2 – Glenn and Abraham
Meanwhile, back at the Humvee, Glenn has just regained consciousness, having passed out after a Walker fight. He is very upset that some strange man is driving him miles away from Maggie. After some convincing, Abraham stops the truck and Glenn and Tara try to head back to where Tara saw the bus, knowing that is where Maggie will look for Glenn. Abraham has other plans. He needs to get one of his companions, Dr. Eugene Porter, to Washington. They had been in regular contact via radio, but Washington hasn’t answered in a few days. (Umm, can you say “Walker food?”) So, he’s taking Dr. Porter to Washington and he needs Glenn & Tara for the fight “to save the world.” Glenn doesn’t care – Maggie is his world.
When Abraham gives him the “When you lose people, you’ve got to let them go and move on” speech, Glenn clocks him one. A brawl ensues, with Tara and Rosita trying to pull the two apart. All their clamoring catches the attention of a herd of Walkers. Too involved in their scuffle to pay attention to Dr. Porter’s attempts, Porter tries to take matters into his own hands, picks up an assault rifle and starts firing. Unfortunately, he mainly hits the truck, filling the gas tank with holes. Without a working vehicle to force Glenn and Tara back into, Abraham and party decide to stick with them, at least until they find a new ride.
Glenn wakes up in the back of a truck roaring down the highway, smashes a window to make them stop, and begins to run off in search of Maggie, clutching his gear. And while I admit Glenn is badass enough not to really need the gear – why does he carry it in his arms everywhere? He’s like Captain America with his shield – someone obviously has failed to explain the proper usage of it to him. He’s faced a several batches of Walkers in the past few episodes, and put on the helmet for a grand total of, maybe, forty seconds.
Oh well, it does make me happy to see Glenn, so I’ll give him the helmet. As you wish, Glenn, as you wish.
Oh, I almost forgot, the people driving the truck really want Glenn to go with them. I guess I would want him on my team too, since Glenn manages to hold off someone with twice his height and muscle in a 15 minute wrestling match. Everyone ends up following Glenn. Could have saved yourself the trouble, Abraham. Nobody and nothing, will ever stop Glenn from finding his Buttercup.
Act 3 – Rick
Back at the safe refuge house, Rick decides it time to take a nap. When we heard men talking, I wasn’t sure, at first, if we were hearing it in Rick’s head or in the house. Unfortunately, it was in the house. Rick realized, quickly, that these men were bad news and hid under the bed. For the first time, we see Rick really and truly scared. So much so that his hands are shaking when the first man comes in to the room and lays down on the bed.
Rick’s fears are validated when another of the men comes into the room and wants to sleep in that bed (the other beds are all too small) and chokes his “friend” to unconsciousness, just as that man sees Rick hiding under the bed. With the 2 men sleeping, Rick is able to sneak out from under the bed and tries to exit the house through a bathroom window. Unfortunately, it’s occupied. (Rule #3 of Zombieland- Beware of bathrooms.) Fortunately, not by a Walker, and with only a little trouble, Rick is able to make the guy into a “Walker-in-Training,” choking him to death with a hairdryer cord. Before climbing out the window, Rick takes the man’s gun with him and pulls the bathroom door open slightly, giving the W-I-T the opportunity to rejoin his comrades.
Safely outside the formerly safe house, Rick sees a bicycle parked out front. He starts to go for it, but one of the men comes out on to the porch, guest star Jeff Kober. This is bad, because Rick knows Carl and Michonne are coming back soon and these men have made it clear they have bad intentions for anyone coming back to the house. When he spots Michonne and Carl walking toward the house, he decides to shoot bad guy Jeff Kober to keep him from seeing them. Before he gets a chance, screams come from inside the house. The W-I-T is a full-fledged Walker now and ready to play with his old friends. When Jeff Kober rushes back into the house, Rick takes the opportunity to run out to Carl and Michonne and direct them back down the street, double time.
Almost forgot Rick. Basically, the children who survived the Lord of the Flies have grown up and busted into Rick’s new home. He couldn’t remember how to use the little lock latches on the windows, so he gets under a bed, shuffling back and forth on his elbows for about 15 minutes, his stared fixed on us, the viewers. But enough is enough, people, so he finally gets up, chokes out a guy on a toilet, takes the gun from Fully-Clothed Toilet Guy. He then remembers how to unlock a window, does a Dukes of Hazard through the window and down the roof. Rick then tiptoes across the lawn to meet up with Carl and Michonne, and they head off in search of less violent pastures.
Finally, we see Rick, Carl, and Michonne walking down the train tracks (much like Carole and Tyreese’s group last week), when they come across a train car with a sign on it. They agree to follow the instructions on the sign. As the camera pulls back, we see the sign says “Sanctuary for all. Community for all. Those Who Arrive, Survive.” Does this mean our group will reunite in Terminus?
Oh, and everybody is heading towards some place called Terminus now. Because if you arrive, you survive. I’m sure that’s going to end well, nice and angst free. With Crazy Walker Ninja Baby Judith keeping them all safe at night.
The Wrap Up
This was a rough episode for Rick. Being wounded and left alone with no weapon, and facing what continues to be the biggest threat to our group, other people. But, it’s good to see Carl and Michonne hanging out together and actually see Michonne smile!
I’m very excited to see the next episodes! We’ll find out more of what is going on with Daryl & Beth and, hopefully, get them back together with the group. Glenn has got to find Maggie! I can’t wait to see what’s the what with Tyreese & Carole and if anyone has noticed the crazy that is Lizzie. And my guess is we’ll be seeing more of Jeff Kober. He is an awesome bad guy!
But, I don’t trust this Terminus place. It sounds too much like “terminate”. The fact that it refers to “the end of the line” for a train doesn’t increase my confidence.
So, should you watch this episode? Well, it’s light on the soul-wearying angst, Glenn is a pretty awesome Westley, Michonne and Carl laugh and smile a bit (which is nice), and while I didn’t find it quite as emotionally riveting as some, watching Andrew Lincoln deal the physicality of selling Rick’s under-the-bed shuffle should be entertaining to any fans of The Phone Booth, and is just neat to watch in general. So yeah, if you liked Season 3, missed a few episodes, don’t sweat it – this one is a good place to jump back in.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9/8c. Watch full episodes at the AMC website and On Demand (check your cable listings), as well as on iTunes, Amazon and Hulu Plus.