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The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a drama about a zombie apocalypse. It is based on the 2003 Image Comics series. AMC 2010-???

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Episode 11 - Claimed

28 February 2014

Credit AMC

Synopsis: Michonne and Carl go out searching for supplies. They share their pain of lost family. Rick takes a nap but wakes up to find the house is being raided by another group. He hides nervously under the bed and eventually has to kill one of them. Meanwhile Glenn wakes up on a truck headed for Washington and insists on going back for Maggie. Abraham introduces himelf and Rosita and says they are taking care of Eugene because he knows how to save the world. Glenn prevails though and the group march back toward the prison.

The Good:
Once again I was very pleasantly surprised by this. Actually about twenty minutes in I was considering this the best non-action episode since the Pilot.

It didn't quite reach that level but the early scenes were very strong. Carl and Michonne bonding is the kind of dynamic the show has always needed. It's not enough to pretend these people care about one another, show us. And they did. The bonding over Judith and Andre was simple, sensible stuff. By the simple act of showing Michonne's affection for Carl she has become a lovable character. Suddenly we can see the person she was before all of this and imagine the love she had for her family. By showing loyalty to her, Carl grows in maturity too.

Then came my favourite scene. The discovery of the defaced painting (and the music cue) suddenly reminds us that something creepy is surely lurking around the next corner. We've become so accustomed to Walkers appearing from behind every door that the absence of one had more impact than if one had been there. To see a communal family suicide or perhaps an enforced one was a horrifying image. But it also provided a bizarre moment of perspective. Carl and Michonne have it bad but they still have each other. Others suffered far worse fates. It was affecting and surprising and simple.

Meanwhile Rick stuck under the bed was another lovely bit of writing. Again instead of the focus being on the invaders, we simply watched what Andrew Lincoln does best - act without using his accent. His trembling hands were tremendous and there was real tension in the shot of men's boots. From there that story became a touch less interesting as it became clear that Rick would win this particular game of hide and seek. But it was interesting enough to make the point that nowhere is safe anymore.

It was just last week that I said I'd be interested to see a character who was smiling their way through the apocalype. So the teaser that gave us a grinning Abraham joking with Walkers was intriguing. Of course nothing is quite so intriguing as a man who says he can fix all of this. Not that I believe him mind you. I speak of Eugene of course whose lacklustre handling of a gun and mullet call into question whether he really has any answers. But again I liked the simplicity of him shooting holes in the truck and the visual of Walkers sliding silently out of a cornfield was a winner. It's nice to run into a group of good people for a change and the show is fairly up front about the cartoony nature of their intro spiel. I hope when they are fleshed out the real person will emerge.

The Bad:
Glenn punching Abraham was very predictable. It felt like I was waiting two minutes for him to finally do it. Why Glenn? Come on, he's just being realistic, you're better than that.

The Unknown: The new group obviously have a lot of question marks surrounding them. Why is Abraham the luckiest guy in the world? And why is he helping Eugene? Does Eugene know anything about the apocalypse? Or about anything beyond long words? Tara seems to blithely accept that his story is true which will annoy me if Glenn doesn't ask some follow up questions. She also states that Rosita is clearly in love with Abraham which was not clear to me. Was she in the army with Abraham or is she just (sort of) dressing the part?

I guess Rick is now headed the same way as Carol and Tyreese.

Best Moment: The deceased family room.

Conclusion:
Three out of three so far. Come on Gimpy, keep it going.

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  • ***POST PODCAST COMMENT***


    This was a great podcast with great contributions from everyone.

    After hearing all of your thoughts, I have come to conclusion that I was overlooking the importance of Michonne and Carl’s bonding and the scenes of the discovery of the family in the kids bedroom, so I am bumping my score up to 65 (the only bad spots for me really were the scenes with Glenn’s group with the newcomers.)

    The family tragedy scenes lead immediately to Michonne being startled when Carl got into the room and she acted like she was literally covering up or censoring Carl from the tragedy. This is wonderful!
    I can’t believe I overlooked this.
    This is something a mother would do for a child or a close friend might do for another that can’t handle the horrible things in life very well. Definitely a new side for Michonne and I feel both Carl’s and Michonne’s characters have grown a little in emotional dimension.

    I am looking forward to more of this season. It is the best one so far.

    Posted by Fluids, 28/02/2014 4:08pm (5 years ago)

  • Good episode, the past three have been really good, the benefits of Scott Gimple’s elevated role are clear. I thought this was a great balance of threat combined with pathos pervading this world. Rick’s plight was definitely the highlight of the episode, the animalistic nature of the survivors he encountered was really something. When they fought over the bed, it really reminded me of a pack of wild dogs fighting for dinner scraps, that’s what most of the world has been devolved to. And I don’t think we’ve seen this type of savagery before, whilst the governor was a brutal man, I wouldn’t go so far as to call him bestial to that extent, there was something refined about him, he was calculating. These men were wild dogs.
    I like the fact that all things being equal, our group are doing a pretty good job at maintaining their humanity. Rick’s encounter with the man in the bathroom was particularly vicious, which was a nice character beat. It was reminiscent of his killing of Tomas, but this felt far more visceral, a quick blow isn’t nearly as gut wrenching as strangling the life from somebody. The whole scenario around Rick felt very similar to last year’s videogame, ‘The Last of Us’ and I wonder if Scott Gimple was taking notes.
    Perhaps my favourite continuing arc is Tara, I think it highlights Gimple’s superiority over his predecessor in that I feel more attached to her and feel that I know her better than I knew the likes of T-Dog. And it doesn’t take much, little lines like, ‘he chopped a guy’s head off, with a sword!’ Can make all the difference in developing a character and getting the audience to give a damn about their existence.
    Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the dialogue between Tara and Abraham, his glee whilst killing the walkers clearly unsettled her and reminded her of the governor more than she would like. That being said, there was clearly a difference in the pleasure garnered, Abraham was more like a call of duty player living the dream as opposed to the governor’s sick, almost psychosexual releases.
    And Glenn, well, he seems more and more like an 80’s action hero as weeks go by, last week I half expected him to say, ‘come with me if you want to live to Tara’, now he’s rampaging through a world zombies to find his woman. Joking aside, I like the resolve Glenn has, willing to fight a guy who is clearly his physical superior, though foolish, it does make sense considering his anger at the world in general at this moment in time, he felt the need to lash out at somebody and displaced that anger onto Abraham. I’m really liking Glenn at the moment, but I do hope they bring back his dorkier side that we saw in seasons 1 & 2.
    Also, whilst I agree that Abraham was talking sense, if I were in Glenn’s position, and all my thoughts were directed at finding my wife whilst some guy he doesn’t even know keeps telling him she’s probably dead, I’d probably be annoyed too.
    Michonne and Carl’s dialogue was fantastic too, the room by room deal could have been a bit cheesy, but worked well. It made a lot of sense that she would open up to Carl first, she’s almost become a mother figure for him, and him a replacement son.
    I didn’t get why Tara said Rosita loved Abraham and would follow him anywhere… When she’d literally just done the opposite and chose to follow Glenn and Tara. What made her think that? I suspect there may have been a deleted scene, or it’s just an oversight.
    I expect we’ll see the gang of men again as the unconscious man saw Rick’s face, looking forward to that.
    Having read the comics, so Abraham’s revelation isn’t as powerful as it could have been, but that s no fault of the makers.
    So yes, good episode overall, really enjoying the new direction.

    Viewer score: 75 / 100

    Posted by Daniel J W, 27/02/2014 1:53pm (5 years ago)

  • The good: I liked the Glenn-Abraham-Tara dynamic a lot, and Abraham's camel story established his character well.

    The unknown: I don't know what to make of Rosita and Eugene.

    The less good: I thought the Home Alone sequence started out all right, but about halfway through, I felt like I was watching a French farce and lost tension. (Probably right around the time that guy bounced the ball into Rick's room).

    I also feel like we're far enough into the apocalypse that most humans we run into should have some kind of obvious survival strategy, but these guys didn't seem to do a thorough sweep, have lookouts, and they spend their time choking each other into unconsciousness. Have they really survived all this time by luck?

    I agree with Robin about Eugene. I get that Glenn doesn't really care about Abraham's mission, and Tara seems only to care about Glenn, but you would think most prople would be interested in Eugene's response of "it's classified" when asked what he knows about the zombies. Normally, you'd expect someone in his position to tell everyone, in case he dies or someone else can make it to DC. Presumably, either he's lieing or whatever he knows is bad enough that he is afraid to tell people (like the only way to solve the problem would also kill most humans remaining on the earth).

    Viewer score: 58 / 100

    Posted by Joseph, 26/02/2014 6:00pm (5 years ago)

  • I found a lot to like in this episode. The sequence with Rick evading the house invaders was some of the most tense TV I've seen. I found myself holding my breath as I wondered if Rick would be discovered. I especially loved the bit where Rick left the bathroom door open a crack to set up the inevitable walker attack. It showed great resourcefulness on Rick's part.

    Michonne's continual development as a character is a welcome sight. Her little game of questions was a nice, organic way to learn some back story for her and get good interaction between her and Carl.

    With our new survivors, Abraham seems to be a contender to be a fan favorite, but Eugene is rather intriguing in his own right. The idea of a cure surprised me, although I sincerely doubt that he has any actual answers. My guess is that he's just using this knowledge to keep himself protected and alive. It's also nice to see someone in the zombie apocalypse keeping the glorious mullet alive. We can say for sure that our new friend Eugene is business up front but party in the back.

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Nat L., 25/02/2014 8:40pm (5 years ago)

  • This is what I want from The Walking Dead. Although, TWD setting has more potential than what we see but in my opinion Scott Gimple is really doing great and I hope they keep on this way. I think “Claimed” was the best episode of mid-season so far. I really liked it. Now, I am optimistic to the left episodes.

    So, first of all, the acting, the writing and the directing were all notable in this episode. But the problem is that that we really cannot predict that they remain this way on next episode. What I'm saying is that TWD is kinda a divisive TV show. Sometimes it's the best of what TV has ever had to offer and sometimes it's so bad not to be tolerated. Claimed had some excellent elements that make TWD an exciting show.

    The Michoone's fast personality shift was a little awkward but it didn't bother me that much, also it was interesting to see her talk and behave completely different. Another thing that I really loved was the scenes with Rick and the group of murderers. I think it was the most tension-filled moment in the episode. I don't think that was the last time, we'll see more of these lawlessness killers who enjoy this dark and chaotic world. I’m looking forward to see more of these Survivors vs. Survivors encounters.

    One thing I loved and hated at the same time was the "revealing of cure to the zombie disease". I loved it because finally our survivors can have an ultimate goal and destination, and I hated it because Abraham's reveal that we can solve the epidemic felt very simple and without excitement. “Hey this is a huge reveal; this is an important cliff hanger". But neither Gelen nor Tara didn't react to this news as an important thing! You know, it didn't quit land as a bomb!

    In general, these last episodes were more of a set-up to build everything for something huge in the end. And they did it good.

    Viewer score: 80 / 100

    Posted by Reza, 25/02/2014 5:46pm (5 years ago)

  • Sorry a few unknown few bits that left me questioning what has happened that don’t make sense (sorry to get all Hercule Poirot on you guys):

    1. Abraham mentions they had been in radio contact with DC up until a few weeks earlier. If that is the case, why go there?

    Isn’t it pretty clear that radio silence is a bad sign and that whomever they have talking to has been overrun if no one is responding?
    If there’s no one there accept a city full of zombies that would be certain death charging into DC with a force of five people.
    If everything is overrun, how can Dr. Porter use any facilities in DC to help stop the Zombie affliction? Shouldn’t Dr. Porter be looking for and know of alternative closer facilities to use to work on stopping the Zombie affliction?

    2. A scientist (Dr. Eugene Porter) appears to be the only one with a radio and means to contact DC out of the group of new characters. That makes no sense.

    If Abraham had been tasked by someone in DC to bring a very important Dr. Porter up to DC where is *his* radio? Armies don’t take orders from scientists. They take orders from their superiors and have their own communication systems for doing so.

    DC tasks just Abraham and his girl friend with this very important mission?
    Even Tara picked up on this. If all this is true, there had to be a lot of others that got lost along the way. If not then, this story has to be a lie and Glenn and Tara should beware.

    If Abraham’s group did lose a lot of folks, why didn’t they ask for reinforcements to be sent (when they had radio contact) since this man is going to save all of mankind?
    Also shouldn’t Glenn have had a series of questions about this? Like, ‘Who have you been speaking with in DC that assigned you the task of bringing Dr. Porter there?’ ‘What happened to the rest of your security force that was deployed to escort Dr. Porter back to DC?’

    Maybe Glenn just lacks knowledge of military or government organizations. If they ever all meet back up with Rick he may think their orders are a bit funny considering it’s just the three of them.

    Posted by Fluids, 25/02/2014 3:02pm (5 years ago)

  • Considering how horrid the last episode was, The Walking Dead could only go up and thankfully this was the case. There was still plenty I could nitpick on but I really enjoyed the tense scenes with Rick in the house. Ive finally come to terms with the fact that The Walking Dead will never reach the quality of shows like Breaking Bad or current dramas House of Cards, and True Detective. That being said, as long as The Walking Dead can produce suspenseful scenes (like Rick's) that dont make me instantly question their logic as the scene is unfolding then I suppose I will continue to watch. Unfortunately, these scenes are becoming more and more scarce.

    Finally, I do have to comment on what I liked least about the episode. The acting of Eugene I thought was terrible. Or is he supposed to just be a generally unlikable character? Certainly the perfectly groomed mullet didnt help. I hope/assume Eugene's hairstyle is based off the comic.

    As always, keep up the good work Robin and I look forward to hearing your podcast.

    Viewer score: 61 / 100

    Posted by Aaron, 25/02/2014 5:36am (6 years ago)

  • This episode confirms to me that the group separation storyline will drag on until the end of the season which is fine by me as I've really enjoyed the last three.
    The most real relationship in The Walking Dead for me is Carl and Michonne and while I did cringe at times ( crazy cheese) for the most part I enjoyed their scenes.
    Ricks moments were the strongest and were tense throughout, especially when I thought the man who was attacked had died and would turn with Rick under the bed. In saying that I found it hilarious that no other member of the group heard Rick strangling the man in the bathroom who can magically go to the toilet with his jeans up and the seat down.
    The three newbies are clearly taken straight from the comic book as their appearances are pretty ridiculous and slightly cartoony.
    Scott Gimple has done a good job with characterisation thus far and I hope now that with his own characters coming in this can be improved further. The signs are good so far for Abraham and Eugene but I hope Rosita progresses beyond just being the pretty girl

    Viewer score: 65 / 100

    Posted by Tiarnan, 24/02/2014 10:32pm (6 years ago)

  • I really did like this episode, too.

    The music is excellent, most shots were filmed well, even the dialogue had improvements.

    When Rick was first waking, My first thought was that we were headed for another dream sequence and even wondered if the voices and sounds were in his head. The way we cut back and forth with the 3 stories was very well done.

    Andrew Lincoln was terrific, the "Cartoon Crew" were more intriguing than I had hoped - Saving Rosita for unknown, Michonne was such a 180 from her introduction I feel she is nearly a different character.

    Agree the punching of Abe was so predictable I chose that moment to pause the show and answer a call of nature.

    I am only marking this episode down for the weird zombie kill scene in the early bit where Abraham is accused by Tara of smiling, Rita's strangely pristine appearance, the Glenn/Abraham fight and the groups handling of it (the entire scene saved only by the creepy emergence of the Walkers and Eugene's comical attempts to counter them.

    Love the unknown of whether Eugene is what he says. The negative here is wondering how these 3 actually survived this long with Abraham so Gun-clueless and Rita so petulant.

    The Sanctuary Signpost has me very intrigued and eager for next week.

    Viewer score: 80 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 24/02/2014 9:19pm (6 years ago)

  • There was nothing wrong with the Carl/Michonne and the Glenn/New Trio plots, but I felt Rick's was very exciting. The first several seasons have been built the concept of looting homes, so to flip it around on Rick was a great chance of pace. It brings up the question, have the survivors ever looted a occupied house? Unlikely, but its not impossible.

    I also like how we never saw how many looters were in the house.

    3 Episodes in, there is a lot set up, more ideas to resolve and develop that before. Without a single base of operations for the survivors, the story just feels more exciting.

    Viewer score: 63 / 100

    Posted by Ben F., 24/02/2014 8:08pm (6 years ago)

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