As many of you may already know, I love The Walking Dead. It’s one of those shows that I have committed to up to the point where I schedule social interactions around the times a new episode is airing. Yes—it’s that serious. Some of you may have read my previous entry discussing the shocking mid season finale a few months ago. As if things weren’t crazy enough already, The Walking Dead continued to deliver in some of the most amazing episodes in the history of the show.
Obligatory spoiler alert: By continuing to read this, I am assuming you have already seen the entirety of the show thus far, up through the season finale which aired last night. If you have not seen every episode and don’t want it ruined for you, stop reading this blog now. Bookmark this entry, watch all of Season 4 of The Walking Dead, then come back and we can chat. 😉
So…..where to begin? One episode that I think really affected everyone who watched it was The Grove, where Lizzie’s inability to grasp humanity in a post apocalyptic world and Mika’s innocence to the real dangers in the apocalypse came to an explosive conclusion. I wanted to start by discussing this episode in particular because of the impact it had on me, and everyone I know who watched it. The idea for this section of the storyline was actually pulled from the source material, The Walking Dead comics. The story was essentially the same: two siblings (boys, in the comics), one who is so warped by the apocalypse that they don’t understand what it means to die or to kill, that same one kills their sibling and says “Don’t worry…[they’ll] come back. I made sure not to hurt the brain.”
The main difference for The Walking Dead show vs. the comic was when this storyline hit its climax and Lizzie needed to be dealt with after murdering her sister Mika, there was no group involved, there were only Carol and Tyrese…..with baby Judith’s safety to consider. The acting in this episode was great; so many lines had such an impact. I think part of this was due to repetition of key lines and variations of the lines (ie: Everything works out like it’s supposed to, she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, she can’t be around other people, and of course: just look at the flowers).
The actress who plays Lizzie gave me chills in the scene when Carol and Tyrese discover her crime scene. She looks so lucid and seems to have no concept of the gravity of the act she just committed. Even when Carol takes Lizzie out into the field to ultimately “put her down” so to speak, Lizzie seems to have no idea why Carol really took her out into the field and thinks that Carol is mad at her for pointing a gun at her. The scene with her “playing” with a zombie in the yard also gave the audience a good hard look at how much Lizzie’s mental state had deteriorated. Additionally, there was the scene earlier that episode in which Lizzie offers her arm to the zombie stuck in the train tracks (after feeding him a live mouse….mystery of who was feeding the walkers solved there!) as a tasty zombie snack. The reactions from Carol and Tyrese really bring the reality of the situation home. I really liked the way Carol and Tyrese ponder Lizzie’s insanity, questioning if there was anything they could have done to have prevented her from murdering her sister. The moment that you know there is no redemption for Lizzie’s character is when Carol reflects, “This is how she is….it was already there.” Followed by that all deciding line, “She can’t be around other people.” It’s true, Lizzie can’t be around other people, not after showing what she is capable of by killing Mika and proposing she also “change” baby Judith as well. There is no therapy in the zombie apocalypse, and no coddling. In a different world, Lizzie would have been sent to an institution and given medication. Carol’s choice was tough, but it was the only one that could have made sense. Lizzie had become a bigger threat to this group than starvation and being eaten by zombies. In a harsh world, harsh actions needed to be taken.
I also liked that Carol came clean to Tyrese in the end of this episode. I was thinking for a while that maybe Lizzie had killed Karen and David, and Carol just covered it up and burned the bodies, but Carol really did do it, and she made her confession to Tyrese-literally placing her life in his hands when she did, by handing him her gun and telling him to, “do what you need to do.” Part of me thinks Tyrese may have forgiven her simply because he might not have fully believed Carol’s confession. After all, she just watched one child be murdered and had to execute the other, Carol was clearly not in the best mental or emotional state. I feel like part of the reason she confessed her crimes to Tyrese is because she couldn’t live with herself anymore and she was hoping Tyrese would kill her. But in the end, though clearly difficult, Tyrese says he forgives Carol. It was a great moment, and I really liked how so many storylines were resolved in this episode. Hands down, The Grove was my favorite episode of the second half.
Aside from The Grove, there were other things I really liked about this half of the season. The introduction of Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene for starters. The casting for these roles was nearly perfect; these three seriously looked like they just walked out of the comics. I’m really looking forward to seeing what direction AMC takes with their characters.
I was also happy about the lone survivor from the Governor’s group being Tara. I really like her, and I would like to see her character have a greater role…..stay alive in season 5 please, Tara.
Beth and Daryl….very interesting pairing. I would really like to see more of it as well. Some theorize Beth may be dead, but I don’t think so. I believe right now, Beth is in the hands of someone unknown….until season 5 that is.
I also really enjoyed the moments we got to look into Michonne’s back story. Michonne is one of my favorite characters on this show and I am really proud of AMC for how they have portrayed her character. The show actually made Michonne a much stronger female character then she was in the comics, a very rare occurrence. AMC actually did the same for Carol’s character as well, which I really admire since Carol is a domestic abuse survivor. Mass media has a tendency of weakening female characters….you can even see it in The Walking Dead with Lori and Andrea. Fans hated Andrea on the show so much that they killed her off early on….in the comics (last I checked) her character is still alive, and kicks a ton of ass.
But AMC gave us this…..
Ugh…..poor Andrea. I will remember the Andrea in the comics first and foremost, always.
Rick’s transition back into fighter from farmer in the season finale was amazing to watch, especially the scene with the Claimed Gang in the beginning of the season 4 finale. This scene was also pulled from the comics, though I was shocked to see that AMC actually made it more graphic than the comics did…Carl was only threatened with molestation in the comics, while in the show the guy had Carl pinned to the ground and was clearly undoing his belt buckle……
When Rick sees Carl in danger, he really comes to action, and this scene really completes his transformation back into Rick the warrior. There was so much I loved about this scene, and I have to give props to Andrew Lincoln who revealed on Talking Dead after the episode that for the visual effect of ripping out Joe’s throat with he teeth, he actually had to bite into raw chicken. Now that is an actor who is dedicated to his craft… salmonella don’t mean shit!
Last but not least, I cannot let this entry end without discussing Terminus. The entire second half of the season lead up to the group getting there, and from the moment I saw the end of episode 15 of season 4, I knew something just wasn’t right….
One lone unarmed woman at the gate, no barricades, no locks? It instantly looked like a trap, and Rick and the gang proved me right in the season finale. Terminus is full of cannibals who trick humans into coming to their camp for “salvation”. I personally found it ironic that a few episodes back, Abraham himself said it was a lie, but no one listened.
Next time guys, listen to Abraham. He knows his shit.
Also ironic: Terminus means end of the line, how fitting that it turned out to be the sort of place that it ended up being….
A lot of people are pissed season 4 ended on a cliffhanger, but I’m not. I just can’t wait for more. Some questions remain, as always…how will the gang escape the cannibals of Terminus? Will Carol and Tyrese play a role in the escape, or will they be caught in the trap as well? Will baby Judith survive a midst the cannibals and walkers? Who took Beth? Is there really no sanctuary in this harsh new world? Additionally, Eugene says he knows what started the outbreak…….
But we will have to wait until season 5 for any more answers.
At least Game of Thrones is coming back on this weekend. 😉