Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 11: Claimed

This week's episode had a bit of everything: introductions, nail-biting suspense, and more character building.

And to think I was worried last year when the news broke that Scott Gimple was taking over the show. It's better than it's ever been under his watch!

LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD!

Thoughts:
• At the very beginning of the episode we see a trio of walkers grabbing at a deflated helium balloon stuck on a sign post. I don't remember ever seeing them have any interest in inanimate objects like this before. Are they hinting at something new going on with the walkers? Some kind of burgeoning new intelligence perhaps?

• Abraham, Eugene and Rosita all seem pretty much like their comic book counterparts. I'm betting Abraham's going to become the new break out character. He's a bit like Merle but without all the crazy.

Michael Cudlitz was awesome as Abraham. Christian Serratos certainly looked good as Rosita, and did OK with what little she had to do in this episode.

Unfortunately I can't say the same for Josh McDermitt as Eugene. He had little or no screen presence in the few scenes in which he appeared. He's supposed to come off as an insufferable prick, not brain damaged. Maybe he'll improve once we see more of him. I hope.

• So Eugene claims he knows what caused the zombie apocalypse and is just the man to fix it. I don't want to blurt out a big spoiler so I won't say too much about this particular subplot, but readers of the comic will know whether his claim is true or not.

Judging from what I saw in this episode, TV Eugene doesn't seem like he could open a can of beans, much less end the zombie plague. It makes me wonder how Abraham could possibly believe him and doing everything possible to get him to D.C.

• I liked the interaction between Carl and Michonne in this episode. Carl's soy milk monoloue sounded exactly like something a teen would say. Kudos to Chandler Riggs, who's become quite a good actor this season.

• It's nice to see Michonne finally opening up. She's come a long way since the one note, growling Season 3 version, and the show's that much better for it.

• Michonne tells Carl that she had a son named Andre Anthony. I wonder if "Anthony" was his middle or last name? Is she Michonne Anthony?

• Despite all the death and turmoil that's happened in the past few months, Rick apparently thought he deserved some me time and pampered himself by doing some manscaping. He had a hairy chest way back in the pilot, but in this episode his torso is as smooth as a baby's bottom. Who knew Rick was a metrosexual?

• Glenn wakes up in the back of Abraham's army truck, and Tara tells him they passed Maggie's school bus three hours ago. So... did she try to wake him up as they passed it or just passively watch it recede in the distance as they drove on?

• So Glenn's determined to hike god knows how many miles (50? 100?) back to the bus to find his wife Maggie, but Abraham doesn't want Glenn to leave, because he's trying to get Eugene to Washington D.C. Once Eugene kills the truck though, Abraham's group decides to follow Glenn.

OK, I get that their truck is dead and they have nowhere else to go. But why would they decide to follow Glenn ALL the way back to that bus? It might take days to get there. Why wouldn't they just backtrack until they found another suitable vehicle and then continue to D.C.?

• Normally I don't point out editing goofs, but there was a really blatant one in this episode. When Abraham was beating the crap out of Glenn, we cut to a shot of Eugene standing at the left side of the army truck. We cut back to the fight, and when we see Eugene again, he's standing at the right side of the truck and walks back over to the left side again. Whoops! Pretty sure the editor switched these two shots.

• When a group of walkers approaches the truck, Eugene tries to shoot them, but fails miserably. In fact he acts like he's never used a gun before in his life. How the hell did he survive this long without a rudimentary knowledge of how to point and shoot a gun?

I'm starting to wonder if his shooting the gas tank of the truck was really an accident, and he's trying to delay the arrival in D.C. for as long as possible.

• The scenes in which the thugs invade Rick's house as he tried to avoid them were masterfully shot. Kudos to the director-- he had me on the edge of my seat!

• After Rick killed the thug in the bathroom, he opened the door a bit and then climbed out the window. At first I didn't get what the whole "opening the door a crack" was about. I finally figured it out-- he opened the door so that when the thug turned, he'd be able to get out of the bathroom and attack the other thugs, causing a diversion.

And that's exactly what happened! RIght as Rick was about to kill the thug on the porch, we heard a commotion from inside the house as Rick's walker attacked the group. Nice strategy!

• I have a bad feeling those thugs were a scouting party from the Terminus sanctuary. You know, the place that keeps advertising, "Those Who Arrive, Survive."

We got a good look at one of the thugs right at the end (the one smoking on the front porch). How much do you want to be we see him again at the sanctuary?

• At the end of the episode Rick, Carl and Michonne see a sign for the Terminus sanctuary and decide to head for it. I have a bad feeling about that place. "Terminus" isn't exactly a warm and fuzzy word. Sounds a little too much like "terminal" to me.

I wonder if this is going to be the TV version of The Sanctuary storyline? In the comic book, the Sanctuary is a colony ruled by Negan, a nut job self-appointed dictator who makes the Governor look like Gilligan. Seems a bit too soon to introduce another crazy Governor-esque character, but what do I know?

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