Archive for February, 2014

Abraham picks up Glenn and Tara, taking them a ways down the road. Allowing a couple of walkers to get up to the stationary vehicle, Abraham yells at Tara to not fire her gun. Instead, he takes them out by hand. Tara calls out the fact that Abraham takes pleasure in killing walkers, to which he replies that he is the luckiest guy in the world. After moving the cars out of the roadway, then continue on their way.

the-walking-dead-claimed-michonne-2Carl and Michonne joke for a moment about her choice of attire over cereal. They also joke for a moment about soy milk, until he mistakenly jokes about rather drinking Judith’s formula. He runs off to be by himself. Rick thanks Michonne for getting Carl to laugh and for being back. Michonne confirms that she is there to stay with them but wants to understand what their next move is. Feeling indecisive, Rick says he would like more time to think. Michonne says that she’ll take Carl out on a supply run while Rick builds up his strength. Back in the house by himself, Rick barricades the door before heading upstairs to redress his bandages and lay down on the bed to read.

Back out on the supply run, Carl acts distant towards Michonne’s joking around and will not break his mood for anything. She decides to tell Carl about her 3-year old son, to which Carl suddenly becomes very interested. Michonne agrees to answer questions as they clear the rooms of the house.

Rick is sleeping upstairs when he is suddenly woken up by some bantering of a few men downstairs. Rick sees a man walk through the upstairs hallway, grabs his gun, and hides under the bed. Trying to stay quiet, he is able to watch as the man walks through the bedroom and searches through the closet and drawers. The man drops down on the bed, leaving Rick trapped.

Michonne reveals that her son’s name was Andre Anthony but that he died soon after the zombie apocalypse happened. She tells Carl that she had never told anyone, even Rick, about the death or existence of her son. Carl agrees to keep what he heard a secret. Michonne unwraps the picture that Carl finds, revealing a disturbingly vandalized picture. She checks down the hall through the bathroom and finds herself in a child’s room full of toys and books. Going into the next room, she discovers a family dead on the two beds and a dead woman in a rocking chair. Carl almost comes into the room, but she closes the door behind her and refuses to let him in. Carl realizes that she does not want him to see the room but shares that he still feels sad for the loss of Judith.

With the man in the bed now fully asleep, Rick thinks that he can finally break free until another man comes up to the room to lay down. The two men argue over who gets the bed and start fighting each other, nearly exposing Rick as the one man gets strangled until he passes out.

the-walking-dead-claimed-episodeGlenn finally comes to while in the back of the army truck with Tara. Getting an update, Tara explains that they passed the bus and that everyone there was dead. Now three hours further down the road, Glenn tries to get Abraham to stop the truck. Glenn grabs his pack and starts to walk away. Abraham gets in his way and tries to convince Glenn to stay. Getting a little dramatic, Abraham finally introduces himself, Rosita, and Eugene. He explains that Eugene needs to get to Washington DC in order to use what he knows about the walker problem to save everyone. Stunned by this news, Glenn asks for clarification but gets the “it’s classified” excuse. Eugene had been communicating over walkie-talkie until a couple weeks prior. Glenn walks away and Tara walks with him. Abraham tries to convince him that he has a better chance back in the truck but he struggles to find the words. Glenn is halted by Abraham’s words and slugs him in the jaw. The two men get into a scuffle when Eugene notices a lone walker emerge from the bushes. More begin the appear from the cornfield but Eugene struggles to fight them off by himself. Abraham runs to join him and Rosita and Glenn get involved just soon enough to take out the last few. Abraham then discovers that Eugene shot through the fuel tank in the fight.

Rick finally tries to crawl out from under the bed when the man starts to snore. He gets out of the room just when another man starts to walk upstairs. Hiding in the kid’s room, the man almost finds him. He cannot open the windows, but he overhears the men yelling about how a woman must be living in the house. Rick steals the dead man’s gun but then gets into a fight with a man in the bathroom. Getting the upper hand, Rick strangles him to death before he can grab the pair of scissors on the counter. Armed with a machine gun, he stumbles to his feet. He slides open the window and cracks open the door before he tries to make his escape onto the roof. He falls onto the porch and then exits down into the yard.

Abraham begins to work on the truck to patch the holes while scolding Eugene. Rosita hands Glenn back a picture that fell out of his pocket. Glenn grabs his pack again and starts to walk down the road with Tara. Rosita follows and forces Abraham and Eugene to tag behind.

Rick feels trapped on the side of the house with one of the mystery men sitting on the porch. It is just then that he sees Michonne and Carl walking back toward the house. Luckily, walkers attack and create a distraction, letting Rick run out to Michonne and Carl and get moving down the road.

Abraham starts to talk to Tara about how he respects Glenn but how saving the world is more important. Tara pushes back and tries to get Abraham to talk about his reasons for pushing the trip to Washington.

Now with Rick, Carl, and Michonne on the rails, they find a train car that posts sanctuary for all those who can make it.

the-walking-dead-claimed-carlReaction: The prison truly feels like a distant memory now. The last episode reopened the fear that comes with being exposed, but now Rick, Carl, and Michonne are struggling through a combination of human threats and emotional ones. Rick was still recovering from his injuries, so he was useless to go on the supply run. Thinking that he secured himself by blocking the front door, he was not prepared for scavengers to break into the house while he was sleeping. Unable to protect himself and take these men on, he hid under the bed and just hoped not to be found. Feeling unable to stay there forever, he finally shifted into survival mode and began to move from room to room to avoid getting found, until he got into the fight in the bathroom and had to prove himself again. He heard the men talking about everything from scavenging to wanting to rape the woman they projected was living there. It was a little bit of luck that he was able to get away, but it was a good thing he did.

For Carl and Michonne, the episode was one that finally gave them a chance to gain a deeper understanding of each other. While Michonne learned that Carl was still feeling guilty for not being able to protect Judith, Carl learned about Michonne’s son and how she had been holding it in. In the comics, she had two daughters that both died during the apocalypse in comparison to having one son. Her willingness to disclose this information to Carl served as reinforcement of how close she feels toward him and how she truly has stopped running from people she cares about. Carl had worked himself up over Judith’s “death” but seemed to finally give himself a break in the end.

For Glenn, he was truly a man on a mission. With the towering personality of Abraham standing over him, he was able to find the anger and compulsion to take a swing at him and wrestle him on the ground. Given the choice between finding Maggie and saving the world, he clearly chose love as his purpose for living. Abraham found it an impossible task to convince Glenn otherwise. Meanwhile, Tara was just a passenger throughout this episode. Since Glenn saved her and she feels guilty for the Governor’s evil motives, she felt obligated to go wherever he chooses to go.

Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene have their story revealed a bit as well. It is now know that Abraham and Rosita are trying to get Eugene to Washington to save the world, but they are all keeping quiet about what Eugene knows and how they will actually save humanity. Abraham was completely gung-ho to get to Washington but struggled with Glenn’s defiance as well. With Rick’s group still divided and fighting for their lives, Abraham has the ability to be the leader they all need once they find each other.

Between the last two episodes, the concept of a sanctuary has been introduced with two factions of the group. Tyreese and Carol found the sign along the railroad after reconnecting last week, while Carl, Michonne, and Rick found the banner on the train car after getting flushed away from the house. In the comics, there was a set of interactions while on the road where the group faced off against cannibals. With this sanctuary being a place where something significant is likely to happen, it could be the place where the cannibals are trying to lure survivors for food. This may not be revealed for another few episodes, so speculation is abound.

In Memoriam: a marauder in the bathroom

The-Walking-Dead-4x10On the run from a pack of walkers, Beth and Daryl feel like they are now constantly in danger and on the move. Remembering a time she felt safe, Beth’s fate seems like a stark contrast to the life she thought she once had achieved. Finally setting up a camp, Beth wonders if they should go searching for the rest of the group. Seemingly like he has lost his hope, Daryl lets Beth’s cries for action wash over him. While she asks for him to show a little faith, Daryl strikes back about how faith failed Hershel in the end. but immediately realizes the gravity of his words. Moving forward, a rouge walker gets the jump on Beth but they are able to fight him off. Hope continues to dwindle as they only find several walkers devouring people’s remains. This leaves Beth saddened by the sight. She continues to recollect her faith and confidence as her and Daryl set up camp for the night.

Lizzie, Mika, Tyreese, and Judith seem to be in the same tough spot as Daryl and Beth, but a crying baby makes their situation a little more challenging while trying to avoid the walkers. Resigned to needing to protect the children and a fussy child, they hear a rustling in the bushes. When birds pop out, Mika gets startled and runs. Catching up to her, Tyreese tries to console Mika about her fears. Tyreese leaves the girls to fend for themselves as he goes running toward the sound of screaming. Tyreese finds the same crowd of people fighting off the walkers. While he fights the walkers, Lizzie and Mika get surprised by walkers as well. Carol shows up to save the girls and meets back with Tyreese. Before dying from his walker bites, the only still-breathing member of the other group tells them to head up the tracks to a safe place. Carol explained that she saw the end of the prison and tried to follow behind Tyreese running into the woods. They find a map with a message to survivors, welcoming anyone who can make it to Terminus.

the-walking-dead-inmates-glenn-2Sharpening her knife against a rock, Maggie finds herself with Sasha and Bob near the river. Sasha fixes up Bob’s shoulder while he tries to convince her that Tyreese and the others could have made it out. Maggie insists that she must leave and find Glenn, saying that she knows where the bus went. While Sasha is resistant, Bob quickly agrees to follow. After walking a while, they find a bus but it is full of walkers. Needing to know if Glenn is in there, they open the back door to let each walker out one by one. Maggie stabs each one in the head but then they just spill out when too many crowd the back. Maggie phases out for a moment and snaps right back into action. After killing them all, Maggie jumps on the bus to investigate the remains. With the seats covered in blood and gore, only one walker remains. She kills it and begins to both laugh and cry at the site of it.

Glenn, still stuck at the prison, is now completely surrounded by walkers. Having failed to leave, he awakens to find himself trapped next to the bridge the Governor blew up with the tank. Returning inside the dark prison, he slowly makes his way with his gun at the ready position. Finding his old cell, he pulls the tactical gear out from under the bed and takes a moment to let the pressure overtake him. Seeing the photo of Maggie next to the bed, he begins to plead for her safety. After grabbing a few more supplies, he puts on the tactical gears and tries to run his way through the walker crowd. He makes it through but is startled by Tara for just a moment. Seemingly out of touch with her situation, Glenn enlists her to help get free of the prison. They make it to the road but Tara continues to apologize for the attack. She says that she saw her sister dead in the field and saw the Governor kill Hershel. Glenn insists that they must press forward, as he refuses to give up searching for Maggie. Walkers appear and it takes all of the strength out of Glenn, leaving Tara to finish off the remaining ones. Just as she raises her head, an army truck appears and out comes Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, and Eugene Porter.

Reaction: Judith and Carol live! The mystery of both of them has finally been answered, somewhat. It is now clear that Judith was saved by Tyreese before Rick and Carl found the carrier, but there is no exact answer to Carol’s story yet. The only thing we know is that she saw the end of the destruction of the prison and track Tyreese and the girls. This is certainly good news for Lizzie and Mika since they get their mother figure back.

the-walking-dead-inmates-bethThis episode ended up being almost solely about the act of surviving. As a community in the prison, they had gotten to a place where they felt relatively safe. The walkers were on the outside of the gates and they suffered only small incidents with the buildup at the fences. Outside of the prison, they are now all susceptible to a random attack. Making the situation even more challenging, the pairings make the feeling of hope harder to swallow. Only Rick and Carl have each other at the moment. Beth and Maggie are separated. Tyreese and Sasha are separated. Maggie and Glenn are separated. None of the groups of survivors were able to handle being out of their protection without succumbing to a zombie attack and be required to prove themselves yet again.

With so many characters reintroduced compared to last week, there is a lot to process.

Daryl clearly seemed to be lost and Beth appeared to be the only character who could effectively set him straight. With the right combination of determination and weakness to survive alone, she snapped him out of his funk enough to get back on the trail. The interesting low point followed Daryl’s comment about faith failing Hershel in the end. There was a look in his eyes at that point that clearly highlighted his realization that he was losing his edge and needed to catch himself before it was too late. Finding another survivor could really bring Daryl back from the brink.

Lizzie and Mika are an interesting yin and yang, making Tyreese’s life much more difficult. While he is holding himself together, Lizzie seemed to continue her readiness to fly off the handle and Mika is ready to run off. Tyreese being left to balance the kids was probably the best and worst situation for the group to be spilt as it is. Tyreese is an intense fighter but lacks the people skills to connect with kids. He somewhat made up for his weakness in a moment with Mika but then immediately left to go help the people screaming nearby. Carol’s return in that scene marked a welcomed return for Melissa McBride. Tyreese was still completely unaware of Carol’s involvement in the killing of his girlfriend but that challenge is for another episode. While there is a chance he will lose it again, he may have just enough distance from everything and too much other chaos around him to lash back out against Rick and Carol for their knowledge of Carol’s actions. It might also just be me but it seemed like Lizzie was doing more than just trying to keep Judith quiet with the way she was holding her hand over Judith’s mouth.

MAGGIEBob and Sasha were essentially holding themselves together, but Maggie was losing herself in the search for Glenn. Completely overtaken by the need to find him, she was willing to either run off to track him or put the others at risk to find him. Finding the bus was a pivotal moment because she had no clue if he was still on it or had gotten away. In reality, he left the bus before it ever even drove off. Killing the walkers flooding out of the bus seemed to be a release of anger for her but she also was startled by the flood initially. When she made it to the final walker on the bus, it was set up to feel like she found Glenn, though there was little chance of that being the case. Maggie is only moments from completely cracking up, so she hopefully will discover him or other survivors soon to snap her back to reality.

Glenn was the only survivor to be left alone at the end of the attack (minus Tara, of course). He had a moment in the jail cell where he seemed to be overcome by his fate but the picture of Maggie snapped him back to action. It was unclear if his only plan was to use the riot gear to avoid getting bitten. He just barreled through and ended up stopping when he saw Tara. Encouraged to try and find Maggie, Glenn rediscovered his purpose while Tara struggled to get ahold of hers. She felt betrayed by the Governor and distraught after seeing the dead bodies of her loved ones after the attack. Releasing a bit of her own aggression near the end, she served as the connecting point for the introduction of new characters.

In the end, Daryl is distraught, tension is starting to build for an explosion between Carol and Tyreese, Lizzie appears homicidal, Maggie is on the brink, Glenn seems to still be weak, and new characters have broadened the excitement between the show and the comics.

In Memoriam: Woodbury survivors, lots of walkers, bunnies

vuecover9f-9-webThe scene at the prison is a disaster. Following the Governor’s attack, the fences are down and walkers have retaken the grounds. Michonne, left alone outside with the hoard, starts to walk back inside the prison, attracting two walkers to get trapped against the spikes at the entrance. She disarms both walkers and takes them as pets. Just before leaving the area, she finds the zombified head of Hershel and puts him out of his misery. Traveling along the road, she finds some footprints and chooses not to follow them.

Away from the prison and after a little time has passed, Carl leads his father, who is stumbling to keep up. They happen upon a biker bar and find just a single walker inside. While Rick has trouble taking the walker out with a hatchet, Carl kills it with his pistol. They find a small amount of supplies but seem to be at odds with each other. They end up finding a house and work their way through to clear it out, but Carl starts to yell to draw the walkers out and then turns his anger toward Rick. Checking out the upstairs rooms, Carl finds a TV, stopping for a moment and then yanking out the cord to tie up the front door. Later than evening, Carl brings out Shane and creates more tension between the two of them. In the bathroom, Rick looks at himself in the mirror and sees a broken, sick man staring back at him.

Michonne falls asleep in an abandoned car and drifts into a dream state. She imagines that she is holding her child while talking with her lover and friend about strange occurrences at the museum. While preparing food to eat, she puts out the samurai sword and finishes preparing their food. All of a sudden, the two men are without arms, her child is missing, and the world has fallen into the apocalypse. After waking up, she continues her journey with a pack of walkers surrounding her.

vuecover9f-2-webCarl wakes up, makes some cereal, and goes upstairs to eat alone. When he comes back downstairs, he sees that Rick is still asleep and does not seem to wake up even after shaking him. Two walkers appear at the door after he starts to yell, forcing him to go out another door and lead the walkers away from the house. As he gets them away from the house, he allows a third walker to sneak up behind him. While he is able to take out all three, he stumbled and let them die on top of him. Feeling superior, he makes his way back toward the house. When he gets back, he tries to prove to his father than he is strong enough even though Rick is still out cold. He goes on a tirade about how angry he is that his father failed to lead their group and all of the people who died in the process. Before walking out of the room, he says, “I’d be fine if you died.”

Back on the streets, Carl pulls a spike out of the ground and tries to break into another house. After he struggles to get in, he finds a fairly stocked kitchen, including a giant tub of chocolate pudding. He continues on upstairs and finds the first two rooms are empty. The third reveals a trapped walker, which causes him to empty his clip and escape into the bedroom. The walker knocks him down and takes his boot, but he escapes and writes a message on the door to warn anyone else who might find it. He goes out on the roof to enjoy the pudding while the walker desperately tries to reach out toward him.

Michonne continues her journey with the walker pack and gets spooked by a walker that looks just like her. She finally snaps and takes out the entire pack in a rage. Left to the quiet, she begins to cry before moving on. She returns to the footprints she once found and starts to follow the trail.

Back at the house, Carl has returned but Rick still has not woken up. All of a sudden, Rick starts to breathe heavily, making Carl think he is a zombie. Carl pulls out his gun as Rick reaches for him. Carl admits that he cannot pull the trigger but Rick finally speaks and tells him to stay inside where it is safe. Carl breaks down and cries, finally admitting that he is actually scared.

Michonne stumbles upon the bar where Rick and Carl tangled with the walker previously, putting her on the same path that they traveled. She drops to the floor and starts talking to herself about Mike, her husband. She recounts how they could have all stayed alive and references a question that she finally feels she has an answer for.

Rick finally wakes up and both scolds and appreciates Carl’s scrounging. Ricks admits that the life they once had was truly gone. He finally also tells Carl what he has wanted to hear, that Carl is truly a man. Carl finally forgives him as well. Michonne approaches the house and sees that Rick and Carl are inside, taking a moment to keep herself from crying. When she finally knocks, the guys pop up with their guns but Rick sees that Michonne has found them.

vuecover9f-1-webReaction: The return of the season brings the return of the Blogging Dead. The cast was limited in this return to Rick, Carl, and Michonne, with a brief glimpse of a dead Governor and zombie Hershel head in the beginning. There was no sense of how the rest of the group was fairing at the moment, but it was clear that these three survivors are struggling in very different ways.

Rick felt like he failed his group and his daughter, but he still felt required to take care of Carl and take point. Since Carl did not want to listen, Rick just continued to stay hard-headed, until he became out cold from his exhaustion and injuries. When he finally came to, he realized that he was vulnerable and that Carl had done more than enough to prove himself after the prison, giving him some of the much needed appreciation that he had desired.

As for Carl, he was a mess. Angry about what happened at the prison and at his perception of his father’s responsibility for the events, he threw some serious resistance toward Rick. Until he felt left alone, Carl was ready to fight and disobey at every turn. When left to his own devices, he felt a consistent need to prove his strength and independence to himself, even though he was shouting about it prior. He clearly struggled through a couple of walker attacks but still felt powerful for surviving and gathering more food. What finally snapped him out of his anger was the incident with Rick finally partially waking up and seeming like a zombie. Unable to pull the trigger, he was ready to give himself to a zombified father but was shocked to find that Rick was still alive. He was willing to die rather than kill a walker version of Rick. When Rick finally woke up, he finally admitted that he needed his father.

Michonne’s story surprised as an in-depth account of her complexity. The dream sequence was the background that finally explained the two disarmed walkers that were with her when she first appeared in the show. The dream actually highlights something else more than her background though. She had to become more hardened after the walkers took over the Earth, but she was not so hard while the people she loved were still alive. She had discovered that she had skill with a blade, but the two men seemed to resent her a bit for it. They had become more of liabilities, whereas she had become an asset. This dream occurred around the time that she had to take new walker pets, which symbolized falling back into old ways which included becoming guarded again. The berserk attack then symbolized a choice of life and detaching her past from her ability to move forward.

The rest of the gang is still out there. Next week should reveal where the rest of the group has ended up.

In Memoriam: some walkers, that’s all