Since ‘The Walking Dead’ returned from it’s mid-season hiatus, it’s had a bit more of a ‘Game of Thrones’ vibe to it. Except, you know, with zombies. Since the group from the prison has been split up and are all over the map at the moment, we’re now following a number of small groups as they each attempt to stay alive during this apocalypse while keeping the thought in the back of their heads that they should try to find everyone else. The first episode of this season followed Carl, Rick, and Michonne, and then during last week’s episode, we caught up with the rest of the survivors including Glenn, Daryl, Tyreese, and even Carol. We were even introduced to some new characters played by Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, and Christian Serratos. Now, we get a little mix as this week’s episode combined a few of the stories from both episodes and showed up what some of our favorites are made of (in some cases, literally).
This week’s episode titled ‘Claimed’ picks up where the previous episode left off. After fighting off some walkers, Glenn passed out as Tara was introduced to the mysterious new trio of Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, and Dr. Eugene Porter. Realizing that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to just wait there on the side of the road, Tara took Glenn into the back of Abraham’s truck and joined them on their mission to Washington. But when Mr. Maggie Greene comes to, he has a few choice words for the military man and his mates. Three hours back down the road, Carl learns some surprising new things about his friend Michonne while they’re on the hunt for more food after they leave Rick at home to heal. But his nap is interrupted when a roving band of marauders make their way into the house and the former sheriff has to evade the invaders.
My favorite part of this episode was hands down Glenn’s reaction to being away from Maggie because I’m a little bit of a romantic. Even in a zombie apocalypse, true love lives on. Sure, he’s interrupting Abraham’s mission that could potentially save the whole world, but what good is the world without the people who make it worthwhile? Plus, what do Glenn and Tara really know about this new group anyway? They don’t really have a reason to trust them and they have no way of knowing that what they’re saying is true.
Speaking of the new characters, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita come with a little bit of comedy, which isn’t really something that you expect from this show. Considering that ‘The Walking Dead’ isn’t exactly a sitcom, there aren’t too many funny moments, but based on the interactions between Eugene and Abraham after the walker attack, I sense that we’ll get a few more chuckles than we would have gotten before. Plus, when Abraham said, “Son of a dick!”, I probably laughed more than I should have, so hopefully we keep getting even more colorful phrases out of him as his time on the show progresses.
On the other side of the episode, there were some great Rick moments while he was trying to avoid being seen by the ‘Sons of Anarchy’ types that barged in on his recovery time. While I enjoyed Carl’s education on Michonne’s past, I was simply more invested in what was happening with Rick because every move he made was more suspenseful than the one before it. Also, it was pretty genius when he killed the guy on the toilet and left the door open after climbing out the window. I can’t think of a better form of revenge for making them leave the house by leaving a walker trap for those gangbangers.
Just like the episodes preceding this one did, this installment continued to breathe a new life into this acclaimed post-apocalyptic drama. While there have been some pretty awesome episodes since the first season, I don’t think we’ve gotten such consistency in quality in some time. So far, thinks are going very well under Scott Gimple’s watch and I hope it continues, especially if it means more fully amped-up states and an ignorance of rapid-firing weapons.
‘The Walking Dead’ starring Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yuen, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, and Danai Gurira airs Sundays at 9:00pm on AMC.