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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Walking Dead 4x15: Us

This episode began with Sergeant Abraham and his crew, Tara and Glenn walking the railroad tracks. Glenn, not having said anything, sees a message from Maggie to go to Terminus and then breaks into a dead sprint. I believe I've made this point before but that scene really crystallized for me how Glenn and Maggie’s characters are solely defined by their relationship.

Glenn’s lone motivation is to be with Maggie. Maggie’s lone motivation is to be with Glenn. Other than that all I can say is…they’re relatively nice people? I guess?

Glenn’s single minded focus to find Maggie this episode certainly was consistent with his character. As well as his him being blind to the fact that he was taking advantage of Tara’s guilt. Even entering a clearly-too-dangerous-to-traverse tunnel was in character because it was all about finding Maggie.

When Glenn and Maggie finally united it was supposed to be a big moment. It was supposed to be an emotional climax to this second-half-of-the-season arc. It was supposed to make me feel something. I didn't. I just didn't care.

The reason I didn't care is because, while it’s been made abundantly clear that they love each other, I've never actually seen why they love each other. What makes them compatible? In fact, when I think back, it seems like they got together more due to a lack of alternatives than anything else. I certainly was happy to see a conclusion to a running plotline but, in the end, Glenn and Maggie’s relationship is a MacGuffin and little else.

Other Thoughts:
Meanwhile, Daryl is hanging out with Joe and his band of rogues. Apparently, all you need to do to keep a gang of ruffians in line is to keep the dibs rule sacred. That logic seems…dubious at best.

I’m not sure what Daryl’s end game is. I understand the notion that hanging out with these guys may be better than going it alone but I would've liked some indication that he has some plan to look for Beth. Or did he give up on her?

How did the other rabbit hunter sneak up on Daryl? Shouldn't Daryl be more aware of his surroundings?

I’ll certainly be among the mad men if Daryl ends up breaking bad after finding out Rick took part in the killing at the house Joe and his gang were staying in. I hope Daryl doesn't cross the Rubicon and send Rick to hell...........on wheels?

I did have to rethink the scene of Rick in the house. Was Rick murdering the guy in the bathroom warranted? I'm still unsure.

Glenn seemed awfully confident that he’d be able to spot a zombie Maggie amongst a mob of walkers in a dark tunnel.

Speaking of the tunnel, shooting a gun in there must be very loud. I hope everyone’s hearing is OK!

Sergeant Abraham seemed to indicate they had two options: walk through the tunnel or walk around it. Apparently another unspoken option was to acquire a car and drive around the tunnel.

I will say that this was a strong episode for Eugene. He reminds me of a smart Kenny Powers. He’s fun. Eugene and Sergeant Abraham have been strong additions to the show. I’m not saying Rosita couldn't also be a strong addition but she'll need to actually do something first.

Mary, the woman at Terminus, is played Denise Crosby. Let’s hope she steers clear of alien mud monsters!

6 comments:

  1. For the most part, I liked this ep more than a lot of the others this season. Plot movement, however infinitesimal, will do that for me, I suppose.

    I probably care more about Maggie and Glenn's relationship more than you do (though certainly not a LOT more), mainly because, their self-centeredness for their own relationship aside, they seem like the two nicest characters left on the show, which on this show means they have a big giant target on their back.

    So I was glad when Glenn refused to abandon Tara, because I'm pretty sure everyone else (except maybe Rick) would have (and because the show itself would probably argue he SHOULD have left her), and then I was glad when he said that Tara was just someone he found on the road, instead of going into the whole "she was in the attack on the prison and her sister was the Governor's lover" thing.

    Like you, I wish we had more a sense of Daryl's end game. At this point, I'm not even sure if we're supposed to be thinking "oh noes, Daryl has fallen to the dark side!" or just "I wonder what Daryl's plan is?"

    That said, I do like that Joe is being played as a little restrained despite his menace and the underlying goals of his group. Like, he's a bad guy, but he's not a batshit crazy, over-the-top super-villain bad guy like the Governor became by the second half of last season. It's a nice change of pace.

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  2. Apparently, all you need to do to keep a gang of ruffians in line is to keep the dibs rule sacred.

    You do NOT want to cross him when it comes to the issue of finders vs. keepers.

    I’ll certainly be among the mad men if Daryl ends up breaking bad after finding out Rick took part in the killing at the house Joe and his gang were staying in. I hope Daryl doesn't cross the Rubicon and send Rick to hell...........on wheels?

    *slow clap*

    Was Rick murdering the guy in the bathroom warranted? I'm still unsure.

    Me neither. There's a sense that it was "kill or be killed", and that's probably true, but at the same time, knocking the guy out and leaving would have accomplished the same thing. I'd have to go back and watch the scene again to remember how it all went down and if "knocking out" instead of killing was even an option. I don't think it was.

    Speaking of the tunnel, shooting a gun in there must be very loud. I hope everyone’s hearing is OK!

    Complain about that if you like, but at least the characters don't all display an uncanny knack for headshots at all times. Oh, wait...

    I will say that this was a strong episode for Eugene.

    I thought so too. I like him, though I'm worried he's conning Abraham and doesn't actually know squat about the plague. His line about how after he saves the world he still needs to live in it is something a lot of characters (*cough* Carol *cough*) should keep in mind.

    I’m not saying Rosita couldn't also be a strong addition but she'll need to actually do something first.

    At least she was more sensibly attired in this episode.

    Let’s hope she steers clear of alien mud monsters!

    And "fully functional" androids!

    Let's talk about Terminus for a moment. First of all, the lack of security was ominous - like, zombies couldn't push through those gates? And there's no screening process whatsoever? I don't need another Woodbury, but at the same time, how can they be sure a group like the one Daryl's with doesn't come strolling in and shoot up the place? The idea of sanctuary for all is great, but what happens when dicks show up?

    Secondly, why aren't Glenn and Maggie, at least, suspicious of Terminus? They have experience with another seemingly idyllic town, and it wasn't a good one. Shouldn't they maybe scout the place out from a distance before strolling right in? Shouldn't the lack of security be a big warning bell for them too?

    Also, I don't know if Terminus is in the comics or not, but that last scene has me thinking it's a town staffed by cannibals. "Let's make you a plate" indeed.

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  3. @Austin: "So I was glad when Glenn refused to abandon Tara"

    Yes, I was happy to see that too. I thought they might be going down the road of "Glenn is so single minded he's willing to do anything to achieve his goal" and he'd leave Tara without thinking of the ramifications. Possibly regretting it later.

    "I was glad when he said that Tara was just someone he found on the road, instead of going into the whole "she was in the attack on the prison and her sister was the Governor's lover" thing."

    So basically you're saying that you're glad one of the first things Glenn did upon reuniting with the love of his life is lie to her? You sir, are a regular Barney Stinson.

    "I'd have to go back and watch the scene again to remember how it all went down and if "knocking out" instead of killing was even an option."

    Yeah, but the question is still, who attacked who first? Could Rick have just said, "Hi!" The fight over the bed probably led to Rick to believe these guys aren't people he wants to hang around with but, at the same time, it does make you wonder if Joe, despite being rough around the edges, is actually a bad guy.

    Killing someone over planting a rabbit is a bit much though. Although it seemed like that wasn't his first offense.

    "At least she was more sensibly attired in this episode."

    A mixed blessing at best.

    "why aren't Glenn and Maggie, at least, suspicious of Terminus?"

    I'm reserving judgement on Terminus until next episode. But you would think that Glenn and Maggie would be a little suspicious. At the same time, what else is there to do? At least they just lowered their weapons and didn't outright drop them. Then again, they could have been walking straight into an ambush.

    I guess it just underscores how tough it is to trust anything during an apocalypse. Making contact with new people is difficult and probably requires some luck and unearned trust.

    "that last scene has me thinking it's a town staffed by cannibals."

    It's a cook book. IT'S A COOK BOOK!!!

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  4. So basically you're saying that you're glad one of the first things Glenn did upon reuniting with the love of his life is lie to her?

    Heh. I thought of that the moment I wrote it.

    A mixed blessing at best.

    Indeed.

    At the same time, what else is there to do?

    I suppose we could assume they did this but we didn't see it, but I'd have maybe kept most of the group on the outskirts of the town, and send a couple to scout the perimeter, trying to see what they could see.

    Barring that, it might be smart to send one person in while the rest wait outside. If everything seems on the level, at least initially, then that one person could go back out and tell the rest it's safe. If it's not safe and the person gets turned into stew, well, at least only one person bit it.

    I certainly don't want to begrudge this show depicting people having hope, but there's a difference between being hopeful enough to check out a safe haven that seems to good to be true, and another to just have them walk in without suspicion, especially after what Glenn and Maggie went through in Woodbury.

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  5. Ugh, I have an irrational dislike of Denise Crosby. I hope she doesn't stick around long. But on the plus side, maybe they'll kill her off and replace her with Michael Dorn.

    I either didn't pay close attention to the house episode (which is likely), or I just forgot, but I thought Rick just choked the guy out in the bathroom. I didn't remember that he killed him, so I was a little shocked when that dude told Daryl what happened.

    I liked the Glen/Maggie reunion simply because I was glad to see someone on this show finally get a happy endind, at least for now. And after last week's dismal proceedings, some happiness was greatly needed.

    "I will say that this was a strong episode for Eugene. He reminds me of a smart Kenny Powers."

    I like it. He makes me think of a Taran Killam character on SNL. Either way is good.

    Lastly, I agree that Rosita's clothes now make a lot more sense -- but I liked her other outfit much better.

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  6. I get the criticism about Glenn and Maggie largely being ciphers defined by their coupledom. Yet I do buy the romance. And I root for them.

    The first time we saw Glenn the sum total of his role was as the quick in-and-out advance man who knew the layout of the alleys, rooftops, and tunnels. Rick was our POV character — as well as being the leader, maybe our surrogate because he was the leader and Andrew Lincoln was the first-billed star; of all the members of the group Rick joined, which turned out to be where his family was, I remember feeling like I had the least sense of Glenn whether that was the show's intention or not. That changed at some point, I think when Maggie started caring for him even though she was a newer character, very possibly since I was familiar with Lauren Cohan from previous roles, but it did change. Hershel accepting him also had something to do with it, since we grew to love Hershel.

    I admit that Glenn came off as perhaps a little too single-minded in his pursuit of reuniting with Maggie, but at the same time I don't feel qualified to say that anything, be it one's own well-being or even the well-being of one's companions, is more valuable in such a wretched world as the show presents as being with the person you love above all.

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