The Walking Dead Review – Episode 414: The Grove

The Walking Dead is full of pecans, charred walkers, flowers, sorrow and death.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen The Grove yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd414_01Last night’s episode, The Grove, was probably one of the most sorrowful and depressing episodes of all seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, and by far the most stressful of season 4. This is something expected when you put together some characters with deep psychological issues (including two children), the heavy burden of carrying a little baby girl with absolutely no decent conditions to take care of her, and of course, some hungry charred zombies. However, I’m pretty sure the message is clear now for all of us and especially for most of the characters in the show: nowhere is safe, and even more important than that, the living are the real danger, not the dead.

First of all, kudos to the superb job done by Chad Coleman, Melissa McBride, Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Kenedy, especially to Melissa and Brighton for playing respectively the roles of an even more sorrowful Carol and a truly troubled Lizzie so brightly. The group of Tyreese, Carol, the two girls Lizzie and Mika and the baby Judith has been a great surprise so far: when everybody thought they were going to play a secondary part in the whole story, they deliver us a rollercoaster of emotions mixed with some desperate measures that made us forget this was the third episode in a row without Rick, Carl and Michonne, that Beth was kidnapped or even who Sgt. Abraham Ford is. We all knew Lizzie was some sort of lunatic, but what happened yesterday was really jaw-dropping, and it was something Tyreese and Carol will never ever forget in their painful post-apocalyptical journey.

Despite being sisters, Lizzie and Mika revealed themselves as complete opposites: while one cannot kill walkers, the other is truly afraid of having to kill someone alive; while one enjoys feeding rats to walkers, killing bunnies and playing catch-up with zombie “Griselda”, the other prefers playing with regular harmless dolls and eating pecans. Mika was so innocent and convinced that things were going to be just fine, that Carol got really mad at her for not being tougher nor ready to fight the dangers of that new world (which reminded Carol of her little Sofia when she was alive), but in the end it was Mika who was ready to face the new reality, not psycho Lizzie, and when Carol realized that it was too late for both of them.

All the sadness in this episode was so strong that not even the attack to their new “home” by those totally amazing charred walkers, some of the best zombies we’ve ever seen in the show, was able to make things more fun and easier to watch. That scene with the “crispy” zombies was awesome (and just after the episode was over I realized they were coming from the house Daryl and Beth set on fire, proving once again they’re all in the same place, but at a different time) and if it had happened at a different time, in another episode, it would have been epic. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a regular episode with some zombies just being killed; it was much deeper than that.

twd414_02Anyway, it seems that Carol is the character selected by the producers to do all the dirty work in the show: the moment she saw Lizzie with a knife and blood on her hands, and poor Mika dead on the ground, she already knew what needed to be done and that it was going to be her again. “She can’t be around other people.”, Carol said to Tyreese, and knowing that was the only thing they could do to avoid the same destiny for baby Judith, he sadly allowed Carol to end Lizzie’s life.  “Look to the flowers, Lizzie!”, were her last words (the ones always used when Lizzie had any type of psychological issues) to that poor disturbed kid, so disturbed she didn’t even think she was being punished for killing her own sister and for being a huge threat to any living person.

Not only that, after all that melancholy with the deaths of Lizzie and Mika, Carol had the guts to tell Tyreese she was the one who killed Karen. Maybe she knew he was going to forgive her, or maybe he already knew it was her after seeing her shooting Lizzie in cold blood, but she had to let him hear that from her own mouth in order to ease some of her suffering. Now maybe Tyreese’s nightmares with Karen will be over and he’ll get stronger to protect baby Judith and even Carol, or maybe their path to Terminus will be even more excruciating.

Finally, I don’t know how Carol has been able to handle all that pain until today, but I’m pretty sure things will just get worse for her, if that’s humanly possible. Because after losing all she’s already lost and doing all she’s already done, what’s left inside her that’s worth living for? Is Judith now her only reason to stay alive? What will happen when (or if) they find Rick?

The Grove (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 412: Still

Daryl and Beth’s “special menu” had rattlesnakes and moonshine, but it wasn’t that tasty after all.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Still yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd412_01Based on the extremely slow pace of all episodes after its mid-season finale last year, it looks like the second half of AMC’s The Walking Dead will continue to be focused on building the characters rather than putting them into serious and gory confrontations with hordes of zombies or armies of living people, and honestly, I don’t really like the way things are going on now.

Of course, I’ve always told my friends that we cannot expect the survivors to fight, kill and run away from zombies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, otherwise they would all be dead by the end of the very first episode of the first season. However, spending an entire hour watching Daryl and Beth acting like two rebellious teenagers looking for booze felt more like a rip-off than anything else. I understand many fans where asking for more “details” about the hazy past of some characters such as Michonne and Daryl, but I wonder why now and why “wasting” entire episodes like that? Maybe producers are trying to reach another type of audience, people that enjoy knowing every single detail about the life of a character and that do not care too much about some real action, or even worse, that are afraid of zombies and blood. If they’re actually doing that, or if they’re just trying to extend the show as much as possible to make more money, they’ll end up losing a lot of their loyal fans pretty soon.

Anyway, let’s try to look at the good points of this episode and try to learn some lessons from it: as opposed to Rick, Carl and Michonne, who even found a good house to stay for a while, Daryl and Beth are living like real survivors, making fire out of almost nothing, hunting squirrels, eating rattlesnakes, collecting garbage, drinking dirty water, and sleeping or hiding basically anywhere. By the way, that initial sequence where they hide inside that car’s trunk for hours was excellent and should have been developed a little more, because the tension created was good but not marvelous. Getting back to the action, I believe their situation would be the most common one for lots of people in the case of a real zombie outbreak, because no survivor would be willing to rebuild anything: the human being main goal in that scenario would most probably be surviving no matter what, unfortunately looking a lot like real homeless people, which is a pretty sad but likely situation.

The other good point of this episode is that the human being is a lazy ass son of a bitch that prefers risking his life for stupid things like drugs and alcohol rather than trying to find a real way out of his problems. Looting what once was a fancy country club to find some booze because Beth wanted to have her first drink in life was totally absurd. I agree everyone would be dying for a beer after all they had to go through, but was that really necessary for their survival? Beth said we should all have an objective in life in order to actually live, and she’s right, but that craving for alcohol was way too stupid.

twd412_02Well, they ended up finding some disgusting peach schnapps, and later went to a place Daryl knew (well, it looks like they were not that lost in the end) to have some moonshine and some ridiculous drinking games together. As I mentioned before, they were acting like irresponsible teens, and they were lucky no horde of walkers was around to crash their private party. Beth might be growing as a character and even helping Daryl fight his ghosts from the past, but most of her ideas and decisions this episode were really awful.

And finally, later in the episode, Daryl cries and Beth hugs him from behind, for the total delight (or should I say despair?) of all women that watch the show just because of Daryl. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good scene full of emotion, but again I don’t think it’s time for that. I’m pretty sure every emotional girl is asking if that was the beginning of a great friendship or if it will evolve to something else, right? Personally, I don’t want to believe that the producers are going to create another romantic young couple in the show like Glenn and Maggie to pleasure the female audience, and besides, why didn’t they do it with Dayl when he was getting closer to Carol? Although I consider Emily Kinney a gorgeous woman and enjoy her character, Daryl and Carol seemed a lot more sincere and interesting together. Anyway, now that Daryl and Beth had some fun burning down a house, drinking alcohol and killing walkers, they got a lot closer and are living some kind of “fairytale”. But how long will they be able to survive like that before one of them freaks out or dies? For the sake of the whole show, I hope something (bad) happens to any of them soon.

Still (FULL EPISODE) 

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 410: Inmates

Hitchhikers may be escaping inmates, but The Walking Dead is definitely awesome.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Inmates yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd410_01What an intense an fun episode to watch! After seeing what happened to Rick, Carl and Michonne, we had the pleasure to catch up with the rest of the crew, including some we thought were gone for good, and some new faces that I’m pretty sure the fans of the comics got really excited about. Not only that, what made this episode so cool was that all characters were almost at the same place but in a different time span, showing things are not going to be easy at all for the whole group to rejoin.

First of all, we see the duo of Beth and Daryl alone in the dark, in the middle of the woods, thinking about what happened to the others, what they were going to do by themselves. The beautiful part of this scene was the narration of Beth’s diary by Beth herself, when they first moved to the prison, as if the prison was their new sanctuary, as if there was some hope there. Well, we saw what happened in the mid-season finale and their situation now. However, it seems Beth is still hopeful, that she still believes the others are alive (and she’s right!), and because of her hope Daryl kind of wakes up from his total dismay. “If you don’t have hope, what’s the point of living?”, Beth said.

The next survivors are Tyreese, Lizzie and Mika. Oh, and for our total frenzy, baby Judith is with them! The blood Rick and Carl saw on her baby basket was from Tyreese’s arm, which was still bleeding by the way after all that time. In my opinion, Tyreese had the heaviest burden of all survivors by having to take care of two little girls and a baby, despite the fact that Lizzie killing little bunnies doesn’t make her so weak and fearful as her sister, right? And then, just to make things even more interesting, guess who’s back? The even more fearless Carol! Her one and only fear was the possibility of Tyreese wanting his revenge for Carol killing and setting fire to his girlfriend before being banished from the prison, but as he doesn’t know about that small detail, why bother? Let’s get all together, pretend nothing happened and go to the sanctuary called “Terminus”, which I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea at all. For them, of course, but excellent for the Walking Dead fans!

twd410_02The third batch of survivors is composed by the always beautiful Maggie, the brave Sasha and the wildcard Bob, trying to find Glenn, but ending up facing the prison bus full of walkers. Maggie is about to snap, desperate for not finding Glenn anywhere, but then she sees what’s really going on: Glenn is not there. He probably escaped from the bus and is alive and well somewhere else, which makes her kind of happy. If only she could see where Glenn actually was, she wouldn’t feel that happy…

Because Glenn is still at the prison! He’s not fully recovered from the deadly flu, but he’s a lot better and strong enough to go back into the prison to find something that could help him escape from all the starving walkers outside. He gets his “comics” armor and helmet, a machine gun, and is ready to rumble in the middle of a big herd of zombies trying to bite him at all costs. On his way out, he sees poor Tara alone and hopeless inside a “cage” outside, without caring about anyone, not even about her own life. Fortunately, Glenn wakes her up and they both escape from the prison, and that was probably their farewell to it. From the bottom of my heart, the prison deserves a special tribute for being so strong and important to Rick’s team for a long time.

And finally, they might have escaped unharmed from the prison, but things are not going to get any better to them after meeting the fan-favorite Sergeant Abraham Ford and his crew, formed by the gorgeous Rosita Espinosa and the weird Dr. Eugene Porter. What are they going to do with Glenn and Tara? Are they going to take them to “Terminus”? Will “Terminus” be the new prison? What about Rick, Carl and Michonne, when are they going to meet any of the other survivors? Is it going to be at “Terminus” only? This is going to be awesome without a shadow of a doubt.

Inmates (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 404: Indifference

“The Ministry of Rick and Daryl” warns: drinking and killing innocents will put you into a lot of trouble.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Indifference yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd404_02If we thought the previous episode didn’t have a lot of action, Indifference was even worse. Despite a couple of walkers being killed by Daryl’s crew and only one by Rick, the rest of the episode was based on conversations, decisions and some character development. It wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t a good one either (especially for Carol).

The episode was pretty much divided between Rick and Carol searching for supplies, although that was not what Rick really had in mind when he invited (surprise!) Carol to go with him; and the team composed by a crazy Tyreese, a sociable Michonne, an alcoholic Bob and a badass Daryl also looking for antibiotics and other medication for the people at the prison infected by the deadly virus. And that was it, there was no Carl, no Maggie, Beth, Glenn or any other known character.

In my opinion, the opening dialogue between Rick and Carol was among the best of the entire show: it was just as if they were the top mic workers from professional wrestling “studying” their competitors, focusing on Carol’s decision of killing the infected Karen BEFORE she actually died. When they had that dialogue and I saw Rick’s famous “I’m gonna kill you” face and some knives, I thought that was the end of Carol. Those two extra characters, the guy and girl that were hiding in a bathroom for two days because of one single zombie in pajamas, were used by Rick just to corroborate his original plan: casting Carol out of the group for not being “human” anymore. We all know that might not have been the best decision, because cold-hearted Carol will come back for sure and might be screaming for vengeance, maybe with the Governor by her side. The only thing that’s certain is that Rick doesn’t want Carol close to his son and daughter or close to anyone else at the prison, and he will kill her for sure if she tries to get back.

twd404_01Regarding the other group looking for medication, what we saw was an insane Tyreese trying to commit suicide by releasing some walkers over himself, and looking really desperate because his sister Sasha was going to be dead soon. Michonne tried to give him some advice on what to do and what not to do when you’re angry, about the horrible consequences of using anger as your only reason for anything, but she was caught by Tyreese when he asked her about her chase for the Governor. I might be wrong, but Michonne is probably just acting like a good girl until she finally puts her hands (and sword) on the Governor, and Tyreese kind of noticed that. He’s not going to be stupid to try stopping her, but the message he was trying to send to Michonne was “you got your business, I got mine.”

And finally, there’s that alcoholic idiot, Bob. He’s so sloppy and not focused that it’s hard to believe he has survived for so long. Daryl and Michonne know he’s trouble, we all saw he was the one responsible for the “zombie rain” on the 30 Days Without an Accident episode, he didn’t get any medication in his bag for the infected just to get a stupid bottle of whisky, so what else needs to happen for the group to get rid of that moron? He will do more shit, that’s for sure. Let’s just hope no one we like gets killed because of him, and also that next episode has more action and less talking.

Indifference (FULL EPISODE) 

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 403: Isolation

Tyreese goes crazy and Carol finally does “something”. Oh, and there were over 7,500 walkers!

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Isolation yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_s04e03_01Although Isolation might not have had as much action as the two previous episodes, there was a lot of improvement in terms of the storyline for some characters, especially for Tyreese and Carol. And that mega-herd of walkers was amazing! I’m hoping it will head to the prison before everybody leaves, and then we’ll see if those fences will be able to hold over 7,500 zombies eager for some human flesh! While that doesn’t happen (if that happens), let’s discuss about each relevant item of this episode and what to expect for the next one.

First of all, I’m happy to see that Tyreese is finally becoming more important for the whole story. In my opinion, he was a bit lost in the low-card before the end of the Infected episode, but now with the death of his beloved Karen and the likely death of his sister Sasha he’s moved to the mid-card and will probably play a crucial role in the next few episodes, just like everyone else in the show that either takes an unexpected decision or simply goes crazy (or both, which is his case). He’s at least more violent now: he punched Rick in the face, threatened Daryl, and killed dozens of zombies with just a small hammer (being crowned as the “zombie killer of the week”), things that no one was expecting from an easy-going guy like him before.

Then we have Hershel, the most clearheaded character of all, trying to help as many people as possible putting himself into a lot of danger by getting exposed to the deadly virus. I bet everyone got worried about Glenn being one of the infected, but the way Beth and Maggie reacted to Hershel’s decision made me think that we won’t probably see our wise elderly friend for too long. Hershel gave us a lot of “clues” about his ending, with those speeches about making choices and risking your life for this or that reason. Let’s just hope he’s “wrong” about it and we can see him until the end of this season, because when he’s gone it will be a huge mess for the rest of the group.

Carl not killing two zombies and Rick’s gratuitous violence were also great improvements to their characters, but the most shocking development last night was with no doubt what happened to Carol. I’m sure no one saw that coming! Everybody was thinking about Dr. S or that other black dude being responsible for killing and setting fire to those two bodies, but Carol? What happened to her? The Walking Dead’s “Jamie Lee Curtis” suddenly revealed herself as a cold-hearted person, or at least she has become that within the past few episodes. I honestly don’t know what Rick will do about Carol’s actions or what will happen to her, but at least we can celebrate she has finally done “something relevant” to the show after so many episodes being almost useless.

twd_s04e03_02And last but not least, there was that amazing mega-herd of zombies blocking the super-team’s way to the hospital! The sequence of the car accelerating over the heads of some walkers and the following fighting scenes were pretty cool, and as I said it was awesome to see a fierce zombie-killer Tyreese in action. However, did you notice why over 7,500 walkers and a lot of killing were added to that scene all of a sudden? Think about it: Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne and the other black dude were all paying attention to that weird radio transmission about a “sanctuary” a few seconds before the action started, but nobody could actually reason anymore about it when the massive herd of zombies appeared. Will they remember to tell about it to Rick when they get back to the prison? What the hell was that? Is it going to be their true salvation, or maybe it’s just part of a gruesome ambush being prepared by the Governor?

Oh, I almost forgot about a VERY important part of the whole thing: right after last night’s episode, there was the nice show Talking Dead, but unfortunately this time with Marilyn Manson as one of the guests. It was a torture for anyone with at least two neurons working listening to what that stupid motherfucker was mumbling all the time. That freak is an annoying joke! The person responsible for inviting him to the show should be fired! I’d rather be eaten by a zombie than watching one more minute of Marilyn Manson talking again, and thumbs up to the host Chris Hardwick for being able to handle that fuckin’ idiot so well in the end.

Isolation (FULL EPISODE)