The Walking Dead: “Claimed” Review
The Walking Dead has never been known as a show that has figured out how to get it’s pacing down. In the reality of the show, it feels natural as it matches how things go in real life. Our day to day things are exciting and then we go though lulls of less intense moments. Shows don’t have the same luxury. People turn to television to see a story unfold and hat means it needs to meet beats in pacing. After the character focused episodes in the mid season premiere and the fast paced feeling of last episode, this episode felt unsure of itself. It bumbled through a series of high tension and moments of slow burn. That said, it was a good episode that propelled some of our characters down the roads they needed to go.
In the last episode we met Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene, but we didn’t get to see much of their characters. This week we got right into their characters, although at the end of the day we didn’t learn anything about them. The cold open of Abraham assisting Tara as they took out walkers was great. Abraham seems to revel in this new world order and enjoys it. While all the other characters go through killing walkers as though it is a painful business that they must do. Abraham goes through killing the walkers with a smile on his face. The apocalypse brings out different things in everyone. For Abraham that is happiness taking out walkers as he is the one that is still alive. That said, it would have been nice if we learned anything else about him. Or anyone from this new group as they are mostly blank slates currently.
Glenn doesn’t seem overly mad that Tara let Abraham and the crew take care of him. He’s more frustrated that he’s now a 3 hour drive away from the prison bus. In Glenn’s mind that is three hours too far from finding Maggie. Glenn currently has a one track mind and nothing is going to stop him. Abraham’s speech about Maggie probably being dead already isn’t enough to deter him. Even learning that Eugene supposedly knows what caused the plague isn’t enough for Glenn to stick around.
Considering Abraham’s motley crew, I’d be weary as well. Abraham tries to use reason to keep Glenn with the group, but Glenn’s response is a punch to the face. It was funny that Eugene felt the need to rather than informing the others that walkers were approaching, but attempt to handle it himself. Instead of taking out the approaching walkers, he just ended up shooting the massive vehicle they were riding in. Eugene may be saying that he’s some scientist with answers, but he’s coming off as an awkward hazard to the group. That said, it was bold of Eugene to state that he was smarter than Abraham, when he suggested they follow Glenn.
The other story the episode highlighted had a focus on the surrogate family of Michonne, Carl, and Rick. When they are together things feel very happy. They are a family that is part blood, part adopted. This episode had the most laughter I’ve seen in any episode of this show. A lot of it seemed to center around the dynamic of Michonne and Carl. Michonne made the decision to live and it really shows as she laughs with Carl. Even after Carl shut down when he reminded himself of Judith, Michonne did her best to cheer him up. Sure her way of cheering him up was ather silly as she tried to just fill her mouth with crazy cheese.
Michonne didn’t just lighten up this episode, but she also opened up. She confided in Carl about her 3 year old son Andre Anthony. It was the first time we really got to see Michonne talking about her past. While she was reluctant and scared of opening up, she sa this helped bring Carl out of his depression a bit. It will be interesting to learn more about Michonne’s past. It was fitting that it was Carl who she chose to open up to as he was always the one she felt closest to. Michonne sees Carl as someone she needs to protect,some one she cares about. In many ways, Rick and Carl have become a surrogate family for her. It made sense that she would keep Carl from seeing the bedroom with the family who killed themselves in it. It was creepy that it was the entire family in that little girl’s pink bedroom. Not showing Carl was her way of protecting him and keeping him from seeing things that he doesn’t need to. In many ways, Carl is becoming like her adopted son.
Rick was going through his own misadventures as Michonne and Carl were out scouting. Some rough looking and sounding intruders entered the home while Rick dozed, forcing him to hide under the bed. The tension in this scene was great as the men shouted for each other and kept moving in and out of Rick’s view from under the bed. When a scuffle ensued between two of the men over who could sleep in the bed, things reached a new height of tension. The man on the ground noticed Rick under the bed and tried to say something. Thankfully, the other other man managed to complete his sleeper hold and knocking the guy out. Rick’s escape from the house was a fun game of cat and mouse as he tried to find a way out without the men noticing him. When he was backed into a room, he had to kill a man to remain hidden. Escaping through the window, for a minute it seemed doubtful that he could get off the land without being noticed. To make things worse, he spotted Michonne and Carl heading back at that moment.They were all lucky when the man Rick killed reanimated and stole the attention of the intruders.