The Walking Dead: Alone

Back by popular demand, Ms. Hillary Bauer will once again be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. So hold on to your butts folks, there are walkers abound!

Here’s Review #13:

We open up on Bob sad walking all by himself in the woods looking pretty worse for the wear.  “Alone” might not the most subtle episode title of the season, but at least we got the metaphorical two-by-four to the head out of the way early.  Turns out this isn’t regular Bob; it’s old PTSD Bob!  The Walking Dead doesn’t really do flashbacks unless it’s a dream sequence or switching between concurrent plotlines, so I’m not really sure how I feel about the break in style.  If you’re gonna have flashbacks, then that’s fine.  But at least keep it consistent and don’t have the only one in the whole season be PTSD Bob.  I believed you that he was sad without having to watch him drink cold medicine in a manmade cave.  Plus, sitting literally two feet inside the lean-to is just dumb.  If the walker trying to get in realizes that he has a waist and can easily eat you if he just bends down, you’re gonna be one robotrippin’ dead guy.

PTSD Bob does some more sad stuff set to sad montage music.  Sad standing around and looking off into the distance while zombies walk by.  Sad lying on a truck and looking off into the distance while zombies walk by.  Just when I’m starting to feel like the number one threat to PTSD Bob’s life is suicide rather than zombies, he catches a break and hears a car and perks up… negligibly.  What PTSD Bob doesn’t know though, is that he basically just won the lottery.  Glenn and Daryl!  And Daryl even has on his Poncho of Justice!  I miss that poncho so damn much.  Definitely more than some of the characters we’ve lost along the way.  I’d kill Lori three more times if it meant the poncho could come back.

Daryl and Glenn are actually not idiots about meeting a stranger for once and question PTSD Bob with weapons drawn.  PTSD Bob is pretty matter of fact but unintimidating as he tells our heroes about his past groups and the fact that everyone he knows is dead.  Daryl busts out the useless three question quiz that Rick invented.  PTSD Bob passes, but honestly what would that conversation look like in order for you to fail.

“Oh sure, I’ve killed a ton of humans!”

“Why?”

“Because they had stuff that I wanted.  Between you and me, things have even got a little rapey here and there, if you know what I’m saying.”

Anyway, PTSD Bob admits to having one mercy killing under his belt which isn’t a deal breaker, so they decide to let him tag along back to the prison.  Even though I really feel like Daryl and Glenn should have taken the machete away from the total stranger, they do get some survival points back for making PTSD Bob ride in the back of the truck so he can’t run it off the road or anything.  They drive off into the sunset and PTSD Bob has friends!  Friends that he technically doesn’t know are alive in the current plotline, but we’ll just ignore that for now…

Back in our current timeline: fog.  An effing lot of fog.  Seriously, how is it that fog has never been a problem before and now these characters have apparently found all of the water vapor in Georgia?  We can’t see much, but we can hear that a herd of walkers is nearby and there are a lot of pan shots of Maggie, Sasha, and happy Bob.  The walkers hit hard and Sasha really steps up to the plate in this fighter-biter showdown.  Sasha saves both of our other heroes, who have knives, and she does it mostly with just a pointy stick.

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I really feel like Sasha got the short end of the stick on this one.  Ba-dum ching!

Bob actually does get bitten, but somehow the walker bit him in the only protected place on Bob’s entire body, so it’s only dramatic for about fifteen seconds.  Sasha is so relieved that she literally throws herself at Bob who makes a joke about her putting pressure where he’s had two life threatening injuries in a week.  Everyone laughs and laughs and Maggie pretends that she wouldn’t be bummed out about watching a budding romance develop while she’s looking for her husband who’s most likely dead.

The trio discusses what the plan is for the day.  Isn’t their plan mostly just walk?  Maggie realizes that her compass didn’t survive the last scuffle and gets all huffy.  But again, unless Maggie and Glenn previously established the North Pole as their meet up point should they get separated (which, hey, a meeting point might have been a good idea), the compass is useless anyway.  Even if they’re walking toward each other, Maggie and Glenn could still easily miss one another by less than a quarter mile.  Obviously, that is not where this plotline is headed.  The writers are too committed to our star-crossed lovers, for better or for worse.

Over in the well lit, fog free woods, Daryl is giving Beth some less abusive lessons about tracking and using the crossbow.  Beth finds the walker that she has been looking for and slowly approaches to shoot him and take the gun that he has in the back of his pants.  Things go awry for Beth pretty much through no fault of her own when she steps in a bear trap, prompting Daryl to go into rescue mode.  Luckily, Beth has the most jack diesel cowboy boots ever, so the injury is minimal.

Beth is having trouble walking as she and Daryl come to a cemetery.  Daryl assumes the position and offers Beth a piggyback ride.  You guys, he gives her a “SERIOUS PIGGYBACK.”  Daryl has made significant strides in repairing my love for him as my TV boyfriend this week.  They see a funeral home on the other side of the cemetery.  Predictably, Daryl is dubious about anyone who might be left inside, while Beth remains doggedly optimistic about the fact that there are still good people left in the world.  Oh, you two.  As different as can be.

Our trio of fighters has made it out of the foggy hell that was their first couple of scenes (for them and me, trying to figure out what the hell was going on).  They find the railroad tracks which, of course, have an invitation to the sanctuary that everyone is headed towards.  I don’t think it occurred to me up to this point, but apparently this place has a name.  The sign says that this place is named Terminus, which seems like an odd choice.  Clearly, they are going for an “end of the line” feel; but that can either mean that you don’t have to wander anymore because you’re safe here, or because you’re dead.  If they had named it Camp Unicorn or something, it would have been much less ambiguous.  Maggie and Bob decide that if Glenn had seen one of these signs, he would have gone and checked it out.  Sasha is still 100% sure that Glenn is dead, but realizes that she’s outnumbered.  Bob offers to take a vote, but it’s kind of just condescending when there are only three people in the group and two people are openly trying to convince the third.

Daryl and Beth make it to the funeral house, which they both notice that somebody has been maintaining.  After whistling once and not getting an answer, Daryl decides the house is probably clear and lets down his guard enough to check out some decaying walkers that somebody has been preparing for funerals.  Daryl thinks the idea is a weird perversion of playing dress up.  But Beth, of course, thinks that it’s a beautiful way of remembering that walkers were actually people once upon a time.  I’m with Beth on this one.  Everyone handles grief in their own way.  So if you’re a mortician who has spent a career showing respect for the lifeless bodies of people you’ve never met, then it would make sense that you wouldn’t just see walkers as monsters.  You would see them as people who deserve a goodbye just like anyone else.

Sasha and Bob are sitting around in their temporary camp, which has the same hubcap security system that Beth and Daryl already used last week.  Apparently, that’s like a thing in Zombieland.  Bob starts to prod Sasha about why she really doesn’t want to try and make it to Terminus.  She says that it’s because she prefers being alive to the alternative.  But Bob pulls the classic BS move of smugly telling Sasha that she doesn’t really know why she wants to stop.  Bitch, don’t tell her how she feels!  They don’t have supplies, ammunition, and, oh yeah, Bob is being all judgey while he’s sitting there tending to his still bleeding bullet wound.  Sasha is well within her right to be afraid of dying.  Except we’re riding out the Maggie-Glenn undying love plotline, so Sasha’s logic and reason are shot down immediately.

With her new and improved wrapped ankle, Beth joins Daryl in raiding the kitchen for any leftover supplies that the walker mortician may have collected.  They hit the jackpot and find an impressively stocked pantry.  Daryl is especially excited out the PB&J, diet soda, and pig’s feet since now he can throw himself a little “white trash brunch.”  He made a little joke!  I missed you so much fun Daryl.  Daryl realizes that there isn’t any dust at all on the food and decides that they should take some and leave the rest in case the walker mortician comes back for his stash.  Beth is impressed with his unprompted empathy for others and gives him a little side smile.

Daryl locks up the house and sets up the hubcap security system for the front door.  When he comes inside, he finds Beth surrounded by candles and singing one of her less creepy songs.  Oh wait.  No, Daryl decided to rest in a coffin.  The singing is creepy again.  Beth stops singing because Daryl has said in the past that it annoys him.  Daryl retracts his past dismissal and tells her to keep playing.  I know that we’re supposed to be having a bonding moment here, but is it really a great idea to be calling attention to the house?  They don’t know if there are any walkers around.  I feel like, at least at night, you should pretty much just be content to sit quietly in the dark.  I do appreciate though, that they didn’t make Beth be some sort of musical prodigy.  She is exactly as proficient as a teenage girl who hadn’t touched a piano in two years would be.  The Walking Dead does periodically step up with the little touches of realism.

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Sorry, am I watching The Walking Dead or American Horror Story?

Out in the woods, Sasha wakes up to Bob crouched over a message in the dirt from Maggie that says “DONT RISK YOUR LIVES 4 ME GOOD LUCK”.  That is exactly what it says; spelling and all.  Why, pray tell, did Maggie think that she had time to spell out every word, except the word “for?”  Is this just the writers not understanding how the kids these days are using the texting words?  At least if they had changed “your” to “ur” it would have been closer to believable.  I also take issue with the fact that if Maggie left when she was supposed to be lookout for Bob and Sasha while they slept, then she already risked their lives.  Unfazed by the message, Bob immediately starts packing up camp and instantly assumes that he and Sasha can catch up with her.  Sasha is less gung ho, because apparently the working title for this episode was “Sasha is temporarily an uncharacteristically whiney bitch,” but helps him anyway.

Farther down the road, Maggie finds another sign for Terminus.  She goes to carve something into the side of the electrical control panel where the sign is hanging, but hears a walker behind her.  Maggie gets a real creepy look on her face and looks a little too happy to see a zombie.  She takes out the walker like she would any other and everything is pretty par for the course.  Until Maggie disembowels flannel walker lady.  It’s gross.  Even by The Walking Dead standards.

Bob and Sasha are on the rails chit chatting and meandering at a pretty leisurely pace.  I know they don’t want to exert themselves too much right off the bat, but I don’t see how they realistically think they can catch up to Maggie moseying like this.  Sasha asks Bob why he smiles all the time and why, if he’s so happy to be alive, does he want to risk his life again immediately.  Bob says that it’s not a matter of being alive; so much as it is a matter of not being alone.  Bob adds that since he ended up by himself after he lost his first two groups, having any buddies is a huge improvement.  This conversation plus the sad PTSD Bob montage at the beginning of the episode do explain his motivation for wanting to go after Maggie despite her telling them not to.  He knows what it’s like to be alone, and he doesn’t want that for her.

Bob and Sasha catch up to where Maggie went all serial killer on the flannel walker and find out what she was up to.  Apparently Maggie decided that the walker could double as a giant paint can and used her blood to write a message to Glenn to meet her in Terminus.  Maggie gets points for creativity, and I’m sure that the writers loved the idea of a message being written in blood.  But shouldn’t it be even a little bit of a concern that it would wash away the first time it rains?  Come to think of it, Maggie’s message to Bob and Sasha written in the dirt was a stiff breeze away from becoming illegible.  Somebody should really get this girl some stationary for her next birthday.

In the funeral home, Daryl has set out a nutritious breakfast of Cola and processed canned goods.  They’re giggling off screen when all of a sudden, Daryl bursts through the door carrying Beth.  Like a bride.  Over a threshold.  Does anyone else feel a lot of feelings coming on?  Because I feel a lot of feelings coming on.

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What bride wouldn’t want to be showered in gifts like sugary drinks and pig’s feet?

The interaction between Beth and Daryl has really only been a plot point since the mid-season premiere, so there hasn’t been a lot of time to develop it.  They, have however, had the most screen time of any of the sub-groups.  It wasn’t clear at first whether they were going to develop into a father-daughter dynamic or become more like siblings (which I thought would have made sense since they both have “lost” siblings because of zombies).  I really didn’t expect it to go romantic until this episode.  But finding the house, having sit down meals, and Beth singing Daryl to sleep make it look like that’s the direction they’re headed.  Before everyone emails “To Catch a Predator,” it’s worth noting that Beth’s character is technically 18 and Daryl’s character would probably be in his mid-thirties.  It’s not outrageous that with a dwindling population, age would become much less of a deterrent for relationships.

Daryl and Beth’s breakfast is interrupted by the security system going off out front.  It turns out it’s just a dog, which Daryl tries to get to come in, but it runs away.  The false alarm sets up a mess for later though, when the alarm goes off again during their dinner.  Daryl goes to the door to see if the dog wants to join their happy family.  Then he opens the door without even peaking out the window, and a mob of walkers bust through the door.  A group that huge of walkers and he didn’t hear a damn thing?  OH OK.  Daryl lures the walkers away so that Beth can get out of the window and get a head start.  Once Daryl gets outside, he finds Beth’s backpack in the middle of a dirt road and looks up just in time to see a car peel out.

Ok, now you can email “To Catch a Predator.”  This scene is really bummin’ me out in more than just a “television plot development” kind of way.  For the most part, The Walking Dead hasn’t broached the subject of looters and gangs, and they’ve only very tangentially addressed sexual assault.  Unfortunately, we know from real life that crime and assault rates skyrocket following tragedies or events that effect infrastructure.  I am so afraid that The Walking Dead has decided that they can’t put it off anymore.  I have a feeling there is some tough subject matter coming up.

Bob and Sasha are back on the tracks, doing basically the same thing they’ve been doing all episode: Sasha says she wants to put down roots, Bob says no, and they disagree over whether Sasha is afraid that Tyreese is dead.  The only thing that’s different this time is that they’ve come to a little town that could actually work for shelter.  Sasha says that she’s staying here and Bob says that he’s not.  Both plead with the other to change their mind (Bob even tries planting a wet one on Sasha), but it’s a deadlock and they go their separate ways.

I’m so sick of this plotline and how everyone involved has behaved.  First of all, Maggie turning herself into a marauder plays into one of my biggest television pet peeves.  I absolutely hate when characters make decisions for other people because they think they know what’s best for them.  If Bob wants to help you, then Bob is a big boy that can make up his own mind.

Sasha has driven me nuts this entire episode.  The other two people in your group have made it absolutely clear what their plan is.  You are not going to change their minds, so either get on board or accept that you’re going to be alone.  And if Sasha does want to claim that she’s just looking to survive, then I really feel like on the road with other people is still safer than in a camp by yourself.

As far as Bob goes, at least he’s been consistent in what he wanted all along.  Except what he wanted was for nobody to end up alone, and now everyone is.  So leaving someone alone so that you can go off by yourself to find someone else who’s alone is kind of a weird leap of faith to make.

Sasha heads into an old factory and scopes out the digs while stifling tears.  She looks out the window and sees Maggie taking a nap with some walker corpses.  Unfortunately, Sasha knocks the window down from its third story home and wakes up Maggie and a whole gang of walkers who had been happily ignoring her.  Sasha rushes down and the two women channel their inner Xena to take out the herd.  Maggie admits that she overheard Sasha talking about Glenn being dead and how they should give up and settle down.  Maggie finally admits that she needs both and Sasha and Bob’s help to find Glenn.  For some reason, this wins Sasha over so they go find Bob and take off toward Terminus.

Over on a different road, we find Daryl who has run through the night and is looking worse for the wear.  He’s collapsed at a fork in the road with no idea which way to go to find Beth.  Daryl is approached by a well armed group of tough guys.  Daryl instantly goes into fighter mode and punches the leader in the face.  Rather than getting shot to the point of resembling swiss cheese, Daryl introduces himself and looks like he plans to make nice.  I predict that this is just Daryl’s way of trying to find Beth.  Even if these aren’t the bad guys who took her, they may know the ones who did.

That just leaves us the cliffhanger of the week.  We get to look at yet another sign for Terminus for a second, but a slow pan shot reveals that Glenn is actually the one who has found this sign.  Jeezum crow, how many of these signs did they put out there?  Terminus has created the greatest gorilla marketing campaign of all time.  So does Glenn buy into the idea of sanctuary, or did Maggie get herself all covered in blood for nothing?

Only three more episodes this season!

Until next time friends!

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review

S04 E04: Indifference

S04 E05: Internment

S04 E06: Live Bait

S04 E07: Dead Weight

S04 E08: Too Far Gone

S04 E09: After

S04 E10: Inmates

S04 E11: Claimed

S04 E12: Still

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The Walking Dead: Still

Back by popular demand, Ms. Hillary Bauer will once again be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. So hold on to your butts folks, there are walkers abound!

Here’s Review #12:

This week on The Walking Dead, nobody said anything and nothing happened.  Recap over.  Alright, there wasn’t a lot of action, but there were plenty of feelings to talk about so I guess I’ll keep going.  I’m gonna be honest with you guys; I was not crazy about this week’s episode when I was watching it.  I did, however, start to appreciate it a little bit more when I considered it from a more analytical perspective.  If nothing else, the episode was kind of a walk down memory lane.  I don’t know about you, but trying to get my hands on alcohol in high school certainly felt this dramatic.  So, let’s go get a teenage girl wasted!

It didn’t occur to me when I was watching it, but last week may have been the most well lit episode of The Walking Dead in the whole series.  But never fear!  This week we open on a road at night and we’re back to squinting at the screen right out of the gate.  Daryl and Beth frantically stumble out of the woods and check the car to see if it starts.  Seriously?  That car has one door and looks like it rolled off a cliff.  It’s dead, Jim.  Luckily, the trunk still mostly works so they close themselves in it when they hear a pack of walkers approaching.  Whatever model this rust bucket is, they should use this as a commercial because it has impressive cargo space.  Daryl and Beth are barely even touching.

They peak through an itty bitty crack at some very loud shadows; some of which are actually bumping into the vehicle.  One of my major pet peeves with The Walking Dead is that they fly fast and loose with how well the zombies can actually smell humans.  Sometimes the writers insist that scent is how the zombies track humans, so we end up with situations like the hoard of zombies at the prison fence.  But here, apparently the walkers are literally running into Daryl and Beth without realizing that they’re there.  Regardless, the duo wake up the next morning and collect a bizarre assortment of hubcaps and broken glass before taking off down the road headed for God knows what.  This is the problem with there being no dialogue.  I need exposition, dammit!

We find Daryl out hunting some squirrel for redneck stew when he hits a tree and splits one of his arrows before snapping it in half.  Now, I shot Olympic archery for a decade and there is nothing more frustrating than cracking an arrow.  But even if I wouldn’t use a split arrow in competition, I sure as hell wouldn’t be intentionally destroying it if it had any zombie killing value left.  Sidenote: Doesn’t the fact that I know my way around a bow make me 75% more valuable as a survival buddy?  I’ll begin accepting applications now.

Beth is back at their makeshift camp implementing their busted car security system.  Gotchya, side mirrors can start fires and hubcaps make quality security systems.  We waste money on the silliest things in the pre-apocalypse.  Daryl uses the car fire to cook a rattlesnake that he just killed and skinned in the most disgusting way possible.  Then he buries his face in it like a bear eating a salmon which really just seems unnecessary.  This whole sequence literally made me wince more than the most brutal zombie death.  Plus, it’s too bad they didn’t know that Lil’ Ass Kicker is alive or Daryl could have given her a new rattle.  Missed opportunity.

Beth looks as disturbed as I am and takes a break from eating her snake like a normal human being (oxymoronic?) to announce that she needs a drink.  Not a dirty Mountain Dew bottle filled with lukewarm water, but a drink.  Predictably, Hershel wasn’t big on the idea of his little girl partying hard, so Beth admits that it would be her first.  Daryl doesn’t even respond, which already got old two weeks ago.  If I were Beth, I would rather be eaten by a zombie than deal with silent Daryl.  Congratulations, writers.  Daryl has been my favorite character since season two and you have made me actively resent him.

Beth decides she’s sick of him too and goes off to get herself killed.  She’s actually going to find herself some booze, but Beth going off alone can only mean she has a death wish.  Beth tromps loudly through the woods and comes across four walkers who she redirects away from her by hiding behind a tree and throwing a rock.  Yeah, that would probably be my best play too.  She realizes that Daryl is standing behind her, crossbow in hand in case Beth had gotten herself into trouble.  This is getting really old, Daryl.  Say if you’re coming.  It’s not that hard a concept.

The duo walks through the woods with Beth using her expert tracking skills to figure out which direction they should go in to find some liquor.  And by expert I mean shit, because she didn’t even realize that Daryl was just taking her back to camp awful which she literally just came from.  Beth goes on a tirade about Daryl being dead inside and how she doesn’t plan on sitting around in the woods for the rest of her life (at least not sober).  She flips him the bird and goes to storm off, but Daryl grabs her arms and reluctantly agrees to go with her.

Beth takes the lead (for God knows what reason) and conveniently finds a golf club.  I wanna know the property values of  wherever they are in Georgia that a prison and a country club are within walking distance of each other.  I am very confused about the economic status of the area.  In any case, a pack of walkers is working its way across the course and everyone knows that 78% of golfers are middle aged alcoholics so the club is worth a shot in the booze quest.

Inside the club is, you guessed it, super dark.  After pausing for a second to change the display settings on my TV, I can make out… a mess.  It looks like there are makeshift beds and a clothesline, so people definitely tried to make a go of it playing house here.  I’ll tell you what I can see, dangling noose zombies.  Three club members evidently decided to throw in the towel and hang themselves, probably not realizing that they were consigning their corpses to an eternity of wiggling around on a string in the least attractive way possible.  At least one of the women thought to wear her pearls.

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“This is much less comfortable than we anticipated!”

Beth and Daryl look through the wreckage and both pick up weird swag.  Beth finds a souvenir spoon and Daryl finds a bag full of money.  The spoon is from Washington D.C., so it might be a nod to the other plotline of trying to get the doctor to the capital, but the cash is a less obvious.  My best guess until otherwise explained is that Daryl saves it because it was hard for him to come by his entire life, so the idea of leaving free money behind seems unnatural.  The important question here is, do rich people bring bags of money with them golfing?!  Rich people are weird.

The walkers from the course have made their way to the door and are pushing to get in which forces our heroes (using the term loosely this week) further into the club.  All natural light is gone now, but luckily both Beth and Daryl found magical TV flashlights so we can see well enough to know that we’re in kitchen.  Beth breaks off from Daryl and gingerly steps over a nasty corpse into a pantry where she spies some cooking sherry.  At least if cooking cherry is Beth’s first drink, we won’t have to worry about her ever wanting another.

Unfortunately, getting to the sherry is an awkward process and involves a lot of clanking around.  The hubbub attracts Daryl’s attention, as well as the attention of a sizable walker who comes out of nowhere and attacks Beth.  She sacrifices her cooking wine and breaks the bottle over his head, which gives her a nice stabby weapon.  Beth pokes him in the face a few times before realizing that a knife might be even better for stabbing and takes him out with one jab to the head.

Beth looks over and guess who’s standing ten feet away: Jackass Daryl.  This whole “Daryl quietly standing just off screen” thing has gone from old to creepy.  Beth is equally put out, but Daryl reminds Beth that she said that she could take care of herself, adding that she did.  The last part is interesting, because rather than sounding snarky, he almost sounds like he’s giving her credit.  Daryl is obviously being a little glib, but it’s hard to tell if he’s just being a jerk or if there’s a little bit of tough love in there too.  In any case, Beth could use some practice re-killing zombies.

(Sidenote: For anyone keeping track, this is the first time that Daryl has had a line other than “Come on” in the entire episode.  We only have two characters this week and 50% of them just spent a third of the episode not speaking.  That math does not add up to compelling dialogue.)

Before the pair moves further into the club, Beth looks into the kitchen and sees a pile of bodies with the phrase “Welcome to the Dogtrot” written on the wall above them.  Add that to the corpse of an eviscerated woman with a sign that says “Rich Bitch” on it and it’s starting to become clear that some sort of class war took down this fine establishment.  Didn’t have to worry about the recession after all…  I know it works better thematically if we assume that the disgruntled bourgeoisie strung her up there, but I wanna pretend that it was a fellow bitchy housewife getting back at the dead lady for always showing her up in front of the girls.

Beth takes objection to the fact that the corpse’s shirt is open exposing her bra and abdomen.  She puts the shirt on as best as she can and then tells Daryl to help get the woman down.  He initially dismisses the request saying that it doesn’t matter because she’s dead, but Beth insists that it does.  I’m with Beth on this one.  There is a definite difference between respect for a corpse that died at the hand of humans rather than zombies.  The result is the same, but the zombies don’t have intention behind their kills; just instinct.  This woman died out of hate.  Daryl compromises and covers the woman with a sheet.  Beth grabs herself some new threads and transforms into a little ball of sunshine in a yellow polo and white cardigan.

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“This never happens at the Gap…”

As Beth and Daryl backtrack a little bit, they come across a grandfather clock that Daryl had stood up earlier and caused to start working again.  Turns out that wasn’t the smartest play, because the clock strikes on the hour and all the walkers come arunnin’ like it was a dinner bell.  They lure the walkers into a well lit room where he easily takes them out one at a time with a combination of his crossbow, knife, and a handily accessible golf club.  Well, he takes them out pretty easily until the last one.  This old fart is going to feel the fury of Daryl’s feelings!  Daryl really goes to town on the walker with a golf club, hitting him over and over again pretty much anywhere other than the head.  He finally delivers the fatal blow and takes out the walker and Beth’s shiny new cardi with one fell swoop.  Not gonna lie, I rewatched Beth get hit with zombie brain a few times while writing this and laughed every. single. time.

After all of this wandering around in the dark, the booze quest finally takes us to the club bar!  Beth rushes over and steps over a dead guy to get a teensie little bit of peach schnapps because that’s all that’s left.  Beth asks Daryl if it’s any good to which Daryl obviously gives her a flat out “No.”  In actuality, peach schnapps is probably among the best things that a teenage girl could find to have as her first drink.  Unfortunately, Beth gets cold feet and Daryl gets bored waiting for her to drink away her sad, so he breaks the bottle and restarts the booze quest.  Let’s go find some redneck approved liquor!

Daryl takes Beth to a still house that he and Michonne had found on a previous supply run.  At least that explains the title of the episode.  So now Beth is apparently going to go from arguably the most girly liquor to arguably the least.  Beth is barely fazed by her first drink though.  This is ain’t my first time at the rodeo, but I feel like if I was drinking hooch for the first time, there would still be some gagging or coughing and whatnot.  She’s downing it like it’s water.  Beth takes offense when Mr. Dixon doesn’t take the first drink she offers him because he has to play chaperone.  Daryl nails up a plank to cover a broken window, which means now he has officially done more to fortify this house than literally anyone in the world we’ve ever seen.  After reminiscing about long summers of watching his dad drink in his undies and shoot thing indoors from his dumpster chair, Daryl caves and grabs a mason jar of moonshine.

Beth teaches Daryl how to play a stripped down version of never have I ever, which is pretty weak when there are only two people playing.  Then it’s just an awkwardly paced conversation.  After a couple of inconsequential questions, Beth pushes Daryl’s bitch button by assuming that he has probably been arrested for something and sends him off on a tirade.  This scene is actually really uncomfortable to watch.  Daryl takes the loudest indoor pee of all time and then starts yelling about all of the things that he never had as a kid that Beth took for granted.  He goes on about never having anything from the ability to rely on others for protection to a pet pony (which Beth may actually have had).

All the hubbub has a lone walker outside excited and his groany noises catch Daryl’s attention.  He runs outside yelling in his best hick voice that he’s going to teach Beth how to shoot a crossbow.  The sequence is already uncomfortable, but when Daryl actually grabs Beth around the throat to try and force her to shoot the bow, it makes my insides crawl.  Once he lets her go, Beth runs ahead of him and stabs the walker in the head, insisting that killing them shouldn’t be fun.

Beth finally calls Daryl on his BS and tells him that he’s not allowed to treat her like crap just because she isn’t one of the women who were “supposed” to survive.  But when Beth says that Daryl is acting like he didn’t care about anyone that they lost, Daryl has a couple of decent slams to get in on Beth too.  He’s not wrong about the fact that even if Maggie is alive, they probably won’t ever see each other again (in real life that would be true, but this is The Walking Dead) and the rest of her family, including two boyfriends, are all definitely dead.  The yelling turns into Daryl self blaming for the Governor’s attack and a teary hug from behind from Beth.  God bless Beth right here, because as much as I love Daryl, he’s not looking so fresh and I don’t know how I would feel about sticking my hands in those pits.

412 armpit

Good thing that guy is dead, otherwise he would totally feel like a third wheel right now.

The run down cabin and bootleg liquor are obviously the exact opposites of the peach schnapps and the country club.  Daryl obviously identifies with the still house and the redneck lifestyle he grew up with in a way that dumbfounds Beth.  And even though Beth probably wasn’t a member of any country clubs, Daryl equates her sheltered upbringing with the level of comfort that the hoity toity rich people at the club enjoyed.  Beth and Daryl try out something as basic as having a drink in both worlds and find that neither scenario plays out well.  This could be a great example of how those worlds don’t exist anymore.  The “have and the have-nots” as they existed before have been dissolved and replaced by the “alive and the dead.”  All you can really have any more is your life.

Later that night, Daryl has sobered up enough to admit that he is a violent, destructive dick when he drinks.  There’s not so much an “I’m sorry” in there, but Beth is evidently letting it go because she’s still supposed to be a little out of it.  I say “supposed to” because Beth has not acted even a little bit drunk since they started in on the moonshine.  Has that actress ever had a drink in her life?  Maybe she should have prepared for the episode in a bar.

Daryl finally opens up to Beth about what he did pre-Zombieland and the answer to the season long mystery: nothing.  He literally did nothing.  Daryl and Merle just roamed around on their motorcycles getting trashed in different flop houses and picking fights with tweekers over cartoons.  Beth responds to Daryl’s recount of the past with her broken image of what she thought the future might have looked like.  Hershel won’t be growing old playing with his grandbaby, no more birthday parties, and summer picnics are a no-go.  Then in a depressing moment of clarity, Beth admits that she isn’t built for Zombieland so her days are probably numbered.  I’m not saying she’s wrong, but that’s the kind of stuff you keep in your head if you don’t wanna be sent to the Zombieland psych ward.

The culmination of this cheery chat is Beth saying with a grin and a giggle that they should burn the still house down to remind Daryl to let go of his past.  Seems like a totally logical thing to do.  Destroy a structurally sound cabin in the middle of the night with fire, which is apparently like walker catnip now.  Not to mention, Smokey the Bear just threw his remote at the TV out there someplace.

Until next week!

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review

S04 E04: Indifference

S04 E05: Internment

S04 E06: Live Bait

S04 E07: Dead Weight

S04 E08: Too Far Gone

S04 E09: After

S04 E10: Inmates

S04 E11: Claimed

The Walking Dead: Inmates

Back by popular demand, Ms. Hillary Bauer will once again be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. So hold on to your butts folks, there are walkers abound!

Here’s Review #10:

There are two types of episodes on The Walking Dead: quiet and contemplative or frantic and confusing.  Last week fell into the former with only a few characters working through their feelings, while this week’s episode fell firmly in the latter.  Basically “Inmates” boiled down to the entire cast running around in the woods yelling like angsty teenagers.  There were a couple of exciting surprises though!  And I mean “fun” exciting, not just “someone’s gonna die now” exciting.  (Although there’s plenty of the killing type too.)  So let’s go get the band back together!

Actually, the band is staying pretty aggressively not back together.  We didn’t even get through the “Previously on” before everyone in my viewing party had to pause and try to remember what the hell happened during the prison raid.  Who ended up with whom?  Who got shot and where?  Who shot them?  Eh, obviously I spend a lot of time thinking about and picking apart The Walking Dead, but nobody can claim that this show doesn’t get a little too convoluted sometimes.  Better to just start the episode and see what happens…

The actual episode opens with a very optimistic, and very wrong, voice over monologue from Beth.  Flashback Beth’s optimism about the prison being their forever home is a stark contrast to the visual of her and Daryl running through the woods fending off a decent sized pack of zombies.  (There should be a specific word for a group of zombies.  It’s too bad that a “murder of crows” already exists.)  This pairing is really strange.  Have Beth and Daryl spoken to each other more than once?  Are we sure they know each other’s names?  In any case, Beth just won the lottery because it is immediately apparent that if Beth didn’t escape with the strongest fighter in the prison, she would be lunch meat twenty yards from the front gate right now.

Beth apparently doesn’t realize just how lucky she is.  Later that night, the odd couple are sitting by a fire and Beth is antagonizing him about not wanting to run into the Forbidden Forrest in the middle of the night for other survivors.  To be fair, Daryl’s angsty silence is even annoying me and he’s my tv husband.  Beth storms off into the woods and Daryl sits for a second before reluctantly following his brat companion at the same leisurely pace I use when I have to go to the dentist.

HULK SAD

HULK SAD

The next morning, Daryl finds fresh looking human footprints (I guess “walkerprints” are more draggy and drunk looking).  Beth is hopeful that they might belong to Luke or Molly which means they’re alive.  Oh honey, we don’t know who those people are so they are definitely not alive anymore.  Then, finally, Daryl opens his mouth and we hear from someone other than Beth.  For real though, I think she’s had more lines in this episode than in the cumulative series leading up to it.

Daryl’s first words aren’t particularly cheery ones though.  He drop the truth bomb that the footprints only mean that they were alive four or five hours ago.  Obviously, Daryl is being pessimistic about these particular people, but it’s actually pretty depressing in a general sense too.  They live in a world where your life expectancy can boil down to four hours.  If I only had four more hours, the rest of my life would this recap and leftover pizza.  Now I made myself sad.

(Keep in mind for later: as they walk away at the end of the scene, pay attention to the log with in the foreground.  It’s not just the close up nature porn that The Walking Dead loves so much.)

As they follow the tracks, Daryl and Beth continue to be polar opposites but equally annoying in their own ways.  Beth’s blind can-do attitude irks Daryl causing him to tread into “too mean” territory when he makes a jab about faith not saving her father.  So far, it feels like losing all of the people that brought him out of his shell has undone all of Daryl’s character development and now we’re stuck with the Season 1 version of my hero.  It might be my imagination, but I’m pretty sure they’re even showing his angel wing leather vest more.

The odd couple comes to the tree line and finds some railroad tracks where a couple of walkers are having a feast fit for a decaying king.  It’s not looking good for anyone on Team Faith.  Daryl takes out the walkers who have seriously obliterated these bodies.  That is the most completely I can ever remember seeing a zombie eat someone before getting distracted by something shiny and alive and abandoning the fresh meat that they already have.  I’m curious if this is intentional.  The competition for food must be getting pretty low as the supply goes down and the demand goes up.  Even if the zombies only have an animalistic level of reasoning, they would still know not to leave food on the table if they’re not sure where their next meal is coming from.

Sidenote: I really appreciate that they showed Daryl actually retrieve an arrow.  How many arrows did he bring to the apocalypse?!

The next group we check in on is Tyreese and three young girls wandering around in the woods.  It sounds creepy but it’s not.  Tyreese’s day care includes Lizzie, Mika, and, drum roll please… Lil’ Ass Kicker!  Duh, they weren’t going to kill the baby.  They have two and a half seasons invested in that little thought experiment of joy and there is still way too much that they haven’t explored about having a toddler in Zombieland.  Plus, what would we assume that Beth is doing off screen when they finally get reunited?  Hopefully they find each other soon, because Tyreese is holding that baby like a bag of groceries.  Lizzie keeps the conversation light and casually asks if everyone else is dead.  Tyreese doesn’t answer, but makes a face like he wishes he was.

The day care sets up camp for the night and Lizzie is sitting on a log looking at some adorable bunnies.  Wait, what’s she…is she taking out a knife?  What the hell, Lizzie?!  She’s just casually slicing the adorable log bunnies and she’s enjoying it.  If Criminal Minds has taught me nothing else, cruelty to animals is totally part of the Homicidal Triad.  Plus, we know that she can light a camp fire so if Lizzie starts wetting the bed, then I’m gonna go ahead and call serial killer.  I said from the very beginning that she was off.  Also, I’m going to go on record as predicting that the mysteriously dropped plot line of the dead rats at the fence was actually Lizzie.  Now she’s just graduated from gross animals to adorable ones.  Let’s hope nobody picks up a pet dog along the way…

The terrifying bunny incident does serve a plot purpose though.  Remember when I said to take note of the log that Daryl and Beth walked by?  Well, that little bit of white sticking out of it was Lizzie’s dead bunnies.  So now we know that the tracks that Daryl and Beth are following actually belong to Tyreese and the day care.  It seems like kind of a confusing choice to put Daryl and Beth’s adventures in hiking ahead of Tyreese’s group in the episode.  Except of course to give something for over-analytical nerds to find when they re-watch the episode to write their blogs.  Whatever, I found it and I’m proud.

Lil’ Ass Kicker moves along the plot in pretty much the only way a baby can and starts crying.  This, of course, brings on the walkers and forces the day care to move on.  They walk along and find some grapes, when Tyreese realizes that Lil’ Ass Kicker has kicked something out her ass and needs a new diaper (yup, poo joke).  They hear movement in the woods but it turns out to be just some crows moving around.  Even though it’s a false alarm, Mika is apparently more afraid of birds than zombies and takes off into the woods by herself.  They specifically show Mika hurting Tyreese’s arm which is making me a little bit nervous.  That scrape is getting an awful lot of attention.

Tyreese and Lizzie catch up to Mika who is actually pretty adorable.  Mika is as close as you can get to what it would look like if a child from our universe was plopped into Zombieland.  Even though she’s lived there as long as everyone else, she’s been sheltered.  Mika is old enough to remember the world before walkers so when she is confronted with real life monsters, she reacts the same way a real life child would react to the Boogie Man; she freezes up.  Except, when you hide under the sheets from a creak in the closet, you don’t get eaten.

Mika and Tyreese make up, but the moment is interrupted by screaming in the background.  Tyreese sets the girls up to that he can leave them in relative safety while he goes to see if he can help.  He hands Mika a gun and leaves her almost in tears.  Then Lizzie gives Mika the same advice Carol gave her at one point about tucking her shirt behind her knife so she could reach it easier.  No!  Lizzie is trying to screw up Mika as badly as she is.

As soon as Tyreese is gone, Lil’ Ass Kicker starts up crying again and the girls panic.  Then Lizzie has the brilliant idea of smothering a baby.  I repeat, Lizzie is currently smothering. a. baby.  The worst part is that she is so into it, she’s actually blocks out the rest of the world.  She is so oblivious that she doesn’t even hear Mika yelling about the two walkers coming toward them.  Mika panics and fires the gun.  Clearly she doesn’t get the head shot because, well, she’s eight.  Things are not looking great for the day care when we cut away.  I knew that they were going to obviously fix it somehow, but I really couldn’t come up with anything at this point.

Tyreese tracks down the screaming that is coming from the same group that Daryl and Beth found earlier, except this time the group is looking decidedly less like hairy strawberry ice cream with toes.  The situation still isn’t good though and since we know how it’s going to end up, there’s not much suspense here; just watching people get demolished which is almost as good.  Tyreese hears the gun shot, panics, and goes into overkill hammer mode.

But then, he’s stopped by the voice of an angel.  Tyreese looks up and sees the three girls aaaaand Carol!  I actually involuntarily screamed when they made the reveal.  The rest of my viewing party looked at me like I was insane, but I don’t even care.  The secret hero of The Walking Dead has returned and all is right in the world.  (Except for the zombies and the collapse of society and all that other minutia.  Whatever, my girl is back.)

Only one person in this picture hasn’t fired a gun.  Will somebody get the baby a gun already?

Only one person in this picture hasn’t fired a gun. Will somebody get the baby a gun already?

Tyreese stumbles over to give Carol a hug and struggles to find his voice so he can ask the million questions he has.  They’re quickly cut off by the loud sobbing of the last guy to get his neck chomped into.  Was that his version of the fake cough to get their attention, because he hasn’t been sobbing this whole time.  First of all, rude.  They’re obviously having a moment.  Second of all, this guy’s death is Shakespearean level long.  He had an arterial neck wound and he’s not only still sitting up, he has a good length conversation with Carol in a very strong voice.

He tells the group to stay on the tracks and they’ll take them to a kid friendly Mecca.  They trust his dying words and leave him there to die a slow painful death alone which seems a little harsh.  Another throw back to Daryl and Beth who eventually run into this guy after he turns and he puts up a hell of a fight before Beth stabs him in the head.  Turns out the whole ordeal could have been avoided if Carol and Tyreese had stuck around to take care of him.

Tyreese asks how Carol got out and she tells him that she hadn’t gotten back until the very end of the show.  The timeline of the first half of the season was so wonky, I had to think about the fact that Tyreese got back pretty much immediately before the attack so he wouldn’t have known that Rick was telling people that Carol was gone permanently.  Good for Carol though that she decided to blow off Rick and was headed back to the prison despite his unilateral banishment of her.  They find a map with the promised sanctuary marked on it.  I know they don’t have a lot of options at this point, but this seems fishy.  Plus, even if it all it’s cracked up to be, our crew has a knack for imploding safe havens.

I wasn’t kidding when I said that a friggin lot of stuff happens in this episode, because now we move on to our third group of weary travelers.  Somebody please explain to me why Carl the terrible got almost an entire episode while the rest of the cast gets jammed into one hour.  Whatever, writers.  Maggie, Sasha, and PTSD Bob are in what actually looks like the best shape which is saying something since they’re the only team with someone who got shot.  Regardless, they’ve found fresh water and are the only group that doesn’t have a kid weighing them down.  PTSD Bob’s wound doesn’t look too serious though and he gets the added bonus of flirting more with Sasha.  Ironically, PTSD Bob is the only person smiling in the whole episode.  Given, he’s the only character who wasn’t separated from a loved one, but I think I’m ready to give him a clean bill of health and just call him Bob.  Congratulations, Bob!

Sasha agrees with me that these are some primo digs and wants to camp out for the night, but Maggie is on a mission of love and wants to leave immediately to find the bus and Glenn.  Maggie takes off so smilin’ Bob and frowny Sasha have no choice but to follow so that they don’t split up.  They find the bus impressively quickly, but unfortunately it’s because it’s stopped in the middle of the road full of zombies.  Did literally nobody get off the bus?  There are bullet holes all over the bus from the prison raid so presumably people were injured, died, and came back.  I still feel like if I was stuck in a tin can with people turning into zombies, I would be working my way to the front of the bus.

Maggie needs to know if Glenn is inside so they decide to do check the “smart” way and let them out one at a time.  The plan works really well.  For approximately 90 seconds.  As if it wasn’t going to happen, the walkers band together to bust through the door and a zombie slaughter ensues.  Maggie apparently caught Bob’s PTSD because she freezes up and we get the wobbly camera and high pitched tone that PTSD episodes always look like on tv.  She snaps out of it in time to go into overkill mode on one walker to the point that I kind of feel bad for it.  Maggie grabs the walker by the ponytail and unnecessarily slams its head against the side of the bus before stabbing it anyway.  Maggie realizes that she kind of crossed the line there and apologizes to ponytail zombie so it’s all good.

Now that the bus is mostly empty except for some bloody rags and entrails, Maggie hops on to see if there’s any sign of Glenn there.  She finds one zombie that missed the party outside and stabs him before starting to sob uncontrollably.  Obviously this is a fake out since we only see the back of the walker and he has the same hair and build as Glenn.  It’s a little kitschy for my taste but then again, this is a zombie show.

So these people lived in the prison?  I guess I’m sad then?

So these people lived in the prison? I guess I’m sad then?

So, if the blackboard that I have devoted to keeping track of this episode is correct, that only leaves one inmate and one camper to check in on.  Phew!  Poor battered Glenn wakes up alone and suspended on some sort of plank above a sea of walkers.  How did he get there and why is he unconscious?  I guess we’re just not talking about it.

Apparently this is Glenn’s first day in Zombieland, because he makes rookie mistake after rookie mistake.  How much ammo does he have?  Who cares?  Go into the dark hallway before you light the lamp?  Super!  And then when he miraculously does make it make to the honeymoon suite, the first thing he does is lay down for a quick nap.  You’re better than this, Glenn.  He sees a picture of Maggie and rallies to set out on his own mission of love.  Aw, those poor star crossed lovers!

The one upside to being ditched at the prison, Glenn does get to gather supplies and suit up in some riot gear which makes him look incredibly tough.  He barges into the prison yard and the zombie swarm descends.  Glenn sees sad little Tara curled up in a tiny little box and starts to take off, but then he remembers that he has a heart of gold and goes back to help her.  He takes her gun and realizes that she didn’t fire a single shot in the raid.  Glenn invites her along, but Tara feels too guilty to try and save herself.  I really appreciate that Tara’s first reason for being a sad sack is that she feels guilty about the attack and not that she lost her girlfriend.  Her show of remorse and the fact that she chooses to go with Glenn rather than just give up makes me hopeful that Tara might have some good layers to explore.

Glenn makes a molotov cocktail and all I can think is, “But, why is the rum gone?”  After re-arming Tara, Glenn explodes a car which draws away most of the walkers.  Apparently zombies like fire and we’ve just never discussed it before.  They make it to the highway pretty uneventfully and finally slow down to have the awkward “so our people slaughtered each other” conversation.

Tara confirms that her sister is dead and then accidentally breaks the news to Glenn that his father-in-law is dead.  Glenn tells Tara that even though he doesn’t want her help, he needs it.  They seal the deal by bonding over some walker killing.  Tara holds her own especially when Glenn, still sick from the zombie death flu, collapses.  Just as Tara is working out some of her anger issues, we get the obligatory cliffhanger of the week.  Surprise!  Ginger G.I. Joe pulls up with his two cartoon character military buddies and we have to wait a whole week to see whether they’re new friends or new foes.

Until then, my friends!

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review

S04 E04: Indifference

S04 E05: Internment

S04 E06: Live Bait

S04 E07: Dead Weight

S04 E08: Too Far Gone

S04 E09: After

The Walking Dead: Indifference

In the coming weeks, Ms. Hillary Bauer will be offering Episode-by-Episode reviews and recaps for TV’s most beloved Zombie Apocalypse Thriller: The Walking Dead. As an aside, this blog is in no way endorsed by the corporate fat-cats at AMC… But it probably should be! *Wink!*

Here’s Review #4:

Well, this week certainly was an angsty one, now wasn’t it?  Half of our heroes are all about fighting internal demons rather than physical monsters; while Carol and Tyreese really take this episode’s title to heart and have no fucks to give today.  Either way, there is almost as much judging going on as when Dale was still on this show.  Gah, sometimes I watch a clip of self-righteous Dale dying just to cheer myself up.  Which he would probably judge me for.  Rick does an impressive job picking up that mantle this week, so let’s go see why I hate Rick now.

The episode starts with Carol talking to creepy little Lizzie before she heads out with Rick for a supply run and a little emotional digging.  Carol tries to bolster Lizzie’s courage about killing her neighbors, but Lizzie apparently enters her pre-teen rebellious stage and tells “Mom” that even if she dies, she isn’t afraid because she’s cool with being a zombie.  Carol essentially responds, “No daughter of mine is going to be a zombie!  Now, don’t call me ‘Mom’ and pull your knife out.”  Sophia probably would have turned out toootally functional if she had lived.

We switch over to our fighters who appear to have outrun literally THOUSANDS of zombies off screen.  How much time is supposed to have passed since last episode?  I really feel like walking around that swarm should have been more of a project.  Anyway, Tyreese isn’t worried about time (since everyone is probably dead), so he decides it’s laundry time and won’t come when called AGAIN.  Forget what I said before about not killing off Tyreese.  Can we get Carol over here to knife him and save us from his douche-baggery?

The group sets out to find a new car and Daryl finds a rock.  I guess it’s a specific kind of rock that he picks up for someone in A block for some purpose?  Anyway, I may not understand Daryl’s occasional mumbling (or geology), but I do understand guilt trips.  Michonne teases him about having friends, but Daryl slams her for taking off so much and then goes to pout with his special pebble.

As a rare treat, The Walking Dead attempts to give random people in Zombieland a sense of humor.  First, Carol and Rick find a station wagon with “Pardon our dust” written on the filthy windows.  A classic, to be sure, but not nearly as good as the gas station where some teenage hoodlums moved around the numbers to spell a word.  Like in elementary school when everyone figured out what “80085” looks like on a scientific calculator!

OIC what you did there.  At first I thought I was just having a stroke.

OIC what you did there. At first I thought I was just having a stroke.

In an attempt to get into the overgrown convenience shop, the fighters take on their greatest challenge yet: zombie bush.  Well, it starts off just a bush, but then Tyreese decides to take his frustrations out on vegetation and accidentally turns it into the most dangerous Chia Pet of all time.  When the walkers start leaping out of the vines, everyone starts killing them.  Except Tyreese, AGAIN.  He continues to be a complete and total a-hole and appears to be trying to hug his zombie, until the others save him.

Tyreese doesn’t have an answer when Michonne calls him on his bullshit; just a stupid, tortured stare.  But Michonne decides that enough is enough and pushes the point.  She asks him straight out if he was really trying to die, or if he even knows what he’s trying to do.  It’s a fair question, because I sure as hell don’t.  Michonne tells him flat out, “Angry makes you stupid, and stupid gets you killed.”  Apparently she needs to get some wisdom counseling from Hershel, because she makes a valid point, but it’s not necessarily the most helpful advice anyone has ever given on this show.

Inside the shop, Daryl and PTSD Bob find a battery as well as a pretty decent spread of auto supplies.  They also find an emptied out bottle of anti-freeze that the bush zombies drank “holding hands, Kumbaya style.”  Daryl and PTSD Bob disagree about whether it’s always worth fighting for survival, or if it’s easier just to go out on your own terms instead of watching everyone you love die horribly.  PTSD Bob pensively looks at a live zombie (oxymoron?) pinned next to a picture of all the shop people being happy before they drank the Kool-aid.  Then he unintentionally takes away a little bit of this zombie guy’s “death with dignity” decision by stabbing him in the head with the men’s room key.

Rick and Carol’s road trip has brought them to a cute little cul-de-sac neighborhood.  Even though the show runners are obviously going for quaint, this doesn’t seem like the greatest strategic move.  If walkers start coming at you down the street, you have willingly put yourself in a corner that requires a very slow 360 to drive out of.  They raid the medicine cabinet of one house and find a walker, as well as two pretty clueless burnout kids who didn’t know there was a dead chick across the hall.  Tweeker boy throws a peach down as a peace offering, but both Rick and Carol just watch it fall on a corpse.  I’m mostly just surprised that these kids didn’t hit the medicine cabinet when they first broke in.

It turns out that they’re a little bit cute though.  Mr. and Mrs. Tweeker talk about how they’ve been fairing in the post-apocalypse and they bust out their meet-cute!  It’s the classic story of boy meets girl, girl nearly gets trampled to death in a fire, boy saves girl and loves her despite her horribly deformed leg.  We even get a new name for zombies: skin eaters!  Someone calls them “deadies” too, but I’m pretending that one didn’t happen.  The Tweekers seem pretty non-threatening, so Rick goes into his “Riddle me these questions three” routine.  They pass!  Rick wants to leave them in the house until it’s time to head out since they’re pretty beat up, but Carol insists that they can help to cover more ground before nightfall.  Rick reluctantly sends the Tweekers off with a gun and his watch.

Rick and Carol have made the rounds and are swinging by a greenhouse the Tweekers mentioned.  They pick tomatoes and reminisce about their pre-zombie lives.  Actually, Rick reminisces and Carol tells some really awful stories about her abusive husband.  All I can think about during this exchange though, is why the hell are they picking around the green tomatoes?!  People are starving, but Rick and Carol are too good for under-ripe produce.  OH OKAY.  Well it turns out that they don’t have to worry about feeding girl Tweeker, because they find her wonky leg a ridiculously far distance away from the rest of her body which is being devoured.  Seriously, how did it get over there?  Was her dying act to throw her screwed up leg fifty feet in the air?

The fighters finally make it to the vet hospital and I get nervous about whether animals turn in to zombies too, because I watched Pet Semetary way too young and it scared me.  Luckily, all the puppies have already been completely eaten (a sentence I never expected to write).  They find the lab surprisingly quickly and without conflict, but then are really picky about what meds they take.  This is the same issue I had with the green tomatoes; there should be nothing on those shelves that they can’t fit in their bags.  Even if you end up with some obscure ones, somebody might get heartworm someday, you don’t know.

Their exit from the hospital is decidedly less graceful and they end up jumping out a window, which works like a charm because apparently zombies can’t get three feet off the ground.  They’re walkers, not climbers.  The zombies are obviously just stuck there so that we can have a dramatic moment between Daryl and PTSD Bob.  PTSD Bob had disclosed to Daryl earlier in the episode that he has a drinking problem that indirectly led to Zach’s death.  At the time, Daryl comforted him with a succinct “That’s bullshit,” but any sympathy is gone.  Instead of loading up on medicine, PTSD Bob filled his pack with liquor he found in the lab and when everyone finds out, they are NOT amused.  Daryl tells PTSD Bob that if he has a single sip before the medicine gets back, he will end him.  And I 100% believe that he would.  I’m pretty sure I would take my chances with the walker swarm if Daryl ever yelled at me like that.

The cul-de-sac crew is all loaded up and debating whether they should leave boy Tweeker behind.  There was no sign of him next to his lady, so he could be fine and on his way back.  Rick wants to wait so that boy Tweeker isn’t stranded alone if he is ok, but Carol insists that they have to leave him regardless.  Then she really gets on the “Indifference” train and says to Rick apologetically, “It was a nice watch.”  Unfortunately, the fact that this is her take away here isn’t about to help Carol out in their next conversation.

Rick and Carol have spent the entire episode discussing changed morality, acceptable losses, and how far is too far.  Even though Rick never asked Carol his three questions directly, he’s decided that she doesn’t pass anymore.  She’s killed countless walkers.  She murdered two people and now is indirectly responsible for the Tweekers’ downfall.  And he doesn’t think that the coldness of her reasoning for it is justified.  All this boils down to Rick deciding that Carol isn’t coming back to the prison.

At least Rick left you with your two favorite weapons.

At least Rick left you with your two favorite weapons.

Um, I am NOT ok with this.  I have so many problems with this that I actually had to remind myself that throwing my remote at the screen won’t actually hurt Rick.  Where does he get off being Carol’s judge, jury, and executioner?  Does he honestly think that this is any different than what Carol did?  If he is concerned about everyone not wanting her there or Tyreese wanting her dead, there should be some sort of trial.  Or he could just keep his mouth shut.  The bottom line here is that Rick is picking Tyreese, the unhinged man who attacked him for no reason, over Carol, who he has known since the beginning and who essentially runs the day to day chores of the prison.  I’ve been saying all season that I love, love, love what they’re doing with Carol and to take her away from us at this point is just cruel.

So there’s no real cliffhanger this week; just a montage of people being pissed and depressed while I sit on my couch and try to invent ways that Carol can come back and punch Rick in the face.  We’re only four Episodes into the season, so there’s still plenty of time!

Until next week, my friends!

Check out Hillary’s Previous Posts:

S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review

S04 E02: Infected Review

S04 E03: Isolation Review