27 February 2014

Talking Out The Dead: "Claimed"


Kelen Conley: Wowsers. What an episode. I know some people hate these character driven stories and just want to see walker walker smashy smashy run run all the time, but this was GOOD. No, Excellent. SPOILERS…

I’ve watched this episode 2 and a half times already and I wouldn’t mind seeing it another 2 to 3 times before next Sunday’s episode. It’s one of the most complete, joyous, experiences I’ve ever gotten from TWD. Seriously.

I’ll start with Rick/Michonne/Carl. I’m officially a fan or the Michonne/Carl dynamic now. I liked the scenes they shared in “Clear” but this episode really drove it home. Rick says something every dad has to deal with: the fact that he can’t be his son’s father and friend all the time. Michonne is Carl’s first true friend since Shane/Sophia and probably the first person not being nice to him due to extraneous circumstances only (Shane was trying to replace Rick and be his new father, Sophia and Carl were forced together and probably wouldn’t have met otherwise). She treats him like an equal and he appreciates it, while Carl offers the sympathetic ear she’s been lacking since the apocalypse began.

When she said that Carl was the first person she told about Andre, it really revealed how truly closed up Michonne was. Not that we didn’t see this in “After”, but Michonne and Andrea were on their own for a long time between the woods outside of Herschel’s farm and outside of Woodbury. Apparently those were some exciting one-sided conversations Andrea had.

I really liked the discovery Michonne made with the family. I don’t recall the exact last time we saw someone “opting out” but this was a gruesome reminder that everybody wasn’t cut out for the apocalypse. It’s even harder when you think that those kids probably weren’t even given a choice, just murdered in cold blood and followed into death by their mother in the chair.

Now onto Rick’s story. What a doozy. Before I go any further, let me point out that RICK TOOK A FREAKING BULLET TO THE THIGH A FEW DAYS AGO. While having it go clean through or watching Rick or Michonne pull it out would’ve been the logical and boring answers, a line of dialog would’ve been appreciated about the fact. Or even Rick jumping off the roof and clutching his leg in pain. Rant over.

It’s a good thing Rick passed out in the days before and not after he fell asleep in bed. Angel asked me why Rick didn’t try to talk to men who broke into the house and my theory was that he woke up to another man begging for mercy. Also, he’s seen what the alive are capable of back at the Prison, there was no way Rick was going to trust strangers without the upper hand.

The scenes with Rick under the bed were scary, no doubt about it. Maybe even the most frightening scenes in a while, which is hilarious for a horror series. Good thing that one dude was so adamant about getting the bed that he choked out the guy who spotted Rick.

As for the man in the bathroom, I know it’s cable TV but was dude just sitting on a closed toilet? Like, “Man, these dudes get on my nerves. Let me hide in the bathroom and let them think I’m using it. Yeah.” At least have him hurriedly yanking up his pants or something.

Was this the first guy Rick has killed in a while though? I don’t mean like at the Prison, in a killed or be killed situation. I mean back to the Rick of the first half of Season 3? Where he shoots first and never asks questions later? I missed that guy.

So the trio escape the house and hit the train tracks and are heading to the same Terminus that Careese were headed to last episode. And we now know that Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene aren’t from there.

I bet those dudes that took the house were from Terminus. And I bet there are even badder dudes there than what we met in this episode. Do you think they have the guts to cut off Rick’s hand a la the comics in the season finale?!

As for the Glenn/Tara/Abraham/Rosita/Eugene of it all, first and foremost, Tara and Rosita both looked outstanding in all their scenes. They need their own episode with Maggie where they go on a run, kill walkers, and share back stories.

That first scene with Abraham was more than enough to make me like him more than Tyreese as the third strong character of the show. He’s funny, bad ass, and knows how to use the butt of a gun. Count me in.

Rosita didn’t get much to do other than look good and be the first one of the crew to start following Glenn and Tara after they dispatched the group of walkers. Not sure how Tara was able to tell she was in love with Abraham so quickly but I guess a woman knows these things.

Eugene, what a mullet he has! He seems to be channeling a Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man, awkwardness and it works well. That shooting was awful though, Carl shot better in Season 2 before they started training everyone with guns. And the idea that he knows what caused everything and is needed in Washington? I call bullshit. I don’t know what his end game is but he’s definitely lying. I’m not getting my hopes up.

Tara didn’t get to do much other than run a lot and follow Glenn like a cult leader but I like the fact that she kept directions and didn’t forget about Glenn’s goal to find Maggie.

I think Glenn was the most boring story of the show. We know he wants to find Maggie; he doesn’t have to be stupid about it. Abraham wasn’t trying to physically stop him from leaving, the punch wasn’t necessary other than furthering along the plot.

And I wonder if we’ll see Glenn mention what they learned at the CDC to Eugene and crew next time we meet up with them?

Thomas Crawford: I have to agree with a lot that you said.  First, I love that Rick is back in the action.  I’m sure there were fans saying, “Why is he hiding like that?”  First off, he went for his gun when he woke up to the sounds of the men downstairs.  He was completely defenseless facing an unknown threat.  He had given his sidearm to Carl before he and Michonne had left.  I liked the continuity of the story.  They made a point of showing him giving the gun to Carl, then him trying to grab it when he woke up.

I was tired and out of it when I first watched the episode.  However, I did get a sense of foreboding when he gave the gun to Carl.  The gun is sort of a symbol.  Throughout the show it has represented Rick when he is in a certain character.  When he has his sidearm, he has tended to be a strong character that leads and others follow.  The times he has left it off, he has been a more passive person.  Without the sidearm, he tends to be the “dealing with emotions” type of character.

When he gave the gun to Carl, my first thought was,”Is he heading back into that type of character?”  My other thought was maybe Carl was going to be a stronger character for the remainder of the season, sort of passing of the torch.  I am not certain and I may just be looking too much into it.  Sometimes a gun is just a gun, what do you think?  Maybe you can remind me though, did Carl give Rick his gun back at the end of the show?  Something I missed but have been thinking about.

I also really liked the back and forth between Michonne and Carl.  Michonne might even be more than just a friend to Carl, she seems to be falling into the role of big sister.  It was weird seeing Michonne trying to play to clown, however, I personally liked it.  I think they are starting to give her more depth as a character, and showing more of her story with her relationship with Carl.

I think fans that are tired of the character driven episodes need to buckle up, because I can see at least another episode or two geared in that fashion.  It isn’t like there was no zombie killing at all in this episode.  The show started with Abraham taking out the walkers with little difficulty.  Also, does anyone forget when the group of Glenn, Tara, and the newcomers were getting surrounded?  It was just a mow-down-walker fest.   Let’s not forget that one man got killed over a bed, and Rick had to kill a man in the toilet.  This episode definitely had enough action and suspense for me.

It is a balance I think that the creators are going for in the long run.  The entire show has not been about running and killing walkers.  It can’t be, otherwise it wouldn’t be an episodic show, just a movie.  It is about the characters and how they react and connect with others during this societal cataclysm.  It is a show where the walkers are in many cases a backdrop, not the main driving points of the show.  It should also be noted, that this show pointed out something that many people tend to forget:  The walkers aren’t necessarily the most dangerous thing in TWD universe.

A man got strangled over a bed, a bed!  The way it happened was very callous and cold.  The man killed the unknown guy, then laughed and claimed the bed.  The other members of his party, we know there were at least two more, didn’t even make a point to show up and see what was going on.  One thing that hits home with me is that people are far more dangerous than mindless walkers.  I can at least feel some sympathy for the walkers.

It is obvious we are heading for a reunion of sorts.  Rick, Michonne, and Carl found the sign leading to Terminus.  We are left with them heading down the train tracks.  I am actually anxious to see what happens, but I think this is going to be something that is going to be dragged out for at least two episodes.  Let’s not forget, Tyreese with Carol and company are heading for Terminus the last we saw.

Tyreese still isn’t in the know about Carol.  How will Rick handle the joy of finding out Judith is alive and in the hands of the woman he banished?  They left on civil terms, but will there be any hard feelings on Carol’s part?  How is this reunion going to play out when Tyreese finally finds out what Carol admitted to doing?  I say admitted because I’m still up in the air about whether she did it or not.  Then we are going to have that awkward scene, with anger and resentment, mixed with the joy of finding Judith alive.  Rick will obviously owe Tyreese big for saving his daughter.  These are just a couple things that come to mind when I consider the reunion.

KC: They never showed Carl giving the gun back. Rick tore off from the house after the guy he killed reanimated and he didn’t have to kill the guy on the porch. Then he told Carl and Michonne to go in the other direction. When we saw them arriving at the Terminus sign, I didn’t notice if the gun was back on Rick’s hip or not. I’m going to say Carl still has the gun because Rick still has the gun from the guy he killed in the bathroom.

I agree with your Rick/gun ideas. Season 1, he was a leader. Season 2, Herschel wouldn’t let them keep their guns on them, so he seemed more passive. Season 3, he was the leader. First half of Season 4, passive. We’ve yet to really see what Rick we’re getting here but I’m glad he’s taking the Han Solo approach and striking first.

I’m worried about them giving Michonne so much depth now. We finally learn her back story and then BOOM! Dead by the finale. Heather said that she thinks Michonne is unkillable like Daryl but I don’t know. From her Talking Dead appearance, she’s really well spoken and knows her character like the back of her hand. Who’s to say that she won’t get offered a movie role or even the lead in a pilot of something  and the writers have to kill her?

Something that was pointed out on TD (I haven’t watched yet but I saw this online): the guy that got choked out was only unconscious. Not that it makes me like the strangers any more but it’s an important fact that if the guy did survive the walker attack (I would assume he didn’t since he would’ve been the walker’s first target I think) he’s seen Rick’s face. That could come back later in the season.

And something that wasn’t as prevalent until we met the Governor is the fact that humans are the biggest threat in the apocalypse. After reading Compendium One, I was a bit down by how little hope there was in the world, but after seeing some of the horrors we’ve seen this season, I got used to the idea real quick. Maybe, pre-apocalypse, these dudes wouldn’t harm a fly.

But here’s a rule for apocalyptic life: EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED. Some people opted out. Some people banded together in an effort to survive. And some people banded together to take everything they could by force and to rape and pillage. It’s not like anyone could stop them. I think Terminus will just offer further proof of this rule.

I think the character driven episodes separate the real fans from the bandwagon fans actually. And even the people who hate watch the show. I know TWD isn’t the most technically sound piece of television ever but there’s way too many people who just rip it to shreds every single week. If these character driven episodes get those bozos to quit watching, I’m all for it.

I care about these characters and this universe and the mythology of it all. Michonne spraying spray cheese into her mouth was just as important as when she killed that pack of walkers in “After”. It’s a shame that some people’s attention span is too short to realize that. Rant 2 over.

As for Rick’s reaction to Judith being alive and with Carol, I think he’ll be so elated to see Judith at first that he won’t mind. He’ll also either realize Tyreese still doesn’t know the truth and keep quiet or he’ll mention it in a casual way like Carol confessed to him and Ty will fly off the handle. But the truth will come out before the season finale. You don’t think Tyreese will hurt Carol do you? Or the opposite: He attacks Carol and she lays a beatdown on him?

TC: I’m going to start by answering you last question, I think if Tyreese finds out he is going to flip out on Carol.  The thing is, Carol isn’t helpless, and I’d be careful if I were Tyreese about starting anything with her.  They also have not revealed what happened with Daryl and Beth yet.  My guess is next episode is going to be a lot about what they have been doing and getting to Terminus.

I bring this up because Daryl hasn’t seen Carol yet either.  What happens when Rick, Carol, Tyreese, and Daryl are all together again?  This is something I think would make for an explosive scene.  We all know that Daryl just found out and then the Governor attacked the prison.  It is possible that he is going to be a little less than happy with Rick as well, especially with Carol back with the group.  What happens if Tyreese flips out on Carol with Daryl there?  That would be a pretty epic clash.

You are right about Michonne as well.  As the characters tend to get more  depth, they end up dead.  This show has shown that for the most part no one is safe from being axed.  I still say my top three for being safe are Daryl, Rick, and Carl.  I’m not going to get into why I think it is obvious.  I think you are right as well, she could easily move on to other deals and may end up a goner by the end of the season.  I’m going to cross my fingers and hope not, but she is not on my safe list at all.

I’d like to point out one other thing I was thinking about.  What is going to happen with Glenn, Tara, Abraham, Dr. Porter, and Rosita?  It seems apparent that at some point they will probably end up at Terminus.  However, they making a round about trip of it.  I have to admit I’m not liking Glenn much at this point.  Wanting to go find Maggie, I understand.  Attacking Abraham, is he stupid?

I was also wondering about the connection Tara has with Glenn.  It seems she has lost everyone she has ever cared about.  Perhaps Glenn just seems like the first honest guy she has met in awhile.  He told her point blank, he needed her help, and she needed his.  Perhaps helping him find Maggie is sort of her way of trying to pay him back?  She was totally traumatized by the acts of the Governor.  She knows she was a part of it, and maybe her clinging to him is her way of trying to forgive herself.  However, what is Maggie going to think running into him in tow?

Another thought that hit my mind.  Tara mentioned to Abraham that Rosita loves him.  However, Tara said that she doesn’t know what kind of man he is.  I would like to point out that Rosita left Abraham and Porter real quick when Glenn and Tara took off.  Where was the love for Abraham then?  Could Rosita be following Glenn?  Perhaps she doesn’t have faith in Abraham and Dr. Porter’s cause.  Actually I heard one comment that maybe Rosita is following Tara.  I laughed at that, but then remembered that Tara had a love interest with Alisha before they attacked the prison.  I guess it isn’t completely out of the question, just something to ponder.

Overall, I think next week is going to be a roundup.  We are going to see maybe one or two groups finally come to the mysterious Terminus.  We are going to be reunited with Daryl and Beth.  I ‘m getting that from the trailers.  I also think we are going to get a return to Maggie, and find out what happened to her, Bob and Sasha.  The last time we left them they had just cleared out the bus.  I have a feeling this is going to be one last big character driven episode before the entire group, or at least majority of the group, gets back together.  After that, the action and suspense will be non stop.

KC: When Rick/Carl/Michonne/Tyreese/Carol/Mika/Krazy Lizzie/Daryl all reunite, shit’s going to hit the fan. I’m glad you brought this up because honestly, this is the best way to handle revealing everything and moving the story along. I would have them all meet up at once, after the next episode. While Rick, Carl, and a newly in touch with her feelings Michonne take turns making over Judith, Daryl arrives to see Carol again for the first time in weeks. Carol and Daryl reunite but Daryl wastes no time asking Rick what made him change his mind about her. Tyreese insists on knowing what Rick changed his mind about and Daryl, not one to hold his tongue, tells him. Tyreese flies off into a rage at Carol and has to be subdued by Rick and Daryl barely stops himself from putting an arrow into his skull. Tyreese stalks off.

This sets up new conflict on top of everyone arriving at Terminus. Just some ideas.

I’m starting to think that Maggie/Bob/Sasha and Glenn/Tara/Abraham/Eugene/Rosita don’t make it to Terminus this season. In fact, I could almost see the most deaths coming from these two groups by the end of the finale. When we  come back for Season 4, we’d have main story with Rick and Terminus and small story with whoever comes out of those two groups alive. Although, that may be too much to put on the show’s writers.

Glenn is being reckless for the first time ever. We’ve always known Glenn to be the guy who can sneak around and get things done. Being separated from Maggie might have driven him off of the deep end to be honest. And might get him killed.

Tara is definitely attempting to redeem herself in these last episodes and we might end up with her dead as well because of it. I could see her sacrificing herself if it means Glenn getting to continue his search for Maggie.

I think Rosita might bite it the next we see her too. While she may be attracted to Tara or to Glenn’s mission of finding his wife more than getting Eugene to DC, she has all the makings of a classic extra warm body on the show. Compare it to a Stark Trek red shirt if you’d like.

Abraham and Eugene will definitely be around for a while but I think but once Eugene is caught lying (he has to be lying…right?), Abraham could turn on him, especially if he’s lost Rosita due to lies.

Bold Prediction: Beth dies in this Sunday’s episode. The sneak peek didn’t show us much but if there’s going to be a Greene family member left standing by next season, it’s Maggie.

Kill Watch

  • Beth
  • Bob
  • Rosita
  • Glenn
  • Tara
  • Michonne

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