The Walking Dead Roundtable, 4.11 “Claimed”

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Hosted by Jeannie Chan

The action slows down just a little bit this week, as Michonne spends some quality time with Carl and we learn more about the new friends Glenn and Tara have made.

Read along as Rob, Nicole, and I share our thoughts and questions that will likely never be answered.

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Jeannie: This Guile lookin dude is enjoying these kills just a little too much. Remember when we used to keep track of gruesome zombie kills per episode? This guy is going to bring that back.

Rob: Well, he is “the luckiest man in the world,” after all.

Nicole: I always seem to forget, this is not the show for movie snacks… stomach turns.

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Jeannie: Michonne likes soy milk, eh? Interesting… I like that they’re playing Carl and Michonne off each other like this. It’s good to see her smiling and joking as if that actually isn’t one of the most-out-of-character thing at all.

Nicole: I also prefer Judith’s formula to soy milk, however Rice Milk is a nice alternative.

Rob: I thought this was a nice conversation that felt like it believably turned sour. I just wish we as the audience didn’t already know Judith is OK—I feel like that knowledge cheapens Carl’s emotional struggle. But Danai Gurira was good here.

Jeannie: I don’t get what Rick means when he says he can’t be Carl’s father and best friend at the same time. What, he can’t afford to share a few laughs with his son? If anything, now more than ever, he needs to be a friend to his son! It’s not like there are other options. Why is it Michonne’s job to help Carl process his feelings?

Rob: I get what he’s saying, but it doesn’t mean he can’t be friendly. Geez.

Jeannie: Right? I mean, I get where he’s coming from but I refuse to accept that a parent can’t both be a strong parental figure (or in Rick’s case, fatherly figure) and still be friendly or nurturing. Think outside this stupid, narrow box, people.

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Jeannie: They sure are taking their time clearing this house for the purpose of playing 20 Questions with Michonne’s life.

Rob: Yeah, it seemed pretty unsafe considering all the stuff that supposedly happened only 1 day previously.

Nicole: Michonne’s so maternal! She’s all like,”Carl is mine!”

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Nicole: Rick has PTSD… again, what’s new. Oh wait, fake me out, his flashback is real. Being under the bed like that looks so unpleasant, especially in his fragile condition.

Jeannie: I also thought he was having a weird auditory flashback, or more realistically, a hallucination, in his condition. I get that with how removed the prison was, it was hard to see many, or any, other survivors in the area but it seems like there are a LOT of random people out there coming out of the woodworks now. Where were all these people when they did supply runs into town?

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Rob: I liked that, without Rick speaking, we could see his thought process as he quickly remembered each item he couldn’t leave in sight.

Jeannie: That’s Lori’s watch he went to grab, right? For a second I thought he was getting it to muffle the sound of the watch ticking, not that that makes a whole lot of sense since it seems like a) he’s breathing rather loudly and b) no one heard him walking and jumping around anyway. But now I realized that he probably grabbed it before these creepos could steal it off the nightstand.

Rob: Go Rick! Way to take out bathroom guy and leave the door open a crack for when he turns. But… what was the guy doing in there? The toilet seat was clearly down and he was fully clothed. Also: no way nobody heard Rick trotting across the roof and dropping down. Every noise in this world should be suspicious.

Jeannie: Ohhh, that’s why he left the door open! And that’s the zombie that they ended up shooting at. Duhhh. Haha, man, I wonder what else I’ve missed watching this show. Good thing I have this roundtable!

Rob: I really liked the stuff with Rick in this episode. This half season so far has highlighted situations in which Rick is powerless or weak, but the scenes in the house showed us that Rick can still think strategically, which has always been his strength—not physical force. Honorary mention to bouncy ball guy for bouncing that ball so horribly annoyingly.

Jeannie: I wish that we could have seen Michonne make it back to the house because you know she could have taken out these cretins. That would have been so immensely satisfying.

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Nicole: I’m not really sure what they are trying to convey here, when Michonne walks into the bedroom, except that Michonne is becoming more human and feeling, and that seeing dead people, especially kids, is super sad.

Rob: I thought it was an important moment. We don’t see too much of how the general population handled the outbreak—we mostly just get brief stories. It’s important for continuing to build the world by glancing at remnants of the past and seeing that not everyone even tried to survive. I mean, that was an entire family that decided to die together rather than brave the horrible things that were happening outside their door. And you know it’s bad when the softer lie to tell is that there’s a dead dog.

Jeannie: I think you both bring up good points. The group has been isolated from the rest of the world for so long, it’s easy to forget that they’re not the only ones left, and no, not everyone chose to live out their lives like this. This isn’t the first family we’ve seen go down this path. But it’s always jarring to see. Who’s to say who made the better decision. And they’re being pretty consistent about this aspect of Michonne’s character: she doesn’t handle seeing babies/young children very well. Ugh, I wonder what exactly happened to Andre. Did he turn? Was he mauled/eaten by zombies? Did she have to kill him to spare him the terrible fate of being a baby zombie? Ughhh.

Nicole: Steven Yeun is so pretty when he sleeps, yes I have a small crush.

Jeannie: Seconded. And I will leave this here:

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Jeannie: I don’t wanna judge anyone based on appearances or anything but you’re telling me that the dude with the mullet is the one who’s going to save everybody? Okay…

Rob: Yeah, they’re not selling him very well as a person who can help anyone at all. Do the writers actually want us to believe he might know how to solve this mess?

Nicole: Whoa! I don’t know if I believe these knuckleheads have the answer to this epidemic, but whoa buddy if they do!

Rob: No one living in this world can possibly go without learning to use a gun—especially if they’re traveling with Abraham. This was really unbelievable. Anyway, death of the week goes to the truck.

Jeannie: Guile, okay fine, Abraham, sounds perfectly reasonable but I don’t trust him for a second. Maybe if it didn’t look as if they’ve been on the road since the early 90s… For one thing, he needs to stop saying he wants to save the world. Delusion of grandeur much?

Nicole: I really wonder the same thing? Is this cartoony crew as deluded as we think?

Rob: I think Abraham just needs some hope to hold on to or a goal to keep him going. We haven’t heard his backstory; maybe he wants to redeem himself for something he’d done.

Jeannie: Yeah, I suppose his way of clinging onto hope isn’t that far-fetched from Hershel or Beth’s constant refrain. It just seems like they’ve been living like this for too long to have this grand idea of salvation. But who knows, we don’t know his backstory, or Eugene’s. Maybe Eugene was really convincing about his supposed knowledge and maybe Abraham just really needed some sort of direction. Time will tell, I guess.

Jeannie: I think Glenn just became the leader of this group. YEAHYUH.

Rob: All roads lead to Terminus, somehow. How did none of the group spot these signs when they were scouting—especially Michonne, when she was on her search for the Governor? They don’t look recent, so they must have been there. I’m interested to see what kind of people they’ll have to contend with when they reach the town. There is no paradise on The Walking Dead.