Archive for November, 2013

After battling the walkers in the pit, the Governor is rescued by Martinez and his new group. Pulling him and Megan out of the pit, Martinez makes it clear that the Governor is not in charge and must pull his weight in order to stay with the new group. As the Governor and the girls settle into the new camp, Megan continues to ask questions about the state of their lives. He comforts her by stating that she is a good girl but never responds to her question about whether he is a good man.

the-walking-dead-saison-4-season-4-episodeThe Governor agrees to go with Martinez and a couple of his men on a supply run while Lily and Tara begin to take their roles helping the camp with first aid. On the trip, the group discovers a pattern of bodies leading them to a house that are slaughtered and labeled with their sins. Inside, they battle a group of walkers in the basement, including some of the decapitated heads. In the cabin that night, Martinez states that he only saved the Governor from the pit because he was with the girls but also acknowledges that he can sense a change. Questioning the story behind the bodies, the Governor becomes a focus of the men, seeking to find out who he is. Pete and Mitch talk about their former lives as military men.

The next day, they return to camp and the girls talk about their appreciation for the new camp. Martinez stops by the Governor’s new camper with golf clubs and tells him that Shumpert died before they found him in the pit. Shumpert had seemed to be unable to handle things after Woodbury and just gave up. While Martinez is busy talking about life in the camp and possibly sharing the trouble, the Governor slams him with a golf club and drags him to the walker pit. Martinez fights back but ends up getting pulled in while the Governor just watches him get eaten.

That evening, Lily returns to the campers and finds the Governor shivering about something, but he says that he cannot remember what was affecting him. The group reconvenes the next morning and announces that Martinez was found dead in the pit. The group is startled and struggling with the news, but they decide to have a vote about who should lead moving forward. The Governor follows Pete and Mitch on another run and find another camp in the woods. Pete struggles with the idea of attacking the camp and leads the two men in a different direction. Only finding limited supplies, Mitch gets seriously upset with their lack of success. They come back on the camp in the woods to find the group gunned down and the supplies pillaged. Mitch dispatches the last man who is barely breathing on the ground and appears to be seriously done with Pete’s inability to act.

After returning to the camp, the Governor frantically returns to the camper and tells Lily and Megan to get packed and ready to leave. Concerned that another disaster is about to strike the camp, he gets the girls in a car and takes them back on the road. They pull up on a herd of walkers stuck in the mud, attempting to pull themselves out. Standing in front of the walkers, the Governor just looks back at the girls and ends up taking them back to the camp. Lily wakes up to see the Governor strapping on his gun belt just before he leaves to go talk to Pete. When he walks into the camper, he stabs Pete and kills him. He immediately leaves and goes to Mitch’s trailer and holds him up at gunpoint. After telling Mitch that Pete is dead, he explains that he was on Mitch’s side with needing to take the camp in the woods. Offering him a cigarette, he tells a story about his brother taking responsibility for stealing cigarettes when they were kids. The Governor offers Mitch a new perspective on moving forward together. They dump Pete in a nearby lake and make up a story to tell the rest of the camp.

The Governor begins to take command of the group as he gives them new orders to secure the space and manage their supply runs. With Mitch quietly supporting him, the group seems to be taking his orders. Lily pleads with the Governor that they need to be happy with the camp being their new home. She explains that they can support each other but the conversation is broken up when Megan gets attacked by a walker. Tara tries to save her but the Governor steps in at just the right moment to shoot the walker in the head. Taking some time to himself and standing on the edge of the pier, he watches the zombified Pete struggling to resurface. Afterwards, he takes a truck by himself to the outskirts of the prison and contemplates coming out of the bushes to shoot Rick and Carl, who are tending to their garden. Deciding to walk away, he finds Hershel and Michonne and points his gun at the pair.

Reaction: The Governor is back! While the previous episode was a bit of an emo trip for our favorite villain, this episode was a resurgence of everything that used to be the Woodbury version of himself. While he went along with Martinez and the military guys to start his time with the camp and seemed to be confirming his new family’s comfort in their new home, the Governor was doomed to try and shed his past self. He used his identity as Brian to fool himself to becoming a better person. It is unclear if his protection of the family is guiding him to make the gruesome decisions to take on a leadership position again or if the family is an excuse to fool himself into his decisions. It is certainly clear that reuniting with Martinez and a new crew of people sparked the obsession with getting vengeance on Rick and the prison for their continued survival.

The-Walking-Dead-4x07-590x331Martinez met his end in this episode all because he allowed the Governor to join his new group. Though Martinez was witness to the Governor’s gruesome and chaotic ways, he was somehow comforted by the way he defended himself and Megan in the pit. There seemed to be an understanding about their personalities and allowed them both to initially trust each other, but only Martinez seemed to let himself continue to trust in the Governor’s intentions. Feeling the pressure of keeping the group safe and functional, he first acknowledged that he thought he saw the change in the Governor’s personality and then opened up about his trust in the Governor’s leadership. This was all in vain since the Governor really had his own background plans to build up his army and take on the prison again. In essence, he allowed himself to show weakness and it was exploited.

For newcomers Pete and Mitch, the brothers represented two ends of the survival spectrum. While Pete wanted to survive without confronting other human survivors and stealing from them, Mitch seemed comfortable with just killing them and taking their stuff. It was never explained what took out the camp in the woods, but the result seemed to suggest that Pete was not long for this world with the Governor still alive. Pete was a threat to the Governor because he would not be willing to follow the murderous rampage that the Governor planned to enact, while Mitch was definitely a legitimate follower with knowledge of working the tank in their camp. Martinez had been like Mitch back at Woodbury, but leadership changed him into more of a sensible, conscientious person. Mitch could be the strong link for the Governor to truly lead the attack on the prison.

With the episode ending with the Governor holding his gun at Michonne and Hershel through the trees, it is clear that trouble is coming for Rick’s group and not everyone is going to survive.

In Memoriam: Pete, Martinez, Shumpert (not aired/prior to Martinez finding the Governor), rival campers, strange secluded family walkers

Washington has been a emotional mess this season. It was thought that the Skins failed to play well against Philly in week 1 because no one had seen the offense of Chip Kelly. That was not the case apparently, as Washington just did not really have an answer for a Philly team that has been less than impressive in several weeks on defense and seemed to have been found out quickly with their offense.

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia EaglesThe game started the way so many have for Washington this season, but with one key difference. The offense actually was able to move down the field. The running game seemed like it was poised to eat up the yards against the inconsistent Philly defense. The first quarter was more of the same, though Morris did have a few good runs. The second quarter gave a continued feeling that the run game could be the answer against Philly. Instead, the plays that took center stage included the limited RGIII dropbacks for passes and the fumble near their first opportunity to score with the team already down 14-0. Philly finished the half with a field goal and a 17-0 lead.

The second half started out as much of the same between the run game and limited success passing, but the fourth quarter was another story. Philly had scored on their first drive of the second half, but then the Redskins defense woke up. Down 24 points, they did not allow another point for the remainder of the game. This allowed RGIII to finally get the offense going in the fourth quarter. Though they failed to complete a 4th & 1 at the start of the fourth quarter, the next drive started and finished on a 62-yard pass to Young for the first score and a 2-point conversion. After another defensive stop, the offense was clicking again and scored on a 41-yard pass to Robinson and another 2-point conversion on the legs of RGIII. Down by only 8 points, Washington ended up with 3 minutes and 26 seconds to drive down the field, score again, and get another 2-point conversion. Driving down to the Philly 18 yard line, RGIII threw a horrible pass and was picked off on a third down play with 24 seconds left. There was a chance to throw the ball away (which RGIII said he was trying to do), but the game was over on a Foles kneel down.

The surge in the fourth quarter continued the trend of the offense’s and defense’s failure to start the game in the first half but get a groove too late. The season is essentially over unless the team can pull off a 6-game run and a few other things help them along the way.

Positives

  • Robert Griffin III, Brandon GrahamIf the team focuses more on the run, they have a chance. Teams are struggling to stop Morris for any elongated period of time.
  • When the team is behind, they have a chance to come back from the brink (but maybe not as deep as this game).
  • The defense can pick up the pace when they are forced to.

Negatives

  • The team is just absent through the first three quarters or so. There is no reason whey other teams can play aggressive to start but Washington has to sleep through the first half.
  • The play-calling continues to be abysmal. It is clear that RGIII is getting frustrated with the Shanahans and his blocking and his receivers running the wrong routes.
  • But it is RGIII as well. He has been making odd decisions this season that did not happen in his rookie year. The INT at the end is a great example of this problem.

Around the rest of the league…

  • The Bills rampaged the Jets and ravaged Geno Smith for 3 INTs in their 37-14 win.
  • Baltimore and Chicago were delayed by the rain, but it was the Bears that forced overtime and grabbed the field goal for the victory.
  • In a divisional battle, the Bengals outplayed the Browns to maintain first place in the AFC North.
  • jason-babin-andre-ellington-haircutPittsburgh surprised the Lions with a solid performance by Roethlisberger and his 4 TDs.
  • Atlanta is no longer looking like a possible contender, as rookie Rainey made TB look like they could battle the Saints and Panthers for the NFC South if they did not start the season 0-8.
  • Arizona prevented Jacksonville from pulling another upset but could not prevent Babin from pulling out Ellington’s dreads.
  • Oakland helped to fuel the outrage on the Houston sidelines behind Matt McGloin’s 3 TDs.
  • Miami stunned Rivers and the Chargers with a mostly mediocre effort, pulling back to a .500 record.
  • New Orleans is contending for a playoff run while the 49ers are moving backwards and are now tied for 2nd in the division with the Cardinals.
  • The Giants continued the beating of the Rodgers-less Packers for their 4th win of the season.
  • Seattle is another team that looks like a contender behind their 1-loss record and easy management of the Vikings.
  • The Colts outlasted the Titans behind running game of Donald Brown and game management of Andrew Luck.
  • Denver and Kansas City had their long-awaited matchup, leading the the Chiefs suffering their first loss with only 1 Manning touchdown.
  • Carolina continues their improvement campaign behind their defense and the rising Cam Newton (with 3 TDs). The Patriots continue to suffer from a host of questions about their receivers and uneven rushing game.

Returning to the failed attack on the prison, the Governor has set up camp and seems completely dead inside. With his town of Woodbury empty and burned, he sets out on his own and finds three women and an old man in an abandoned building after a long and lonely travel. The women try to interrogate him but he conceals his identity as Brian Harriet and chooses to speak very little. While searching the building, he comes across a walker in a bathtub, kills it, and finds a gun on the corpse. Finding a picture in his backpack of his family, he continues to wallow in his depression.

the-walking-dead-live-bait-3Lily, one of the daughters, tries to give the Governor back his gun and some food, but he continues to be avoidant. She asks him about her father, suffering from lung cancer and desiring to keep him alive. Asking him to go to the old folks home, the Governor agrees to track down another oxygen tank to keep her father going. While he is able to avoid the old walkers before finding the oxygen tanks, a flood of them overtake the way out and he is forced to abandon all but two of the tanks.

Returning to Lily and her family, Lily tries to clean the Governor up and tells him about Megan’s father and his disappearance. Leaving Megan in his care, the Governor struggles with the little girl’s questions about his eye but decides to reveal his story to her. He tells her that he was trying to protect someone. After cleaning himself up, this opens him up to spending time with the little girl by playing chess. They are interrupted by the passing of Megan’s grandfather, who immediately turns and forces the Governor to kill him in front of the girls. Now frightened by the Governor, Megan distances herself from him.

Alone in his room, he burns the picture of his family and packs up his stuff. Telling Lily that he plans to leave, she pleads with him to let the three women tag along. He agrees and takes them in the truck. Still afraid of him, Megan keeps her distance while Lily and Tara continue to try to connect with him. Lily chooses to sleep with him that night. They find the truck is dead and set out on foot. Coming face to face with a herd, Megan finally drops her fear of the Governor and races off into the wood with him. Tara struggles to keep up on a bad leg. The Governor and Megan fall into a ditch and he faces off against a few walkers. After the fight, he looks up and sees Martinez.

Walkers - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCReaction: Taking a visit into the Governor’s story following the failed attacked, the episode featured David Morrissey moving from depression and hopelessness to something a little less deep in sadness. The Governor was clearly lost without a sense of purpose. He torched his town and tried to get rid of all of his past. Later in the episode, he finally tried to let go of his family’s grip on his life after the apocalypse. The idea of Woodbury was always important to him, but he was holding onto his zombified daughter because he wanted to save an element of his former life. After Michonne killed her and took his eye, he went into a focused rage for the period between the fight and his assault on the prison. The abandonment by Martinez and Shumpert forced him to be alone with himself and no one to focus his rage on any further.

The new relationships with the women bring an interesting crossroads for the Governor. There is no way he can redeem himself for the actions at Woodbury and the assault on Rick and the prison, but he sees this situation as a possible new beginning. These women could be a chance to find love and caring again. They could also give him a reason to go on the offensive again as he tries to protect his new “family.” There is a clear sense that he will find himself back at the prison sometime around the end of the outbreak of the flu, so protecting the women might be his justification to attack Rick and the prison for a new safe haven. Or maybe he could justify in his head that Rick and Michonne are still threats. It is all really in the air at the moment.

The episode is a bit of an odd one in the middle of this season, as it takes a sidestep from the events of Rick and the crew. The Governor is such an intriguing character, but he is just lost in thought through over half of the story. Outside of his mission for the oxygen tank, killing of Don, and fight in the pit, he was just dead inside. While this was an emotionally-driven storyline, it also required David to appear on Talking Dead in order to explain the inner working of the Governor’s frame of mind.

With the preview focused on the Governor and Martinez and a new group of people, it looks like it will be another two weeks before we learn the fate of Rick, Glenn, Carol, and the rest of the prison.

In Memoriam: Grandpa Don, several walkers (bare-handed by the Governor)

This is a season of hopes dashed, tempted, and dashed again. Just when things seem like they are getting back on track, the bottom falls out and the weaknesses of the team are brought back to the forefront.

PHOTO_1_RedskinsEnter the game against the Vikings…At a record of 1-7, it was assumed that Washington would have its best shot to recover from the early season sloth and stay in the hunt in the NFC East. Instead, Washington played the first half like champs and followed that up with a second half that all but eliminated the hopes of making the playoffs. Although the NFC East will likely only get 1 team in, the Redskins are still not necessarily out of the hunt but definitely not in a good position.

The first half looked like the expectations the team had to start the season. The preseason had the team starting off hot but falling flat for the first few games of the season. When we have won games, it has been against teams that had lost something (a QB or a defensive player). While the previous games had touchdowns in the first half being a tough commodity, RGIII passed for 3 over the first two quarters (Garcon, Reed, and Paulsen). The offense was 8 of 9 on 3rd downs, including 2 of the touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense maintained a 10-point lead going into the half.

Then the bottom fell out…After scoring a field goal on the first drive of the 3rd quarter, Washington’s offense stopped playing. The Redskins ran two 3 and out drives and had only 4 converted first downs compared to Minnesota’s 8. Ponder even went down and left the offense in the hands of Cassel. Minnesota was allowed to score 20 unanswered points. Minnesota appeared to travel up and down the field with much more ease as the Washington defense began to give up the yards and struggle against Ponder’s do-no-wrong play on Thursday night.

Positives

  • sp-skins1108_0151383879432RGIII looked much more confident throughout the first half, but something changed in the second. If he can play like the first half throughout the entire game, the Redskins will be in a much better position.
  • The run game was solid. Alfred Morris ran for 139 yards, with another 44 from RGIII.
  • While the special teams have struggled, Niles Paul seems to be a more consistent return guy than the previous tries.

Negatives

  • The defense is inconsistent again. Played well in the first half and collapsed in the second. Left the running lanes for Peterson to exploit.
  • The play-calling is a real problem. The run game was abandoned during parts of the second half, even when they had the lead.

Around the rest of the league…

  • The Falcons are in some real trouble as their offense has stalled and looks nothing like last season. The Seahawks handled them comfortably, 33-10.
  • The Lions and Bears faced off in a divisional slug match but Stafford and Megatron were able to outpace Cutler and Marshall, 21-19.
  • Without Rodgers, the Packers are not the same team and are in real trouble of falling out of the race in the NFC North. Foles looked great with 3 TDs in the win.
  • tates-career-dayAfter Locker left the game, Fitzpatrick tried to fight off the upset to the Jaguars but fell short and gave Jacksonville their first win of the season.
  • Luck ran out in Indy as Clemens outplayed the Indy sensation and stormed to a 38-8 Rams victory.
  • The Giants seem like they are the Redskins this year after pulling off their 3rd straight win over the Raiders.
  • Levon Bell might be the breakout player of the Steelers, helping them overtake the Bills for a 23-10 victory.
  • The Ravens learned when to play the tip drill and when to let the ball go to the ground. Luckily, it did not prevent their chance to take a win from the Bengals and put the pressure back in the AFC North.
  • The Panthers defense may be the best of the NFL, making the 49ers look unprepared to defend their home turf.
  • Keenum looked solid again for the Texans, but the Cardinals were able to defend their home field and get above .500.
  • The Broncos continue to take care of business behind Manning’s 4 TDs and take down the Chargers before facing the perfect Chiefs. Watch Manning’s ankles though.
  • The Saints pull of a record 40 first downs in a demolition of the Cowboys, 49-17.
  • Getting their first win of the season against the Dolphins, the Bucs may have found a decent running replacement for Martin after Rainey and Leonard replaced the injured Mike James.

Returning to the prison after abandoning Carol, Rick finds Maggie as the only person in the yard taking out walkers at the fences. Before helping her secure the fences with the overwhelming hordes, he admits leaving Carol behind and goes to check in on Hershel and Carl. Leaving supplies with Carl, Rick tells him to stay put and protect Beth and Judith. While they get the fences as secure as they possibly can, Maggie and Rick hear gunshots from inside the prison and split up to take care of both sets of needs.

the-walking-dead-internment-maggieIn the sick ward, Hershel is using the help of Glenn and Sasha to manage the flu. People continue to give out, causing them to take the dead away into another room and kill them as/before they turn. Only Lizzie seems to be hanging in there with the flu okay. Hershel also continues to protect Maggie from seeing Glenn in his poor condition. As Hershel tries to hold everything together, he returns to find Sasha passed out on the floor. Getting her set up with an IV, she manages to hold on while others around her begin to turn. It is just at this time that Glenn also collapses and starts coughing up blood. Hershel and Lizzie fend off the walkers as long as they can, including Hershel leading some of them away from the kids with the shotgun from Dr. Subramanian.

While Maggie runs inside to save the sick ward, Rick gets Carl and continues to work on the wall until it collapses. As walkers pour into the prison, Rick and Carl get back to their weapons stash and load up their automatic rifles. As the father and son duo mow down the walkers, Maggie reaches the sick ward but struggles to break through. She goes around to the other side and shoots out the window. Taking out a couple walkers, she saves Hershel and helps him get an IV set up in Glenn, sharing a moment as they make it to him just in time.

Just after clearing out the walker flood, the medicine team returns to the prison and rushes in with their supplies. The next morning, Bob is helping out with making medicines for the remaining sick. Michonne begins to clean up the walker mess. Hershel finally leaves the sick ward and goes out with Michonne to get some fresh air. While Rick realizes that he needs to talk with Daryl, Carl indicates he needs him, while Daryl goes to find Rick for answers about where Carol is.

Meanwhile outside of the prison, the Governor sits in waiting while watching the events of Rick’s survivors.

Reaction: The first most obvious thing to mention is that the Governor is back and he appears to have been waiting and watching for some time. Is it possible that he has been leading the walkers to the prison? Are Martinez and the other guy still with him, or has he found other soldiers to fight his battle? It appears that Rick’s group is not going to have much of a chance to process what happened, including Carol’s absence, if the Governor makes his move on the prison within the next episode or two.

td-episode-405-poll-560Hershel has become both the moral center and the hero of the group. While he clearly put himself in danger by going into the sick ward, he single-handedly (mostly) kept people alive as long as possible. When it comes to the characters of the show, none of the people fans are close to died, but most of the people from Woodbury did. It was similar to the second episode when the flu lead to the first massacre of the prison. There was a sense with how they were featuring Hershel that he was going to fall, but they instead highlighted his toughness and made him out to be much more of a survivor than he had be featured in the past. The only other thing that stood out was that he may have ended up questioning his faith for the first time. He still walked away and received respect from both Michonne and Daryl.

Rick has been trying his best to preserve Carl’s innocence, but he had no one else to rely on when the walkers threatened the wall. If anything, Carl was the better fighter when the flood came through the fence. He was taking down walkers with much more authority and seemed much more focused than Rick, which could lead to some interesting problems in the near future. Carl has asserted himself as a legitimate fighter/defender, which could play out in an interesting way when the Governor makes his move.

The Carol question was only slightly answered but not by the characters we want to hear from. Daryl, Michonne, and Tyreese are still in the dark, but Hershel and Maggie were brought up to speed. Maggie justified Rick’s decision but failed to acknowledge that she would be able to make the same decision if she needed to. Hershel did not acknowledge his true opinion about the decision, but he did redirect Daryl toward Rick at the end of the episode. It is possible that Daryl and/or Tyreese will go after Carol. That may actually take them out of the Governor fight. Tyreese will likely be at the prison when the Governor attacks though, since he will also likely not chase after her.

The prison is just about ready to be done, but it looks like we’ve got another few episodes before they end up back on the road. Rick had his moment gardening, but he will not be able to play the farmer for much longer.

In Memoriam: Dr. Subramarian, Woodbury walkers, fence-destorying walkers

After the heartbreak of the previous week, there were some real hesitations about the ability of the team to hold out the entire game. The challenges during the first part of the season have been about getting going in the first half and then finding themselves playing catchup for the remainder of the game. In the game against the Broncos, Morris started the game really strong but not even close to how well the defense held off the Peyton passing attack. Just when they got going, it all went south. It was definitely possible that the same result would happen with the Chargers, who have had their moments so far this season.

Alfred Morris, Eric Weddle, Shareece WrightSan Diego’s offense was stifled for most of the first half, but so was Washington’s. The San Diego D was able to pick off RGIII while he was backed up at his own end zone for a touchdown. Morris followed it up with a touchdown of his own, as the Washington offense was able to get the run game going. The Chargers punched it in once more for the lead before the half but they also were able to block two Washington field goal attempts to keep the 7-point advantage. Other than a Redskins touchdown by Darrel Young, the third quarter was quiet. With the score tied into the fourth, Washington made one of its best efforts to jump out to a 10-point lead, including another rushing TD for Young and Forbath getting the necessary protection to get his kick off.

With 7 minutes left, the 10-point lead seemed like a nice luxury for once but was short-lived. Rivers connected with Allen for a touchdown and then the defense stopped Washington short of field goal range. With just over 2 minutes left, the Chargers marched down the field and got to the 6-yardline. A pass by rivers connected with Woodhead but failed to cross the plane (after overturned by the replay booth). The Washington defense stepped up and held the Chargers to a field goal to push it to overtime. Winning the coin toss, Washington finished up the game with a respectable drive, including some hard running by Morris and Young’s third rushing touchdown.

The game was not won by RGIII’s brilliance or his legs or his arm. It was won by hard-fought running. Morris racked up 121 yards on the ground. Helu had 2 rushes for 23 yards. Young got the 3 touchdowns with 12 yards. The group rushed for a total of over 200 yards.

Positives

  • sp-redskins1103_0151383515411The running attack won the game. Shanahan finally got the message. Maybe he read the social media posts. 40 carries compared to 32 pass attempts. Good call.
  • The defense stepped up at the right moments. They saved the game in the fourth quarter at the end.
  • Garcon reemerged as the great wide receiver he is. 172 yards is nothing to sneeze at.

Negatives

  • The defense is inconsistent. The 10-point lead is something that should be protected better, especially in the fourth quarter. Momentum swings are making games more challenging to get through.
  • The kick blocking was a major challenge. Two blocked kicks in the first half is not acceptable, considering the other problems with the special teams.
  • RGIII did not get going like he should, but it somewhat worked out with the focus on the run game. He passed for 291 yards but could not find the end zone.

Around the rest of the league…

  • Dalton is a fantasy nightmare at the moment. 5 TDs one week and 3 INTs the next. Miami was able to steal that one away in OT with a sack of Dalton in the end zone.
  • Kansas City may be the most boring team to watch in the league, but they are the only ones sitting at 9-0. Their defense kept them alive against the Bills.
  • nick-foles-td-record-11032013Romo ran an impressive fourth quarter drive to survive against the hard rushing attack of Peterson and the Vikings, 27-23.
  • Jake Locker, Chris Johnson, and Tennessee picked it up in the second half to pull away from and overwhelm the Rams defense for the win.
  • The Jets stunned the Saints with Chris Ivory’s 139 yard rushing compared to Brees throwing for 382 yards and connecting with Jimmy Graham for 116 and 2 touchdowns.
  • Atlanta looked depleted against the Panthers, who were able to ride Tolbert and Newton to a 34-10 victory.
  • Philadelphia may have found their QB (at least for 1 game). Foles threw for a record-tying 7 touchdowns in the slaughter of Oakland.
  • Seattle struggled to keep up with Tampa Bay and had to take it to overtime to survive a 27-24 game.
  • Cleveland upset Baltimore as both teams were coming off of losing streaks and failed to get their rushing games going.
  • New England beat up on Pittsburgh as Brady reemerged to his more expected QB status.
  • Houston put up quite a fight (especially after suffering a personal/team tragedy) but could not survive against a tough Colts team. Keenum may be able to help them dig out of their hole.
  • Chicago and Green Bay became the battle of the backups when Rodgers went down with a shoulder injury in the first quarter. Brandon Marshall racked up the yards and a touchdown to give them the edge in the win at Lambeau Field.

1383162157000-XXX-walking-dead-lincoln-mcIn the wake of the struggles of the prison and while waiting for Daryl’s group to return with medicine, Rick and Carol get prepared to go on a run for food. Carol reveals that she acted on her own to try and eliminate the threat of the virus spreading. When they get to a neighborhood, they come across a house to start raiding. After taking out a walker, they encounter a man and woman hiding in the upstairs bedroom. Carol helps to set Sam’s dislocated ankle and learn about their story. Rick chooses to ask them his infamous three questions to determine if they are worthy to bring back to the prison. In order to sweep the neighborhood faster, Rick gives the couple guns and a watch to stay safe. Rick and Carol end up talking about her decision to kill the two infected with the flu and about their relationships when they come across the girl torn apart by walkers. Sam ends up running late, which gives Rick more time to confront Carol. He essentially tells Carol that she is not allowed to come back.

While Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob are out looking for their own supplies, they come across a gas station. Finding a car under a bunch of vines, they realize that it needs a new battery to turn on, so they start hacking through the vines to find a door. Tyreese gets so caught up in slashing that he lets a few walkers out before they are prepared to deal with them. While they dispatch their attackers, the group is left to worry about Tyreese’s mental state. Bob reveals his guilt for the death of Zach at the superstore because of his desire for a drink but Daryl quickly dismisses it an lets him know he has support. The group finally finds the supply of medicine, but Bob ends up revealing that he only came on the trip to find booze. Daryl takes his gun and makes him feel guilty for putting them in danger over alcohol. On the drive back, there is a somberness that is envelops the van on the ride back.

walking-dead-indifference-darylReaction: Tyreese is a crazy person. While he was still reeling from the loss of Karen, he was becoming more and more of a threat to the people around him. In the previous episode, he let himself get overrun by walkers before he chose to fight his way out. At the gas station, he let it happen again to where he had a walker hovering over him before he let Bob shoot it in the head. While he accused Michonne of being obsessed over the Governor, he still refused to acknowledge what he was doing by ignoring his peers. He seemed to be in a better state by the end when he tried to get Daryl away from Bob, but he definitely in not done with the loss of Karen and the flu threatening his sister.

Rick seemed to be unable to acknowledge what Carol did until she forced it on him and he still felt unable to really react. Instead, he focused on trying to remind her of her humanity through bringing up Sophia. It appeared that Rick wanted to move past Carol’s decisions and try to ensure her ability to push on. He is also still struggling with his humanity, unable to pull the trigger and wanting to believe the best in people. While he was right to trust the other two survivors, he probably should not have let them go off on their own, especially separated.

While Bob’s story was very straightforward, Carol’s banishment was anything but. Carol was cold through all of her conversations with Rick during the episode. She was showing no remorse over having to make the tough decision. While she may not have been wrong, there is too much tension in the prison and Tyreese is too much of a loose cannon. There is no telling how the prison will react to learning about Carol’s actions and her banishment if Rick chooses to tell them the truth. It may be possible that she is safer to be sent away rather than deal with the wrath of Tyreese.

With Carol now sent away, the prison seems to be in much more danger. Carol’s ability to be a leader seems to be stronger than Rick’s and he is still questioning himself too much. It took him the entire trip of feeling her out to come to the decision to send her away. He was hesitant the entire time and had his hand on his gun while they were waiting in the house for Sam. Carol may have been able to wait to see if Karen was truly going to die, but she was not unjustified for what she did, especially after Patrick turned and tore up the prison.

In Memoriam: Ana, many walkers, Carol?

Additionally, The Talking Dead was much better this week, as Chris Jericho was a much more coherent guest than Marilyn Manson. Much much more coherent.

As we get into the core of the fourth season, The Walking Dead has risen as one of the best sci-fi dramas on television today. There are no other dramas out there that have been so dynamic and so different from the competition. It has really become a phenomenon, starting from the comics and being re-imagined with some serious production value. As the show continues on, I have decided to post my reactions to the episodes. Every week, there are some rather serious developments and no one seems to really ever be safe. By recapping the series with each new episode, I hope to document the storylines and how the drama will continue to unfold in this post-apocalyptic thriller. But to understand the show, you must first understand the characters…

Main Cast

  • The-Walking-Dead-castRick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) – A former police officer from a small town, he uses his training to survive when everything around him seems to crumble. Rick is also commonly seen as the leader and the person who people rely on for guidance and direction.
  • Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) – As Rick’s son, Carl has had to grow up quickly. He has learned how to kill the walkers and carries a gun and the signature hat given to him by his dad.
  • Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) – Lori survived the apocalypse while clinging to her son and hoping for the safety of her husband.
  • Glenn Rhee (Steven Yuen) – Known for his speed and swiftness, Glenn had been a pizza delivery boy before the outbreak.
  • Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) – Daryl is a hunter at heart and maintains a strength of character in his loyalty to both the group of survivors and his brother.
  • Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) – While seen as a bigot and a loud-mouth, there is no denying Merle’s strength, aggression, and ability to use a weapon.
  • Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) – Having joined the survivors since immediately after the outbreak and before making it to Atlanta, Carol’s personal strength rises and falls with the relationships around her.
  • T-Dog Douglas (IronE Singleton) – While an original member of the surviving group and involved in some difficult decisions early in their survival, he is a loyal member of the team.
  • Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) – Father and protector of his farm, Hershel attempts to maintain a sense of normalcy after the outbreak in his secluded sanctuary.
  • Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) – As the oldest daughter of Hershel, she serves as the foundation for her siblings.
  • Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) – Struggling with the constant death around her, Beth requires Maggie’s strength to continue to survive in the zombie post-apolcapsye.
  • Andrea (Laurie Holden) – Having been a civil rights attorney before the outbreak, she becomes one of the best shots of the group and a protector of her peers.
  • Michonne (Danai Gurira) – Though mostly mysterious as a member of the group who speaks very little, there is no denying her dangerousness with a katana.
  • Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) – Former cop with Rick, Shane becomes a significant protector of the group before Rick rejoins his family and has a complicated relationship with Lori.
  • Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn) – Commonly seen as the moral compass of the group, he holds a fatherly relationship with Andrea.
  • The Governor aka Philip Blake (David Morrissey) – As the leader of Woodbury, he becomes the man who many of the survivors turn to and relishes in his leadership role.
  • Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) – A true survivor, he and a small group of survivors wander the dangerous landscape until they eventually comes across survivors in the Woodbury area.
  • Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) – As Tyreese’s sister, he often struggles with trust and anger issues.
  • Milton Mamet (Dallas Roberts) – Serving as the Governor’s right-hand man, Milton has a medical and scientific background that serves helpful for the Governor’s plans.

Season 1

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Summary: Rick Grimes, a cop in a small town, finds himself in trouble when he is shot in a standoff. While he falls into a coma, the worst is actually happening around him. The world is dying as a plague sweeps the populous turning people into zombies. When he finally awakens, he wanders the hospital without coming across another living soul but also not knowing what has happened. When he is finally found by a couple of survivors, he learns what has happened and gets determined to set out toward Atlanta to find his wife (Lori) and son (Carl). After taking a vehicle and guns from the police station, he has to ditch his car and finds a horse to ride into the city. The place seems abandoned until a hoard comes racing after him. Glenn, who spots Rick crawling into an abandoned tank, directs him to safety and connects him with the other survivors trying to get supplies and make their escape. After a fight creates tension in the group, Rick handcuffs Merle Dixon to a pipe on the roof. The group is able to find their escape but T-Dog loses the key and the group abandons Merle.

Riding back to the surivors’ camp outside of the city, Rick is reunited with Lori and Carl and a somewhat surprised/disappointed Shane. The group does okay initially with Rick’s return, but supplies begin to run low and there arises serious concern for their safety. Rick tells the group about the bag of guns he lost in Atlanta during the hoard attack, so they go back into the city to retrieve them.

While initially ambushed, Rick finds another group surviving in the city and chooses to split the guns with them. They also returned to the roof to find out if Merle survived, but his hand had been cut off and there was no sense if he lived. At the time they return to the camp, a herd has attacked the group and killed Andrea’s sister, Amy. Fearing for their safety, the group decides to caravan to find a safe haven. Finding the CDC, they are allowed inside and given sanctuary for a short time, but they also learn how the infection causes people to turn from humans to zombies. When Dr. Edwin Jenner decides to blow up the building, Rick and the survivors have to gather themselves and escape before their opportunity to survive is taken from them.

Reaction: The first episode of the season set up the entire series. The eerie nature of the world after the plague was of the quality of the best zombie films. Rick’s background as a police officer made him a natural leader when he reunited with his family and the survivors, but not everyone was glad to see him. Rick was forced to make the tough decisions and to shut his best friend down in order to maintain the safety of the group. The season focused mostly on the survival of the remaining humans against the zombies. Even when they encountered the other survivors in Atlanta, both groups were just doing what they had to in order to survive. While the conflict that started to develop between Rick and Shane was interesting, the cliffhanger at the end of the season had to be what Dr. Jenner whispered to Rick before the CDC self-destructed (which we later learned was that everyone is infected with the zombie virus).

As a shorter season, this served as the setup for the rest of the series focused mostly on survival against multiple threats.

Season 2

The Walking Dead (Season 2)Summary: As the group continues to travel along the highway, they feel like there is nowhere safe for them to go. On their way to Fort Benning, they get caught in a traffic jam and Sophia, Carol’s daughter, gets chased off into the woods by the walkers. The group goes on a frantic search while Carol continues to break down further into despair and depression. While searching for Sophia, Carl is shot by a hunter named Otis, who chooses to take Carl and Rick back to his farm. In a rough initial meeting with Hershel Green, Otis and Shane are sent to a local high school to get supplies. Shane hurts his leg while trying to escape and sacrifices Otis to the walkers. Hershel is able to remove the bullet and agrees to allow Rick and the survivors to continue living on the farmland outside of the house.

A power struggle continues between Rick and Shane, as Lori is also keeping her possible pregnancy under wraps. When it finally becomes common knowledge, Shane begins to become more and more agitated and distant. Eventually while Glenn and Maggie continue to blossom their hidden relationship, Glenn stumbles onto the barn full of zombies and slowly reveals this information to the group. In a brash moment, Shane open the barn and reveals zombified versions of Hershel’s family and Sophia.

After taking out the zombies, Hershel disappears to a local town, where Rick and Glenn find him in a bar. After convincing him that they need to get back to the farm, a group of other survivors surprise them. Things turn south and Rick kills the two men. Their friends show up and Rick is left to take drastic measures, leading to one of the guys getting injured and being taken hostage by Rick. Carl gets bold and finds a walker alone and stuck in the mud, taunting him and eventually running away. This leads to the walker wandering onto the farm and surprising Dale. While the group had been preoccupied with determining what to do with their captive, they are deeply saddened by the loss of their moral authority.

Daryl and Shane go after the captive, only to find him dead from a broken neck. Shane’s sanity gets called into question, but Rick agrees to go on a search with him anyway. When Shane threatens and attempts to kill him, Rick is able to stab Shane in the torso. When Shane reanimates and goes after Rick, Carl appears and shoots him. The echo of the gunshot proves to be a mistake, as a hoard of zombies descend on the farm. The chaos causes the group to scattered. While a few of Hershel’s family fall victim to the attack, most everyone is able to climb into the cars and get away. Andrea is separated and left to fend for herself. Rick admits to the group that everyone is infected but asks for their forgiveness and desire to remain a leader for the group. The season closes with a zoom out of the area, including a prison in the background.

Reaction: In an attempt to find some normalcy, the farm ended up being a seemingly amazing opportunity for Rick and the survivors. While they had to suffer major loss before they could get a moment to breathe, Carol was forever changed by the loss of Sophia but completely for the better. Carol was a sobbing mess until Sophia was discovered in the barn and she went nearly catatonic. All of this set her up for a larger role in the group as the story progressed. The relationship drama also served to be a major part of this season. Besides Glenn meeting Maggie, the love triangle of Rick, Shane, and Lori finally came to a head with multiple confronts and the eventual showdown. Shane had gotten so significantly aggravated that he was no longer a productive member of the team and was a regular threat to others’ safety. The relationship between the two groups also served as a significant plot point.

While Rick and the survivors were able to trust each other due to their situation, Rick’s group struggled initially to connect with Hershel and his family. It started with Carl being shot and Otis being sacrificed by Shane. Hershel kept the group at a distance, but slowly seemed to warm up to them. The conflict over the barn made for a difficult moment where Hershel wanted to kick Rick and his people off of the farm. Instead, Rick’s protection of Hershel and care of him during his depression led to a stronger bond than they had ever had. Meanwhile, there were a few other characters that go through some major development. The search for Sophia did not just affect Carol but Daryl as well. He was constantly out on searches for her, and he took it hard when Sophia emerged from the barn. Daryl had been edgy in season 1 due to his brother’s disappearance, but he became a positive contributor to the group throughout their time at the farm. Carl attempted to grow up too fast, which led the walker back to kill Dale. Before the incident, Dale challenged the rest of the group in their willingness to killer their captive, refusing to treat him as a human being. Dale’s death hit Andrea extremely hard, as she felt like she lost a father.

All of the safety they felt in this season was short-lived, as their fight became one for normalcy. Hershel was able to provide a safe haven for a short period of time, but there are no guarantees in a zombie apocalypse.

Season 3

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Summary: The survivors continue to stay on the move to keep away from the walkers, but they eventually come across a prison. Inside, walkers have taken over the yard, but Rick and the guys are able to clear them out and move into the prison space. Clearly out cell block by cell block, the group believes that they may have found a new safe haven with fences to provide extra support. While clearing cell blocks, they come across a group of surviving prisoners, but eventually run into trouble with their leader, forcing them to take him out. Meanwhile, Hershel is bitten in the leg by a walker. Rick amputates Hershel’s leg and moves him to a cell bed to recover. While Hershel survives, T-Dog gets bitten on another tour of the cell blocks and sacrifices himself to save Carol.

Meanwhile, Lori, Maggie, and Carl trap themselves in a private room when Lori goes into labor. She forces Maggie to perform a C-section, which ultimately kills her and forces Carl to put a bullet in her head to avoid her returning as a zombie. Eventually, Rick learns of Lori’s fate and struggles to recognize his new daughter. He starts to go mad, leaving Carl, Carol, and Daryl to care after baby Judith. Hearing voices and seeing Lori’s ghostly image, Rick goes mad in front of a new group of guests (Tyreese, Sasha, and others) and goes on a trip outside of the fences.

Outside of the prison, Andrea has been picked up by Michonne and traveling the woods together. Andrea is increasingly getting sicker and weaker, but they come across a fallen helicopter and some unwanted visitors. They are taken back to a town called Woodbury and meet the man known as the Governor and a slightly worse for wear Merle. Michonne does not trust them, but Andrea gets pulled in by the Governor’s charm. Eventually, they learn about the town’s zombie fights and Michonne chooses to leave Andrea behind. During a supply run, Glenn and Maggie are confronted by Merle, who captures them and brings them back to Woodbury. While they are tortured by Merle and the Governor, Andrea is kept in the dark about her friends being held hostage.

Michonne travels to the prison and tips Rick off about his captured friends. Taking a team to Woodbury, they are able to save their friends but lose Daryl in the battle. Daryl and Merle are put up in one of the zombie fights but saved by Rick and Maggie. The brothers go off on their own when Rick accuses Merle of being untrustworthy. While the groups divide for a period of time, the Governor is surprised by an angry Michonne, who is successful in killing his daughter-turned-zombie and stab him in the eye. This puts the Governor on a death mission to attack the prison, while Rick and survivors prepare for the worst. Eventually, Daryl and Merle return to the prison and are brought back into the walls.

The Governor agrees to set up a meeting to discuss the terms of peace when Andrea returns to the prison to deliver the message, but Rick resists giving up the safety of his people and of their land. This sends the Governor into a focused rage. Andrea misses a chance to kill him but does try to escape him. She puts the Governor in danger but ultimately fails to get away. Rick refuses to give into the Governor’s demand for Michonne, but Merle secretly carries out the plan until he has a change of heart on the drive over. Merle attempts to kill the Governor but is killed and reanimated as a zombie. Daryl follows suit and finds his brother leaning over a disheveled body. Killing his brother, Daryl delays in returning to the prison. The Governor’s plan to attack the prison is foiled and the group has to turn back toward their town. On the way back, the Governor chooses to assassinate his people, except for his two soldiers, and disappears. Rick chooses to return to Woodbury to get Andrea, but they find her bitten after she fought off a zombified Milton. Andrea commits suicide, while Rick brings the remaining Woodbury people back to the prison to start a new life.

Reaction: Season three plays it big with higher death tolls and fractured relationships. The roller coaster of Rick was one that goes from strong leader to off-the-rails lunatic to heroic rescuer. Having to make tough choices, like cutting off Hershel’s leg and killing the prisoners, took its toll on him. Seeing Lori’s ghost and hearing the voices on the phone represented the fallibility of all leaders and the susceptibility stress to the strongest of people. Still, Rick was able to balance his insanity and his heroic nature long enough to make the assault on Woodbury and plan their survival against the attack by the Governor. Carl continued to make some poor choices, but he eventually was able to learn his place a bit better (until he indiscriminately killed an unarmed, non-threatening member of Woodbury).

Daryl and Merle finally got some time to play on-screen together and gave viewers a better feel for the differences between the brothers. Merle ended up being a troubled but misunderstood person. While he had the tough exterior throughout most of his story, he had a heart for his brother and the people Daryl deemed important to him. Daryl had to go out on the trip with Merle to figure out that Rick and the others were better family than his own brother. The Governor served as the first real villain of the series (besides the walkers) and was a complex presence. It was not clear how he developed some of his obsessions or where the thought process came from, but he was ready to kill many people to get his way. The comics provide some backstory but the show chose not to do as much of the background story leading up to Rick’s survivors finding Woodbury. Unlike Shane (who was just going mad with jealousy with Rick), the Governor was able to command people around him and manipulate people through both charm and aggressive tendencies. When he went psycho-crazy at the end of the season and then just drove off, it left that feeling that he will return at some point.

The season ending with the influx of Woodbury survivors also left the series with a set of new questions. How are these people going to deal with the sense of security they lost when they left their humble little town? When will the Governor attempt to strike on Rick and his friends? Will Daryl struggle moving forward after seeing his brother turn and having to officially end him? Why not stay in the town and fortify it so they could live more comfortably? Has Rick finally returned to a state of mental stability?

Season 4 (so far)

the-walking-dead-season-4-daryl-michonne-600x399Summary: Having decided to try to withdraw himself from the violence, Rick has resigned himself to some simple farming and abdicating the leadership responsibilities to a council rather than his “Rick-tatorship.” Carl has followed suit and both are living a life without guns, though Carl is still a little antsy to get back to action and carry again. Rick continues to try to be more peaceful, but a run-in with a crazy woman and some challenges inside the prison threaten his attempt at peace. Michonne, still set on ending the Governor’s life, continues to take trips out into the wild to search for him. Meanwhile, the rest of the group chooses to track down more supplies but are ambushed by zombies in a superstore and lose another member of the team. Beth had developed a relationship with a young boy named Zach but his death by walkers does not seem to phase her too much. Back at the prison, Carol is secretly teaching the children how to use weapons, except for Carl’s friend, who collapses in the showers alone and becomes a zombie.

After reeking havoc on one of the cell blocks, the zombified Patrick is taken out and the survivors begin to worry about a flu that seems to be spreading over the people. Without medicine to stop the spread, concern develops and causes the survivors to quarantine those who are ill to a separate block. Carol also has to kill a man who has been bitten, leaving behind two young daughters. As the walkers continue to push on the outer fences and threats seem to arise inside the prison, Rick decides to give up farming, uses the pigs to lure the walkers away, and gives Carl his gun back. If things had not hit bottom, two flu victims are discovered to have been dragged outside and burned by Tyreese, including Tyreese’s girlfriend. Hershel makes a difficult choice to use natural methods to keep people going while exposing himself to the flu. A group, including an increasingly bitter and angry Tyreese, goes on a supply run for medicine but get overrun by a larger swarm of walkers than they have ever seen.

With the group in danger outside of the prison and the Rick learning that Carol burned the bodies of two people stricken by the flu, danger is now lurking from all angles.

Reaction: Season one was about survival from the walkers. Season two brought a sense of normalcy but human threats began to arise. Season three waged a war between survivor groups after the Governor deemed everyone outside of Woodbury a threat. Now, season four threatens the survivors with both an internal and external threat. The flu makes for an intriguing way to revitalize the seriousness of the zombie infection. People are now dying of other means than bites and weapons. The survivors also do not know the severity of the zombie threat that is coming for them. While Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne, and Bob are stuck near the mess, the prison only knows about the direct threats near the fences.

The human threat is also still alive and well. Tyreese is ready to fly off the handle, but so is Rick. The fight the two of them have serves as a point of contention that could eventually split the group, especially with Carol’s admission of her burning of the bodies. Tyreese has exploded once but he will probably lose it once he finds out Carol’s involvement and Rick’s pending reaction to her actions. The Governor still has not made a reappearance, so the threat is still out there. Carol’s mental state could be called into question, but the decision to burn the bodies may not have just been her own. There is a distinct possibility that several important people may not make it to the next season, or the group will be divided and bonds permanently broken.

With the threats never ending, there is much more in-store for Rick and the survivors. I will recap each episode after they happen, so stay tuned for who lives, dies, and is reborn as a zombie on The Walking Dead.

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