Eugene leads into this episode entitled “US” with a great quotable. “That there is a video game worth the pre-order.” Those of us that pre-ordered The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct can disagree. We find Abraham, Tara, Eugene, Rosita, and Glenn on the road. Abraham is focused on completing his mission to get Eugene to Washington. Glenn is focused solely on finding Maggie. Once he finds her note on a TERMINUS sign, he takes off running.
Daryl is still trying to fit in with Joe’s band of roughnecks. He is a wolf amongst a pack of dogs. After tracking a rabbit for an entire morning, Len shoots the cottontail before Daryl and claims it as his own. The dispute quickly escalates as Len antagonizes Daryl about losing Beth. Joe intermediates the dispute and lays out the law of the group before Daryl has an opportunity to plunge his knife into Len’s chest. “I laid out some rules to keep things from going Darwin every couple of hours.” Who knew that rednecks had such a large vocabulary? Just a quick comic book reference, there is one other guy who loves rules, and his name is Negan. However, Joe is definitely no Negan; he likely just represents the need for humans to keep rules to avoid plunging into mass chaos.
Carl and Michonne are bonding by walking the train tracks Stand By Me style. They share a tender moment after Michonne loses a bet, and gives Carl one of the few candy bars she has left. Our band of Walker killers seems to force the kumbayah feel a little, but we are see them begin to normalize after the trauma of losing everyone at the prison. The whole scene with Rick, Carl and Michonne feels like a cheap novelty. After missing them in the previous three episodes, it really sucked to see our main protagonist as nothing more than a plot piece.
Abraham has the one-liner of the entire show, “I don’t give a monkey’s left nut!” To persuade Abraham to keep going, Glenn offers to give Eugene the riot gear in exchange for their help; let me just say that Glenn + riot gear = badass, but Eugene + riot gear = fifty more pounds of dumbass. Abraham’s group decides to split from Glenn and Tara when they come to a railroad tunnel that is infested with walkers. Glenn will stop at nothing to save Maggie, so he ventures in with Tara. Tara confesses her part in storming the prison to Glenn. Glenn has already forgiven her and is ready to move past what happened with The Governor.
Len is clearly over-compensating for the size of his bow. After setting up camp in a garage, Joe’s group lays claim to cars and goods, Daryl, in an act of defiance doesn’t lay claim to anything. Len accuses Daryl of stealing from him, when confronted he is outed as a liar and pays Joe’s price. He is beaten to death. Daryl sheds no tears and the group hits the road again.
While Rosita is driving, Eugene decides to trick her into doubling back for Glenn. When they reach the other side of the tunnel they are met with a big surprise. Glenn and Tara find themselves stuck between rocks filled with Walkers, and a hard place. When facing this wall of Walkers trapped beneath the fallen tunnel, Tara gets her leg caught underneath rubble and Glenn refuses to leave her. Regardless of the circumstances he won’t compromise his morality; he is no Shane. Walkers swarm the two of them, and the situation looks hopeless when, “Blam, Blam, Blam,” Maggie to the rescue, along with Sasha, Bob, Abraham, Eugene and Rosita. They make short work of the Walkers and we get the reunion we have all been waiting for. Glenn quickly makes up a story about finding Tara on the road to protect her from Maggie. If Maggie knew that she was partly responsible for Herschel’s beheading, there may be more than a “Call Tyrone” domestic dispute.
At the end of the episode we find out that Joe’s group is tracking Rick because of the encounter at the house in “Claimed,” where Tony (the Chuck D lookin’ guy) spots Rick. We are unsure if Daryl knows this, but there are enough clues to assume so. Is Daryl using Joe’s group to find his lost friend’s?
Maggie and Glenn’s group combine forces and decide to trek forward to TERMINUS. The name TERMINUS is derived from the Western and Atlantic Railroad through Georgia in1836. The area was named as the end point to the railroad. It was renamed, Atlanta, in 1847. Our survivors arrive at the “sanctuary” and find a hippie commune. The gates are not locked, there are flowers growing everywhere, and oh snap! Is that Star Trek The Next Generation’s Tasha Yar? I mean, is that Denise Crosby? Things can only get weird from here on. TERMINUS has to be a trap. It seems too good to be true.
Hush Comics gives “Us” a C for it’s lackluster… everything. The groups coming together for some reason or another in Terminus, but everything leading up to that point felt forced, illogical and uncharacteristic. Sure, there’s certain lesbian tension between Rosita and Tara, and yeah, there are a lot of skeletons that need to come out of the closet, not to mention Glenn and Maggie’s heart-felt reunion. As disappointed as we were, the ends kind of justify the means here. The Season 4 finale is gonna end on a crazy note. We predict that Daryl will have to kill Tony to protect Rick. Maybe Terminus really is the safe haven it claims to be and the war they bring to the doorstep puts them all in deep doo doo. Maybe Beth will show up on a dinner plate, where Terminus is full of cannibals. We do know there’s no gray area here as the Survivors reach the literal “end of the road.”
All media credited to AMC Television and Image Comics
“The Grove” follows a similar formula to the last few episodes; where we slowly build a journey for each of the groups that have split after the mid-season finale. It’s served a good purpose of individually developing the characters, but it hasn’t pushed the story along at all; you’ve either loved the past six episodes or you hate them. It’s a style that’s heavily popularized Game of Thrones, where multiple parties push towards an inevitability (Terminus/Sanctuary in TWD‘s case), but the journey there is what drives the inching story.
Starting out the episode is a lot of small talk: Tyreese’s cut on his arm, Lizzie playing I Spy, and a lot of commentary about how Mika doesn’t have a “mean bone in her body.” We even get a bit of comedic relief by watching a walker fall down. Really though, this week’s episode of The Walking Dead stank of death from the moment it started. We join our makeshift Brady Bunch (Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie and Mika) as they settle down for a while inside of a house right off the tracks to catch their breath. Yeah, that worked out greeeeat, guys.
To spoil or not to spoil…. ugh such a tough decision. SPOILERS, it is! We’re gonna toot our own horn here, as we called the dramatic outcome of this episode a month ago. Lizzie has just become such a handful emotionally to deal with, and the resurgence of Carol and her “do what has to be done” attitude spelled certain doom for Lizzie. After she almost murdered baby Judith in “Inmates,” there are so many things that foreshadow the death of Lizzie and Mika. Hindsight is 20/20, but here are a list of the times, in this episode alone, that spelled R-E-D-R-U-M for Mika:
Lizzie, AKA Son of Sam, says she can hear the walkers talking to her. From that line alone, it was obvious she was going to start killing bigger things than rats and little baby bunnies.
The death stare that Lizzie bestows upon Mika when she mentions Lizzie’s tolerance for dead rabbits.
Lizzie plays tag with a walker, hysterically threatens Carol when she kills the walker, and then calmly tells Carol “she knows what [she] has to do now.” Now I’m no therapist, but I can read between the lines enough to know that Lizzie was in trouble. Mother of the Year candidate Lori Grimes would have known. Just sayin.
The real moment we knew Mika was a goner was the when she decided to tell Carol that she needs to stay a good person, and that she feels bas for the people who try to kill her. It’s an ideal that has befell Dale and Herschel before her – thus dubbing it the Summer Santa Syndrome.
Even baked pecans cannot quell Lizzie’s bloodlust. Her twisted, constipated mind believed that walkers were people inside. And she went to abhorrent measures to make her point. What I love about the scene – sorry, that is a poor choice of words; there is nothing satisfying about the scene… what I appreciate about the scene is how well it mirrored the scene in the comics books. Aside from the Michonne/Governor scenes, these were the most horrifying pages in the entire series. In issue #61, brothers Ben & Billy were in a similar situation – they had lost their father (Lizzie and Mika lost their father, Ryan, in “Infected“), had been adopted by Dale and Andrea, and had ended with Ben standing over Billy’s massacred body.
The reaction that Carol and Tyreese have is much different from the book, and all the more powerful because of it. The comic book parents, Dale and Andrea, have no idea how to deal with the slaughter, sheltering Ben from the rest of the group (not well enough). However, the show takes the most difficult road possible, and “does what has to be done.” It’s an especially strong move seeing as Tyreese is standing nearby, holding a baby and watching on as Carol did the deed. The actual mercy-kill is one of the most saddening things in the whole series. The complete Of Mice and Men inspired execution of Lizzie was a poetic ending for a misunderstood, but dangerous, character.
The conversation between Tyreese and Carol in the woods was a poignant moment in the episode. While it is a nice sentiment that one day this will all be over, Tyreese sees the it for what it is. The world is haunted, and there is nothing they can do to change that. The walkers will be there when they die. And it will be hard to forget all the things people did and had to do in order to survive. It was an appropriate reflective moment about survival and afterlife for the show.
Carol has grown more than any other character in the series – from battered wife to emotional rock. Overwhelmed with it all, she even decides to tell Tyreese the truth about Karen and David. She slides Tyreese the pistol and tells him to “do what he’s gotta do” – it’s kind of a theme here. Tyreese, of course, forgives her. They head off together down the tracks and back on the route to Terminus. This was definitely a growing issue for Carol, and hopefully whoever left the Peletier bandwagon in the mid-season can hop back on.
The loss of Mika hit extra hard, as she had been indirectly and directly compared to Sophia throughout the fourth season. She is now 0/3 in keeping children alive, so I’m hoping this brings out a badass-ness in Carol we haven’t gotten to see in some time. Judith has Tyreese and Carol, but who will take Griselda Gunderson? Doesn’t this world already have enough orphaned dolls?
Hush Comics gives “The Grove” a solid A. The emotional maturation of Carol and Tyreese gives Walking Dead fans something to chew on until we all reach Terminus in the finale (I mean, what else could the finale be alluding to?). Where previous episodes have straddled the line between filler and fundamental development, “The Grove” remains safely on the correct side. The Walking Dead also continues to push the envelope with sick new ways to show off walkers, this week with walkers that have been char-broiled from the house fire (we can only assume it’s the same house that Bethyl set ablaze in “Still“). With only two episodes left, we will turn our attention to “Us” next week. Just like in the first half of Season 4, I’m fearing that they will speed up everything, sacrificing for a logically consistent finale. We’re optimistic, though, that the road to Terminus will keep us on our toes.
All Walking Dead media credited to AMC Television.
Photo from Of Mice and Men film credited to MGM Studios.
The next time you’re at a post-apocalyptic slumber party, remember to always make claimsies to the bed you were going to sleep on. If not, you might end up getting choked out and left for dead by your supposed buddies. As we sat on our couch and watched The Walking Dead this week (no choke-outs occurred… tonight), we were expecting more of a scattered view of the ensemble cast, similar to “Inmates”. Instead, “Claimed” focused in on two distinct groups – Abraham/Glenn and Rick/Michonne. We’re gonna skip around here in the interest of staying with a certain topic.
We still can’t stand Carl. Sorry, Chandler Riggs, don’t hate us! This kid couldn’t act his way out of a tub of chocolate pudding, which admittedly might be harder than it sounds. We’ve been fooled throughout the series into thinking that Riggs plays a good Carl because he only gets a few lines every episode, usually in childish rebellion. This season, when we got a real good look at him as an individual, his story has completely failed to come across as a genuine coming of age tale. We’re not completely turned off of Caaaarrrrl, but it’s gonna take some major convincing to get us to care about this kid again.
“Claimed” depicts Michonne in a new light; we are exposed to a part of her that we had all but confirmed of her past – Michonne had a son, and his name was Andre. Carl spends the episode prying information from Michonne about her personal life and it’s convincingly heartfelt. Hush is extremely torn as to whether or not this new, sensitive portrayal of her is a good or bad thing.
On one side of the coin, Michonne transcends gender. She’s a badass with a katana, and there is no gender associated with her. Men (and pugs) dress up as Michonne. Just an episode after she murders a herd of walkers, Michonne is brought to her emotional brink by a pink (pink… seriously?) room full of dead people who were once a family. Which to some may seem like a way for the show to make her seem weak just because she is a woman. However, others in the Hush family feel that Michonne’s reactions were not weak, but rather essential character development. Michonne is a bad-ass. There isn’t a woman (or man) who watches the show and doesn’t want to go buy a katana. But Michonne is more than that. She is a mother, a lover, a fighter and a protector. She is multi-faceted and utterly human. It would only be in her nature to see that room that was more than just pink, it was the story of family who could not handle the world crumbling around them. It was a family who lacked the strength Michonne has. If Michonne had seen that room and not had an emotional reaction, she may not get empathy from the audience due to a lack of believability.
Let’s talk about the legend, the end-all, be-all solution to the zombie apocalypse. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Eugene Porter. This motherfucker right here… This mullet-rockin dweeb in cargo shorts that haven’t been acceptable since 1998 is humanity’s last hope. It sounded a little far-fetched when I first read about it in the comic books, and I was skeptical. Now that I’ve heard it out loud, I can’t believe that Abraham and Rosita would ever believe him in the first place.
That’s not to say that Abraham and Rosita are unconvincing in their roles. Rosita does her best J.Lo/Tomb Raider impression, and is the best eye candy not named Lauren Cohan (Maggie). Anybody who takes the time to clean up like that, hoop earrings and all, is a great asset to have. Abraham plays soldier very well, blindingly following the “orders” from Eugene, who proudly proclaims, “I’m smarter than you.” Making a bit of comic-book prediction here, but we think Tara will soon switch teams and hook up with Abraham, ala Holly.
The real winner of this episode is Rick. I often feel that Rick is expected to be the unquestioned leader. Since pre-Shane, really, we haven’t gotten a good look at Rick only trying to survive on his own. It reminded me a lot of “Nebraska” (S2E8), where he gunned down two men who threatened him in a bar. It’s a plain reminder that Rick Grimes is a force to be reckoned with when he is by himself. Although he unrealistically summoned his inner-superhero to do some damage on the scavengers, we really found ourselves rooting for Rick again – something we haven’t done since Rick led the charge to invade Woodbury and rescue Maggie and Glenn.
Hush Comics gives “Claimed” a solid B. Overall, we really enjoyed the unique cinematography in this episode, and we can appreciate what they are trying to build here. Unfortunately, it is absolutely killing the pace of the show. Having all the groups separated and clearly not all going to meet up again until the season finale without great character development feels wasteful. We also feel, for the first time, that the connection of the show to the comic books is becoming problematic. At this point, forcing the show to fit into the lore of the comics is stifling. With the development of Carl being absolutely terrible and the journey to the sanctuary by all the separate groups, it is getting hard to relate to the characters or believe that they are even still surviving. The show has lost its touch when it comes to thinking about human morality and interaction.
All photos and awesomeness credited to AMC Television.
We open with Rick on his return trip to the prison. He is still struggling with his decision to banish Carol. He stares at the watch she gave him as he races down a deserted stretch of road, the camera focusing on his bandaged hand.
The epidemic is spreading. Herschel, Sasha and Glenn desperately fight to keep Henry alive by inserting a breathing device down his throat and squeezing air into his lungs. These three have become the triage medics in the quarantined cell-block. Herschel, played by Scott Wilson, was absolutely incredible this episode. He takes a commanding role in delegating responsibilities while maintaining a high sense of morality. He refuses to kill recently turned people in plain sight of the remaining survivors. He inconsequently provided some much needed insight about the world that is now inhabited by the dead. He does all of this and still finds time to give Lizzy a reading assignment; Lord knows that no child should be left behind in the Zombie Apocalypse. Tom Sawyer. This is an appropriate novel considering the circumstances and future events. Most lit-majors and bookworms may recall that Tom Sawyer didn’t get a Bible in Sunday school because of his deviant ways. This will come into play later in our episode.
Herschel reassures Maggie about Glenn’s worsening condition, restores faith to the infected while keeping them in their cells, and gives Glenn a much needed pep-talk. If not for Herschel’s temperance and hope we get the sense that all would be lost. Glenn, played by Steven Yeun plays a crucial part in this episode as well. His relationship with Herschel is built to a level that we haven’t seen before. They are doing their best to keep the diseased from passing the point of no return with limited supplies, and time. Herschel appears to be the only adult in quarantine not showing symptoms of illness. The other is Lizzy.
Maggie is face to fence with hundreds of walkers. They are dangerously close to bringing down one side of the outer railing. She is cracking skulls and reinforcing the chained links with lumber. She is over-whelmed, but calm. We get the sense now that anyone in our core group of survivors can make it on their own, including Carl. We’ll get to that later.
Rick returns. He explains why he voted Carol off the island and we are hit with a new twist. Maggie’s reaction seems odd. Instead of passing judgment, voicing an opinion, or showing some anger she asks if Carol “said she did it,” in reference to the murders of Karen and David. There was a moment of contemplation and confusion. This could be nothing, or it could mean that Carol was covering for someone else. The plot thickens.
Rick makes Carl his first priority upon his homecoming. He forbids Carl from coming outside to help with the much needed tasks of walker defense and curing the sick, but Carl says, “You can’t keep me from it,” meaning the death and chaos of this world. Rick says that it is “his job to try.” Carl seems defeated, but we know that eventually he will be needed. There are only so many people who are not infected left in the prison. With Tyrese, Michonne, Daryl and Bob still gone, there are limited options.
“A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.” This quote from Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley: In Search of America seems to drive Herschel. It gives him the push he needs to ensure that lives aren’t lost in quarantine. Herschel admits that he thinks that there is still a plan and a reason for everything that is happening. His faith has been shaken, but not broken.
The fence is failing. Rick and Maggie are working hard at keeping it up. Rick falls after a walker grabs his leg and Maggie chops its arm off. For those of you who read the comics, you are well aware that Rick lost his right hand in issue 28. We are once again teased in the series with the foreshadowing of Rick losing an appendage. We think that Rick will lose his hand by the end of this season.
The situation in quarantine goes to shit. Several people have died, Glenn and Sasha have fallen seriously ill, walkers are now lumbering around free, chaos ensues and Mr. “Stay in your cells” goes to work. Maggie leaves fence detail to help inside, and Rick is left with hundreds of the dead meters away from breaking their defenses. Rick, left with no choice, recruits Carl to help with the walkers. The fence comes tumbling down and Carl and Rick are exposed to the herd coming through the breach. They quickly decide to take arms and eradicate the on-coming threat. Fanboys, Carl finally gets his M-16!
The sight of Rick and Carl mowing down the herd warms the heart. It gives you that same fuzzy feeling you get when you see a father-son potato sack race. It was a beautiful union of gun fire and exploding heads! Carl clearly owned at C.O.D. before the turn. It’s such a spectacle that Rick has to take a moment to pause and absorb all of his son’s badassery.
Meanwhile, Herschel is alone in quarantine with several walkers, Lizzy wandering around like a lost kid in a department store, and he is still trying to avoid killing the dead in front of the others. What a guy! He eventually saves the day with Maggie’s help. They take out the residual walkers and stabilize Glenn. Carl and Rick make short work of the zombie mob and Rick clearly has a new respect for his son. All of the key players in this episode unveiled a character trait that almost guarantees them another day in this world. Hell, even Lizzy put her life on the line to save Glenn. Daryl and the others finally make it back after things calmed and the medication they brought is distributed.
We finally get a quiet moment with Herschel. He takes a seat and opens up a Bible. The Tom Sawyer reference comes full circle. After all the trial and tribulation he is able to find his faith again. This moment is powerful and done to perfection. Before we fade to black Herschel sheds some much needed tears. We believe that these tears did not come from exhaustion or remorse for the infected people or the turned. We believe that he was crying because he still believes that the walkers are just sick people and that he just committed murder. Remember the barn full of zombies? Hopefully we will get more insight into this theory as the season continues.
As the zombie clean up around the fence continues we get a perimeter shot of the prison. Carl and Rick walk out of focus and our view widens. Just yards from the gate a shadowy figure is revealed. Holy shit! It’s the Governor! Somebody tell Michonne that she sucks at tracking. We knew that he would eventually show up because David Morrissey is still in the credits this season. We can’t wait for what follows. More gut-wrenching than the Governor’s re-appearance is the talk that Rick and Daryl will have to have about Carol. Could the best tag team since Gumby and Pokey really be over??
Hush Comics gives “Internment” an A for great character display, especially on the part of Herschel. Lizzy is still bat-shit crazy, Maggie reminded us that she is still a BA, and Rick finally realized what a Big Asskicker he has raised. Come back for next week’s return of The Governor and our recap of “Live Bait.”
We open with Carol speaking to Lizzy behind quarantined glass because of the flu out-break in the prison. The child and several others are still confined until Daryl, Tyrese, Michonne and Bob make it back with supplies from the college. The exchange between our favorite 40 something Jamie Lee Curtis replica and this eerie little girl is quite compelling. The entire conversation is about change, but the analogy of dying and turning into a walker is used here to explain a greater change, the change a person goes through when they have to make a hard decision. As they speak we see cut-aways of Rick packing a vehicle he and Carol will take on a run, but the foreshadowing is almost too obvious. Rick is clearly contemplating Carol’s fate. Flashbacks of Karen’s murder seem to torment our anti-hero cop but not in that creepy, I still see Lori walking around in her pajamas way. Carol is clearly not the woman we met in the first season. Her hair is spiked; old woman cleavage is showing and she has a machete ready to split any walker in two! She tries to justify her actions to Rick on their road-trip, but it falls on deaf ears. She would have probably got a better response out of him from a game of Marry, Fuck, or Murder. They raid a house and end up finding two survivors. Our first official hippies of walker-land are unmistakably unprepared for this world. They need 5 or 6 bullets to take a walker down and don’t know that a blow to the head will take one out.
We finally catch up to our favorite band of Zombie killers. Tyrese, Michonne and Daryl are on the road and seem as comfortable as kittens in laundry. And then there is Bob. I seriously wondered how long it would take the “other” black guy in the zombie apocalypse to die. He has the swag of a Star Fleet ensign beamed down to some M-Class planet with the OA team. Bob is struggling with addiction and he confides in Daryl. Daryl in turn absolves Bob of his past sins – ya know, the whole getting Zach eaten thing that happened in the premiere episode.
Carol and Rick have a great dialog about the necessity of murder while raiding a house and both make pretty good arguments. Carol has accepted her role in the new world and has become a threat to Rick. After looting the college for Herschel’s goodies and running into some much needed walker action Bob proves how worthless he is by refusing to drop a bag containing a bottle of ill-gotten booze into a school of biters. See what I did there? What happens next is precious. Bob reaches for his gun when Daryl threatens to toss the liquor into the walkers. NOT A GOOD IDEA BOB! Daryl punks Bob with the exchange of a sandbox brawl. I was immediately taken back to 4th grade. As non-violent as it was, it was intense and resulted in Bob getting his gun confiscated by Daryl. I felt bad for Tyrese and Michonne, they had that look like, “Ninjas always gotta mess it up for somebody!”
The end of the episode does not disappoint. Rick has made the decision to exile Carol. He claims it’s for her own good, but it is apparent that he is afraid of her. The decision to banish her, I think, can be attributed to more of a power struggle than differing opinions. Remember, Rick has killed how many to protect the good of the group? Rick is trying to establish his dominance over Carol, and when she will not submit to him, his response is to kick her out. Not only are the morals behind his decision fuzzy, but we at Hush Comics believe that this is a HUGE strategic mistake. She is one loose end you don’t want to unthread. A million things could go wrong. She could meet up with the Governor and combine forces; she could lead an army of creepy Brady Bunch girls, she could taint the prison’s water-supply. In all seriousness, where is she really gonna go? Would you just accept that you had been banished from the only ones in this world alive to you and go on about your merry way, especially when nobody else knows her secret? Either way, we feel like this decision will come back to bite Rick. See what I did there?!?!
After the past few episodes have focused on primarily the disease spreading, it was a refreshing change of pace to get back to some good old fashion zombies “soap opera” action. While the fallout from Carol’s exile is just beginning, my stomach is already churning from what will happen. Will Carol somehow find and join forces with the Governor? Will Daryl, in his angst, abandon the group and search for Carol the same way he did Merle? Is Tyreese going to find out and really get in a fight with Rick? Mostly though, I think it’s about time for Rick’s hand to go (“Are you a righty or a lefty?”).
“Indifference” is my favorite episode this season and I can’t wait to see what happens to Carol next. Yeah, I said it; Carol! There are a lot of waves about to be made from Rick’s decision, and I don’t think it will be a welcome choice, even after the truth comes out. Hush Comics gives “Indifference” a solid A for it’s great character-defining moments and the monumental decision to get rid of Carol (for now…).
So after thinking it over the past couple weeks, as all our Walking Dead favorites begin coughing, and then bleed out of their eyeballs and die, that maybe we should all pay better attention to our health and hygiene. Around flu season, especially, people! Every time I see a coworker cough on their hand then shake with it, or a passer-by sneeze into thin air, I want to pull out my kitana (which I carry with me everywhere, for obvious reasons) and chop off their diseased heads. Thanks for listening, and take your vitamins. I also wanted to talk about this big SPOILER right now, because there are some things said before the reveal that mean something totally different now that we know: Carol killed Karen and David, Rick found out, and Carol don’t give no shits about it. Holy crap. “Isolated” begins with Glenn and Maggie giving each other deep looks as the group begins digging graves for all the deceased in the previous episode, proving there’s still romance in the post-apocalyptic world. We get a good picture of how screwed everybody knows they are. Disease is an enemy you can’t really fight, and I think the group realizes this.
Tyreese, however, doesn’t care about disease. He only wants revenge for whoever burned the bodies. It’s sad to see him reel from this; when Rick and Daryl try to console him, though, he lashes out at them, punching Rick pretty damn hard in the face. It’s a scene that is supposed to pay homage to the prison fight scene, which is ironically about Tyreese hurting Carol by him cheating on Carol with Michonne. In the comics, it felt like an emotional climax that sadly had two good friends come to blows. However, in this instant, it felt nothing more than the portrayal of an angry black man, who lost his temper and got beaten up by a white cop. It felt completely out of character and I didn’t understand the need for the violence at the time. I might be a little out of pocket for thinking that way, but it is always an issue when it comes to race in television; even the best shows aren’t immune to criticism, however subtle it may be. Either way, it was the means to an end, as we realize that Farmer Rick is dead, and the Sheriff is back in town; it’s a hell of a way to open up the episode.
We come back to Tyreese furiously digging graves for Karen and David. Bob politely tries to convince him that he needs to get some attention for the ass-whoopin that Rick put on him (albeit in a more polite way). In a “brothas gotta stick together” moment, Bob helps Tyreese dig. We also find out that everybody is sick: Sasha, Dr. Submarine and Glenn (noooooo). Herschel comes up with a plan to snatch some supplies from a nearby Veterinarian College, and boldly decides that he should lead the way. That is, until Daryl hilariously reminds Herschel that he has a peg leg, and Herschel defeatedly offers to draw a map for them. Daryl, even though he’s always willing to step aside for Rick to lead, takes care of business when he needs to. Rick apologizes to Tyreese for going all LAPD on him. Tyreese is surprisingly cool with it, but is stern in demanding that Rick finds out who did it. Tyreese begins to get angry with Rick when he feels like Rick isn’t doing enough to look for the killer, saying “I’m starting to get that murder is OK in this place now.” It reminds me of the the rules that Rick set up in the comics. IF YOU KILL, YOU DIE. I’m starting to think that this will be his first plan of action upon returning to power. However, seeing as they’ve already killed dozens of people already, I’m not too sure about that. Daryl gets ready to go on the trip to the vet with Michonne and Bad Luck Bob when he decides that Tyreese would be a great addition to the team. Daryl says that he feels that whoever killed Karen and David will “have a bolt put in ’em.” I wonder how Daryl would feel about it if he knew his own sweetheart was the one that did it. Like a walker’s corpse, the truth floats to the surface sooner or later. In a great piece of symbolism, the painting in the hall has the words “Smooth Seas Do Not Make Good Sailors” written on it as Herschel tries to decide what to do with himself. As an obvious leader of the group, Herschel must feel pretty damn useless in this situation. He makes it harder on himself by gathering natural remedies in the forest so that others may feel better. He’s a truly good man and I suppose that is what scares me. As the moral compass of the group and then-Summer Santa of the group, Dale was the next target destined to be mowed down. I wonder how much longer the group, and the audience, will have the pleasure of Herschel’s company. Herschel gives an Emmy-worthy speech to Rick and Maggie later that was one of the best of the series.
On the other hand, Carol’s “do what needs to be done” attitude, has her shove Lizzie into the sick room and lock the door behind her. This makes her just as strong, if not stronger than Herschel, but on the other end of the spectrum. Tyreese has an extremely sad moment with Sasha, as brother realizes that sister might die, and that going out with Daryl is the only way to really help the situation. Bob, not forgetting the shitstorm he caused in the premiere, asked Daryl if he should really be coming along. Daryl responds by having him read the label of a mediation that I do not dare repeat. It’s a pretty funny moment that finally shows Bob’s usefulness. Back at the yard, Carol is filling up water when Tyreese creepily stands behind her and waits for her to turn around and scare the crap out of her – what horrible post-apocalyptic etiquette! You’d get cut doin’ some shit like that around me. Tyreese kindly asks Carol to look in after Sasha (nooo!) because of how much Carol cares about the others. After Carol apologizes for what happened to Karen, Tyreese’s lips begin to quiver and he hurries away. This makes her feel like a total jerk and she responds by throwing the entire water supply on the ground. Smooth move, Carol.
Next, we have the grandest scale of walkers ever. As Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Bob run into a herd of almost 10,000 walkers (which we learned from a video on AMC.com that they are actually 100 actors digitally changed into 10,000)! When they get stuck, spinning out Zach’s Dodge Charger’s (RIP) tires over a mountain of corpses, they take off on foot. With Michonne and Daryl fighting their way through the crowd, Bob begins screaming at Tyreese, who is looking like a kid that was forced to go to Home Depot. He just won’t get out of the car. As walkers overrun him, Bob is forced to leave with the others. In a great nod to his comic book gym slaughter, Tyreese somehow makes it out of the carnage and back to the group. How about that zombie distraction device that Carol built? Pretty cool! But what follows is not cool at all. While cleaning the cistern out, Carol is overrun by walkers. She manages to kill a few, but looks horrible doing it. I think Melissa McBride might need a stunt double for any actual zombie killing that is done. Rick confronts Carol about Karen and David, and she calmly admits to killing them and then walks away. What does this mean for her relationship with Rick? Will he tell the others? Will she keep killing? And is it really immoral?
Lots of changes will happen in the upcoming episode, and I’m really worried about Sasha (not Glenn, there’s no way he’s not gonna make it) and Bob. Things will only get worse before they get better, and it will be just in time for the Governor to reappear. Hush Comics gives “Isolation” a B. Very little action and a severely out of place brawl between Tyreese and Rick hurt this otherwise thoughtful and character defining episode.
Fresh off the heels of the Season 4 premiere, the second episode, “Infected,” keeps the party going with plenty more gore and thrills, but I feel that the story is finally picking back up. Right off the bat, PETA is pissed. Some sick fuck in with a flashlight is feeding the walkers mice, face first. Now we know why they’re all congregating to one area of the fence. It’s a pretty nasty way to start the episode, but they cut to a scene of Tyreese flirting with Karen, even trying to woo her with his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” This scene disturbs me for multiple reasons. Aside from the fact that we just saw a walker bite off a rat’s head like a gummy worm, and that the song’s title is not very PC for a post-apocalyptic make-out session, it’s Tyreese’s singing that made me feel uncomfortable. Chad Coleman may look like Curtis Mayfield, but he sure can’t sing like him. The former badass from The Wire is playing a badass TWD character, but he is so incredibly soft in this scene that it innately bothers me. On the contrary, it’s nice to see him being such a gentle man, because we know it won’t be long until Captain Hammer steps up.
As Patrick takes a stroll into Cell Block D, he makes a meal of some guy with a dastardly-looking mustache for what seems like hours. All the things you thought would happen at the end of the last episode do. There’s nobody to yell for help; it’s basically an all you can eat buffet for Patrick and his new recruits. Completely oblivious, Glenn and Maggie are sleeping in what looks to be Flame’s stable. Who knows what kinda kinky stuff they were up to the night before. As Rick and Carl, who has abandoned his Sheriff’s hat because it’s not a farmer’s hat (can you smell the BS in the air??), tend to the housewife duties of keeping after dirt and cucumbers. Shots break out in Cell Block D as the crew sprints into action, no scene more glorious than Steve Yeun’s flowing hair. Michonne, in a moment of weakness while sensing that the others are in danger, blindly runs back into action and is overwhelmed by walkers, spraining her ankle in the meantime. Until Carl “Fuckin” Grimes grabs a rifle and puts down a walker in time to save her. He used the gun for good and, by God, he likes the power back in his hands!
In the commotion, Daryl snatches a shotgun from one of the people nervously firing away and hands it to Rick. Subtle humor aside, the cell block scene is painful to watch, as many innocent people are slaughtered, but there are no characters of importance that die. Except for Mr. Samuels, leaving his two fucked-in-the-head daughters in the care of Carol. In some stupid logic that only Carol would have, she decides that the best way to toughen up these girls – Book Club obviously isn’t doing it – is to have the first person they practice on be the father. “You have to hurry up before he turns.” Jesus, Carol, have a heart. It may have been forever ago for us, but just about a year ago, she lost her own child and is trying to start fresh by preparing Mika and Lizzie for what Sophia was not. Also, enter Dr. Subramanian, or Dr Submarian as we will address him from now on. The West Georgia Correctional Facility Braintrust, with the help of Dr. Submarian, discover that an aggressive flu strain is causing people to over-pressure internally and bleed out of their orifices and die. Pretty messed up. As they decide how best to quarantine the problem, Karen and Tyreese frolic down the hallway, with Karen coughing along as she goes. Yeah, she’s a goner. As they separate Karen and another Woodburian, David, Carol and Daryl talk it out, with Carol asking Daryl if he’s okay. In typical Daryl Dixon fashion, he responds, “Yeah. Gotta be.” That is a leader, ladies and gentlemen.
By the fence, Carol confronts Lizzie about being a total wuss by, ya know, not stabbing her dad in the head. In a fit of anger, Lizzie gets upset about Nick being dead. Ya know, nametag walker? Lizzie’s younger sister tells Carol, “She’s messed up; she’s not weak.” This sentiment is particularly revealing for Carol; she too was once messed up, because of her relationship with her abusive husband and because of her missing daughter, Sophia, who turned out to be a Walker. But now, Carol is strong, and she never really was weak. Meanwhile, Daryl gives mad props to Rick, asking him to take back position as a leader. Just as the two reach in for a big hug (or not), Maggie brings to their attention that the entire prison fence is giving way to a herd of walkers. Rick, albeit reluctantly at first, gives in to his killer instinct and starts jabbing walkers in the face through the wall.
Next, we have a moment that gives Beth a point in my books (Note: that puts her at a total of one point). She’s in the cell block with Michonne tending to Judith. Michonne is so angry with herself for letting herself get hurt and being “stupid.” Earlier, when Lizzie was called stupid, it was for caring for Nick. Does caring for somebody make you weak in this world, or is it just stupid? Michonne has always been the warrior, the asset – but she’s never been in the role to really care about others or feel part of a family. Beth says, in her finite wisdom, “when you care about people, hurt is part of the package.” It must have really hit hard at home with baby Judith, as she begins balling. This is where we notice Michonne’s first real weakness – crying babies! Judging from her reaction, there is definitely a more underlining issue there. Back at the fence, the walkers are breaking through, with so many pushing up against the fence that they begin making Walker Waffles out of the closer ones. Rick knows there is only one thing left to do. In a hilarious scene where Carl creating a makeshift cross for Patrick, only to discover that he was a “practicing Atheist,” Carol probes Carl to see if he’s told Rick about her Book Club. She doesn’t say it, but she might as well be head of the zombie apocalypse “Stop Snitchin” campaign; she tells Carl to lie not say anything to Rick.
Beth begins to sing a lullaby to Judith, and Judith in turn thanks Beth by spitting up all over Beth. In a deeply sentimental moment, Michonne caresses baby Judith and begins sobbing into her. I don’t know who hurt her, but I wanna punch them in the face! Michonne has never been this vulnerable – in the show or in the books, and I feel a much deeper connection to her as a character. Is that why she’s been constantly going on runs? Is she trying to avoid being around Judith? It’s an issues that won’t go away and one that will hopefully see answers soon.
I knew it was gonna happen. The piggies just gots’ta go! Strike two against PETA. Rick lures the walkers down the road with a trail of piglets. It’s pretty much the saddest that’s ever happened in this show. As Rick cuts the last pig to lure in a batch of walkers, a splooge of blood hits him in the face, sending shame through him like a two dollar hooker after getting a moneyshot. Carl does the right thing and tells Rick what Carol is doing, but in a surprising move, Carl sticks up for literacy and tries to keep the Book Club alive. In an act of faith, Rick rewards Carl by giving him his gun back. He then rewards the entire female viewer population by giving them a good, long look at his abs – a bit gratuitous, but still hilarious to me.
The episode ends with poor ‘ol Tyreese going to bring Karen some freshly picked flowers (wuh-chhh). Instead, he sees a trail of blood leading to two freshly burned bodies belonging to Karen (as evidenced by her Rock, Paper, Scissors bracelet) and presumably David. Before everybody starts freaking out, let’s consider the possibility that this was warranted. Patrick turned within half a day of feeling sick, and we don’t know that Karen and David weren’t headed down the same path. Second, who did it? Only a select few knew about those two, so my guess is either Herschel or Bob. The rest of them were on screen the whole time. Herschel because he cares more about the safety of the original group than of the Woodburians, and Bob because we’ve had two black men coexist in The Walking Dead for two whole episodes now; it’s time for one of them to go! Just kidding, Bob seems to be one of those guys who always tries to help the situation by making it worse.
Hush Comics gives The Walking Dead’s “Infected” an A. With Rick and Carl finally coming out of their shells, and Michonne opening up some deep scars, there’s plenty to look forward to. However, Carol’s insensitive advances towards Lizzie and Mika and Tyreese’s over-romantic advances to Karen kinda feel out of character, although they do serve a larger purpose. With the whole group snapping back to reality, it’s setting up something big and I can’t wait to find out what it is.
Before we get started on this review, I just wanted to let everybody know that this will not be a Breaking Bad review. BrBa has changed the way we watch television and the way I shave my beard. But don’t let that take away from The Walking Dead. It’s the best show on TV right now and an object of our obsession, but it’s still not Breaking Bad. That being said, we still LOVE TWD. It’s full of great actors and a suspenseful script. We might be shortening our reviews, but we still want to bring you the best recaps and reviews that we can write!
Much like the beginning of Season 3, The Walking Dead Season 4 premiere picks up months after the previous season finale. While I found this an endearing trait last season, I feel like this season premiere left me wondering what the hell happened. It seems that rotting walkers are a natural aphrodisiac because everybody seems to be in love. As Daryl puts it, “it’s like a damn romance novel.” Even Rick and Michonne seem to have a little something going on, and it just feels wrong. Especially because it becomes clear who wears the pants in that relationship. However, this is mostly embodied in Carl’s attitude, which is decisively less murderous and has the disposition of a normal kid, something that we can only attribute to reading comics all night long (take that, Comics Code Authority).
Making a debut is Bob. Fans of the comics know Bob as the Woodbury town drunk who patched up the Governor. He’s a former army medic and a sad, sad alcoholic. We were especially pleased to see another alum from The Wire play a recurring role on the show. We also meet Zach, Beth’s new boyfriend (or ex, I suppose) and Patrick, who is played by Vincent Martella from Everybody Hates Chris. There are a ton of new characters in this season’s premiere, but these were the ones that stood out to us.
The episode is split into three main settings, essentially, with Rick wandering out into the woods to retrieve a deer from a snare and other main characters heading to an outpost to grab some food, Carol and Rick stay in the prison. If it were only that simple… As the group enters the building, the camera pans out to the roof sprawling with walkers and an errant helicopter crash. Okay, how the hell did a convenience store building survive a helicopter crash? And how did all those people end up just dying there? It’s like FEMA dropped walkers on the rooftop instead of supplies, which doesn’t seem implausible. Anyway, as they enter the store, Bob finds his way to a huge shelf stocked with wine. Sidenote: can anybody in Georgia tell me whether or not your convenience stores have fully stocked shelves of alcohol? If so, your state may have a drinking problem. As Bob silently caresses the booze, then chooses to put down the bottle, the entire shelf says “fuck you” and collapses on itself and Bob, drawing all the walkers to the soft part of the roof and raining down onto the floor. Trying to save Bob, who is disgustingly trying to peel back the skull of a zombie with his hands as he is trapped underneath the shelf, Zach ends up getting bitten. It’s a real shame, because I thought he could be a really good character. This scene had a lot of carnage in it, with the decaying carcasses splatting on the ground. It was awesome.
At the prison, Carl is playing Captain Buzzkill when he berates the other kids who are joking at the expense of one of the walkers, Nick, who has a nametag on his shirt. It shows that Carl is trying to be more like his dad, who scolds Carl for naming one of the pigs Violet, but that he is far off from the badassery we saw at the end of Season 3. The kids all go to story-time with Carol. A grown man, who is credited as Ryan Samuels overlooks as his two daughters attend. This is extremely frightening to me; comic book readers will recall that Herschel had two young daughters that were murdered and mutilated in the prison by one of the inmates. Is TV ready for that?? I’d like to think not, but we’ll see. After Samuels leave, we join Carol’s Book Club in a basic knife training seminar. Hanging out with Daryl has done a lot of good for Carol. Although, when Carl finally decides to join the party, Carol is afraid he will tell Rick. It shows that Carl is most likely outcasted by the other kids; even Patrick, who is supposed to be his friend, lies to him. Something tells me Carl is gonna end up growing too fast and returning to form when shit hits the fan again.
Meanwhile, Rick runs into this crazy lady named Clara, who he initially mistook as a walker. I’m sorry, but that’s usually the first sign that you shouldn’t trust a person. Clara shows her puppy dog eyes at Rick, asking for him to help bring the deer back to her starving husband. Rick reluctantly agrees to add Clara and her husband to the merry band of misfits in the prison, if they can answer three questions to his liking. It’s a pretty predictable result that ends up with Clara trying to kill Rick to keep her walker husband fed. It’s a desperate attempt by a broken person who has nothing left to live for. It made me a little sad, but come on! This is almost two years into the zombie apocalypse; you gotta have tougher skin by that time. The questions end up being:
“How many walkers have you killed?”
“How many people have you killed?”
You can tell that he’s had a lot of time to think about these questions, and they are likely asked to every person they come across. Clara’s leaves Rick with haunting words. “You can’t come back from this.” She requests that Rick leave her to turn as a walker so that she can join her husband. Whether Rick honors her request or just doesn’t wanna deal with her shit anymore, I don’t know, but he leaves her to turn.
Everybody reconvenes at the prison after a long, crappy day. Michonne is still thinking about the Governor, Beth finds out about Zach and doesn’t really care, and Rick is still reeling from what Clara had told him. Rick talks with Herschel “Summer Santa” Greene, the anchor of the group, about it and Herschel tries to convince Rick that he and Carl have come back. It’s a nice segment that really makes you appreciate what Herschel means to the group. Oh, we also find out that Glen and Maggie aren’t pregnant. The episode ends with Patrick taking a cold shower, collapsing from some odd sickness, and bleeding out of his eyeballs and turning into a zombie. I guess everybody does hate Chris. Not that I’ve had this happen to me before, but my guess is that this is bad news for everybody asleep in the prison.
Hush Comics gives The Walking Dead’s “30 Days Without An Accident” a B-. At the end of the day, I’m super excited that The Walking Dead is back and this was a great episode to come back to. While some of the story feels disconnected due to the time off and some of the scenes here feel out-of place, the little awesome things that happen make up for it. The premise of zombie eyeball-bleeding disease also brings a lot of anticipation for what’s to come.
The dialogue in Breaking Bad is the baseline for what makes the show so enjoyable. It’s smart and funny. It is packed with a lot a punch. There are very few things that are said that don’t mean more than what it first appears as. It is also one of the most quoted pieces of modern pop-culture. It suddenly doesn’t seem inappropriate to yell “Bitch!” at someone or gruffly tell them to “apply yourself.” It was difficult to narrow the list to only seven, as there are so many great ones, but we felt these were the best of the best.
7. How Walt Lives His Life:
“To hell with your cancer. I’ve been living with cancer for the better part of a year. Right from the start, it’s a death sentence. That’s what they keep telling me. Well, guess what? Every life comes with a death sentence, so every few months I come in here for my regular scan, knowing full well that one of these times – hell, maybe even today – I’m gonna hear some bad news. But until then, who’s in charge? Me. That’s how I live my life.” – Walter White
This may be the most honest Walt has been the entire series, and it was to a total stranger in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. He is angry he has cancer, but that has never let him hold back in the two years we have known him. While it seems like an inspirational quote on the surface, Walt has lost the desire to live, and he really doesn’t care when the cancer comes back. At points in the timeline, Walt actually wishes that the cancer would come back; he has enough money to leave his family. Walt’s Heisenberg alter-ego is his way of coping with the cancer. He’s created this “big bad” persona that always has an answer to an issue that arrives, the anti-Walt, if you will, but it’s really just a coping mechanism that helps him feel in control of his cancer.
6. The Chemistry Must be Respected:
Walt: “You believe I have some proprietary kind of selfishness about my own formula? Some sort of overweening pride that you think simply overwhelms me, clouds my judgment?”
Gus: “But it doesn’t?”
Walt: “Absolutely not. I simply respect the chemistry. The chemistry must be respected.”
In this scene, Walt finds out that Jesse has been entrusted in taking over Gus’ operation and been manufacturing Walt’s signature blue meth. Offended by this, Walt convinces Gus that Jesse is nothing but a burn-out junkie that must be “supervised” during cooks and that a quality of “more or less that he has come to expect” is still not Heisenberg Level (although, technically, Heisenberg level is only 92%). Walt gets very snobby and denies that there is any conceit in his words, but simply that he is so in love with Chemistry that he could not bear to have this product cooked by anybody less-deserving. Gus cleverly sees right through all the bullshit, as he was just letting Jesse cook the product to lure Walt back. Gus shows Walt the lab and convinces Walt that he needs to be a man and provide for his family, forever setting Walt back on the bad path for the remainder of the show.
5. ASAC Schrader is Really the Smartest Guy We Know:
“You want me to beg? You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see—he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” – ASAC Hank Schrader
It was silly for Walt to ever think that he could pay the Aryan’s off when they still had the opportunity to sack a DEA agent, who they know would have gotten them all arrested eventually. Hank knew that with these types of criminals, when they have that chance and get 80 million dollars for free, they are going to jump on it. And his words to Walt were the things we all have wanted to say to Walt. He is so smart, but the entire show has been too stupid to see… well pretty much everything. His judgment has always been clouded by his family or his pride. And as we find out, he cannot have both.
4. You Knew the “Empire Business” Would Make the Cut:
“Jesse, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business. Neither. I’m in the empire business.” – Walter White
So back to the pride thing… Walt’s still butt-hurt that Gretchen and Elliott “screwed” him out of Grey Matter Technologies, a company that Walt helped build, but ultimately walked out on because of some weird relationship with he and Gretchen. Anyway, his own pride kept him from staying with Gray Matter and his own pride is what keeps him as Heisenberg. When Drew Sharp is murdered, it’s the end for Mike and Jesse. They want to sell the methylamine and be done for good, something that they are well-justified in doing after dissolving the body of a teenager. Walt has this delusion that the drug empire he has built will be a fair substitute for the one that he missed out on with Gretchen, and refusing to give up the methylamine to Jesse and Mike add one more crack to the mirror image of Walter White.
3. You Also Knew “Say My Name” Would Make the Cut:
Walt: “Now, say my name”
Walt: “You’re God damn right.”
There goes that pride thing again! At this point in the series, Walt has a major hard-on for himself. He’s murdered the drug kingpin of Albuquerque and established himself as the all-powerful Heisenberg, with a ruthlessness as fine-tipped as his product. After convincing a hesitant Mike to make a new deal for the methylamine, Walt meets up with Declan, the kingpin of Phoenix. We don’t know anything about Declan, but we do know that Phoenix is supposed to be a bigger player than ABQ in the meth game, so this dude is a big deal. Walt doesn’t care; he’s taken on the Cartel for Christ’s sake. He nixes the original deal and tells Declan, a presumably-dangerous man Walt has never met, that he now works for him. When Declan laughs at the idea, not knowing who Walt is, Walt elaborates. “I’m the man that killed Gus Fring.” Ahhh, snaps! He proceeds to make Declan his bitch by making him say Walt’s street name.
2. It’s How We All Feel, Jesse:
“I am not turning down the money! I’m turning down you! You get it?! I want nothing to do with you! Ever since I met you, everything I ever cared about is gone! Ruined, turned to shit, dead, ever since I hooked up with the great Heisenberg!” – Jesse Pinkman
It’s a surprise that this quote only comes half-way through the third season. Jesse had been through a lot up to that point, losing both Combo and Jane, not to mention having murdered a man. And while Walt saved him from Hank at the junkyard, there was nobody around to stop Hank from beating the ever-living crap out of Jesse at his own home. In what some could call a two-season long bitch-fest, Jesse breaks down in his hospital bed and refuses to work with Walt ever again. It’s a tragic statement so vivid that, no matter how you end up feeling about Jesse (we love him, btw), you can’t help but feel sorry for him. He has had everything taken away from him since beginning his time working with Walt. Unfortunately, money overrules foresight, as Jesse goes back to work with Walt. As everybody in Breaking Bad will eventually discover, this quote applies to more than just Jesse.
1. Knock, Knock. Who’s there?:
“You clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in: I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No! I am the one who knocks!” – Walter White
If there was one line of Breaking Bad that sums up the entire show, it’s this one right here. Skyler wakes up Walt and asks him about Gale Boetticher, she is frightened at the notion that the people Walt work with killed Gale and may do the same to Walt. She is sincerely worried about Walt and her family, pleading with Walt to turn himself in, that he was obviously in need of help and in way too deep. Walt, not one to allow anybody to make him seem weak, barks back at Skyler and makes himself look like a cold-hearted killer. In essense, his own arrogance destroys a family dynamic that was barely there in the first place.
Thanks for reading our Top Breaking Bad quotes. There was so many more we wanted to add, but we didn’t want to double dip moments by mentioning them more than once in our Breaking Bad Week articles. Stay tuned tomorrow for our Funniest Breaking Bad Moments article in the meantime (isn’t it hard to remember a time when this show was actually funny?), but in the mean time, let us know what your favorite quote from the show was below!
A greatness of a show is best defined by its characters. What they experience adds to the gravity of the situations they are in. Some characters in the show grow, while some characters simply show the same nature throughout the show. While we realize we could do this for many more characters, we wanted to the severity of each defining moment to really be one that makes you identify with the series just as well as with the character. Plus, we had to keep with the theme of sevens. Also keep in mind that we were very torn with some of these, and even crossed out a few that were the top selection but appear elsewhere in our Breaking Bad Week articles. Make sure you vote for your favorite Character Defining Moments in the polls below each character. In alphabetical order, here we go:
Gustavo Fring: Poisoning himself to kill Don Eladio
Gus has always been a professional, at and away from a deep fryer. Always cold and calculating, Gus seems to have a contingency for everything that goes awry. Which is why he clashes with Walt and Jesse’s reckless actions throughout season three and four. After managing to separate the two chaotic partners, he ends up putting Jesse under the wing of Mike, his right-hand man and prepares to take Jesse to Mexico to teach the Cartel how to cook the blue; when the Cartel says that they will be keeping Jesse in Mexico, Gus does not flinch. He then negotiates with Don Eladio to ease troubled relations in the fallout of the Juan Bolsa/DEA attack. Gus seems compliant, even toasting the mended relationship with Zafireo Anejo tequila (like $8000 a bottle, yo!). As the cartel celebrates their victory, Gus quietly excuses himself to the restroom, lays out a towel in front of the toilet and then vomits. It turned at that the tequila was poisoned. As Gus returns to the party, most of the Cartel members have already succumbed to the poison. Gus gets his personal revenge on Don Eladio, but, not completely evacuated of the poison, doubles over. In almost-Shakespearean fashion, he tells the remaining people to “fill your pockets and leave in peace, or fight me and die!” What a total badass.
Honorable Mention: In “Hermanos,” Gus and his chicken partner (AKA gay lover) Max present their case to Don Eladio in Mexico to pitch the idea of cooking methamphetamine for the Cartel. When conversation turns sour and Max begins pleading for Gus’ safety, Hector Salamanca draws his gun and shoots Max in the back of the head. This callous act puts Gus on a trajectory that he might not have been on otherwise. Max was the cook and Gus was the “Chicken Man.” Now, with hatred in his heart, Gus became the heartless killer that took down the entire Cartel.
Hank Schrader: “My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself”
Hank is the character that, in my opinion, experienced the most growth in the five seasons we’ve known him. From the guy who was the joke of the DEA, Hank has worked his way up the ranks to become a high-ranking officer and very capable detective. His life was his work, whether or not he was in the right of the law. Knowing that admitting to the office that his own family was the Heisenberg that had been avoiding him all this time, Hank was willing to give up his career to get the proof he needs to put Walt away for good. While he certainly avoids treading lightly, he goes out with such resolve that you actually end up hating Walt for it, even though he tried everything possible to stop it. Hank dies a hero and that’s more of an honor than any other dead person can say on this show.
Honorable Mention: When I say that Hank is ready to give up his career to catch the Heisenberg, I mean that Hank is willing to break the law in order to do so. He takes Walt, a civilian, on his ride-alongs to get evidence on Gus, not to mention the tracking devices he places (without warrant or DEA knowledge) on Gus and Walt’s car. He follows Mike around without a warrant, to the point where Saul has to intervene and remind him how illegal it is. And in the few episodes where he finally catches Walt at To’hajiilee, he: bugs Walt’s house without a warrant, lies to Huell and places an officer at his door to keep him from leaving, and stealing police evidence to work on at home.
Jesse Pinkman: Problem dog speech/NA blow-up
Quite the antithesis of Hank, Jesse has experienced the most decay throughout the series. Who was once a silly high-school burnout, Jesse has undergone so much personal tragedy. He’s been kicked out and abandoned by his family, he’s had one of his best friends killed and woke up next to his lover dead, not to mention that he’s had his ass beat several times. More damaging, though, he killed a man who was pretty innocent, in the scene of things. So going into season four, he is a fucking hot mess. His one release comes in the form of Narcotics Anonymous meetings. While he is also hustling recovering addicts to sell them meth on the side, he genuinely feels like he can talk about his pain. However, when he compares the murder of Gale to putting down a “problem dog,” the other members refuse to relieve him of responsibility, sending a hurting Jesse on the defensive and telling everybody that he is just there to sell them meth. In turn, he shuts down the one door he had towards emotional recovery and never really gets better.
Honorable Mention: More tragedy… After the start of season five, Jesse looks to be bouncing back. He has come up with some ingenious plans with magnets, and the train heist. Down to all the tiny details (including the fluid density differences), Jesse is proving himself to be a valuable commodity. And it has to be noted that he does all of this without any violence. That is, until Todd AKA Toddfuck AKA Meth Damon decides it’s a good idea to shoot little 14 year old Drew Sharp for stumbling upon them in the desert. Jesse is crushed. Like Gonzo crushed. It’s this incident that gets Jesse permanently out of cooking, but unfortunately not out of the game. It’s fun to imagine what would have been if Jesse had continued growing with Mike believing in him, and not the snowball of shit that played out.
Mike Ehrmantraut: “No more half measures”
Mike is always the coolest cucumber in the room, but it’s not too hard to believe that he can lose his cool from time to time. In a speech to Walt about risking getting into business with Jesse, still on drugs, he tells the account of a domestic violence case. In the story, he speaks of his big man who would beat his tiny wife and every weekend, she would beg them not to arrest him and that she was afraid of him. One night, when Mike’s partner is out sick, he takes this man into the middle of nowhere and puts a gun in his mouth, threatening the man that, “So help me if you ever touch her again I will such and such and such and such and blah blah blah blah blah.” When he releases the man, he murders his wife two weeks later. The moral of the story is to take no half-measures. It’s the realization that Mike is inherently a good guy, but more so that he is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure his job is complete – which we infer that Mike had, in turn, murdered the man and broke bad.
Honorable Mention: With Walt planning to murder Gus, he thinks he can still get Mike on his side to do it. Walt invites Mike to a bar to try to manipulate Mike and it does NOT work. As soon as Mike figures out what Walt is doing, he cracks him in the face and thanks him for the drink. It’s an ode to the loyalty that Mike has, as well as his consistency as a character.
Saul Goodman: Old Yeller
Always the sneaky scumbag lawyer, it isn’t until we see him part ways with Jesse that we see him for the opportunist that he is. While Saul and Jesse have never have a friendly relationship, I would like to think that the two of them have been through some pretty dangerous situations together. Jesse has grown under Saul’s tutelage, albeit only legally, but there should still be some type of personal connection. That’s why I was so appalled during “Rabid Dog” when Saul uses an Old Yeller euphemism to suggest that Walt simply put Jesse out after Jesse goes crazy and tries to burn Walt’s house down. It’s a despicable act that reveals Saul’s true nature. He is out for him, and while he may still show some loyalty to Walt, it’s 99% money and 1% due to the fact that if Walt goes down, so does Saul. He’s a snake, plain and simple, but he’s funny and witty enough to carry his own series. I’m looking forward to see what kind of character he begins as in Better Call Saul.
Honorable Mention: In true lawyer etiquette, Saul refuses to be Walt and Jesse’s lawyer without being paid for it. In the middle of the desert with strange men pointing guns at his face, he still has the balls to ask them to play along because something tells me (as we should find out in the spin-off) this isn’t his first rodeo. He’s a criminal lawyer, but more importantly, he will always be a criminal lawyer.
Skyler White: Pretending to be crazy to save the children
Oh, Skyler. Poor Skyler; everybody seems to hate her! In truth, I’m not crazy about her either, but she had been put into such a difficult decision, as a wife and a mother. Unlike Lady Soprano, though, Skyler is weak. She buys into the naive idea that she can control her ego-driven husband, and it works for a bit, until Walt begins masturbating to the fact that he killed Gus. Skyler, feeling trapped and with nobody to turn on, her last cry for help is to fall in the pool and drown herself. Looking entirely bat-shit crazy to her children and family, the goal of having the children moved out of the house and out of danger is accomplished. She also takes a lot of shit from Jr. the entire series in trying to keep Walt from being conspicuous. It’s a tough but necessary role and I commend Anna Gunn for being ready to play it.
Honorable Mention: Enough is enough. After being forced to live in a hotel when Jesse spills gasoline all over the house, Skyler tells Walt to “handle” it, because in her mind, “What’s One More?” When that one more turns out to be her brother-in-law, Hank, Skyler can’t handle it. As Walt rushes to finish packing the family’s bags, Skyler grabs a knife and tells Walt to leave; that was the final straw. She slashes his hand when he approaches her and then violently lunges at him. Walt’s motto may have been “family first,” but Skyler had made up her mind that Walt was no longer a part of it.
Walter White: “Ozymandias”
Oh boy; this was definitely the most difficult decision. Walter White has undergone so much change; he’s gone from the loser chemistry teacher to frightening drug kingpin to frail (but no less dangerous) cancer carrier. In all those changes, though, he has always put his family first. This is not illustrated any more truly when he gives up everything in “Ozymandias.” Ignoring the fact that he offers $80 million dollars to the Aryans, he walks away from the family after he realizes he can’t be with them ever again. He tries his best to absolve Skyler of any involvement in the meth empire. He takes all the blame, something his arrogance and pride wouldn’t have let him do earlier in the show. In the ultimate sacrifice, he leaves Holly in a semi-safe place that will allow Skyler to get her back, it’s sad to see Walt, leaving alone with his money and nobody to give it to.
Honorable Mention: The great thing about Walt in Breaking Bad is that he is always responsible for bad things that happen, but he never seems to find himself responsible for events that happen. There’s no greater example of this than when Walt watches Jane die. He did not, in the strictest sense, kill her. But his inaction, Jane chokes on her own vomit and dies – a death that makes her distraught father cause the crash of Wayfarer 515 and the death of 167 people. This isn’t the only time Walt causes somebody’s death without actually killing them, as the demises of: Tomas Castillo, Gale Boetticher, Victor, Hector Salamanca, Gustavo Fring, Tyrus, the ten of Mike’s men in prison (including a lawyer), Steve Gomez and Hank Schrader are all due to Walt rocking the boat. The list isn’t complete either, as there’s sure to be plenty more rockin’ to do.
I hope you all liked our character defining moments. Stayed tuned for tomorrow’s Top Quotes. Let us know in the comments if there are any other character defining moments for the characters we didn’t list here.