The Walking Dead: The Grove

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 #14:

This week on The Walking Dead, I CRIED SO MUCH.  I should have known better.  As soon as The Walking Dead makes you like a secondary or tertiary character, they’re doomed.  I would like to start by saying that, for the record, I have been calling Creepy Lizzie, Creepy Lizzie since the first time she was on screen.  I am an excellent judge of character and I always knew that she was messed up in the head.  I even referenced the homicidal triad, for God’s sake.  Well, unfortunately I was more correct than I wanted to be and I have a lot of feelings about it.  Let’s just delve into what is indisputably one of the most upsetting 44 minutes of television The Walking Dead has ever given us.

We start off in a farm house with a kettle boiling and a weird phonograph playing in the background.  So we have a working gas line and some sort of power source.  Does that mean flashback?  Generally, The Walking Dead doesn’t do flashbacks, but last week they did for some reason, so who knows.  We pan over to a shot of the backyard and there are two bodies running around.  One of the figures is moving very deliberately and we can hear a child laughing.  But the other is stumbling around in slow motion, so it’s unclear if it’s a walker (which would mean it’s present day) or a clumsy playmate.  Either way, the music makes it eerie.  Can I put in a request for “G.U.Y.”?

We’re spending this week with Carol, Tyreese, and the little ladies, so we open on them taking a break at night on the railroad tracks.  Carol is keeping watch with Lizzie by her side while the others sleep.  Carol tells Lizzie to get some sleep, but Lizzie insists that she can take Judith and help if anything goes wrong.  She also weirdly insists on calling Carol “ma’am” which sounds awkward and forced.  Lizzie asks Carol if there will be other kids in Terminus, to which Carol responds “maybe” in her very best mom voice that parents bust out when they want to be noncommittal but not crush dreams.  Props to Melissa McBride for having the mom voice down to a T this episode.  If she wasn’t talking about zombie apocalypse logic, I feel like I would be learning from her right now.

Carol specifically answers Lizzie’s question by saying that there might be kids if their parents kept them safe, like Tyreese kept Lizzie safe.  To which Lizzie responds, “lol, I shot two people and saved Tyreese’s ass.”  She does show some remorse, but not for killing them.  Lizzie is specifically upset that she shot Tara’s army girlfriend in the head.  It’s not an odd thing to feel bad about on the surface; I probably would too.  But, as will soon be revealed, Lizzie apparently just feels bad that the dead lady couldn’t come back as a zombie.  We’re only about four minutes in and Lizzie is already being a little freak.

Lizzie asks Carol if she had any children (a question that seems like it should have come up sooner).  Carol tells Lizzie about her sweet Sophia who “didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”  And that’s what killed her.  When Carol says that she misses Sophia every day, Lizzie asks if Carol would miss her.  Carol answers that she won’t have to miss Lizzie.  So say we all, Carol.  So say we all.

The next day, Carol and Tyreese wonder how far out they are from Terminus.  Tyreese thinks they may be three or four days out.  Seriously?!  At the rate time has been passing in the second half of this season, we aren’t gonna get to Terminus until 2016.  They also talk about Lizzie and how she has people killing down pat, but she’s really confused about walkers.  She just thinks they’re… different.  Generally I’m all about inclusiveness, but I might not be open-minded enough to include decaying flesh in my rainbow of togetherness.  Tyreese asks Carol if Mika is the same.  Carol says that she’s worse because she “doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.”  Foreshadowing, you are a cruel bitch!

The group keeps on keepin’ on down the railroad tracks for a bit chatting about when Carol used to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to the kids.  Mika decides that Lizzie is more like Huck Finn because she’s ok with dead rabbits.  (Those poor baby bunnies!)  The group takes a break so that Carol can find some water.  That leaves Tyreese alone with Lizzie and Lil’ Ass Kicker, when they see a walker stumbling in the distance.  Tyreese goes to see what’s up when the walker falls on the tracks and is rendered immobile.  Tyreese goes to kill it anyway, but Lizzie stops him saying that she knows that sometimes they have to kill the walkers, but sometimes they don’t.  Tyreese looks a little bewildered, but lets railroad walker be.

This scene is oddly reminiscent of when Hershel expressed the same idea to Carl earlier in the season.  Hershel watched Carl gun down a teenage boy in season three.  So when he and Carl were alone in the woods, Hershel took the chance to give Carl a little life lesson and stopped him from killing a walker who posed no threat to them.  The difference is that Hershel was trying to get across a message of general non-violence, while Lizzie is coming to bat in defense of walkers and only walkers.

Carol and Mika are off in search of water, but really it’s just a cover so that Carol can try to talk some sense into Mika.  Carol tells Mika that she needs to toughen up, because being able to run wasn’t enough to save her Sophia.  Mika says that, unlike her sister, she would have no problem killing walkers if she was a better shot.  Her hang up is killing other people.  Even when the bad people came into the prison and killed basically everyone she knew in literally the entire world, Mika couldn’t pull the trigger.  She even says that she feels bad for them, because they probably weren’t killers in the pre-apocalypse.  Damn, Mika.  That is one hell of a moral compass you have for an eight-year-old.

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Why does she keep just a tiny bit of her hair in a ponytail?

Just as Carol is telling Mika that she has to change because things don’t just work out anymore, a cozy farm house jumps out at them and yells “eff your lesson, Carol!”  They gather up the rest of the group and decide to catch their breath on the cute little farm if only for a few days.  They have well water, pecans all over the place, and the potential to hunt deer.  I’m allergic to nuts and grossed out by well water and hunting so it’s not my idea of Mecca, but it’s pretty sweet digs by their standards.

Carol and Tyreese go into the house to clear it of zombies, leaving the three girls outside.  Lizzie is obviously distraught, so Mika tries to work out why big sis is upset.  It’s not that she’s worried about Carol and Tyreese or the dead baby grave she’s staring at.  Lizzie is upset that Carol and Tyreese are likely going to find a walker inside and kill it.  That makes sense.  Who cares about dead babies anyway?  As Mika tries to get across to her sister than walkers are just corpses that can move (what’s so confusing about that?), a walker makes his way out the side door and goes after Lizzie and Judith.  Mika to the rescue!  It takes three bullets, but she manages to land the head shot before Carol and Tyreese come running out.

Carol praises Mika for saving the other two girls and then turns to the visibly shaken Lizzie.  Lizzie won’t say why she’s upset, but she does confirm that it’s not because she was scared.  This walker loving attitude has really come out this week.  Sure she’s been crazy all along, but Lizzie has never cried over someone killing a walker before.  I feel like it’s getting a little too heavy handed.  Mika goes to her sister and tells to “look at the flowers like [she’s] supposed to,” and then they count to three together.  Sooo, apparently people did know Lizzie was crazy before the zombies.  That is not an eight-year-old talking; that is a tool learned in long term therapy.  I kind of feel like this is something that dad could have included in his dying declarations.  “Take care of my daughters.  P.S. Lizzie has a pretty serious dissociative disorder.”

That night, everyone is playing house and playing out what I assume happened in all the Little House on the Prairie books since they seemed too boring for me to actually read.  Carol and Lizzie are cracking open pecans that they apparently felt like gathering after the near death scare that afternoon and talking about their feelings.  Lizzie promises that she’s trying to hate walkers as much as everyone else, but sometimes it’s hard for her.  Then Mika runs in with a doll that she found and proudly names her Griselda Gunderson.  It’s really adorable so I feel like kind of a jerk for making fun of Mika… but what the hell you doin’ naming your doll Griselda?!  Anne.  The appropriate name for a red head raggedy doll is Anne.

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I guess she’s creepy enough to be a Griselda.

The next morning, Carol is boiling water on the stovetop which is probably a big deal considering she probably hasn’t been able to use an actual burner in at least two years.  I have one that works, but I probably haven’t used it in two years either.  She hears laughing outside and sees Lizzie frolicking with a walker.  Hey, it’s the opening scene!  Turns out it was a walker after all and not just the uncoordinated kid in the neighborhood (aka me as a child).  Creepy Lizzie side note: she calls the walker Griselda.  If the doll didn’t need a new name before, it does now.

Carol rushes outside and pushes Lizzie aside so that she can stab zombie Griselda in the head.  Lizzie goes full on tantrum and freaks out on Carol yelling about how zombie Griselda just wanted a friend and how would it be different if Lizzie killed Carol.  Carol presents her counter-argument: death.  Tyreese hears the commotion and just looks out the window with the “bitches be crazy” face that has been rightfully stuck on his face for 90% of the season since the prison raid.

Carol is out hunting deer with Mika, who is carrying a gun that is literally 2/3 her size.  They see the smoke from a fire that they smelled earlier.  Mika says that it’s still burning because the smoke is black.  Science.  You guys!  Remember a couple of weeks ago when they showed us how close Team Tyreese was to Daryl and Beth with berries and dead bunnies?  The fire is the still house burning down!  I was pre-tty proud when I pieced that one together.  If I’m right.  If not, forget I said anything.  This is a good example of how close to another person you can be without being able to find them in Zombieland.

Carol gives Mika another toughen up talk and tells her that even though she isn’t as strong or cutthroat as her sister, Mika is smarter.  Carol’s tough talk is interrupted by a deer that she tells Mika to kill.  The way Carol encourages Mika in the mom voice is creepy.  It’s like she’s teaching Mika to play piano or do crafts.  But despite Carol’s gentle tone, Mika can’t pull the trigger on Bambi.  Mika reassures Carol that it’s ok because they have millions of peaches for free.  Apparently Mika plans on being the only vegetarian in Zombieland.

Mika goes looking for Lizzie and finds her feeding a mouse to the railroad track zombie that she stopped Tyreese from killing earlier.  It’s super creepy and weird.  But then it gets even creepier and weirder.  Lizzie says that she can hear them and they just want her to change and be like them.  At this point, I’d allow it.  She offers her hand to the walker and I would be totally ok with a walker Lizzie going off into the sunset.

But Lizzie’s sacrifice is interrupted by some more terrifying walkers.  A group of crusty, smoldering walkers comes out of the tree line and sends the girls running.  Apparently Lizzie only likes her zombies chilled and decaying.  The girls run back to the farm house screaming, which brings Carol and Tyreese running.  Mika gets stuck on the fence, but after Lizzie frees her from a near biter attack, the two join the adults in shooting up the field.  Mika, who earlier declined to use her gun, is avid to join in on the walker killing; but Lizzie is just kind of shooting in no man’s land, which draws Carol’s attention.  After we’ve spent a metric eff ton of ammunition, the fire zombies have been put down and we get to have a mini group hug.

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Guys!  Guys!  They’re fire walkers.  Get it?!

Side note:  If it was the still house burning, Beth and Daryl’s middle fingers to the past kind of unexpectedly have turned into middle fingers to their fellow heroes.  Ain’t nobody got time for fire zombies.

Later that night, Lizzie and Carol are back at the table of truth.  Lizzie is distraught about having to kill the zombies at the farm fence, but is adamant that she knows what has to be done now.  Mika listens in on the truth bombs the table is dropping and says that she doesn’t want to be mean.  The cutest pacifist EVER.  The girls confirm that they aren’t sick of pecans, so Carol takes them to make her grandmother’s baked pecans.  Again, these would kill my allergic ass, but the sentiment is very sweet.  Plus, Carol gets to use the mom voice as it was originally intended and it gets to be adorable instead of creepy and unsettling.

Carol and Tyreese go out for a walk to talk about grown-up stuff.  Carol tells Tyreese that maybe they could just stay at the comfy farm house for a while before going to Terminus.  Tyreese goes on a very self indulgent tirade about him dreaming of Karen and his nightmares and how on bad nights, he sees someone killing her.  Yes, it is sad that your girlfriend died.  But I still maintain that Tyreese could not have been dating this woman for more than a couple of weeks.  Sir, you are complaining to a woman who lost her (admittedly abusive) husband and daughter.  At a certain point, relativity has to come into play.

Alright folks, now comes the serious part of the recap that you knew was coming.  Carol and Tyreese come back to farm house and find a bloody Lizzie, knife in hand, standing where the three little ones should be.  There’s really no gentle way to say this.  In a misguided attempt to show everyone that walkers aren’t so bad, Lizzie killed Mika.  We see Mika’s blood stained, white face; but almost as a recognition of how horrible this scene really is, The Walking Dead doesn’t make us see the actual wound or Mika turn into a zombie.  Lizzie pulls her gun on the two adults begging them to let Mika change.  Carol talks Lizzie off that particular ledge and sends her off with Tyreese before breaking down in tears next to poor Mika’s body.

In the argument of who got the short straw, Carol and Tyreese are in a dead heat.  Having to stab a dead child in the head or being stuck with a ten year old murderer are the options in the worst ever game of “would you rather.”  Tyreese takes Lizzie to her room and clears it of anything sharp as well as confirming that Lizzie was the one feeding rats to the walkers at the prison and splaying the rodents on boards.  (Called that one, bitches.)

The grown-ups try to figure out what they can do with Lizzie now.  Carol initially suggests that since they can’t have Lizzie and Judith under the same roof, Carol could go away with her.  Tyreese points out that that would be a suicide mission.  Then, lest Carol get too noble, they realize that Tyreese and Judith can’t make it on their own either.  Lizzie can’t be around other people.  Carol does what needs to be done and takes Lizzie out to a field where she can look at the flowers.  Lizzie is upset about all the wrong things and offers a teary apology for pointing a gun at Carol.  Carol tells Lizzie that she loves her and puts her down.

There are a multitude of reasons why this scene is upsetting.  Two children are dead.  Carol has now lost three charges.  But the thing that jumps out, at least to me, is the issue of untreated mental health disorders.  Lizzie had obviously been diagnosed with and was in treatment for a dissociative disorder pre-Zombieland.  Given the level of her pathology, Lizzie may even have been medicated.  Deprived of that support system, Lizzie would have been struggling in a state of immense confusion.  I’ve called her Creepy Lizzie from the start, but I send her off as Troubled Lizzie.

After digging graves for the girls, Carol and Tyreese retire to the farm house to apparently do a puzzle.  Carol slides Tyreese a gun and then tells him that she was the one who killed Karen and David to stop the spread of infection.  I kind of take issue with this.  Carol is a survivalist.  If she thought that she was never going to see Rick (the only person she ever told) again, she wouldn’t reveal this if Tyreese was her only hope of staying alive.  Luckily, Tyreese is a survivalist too and his reaction is perfect.  He does some serious face acting and goes through all the stages of grief in 45 seconds.  Tyreese says that he knows that he forgives Carol but knows that neither of them will ever forget.

No real cliffhanger of the week this episode.  Carol and Tyreese decide that staying at the farm house is outskies, so they decide to ease on down the road to Terminus.  From the preview, it looks like we get about 66% of our cast back though.

One more before the finale, 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

S04 E13: Alone

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

The Walking Dead: Claimed

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 #11:

I’m always a little torn about the revolving door of characters on The Walking Dead.  On the one hand, it makes sense that people would come in and out of your life pretty regularly in the post-apocalypse.  But on the downside, damn, there are a lot of names to remember.  This week, we named ginger G.I. Joe and the American Heroes that popped up last week and ran into a gang of thugs who may or may not have a continuing role in the series.  Mostly, my take away from this episode was just that Michonne is adorable and I want more of her always (even if it means dealing with extra Rick).

The episode starts with a less than subtle shot of a street sign for “Crook Road.”  Alright writers, settle down with the street sign hints you’ve been dropping the last few weeks.  Tara, who is with the army team, obviously has some sort of plan because she sneakily takes down the name of the street in giant letters on her palm in permanent marker.  Just then the truck stops and ginger army man takes out three walkers with a little too much enthusiasm for Tara’s liking.  Although, to his credit, at least someone remembered that shooting walkers is supposed to be a last resort.  He enlists Tara’s help salvaging some cars and says that they have a long trip ahead of them.  This guy makes my skin crawl.  I feel like he’s one of the people who perpetuate the idea that gingers don’t have souls.

Back at Camp Rick, Michonne has cleaned herself up and comes to breakfast with Carl wearing a very sensible oversized button-up.  She pours her cereal longing out loud for some soy milk, which makes me and Carl chuckle.  I love what they do this entire episode as far as building an image of who Michonne was before Zombieland hit with subtle clues like this.  Carl is not impressed though goes on a rant about dairy alternatives before he mentions Judith’s formula and accidentally makes himself sad.

Carl runs off, but Rick still thanks Michonne for cracking Carl’s exterior even for a second.  Michonne asks what the endgame is for them playing house, but Rick gives a wishy-washy answer and tells her to hang tight for now.  Michonne accepts Rick’s response and says that she and Carl should go out on a supply run.  Rick wants to tag along but Michonne is like, “lol, you were pretty much dead yesterday” and tells him to stay behind and rest up.  And then the clouds part and angels begin to sing because Rick actually listens to her.  It’s so nice to have someone around who Rick considers an equal.  Carl is even less obnoxious when he’s talking to Michonne.  She’s like the antidote for Grimes.

Rick sends a cranky Carl and Michonne (who has picked up a delightful vest) on their way before going upstairs for a little R&R.  Rick finally takes off the rag of a shirt that he’s been holding onto for dear life and apparently decides that a plain white t-shirt is the most practical thing he could find in the whole house.  That’ll stay clean forever!  He lays down with a book and the loudest watch in creation to take a seriously needed nap.

Out in the neighborhood, the supply run seems to taking in a pretty serious haul.  Did the people who lived in this town not know that they should bring their non-perishables with them when the world ended?  Leave no can of pumpkin pie filing behind!  Michonne senses that Carl is in a pissy mood and tries to engage him with talk of candy bars and comic books.  This conversation is a sad throw back to earlier in the season when Carl seemed to be getting back to being a kid in the safety of the prison.  That’s pretty much donezo now.

Michonne asks Carl outright if he’s ok, which Carl unconvincingly evades by blaming his funky mood on being tired.  In a last ditch effort to make Carl crack a smile, Michonne busts out a can of crazy cheese and overfills her mouth before opening it wide for him to see.  It’s adorable how hard she’s trying, but honestly the mouth full of processed cheese product makes her 3% less attractive to me in general.

411 crazy cheese

I want to know what the script said that resulted in this.

Baffled that Carl wasn’t impressed by the cheese stunt, Michonne breaks out the big guns to get him talking and casually mentions her dead three year old son.  She says that her son thought that she was hilarious, which explains the cheese business, because it would have had a toddler in stitches.  Michonne’s truth bomb works because Carl’s interest is peaked and he starts spewing out questions.  Michonne sets the rules for a game where she’ll answer one question per room that they clear.  I’m having flashbacks to my own childhood right now, because this is exactly the kind of hokey game my own mom pulled with me when I was being a brat.

Back at the manor, Rick is just waking up when he hears men’s voices downstairs.  Since one of the men is screaming in pain, it’s a pretty fair assumption that these aren’t guys Rick wants to introduce himself to.  He grabs the telltale watch before doing a totally gratuitous, albeit impressive, barrel roll off the bed when he hears someone coming up the stairs.  Rick grabs a bottle of water (presumably so they won’t assume anyone is in the room and not because he was a little parched) and hides under the bed.  He can see a man in heavy duty boots with a heavy duty gun and is visibly shaking.  The anonymous man clomps around ominously before finally landing on the bed, which apparently has a terrible box spring because he almost crushes Rick when he plops down.

411 under bed

“This is cozy.  Guess I’ll stay here for the entire episode.”

Out on the supply run, Michonne and Carl start the question game with Carl already looking for loopholes.  He gets his way though and Michonne finally names her son: Andre Anthony.  She also reveals that Andre was an only child and that he did, in fact, die after the world ended.  Carl squeezes out some freebie information and Michonne tells him that she never told anyone about him, including Rick.  Michonne had been very flippant up to this point in the game, but her mood changes when she says that Andre wasn’t really a secret and then trails off.

It is interesting that she hasn’t brought Andre up until this point.  Her demeanor with Carl is completely different than it was even before the prison raid.  She’s relaxed and playful with him even more so than she is with other characters.  It seems like Michonne just didn’t see the point of bringing up her past until she thought it could do some good for someone else to hear about her son.  In this episode, revealing more about herself helps her connect with Carl in a very motherly way.

Then any kind of levity disappears when Michonne opens a freaky painting that had been leaning on a door.  The painting is of a woman, but it’s covered in blood and someone had crossed out her eyes and mouth.  Michonne slowly opens the door with her hand on her sword.  The music gets very dramatic, but it might just be for how effed up the floor plan of this house is.  There’s a bathroom that leads to a young child’s bedroom.  Who does that?  Every time this kid has company he just has to be like, “Don’t mind the toilet on your way in?”

Michonne keeps walking further in to an adjoining room (more stupid architecture).  Inside, she finds the corpses of four children and it looks like the woman from the painting.  It’s kind of hard to tell; she’s pretty decomposed and she shot herself in the face.  But they do both have side braids which is the TV clue for “same person.”  The painting was leaning on the outside of the door so whoever found the bodies had to have been alive and, judging from their alterations to the painting, was none too pleased with mommy dearest’s decision to annihilate the family.

The Psycho–esque tableau obviously strikes a nerve with Michonne who actually wipes a tear from her eye before rushing out of the room.  Carl find her and guesses from how shaken up Michonne looks that there’s a baby in the room she just came out of.  Michonne clutches the handle and blurts out the worst cover story she could have come up with: “It’s a dog.”  Michonne has many skills; evidently lying is not one of them.

Back with Rick, we get more exciting ankle acting from the unfriendlies.  I’m really not enjoying this plotline.  The drama is so manufactured and it goes on for-e-ver.  Right now we have to watch a squabble between two of the unfriendlies from the shin down over who gets to sleep in the big bed.  One of the men falls to the ground and sees Rick, but his comrade in arms chokes him and renders him unconscious before he can call “Boogieman.”  These guys could use some serious teambuilding exercises.

We switch back over to Glenn and Tara on the road with the American Heroes.  Glenn is just coming to and he is not pleased about being on an unplanned road trip in the middle of his search for Maggie.  He forces ginger G.I. Joe to pull the truck over and takes off down the street.  The American Heroes try to stop him and Tara by convincing Glenn that his wife is dead.  Jeez guy, your sales pitch needs work.  Turns out the American Heroes are on a mission from God to save the world.  Ginger G.I. Joe (whose real name is Sgt. Abraham Ford) explains that he and his lady friend, Rosita, are taking a nerd named Eugene to Washington D.C. because he knows why the zombies showed up in the first place.  I’m not crazy about the idea that the fate of humanity lies in the hands of that mullet.  It’s seriously heinous.

411 mullet

Apparently Eugene has a PhD, but not a mirror.

Glenn tells them “thanks, but no thanks” before losing his temper and starting a fist fight.  While the women try to tear them apart, Eugene is just milling around near the truck looking like a blob of a human being.  Walkers start to wander out of a corn field and I start to cry a little bit.  It’s important to note that I have kind of an irrational fear of corn fields.  They’re like nature made the ultimate hiding place for monsters.  Nothing good has ever come out of a corn field.  Except corn, I guess…

Eugene reacts to the situation about as well as I would have and starts spraying bullets into the crowd of walkers willy nilly.  The others run back and take out the walkers no problem, but the real damage is already done.  In his haphazard attempt at using an automatic weapon, Eugene hit the gas tank rendering it useless.  Abraham looks at the leak and says the only line I’ve enjoyed out of his mouth so far: “Son of a dick!”

Back to Rick.  Still under the bed.  Great.  He realizes though, that now he has to get out.  The unconscious unfriendly is now a ticking time bomb so Rick needs to make his movie before the gang banger wakes up and blows his hiding place.  Rick finds a new room to hide in, but is almost discovered by one of the thugs who is walking around bouncing a tennis ball over and over and over.  Ok, I am not a violent person, but I want to take that tennis ball and shove it down this man’s throat.  This is seriously the most obnoxious thing The Walking Dead has ever written into the show.

Rick tries to escape out the window, but for some reason, these second story windows are just for show and don’t open.  Alright whatever, let’s just go watch Rick sneak around the house poorly for a little while longer.  The unfriendlies are yelling predictably despicable things across the house about Michonne’s recently washed shirt and the fact that she’s probably coming back.  There’s actually a lot of discussion and high reasoning devoted to the friggin shirt.

Rick the spy continues to stomp around the house looking for a way out, when he closes himself in a bathroom to hide.  For reasons I cannot even begin to speculate (because there is no good reason), one of the thugs is in the bathroom sitting on the non-functioning toilet with his pants pulled up.  Is it that he couldn’t find a more suitable chair?  A struggle ensues but Rick gets a garret around the guy’s throat and chokes him out.  So we’re just accepting that the rest of the unfriendlies didn’t hear anything?  Ok.

Luckily, at least one window in the house works and Rick is able to get himself onto the roof and then down to the porch.  I swear, this sequence is actually the loudest Rick has ever been.  He ends up crouching next to the porch when that mothereffer with his mothereffing tennis ball shows up again.  Thank goodness we get to watch Rick hide just out of sight again while this charming specimen of a man spits on him.

Michonne and Carl are just getting back to the house when there’s a commotion in the house that makes tennis ball man rush inside.  Apparently Rick actually killed that guy in the bathroom because shots are fired inside and we can hear walker breathing.  Sweet mother of pearl, is this plotline over yet?  That was a long battle.  It’s hard to tell if the unfriendlies are just a one off plot device or not.  We didn’t actually see most of their faces, but they did go to the trouble of giving them names on IMDB, so we’ll see.

Back at the busted truck, Abraham is telling a charming story about a camel with C-4 shoved up his bum.  Apparently an exploding camel can’t wreck this truck, but a scientist with an adrenaline high and a rapid fire weapon can.  Shouldn’t Eugene have picked up some weapons training by now?  It seems like if he’s been traveling with two marksmen, it would have been worthwhile to ask for a lesson or two.

Glenn decides it’s time to hit the dusty trail so he and Tara turn in their weapons and take off.  Rosita is the first to make the very pragmatic decision to follow them which Eugene signs on for too.  I’m glad they’re tagging along.  Obviously Glenn was never going to abandon the idea of finding Maggie, but I want to see more of this plotline.  I can’t wait to hear Eugene’s pseudoscience!  As they walk along, Abraham is shooting off his mouth to Tara who doesn’t look particularly interested.  She rejects Abraham’s claim that he just wants to save the world because it’s the right thing to do.  I’m with you, Tara.  This guy is a sleaze ball and Rosita could do much better.

To wrap up the episode, we get a shot of Rick et al walking along the railroad tracks.  Seems like we’re doing a lot of that lately.  They come across a sign for the same sanctuary that Carol and her crew are headed to.  For real, do these guys have a post-apocalyptic version of Friend Finder?  These two groups were obviously going to be the next to meet up.  We get Lil’ Ass Kicker back to the boys and the awkwardness of Carol and Rick being reunited.

Looks like we’re heading back into the dark with more walkers and fewer feelings next episode.  See you then!

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

The Walking Dead: Dead Weight

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 #7:

Remember when there used to be series regulars on The Walking Dead?  Now apparently we’re just watching a show about our former villain, turned good guy, turned villain again.  Not to mention his newly adopted family, who are really the only reason any of this redemption arc business is being allowed to carry on.  Then throw in one of our more psychopathic Woodbury henchmen, and this episode feels like being at a friend of a friend’s party when you can’t find anyone you really know.

When we last left the Governor and his new nuclear unit, things were looking a little bleak.  But this week, we open on the Gov and Meghan playing some chess and dropping a couple more chess metaphors.  This week, the game of strategy gets to be a stand in for the strategy of staying alive in Zombieland, or as the Gov vaguely refers to it, “Surviving.”  This scene also serves to allow the Gov to do a little bit of exposition about his past: daddy didn’t love him!  Actually, it’s a really sad back-story, made even worse by the fact that Meghan can relate all too well.  She asks the Gov if that means that she’s bad, and it breaks my damn heart.

Well if last week was about thinking, this week is certainly about making moves.  The first of which is taking a backseat to his former follower, Martinez, so that he and his girls can join the new camp.  That satisfies the first of CampMartinez’s rules.  The second is that they don’t tolerate any freeloaders.  They cut the dead weight, even if that dead weight isn’t tall enough to ride roller coasters yet.  One of the new fighters is on board with saving women and children, but another member of the new group is pissed about more mouths to feed.  Turns out they’re brothers, so there’s a nice bro (Pete) and a pissy bro (Mitch).  I’ll give you $5 if you can guess which one lives through the episode.

Back at the camp, everyone is trying to find a way to be useful.  For Lilly, that means setting up a nursing station, since the healthcare in the camp is sorely lacking.  For Tara, it apparently means flirting with a hottie hot army girl over guns.  Tara insists that she’s “not a fan of big guns.”  The new girl, Alisha, calls her on her bullshit gun knowledge and pathetic attempt at double entendre; but she does so with a giddy grin and Tara’s net has been cast.

The Gov’s contribution to camp will be as an entry level fighter/supply runner.  He goes out for his first jaunt with Martinez and the Dolgen brothers, and Mitch starts laying into the Gov pretty much immediately, having renamed the Gov “One Eye Bri.”  Despite the relatively good nickname, I can’t fully approve.  The one thing I have never questioned about the Gov is that his eye patch is totally bad ass.  It makes me want one.

The new name does make me wonder how the Gov has been handling the elephant in the room of having his new brood and Martinez living together and being quite social without it coming up that he has two names.  It was never explicitly addressed, but it is possible that Martinez simply assumes that Brian was the Gov’s name all along and he just never used it in Woodbury.  Or Martinez may have picked up on the new arrivals’ dynamic and now he’s letting the The Governor’s old name die with their fallen town.  After all, Martinez doesn’t have a squeaky clean past either.

Out in the woods, the Gov’s spidey sense is tingling, so he breaks off from the group and finds a decapitated man in fatigues tied to a tree.  Unless the zombies have been practicing the knots they learned in Boy Scouts, this looks like a man made scene.  Plus, there’s a sign around the corpse’s… neck stump that reads “LIAR.”  (I may have fudged my taxes a little last year.  I’m sorry–don’t cut my head off!)  The group continues on their supply run and comes across another, even more bizarre, vignette.  This time, the decapitated corpse is sitting in a random armchair in a clearing with a sign on his chest that says “RAPIST.”  I’m beginning to think that there’s someone in these woods that is a little upset about something.  Probably just keep walking.  Good call.

The next guy committed RAPE, and we both get beheaded.  I should have shelled out for a better lawyer.

The next guy committed RAPE, and we both get beheaded. I should have shelled out for a better lawyer.

The fighters come across a cute little cottage, which probably has a pretty low asking price since there’s a dead guy in the foyer.  This man is slumped on the ground wearing a sign that says “MURDERER” on it, but does have most of his head intact.  The missing bits are splattered on the wall behind him.  Add in the shotgun in his lap, and it looks like our third victim may have offed himself.  He’s holding a picture of what we can assume is the dead man with what appears to be his wife and teenage daughter.  This story is starting to write itself a little bit more clearly now, but the Gov insists that it’s better not to speculate what happened here.  The photo of this destroyed family obviously throws the Gov off his game more than a little.

The time has come for the Gov to put up or gtfo, so he enters the cabin first to scope out if there’s anything good left to scavenge.  Also, if there’s anything (living or undead) waiting to take them out.  I am instantly annoyed.  Why the hell is it so dark in this house?  It is the middle of the damn day.  I know I’m just a city slicker, but aren’t country folk supposed to be all about natural lighting?  And I’m pretty sure that matches could light up the room better than that flashlight.

Hope you’re not trying to watch this on your laptop, asshole.  XOXO, AMC.

Hope you’re not trying to watch this on your laptop, asshole. XOXO, AMC.

They hear at least one walker banging around upstairs and assume that it must be stuck.  As soon as they get to the second level, a walker conveniently escapes where ever she’s been stuck for God knows how long, and hops on Pete’s back.  Pete, the sensitive soul that he is, totally sucks at fighting the lady in a nightgown which prompts the Gov to leap into action.  The Gov saves Pete and then Martinez in quick succession before totally freaking out that the zombies were actually the family of the man out front that he sympathized with five minutes earlier.

Never fear, Gov’nah!  I know what’ll cheer you up; there’s some reanimated heads rolling around on the floor over there!  Remember how much you love those?  Ah, the good ole days.

Everyone’s got a hobby.  Mine is knitting; the Gov’s is zombie heads.

Everyone’s got a hobby. Mine is knitting; the Gov’s is zombie heads.

Now back at the camp, the Gov is having dinner with Martinez, his girls, and Tara’s lady friend.  Everyone is having a grand time getting “shitfaced” as our resident wordsmith, Tara, puts it before taking off with her woman.  Lilly gives Alisha a peck on the check and yells “Be safe!” after the two ladies.  Jeez Lilly, it’s sweet that you like your sister’s girlfriend, but there are some things that are just always awkward to hear from an older sibling.

The Gov and Martinez retire to the top of the RV to hit some golf balls (and another bottle of liquor).  The heart-to-heart primarily consists of Martinez talking and the Gov being his human cup holder.  The monologue touches on family and how Martinez doesn’t think he could start over like the Gov has.  Then he talks about Shumpert and how he couldn’t come back from the Woodbury massacre, which ultimately resulted in his death.  I’m actually starting to think I can jell with Martinez as a character when The Walking Dead is all like “Oh, you like a character?  WE CAN FIX THAT.”  The Gov bludgeons Martinez out of nowhere and it totally catches me off guard.  Martinez had just admitted that all he could do was try to keep the camp safe and offered the Gov a chance to lead with him, which apparently didn’t sound appealing since the Gov screams “I don’t want it!” over and over again while dragging Martinez’s flailing body toward the zombie pit.  He probably would have accepted a simple “No, thank you.”

That night, Lilly finds the Gov sobbing on the bed, which he tries to just play off as a bad dream that he can’t remember.  Smooth cover story, bro.  Lilly drops it for now, but I can’t imagine that she’s going to stay dumb for much longer.  Especially since the very next morning, Pete announces to the camp that Martinez died in a drunken golfing accident that nobody witnessed.  Pete also assumes the leadership position until an actual vote can be taken.  Tara calls BS and Mitch calls her a bitch.  He annoyed me even before that little stunt.  Enjoy life on my shit list, sir.

Just to hammer home the philosophical difference between our three remaining fighters, they come across another small camp on the next supply run.  They notice that the campers actually do have a nice spread, so what to do now?  Pete suggests merging with new refugees but, lol no.  Shockingly, Mitch wants to ransack them for their supplies and, even though he doesn’t explicitly address it, I don’t think that he would lose sleep over any casualties.  The Gov doesn’t chime in, but the men move on anyway to see what else is out there.

The fighters collect from all of their traps, but are not amused when they walk by the camp they let lie before only to find that they’ve been pillaged and murdered by another group of humans.  Pete is floored by all the dead bodies, but Mitch is just mad that someone else has the supplies now.  Just then, Mitch notices an older man who didn’t die in the initial attack but instead of assessing his condition, he just goes over and stabs the old geezer in the head.  Pete then busts out the mantra of all the “heroes” this season: “He could have lived!”  To which Mitch responds in line with all the cut throat characters: “You’re an idiot and I like being alive,” or something along those lines.

This little spectacle drives home for the Gov how messed up things are here now.  Not a lot of sympathy here, seeing as things were fine before he took out the leader and collapsed the infrastructure.  Realizing that things are looking bleak, the Gov gathers up his crew in the middle of the night and leaves Camp Martinez.  Everyone in the car is pretty confused, including Alisha who has taken the stereotype about lesbians rushing into relationships to a crazy new level.  The escape attempt is aborted when the car comes across a mud pit filled with zombies stuck from the waist down.  It’s unclear whether this is a manmade trap or just a tough time to have an undead brain, but the moral of the story is that the team is headed back to the RV.

You shall not pass!

You shall not pass!

The next day, the Gov goes to visit Pete who has been expecting him.  Pete doesn’t get to say much before the Gov stabs him in the back without a word, because killing the camp leader worked out SO WELL yesterday.  Even though it was obvious five minutes into the episode that Pete was not long for this world, I’m still disappointed that the little lamb had to go.

The Gov’s next step is to go visit Mitch, wearing a new “don’t mess with me” leather coat similar to the one he sported in the Woodbury days.  Gun in hand, the Gov confirms for Mitch that Pete is dead, which causes Mitch to seem genuinely afraid and distraught about losing his brother.  I really appreciate this choice to make him react like a human being, rather than just making him a meathead macho man.  The Gov makes a speech about nice guys finishing last, and Mitch seems to sign on with the new ruthless approach that the Gov has in mind.

So here we are again.  The Gov is in charge of a new camp of blissfully ignorant survivors who don’t asks questions and are just happy to be part of a team.  All the while, the Gov is running around with his little Assembly of Evil, murdering and plotting.  After a seemingly innocent day of planning rations and building a perimeter, the Gov is pouring himself over a map and circles something that we can’t read (but honestly have a pretty good idea of what it is).  Lilly finds him and begs him to accept that this camp is their home now.  Never satisfied, the Gov continues to insist that there may be “someplace better.”

Life continues business as usual in the camp with Tara and Alisha standing guard, when Meghan pulls Tara away to play tag.  The whole interaction is adorable, but things take a turn when Meghan pulls back a sheet hanging on a clothes line and finds herself playing tag with a walker now.  Oi vey, these people just can’t stop themselves from hanging things for zombies to hide behind.  Everyone comes out of the close call unscathed (although I imagine Tara contracted a case of the heebie jeebies smooshing that decomposed ankle around), but the close call drives the Gov over the edge.

After visiting zombie Pete flailing around underwater in the lake where he has apparently started his new creepy zombie collection, the Gov hops in his car and heads out to find the “better place” he presumably circled on the map: the prison.  Damn, these characters can hold a grudge!  The Gov is like a dog with a bone when it comes to our main players; but we’ve known all along that the Gov is not the type of man to settle for less than he thinks he can get his hands on.

We close out the episode with the Gov’s timeline caught up with where we last left the prison, and I, for one, will not miss the wibbly wobbly timey wimey task of trying to figure out how everything meshes.  The mid-season finale is up next!  Is this the start of Governor-Prison War II, or is there another twist in the Gov’s development coming?

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

S04 E05: Internment

S04 E06: Live Bait

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

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

The Walking Dead: Infected

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 #2:

Time for episode two!  I was a little wary of this episode going in after I saw the title.  I know it can’t be all walker killing all the time, but sometimes in the past, it’s felt like there aren’t a lot of zombies on my zombie show at all.  Remember when we just hung out and did laundry in a pretty comfy farmhouse for a season?  So, if this was just going to turn into an episode about a non-zombie health crisis…  But how wrong I was!  This was a downright gory episode.  Throw in a little animal cruelty and the squeem factor got pretty high.

Is it just me, or is The Walking Dead the darkest show on television?  Yes, the content is dark, but visually, I feel like I was squinting at the screen for the first ten minutes of this episode.  To their credit though, this show has successfully trained me to the point that I am completely freaked out by flashlights.  Especially when that flashlight is pointed at a rat getting its head cut off.  For what reason?  We don’t have nearly all the puzzle pieces yet, but this scene did immediately prompt me to burst into song.  Listen all ya’ll, IT’S SABOTAGE.  It’s purely speculation at this point, but this level of sneakiness smacks of the Governor.  Just working on how still…

Inside, Tyreese and Karen are canoodling (still in the dark) and honoring Zach.  Ok, pause for a second to remember who Zach is, realize we didn’t really care about him that much, and now it’s bed time.  Karen turns down Tyreese’s invitation back to his place and instead decides to wander around in the dark by herself with a flickering flashlight.

I take issue with this scene.  I know that they all feel complacent behind the prison walls, but I feel like all security protocol shouldn’t be thrown out the window.  First of all, how about a buddy system?  Even if Karen wasn’t feeling frisky, big burly man singing “I’ve got you” isn’t a bad roommate/bathroom escort to have in Zombieland.  Plus, are these guys serious with the shower curtains LITERALLY all over the place?  Modesty be damned!  I don’t want anything sneaking up on me Psycho-style.  And why is nobody locking their jail cells at night?  Even if you’re not worried about zombies getting through the fence, what if someone, oh I don’t know, dies of natural causes in the shower and comes back undead?  No sympathy for you, random sleeping man.  Enjoy your emptied out torso. (How sweet was it when he stood up though, right?)

A moment of philosophical quandary:  is Harry Potter zombie still Harry Potter zombie if he lost his glasses?  Welp, he’s dead now so I’m not learning his real name.  I am kind of curious about him though.  HP seems to be moving differently than the other zombies.  He’s faster and a little more deliberate.  Plus, he spends a long time eating the same person rather than getting distracted and moving on.  This might be my imagination, so I’ll leave it for now.

402 harry potter

Manners first.

Morning breaks, and Glenn and Maggie are being adorable in the honeymoon suite.  Except, how much film does Maggie think is left in the world that she can be throwing away pictures?  Polaroid film was impossible to come by even before the apocalypse.

Michonne is also being adorable as she’s getting ready to go out on another run and trading jabs with Carl about comic books and stale M&M’s.  This new, less guarded Michonne could potentially be getting a little heavy handed.  But I like the idea of characters like Michonne and Daryl going through positive growth, instead of just watching Rick swing through character transformations like a ballistic pendulum.  Somebody pointed out to me though, that giving Carl a new mother figure, could lead down the slippery slope of a potential Michonne/Rick hookup.  Please God, no!  It makes no sense.  Plus, I always shipped the subtext between Michonne and Andrea.

(Side note:  Are gay people really bad at fighting zombies?!  Thinking about Andrea and Michonne made me realize that I can’t come up with a single out character that’s been on this show.  I’m gonna pretend it’s because we’re in the South and all the queers are up in Massachusetts rebuilding society.)

Anyway, just as I start verbally begging Michonne not to go, I luck out and everyone starts dying!  We hear gunshots and Michonne turns around to come back, but at kind of a leisurely pace.  She practically stops to fix her outfit.  As punishment, she twists her ankle while flipping a walker onto the pointy fence.  In my head, I’m secretly pumped because now she can’t leave me for a while!  Maggie saves her and all of a sudden, I realize that I want nothing more in my life than for them to become best friends.

402 mag mich

Can we make this ship happen, pretty please?

Inside the cell block, things are pretty gruesome.  The Trojan Horse zombies have claimed more people and the number of bite victims is increasing exponentially.  Rick starts doing a pretty good job of evacuating people, but is crap when it comes to actual zombie killing.  He even gives away a gun that someone hands to him.  Luckily, Daryl picks up the slack and goes into ultimate fighter mode.  He even saves a couple of kids, because obviously Daryl is the post-apocalypse version of a St. Jude cancer researcher.

Carol is right behind him, cementing her place as the secret hero of The Walking Dead.  Sure, she’ll run Café Zombé and volunteer for story time.  But don’t get it twisted, she will cut your freaking arm off at the drop of a hat if it means saving your life.  Unfortunately for the man she tries to save in this battle, amputating neck wounds doesn’t generally work out so well and she realizes he’s a goner.  This man’s dying wish is that Carol watch after his two soon to be orphaned daughters, “like they’re [her] own,” which obviously strikes a nerve.  Carol accepts the responsibility and immediately starts dropping some knowledge bombs on these girls about life and death decisions and how sometimes that means stabbing daddy in the head.  No time for grieving in Zombieland.

What’s really interesting about this scene is the difference between meek, battered Carol from Seasons 1 and 2 interacting with her own daughter and how she speaks to her two new charges.  She clearly has no intention of letting these girls meet the same end as her Sophia.  As far as I’m concerned, Carol has had the most consistent and delicately handled character transformation of anyone on this show.  Hey, writers room for The Walking Dead!  More of this, please.

After the last of the bitten residents have died, there’s a very eerie scene that really brings home how messed up this massacre really was.  As they prevent all of the infected corpses from coming back as walkers, it has obviously hit everyone that these aren’t anonymous zombies that they ran into in the woods; these are the people of their community.  Glenn had to stomp on the skull of a woman that he may have had breakfast plans with that morning.  After real life tragedies, people always say, “You never think it will happen to you.”  This scene really has that feel to it.

While investigating what actually happened, Rick determines, after approximately 30 seconds of investigation, that some of the sick walkers don’t have any bite marks.  But how can this be?!  Thank goodness, a doctor that we had no idea existed is here to explain.  He uses a lot of biology words, but then pulls the classic sci-fi trick of breaking down terribly complex science to an easy to understand metaphor.  This dead guy is a shaken up can of soda that blew his top!

Turns out that the infection is actually an aggressive flu that was around before the zombies came.  If I was iffy at all about getting a flu shot this year, I’m officially shelling out the $25 now.  Now that we know what our contagion is, the City Council assembles to process the shit storm that has just occurred.  They decide that anyone who was in the cell block should be taken out of Gen Pop, and then a conveniently timed cough makes everyone freak the eff out.  It’s Karen.  Womp, womp.  Let this be a lesson, never be too happy at the beginning of an episode of The Walking Dead.

Daryl goes to take care of the dead and even though we literally just talked about how contagious the Death Flu is, he wears the worst possible gloves and mask available to bury them.  Also, I’ve got quite a bit of dystopian fiction under my belt, and I’m pretty sure that they should burning those bodies someplace off site instead of burying them next to the food supply.  Why isn’t our new doctor friend chiming in on this?!  Well, at least Carl has something to do with the crosses that he’s making in creepy, remedial shop class.

The worst funeral ever is interrupted by a mob of zombies that were attracted by all the hubbub and are now joining the effort to take down the already questionable fence.  Catching up on your reading and redecorating your jail cell are all well and good, but why has nobody thought about reinforcing that fence in the whole time they’ve been there?  Now all our main players are looking supremely boned.  Except, it is essentially all of our main players, so of course Rick is gonna get the crazy glimmer in his eye and save the day.

EXCEPT THIS SOLUTION IS NOT OKAY, RICK.  For real, this scene makes me the most upset that I have ever been watching this show.  He slices those poor little piggies so slowly and then throws them to be killed so terribly and it’s tearing me apart from the inside.  I don’t even care that they probably brought Death Flu to the prison.  I say the people should have died and the animals should have lived.  I would watch a show about adorable pigs frolicking with zombies.

I’m so worked up, I don’t even want to see the cliffhanger of the week.  Except it looks kind of interesting and confusing, so I’m back in.  Tyreese goes to bring Karen some flowers in the totally unprotected quarantine area, and finds a trail of blood.  He obviously follows the blood super duper slowly, because there’s probably nothing to be alarmed about.  Just your girlfriend’s smoldering body.

Or is it?!  I’m always wary of unrecognizable burn victims when there’s a saboteur on the loose.  It’s one of my mottos in life.

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S04 E01: 30 Days Without An Accident Review