The Walking Dead Roundtable 4.15 “Us”

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Hosted by Jeannie Chan

It’s been a slow-going during the second half of the season. Even with this one episode before the season finale, things don’t get revved up too much. Boundaries get tested, priorities get shifted, and the various groups of survivors continue towards Terminus. Read on for our reactions to this week’s episode.

Rob: Great episode. It had everything: adventure, suspense, cars, a rabbit, double crossbows, Rick, romance, Daryl, bad guys setting boundaries, Eugene being mildly clever, leg wounds, and Glenn making questionable decisions for love.

Jeannie: I don’t know if I would say that it was a great episode.. and as much as I default to favoring episodes that have a lot of Daryl and/or Glenn screentime, I feel like Daryl’s scenes have been completely out of character. Like you said in an earlier discussion, Daryl has always been depicted as a strong character who can withstand pretty much anything but once he gets paired up and bonds with Beth, and she gets taken away, he becomes completely unraveled. Which is entirely understandable, and would make a lot more sense had there been more time to develop this dynamic.

Jeannie: But not gonna lie, my heart did flips when Glenn and Maggie were reunited.

Rob: Eugene postulates that the dinosaurs may have also died out from a zombie infection outbreak. Imagine it: zombie T-Rexes with their tiny, flailing arms. But, er, are we to then assume that meteors later came down and hit all dinosaurs in the head to re-kill them off?

Jeannie: I like how after saying this, no one seems to doubt Eugene’s credibility.

Jeannie: Also, can someone have a conversation with Tara about her being a lesbian without making it incredibly sleazy and creepy or weird? I mean, come on!

Rob: Glenn sees a note from Maggie’s group and runs (solo) up ahead. This was great thinking, seeing as how this whole area is 100% safe, right?

Jeannie: Haha, logic has no place here, especially when it comes to such an epic love story like theirs!

Rob: I feel like this Rick/Carl/Michonne scene is extraneous. We’ve seen Carl and Michonne being playful before, and this scene only seems to be in here as sort of a waypoint of where they are (we come back to the candy wrapper later) and to let us see Rick’s reaction to Michonne and Carl acting like normal, silly people. What are the odds Rick and Michonne will get together later on? Bonding with someone’s kids is a powerful aphrodisiac, right?

Jeannie: Ugh, don’t even jinx it, Rob. That scenario is so preposterous that it’s actually highly likely. I didn’t think this scene was necessary at all either. We’ve definitely seen enough of Carl and Michonne bonding. I feel like all the times that I asked the Powers That Be to humanize Michonne have come back to bite me in the ass.

Rob: One does not simply claim Daryl’s rabbit.

Jeannie: I feel like there should be way more blood gushing and squirting out of that freshly killed rabbit when they’re tossing it around like that.

Rob: I almost like Joe. I feel like in the right circumstances he might be an OK guy. Still, I’m not sure why his band of misfits actually listen to him. Anyway, this is our first introduction to the “claimed” rule. Sound familiar to anyone? The guy who pounced on the bed Rick was hiding under had “claimed” it. The rule didn’t seem so powerful then, since it caused a fight. I also like that the Internet is now calling Joe “King Solomon” for cutting the rabbit in half. And one more thing: one of them comments about how the back half of a rabbit is still half of a rabbit–isn’t that where most of the meat is? Why did they make that sound like a consolation prize?

Rob: “Ain’t nothin’ sadder than an outdoor cat that thinks he’s an indoor cat.” This is true, but why is Joe trying so, so hard to keep Daryl with the group? Does he sense that Daryl is a person he can actually befriend or talk to about philosophy and being a badass without having to knife him? Because they really need to knife the other guys.

Jeannie: I would lean more towards the theory that Joe senses that it would be better to have Daryl on his side than not. Daryl is a legit threat and I suppose the best way to neutralize him right now is to brainwash him with all these rules and get him to see that he’s cut from the same cloth as them.

Rob: Glenn gives his armor away and then decides to go into a dark walker-filled tunnel rather than go around it and actually make sure he stays alive. Clearly love continues to make men stupid, even in the apocalypse.

Jeannie: To be fair, Maggie following the tracks to Terminus on blind faith that Glenn will be there is also kind of stupid.

Rob: Okay, I don’t buy that you can shoot down the ceiling of a tunnel with a small supply of bullets. Tunnel walls/ceilings are made of thick cement and reinforced with metal, aren’t they? I don’t think bullets would cave it in. The bullets would get lodged instead! But I’ll let this go for the sake of the overall plot. Still, really great set piece, with zombie arms coming out of rubble and basically creating a living barrier for Glenn and Tara to climb over.

Jeannie: There is absolutely no way shooting at the ceiling could have caused that cave in. I think leaving this Wall of Zombies unexplained would have been less confusing than this flimsy excuse.

Rob: Eugene has traversed journeys “both real and virtual.” Are you actually telling Rosita that navigating a video game map qualifies you to drive around a state you’re not from during the apocalypse? Seriously? Why did Rosita actually give in? Again, I’ll let that go for the sake of furthering the plot, but, come on.

Jeannie: Bah, I refuse to be so forgiving of these gaping plot holes and inconsistencies just for the sake of furthering the plot. What plot?!

Rob: Did Joe plant the rabbit on Daryl in order to instigate the argument with Len and get Len out of the picture? (He “saw him do it”?) It sounds like Joe does not take kindly to lying and deceit, and it sounds like Len has pushed those boundaries before. But I guess there’s no evidence that it was Joe.

Jeannie: I don’t trust Joe for a second. But I think the rules that this group abide by contrasts pretty nicely with the way the others have been trying to maintain some sort of civilized existence. This whole notion of claiming things seems fitting for a group of vagabonds. I have no idea what kind of people these men are but the showrunners are making it very hard for us not to see them as criminals.

Jeannie: Also, is it weird that I noticed that the two men of color in this group (the first one being the one who was choked to death back in the house) both wore bandanas? Like, why was that a decision that the stylists/wardrobe people made?

Rob: Tara, why did you, with a busted ankle, follow Glenn over zombie-infested rocks? Did you think that would go well? When she got stuck and Glenn had to make a decision, for a split second I thought he might bolt or stab her in the head out of pity or something. But that would seem out of character.

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Rob: Aw, Glenn and Maggie are reunited, because they were somehow right in front of Glenn’s group. This didn’t feel as powerful to me as I’d hoped, maybe because I’ve been certain this would happen since the half-season began. And, no, don’t burn the photo. Maggie, how can you guarantee you’ll never leave Glenn again when you were just recently separated due to forces outside of your control?

Rob: Daryl almost putting the blanket over Len’s dead body was a nice callback to the conversation he had with Beth. I guess he realized Len didn’t deserve the respect, though.

Rob: Hm. Interesting that Joe’s group sees Rick as the villain. I guess from their perspective he was just some jerk who killed their friend and sicced his zombie remains on them for no good reason. To Rick, he felt he was in mortal danger if he had been caught. But did Rick really need to leave the bathroom door open for when the man he killed turned? He probably could have escaped without having done that. Though I don’t know how they would have reacted to Michonne and Carl making it home. They went nuts for Michonne’s shirt when they found it.

Jeannie: So judging by how they reacted to seeing her shirt, I think we have a pretty clear idea of what they would have attempted to do had Michonne and Carl made it back to the house. We see Rick’s decision to sic the zombie on these men who had made thinly veiled intentions to rape someone that he cares about and was in no physical condition to defend as an act of…. heroism, I guess? Point is, we don’t bat an eye. We accept it. I don’t think these men see Rick as a villian, per se. I think they generally operate on the belief that everyone is an enemy. Anyone can be killed or claimed. twd0415-2162.jpg.jpg

Rob: Terminus has no security except for a closed gate? They have one woman outside making breakfast with no one on watch with her? And she doesn’t even turn around right away? I read somewhere that the only people who don’t need a strong defense are the people you need to defend from. Something is definitely off here. And why is Mary so calm when being approached by behind by a group of strangers? I mean, how often can groups make it to Terminus? Shouldn’t she be excited or nervous? She seems like she may have been expecting them. And what’s she grilling? We haven’t seen many animals left…

Jeannie: Of course her name is Mary. There better not be a Joseph here. [Sidebar: It’s Lieutenant Yar from Star Trek!]

Rob: Theory on Mary: she’s actually a perfectly fine person who’s so calm because Terminus has a vast supply of Valium.

 

  • breezey77

    I love these recaps/roundtables! Best on the web!