The Walking Dead, S4E11, “Claimed” by Dusty

What I’m drinking: Trader Joe’s 2013 Vintage Ale.  Trader Joe’s does one of these every year.  Dark, with lots of bold spices.  Great for winter drinking.  Since it snowed again today, I figured now was as good a time as any to drink my last bottle.  It comes in at 9% ABV, so it packs quite a punch.

Eight things that annoyed me:

1. How quickly the mood went from “happy” to “sad & awkward” between Carl and Michonne.  I felt like the writers were trying a bit too hard to hammer home the point that this is really, really sad.  It’s the zombie apocalypse.  We get it.  A little subtlety would be nice from time to time.
I also disliked the attempt to show Carl and Michonne bonding over the dead children in their lives, when we (the viewer) know for a fact that Judith is still alive.  I understand that the characters believe Judith to be dead, so those words meant something to them.  But, it’s a little ignorant to assume that we would feel the same way, given the knowledge we possess.

2. Carl being a turd out there.  “Hey Michonne.  I know I’ve been a total ass to you today, and talking about your dead child is really hard and all, but let me ask you a ton of questions about your dead child, even though I refuse to talk about Judith without freaking out.”  A little decorum would be appreciated.

3.  Carl and Michonne talking loudly in a house they haven’t fully explored.  There could be zombies or other people in that house.  Maybe try out some inside voices.

4.  Pretending that flu-weakened Glenn could actually give Abraham a fight.  A real fight between the two of them wouldn’t last more than two seconds.

5.  Eugene firing blindly with a machine gun and hitting the truck.  I think I would decide to stop following his lead right then and there.  If he’s as smart as he claims, he wouldn’t have shot up the truck, “ignorance of rapid-firing weapons” or no.  But he’s not, so he did, then stood there with his dopey face and his stupid mullet, taking up space on the side of the road.  Eugene is the worst.

6.  Rick running wildly around the second floor of a house, while Rack and his merry band of murderers are sitting around downstairs.  A man literally killed one of his traveling companions over a bed, and yet Rick is stomping around like a moose.  It’s an old house with a creaky floor.  Find a decent spot and stay there.  Stop running around like a maniac.

7.  Eugene dropping the line, “Trust me. I’m smarter than you,” immediately after destroying their mode of transportation.  Eugene should be forced to eat 5 pounds of anchovies in one sitting.

8.  “Sanctuary for all. Community for all. Those who arrive survive.”  Everyone blindly deciding that Terminus is going to be as safe as the signs make it out to be.  Woodbury was hailed as a zombie-free haven, and we all know what happened with Woodbury.

Three things I liked:

1. Abraham coming out of the gates strong.  He’s a logic-wielding, bullet-avoiding, zombie-killing-machine.  Who cares if he smiles when killing?  It worked out pretty well for Tallahassee.  Right now, the group could use a guy like that.  Let’s hope Abraham’s skills and logic rub off on the rest of the group.

2.  Rick reading Jack London to unwind.  Ron Swanson would nod approvingly.

3.  There have been times in my life where I may have killed a man over a bed.  I see ya, big fella.
In fact, the whole “hiding under the bed” scene was pretty good.  Pure slasher move.  I loved the bugged out eyes of the dying man as he stared at Rick.  There was quite a bit of tension in that scene.

Final thoughts:

Abraham has only been here for one episode, and he’s already my favorite character.  I like seeing a guy who thinks about his decisions.  A man with a plan.  Even if that plan revolves around following a guy who probably doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Overall, though, I didn’t really like this episode too much.  It really dragged at times, and featured a lot of questionable decision-making, which always bothers me.
I also don’t like the direction it seems to be heading.  From the looks of things, everyone is going to end up meeting up at Terminus, the zombie-free haven.  I’m guessing they’ll all get there at the end of the season.  Five episodes of random groups winding their way to Terminus does not sound fun to me.

What I listened to while writing this: William FitzsimmonsLions.  I’ve been a fan of William long before his 2005 album (Until When We Are Ghosts).  In simplest terms, he’s a folk artist.  But he fills out his simple folk songs with a ton of instrumentation, and the occasional dash of electronics.  A description of “slightly more subdued Seven Swans-era Sufjan Stevens” isn’t completely out of line.  He hasn’t changed his formula much, but each of his albums has a distinctly unique sound to them.  I’m a big fan of this, his newest album.  I have no problem putting this up there with my favorite albums of his (Goodnight and The Sparrow & The Crow).  This is a lovely album.  As a bonus, Rosie Thomas drops by for a guest spot.  Highly recommended.