THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Claimed”

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On tonight’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, viewers got to meet a few new faces.  Some were well-intentioned while others were nothing of the sort, and all of them came in varying shades of intelligence.  More intriguing than even the new character additions, however, was a bit of intel as to the state of the post-apocalyptic world and, if the newcomers can be believed, the plan to set things right once more.  Hit the jump for my recap and review, unless you’re all amped-up and have an ignorance of rapid-firing weapons.

the-walking-dead-claimed-danai-guriraTonight’s hour was a tale of two groups of strangers, which doesn’t roll off the tongue as well as “a tale of two cities” but I’m no Charles Dickens.  In the red corner, we have Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and his associates Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt).  We met this trio at the tail-end of last week’s episode, but weren’t quite sure what to make of them (and still aren’t, entirely).  In the blue corner, we have the relatively faceless band of thugs – who we’ll call the Marauders – who take over the house while an infirm Rick recuperates inside.  Let’s start our recap here, shall we?

After a nice, light-hearted scene between Carl and Michonne, in which they discuss comfortable clothes and the pros and cons of soy milk, those two go off on a supply run, purposefully leaving Rick behind to rest.  He barely gets more than a few winks when he’s woken up by gruff voices from downstairs.  In his condition, I can’t really blame him for hiding under the bed, but the silliness of his decision took some of the edge off the rest of the scene as it played out.  If we had reserved any hope that this group might be the friendly sort, all of those notions flew out the window as soon as one of the gang choked another to death over a more-than-gently used mattress.  I’ll give the writers credit for managing to keep the tension in these scenes, which had Rick tiptoeing from room to room in search of either a weapon or an escape route without getting caught.  (And a brilliant tactic on Rick’s part to leave the interior doors open so that the deceased men would rise again and attack their former fellows, providing him an opportunity to get the hell out of there and to warn Carl and Michonne.)

the-walking-dead-claimed-christian-serratosSpeaking of those two, they proved to be the heart of the episode, with Michonne confessing bits and pieces of her former life to Carl, such as the former existence of her then-three-year-old son, Andre Anthony.  There’s plenty of tension to be found in these house-clearing scenes as well, especially when Michonne unveils a covered-up painting and finds it splattered in what appears to be blood with all manner of warnings scrawled across it.  While Michonne and Carl end up being safe from danger, the scene with the family laid out post-execution style in the kids’ bedroom was certainly unnerving.  Lots of emotional trauma being worked out here from both characters, as Carl attempts to deal with the presumed loss of his baby sister, Judith.

Now, back to the other newcomers.  While Tara wisely keeps track of the directions as the truck travels to some undisclosed location, Glenn isn’t about to leave Maggie behind.  When he regains consciousness, Glenn makes it abundantly clear that he’s going back to find her, even suckerpunching Ford in the jaw to make his point.  While those two scuffle, goofy scientist Eugene is left to his own devices … which includes acting like a spaz when Walkers attack, and peppering their only vehicle full of scattered automatic-rifle fire.  Ford’s attempts to fix the truck are for naught, and the group decides to follow Glenn back the way they came until they can at least find another serviceable vehicle.

This episode would have felt less kinetic if not for the information provided by Ford, which revealed that Eugene was a scientist who had been in contact with higher authorities in Washington, D.C., and more importantly, that he knew how the whole apocalypse got started in the first place.  Ford’s mission was to escort Eugene to D.C. to put an end to this nightmare, and he needed everyone he could get along the way.  Of course this leaves us with the short-term question of whether or not we can trust Ford, Eugene and Rosita, and the longer-term puzzle of whether or not they’ll be able to do anything about the epidemic if they ever get to D.C.  A medium-range query is whether or not the entire gang, Ford and his posse included, will rendezvous back at Terminus, which seems to be this season’s glowing city at the end of the Yellow-Brick Road.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below, but please keep them spoiler-free!

the-walking-dead-claimed-josh-mcdermittGrade: A-

Zombie Kills: 20

Casualties: Two marauders.

Best Kill: Rick’s kill of the gang member and subsequent use of turning him into an attacking Walker.

Best Effect: Ford’s crowbar + rifle butt combo

Odds & Entrails:

Ford: “Aw honey, look at you. You’re a damn mess.”

Rick, just because you remain still doesn’t mean they can’t see you. They’re not T-Rexes.

Marauder: “My bed now, jack-off.”

Why do scientists always have to be limp-wristed, spineless goofs who have no survival instinct? I know they’re building Eugene’s character, but c’mon…

Ford: “So tell me how in the hell you managed to kill this truck?” Eugene: “A fully amped-up state and an ignorance of rapid-firing weapons.”

Watch the promo for next week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Still”:




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  • Leo Spaceman

    Man, I could really go for some Crazy Cheese right now, said no one after that product placement.

    I think the only time I had ever seen worse product placement was in an episode of Burn Notice while the guy was listing off the specs saying this is an awesome spy car while the car was drifting around corners.

    It was made even worse by having to watch the Talking Dead host have to try and sell it to everyone again before I could find the clicker to change the channel. They actually had him call it Kasa Loca on live TV.

    • Scurvy

      Kasa Loca was probably Casa Loca which means Crazy House and has nothing to do with ‘Crazy Cheese’. Also, spray cheese is usually known as Easy Cheese.

      Long story short, it wasn’t product placement. Did you think the Chocolate pudding was product placement 2 weeks ago?

      • Leo Spaceman

        That was one hundred percent product placement. I don’t speak Mexican, but that was just a quote from Chris Hardwick on his Talking Dead show when he very clumsily picked up the Crazy cheese for a second time and held it to the camera and smiled and said the Mexican name for it after first using the American name for it 10 minutes earlier. Then he set it back down and had it within view of the camera just sitting there on the table.

        The Chocolate pudding was generic and just a little treat for a boy to eat on a roof and watch as the world ended. That fit well with the story. Michonne taking the first pull of the crazy cheese that she was so excited about and chugging it down her throat was pure product placement.

      • Grayden

        “I don’t speak Mexican.” Seriously?

        Nobody speaks Mexican because Mexican isn’t a language. Mexican describes the ethnicity of those peoples from Mexico. Do you speak American? No, you speak English. Mexicans speak Spanish.

      • Stephen Andreala

        I speak American

      • LPFreak64

        ‘Crazy Cheese’ is a generic brand name made by the show, just for the show. It is just like the chocolate pudding. If you Google “Crazy Cheese”, you will find no such product being sold in stores today. You seem very ignorant, and very much a troll. Mexican?…good grief….

      • Leo Spaceman

        Ok, I have since watched more of that Talking Dead episode. (My internet was fuzzy and I had to keep turning off House of Cards, and it was just on).

        Chris Hardwick was playing with that Cheese all night long. Hey its so much fun, here let me included it in this bit. Here let me mention it again even though it really doesn’t apply to what we are talking about. Hey this is so awesome that since you asked an awesome question I am going to make an awesome smiley face in your hand…With this cheese!!!! Ya now lick it up off your hand on live TV to show the world how much fun this cheese is! I mean its cheese…in a can!

        Ya, who ever made Crazy Cheese definitely didn’t pay any money to have that cheese be a focal point of tonight’s episode.

      • Norrtron

        Leo, are you fucking retarded? Crazy Cheese ISN’T A REAL PRODUCT! “Easy Cheese” is though, so if it was actual product placement, don’t you think they would have been calling it by it’s brand name? If they had a can of “cola” would you consider that product placement for Coke?

    • LEM

      That’s a real product?

    • Poop

      Queso Loco

  • Leo Spaceman

    Did Eugene seriously say that he was smarter than Abraham after he killed a military truck?

    And it looks like they are completely erasing the CDC event from season 1 out of the history. Glenn could have asked Eugene to prove himself, because Glenn should know that it spreads like Menengitis and restarts just the core of the brain, with all of that which makes a person a human dies. If Eugene couldn’t answer any of that, he was full of s**t.

    The actors are all passable when they stick in their comfort zones, but once they have to get into character development, the scenes tend to drag on for a very long time. It is a tough road to follow, because people will complain if there is only Walker killing, but people also will complain about how boring the scenes are during the exposition scenes where the characters cutely talk about their past life. The actors just don’t have the Gravitas to make that pay off.

    That Marauder that was on the porch at the end of the episode, was that the Mayor of Charming in Sons of Anarchy?

    If Glenn and the others were driving for 3 hours and given there were cars in the way, they could have maybe made it 25 miles an hour and that is being excessively low on my assumption, they are still 75 miles away from the prison now, that is a hell of a hike on foot.

    Little scrawny Asian dude who only just awoke from fainting due to a weaken state of having Pigs disease should know better than to sucker punch large macho military southerners with handle bar mustaches.

    In regards to the reviewer joking that Rick isn’t hiding from Trexes, The guying being strangled to death probably wouldn’t have said anything about the guy under the bed to the guy killing him (was he dead though? they didn’t seem too concerned about him getting up and walking around and biting, so maybe he was just passed out.)

    So the guy that Rick killed was just sitting in the bathroom on the toilet with the lid down and his pants up?

    Did anyone else notice how that kids bedroom had a separate room for the actual bed? I thought it was cool that I had my own bunk bed growing up, God Damn that was a lucky little boy…except for the whole having gotten eaten by a Walker thing.

    I am not too thrilled about the set up for the season where its individual stories of survival because it means two week waits normally to watch the next group. I know we saw Glenn twice in a row, but it looks like one week will be Rick, Carl, and Carl’s new mom, then the next week the other people the next week. At first I didn’t like it, but at the end of the episode when I saw that we get to see them all discover the signs for Sanctuary, I liked it. I guess it means that they are going to all make their way to it, and at the end of the season, they will have reunited. I like that in principle, but in execution it means waiting half a month to see the next chapter of a character’s life. But whatever I guess, next week will be my last episode before I go to Europe for a month, so I can binge watch the second half of the second half when I get back, which will work well for the way the season is being set up.

    But seriously Eugene almost seems worse than Milton. At least Milton had the balls to create Flaming Walkers. The only good scientist in this show is being ignored and treated as having never existed by the shows writers.

    • LEM

      I don’t think they’re erasing the CDC but at this point who knows who was full of shit and why would Glen waste time questioning when he just wants to find maggie? I wouldn’t think CDC guy was trustworthy based on his word and a few videos after he tried to kill everyone and if some guy with a mullet wants to think he’s important I would let him as I walk the other way.
      I did notice that Jeff Kober seemed to be the leader of that pack of killers which is great because he’s always a great bad guy. I’m wondering if these are some of the same group that attacked Rick, Glen and Herschel back at the bar a while back.

  • Tritium3H

    I wanted to throw a brick at my television when Eugene said the information was “classified”. WTF? It wasn’t so much that it was a stupid ass excuse…it was the fact that the dumb-ass writer’s didn’t think to have Glenn or Tara at least question how ludicrous a statement it was. Classified…classified from who? Society has ceased to exist. There is no friggin’ National government…and by implication, the same applies globally. It is the end of the world as we know it. Now, whether the writer’s have a legitimate motivation for Eugene to say such a thing, is besides the point. From Glenn and Tara’s perspective, as reasonable characters (and audience surrogates) they should have at least verbally stated how illogical it sounded.

    • Leo Spaceman

      It was “classified” in the comics. And since they are pretending that their adventure at the CDC didn’t happened, they might as well go with what happened in the comics.

      • Tritium3H

        Hi Leo. Didn’t read the comics. But that is besides the point. Did any of the characters in the comics react with disbelief when some scientists explained the information was classified, despite the complete breakdown of Civilization??

      • Leo Spaceman

        Sorry Tritium, I haven’t read the comics either. I made the mistake of reading Wikipedia. I still want to read the comics, but i have only ever read maybe 5 in my life.

        I have read the first issue of this though and that was it. I would like to read them all but have trouble justifying the price for them, finding the time to read them, and also I know exactly where the story goes already anyways. From what I gathered, the comics move rather fast and the plot doesn’t have 45 minutes to play out, so reactions and that kind of thing are probably not played out in the comics.

        But ya it is incredibly dumb that it is classified but I think it is more about keeping the characters true to the comics than being about keeping the secret from the viewers. It is incredibly stupid that Abraham is agreeing to go along with this if he doesn’t know though. I realize there isn’t a whole lot of better things to do with the dead walk the earth, so there is the F**k it attitude, I don’t have any other plans, but no in real life that classified BS would not fly.

        It is just how comics get adapted though. Reality is partially let go and little nods and bits make their way into the live action adaption. Think of how Tony Stark tries to not answer the phone when Agent Coulson calls him in the Avengers and he says “You have reached the Life Model Decoy of Tony Stark”. While in real life nothing like that exists, it is a way to pay homage to Life Model Decoys from the comics. Stupid in real life, awesome (kind of) when adapting comics.

      • Tritium3H

        I hear you, Leo. I appreciate your feedback and explanation; i.e. the writers trying to keep it true to the “in-universe” rules and character motivations from the comics…even if it doesn’t necessarily make logical sense.

      • SeaDogBoy

        IMO dropping the line about being a LMD in the movie was the perfect opening for Coulson to actually become one later on as part of Agents of Shield.

        SPOILER: As for the reaction to the information being classified, in the comics there was more than Glenn & Tara (she is not in the comics) present and yes more questions were asked of Eugene by others including Andrea – who BTW is still alive and very much a better character in the comics.

      • Kevin

        I don’t think it was. He explains it eventually.

      • LEM

        What makes you think they’re pretending the CDC didn’t happen? Just because Glen didn’t waste time bringing it up doesn’t mean it’s forgotten about.

      • Leo Spaceman

        Because in Season 3, Milton tried that experiment on the dying man to see if the Biter would recognize that sound or something and Andrea was watching it happened. She should have been able to tell Milton that this disease kills the brain and reactivates only the brain stem so that experiment won’t work.

        I don’t think something like a nuclear blast almost killing you is easily forgotten, but she never once told Milton about what she learned and went along with the experiment that was clearly stupid based on her knowledge of the disease.

      • LEM

        I think it was important to her that he had something to live for.

    • Thal Sinestro

      I think it will make sense later on why it’s “classified”.

    • mixedkidmonkey

      Glenn and Tara left them and walked away towards the bus…so what are you complaining about? their reaction towards the “it’s classified” response was driven home by their ACTIONS…no words needed to be spoken.

    • mixedkidmonkey

      Glenn and Tara left them and walked away towards the bus…so what are you complaining about? their reaction towards the “it’s classified” response was driven home by their ACTIONS…no words needed to be spoken.

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  • Daniel O’Reilly

    How is Eugene spineless? He took on a cornfield’s worth of zombies while Glen and Abraham were off beating the crap out of each other. True, he also put everyone in danger and destroyed the truck, and he might be the only character in the show (save for Tara) incapable of getting a head shot every time he pulls the trigger, but he’s definitely not spineless.

    My biggest complaint this week is Tara’s Sharpie. How likely would one be to still have a permanent marker that wasn’t dried out a year and a half into the apocalypse?

    • Leo Spaceman

      If you have survived a year and a half after the Apocalypse and still don’t know how to properly work a gun, you are a B**ch. On top of that, he kills their best weapon which is their Super Truck and then has the balls to claim that he is smarter. The fact that he is claiming that everything is Classified, makes me think that there is no real solution and that he is just pretending that it is real to have Abraham have a reason to protect him.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        Eugene is stupid and kind of useless, I agree. But “spineless” still wasn’t the right word to describe him.

        I can’t remember what issue or trade it’s in, but (***comic spoiler ahead***) Eugene eventually does admit to faking it (***end spoiler***) in the comics, and that would appear to be the direction the show is headed in.

      • Leo Spaceman

        Well Super Spoiler Alert or something, If you pretend to have the cure for humanity so that you can have big musclely real american hero Abraham make your safe arrival in DC priority number one, when in fact arriving in DC really wont accomplish anything because there is no real hope of saving the world which effectively would prevent Mr. America from helping others in need along the way, that would in fact make you spineless.

        Hey get me to DC where we can just chillax until we die because the truth is there is nothing there for us but make sure you don’t stop along the way to help anybody in need. I mean ya, I know that you say there is strength in numbers and helping this Glenn dude find his friends would have the benefit for us of increasing our numbers and the benefit for him because it would help reunite him with his wife and friends. Ya don’t do that, definately dont do that. Get me to DC because you know, like its super duper important.

        Also, rather than being a man and jogging on up to you during your brawl with Glenn and just yelling hey Buddy, there are a bunch of walkers here now, if you could stop you fight and kill them for me that would be great, he decided that he would just get out a gun and start shooting them even though he clearly did not know how to handle a gun and he ended up destroying their only real form of safety. That is something that stupid little kids do and kids are spineless. Its kind of like how Carl could have killed that walker in season 2 that was stuck in the swamp instead he played with it and then later in that episode it came back to bite him in the ass, sorry i mean rip Dale’s stomach open. Maybe if he owned up to being the group F**k up, but no, he just decided to insult the guy who has been keeping him alive this whole time instead by claiming that he was smarter, after killing the truck.

    • LEM

      You keep the cap on.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        That would help, obviously. Just maybe not keep them writing like they were brand new markers like Tara’s was.

      • LEM

        My sense of humor detector gets no reading on you but thanks for posting spoilers here.

      • Daniel O’Reilly

        Yeah, sorry. My snark meter doubles as my sense of humor meter and sometimes the two give inconclusive readings. In those instances, I simply give a straight answer.

        I felt a little guilty about the spoiler, but it was only for the comic and I did give warning. It could be the show sidesteps it completely, but we probably won’t know either way until sometime next season.

  • LL

    to commentators: quality over quantity

    • Leo Spaceman

      Ya, I know that is pretty much completely aimed at me. Before I even saw this, I realized how out of hand its getting. I think I have about 2/3 of the comments on this article. At least at time of writing. I am never looking to type the large giant comments that I have been writing. I am just busy and up late right now working on something else, and just commenting on the things that pop up when I refresh. This is just a nice distraction I guess, because I am passionate about the show, and admittedly when you get nitpicky about the show, there a lot of tiny flaws, that I can happily debate. I am not out to write reviews or make money, I just like contributing to the conversation and you are absolutely right that the quality isn’t very good. With this, I have a lot to say and I don’t want to take the time to rewrite and properly edit paragraphs. I just want my thoughts to get out there, and I have on numerous occasions had maybe 5 things on my mind, but by the time I type the first 3, I forget the last two, so I just type it out quickly.

      I don’t force anyone to read what I write, I just put like to put it out there for anyone who does want something to think about. Ya it might have gotten a little excessive with the Crazy Cheese thing, but I actually watched most of the Talking Dead, and pretty much just F**K Crazy Cheese now.

      • Sweet Pea

        Irony at it’s best.

      • Grayden

        Maybe you should go on The Talking Dead, because nobody likes reading walls of text. Especially eight or nine of them. Nothing wrong with having opinions and wanting to share them, but damn dude, edit that shit and be concise. Your points will come across quickly and more clear.

      • Leo Spaceman

        If you see a wall of text, just scroll down a little further and skip it. Like I said, no one is forced to read it, and I don’t have anything really to gain by adding the comments, so i just try to go fast. There is no benefit for me to take the time to stop and rewrite and edit anything, especially given that I am almost always B**tched out by someone every week.

        I am just happy to see someone like LEM at least get some useful thoughts out of it.

      • LEM

        You’re obviously passionate about the show and I’d rather read your comments than most of the whining and constant bitching we usually see in the comment section.

  • chrisills

    I haven’t read the comics, but to me the character of Eugene seemed a bit strange in the way he acted, like he might be a bit retarded or very mildly autistic. When he was trying to use the gun, he really didn’t know how to use it, then he just started spraying bullets everywhere. You would have thought by now, surviving all this time he would know how to shoot. Is he Abraham’s brother? Has Abraham concocted a story as a means of protection, in that anyone he comes across, he tells them we have to stick together and protect this guy because he knows how to ‘save the world’, or is Eugene like a savant? Does he have the answer locked inside his head, or is he acting out a fantasy that’s in his head because he thinks he knows what caused the apocalypse. Am I reading too much into it? I probably am.

  • pinkincide

    I can’t wait for the zombie apocalypse because all the girls who survive will be hot.

    • Sweet Pea

      And there’ll be groups of survivors lead by British men putting on American accents…

    • LEM

      Don’t forget that woodbury bus load…not too hot.

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  • mattinacan

    i still find the show really entertaining, but it is not nearly as deep or as smart and those first two seasons with Darabont.

    • LEM

      If you re-watch the first season the feel of the show is much different and seemed darker with much less gratuitous head smashing. I would have liked to see Darabont get to finish whatever his vision for the show would have been.

    • Luis

      Darabont isnt responsible for the second season. He only made one of the 13 episodes.

  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    Jor-El in Man of Steel is the Scientist to end all scientist!!!!Badass!!

  • Arun

    The comics is all about war between communities.. again and again.. like the fight between prison and woodbury.. boring.. hope the TV show might go in a different direction than comics.. otherwise it is wise to stop watching the TV show…

    • LEM

      When everything goes to hell do you really think the biggest threat wouldn’t be other people?

  • LEM

    Apocalypse or not I’m not following anyone with a mullet.

  • Spanky

    Uggh… this show has times where it’s entertaining and times where you want to smash your tv because the characters are over the top stupid.. which I blame on horrible writing.. and unfortunately since the 2nd half has started, I wanted to kill my tv each episode

    So many logic gaps, characters reacting or doing such stupid things and usually done in a way to create false tension.. aka the ‘brilliant’ scientist guy.. ‘hey they are fighting over there, I think I’ll keep shuffling backwards into this corn field…. oh walkers coming, I’ll say nothing and do more stupid sh!t!’.. and how he managed to make a hole in the bottom of the truck is beyond me, some crazy Oswald bullets he’s got there

    • LEM

      You don’t have all the information yet.

  • FoonZeeS

    I really didn’t buy the whole sneaking around situation with Rick.

    Where did the guy in the bathroom come from? Wouldn’t Rick have seen him come up the stairs and go into the bathroom. And then, how did no one else hear them fighting? A guy literally just walked into the next room when Rick closed the door and proceeded to whomp on the guy taking a dump making a racket and the dude in the other room didn’t hear him.

    And I don’t know if it’s just me but the layouts of all the houses in the subdivision were just weird. Like the one with the little separate cubby for the kid’s bed. And then the rooms connecting together in the house with the whole family killed, it was bathroom, looked like a boys room and then the girls room. I’ve just never seen a layout like that.

  • Jan-Michael Hughes

    He didn’t kill that dude in the bedroom. He was still breathing.

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  • Norrtron

    Did Eugene seem to have a satisfied little smile on his face when they were all walking back towards the bus?

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