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by Thom Yee

Walking Dead s4-2

Images courtesy of AMC and Fox International Channels

4×11:  “Claimed”

So last time I neglected to mention the episode-closing debut of Abraham, Rosita and Eugene.  I guess it was because I was so down on “Inmates” overall, and the  misery of the episode so outweighed the trio’s arrival that I probably just forgot about them and the breath of fresh air that they were (and are this episode).  Regardless of how the newbies turn out over the course of their individual developments (and eventual demises), it’s nice to meet a new group of characters who don’t appear to duplicate any of our existing characters, who don’t care about what our heroes have been through, and who have their own sh*t to deal with.

This week, we pick back up with Carl, Rick and Michonne’s adventures in dead suburbia, Rick still too beaten up to come along on Carl and Michonne’s supply run.  Carl and Michonne’s friendship is a bit of an oddity, and it’s one that’s managed to develop organically, particularly compared to many of the bigger relationships and tensions the show has built itself on so far.  From Michonne’s perspective, Carl somewhat represents Andre, the child she lost, but in the comic Michonne never had any kids (or at least none that we’re aware of yet), and the two don’t really have any significant ties beyond the fact that they, along with several others, have survived together for so long.  Their relationship is one of the many deviations from the comic, and one that works relatively well (along with Daryl and Merle [who never existed in the comic] and the impact of Sophia’s zombification [though that overall story arc dragged]), even if the show is generally several times worse than the comic.

Anyway, Rick’s bedside recuperation is interrupted when intruders make their way into our heroes’ temporary home, and Rick eventually finds himself trapped, hiding under the bed as the various home invaders (of which there appeared to be four) make their way around the house.  Most people don’t pay that much attention to episode titles, due mostly to the fact that they never actually see the episode titles, but a better name for this week’s “Claimed” would’ve been “Jerks”.  The home invaders are the type of a**holes that make a bunch of noise and physically assault each other just because they want to sleep on the bigger bed.  This is the first time in the show I’ve met a random group of strangers that I genuinely believe our group is fully justified in killing right away rather than considering any moral imperatives.  So it’s a good thing that after Rick is forced to kill one of them or risk discovery, it leads to the others being attacked by that murder victim’s zombified remains.  Which, in retrospect, was kind of jerk move on Rick’s part, but hey, two wrongs make a right.

Walking Dead-monsters under the bed

“But Mom, what if there’s a man underneath the bed who’s waiting to kill one of us (even though he’s not really that bad of a guy) so that that person comes back as a zombie and attacks us so he can make his getaway. Please, please, check under the bed.”

The other side of our story concerns Glenn and Tara’s travels with Abraham and his travelling companions, Rosita and Eugene, the latter of whom Abraham claims is some kind of scientist who’s been in contact with officials in Washington and is the key to solving the whole zombie thing.  It’s an interesting proposition (even if I probably already know where it’s going, the comic still being well ahead of the show), and there’s just enough revealed of these new characters that most viewers, including myself, will want to stay tuned.

“Claimed” ends with the notion that our scattered heroes are destined to reunite as everyone seems headed in the direction of the sanctuary hinted at last episode.  As convenient as that may seem, at least the preview for next week’s episode looks promising, suggesting the possibility of a Daryl-centric, horror episode with zombies assailing he and Beth from all sides.  We’ll see how it actually turns out.

The Walking Dead “Claimed” final score:  7.5

Items of Note:

-I really liked that tree shelf in that kid’s room.

-How tired must you be to not even take your shoes off before going to bed?

-Abraham:  I’m Sgt. Abraham “I’m sure your wife is dead” Ford, and these are my companions:  Rosita “Sexy-Time” Espinosa and Dr. Eugene “Intentional Mullet/Bad Shot” Porter.

-“Son of a dick!”

-For those of you who are paying attention, that’s how you use ‘whom’.  To all you writers out there, reading my review on this dark and stormy night when the lightning’s crashing, the thunder’s rolling and the rain’s falling in sheets as thick as lead. Just remember what ol’ Thom Yee does when the earth is quaking, the poison arrows are falling from the sky and the pillars of heaven shake.  Yeah, Thom Yee looks that big old storm right in the eye and he uses whom as much as possible.  Because it’s funnier that way.

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