TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD – 2014 (S4 Episodes 11 & 12)
Since it’s return, the last half of Season 4 of THE WALKING DEAD has been a lot of emotional breakthroughs, origins stories, coming to terms and finding closure for some characters and even some cases of genuine happiness, as shown in the most recent episode. In my vast experience and expertise with Murphy’s Law, I know the most horrible and fucked up things are on their way to torture the characters and agitate the hell out of the audience. Every good feeling will be avenged tenfold by the writers.
Episode 11 features more heavy handed ‘dealing with things’. Michonne & Carl go to find food, and in the process bond through Carl’s missing baby sister thought to be dead and Michonne’s own baby son. Things are talked about, feelings are resolved and relationships are solidified. It’s a growing experience for both these characters. We get to see Michonne as never before, joking, being silly and actually smiling. It’s creepy at first, since we don’t expect that from the character, but sweet once you get used to it. Rick on the other hand, continues his journey from injured to slowly getting back in the game.
After Michonne & Carl left, Rick allows himself some shut eye, only to discover the house being occupied by some rowdy rednecks, who seem anything but friendly. After some tense moments of hiding, Rick finally has to kill one of ’em and get out in time to warn Michonne & Carl before they return. It all ends well, but it provides some great tension throughout out the episode, as Rick has no lines, but has to silently sneak through the house undetected. On their way out, Rick, Michonne & Carl stumble upon the same directions to the place where Carol and Tyrese are headed to, the Sanctuary where all is well. So they head on over…
We also find out what happened to Glen & Tara after running into that new group of folks, as seen in the cliffhanger from Episode 10. This is where the story of THE WALKING DEAD finally progresses beyond just people trying to survive in a zombie shitstorm. We are introduced to a soldier, his hot soldier GF and a scientist dude. The scientist, whose name is not yet important enough for me to know, knows how and why the Zombie apocalypse happened and is on his way to Washington D.C. to do something about it. The soldiers are transporting him there safely when they come across Glen & Tara. Finally!! The world of this show gets expanded and we are treated to more of the story of how this situation happened rather than season long story arcs of people dying and surviving. Glen’s refusal to stop looking for his wife Maggie, and a damaged truck, intertwine the new group’s fate with Glen’s search. Episode 11 is a great blend of tense action and relationship building as well as progressing the story after years of screwing around looking for food and shit. Shit’s moving along folks.
Episode 12 has just as much heavy relationshippy stuff. This time though, we’re brought back to Beth & Daryl and their adventures in survival. The whole episodes focuses on them solely, as Beth wants to do more than just survive, and she forces Daryl to deal with all his pent up emotions from day one of this Apocalypse. We get an in-depth look into both the characters, their mindsets, philosophies and thought process. After going on a frivolous search for booze, Daryl introduces Beth to Moonshine, and they both proceed to get tanked. This provided a LOT of tension, at least for me as the audience, knowing what a horrible idea is to be impaired in a world where any minute something can creep up and take bite out of you… literally. Fortunately, nothing happened, except for deep emotional cuts and intense outbursts of teary eyes awesome-ness.
Daryl completely breaks down and, get this, expresses his feelings. Both of these characters have been through so much, and have such in common that it wouldn’t be apparent at first glance. Both have lost loved ones, had to deal with unimaginative loss, and had to keep a straight face through out, never letting emotions in. This episode breaks down all walls and holds nothing back when it comes to these two characters baring their souls and even ends on such a happy note, as they are able to completely leave behind their baggage and start anew. It’s very creepy to see a happy upbeat background song playing at the end of a WALKING DEAD episode, but if further lends credence to the shitstorm that is to come. It’s a trap!! It’s all a trap!