The Walking Dead Review – Episode 409 (Mid-Season Premiere): After

Carl is growing up, while Michonne goes shopping for new pets.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen After 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_409_01“After” all the killing and devastation from the previous episode, and of course after Rick’s whole crew was split in smaller groups of maximum three people, it was more than expected that the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead yesterday was going to show us what happened to some or all of our beloved characters. Well, the first ones selected were our sheriff Rick, his son/savior Carl, and the badass Michonne, each one going through a complete different journey even being almost in the same place.

Although Rick was almost killed by the Governor and lost Judith to the walkers (or maybe someone else?), I believe Michonne’s path was the most arduous one here. First, our katana girl goes back to the prison in search for either a zombie Governor, a zombie Hershel, or any other zombies or survivors that might still be there after the war. The Governor was dead for good, and any glimpse of hope we might have had to see him as a walker was gone thanks to Lilly shooting him in the head (unfortunately , she didn’t miss the shot). However, Hershel’s head was still there, moving, trying to bite some fresh meat from a living person: a superb job done by Greg Nicotero’s team I should say, but another extremely sorrowful moment in the show. I don’t know which moment was more melancholic: if Michonne having to kill Hershel’s zombie head, or Daryl having to kill his zombie brother in the last season. Anyway, in the middle of all that suffering and destruction, Michonne chose to get back to her basics, which was symbolized by her two new “pets” and by her walking among the living dead as if they meant no danger at all.

That was the original Michonne we all got to know during the show, but then we were able to see a side of her character that everyone has been eager to know since day one: how she became Michonne. Not that she wasn’t Michonne before, but through her nightmare (which was a lot stronger than any flashback) we could see somehow what happened to her, how her life was before the zombie apocalypse, her child, her lover becoming a zombie, her katana mixed with regular kitchen knives, everything showing us how human she used to be. After that nightmare, she was about to go crazy, just wandering around like any walker, but fortunately the vision of a “zombie Michonne” (a zombie walking beside her that kind of resembled her) made her get back to reality, slay a whole herd of walkers, cry a lot, and choose to get back to her previous path with Rick and the others. It was amazing to see her “road to recovery”, and kudos to the awesome Danai Gurira for an outstanding performance.

twd_409_02And then, we have Rick and Carl. Or should I say an almost dead man walking and his angry son? Rick was horribly wounded and beaten, but even so he was worried about Carl and wanted to protect him. The problem is Carl didn’t see that: for him, his dad was pretty much dead, and every atrocity that happened to them and all the others was Rick’s fault. It was sad to see Carl blaming Rick for everything, while the guy was trying to stay alive with all his injuries, but that’s how a relationship between father and son has always been, right?

Anyway, Carl is growing up and becoming a man, facing zombies by himself and fighting as an adult even being just a kid. When he said “I win” to that pile of zombies he killed I’m pretty sure he was saying that to himself and to life in general, trying to prove to the whole world a new man was born. Of course there was that incident with that zombie that got his shoe, and that huge can of chocolate pudding, but we cannot blame him for acting like a teenager sometimes, even if it’s in the middle of a zombie outbreak.

And last but not least, that final scene with Rick moaning and crawling as a walker after being asleep for hours and hours, and Carl crying for not being able to shoot him, was really touching. Of course Rick was not dead and was not a zombie, we all knew that, but the mere thought of having to kill his own father was too much for a kid trying to be a man. Well, some people might ask why he was able to shoot his dead mother in the head, but not Rick, which is a damn good question. In my opinion, Carl couldn’t do it for a very simple reason: Rick is not only his father, but his hero, his protector, and his reason to live. Without Rick there’s no Carl, and vice-versa, and it will be really exciting to see how their relationship will grow in terms of loyalty, respect and love. And that, my friends, is how a boy becomes a real man.

After (FULL EPISODE)

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The Walking Dead Review – Episode 402: Infected

The pigs might be gone, but at least our tough sheriff is back.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Infected 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.

I cannot believe I didn’t see what was actually happening to Greg Patrick last espisode! I thought he had some previous disease and died of natural causes, just as many other people, but it was in fact a new deadly virus like Ebola or the swine flu, a brand new threat to the whole group because it doesn’t matter how you die, you become a walker. I’m sad Greg Patrick won’t be in the show anymore, but happy to know that because of what happened to him there will be even more drama and danger in every episode to the survivors.

twd402_01Last night’s episode, Infected, had a lot of questions without answers, action, tough decisions and intestines (a scene inspired by the movie Day of the Dead, from the zombie master George A. Romero, according to Greg Nicotero), a perfect combination for all TWD fans. There were so many questions left that I can’t wait for next week’s episode to answer some of them: is there really a traitor in the group, the person that was feeding rats to zombies? Or were just those two stupid girls feeding their friend “Nick” in a very innocent (and idiot) way? How long will the prison fence stand still and strong against the increasing number of walkers looking for human flesh (I saw Nicotero saying there will be over 7,500 zombies in the next episode)? Who’s infected by the deadly virus, and who’s not? Is there a cure? How will everybody be able to sleep, knowing anyone can die at any minute and become a zombie inside the prison? Who burned the bodies of the two people that were already infected? How will Tyreese react to the death of his love, and to the presumable death of his sister Sasha, who is also infected by the virus? As I sad, too many questions to be answered.

Then there were the tough decisions, most of them taken by Rick. It was sad seeing Rick throwing those poor little pigs to the zombies to protect the fence from falling down, but at least we got our good old sheriff back. No more farming, no more cropping, it’s time for some action! In my opinion, giving Carl’s gun back to the boy was the best decision he could make, especially because Carl is really good at shooting and can help saving many people. Moreover, how many lives has he already saved since he got his gun? As far as I can remember, he saved Rick, Michonne (a couple of times), his sister Judith, Maggie, among others. A boy with a gun will have serious consequences to the whole story, of course, probably most of them for good. And I’m pretty sure Carl will put on his sheriff hat back now, that little badass.

twd402_02The most touching scene in this episode was seeing Michonne crying when holding Judith in her arms. Why was she crying? Did she have a baby a couple of years ago? Did she lost a baby? Did walkers eat her baby? Another important question to be answered soon, I hope. Michonne is becoming more and more human, and less that tough super-woman from the previous season, but I don’t know how this can be good for the group. Well, I personally prefer her chopping zombie heads with her sword than carrying a baby, but the producers know what they are doing. And before I forget, it was nice seeing Beth singing I Don’t Want to Grow Up to Judith. I’m not a fan of Tom Waits, but I love The Ramones version. Lucky baby, anyway!

Stupid humans, thousands of walkers, a deadly virus, a decaying prison… What else can make their lives even more miserable and the show more interesting to us? Will there be any more surprises this season? And again, where the hell is the Governor? I guess when he returns he will kick some serious ass. It’s going to be totally brutal, and awesome.

Infected (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 401: 30 Days Without an Accident

It’s raining zombies! Hallelujah!

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen 30 Days Without an Accident 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_s04e01_rickFinally, AMC’s The Walking Dead is back! And it was worth waiting for season 4 premiere this Sunday after all those months watching movies and TV series where we had to see people dying but not coming back as zombies… so boring!

Similarly to what happened in previous seasons, the first episode of season 4 didn’t start exactly at the same time where season 3 ended. Moreover, it also summarized what Rick’s group has been doing since they rescued all those people from Woodbury: cropping some food for everybody, reading for children, going hunting, and of course, trying to keep all the flesh-eating zombies away from the prison. We are introduced to some new faces, some not so new as Greg (from Everybody Hates Chris) Patrick, Daryl is now the “official” badass of the group, and we see a more sociable Michonne. And the zombies are getting better and better, as the one Rick stares at TWICE due to his bloody eyes, which by the way was an amazing job done by Greg Nicotero’s team.

Then there were many specific elements that made this season 4 premiere so interesting! Let’s start with that crazy woman that looked like the mother of that girl from the movie The Ring. She was a total lunatic, surviving somehow in the woods close to the prison, and feeding what once was her husband with anything she managed to find, including people. At first I thought they were going to introduce some cannibals to the show, which is something that happens in the comics, but that woman was just plain crazy. Well, at least there was a reason for that: Rick was able to see himself in her, when he was getting insane after Lori’s death, and that freaked him out so much that we won’t probably see the “crazy” Rick again in the show.

The second item that deserves our attention is the way the children are growing inside the prison: they’re becoming cold-hearted kids, without any fear of the zombies or death, and we see that in many different ways, like when the smaller kids are giving names to the zombies at the fence, when Carol starts teaching some kids how to use a knife to kill zombies and/or people, or when Beth simply ignores the fact that her boyfriend (what happened to her relationship with Carl?) became an afternoon snack while on a mission. The only thing Beth does about that is changing a Days Without Accident/Injury sign (where did she find that?) from 30 to zero. If this is not having a heart of stone, I really don’t know what is.

twd_s04e01_zombies_humansThird, that spectacular scene with the “zombie rain” is what every TWD fan wants to see in the show. In my opinion, it was the BEST “zombies vs. humans” fight of the entire series. Not even the zombie invasion when they were at the barn was so cool! The zombies falling from the rotten roof, hitting the floor so hard some were even losing parts of their bodies, but still seeking for human flesh, was one of those things that reminds us why this show is the best on TV today. What about that zombie that was hung by his entrails? I hope they add more gory scenes like that to future episodes. I just don’t know how they can be more creative than this Sunday, though. It was literally raining zombies! Hallelujah!

And last but not least, more important than anything else is what happens to Greg Patrick at the end of the episode, showing us that the biggest threat now resides inside the prison. I’m not going to say anything else about it, in case you haven’t seen the scene, but while watching it I couldn’t stop thinking about two things: first the movie Fido, an excellent zombie movie (shot in Canada, by the way) that has the exact same issue as the start of all its action; and second, I know TWD is a horror/action TV series, but it would have been totally awesome if the last scene (the last 5 seconds of it) had in the background the same audio that played at the end of every single episode from Chris Rock’s amazing TV series: Everybody haaaaaaates Chriiiis…

And where the hell is the Governor?

30 Days Without an Accident (FULL EPISODE)