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 411mania » Movies » DVD/Other Reviews

The Walking Dead Review: Season 4, Episode 11 'Claimed'
Posted by Josh Syvertsen on 02.23.2014

Welcome back to your favorite little corner of the interwebs to read and talk about the latest episode of The Walking Dead (at least it better be your favorite. I don't take rejection well.) I drove Five and a half hours home from Montreal to make it home in time to watch this weeks episode, add to that the Blu Ray of Game of Thrones Season 3 staring me in the face (not to mention the premiere of The Amazing Race and a script deadline quickly approaching) and you may understand how much I love you folks. But man love not withstanding, first we need to have some....Housekeeping!

Caveat #1:First, and most importantly for some of you I guess, I have not read the acclaimed graphic novel series on which the show is based. I have not done this for a myriad of reasons, the first being laziness. I'm a busy man people. But the second and most important, is that this column/review is about the television show The Walking Dead, not the graphic novel series. It would be unfair to the show and unfair to you, the reader, if I was constantly bitching about how the show is different than the source material (and believe me I would bitch). Think that's wrong? Hit me up on twitter some time and mention 'Under The Dome' - watch my head explode. I will make this promise to you who are ever so pissed about my lack of The Walking Dead graphic novel experience, that someday when the show has completed its run, I will check it out.

Caveat #2: Have fun. What's expressed here is one solitary, bitterly lonely mans opinion. If you believe something different, write about it! Let everyone out there know what you think, but don't be a dick. It's a television show - not life or death.

Reader Mail: So I take it the snark factor was up just a bit too high last week, which I understand. Perhaps it was a little too harsh. Not everyone wants a side of sarcasm with their Zombie Apocalypse main course. Hey, I and this column are both a works in progress, so I'll dial it back a bit.

That being said I have 5 and half hours to talk with my wife about the show on our drive home today and I can honestly tell you, I do believe something is missing this season. Last season I was begging her to watch the show with me, (like some she checked out early in Season 2.) I was begging her to check out the shit going down between Michonne, Andrea, and The Governor. This season, while the shows are good, it's been a more difficult sell. It's harder for me to get excited for the season as a whole. There are individually good episodes, but some of the choices made are head scratchers. Hopefully the arrival of Abraham and his crew will put some juice back in not only my, but the shows, tank as well. Who knows, but as always thanks for the feedback and we will move on...

Hey...here's a a pretty picture!:

"I'm not happy with myself these days. I took the best parts of the script and I made them all cliche..."

Last Week On The Walking Dead: Carol reunited with Tyreese, Mika, Lizzie and a very much alive baby Judith. If you were a fly and you wanted to be on any wall, my guess is it would be this one. Maggie, Sacha, and Bob, got stuck together and spent their time looking for the bus and by proxy, Glenn. They didn't find him. Glenn, also very much alive, found tough Tara, who it turns out wasn't so so tough and just cowered in a cage during and after the attack. Together they escaped what's left of the prison, only to be met on the open road by the yet unnamed Abraham and his folks (not his parents, folks in the non blood relation way). Daryl drew the shortest straw in the pairings meeting and got stuck with Beth. They did a little Odd Couple sort of thing before disappearing after the first commercial break.

This Week On The Walking Dead: Big Red (which is what I'll call him until we get a formal introduction) wastes some walkers with a crowbar before needing the butt of Taras' gun to finish the job. No sign of what happened to Glenn yet. Tara notices how much he takes pleasure in the killing...this leads to Bear McCreadys' awesome Opening Credit Score.

Michonne and Carl have a moment regarding her new shirt. Carl talks some shit about soy milk and immediately becomes my favorite character. He mentions Judith by accident and everything gets dark again. Michonne moves into the kitchen where her and Rick have a moment regarding Carls well being and the next move. Rick wants to stay put a while. Which of course means...supply run time. Michonne insists she and Carl go while Rick stays behind, after all he was unconscious yesterday. Speaking of new shirts, it might be time for Rick to hit one of the closets in the house...and right on cue - new white t-shirt and some Rick nipples, so there you go ladies.

Michonne tries to be congenial and gives Carl some cheese whiz. He's not that into it. Michonne tells him her three year old found her extremely funny. Carl is blown away by the fact Michonne had a kid. Here come the questions. Michonne: "One question at a time, one room at a time, and only after we clear it." It's important to have ground rules.Meanwhile Rick is having some fucked up nightmares, which, to be fair, is to be expected and is a big step up from phone calls from his dead wife. Post dream Rick realizes the voices weren't in his head. They were real! He hides under the bed. Carols watch starts to go off, he manages to silence it. The dude in the room decides to take a nap.

Carl insists on playing 20 questions. Carl (and we) learn that Michonnes child was named Andre Anthony and that she had no other kids. No one else knows about her kid...of course telling a 14 year old boy is probably not the way to keep things on the down low, although Michonne claims its not really a secret. Then she unwraps a pretty fucked up painting. Entering the room the painting was blocking she finds a bathroom (or wash room if you are Canadian) and a couple of small children's room. Inside are the corpses of the family that lived in the house. They've killed themselves. It hits her pretty hard showing her one possible fate, had she given up like these folks did. Carl thinks there is a dead baby in the room, she insists it's a dead dog. Carl links baby Andres fate to baby Judiths possible fate. Michonne decides it's time to leave.

Meanwhile, Glenn wakes up, sans body armor, in the back of a military vehicle with Tara. Glenn want's to know about the bus. Tara claims they passed it three hours ago and everyone is dead. Glenn wants the truck stopped. No dice, until he breaks the back window. Big Red doesn't seem too happy with Glenns want to leave. Big Red seems very self important. We get some formal introductions, Big Red is Abraham Ford. He's joined by Rosita Espinoza and Doctor Eugene Porter, who they are trying to get to Washington (D.C., not the state) because he knows what caused this whole shebang. Glenn asks the logical question "What happened?" Of course it's classified. Abraham claims they have been talking to people in D.C. and need all the help they can get. Glenns not buying it. He wants to look for Maggie. Abraham tells him the chances of finding her are pretty much zero. Glenn takes exception to this statement and punches Abraham in the face. Needless to say the physical exchange doesn't go too well for Glenn. The ass kicking is only stopped when a bunch of walkers approach and Eugene tries to fire a gun. Sadly, he fires said gun right into the fuel tank of the vehicle Abraham was driving. That's going to put a damper on D.C. trip for sure.

Damn, the guy sleeping above Rick can snore. A second guy enters the room and wants the bed. They fight over it. The one dude gets knocked to floor and choked out before he can tell the other dude he sees Rick under the bed. Rick tries to escape, without being seen (obviously). He manages to slither out and hide in a kids room, narrowly escaping detection. He tries to get out a window, but they are all locked. The folks in the house finds Michonnes old shirt. He wants to hang around and wait for her to come back. Upstairs, Rick runs into one of the interlopers in the bathroom. He takes him down and steals his gun. He leaves the door to the bathroom open so when that dude turns it will be bad news for the people in the house. Sufficiently armed, Rick manages to open a window and crawl out onto the little roof thing outside (I don't know what it's really called). He slides down and drops off the gutter. He's moving rather lithely for someone who was passed out most of the day before hand. Rick is trapped while a dude eats some beans on a porch. He sees Michonne and Carl approaching. Luckily, walkers attack and the bean eater gets called away. Rick joins Michonne and Carl as the race from the house.

Abraham is is giving the good Doctor a tongue lashing for killing the truck. Rosita speaks! But that's not enough to keep Glenn and Tara around. Rosita says fuck it I'm going with the Asian guy. Abraham and Eugene follow in good time. So we have an Asian, a lesbian, a Latina, a big white ginger, and a nerdy doctor with a horrible mullett. It's like the United Colors of the Zombie Apocalypse. Abraham talks up Tara. He believes Tara is a good person and she thinks he's full of shit. They are both probably right.

Rick, Carl, and Michonne walk along the railroad tracks. The find the sign for Terminus. Rick decides they should make for it. Off they walk down the tracks...cue the Incredible Hulk walk away music and end episode.

Elsewhere: Once again...you've got it all above. You're welcome...not so fast...Once again they teased a Rick/Michonne pairing - whatever that may be. Not sure if it's meant to be romantic, but Michonne is certainly becoming very comfortable with Carl and seemed to enjoy her brief time playing house with Rick.

Reaction: The Rick, Carl, and Michonne story, although given the most minutes this week, was clearly the secondary story. Although I have to say I loved the device they used to leak the info about Michonne. It's easy to just regurgitate exposition, it's a lot more interesting when that information is meant to mean something. In this case, it was something Carl wanted, but had to work for. By placing a value on that information for Carl, there is a value placed in it for us. That value gives the info more meaning than just a throwaway piece of dialogue.

The main thrust of the episode though, was the introduction proper of Abraham and his group. I was a little nervous when I heard that we are getting another militaristic type with as scientist. We've seen The Governor and Milton already. But it's really a different dynamic with Abraham and Eugene. It opens up a lot of questions. It's clear Abraham believes Eugene can save the world, but has he been hoodwinked by the doctor who clearly thinks he's smarter than everyone else?

Not knowing Abraham from the graphic novels, I was surprised at Abrahams willingness in going with Glenn. To a certain extent there was no other choice, however Abraham, in the brief time we've known him (from a TV standpoint) doesn't seem like a guy who rolls over too easily. Perhaps there is another more duplicitous reason for Abraham to comply so easily. I can't believe Abraham would be so easy to back down in the face of someones challenge. What do you folks think? Is Abraham full of shit...or a lot smarter than he seems?

That's all I've got for this week. As always thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich."

Do me a favor and check out my evening mistress at DreadWorld

And hit me up on the twittah machine @misterjoshua77 and @dread_world

The 411: Good episode this week. Lot's of dangling participles. For those of us that are strict TV guys it was a really good roll out for Abraham and his group. Not sold on the hair. That's an odd shade of red...and the less said about Eugenes mullett, the better. But, hair be damned, good show all around.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend


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