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.

413 fog

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.

413 coffin

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.

413 daryl cary beth

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: 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: Internment

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 #5:

Hershel, Hershel, and more Hershel.  I would actually like to know what percentage of the screen time for this week’s episode of The Walking Dead the man actually took up.  Although, that does kind of make me nervous for him.  This episode felt an awful lot like a swan song, so it may have been his Emmy push.  But before we get into that, let’s go kill some more people of Woodbury, finally knock down that stupid fence, and talk about why I’m not at all excited about the cliffhanger of the week.

I’m still so mad at Rick!  I don’t feel bad for him looking all tortured in this artsy driving shot (that The Walking Dead has used kind of a lot this year).  In fact, it makes me angry in a way which I don’t think that the writers intended.  Rick is too smug in his torment.  It’s like he wraps himself up in it like a cozy blanket of depression that people comment on, but still deal with.  The only thing I will say for Rick, he’s the least terrible driver on the show.  Not even a mangled zombie being eaten by feral dogs on the side of the road can distract him.  I see a dead squirrel in the middle of the road and the life of everyone around me is in danger.  Maybe Daryl and I can take lessons together.

Back in the death flu clinic, what’s left of the council has moved on to intubating the patients which seems really useless to me.  I realize the point is to reinforce Hershel’s never give up, never surrender attitude, but this is just an exercise in futility that nobody would realistically go along with.  “Here, Sasha, now just pump this bag for literally the rest of that guy’s life.”  Plus, they appear to only have one unit.  Why are we even pretending random curly haired kid is the lucky one when we know that thing is ending up down the throat of a main character?

Hershel makes some cheesy dad jokes about moving spaghetti night, right after they find some spaghetti.  His attempt at levity is entirely unsuccessful since, unfortunately, a room full of terminally ill people is a tough crowd.  Hershel and Glenn go on rounds, which appears to just mean walking around and looking at increasingly gross people.  They find someone that they didn’t get to in time with the magic intubation bag, but Hershel won’t let Glenn off him in Gen Pop.  I get the impression that Maggie and Beth sent some dogs to a farm upstate when they were kids.

Creepy Lizzie shows up and makes me more uncomfortable than any zombie on this show can.  She catches the undertakers wheeling dead Woodbury resident away to “someplace quieter.”  Heaven?  I basically assume everything that comes out of Hershel’s mouth is religious in a way that goes over my head.  He tells Lizzie to go get his copy of Tom Sawyer and read it by the end of the night.  Um, I have a feeling that she hasn’t been able to practice her reading for a while, so she might be a little below her grade level.  Plus, I know they’re in the South, but I’m pretty sure kids get a conversation about racism and historical mistakes nowadays before they get that assignment.

Maggie and Hershel come to the magic window of revelations, where I realize that Maggie is the only person on this show that gets increasingly attractive the more screwed up her hair is.  Hershel gives her one of his less impressive wisdom speeches, but does convince her she can do more good outside of the death flu clinic.  As Hershel leaves, he finds Glenn who lied so that he wouldn’t have to talk to Maggie.  I wanna slap this boy up the back his head!  I hate when characters pull the total BS of keeping their distance so that they don’t hurt their loved ones.  It’s not your decision and you’re hurting them already.  Now go talk to your fiancé!

The next day, Maggie is out at the fence poking zombies by herself.  Is there anyone left not in the death flu clinic?  If so, why aren’t they helping her?!  This stupid fence drives me crazy.  They have offered no good reason why they don’t have everybody down there at all times taking out walkers.  Lame ass plot device…

Rick arrives back alone (raaaaage!) and just starts yelling names in the most frantic way possible, confirming once and for all that Woodbury can eff off since he doesn’t ask about them.  Seriously, he had a pretty long car ride to figure out an entrance and this is what he lands on?  Maggie will surely side with me about everyone’s buddy Carol.  No, Maggie!  He was not right, and not even your perfectly tousled hair can convince me otherwise.

Rick swings by the quarantine daycare to check in on Carl and the other invisible children, and to drop off snack time.  Today the kids are having fruit leather, but only if they brush their teeth after!  Is this why Rick is running around like a chicken with his head cut off?  It’s not like he has actual medication to get to the clinic.  Anyway, Carl calls after Rick to ask when he can come out and play but Rick is still not having it.  Then he drops a douchey exit line about how he may not be able to protect Carl, but it’s still his job to try.  I swear, smugness oozes from this man’s pores.

The clinic has become Hershel’s playground where he’s romping around pretty well on his peg leg.  He goes to check in on Doc S, who has certainly looked better.  Doc S must know he’s having a bad hair day because he is in a crap mood.  If he turned into a zombie right this minute, he wouldn’t want to eat Hershel; he would just want to hurt his feelings.

Doc S was always a little pudgy, but relatively attractive.  This “face exploding” look really isn’t working for him though

Doc S was always a little pudgy, but relatively attractive. This “face exploding” look really isn’t working for him though

Doc S blurts out his opinion on the issue everyone has been tiptoeing around: knock it off with the damn tea and intubation bag and let some bodies hit the floor.  He even has a shotgun hidden under his bed to make sure he gets to be a complete bummer before he dies.  “The Hippocratic Oath” is probably not going to be his dying thought, unless there’s a “fuck” in front of it.

Right after the uplifting words of wisdom from Doc S, Hershel goes to tuck everyone into bed for the night.  A man stumbles out of his cell and dies in front of everyone, which obviously upsets Hershel.  Getting these dying people to stay in bed is like trying to keep down a bratty toddler!  Also, this is what he’s been trying to avoid this whole time.  He wheels the man’s corpse out of Gen Pop and, after a moment of hesitation, stabs his first lost patient in the head.  But where does he happen to be standing?  The magic window of revelations!

Unfortunately, Hershel is only having depressing revelations this week.  Rick happens to be standing behind him and they have a pretty bummer conversation about burning bodies (which they should have been doing all along), Steinbeck quotes, and the world never going back to the way it was before.  When it boils down to it though, Hershel is still very vehement that there’s a plan.  Except Rick, being the jerk that he is, decides to pick a moment where Hershel’s last sliver of hope is very exposed to tell him about Carol.  I think Rick actually enjoys bumming people out.

Maggie and Rick are outside finally trying to do something about the fence.  I’ve been begging for this all season so I should be happy; but I was not begging for THIS.  Whose idea was it to bolster the fence with wood that they’re propping up on a gravel path?  Not to mention that third graders have a better understanding of angles than these two.  Some of those logs are practically lying on the ground.  Humph, let’s just break the damn fence and get it over with.

Things are starting to look pretty grim in the death flu clinic.  Hershel finds Sasha passed out in her cell and takes a little while to get her conscious again.  While he’s with Sasha, other people are dropping like flies.  A zombie barrels out her cell and gets the jump on Hershel which draws several people out of their cells to help: a young blonde who saves Hershel’s life and is promptly shot for her trouble by a man being bitten by his dead son.

Meanwhile, the man Glenn has been helping with the useless intubation bag has proven said bag to be useless and dies.  Glenn conveniently begins to decline quickly at that exact moment and passes out next the newly made zombie.  Lizzie helps Glenn in the creepiest way she can come up with and decides to lure the walker out of the cell by talking to him like he’s a dog.  She did save Glenn just now though, so I’ll give her a break this time.

Look at that sassy pose.  It’s almost like a creepy dance off.

Look at that sassy pose. It’s almost like a creepy dance off.

The fence crew hears the gun shots and Maggie runs inside to help the death flu clinic, but misunderstands how doors work in quarantine and is surprised by the locked door.  She eventually shoots her way in and helps to save her betrothed.  Hershel swings by Doc S’s cell to get the shotgun, but finds that the good doctor has become a zombie in the cell with the only weapon.  Take this knife to the eye as a parting gift.

Once inside the cell, Hershel actually throws the Bible out of his pocket so he can fill them with shotgun casings.  Maaay have just gotten a little heavy handed there, guys.  They manage to get the clinic under control and save Glenn (but damn if they didn’t scare me on that one).  Lizzie comes to the cell where Glenn and Maggie have just reunited and asks if it’s over.  Maggie confirms and Lizzie responds by drawing circles in Glenn’s blood with her boot.  Take a second to read that last sentence again.  Forget what I said before about giving her a break.  I am terrified of that little devil child.

On the fence, Rick has recruited Carl to try and hold up the Hoover Dam with toothpicks.  They obviously fail and DING DONG, THE FENCE IS DEAD!  But there is the problem now of the zombie flood coming at the Grimes men.  Luckily, machine guns are apparently easy enough to use that a thirteen year old can learn how to use one in eleven seconds.  (Disclaimer: I have no idea if they’re technically “machine guns.”  Not a big gun person.)  The boys come back and finish off the herd while they do a little father-son bonding over zombie poking.  Why didn’t they just take out the fence herd this way before?  I know they avoid firing weapons when possible, but this looked like it couldn’t have taken more than fifteen minutes.

The fighters (remember them) are back with the medicine, so now we can cure everyone who’s left with magical antibiotics.  Seriously, antibiotics just have to be in your general vicinity to work immediately.  With everyone back in the prison, Hershel is off duty for the first time in a while.  He goes back to Doc S’s cell and closes the eye that he didn’t stab him through earlier.  Sitting over the body of his dead friend, Hershel picks up his Bible and opens it.  He just starts crying and I can’t even handle it!  It’s like if you see someone break down for the first time and freeze up.  Is this a pat on the back or pour a shot moment?!

Of course they deprive us of Rick telling Daryl about Carol for the week, so all that’s really left is the cliffhanger of the week.  Hmmm, I wonder what that creepy music as we pan back to the perimeter could mean.  “The Governor?!  I thought he was gone forever,” said no one.  They are really going to have to win me over this time around.  His first pass around, The Governor really irked me, because he was just evil for the sake of being evil.  But I will try and keep an open mind moving forward, and see if they can round him out a little bit.

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

S04 E04: Indifference