5 Random Thoughts On…

My blog I've ignored for 2 years while attending the Brandcenter

The Walking Dead, S4 Episode 11: “Claimed”

It appears that The Walking Dead is going to bounce back and forth between the groups depending on the episode. I hope this only lasts a couple more weeks and that the groups will merge soon. With only six episodes left in season 4, I have the feeling that not all the groups will find each other before the end of the season finale/cliffhanger.

Last week we checked in on Teams Daryl & Beth, Maggie/Sasha/Bob’Angelo Barksdale, Tyreese/Carol/the girls and also Glenn.

This week it looks like we see how Team Rick/Carl/Michonne are holding up as well as learn more about our newest team Team Glenn/Abraham & Co.

*** In the zombie apocalypse there is a good chance there really is something hiding under your bed. Proceed with the rest of the post at your peril. ***

Sheriff Carl // Image from AMC.com

Sheriff Carl says proceed at your own risk. // Image from AMC.com

1. Is the newer softer smiley Michonne good for her survival?

We open the episode with Carl and Michonne enjoying bowls of cereal and doing something not often seen in TWD, laughing. They are sitting at a kitchen table cracking jokes and acting like ordinary people. Carl without his sheriff’s hat and Michonne donning a new clean white shirt. They resemble a big sister catching up with her little brother over a couple of bowls of Lucky Charms.

We are watching TWD though so you know the laughing can’t last forever. Carl makes an inappropriate baby formula joke that reminds them both of his little sister, Judith, who they believe is dead. Nothing kills breakfast conversation faster than a poorly executed dead baby joke.

Carl returns to “Mopey Carl, ” and something surprising happens. Michonne spends the rest of the episode trying to cheer him up. She does un-Michonne antics like small talk, and the cheese whiz from the can gag. With no success, she decides to open up to him about her past. That hard outer crust that has kept her alive this long begins to fade. Not sure if this is good for Michonne’s long-term sanity but I wonder if it is good for her survival? And by extension for Carl’s survival.

Michonne has been the one character who adapted differently to this new world than other survivors. Where most gathered together to form communities she stayed alone. She preferred her sword over guns. And while people feared and avoided walkers she embraced them as “pets” for protection.

How will her obvious caring for Rick and Carl effect her? Will she become less of the brutal katana sword-wielding badass if she is happy? Or will her big sister-like relationship with Carl cause her to become even more deadly?

I’m leaning towards the latter on this. In the first episode after the prison fell Michonne sees her future if she remains alone. She searched out her friends and had taken on a role of protector of Carl while Rick recovers. We’re learning more about her past, and I am glad her character has more substance than just the brooding black samurai chick.

Well, not so smiley here. // Image from AMC.com

Well, not so smiley here. // Image from AMC.com

2. I thought my kids interrupting me taking a shit was annoying

Man, I figured it was annoying when my kids barged in on me while I was dropping a deuce. It’s much worse when it happens to you during the zombie apocalypse (ZA). Imagine you’ve been on the run for days and you finally find a clean bathroom. All you want to do is sit in peace while you do your business without the worry a walker is going to stumble upon you at your most exposed.

This guy has just settled in when some yahoo busts through the door and proceeds to beat him with a kid’s pinewood derby trophy before he chokes you to death. I’m sure that guy was a terrible person considering the company he was keeping, but I couldn’t help but feel a tad sorry for him.

When Rick took his machine gun and left the bathroom door ajar for the guy to return like a walker time-bomb, I was reminded of a scene from my favorite Christmas movie Die Hard. In Die Hard John McClane (barefooted Bruce Willis) finally gets a machine gun after doing battle with a bunch of terrorists. He decides to send Alan Rickman a message.

I really wish Rick had the fore site to write something on the guy he killed in the bathroom. 

3. Abraham wants to save the world partner

I don’t know how I feel about Abraham yet. I have been excited for his character to appear, but so far he’s coming across as cartoonish. Everyone we’ve met in the ZA comes across as at least a little twisted. Abraham though is super confident. He has a plan, and he’s going to save the world. Where most people are leery of strangers, Abraham sees them as recruits for his critical mission and wants them to enlist. He’s like a walking fu Manchu Uncle Sam poster.

Get in my truck partner...

Get in my truck partner…

It doesn’t help that his companions in saving the world also look silly. Rosita has barely spoken and so far has only walked around in short shorts waving an assault rifle like a mashup of a female soldier with a BRATZ doll

This outfit doesn't look regulation. // Image from AMC.com

This outfit doesn’t look regulation. // Image from AMC.com

Then there is Dr. Eugene Porter who is rocking a mullet that screams “Science up front, Party in the back!” He also hasn’t said much except telling Abraham “I”m smarter than you” and shooting up their truck on accident. There is also something familiar about Eugene. He reminds me of someone.


I expect each of these three characters to be flesh out more in upcoming episodes. I know in the comic they all play a significant role, so I am optimistic in their development. Then again, Michonne has been around for nearly two years now, and we’re just getting to know her character. I guess the life expectancy in TWD doesn’t allow for a lot of character growth.

4. We’ll be seeing those guys again

I wonder if we are going to be seeing the gang that took over Rick’s safe house again? Or are they going to be like the gang that Rick/Glenn/Hershel encountered in town during season 2, and we never heard from them again? Perhaps they’re the same gang? They may even be the same group that killed the campers earlier in season 4.

Or maybe they will just a random group of terrible people for our heroes to run into who try to kill them. I get the feeling we haven’t seen the last of these guys.

Speaking of these guys I had some thoughts about that entire scene where Rick is trying to sneak out of the house:

1. During the fight over the bed. Did that guy only knock the other guy out? Like a sleeper hold or did he kill him? He didn’t seem concerned about him returning as a walker and eating him while he sleeps.

2. I thought that was kind of neat that Rick purposefully didn’t finish off the guy he killed in the bathroom and then left the bathroom door slightly open. It was an interesting use of walkers in the show.

3. No one looks under beds in the ZA? I feel like if I were going to lay down the first thing I would do would be to check under the bed, check the closet, close the door, lock the door, and check under the bed again.

4. Reason #127 why I wouldn’t survive the ZA: I can’t slide under beds that quickly.

Image from AMC.com

Image from AMC.com

5. Why hasn’t anyone mentioned the voice they heard on the radio?

We all heard that, right?  Or did I make it up?

Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne, and Bob’Angelo all heard a voice on the radio talking about “Salvation.” They were all riding together, on their medicine run, before they were overrun by walkers and had to abandon their car.

I have not heard one person mention it. To anyone. No one said anything while at the prison or since they’ve all be broken up into smaller groups. It appears like Team Rick and Team Tyreese are headed there anyway. But needed to be reminded by reading signs or a dying-strangers-telegram. You would think that those would jog Michonne or Tyreese memories.

“Oh yeah, that reminds me. I need to tell you something I heard the other day…”

Lightning Round Thoughts:

  • Michonne gets a new shirt yet Rick still looks like shit?
  • Here Carl, take my hand cannon I’m going to take a nap.
  • Cheese Wiz is disgusting.
  • Glad to see Michonne knock on the front door to see if there were any walkers in there but Sheriff Carl is just flinging open doors when inside.
  • That’s one terrifying pink room.
  • Too bad Eugene shot up that truck. That looked like a hell of a ZA vehicle.
  • Glenn got beat up again.
  • Yaaaa! No Psycho Lizzie to haunt my dreams tonight.
  • Saw a preview of next weeks episode. Daryl and Beth seem to have it the worst among all the groups. They look the most desperate.
  • Seriously disappointed in the lack of cool walker moments. No Walker Moments of the Night (WMotN) award for the second week in a row. Booooo!
Oh hey, yeah...don't mind me. I left something for you in the bathroom.  // Image from AMC.com

Oh hey, I left something for you in the bathroom. // Image from AMC.com


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This entry was posted on February 23, 2014 by in The Walking Dead, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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Mr. Fenske is a professor at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond VA. The site is an extension of his efforts in the classroom, except for the cartoons, which seem to grow out of some disaffection he feels with the world. Thank you for visiting. © Mark Fenske

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