The Walking Dead - TV
The Walking Dead Recap: Season 4 Episode 11 "Claimed"

Dan O'Halloran | 25 Feb 2014 19:00
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This episode of The Walking Dead tells us two stories, but contains three significant high points with the show's characters. Not only do we get to see more of the hotly anticipated trio from the comics led by Sgt. Abraham, but more amazing emoting from Michonne and Rick, still deep in conflict about violence, but taking action despite his reservations. All this and gloriously gory walker destruction awaits in our recap of "Claimed."

The Sergeant, the Scientist and the Lady Soldier

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Fans of the graphic novels were thrilled with the ending of last episode and the introduction of a pivotal trio of characters from the Walking Dead universe. Sgt. Abraham is an ex-Army jarhead who smiles while dispatching walkers, doesn't take no for an answer and is never happier than when following orders. And his mission at the moment is to take the scientist Eugene to Washington D.C. to save all of humanity. He saw how Glenn and Tara fought the roadside walkers and is taking them with him to help on his mission.

It never occurs to Abraham to ask if they want to come along. Why wouldn't they want to save the world? But Glenn doesn't care if they entire planet falls into the sun as long as he is reunited with Maggie. Unfortunately for Glenn, when he regains consciousness he is several hours away from the bus where he knows Maggie will be looking for him. In his attempt to get away from Sgt. Abraham and head back towards the bus, the two get into a brawl and Glenn holds his own against the trained killer. This, however, attracts walkers and Mr. Mouth-breathing Scientist decides to use an automatic weapon in self-defense. The only thing he manages to take out is the transport vehicle.

Sgt. Abraham is determined to find a new transport, but Glenn is just as determined to find Maggie and leaves him behind with Tara in tow. The lady warrior, who so far has had zero impact on the story since her appearance and has yet to explain why she is dressed like stripper from Tijuana, decides to go with Glenn. The Sergeant and Scientist have no choice to go with them to stick together.

Abraham doesn't seem as menacing as he first appeared when finding Tara and Glenn by the side of the road. In fact, he seems rather dim and eager to follow orders from Eugene. Other than being manipulated by those even marginally smarter than himself, I'm not sure what they are going to do with this guy. His moral system seems very simplistic and straightforward, something that isn't going to hold up in this post-apocalyptic mess.

The other notable point in this storyline is Tara. Her intense loyalty to Glenn is based on him saving her from the prison after she gave up on herself. It seems largely fueled by guilt. For example, when Sgt. Abraham says he can tell if people are good or not and decides she is one of the good ones like him, she tells Abraham he has no idea what he's talking about pointing out both his simple thinking and her own view of herself.

Michonne Shows Us Her Cheesey Side (and that's a good thing)

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Michonne and Carl continue their mother-son relationship in a wonderful way that brings the horror around them into sharp contrast. When Carl gets despondent at his assumption that baby Judith is dead, Michonne shoots cheese-in-a-can into her mouth and pretends to be a walker in a comic fashion. Not getting a response out of him, she notes that toddlers love her, prompting Carl to pepper her with questions about her life before they met. She reveals her three-year-old son (who we saw in flashbacks for the first time in the previous episode) was named Andre Anthony and he died. She has never told anyone that but claims it's not a secret.

I get the feeling that she hasn't given herself permission to grieve over her son's death until now and her time with Carl is part of her healing process. The actress, Danai Gurira, does an amazing job of shifting between badass, stone cold zombie slayer to joyfully laughing and lighting up the room as she tries to cheer up Carl. Hello, Emmy nominating committee, are you paying attention?

Another poignant moment comes when Michonne finds a room where the entire family is dead and laid out together on beds. She barely holds back tears seeing a complete family together in death, while she still remains alive with her own family gone. Rick asked her earlier in the episode if she is going to stick around for Carl's sake and she responded that she is done taking breaks. And here we see that she is tempted to join her family in death to be with them again, but now she has something to live for. Even if it is, you know, Carl. Nicely done, TWD writers, nicely done.

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