Got Me In My Feelings

Season 4 Episode 11 “Claimed”

The Episode

I don’t know about you all but it was super exciting news this week to learn that The Walking Dead universe is going to keep going far into the future and that there might be movies coming. Bring it on! This adventure continues this week with a look into Glenn and Tara’s new friends, a revealing bonding session for Michonne and Carl and a rude awakening for Rick.

We get an introduction to the redhead and his companions. The redheaded fella is Abraham Ford. The female is Rosita Espinosa. And the man with the mullet is Dr. Eugene Porter, who apparently knows the secrets of the outbreak and needs to get to Washington D.C. to meet up with his fellow scientists and save the world. This little fact is buried into the episode like it’s nothing. Glenn and Tara also seem not s interested but I’m like, “um excuse me…can we take a step back for a second?” Not gonna lie, I really believed Eugene could save the world. As we find out down the road, it’s a big fat lie. Just the first of many disappointments from Eugene. Abraham comes off as used to being in charge and kind of dick. His language is as colorful as his hair and even though he’s a bit scary, I like him. Rosita is mostly quiet but she’s good with a gun and definitely has some gusto. Overall, these three make interesting additions to the show even if it is a rough start. After Eugene breaks the truck, they all decide to follow Glenn back to go find Maggie and eventually try to get back on the road to D.C.

Carl and Michonne got me in my feelings with their bonding time. Carl sets the tone when he mentions preferring Judith’s formula to soy milk. It reminds him of losing her and he becomes upset. Michonne tries to help him by going on a scavenging trip with him. When her jokes fall flat, she opens up to him about losing her son. It’s the first time she has told anyone about her son. It’s really touching to see her open up about her past. plant covered old sunroomIt’s a sign that she is no longer that loner who couldn’t speak when she first met up with our friends at the prison. She’s now able to talk about one of the most traumatic memories of her life to a young and curious boy. Their time together is even more heightened when after they have spent some time searching a house, Michonne comes across a pink girl’s room with an entire family dead inside. What you may or may not have noticed while they searched this particular house was how neat everything still was. Unlike the other houses they had been in, this one was not a ransacked mess. The rooms were clean and except for a layer of dust on everything, it still looked like a nice home. But then Michonne gets to the little girl’s room and it becomes clear that the reason for that is because this family chose to opt out early as a family together. It’s a very moving scene especially after the conversation Michonne and Carl had about their dead loved ones.

With Glenn and Tara we got a bit of adventure and comedy with some of the statements from Abraham and Eugene. With Michonne and Carl we get the drama. And then there’s Rick. With Rick we get a bit of a thriller. He’s supposed to be resting but is interrupted by loud voices downstairs. A man is begging for his life but it doesn’t work and we hear screaming. Rick hides under the bed he was in which was a good idea because one of those men comes upstairs and gets in the bed. I was sweating right along with Rick as he hid under the bed. His day gets even worse when that man is awakened by another man who wants the bed. They get in a fight and one of them ends up being strangled to death on the floor while he stairs into Rick’s eyes. These people are bad news. So far two of them have murdered each other so it’s a little concerning for Rick not being one of them. There’s also a reference to raping the woman who returns for her washed shirt. After torturing us with Rick moving from room to room trying to escape, he eventually escapes out a window and drops down to the ground. But when Michonne and Carl are seen in the distance, he knows he still needs to act or they are going to be in trouble. But the three are saved at the last second when one of the dead people returns to life and starts attacking these bad people. Due to the distraction, the three are able to run away without being seen, sort of. Back on the road, they come across a sign for Terminus. So we now know of two groups who are heading there and it seems like a reunion is in the works.

Best of the Episode

Rick’s fun-house adventure. It was a twisty-turny thriller of a sequence. One of those intense scenes where you think the person is going to get caught any second. The best moment comes when Rick winds up in the bathroom and we all think he’s found a good hiding spot until he looks to the toilet and there’s one of the men sitting on it. Rick has to strangle the man to death without anyone hearing. And then so strategically leaves the door slightly ajar so that when he returns the walker can get out of the room and attack his buddies. Super smart Rick!

Eugene. Not to disregard Abraham’s brightly colored language but Eugene’s delivery with his one-liners is spot on. When Abraham asks him how he managed to shoot the truck dead, he matter of factly replies it was adrenaline and lack of knowledge. When Eugene decides to go with Glenn he tells Abraham with a straight face to trust him because he’s smarter than him. He sure seems like something of an anti-social scientist guy…but that mullet.


Inner Turmoil

Season 4 Episode 9 “After”

The Episode

We get a taste of something new with the back half of Season 4. Rather than a large group story, we have a series of mini-stories with the groups of characters that became separated after the fall of the prison. It’s a great concept and refreshing to see that the show didn’t want to become stale with the same old patterns. It really allows us to get deep with the characters after such a traumatic event. One thing that this show consistently does well is put us in the shoes of our friends. By not knowing what everyone is doing from week to week, we can connect more with how it would actually feel for these people. We get to feel the same anxiety, despair and fears that they are having.

It begins with Michonne, Rick and Carl. A story that has been building so slowly for an entire season and a half now. Michonne is in a depression. She has lost everyone again. forest of treesShe wanders the woods in a funk. Some of the more telling signs of her unhappiness are the creation of her new walker pets. She also ignores footprints in the mud and chooses to go in a completely different direction. Michonne is not ready to reunite yet. She has quite literally returned to her old ways. Hiding herself among the walkers which assures no one can get close. We also get a surreal glimpse into her previous life during a nightmare Michonne has. She had a beautiful apartment, went to art shows, was in love and had a young boy. This beautiful life slowly melds into the present with her boyfriend and brother turning into walkers and the young boy disappearing. After wandering alone for several days, basically the same amount of time that Rick and Carl are off together, she comes out of her funk when she cannot stand looking at another walker that looks like a version of her. She decides she doesn’t want to be that and kills all the walkers around her. She then goes back to the footprints and follows them.

I am happy that Michonne chooses to try to reunite with people. As a character that has been so deeply wounded over and over again, it is pleasing to see that she can still have hope. She’s not ready to give up on herself and sees brighter days ahead.

Rick and Carl are together but not happily. Rick is near death and Carl has a chip on his shoulder directed largely towards his father. The two work uncooperatively to find food and a place to recover. At one point, Carl even throws out Shane’s name, ouch. When they do, Rick passes out for a large chunk of the episode and we are left to see what kind of trouble Carl can get into. Carl really gets a moment here. At first, he is super annoying to watch. He taunts a couple of walkers away from the house and doing probably one of the top five things to never do around zombies, walking backwards. You just don’t do that!!! Of course, he falls and almost gets bit. Then he decides that yelling at his passed-out father is a good way to express himself. He says some really hurtful stuff about failing everyone and that he doesn’t need him anymore. Carl does not hold back and it seems really cruel. I really dislike Carl at this point and I almost hope he gets bit. He continues to get into more trouble the next day when another walker almost gets him. Side note-If you watch this episode, you’ll notice the door has a sticker on it that says “Sam”. Obviously, the boy whose room it is, but it’s also a future character’s name. Something to keep in mind. And then there’s that classic scene of Carl eating the giant tub of pudding. As much as Carl doesn’t think of himself as a kid still, this is a total kid moment. A bit of comic relief for us during a really tough episode.

Carl’s tough façade comes crashing down when he thinks his father is becoming a walker and he is faced with shooting his dad. He can’t do it and is ready to let his dad get him. And I really don’t blame him at all. Carl has already had to kill his mother and lost his sister, having to also now kill his father would be too much for anyone. But thankfully Rick is not dad and starts feeling better the next day. The two sit together as father and son on the same side again. Rick tells him he’s a man now.

This story has a happy end of sorts by the three finding each other. Michonne appears close up of distressed white door and handlerelieved to find them and Rick also smiles when he sees her. He tells Carl it’s for him.

Best of the Episode

Carl poppa. Our young friend does a lot of growing up this episode through a series of stupid incidents, acting out and intense emotions. Carl becomes an amusing YouTube video because of this episode. He’s a young man with a lot of feelings. He just lost everything….again. He does a lot of stupid stuff and it’s really aggravating.  But then the pudding scene also makes up for a lot of it for reasons I’m not really sure of. And then he further makes up for it when he breaks down and holds his father’s head in his hands and says he’s scared.

Into the Fire

Season 4 Episode 8 “Too Far Gone”

The Episode

You’ll have to pardon me for being tardy with this post. I’ve been moving the past two weeks and internet access and energy really got in my way. And this episode was far too important to do a half-ass job on. The entire show and the characters are changed by the events of this episode. It is in my opinion one of the most important episode of the entire series.

Everything comes to a head between The Governor and the prison. Several don’t make it out alive and those remaining are permanently changed. After last seeing The Governor aiming a gun at Michonne and Hershel, we now know that instead of killing them he kidnaps them and takes them back to his camp where he uses them to convince his people to try to take over the prison.

Hershel tries to talk The Governor out of attacking by telling him he’s changed and that they can all live together. In some ways, yes, The Governor has changed. But at the heart of him, he’s still the same old psychopath. As we’ve seen over the past few episodes, he’s still very quick to kill and still only sees blood when it comes to Rick. We also catch him in a lie about his daughter. In riling up his camp to fight, he lies to them that the prison group killed his daughter, his daughter who was a walker. But then when he speaks to Michonne he says he knows his daughter was dead when Michonne finished her off. He’s willing to say whatever to stay in control, something he did throughout Woodbury.

Rick on the other hand shows real signs of trying to be a better person. He really means his offer of compromise. He was willing to set aside all that happened, and let The Governor and his people live inside the prison with them. Rick’s change is also evident at the end of the episode, when the British woman who Rick met and killed herself appears with a herd of walkers. We finally learn Rick honored her wishes and let her turn so she could be with her walker husband. A kindness that only one with real humanity still in them could give. The Governor is incapable of such kindness as we see with Megan who later arrives dead in her mother’s arms at the end of the fight. Immediately shooting her in the head. The Governor refuses to believe in a better world and does the most traumatic thing to all of our friends by cutting Hershel’s head to the bone and later on completely off.

Maggie, Beth, Rick and everyone lose it over this. The battle ensues. This is the fight we didn’t get at the end of Season 3. It’s a real battle with massive gunfire, grenades, tanks and plenty of bloodshed. Rick gets shot in the leg and has a bloody fight with The Governor which he almost loses. As the main characters fight, the rest of the prison survivors frantically run for their lives. Some pile onto an escape bus which ends up leaving without a lot of our friends.

I don’t believe there was anything Rick could have said or done that would have ended any better for them. It’s clear The Governor was never going to be happy and it’s safe to assume that if the group had left the prison, The Governor would have hunted them down anyways claiming them as a threat. The compromise was the best option and almost worked, but The Governor could not help himself.

black roseOne of the saddest parts of this episode is the final separation of the Greene family. Hershel has just been decapitated in front of his daughters. But also, Maggie orders Beth to load people onto the escape bus, uttering in a frantic way to her nervous sister, “we’ve all got jobs to do.” Words of her father which is emotional enough on their own but as we will come to learn, these are the last words she will ever say to her sister. At the end of this fight, Maggie will be alone in the woods with Sasha and Bob, separated from both Glenn and Beth. Beth will be off in another direction with Daryl. The two sisters will never see each other alive again. When I came to that realization the first time, it made me incredibly sad. As we often find, our characters do not always get a nice goodbye. But Maggie seems to be the unluckiest of all, as she doesn’t get a nice goodbye ever, not for a single member of her family.

In the end The Governor, Hershel and Megan are dead. Baby Judith is missing and presumed dead. Tara is alone and regrets her decision to fight. The prison has fallen. And we have a lot of unknowns about the rest of our separated friends. The last time they were all separated, our friends found each other on the highway the next day. Unfortunately, things will not go that way this time. When I say this episode changes everything, that’s a realization that comes with time. There’s obvious immediate changes that we will see, but losing the prison is a slingshot into a whole new world.

Best of the Episode

Daryl’s grenade drop. As only Daryl can do, he gets one of those moments that make us all giddy with his bad-assery. In a single motion, he plows down a walker with his crossbow and dumps a grenade down the end of the tank. And to finish the moment off, shooting the tank guy in the heart with an arrow. Pure legend.

The Governor and Rick showdown. A fist fight for the record books. With Rick already shot in the leg, The Governor has the upper-hand in this fight. Rick is beaten to a bloody pulp and we think it’s the end as The Governor strangles him to death. But Michonne saves the day with a surprise katana through the chest from behind. Rick is saved and they both leave The Governor to die in pain.

Lizzie and Mika. Surprise surprise, these two youngsters follow in Carol’s footsteps and save Tyrese by shooting two attackers in the head. Don’t ever underestimate children in the zombie apocalypse, you will lose. But wait, weren’t these two taking care of Baby Judith?

Little Asskicker goes m.i.a. Rick and Carl find each other and then go to find Judith. But instead they find a bloody and empty car seat with nothing in it. They assume the worst and have an epic cry together. Surely all that didn’t just happen AND they lose Little Asskicker? Too much!!!

Rick’s speech. Rick uses every word he can muster to try to find a compromise with The heavenly white skyGovernor. We see Hershel’s face as he talks about living together, and he smiles. It’s pleasing to know that Hershel was able to accomplish something in this world by helping a broken man stay human. The speech seems to work….for a moment. But The Governor snaps out of it and the worst case scenario happens.

Out of the Frying Pan

Season 4 Episode 5 “Internment”

The Episode

Black and white basement viewThis is one of those episodes that sends you through the ringer. It’s dark, violent and emotional. We’re centered around Hershel and Rick mainly and the very different battles they are fighting. And don’t forget the big reveal at the end.

Hershel gets the man of the hour award for his efforts in keeping the sick alive. The ill are staying alive but it is clear their time is running out. A few have died but there are still many more hanging on. Sasha and Glenn look terrible. They are also getting close to the end. The deadly flu storyline is not one of my favorites but still important. I don’t rank it high because I personally enjoy the human conflicts more. The flu is just not very exciting. But it is practical. Although we’re dealing with an apocalypse that’s unlikely to happen (yes, I said unlikely and not impossible), there would definitely be situations like this and to keep this rooted in a somewhat realistic world, the flu is an event that would happen. So here it has been covered and we’re getting it out of the way essentially.

Hershel is our fearless veterinarian turned doctor. He is giving everyone the tea he made and he has one breathing tube to help the current worst case going. But it’s also what he does for their spirits that makes him impressive. While Dr. S who is dying explains the technicalities of what is happening, Hershel takes to heart their mental well-being. “A sad soul kills quicker than a germ” is the saying he quotes. He knows that if he can keep their morale up, keep them from seeing people die and giving them hope with the tea and staying busy with reading books that he may keep their spirits strong enough to keep fighting. Hershel is a calming presence with a humorous touch with his “spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday”.

Which is why it weighs heavy on us when everything goes to crap. One unexpected death leads to another and another and before they know it everyone has turned and killing those that aren’t dead. When it’s all over, it’s only Hershel, Glenn, Sasha and Lizzie who remain. Daryl and crew have returned in time to save them and Hershel gets to collect himself. It’s a sad moment when Hershel, alone in his cell, holds his Bible and begins to cry. He has been physically and emotionally drained and it’s all too much at this point. There’s another great song that plays during this called “Oats in the Water” by Ben Howard.

Meanwhile Rick returns sans Carol and has a new problem to face. The fence walkers are building up again and they need to do something about it. But when they hear a gun shot from the sick ward, Maggie leaves Rick to go and help. Rick is overwhelmed and reluctantly gets Carl to come help him. That also goes to crap when the fence comes down and the walkers invade the prison. Father and son must grab some weapons and defend the prison.

Rick wonders if he was just fooling himself about building a peaceful life at the prison. I think yes to an extent but it’s only human to want that. Fighting all the time, living day to day, that is not what we are accustomed to doing. We want normalcy and to be able to see ourselves living for more than a day at a time. But what Rick and probably everyone and anyone in this situation would feel is how do you build that kind of life when every day something can knock it down?

There’s a moment the next day after the dust has settled with Rick and Carl picking peas in the field and eating them. Rick’s gun in its holster at his side in the background of the shot of him picking peas. Carol’s words from the last episode echo to me, “you can be a farmer Rick, you can’t just be a farmer”. Rick got his time out from having to kill. He’s now finding a way to balance the peaceful and the warrior. Maybe.

Just as things appear to be resetting back to zero, the final shot of the episode reveals the return of The Governor!!! I very much enjoy how the episodes are structured into making us feel what the characters feel. What I mean is, there have only been brief mentions of The Governor this season. Like he was their past and they are moving forward. Us as the audience are also left feeling like The Governor was so last season and that it’s done. And just when we all think that we’ll never hear from him again, we’ve got some new problems to deal with, he shows back up. We’re surprised to say the least, and so will the characters on the show. And they will definitely regret it.

Best of the Episode

End stage. The ill have reached the point of no return. One by one they all start dying and turning. The living are mostly too ill to defend themselves and so they die as well. It’s a harrowing turn of events for Hershel who is forced to start shooting the people he was just trying to save. Even more harrowing is when Glenn starts choking and Hershel has to climb out with his one leg onto a metal net to recover the breathing tube from a walker. Also, really try not to think about how disgusting it is that he pulled that breathing tube from the walker and directly inserted it into Glenn’s throat without sanitizing it. How is Glenn even alive after that?

Father and son shoot-out. I love this odd father and son bonding moment. The two just mowing down walkers like a video game together. And Carl takes really good instructions. Rick teaches him how to shoot and reload that gun he’s never used before in like .2 seconds. Carl is a natural.

Carry On

Season 4 Episode 4 “Indifference”

The Episode

There are two stories happening this episode. First is Rick and Carol going on a run together. The second is Daryl and his group on the medical supply run. I’ll cover the latter first. This group of four works really well together. They each seem to have some issues but there’s always someone there to help them. Daryl helps Bob and Michonne. He wants Michonne to stop looking for The Governor. He wants her to stay around the prison and really become one of them. Getting close to people is something Michonne still has trouble with, but it’s nice to see her trying. With Bob, Daryl helps ease his mind about the guilt Bob is carrying over the last run they went on. Bob is blaming himself about Zack. It would be really easy for Daryl to just say it was his fault. But he doesn’t. He takes a butterfly effect approach and points out how it was Daryl and Sasha who made the decision to go there in the first place. Then we also have Michonne trying to help Tyrese. They have a good discussion about holding on to anger and it getting you killed.

These conversations they all have are helpful. Even though part of me is saying, “shut up and get the medicine already!”, we need these moments of dialogue to know where they are at mentally. Our newer character Bob becomes more fleshed out. He was all smiles when we first met him, but now we see he has a story. And it is also nice to hear from Daryl and see how much he cares about Michonne.

One of the more interesting pieces of the episode are Sam and Ana. Rick and Carol find these two hiding from a single walker in a house. The pair are injured and a bit too optimistic considering the circumstances. Rick and Carol continuously give each other garden fence and wood houselooks that say, “how the hell did these two survive so long?” It’s the beginnings of an attitude that our friends take on more openly over time, but here it just shows itself in glancing looks. But what’s most interesting is this destined for death pair is how they highlight the best and worst in Carol and Rick. Carol wants nothing to do with them. She thinks they are just dead weight. Rick, I think also feels like they would be a bit of dead weight but he still offers them the prison if they want. Rick wants the pair to stay safe in the house while him and Carol scavenge more. Carol says let them help even though one can’t walk right and the other just got his dislocated shoulder fixed. In the end, they should have listened to Rick. Ana is found being eaten by walkers and Sam is nowhere to be found.

empty roadRick makes a bold move with Carol at the end of the episode. In my first viewing I really could not believe it happened. As the two are packing up, Rick tells Carol she’s not coming back. Rick is banishing her. They debate it for a moment but ultimately Rick leaves without her and Carol accepts the decision. At the start of the episode, it seemed like this was going to be about Rick and Carol finding a way to carry on. Talk things out and find a solution. But by the time Rick makes his final decision, it is pretty clear that Carol is not going to change and Rick just doesn’t want someone like that around his family. Can’t blame him for that. She seems to embody the episode of the title very well. She has seemed to have lost a bit of her humanity. Oh that darn humanity! Always getting in the way!

I wasn’t particularly sad about this goodbye. It ends amicably enough. Carol even gives Rick a watch to replace the one he just gave to Sam. This just seemed like a very interesting and fitting place to leave Carol’s character. In a little over three seasons she went from meek little abused wife to a heartless killer. That seemed to be about where it should stop. As we know now it’s not, but it seemed like a good move at the time.

Last thing I want to mention is some symbols that have me perplexed. The first is the watches. This one goes back to Hershel and Glenn and with this episode there are two watch-giftings. As we know, Hershel blessed Glenn with his pocket-watch as a sign of peace and approval with Maggie. This episode, Rick lends his watch to newcomer Sam. It’s supposed to be brief but Sam disappears and so does the watch. Then Carol gives Ed’s anniversary gift watch to Rick as a goodbye present. I have to wonder what the deal is with the watches? Then there are the I’s. This episode is the third of four back to back episodes that are single-worded and start with the letter “I”. I have been wracking my brain as to what that means because it has to mean something. Doesn’t it? I still have no clue to this very moment. Perhaps it’s as simple as these four episodes being about the illness. It could be a way to mark them as a grouping of essentially similar subject matter episodes. That’s as close as I get to a real answer. If anyone happens to know the truth on either of these, I welcome a response!

Best of the Episode

Strike two with Bob. Daryl may not blame Bob about what happened at the store but I do. And now he gets them in trouble again when he won’t let go of his bag he snuck a bottle of alcohol into and he almost gets himself and the others killed who have to rescue him. Daryl definitely doesn’t take it easy this time. He gets right in Bob’s face about it. Bob does a great job of looking pathetic as well.

Rick and Carol’s good ol’ days talk. Carol reminisces about Ed and talks about her abuse and why she put up with it. Rick tells a great story about Lori and how she made horrible pancakes on Sundays because she wanted them to be a family that ate pancakes on Sundays. I love that story. Remember when things were that simple?

Jobs To Do

Season 4 Episode 3 “Isolation”

Before we begin, I must say that the trailers for The Walking Dead and Fear TWD have got me super excited for the upcoming seasons. Watch them if you have not already. Second, all the goodbyes and nice sentiments I’ve been seeing across twitter and other social media for Andrew Lincoln coming out of SDCC are incredibly sweet and have me teary-eyed. Ok now, onto the usual…

The Episode

Picking up where we left off, Tyrese is about to lose his mind over Karen and David’s murder. And to add to it, Sasha also falls ill. He goes crazy on Rick and Daryl, assaulting Rick even when they are trying to keep him calm. Now we are seeing what Tyrese is capable of. He has been a calm and peaceful man, but now he loses someone who means the world to him and he is a loose cannon. One of his best moments this episode is when a group of them get surrounded by a herd of walkers out on the road. Tyrese at first refuses to leave the car and the rest of the team abandons him. When he does leave the car, he faces more walkers than it would seem anyone would be capable of taking on alone. But surprisingly, he makes it through without a scratch. Very similar to Rick’s rampage in the prison corridors after losing Lori.

From another perspective, we have Carol, who seems very calm and matter of fact this episode. Except when Tyrese surprises her and asks her to watch over Sasha. She loses it on some buckets of water. Why the intense reaction Carol? This would seem to be our first clue into who murdered Karen and David. A twist of irony that Tyrese would ask the woman who killed his love to now watch over his sister. Our suspicions are confirmed when Rick asks Carol straight up if she killed them. Carol gives a very succinct “yes” and walks away. Leaving Rick with his thoughts on how to deal with this.

This is another moment in Carol’s evolution. She has again taken a turn onto a deadly path. Refusing to be a victim any longer, she has now gone from teaching children how to defend themselves to outright murder. I can’t blame her for wanting to take measures to protect everyone from a deadly outbreak that seemed to be coming, but this vigilante attitude does not gel with what everyone else’s goals are. They don’t want to be murderers and have this zero-tolerance attitude. Rick just wanted to be a darn farmer! Carol now seems out of place and it looks like this incident may not go over well with the group.

With as much going on as there is in this episode, The Greene family is the most cherryblossomsimportant story to me. Many spoilers about to happen here so beware. Sadly, this family has very few days left together. And I get teary-eyed just saying that. By the season break, Hershel will be dead and Beth and Maggie will be separated and never get to see each other alive again. So, it is important to reflect upon this episode and all they share together.

Beth and Maggie lean on each other. Beth is in quarantine and charged with watching Lil Asskicker. But Maggie talks to her through a door and they support each other. As Hershel taught them, they use the phrase, “We’ve all got jobs to do” to help them carry on. This sisterly bonding moment has become so precious when thinking about what is to come.

Maggie also has a moment with her father when he decides to face possible death by going into the sick ward to help care for the ill. She tries to stop him, afraid of losing Glenn who has caught the sickness and now also her dad. Hershel embodies the phrase he taught his daughter and gives his famous, “you risk your life” speech. This convinces Maggie to let her father go in to the sick ward, but she hugs him first. Rick and Maggie are the two who get to hear the speech, which is important to note. Hershel means a lot to everyone and his steadfast and true approach to life, but I think in particular these words echo for Maggie and Rick. Over time, the two become so crucial in guiding the group, and you need beliefs like Hershel gives them to be a compass of sorts through adversity.

black and white group of crossesAnd adversity they will face. Currently there are 12 dead from illness, Sasha is sick, Glenn is sick, Lizzie is sick and the damn doctor is sick! Hershel faces death in the sick ward caring for everyone. Daryl, Michonne, Bob and Tyrese are on a mission to retrieve medicine to save everyone. Rick and Carol are trying to keep the place running while what Carol has done looms overhead. And not to leave out, there was a voice on the radio in the car. No biggie.

Best of the Episode

Tyrese fighting everyone….even the ground. First, he puts his hands on Daryl. Uh, no Tyrese, you don’t ever do that! Then, he pummels Rick and you really don’t do that. Rick amazingly wins this fight against Tyrese somehow. You would think that would be the end of it, but Tyrese just won’t quit, taking his anger out with a shovel on the dirt. He’s a furious digger looking like he’s gonna dig his way to China. And then out on the road, it looks like he has a death wish when he takes on an army of walkers. But somehow, he makes it out alive. He is unstoppable!

Hershel’s “you risk your life speech”. Sometimes mocked or quoted in jest, the sentiment behind it is still valid. Every day you risk your life, in this world and theirs, it’s what you are risking it for that matters. Words to live by.

Get Ready

Season 4 Episode 1 “30 Days Without an Accident”

The Episode

There is a lot going on this premier episode. We’re getting caught up on what our friends have been up to during the hiatus. Plus, there’s several new characters to talk about. Third, the setup for our next storyline. Let’s dive in!

First to catch up on is Rick. He’s turned himself into a farmer and doesn’t like carrying a gun anymore to the displeasure of “The Council”. More to come on The Council later. Rick also won’t let Carl have a gun either and is trying to help him stay somewhat of a kid. This is not my favorite version of Rick, but a necessary step. Most of the characters we come in contact with who lose it are constantly on an upward projection of intensity and mental instability until they finally crash and burn. But Rick always comes close to going over the edge and then he either pulls himself back or people help him pull back. He gets time to breathe and reevaluate his path. This ebb and flow he gets is what keeps him alive all this time.

pile of logs in the woodsHe gets a dose of this to his face when he meets a very soiled woman in the woods. He thinks she’s a walker but then she speaks to him and asks for help. Rick helps her and goes back to meet her husband with her so they can possibly join the prison. But when they get back to her camp he finds that the husband she lovingly spoke about is really just a walker head and the woman tries to kill him. She ends up killing herself and asking Rick to let her turn so she can be with her husband’s head. Rick reflects that this could have been him and it scares him. So I’ll leave Farmer Rick alone for now.

The rest of the group has been carrying on and taking on leadership roles for their growing prison group. A council has been created but we don’t exactly know who is on it yet. Safe to say it’s our more seasoned characters. Daryl has a fan base of people he’s rescued. Which I think is a subtle teasing by the show to how us fans were feeling about Daryl in real life at this point. Carol is keeping things orderly and secretly teaching children how to defend themselves under the guise of “story time”. Carol and children is one of my favorite arcs of the series. It is so firmly rooted in her love for her daughter and repeatedly is so beautiful and tragic every time it comes up. Michonne has been searching for The Governor and has some trouble staying still. She returns from a search just to turn around and leave again with Daryl for the run.

And then there is our new cast members and some minor players who appear to be getting bumped up. Tyrese and Sasha are still around and appear to be taking on more prominent roles. Tyrese plays a big softie this episode. First, he says he doesn’t want to kill walkers on the fence and then returns from the run and says he doesn’t like it out there either. Come on Tyrese! You can’t just hide in the prison all day! On the opposite end, Sasha appears to have gone full badass. She’s all geared up for a fight and playing it tough. Beth has a new boyfriend, Zack. Don’t get used to Zack though. There’s also Bob. Bob, we learn was a combat medic and Daryl picked him up on the road all alone. Bob seems like a good guy but clearly has some PTSD and a drinking problem when he sees dead bodies at the store the run team goes to and when he heads to the liquor aisle for supplies. There are some new kids as well. Patrick, an older boy but sort of childish. Lizzie and Mika, sisters who appear to have some confusing attitudes about walkers.

As far as what to expect from the story for the season we don’t really know yet. The Governor could pop up again, that’s been given a setup. But there’s also a subtler setup that happened. I never even noticed it the first time I watched. The first hint is the walkers on the fence with the bloody faces. We see walkers all the time in various states of decay and mess so why is this different? The way the blood looks like it’s dripping down from the eyes is why. We see Patrick die in the bathroom at the end of the episode and the blood from his face has the same pattern. And then there’s the dying animals. One of Farmer Rick’s pigs dies this episode and Rick also encounters a sick looking wild pig out in the woods. Something is causing these animals to get sick and die. You don’t really connect these dots completely this episode but it all makes sense later.

Season Four is kind of a crazy season. The show takes some big risks with characters and stories that I love. It’s a very shocking season and emotionally taxing, at least it was for me. And I’ll just say it now…. Rick’s closing line in the season finale is my all-time favorite. Feel free to wait for it or go watch it now!

Best of the Episode

As many times as I’ve watched all the episodes, which is uncountable at this point, this is the first time I’ve noticed Karen’s fence cleaning tool and it really tickled me so I have to mention it. She is literally using a walking cane with a sharpened end to kill walkers. A walking cane, the kind you can buy at any CVS or Walgreen’s. It’s sort of genius. You’ve got a rubber grip to prevent slipping and for comfort and it’s long enough to kill the walker without it getting super close. And the end is small enough to fit through most holes in a fence or through a partially opened door or a window. I’m totally getting one when the zombie apocalypse happens.

Rick and the dirty woman. This was a great way for us and Rick to see what he could have become. It happened with Morgan too last season. These people have lost so much and they didn’t have anyone around to keep them sane. When she tries to kill Rick for the purposes of feeding her husband’s head it’s a real stunner. Then as she lays dying and Rick asks her the three questions, I honestly feel bad for her and what happened.

The failed run. This run goes from average to fucked in a matter of seconds. First Bob breaks a shelf and it collapses on him, then walkers start falling through the ceiling and going after everyone, and then a helicopter on the roof brings down the whole building! We lose Zack. It’s just not a successful trip after they were so cocky and casual going in. My favorite is the first walker to come through the ceiling. His intestines get stuck on some of the structure and he’s just hanging midair by his guts. It’s epic. Second best walker is the one that goes after Bob when he’s stuck. Bob tries to keep it away and ends up peeling back the skin from the skull. Yeah, that happened.