Episode 11 - Claimed
28 February 2014
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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