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The Walking Dead Recap 4×11, “Claimed”

Petition to make "Doctor Mullet" Eugene's official name.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.40.17 AM

In this episode, we get some more bonding time between Carl and Michonne, and I have a new character to hate! Guess which one I’m thinking of right now. Go on, guess. Hint: he wears a mullet and he’s an idiot.

Last time on The Walking Dead, everyone went around trying to find each other post-prison break. Rick, Carl, and Michonne are in one group; Beth and Daryl are in another; Tyrese, Lizzie, Mika, and Judith all met up; Bob, Sasha, and Maggie went looking for Glenn; and Glenn broke his way out of the prison wearing riot gear with Tara and met up with a bunch of people who I’m told are dead-on-balls accurate versions of comic book characters that everyone’s been waiting to see forever.

We open on a bunch of walkers who are literally chasing after a deflated balloon that’s been tied to a stop sign. Awww, zombies! You’re so silly. The truck we saw in the last scene drives by and they stop to go chase that instead, because deep down zombies are just really bloodthirsty terrifying puppies. Tara, who’s sitting in the back of the truck, goes to shoot them until she’s told not to by the redheaded guy. He then jumps out of the driver’s side and stabs them all in the face with a crowbar. “Look at you, you’re a damn mess,” he says patronizingly to the remaining female walker, and then that one gives him trouble and he curses a bunch of times while trying to subdue her. Ha. Okay, I like this character so far.

Tara calls him out for smiling while he dispatched with the three walkers, and Abraham, whose name I’m guessing using very scientific deduction techniques (I looked up on Google),  gives her this look:

walking dead

“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” he says. Wait, what? Now I am fascinated by you, sir. Please don’t be too big a psychopath or something.

Carl is eating cereal with Michonne, who’s wearing a giant button-down. “Do you have something to say about my extremely comfortable and attractive shirt?” she says to Carl when he starts laughing. Carl, here is a thing you need to learn: don’t make fun of women in oversized tops. We are usually too tired to be nice to you and we can also smother you with them if we so choose.

Michonne sits back down having tied the shirt up all sexy-like, and I mourn for the loss of her big shirt. She, in turn, mourns for the severe lack of soy milk in this house, and she and Carl have a touching moment where they talk about how soy milk is definitely the worst and Michonne is super wrong on this onebut then Carl starts to bring up how he’d rather be drinking Judith’s formula and excuses himself from the table abruptly to feel bad about stuff.

Rick’s in the kitchen feebly opening and closing drawers, and thanks Michonne for making Carl laugh in there. Guess he didn’t hear the end of that discussion, huh. Michonne announces that she’s through with keeping herself at an emotional distance from other people, and then asks Rick about his plan — “Is this home or just a stop along the way?” Rick does not know the answer to that question, but they need supplies in the meantime, so Michonne and Carl head out while Rick stays behind to rest. They’re not out of the house two minutes before he hurts himself moving the couch. Hey, just like a real dad!

Michonne tries to cheer Carl up while they’re searching and pulls out what she calls “Crazy Cheese” from her bag. Girl, did you go to the Idris Elba school for learning how to make weird phrases sexy? Because that sounded more appetizing than anything called “Crazy Cheese” has any right to be. Carl isn’t having any of it and doesn’t want to talk about his feelings, so Michonne has herself some cheese instead. I swear she makes a sound just like a walker when she’s spraying it into her mouth.

michonne crazy cheese

“Are you not entertained?”

Acting like a walker seems to be her intent, as she refuses to open her mouth and makes another gross noise at Carl. He’s not having it.

cheeze 2

“Buh whama guhdo wifaw dischee?”

She apologizes for her lame joke and Carl tells her that he was laughing on the inside. She was always really good with toddlers, she casually adds, and when Carl perks up at this, Michonne finally admits that she had a three year old son in the before-times, who “happened to find her extremely funny.” The fact that she’s actually able to make light about it is weirdly heartwarming. Carl, of course, being Carl, starts asking very invasive questions about why she never told him and what his name was, and she makes a game out of it by telling him that she’ll only answer one question per room they clear.

Meanwhile, Rick wakes up to angry male voices and somebody getting attacked. He immediately jumps under the bed and waits it out as a pair of shoes walks in to investigate. I want to guess that it’s Tara from the flared jeans and the giant gun. She’s almost out of the room when she decides to turn back around and lay on the bed. Great.

Michonne’s son’s name was Andre Anthony, we find out. She only had him, and he was a handful, just like Carl. Ha ha. He died after “everything happened,” and Rick doesn’t know about it because she’d never told anyone but Carl. The secret’s safe with Carl, he says, and she replies that it’s not really a secret. Then she goes to unwrap the painting they found and it looks like this.

painting

Judging by Michonne’s previous taste in artwork, I suppose we can also define this as “pedestrian.”

Hoo boy. Cue the scary music as Michonne wanders through the house with her hand on her katana until she comes to a pair of little kids rooms, complete with a bunch of dead child corpses. Like, a bunch. And also a mother. She runs out just as Carl finds her and he assumes there’s a baby in there, which is why she looks freaked as hell and won’t tell him why. “It’s a dog,” she lies.

Carl bows his head. He got to name Judith, he tells Michonne. “Maybe her and Andre are together somewhere.” It’s actually incredibly touching.

Speaking of incredibly touching, Rick is still stuck under the bed with some dude’s ass digging into the mattress underneath him. The person is snoring like a monster so I’m going to go ahead and change my theory that it might be Tara because that is definitely a very manly snore. He’s about to slide himself out from under the bed when another pair of much more dangerous-looking shoes comes in to talk to Not-Tara. They start fighting over the bed and get into a fist fight, which ends with one of them being strangled inches away from Rick’s face. On the plus side, he never got to reveal Rick’s hiding place before passing out. On the other hand, now he’s got a much bigger and angrier dude crushing him in place under that bed. Wheee.

We cut back to Glenn waking up in a close-up. He’s in the truck with Tara and Abraham, and starts to panic because now he has no idea how he’s going to be able to find Maggie. On top of that, they’ve already passed the bus three hours ago and all Tara saw were a bunch of dead people, so now Glenn doesn’t know what to believe because he can’t confirm that any of them were Maggie. He tries to get Abraham to stop the truck. It does not go so well for him.

abraham

But Tara pitches in, and finally Glenn gets their attention by trying to take the window out with the butt of his gun. He starts to leave the truck and Abraham refuses to let him leave, because the only way they’re going to survive is if they stick together and the fate of the whole human race might depend on it. Why? Because Eugene over there is actually a real live scientist who knows how the walker plague started. He’s on his way to Washintgon D.C. to try to, I don’t know, fix stuff. And of course that information is all classified.

Glenn is not impressed. Look at how unimpressed he is.

glenn

If it were Tara that these guys were trying to stop from leaving then I’d be concerned that this is some sort of 28 Days Later repopulate-the-Earth kinda bullshit, but Abraham seems genuinely concerned for The Mission. Apparently they’d been in touch with people from D.C. before this and only lost contact a few weeks ago, and want Glenn around because he is just the best at stabbing walkers in the face. Glenn continues to not be interested and Tara follows suit, because she’ll basically trust anybody who rescues her, I guess. So then Abraham tries to convince him that he’ll probably never see Maggie again anyway, so he should try to do something with his life instead. Glenn responds by punching Abraham right in his face and sending him straight to the ground. God damn it you guys, Glenn is the best. I would like a boyfriend like that, please. Bring one to me now.

Abraham does not take kindly to getting punched and tackles Glenn to the ground. Rosita and Tara try to pry them apart while Eugene, who I will now be calling Doctor Mullet for the rest of ever, looks on with a vacant look on his face. Are we sure he’s a real scientist, you guys? On the plus side, he notices a bunch of walkers coming and grabs a gun that he very clearly does not know how to use after the feeblest attempt ever to get everyone’s attention. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this depiction of scientists, you guys. They’re not this stupid.

So Doctor Mullet lets a spray of bullets out into the truck because he’s a giant moron and hits the gas tank in the process. Yup, let’s entrust the fate of the human race to this mouth-breather. That will go really well.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.51.55 AM

He’s NOT EVEN LOOKING IN ANY DIRECTION THAT’S USEFUL.

Back underneath the scary man, Rick is once again trying to slide his way out. There are noises outside the room, but I guess he figures no one wants to wake whoever’s in his bed, so he makes a B-line for one of the kids rooms and waits there while this guy bounces a ball at the wall inches away from his face. Then the guy peels off and goes looking for Scary Man and Rick tries to get a window open, but then overhears the guys talking about how they’ve found some recently washed womens’ clothes and so they’re going to wait for her to come back. As much as I really don’t want this to turn into a rape narrative, I would also really enjoy seeing Michonne decapitate each and every one of these assholes, so now I am very conflicted. Rick is less conflicted and grabs a trophy off the shelf to beat them all over the head with. I suddenly find myself liking Rick for the first time this entire season.

He runs to hide in the bathroom and surprise! There’s already somebody taking a dump in there. He gets the dude in a chokehold, grabs his gun, and heads out the window. Rather than make a break for it, though, he loops his way around the front porch to maybe shoot that ball-bouncing dude in the head.

Back with Abraham. “How the hell did you possibly kill this truck?” he asks Doctor Mullet. “A fully ramped up state and an ignorance of  rapid firing weapons,” Doctor Mullet responds in the dullest monotone I’ve ever heard. We are just going full-on with this stereotype of the vaguely Aspergers genius type, aren’t we.

Glenn and Tara wish them the best and head out, and Rosita follows, saying “What the hell else are we going to do?” “GO TO WASHINGTON,” Abraham replies. Doctor Mullet helpfully points out that the way they’re going is clear and that they can find another vehicle that way. “Trust me, I’m smarter than you,” he finishes smugly. Um, no, I think you categorically are not smarter than the guy who knows not to aim an automatic weapon at your only mode of transportation.

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That is the face of someone who’s just realized that his scientist savior is an idiot.

Finally, Rick sees Michonne and Carl coming up the way, and is juuust about to shoot all those house-stealing rapist assholes in the head when one of them inside turns walker and our three heroes flee instead and head towards what they think might be a sanctuary. Abraham goes on about The Mission some more, and Tara calls him out for assuming to know about whether people are good or not. And then some Western music plays. It’s all very satisfying.

In all seriousness, I’ve been digging this midseason in a big way so far. The character development has been consistent and measured for the first time that I’ve noticed in a long while, and even Rick hasn’t been pissing me off as much as he tends to do. Of course, now there’s Doctor Mullet to be mad at, and he’s not expected to be the main character like Rick is so it’ll be more fun to hate him, I expect. I’m actually looking forward to the next episode this time around. Let’s hope they don’t ruin it for me.

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