The Walking Dead Review “Internment” S4E5

The Walking Dead “Internment” Review 

Naw man, it's cool. I'll just walk.
Naw man, it’s cool. I’ll just walk. Thanks anyway…

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.

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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! 

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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.

Dafuq?
Dafuq?

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.

Father-Son Potato Sack Champions
Father-Son Potato Sack Champions

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.

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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??

Why ruin it by asking about Carol?
Why ruin it by asking about Carol?

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.”

I... HATE.... SPAGHETTI!
I… HATE…. SPAGHETTI!

written by John Soweto and Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television

The Walking Dead Review “Indifference” S4E4

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.

I don't know about these two. I think there's some trouble... A-FOOT. Ha!
I don’t know about these two. I think there’s some trouble… A-FOOT. Ha!

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!”

Veritas Aequitas, beee-yotch!
Veritas Aequitas, beee-yotch!

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?!?!

You done messed up now, Sheriff!
You done messed up now, Sheriff!

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…).

written by John Soweto and Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television

The Walking Dead Review “Isolation” S4E3

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.

Police brutality doesn't die with the apocalypse, unfortunately.
Police brutality doesn’t die with the apocalypse, unfortunately.

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.

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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.

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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?

It's like going to a Grateful Dead concert out here!
It’s like a Grateful Dead concert out here!

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.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television

The Walking Dead Review “Infected” S4E2

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.

No, no, no. Not Tyrese, TYREESE.
No, no, no. Not Tyrese, TYREESE.

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!

Who wore it better?
Who wore it better?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television

The Walking Dead Reivew “30 Days Without an Accident” S4E1

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).

You went full shane

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.

I'll bet you Wallace is in there...
I’ll bet you Wallace is in there…

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.

Ya know, if you guys aren't too busy or anything... could I get a hand here?
Ya know, if you guys aren’t too busy or anything… could I get a hand here?

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?”

“Why?”

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.

Oh, Zach's dead? That's cool. Will you be my new boyfriend?
Oh, Zach’s dead? That’s cool. Will you be my new boyfriend?

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.

written by Sherif Elkhatib

All images credited to AMC Television