The Walking Dead Review 4.14 - 'The Grove'
Posted by Josh Syvertsen on 03.16.2014
The Walking Dead returned with a shocking new episode last night. 411's Josh Syvertsen brings us up to speed on the episode and it's fallout in the Walking Dead report!
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.) Another wonderful week at chez Syvertsen, and I hope you had the same. Finished the American version of The Office this week via Netflix. I put it behind 30 Rock and Parks and Rec, but ahead of Arrested Development on the "binge watching funny scale." All four shows were very funny...not a shitty show amongst them. Mrs. Joshua is trying to get me to watch Veronica Mars. I am fighting it but my resistance is probably futile. I do however have all 8 episodes of True Detective waiting for me to watch so I may get away with some Mars deterrence for a short time. Well, I've rambled on enough...time for 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: Last week wasn't my best week for accuracy (although some would say..."why strive for accuracy now you hack"). Touche. Back to my point. Things were a bit rushed last week as the evil assholes at Time Warner were screwing with the interwebs all day, so I had to cut and run at a certain point last week. So please accept my humble apologies.
So yes, the folks that Daryl ran into last week were the same tough guys that Rick had a little dust up with back at the house. I still think that, regardless of who they are, that this is not a full on heel turn for Daryl. Some folks have thought that this spits in the face of Daryl as a loner, but Daryl has never really been a loner. Prior to joining Ricks group he was Merles shadow. The when he hooked up with Ricks group he was the outsider of the group, but he has never been a Michonne level loner.
Of course the big miss last week was Beth being kidnapped. I totally missed it the first time I watched it. I am glad to see I wasn't the only one, and had I taken more time while writing the review I would have realized that it was pretty obvious she was taken. Someone tell Liam Neeson! My initial confusion came from the fact that at that point in the story we were extremely invested in Daryls story and his perspective. Looking at it from Daryls point of view, there is a question about what happened with Beth. So there is no excuse for me missing it, but there are many little reasons my brain was fooled by the show.
"Listen (shhhh) to what the flower people say. Listen (ahhhh) it's getting louder everyday..."
Last Week On The Walking Dead: Maggie, Bob, and Sascha continued the search for Glenn. Sascha thought it was a bad idea. Maggie ends the little triad, only to have it reunited by a bloody no parking sign and Bobs sweet lips. Beth and Daryl stumbled into an episode of Six Feet Under, taking up residence at a mortuary until it gets over run with walkers. In their escape, Beth is abducted by someone with one working tail light.
This Week On The Walking Dead: The kettle is on..it's hot chocolate time! Or not...outside some kids play in slow motion...that leads us to everyone's favorite opening credit sequence...well that was quick.
Carol and Lizzie both keep watch, Carol thinks this is unnecessary. Lizzie tells Carol about all the folks she's killed saving Tyreese. Carol thinks it's justifiable homicide, so it's passable. Lizzie brings up kids and Carols daughter...ugh, she's in the damn barn already! Sorry, some left over season 2 frustrations. They hug it out and Lissie goes to get some shut eye. Only now it's Tyreese who talks in his sleep. Ambien my friend, that will take care of that shit.
The next morning, it appears that Tyreese has an infection. Carol thinks she can treat it. They discuss Lizzies "condition," meaning her attitude regarding the walkers. They discuss the end of Tom Sawyer. They could be lying, I haven't read that book in years. As they walk Carol begins to smell fire. They stop to find some water. Carol and Mika leave Tyreese, Judith and Lizzie alone. Those three play I spy. Judith isn't much of a player being an infant and all. A walker approaches. Tyreese goes to kill it but it collapses before he gets to it. He goes to kill it but Lizzie stops him. Carol tries to tell Mika that she needs to stop being a pussy and toughen up. Running isn't the answer. Her daughter ran, and she got stuck in the barn for what seemed like forever. Mika says killing is bullshit. It's wrong. Carol doesn't quite get her point of view. She says she will change her mind about death soon enough. They find a house and the eternal optimist that is Mika is all, "see, things always work out how they are supposed to." Side Bar: Oculus looks fucking awesome. Love me some Karen Gillan.
They eat some pecans, which are apparently wonderful. They spot the smoke from the fire, probably the same fire Beth and Daryl started in happier days. Carol and Tyreese move to clear the house. Mika and Lizzie argue whether walkers are people. Just before one attacks them. Mika shoots it in the head. I guess Carol gets her "I told you so moment now." Lizzie is crying, but not too forthcoming as to the reason, which we can all pretty much figure out. Mika makes her stare at flowers to calm her down. Inside the house, they keep eating almonds and start playing house. Mika finds a doll and gives it a distinctively Swedish name...something Gunderson. Damn Swedes. That was for you Nana.
The next morning, Carol fills the tea pot...so here's where that is. Outside Lizzie is playing with a walker, not her sister like I thought in the beginning of the show. Carol runs out to save her. But Lizzie doesn't want to be saved. She really flips out on Carol. Inside, Tyreese has enough sense to take the tea pot off the burner.
Carol and Mika go hunting for some deer. Luckily they stumble upon one fairly quickly. I'm not a hunter but that's usually how it happens right? Mika can't bring herself to kill it. They back off and go find some peaches. Tyreese floats the idea of staying at the house. He busts out the fact her trusts Carol. Oh the irony! Mika can't find Lizzie anywhere. That's because she's out feeding mice to the walkers. So there's the answer to that. They fight again over the nature of the walkers. Lizzie threatens to have one bite her so she can "show them" what they are. Then all hell breaks loose as the burned walkers from the fire descend upon them. Tyreese, Carol and the two girls (who's watching Judith?) mow down the crispy walkers. Side bar #2: Those burnt walkers looked awesome. Very Return of The Living Dead looking.
Carol questions Lizzie and her thoughts on the walkers again. Lizzie says she "knows what she has to do now." That sounds pretty ominous. Then there is more with the pecans. Carol and Tyreese revisit staying at the house. Carols into staying. As is Tyreese. He brings up Karen. He misses her, it's pretty touching. He says he dreams of seeing someone kill her and the whole world is haunted now. Carol offers up another explanation, one that involves teaching and reminding. Tyreese tells her she is a good person and has done a good job with the girls. They hug. Oh Tyreese.
They get back to the house to find Lizzie standing over Mika with a bloody knife. She says "Don't worry. I didn't hurt her brain." She wants to wait until she turns to show them. She threatens to kill Carol if she messes with Mika. She then divulges the fact that she was about to off Judith as part of the same fucked up experiment. Carol manages to get Tyreese to take her away from Mika. Bear McCreary ramps up the emotions some great music at the end of the scene. It's a shame they chose this moment for the commercial break. It seems the tension was at it's max here. It would have been nice to see everything play out in one scene.
Inside we don't see what Carol did to Mika, but it's implied that she stabbed her once she turned. Tyreese cleaned out Lizzies room and found a box full of mice, solving that mystery for him. He postulates that Lizzie might have killed Karen and the other guy. Carol shoots that down and says she will leave with Lizzie leaving Tyreese and Judith. They both acknowledge it means certain death for everyone, but Lizzie cant be around others. Carol takes Lizzie out to pick some lowers for Mika. Lizzie calls her Ma'am. At least she's respectful. Lizzie gets upset because Carol is mad at her. Carol says she loves her and tells her to look at the flowers. Oh fuck. Carol shoots Lizzie in the back of the head. She walks back to the house. Sees a deer and keeps walking. They bury the girls in the yard. Inside Carol finally confesses to Tyreese that she killed Karen and David. She gives him the gun and tells him to do what he has to do. Tyreese has a couple of questions. Was she scared (no)? Was it quick (yes)? Tyreese releases the gun and forgives Carol. He says he will never forget.They agree that they can't stay. We get some still shots of the now abandoned property accompanied by a Lizzie and Carol voice over about change. Carol and Tyreese walk away, leaving the walker that Lizzie was trying to feed alive. End Episode.
Reaction: Um. Holy fuck. Where to begin. It's amazing how much of the intrigue during the first half of the season was predicated on the Carol/Lizzie/Tyreese triangle. You kind of forget about everything in the post-prison world. It was great to see that everything with those dangling participles was wrapped up. But what a way to wrap them up.
Let's just start at the top of the mountain. Carol killing Lizzie. It will be interesting in the days that follow this episode what the reaction will be. Will it be something similar to Game of Thrones 'Red Wedding' and the killing of Talia and her unborn child? Or is it going to be seen as something that was unavoidable. I am of the thought that most people will see it as unavoidable. Shocking, yes. But unavoidable. Lizzie was a monster. She was incapable of putting any value on human life. She presented a threat not only to Carol and Tyreese, but to little baby Judith as well. Carol and Tyreese both knew that taking Lizzie with them anywhere would only put anyone else they met at danger as well. So Carol did not kill and innocent, but at the same time she did kill a little girl in cold blood. There will be folks out there that will see what Carol did as justified. Others will think that there is no excuse for killing a child - no matter what that child may or may not be capable of. It's interesting that Lizzie probably would have agreed with Carol killing a child while Mika would have fought against it vehemently.
I cannot think of another episode of the show that knocked my dick in the dirt the way this one did. At a certain point I was ready to write it off, especially after Carol begged off telling Tyreese about Karen in the forest. There was a huge part of me screaming (silently of course) "Oh come on!" But from the point they see Lizzie standing over the lifeless Mika the show moved into rarefied air. I don't really have too much left to say. The journey towards terminus continues. It will be interesting to see what comes of the whole anticipated reuniting.
That's all I've got for this week. Please leave your comments below and as always thanks for reading. "Enjoy every sandwich."
One last thing...Some pretty cool new stuff on DreadWorld.com this week. Check out reviews for the indie features Fractional and Scream Park one was good and one was bad...head over to check out which was which!
And hit me up on the twittah machine @misterjoshua77 and @dread_world, I'm very clever.
The 411: This feels like the 'Red Wedding' episode of The Walking Dead. It certainly doesn't change the landscape of the show the way 'The Red Wedding' did, but it doesn't mean it's any less powerful. What's interesting is it felt like this show was heading down the same path as the two previous weeks shows had. Nice things regarding the "nature of ourselves" after the apocalypse, but nothing really cool until Terminus. Then about 40 minutes in...Bam! Great stuff, certainly one of the highlights of the series so far.