The Walking Dead Season 4 Review “Claimed”

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11 Claimed (7)

With last week’s episode marking a big improvement over the somewhat lackluster premiere to the second half of The Walking Dead‘s fourth season, I was hoping that tonight’s episode “Claimed” would improve even more. As good as this show can be, it often has a hard time maintaining it’s momentum. Great episodes will often be followed by slow and uneventful ones, which will then be followed by another good one. I was hoping to keep the streak alive, and thankfully I wasn’t too disappointed!

The episode was off to a pretty good start, as we get a more revealing introduction to Sergeant Abraham Ford, as played by Southland‘s Michael Cudlitz. He definitely seemed to be having a little too much fun at first with the whole zombie apocalypse thing, but the episode continued to flesh out his character nicely. His whole “I want to save the world” thing was an interesting twist for the series (that we’ll discuss more), but I don’t think the rest of his character’s actions really meshed with these introductory scenes. After watching Tara take down a bunch of walkers last week, and beating the brains out of a few zombies with a smile on his face, he then turned into a very empathetic and understanding person. When Glenn tried to leave the group, he really seemed to be trying his hardest to talk sense into him. Judging by the way he was acting before, I would have thought he would have just put a gun to Glenn’s head and forced him to stick with the group, but he really seemed to be trying his best to avoid conflict. It was Glenn that threw the first punch here, so I’m not sure what type of character we’re going to get with Sergeant Ford in the future. Maybe he’s just a psychopathic and violent killer when it comes to slaying walkers, but he’s a sweetheart when it comes to interacting with other human beings.

Abraham also brings back a long-forgotten plot device that we haven’t had on this series in a while: The prospect of a cure. This development confuses me a little, to be honest. There’s really been little to no forward motion on the whole “cure” storyline for quite some time. The CDC visit in the season one finale just about put that to rest, but then a few people in Woodbury were experimenting to see if any of the walkers’ humanity remained, and this is really the first that we’ve heard about it since then. It just perplexes me why they feel that they need to throw this in. Do Walking Dead viewers feel the need for a cure storyline? Judging by the ratings, there are tens of millions of people who are fine tuning in every week even when there’s been little to no hope of any happy ending on this series, so it’s odd to include this possible out. I guess there’s an avenue for them to go down if they ever want to end the series, but you’d think that AMC would want to be keeping this show on for years to come. In all likelihood I’m just way overthinking this, and that doctor guy is going to get bit in the next few episodes and the whole thing will be over.

The budding friendship between Michonne and Carl that we saw hinted at earlier this season came back into the forefront tonight. We got some great scenes here, and it’s always good to see Danai Gurira get to let loose a little bit. Her character was so ridiculously morose and silent in the third season, so any opportunity I can get for her to crack jokes and squirt EZ Cheese in her mouth is fine by me! It was good to see her opening up a little bit to Carl, and the fact that they’ve both lost a young child close to them (or at least Carl thinks he has) has given them a shared experience to bond over.

All of the prerequisite suspenseful scenes came from back at the house with Rick. These were a lot of fun to watch, but it was a bit of a letdown that it didn’t lead up to anything. These guys were just drifters that we hadn’t met before, and at the end he ends up running off and we’ll likely never see those guys again. I would have liked to see Michonne come and save the day with her katana, but it wasn’t meant to be.

So everybody is back on the road again, as Rick’s group is off to this mysterious community that we’ve heard about, and Glenn’s group is looking for Maggie. I really hope that all of these separated groups will meet up shortly, and I especially can’t wait to see Rick and Carl find out that Judith is alive! We’re due for some happy scenes on this show!

Random Thoughts:

– Good for Danai Gurira for squirting all that cheese in her mouth! I’ve always been one of the rare defenders of EZ Cheese, but even I would not be down with squirting a whole bunch of it in my mouth. Yeesh.

– New character Rosita Espinoza is a little too sexy for this show. Everybody else on the show is all grimy and dirty, and then you’ve got her with her tied-up shirt complete with exposed belly button, short booty shorts, and even the pistols tied to her thighs Tomb Raider style. I don’t have an issue with women dressing sexy, but it looks very out of place on this show.

– Why is nobody else concerned that the future of all humanity is resting the intelligence of a dude that decided to grow a mullet?