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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The Sheriff Takes Up Arms

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Rick's been struggling with all the violence he's had to endure and be a part of. This led to a lot of, well, gardening this season much to chagrin of his son, the people he is supposed to lead and most of the viewing audience. But in this episode, Rick's non-violent attitude is put to the test when four invaders break into the house he is sleeping in while Michonne and Carl are out. Rick had given his only weapon to Carl and now must endure a post-apocalyptic rapist gang version of Home Alone.

Struggling to get out of the house before Carl and Michonne return, he is forced to hide under the bed, which two of the invaders fight over. One of them is killed (right when he finally saw Rick under the bed which was a nice touch) while the other takes a victory nap. Rick takes this opportunity to get away, but stumbles upon another invader in the bathroom. He is forced to kill this one by strangulation and before he sneaks out the window, he does something very smart. He opens the bathroom door a crack.

With the dead man's gun in hand, Rick sneaks out a window and around the back porch where one of the two remaining invaders is eating canned food while waiting for Michonne to return to start the gang rape (they found her belongings in the house). Rick has the opportunity to kill this guy, but hesitates. He struggles with outright murder. Killing the guy in the bathroom was done out of instinct and necessity. Rick had no time to think, just react to keep the invader quiet so he could make his escape to save his son and friend. But this scenario, with the guy being killed in cold-blood, tests Rick's morals.

When he sees Michonne and Carl walking towards the house from their scavenging hunt, he knows he has to kill this guy before they are spotted. However, his earlier cleverness saves the day. The invader he killed in the bathroom zombied up and attacked the other still living guy in the house because Rick had made sure it could get out of the bathroom by leaving the door open. This creates enough of a distraction for Rick to sprint to Michonne and Carl before they reached the house and for all three to run off.

This whole storyline had some great tension, but largely relied on the invaders to be your garden-variety horror movie idiots. Would one invader kill another over a bed on a street full of nice two-story houses full of potentially even bigger beds? And would he leave the guy he killed dead on the floor and take a victory nap knowing the guy is going to rise from the dead and eat his face while he slept? This whole thing was saved by Rick's dilemma and the desperation convincingly portrayed by actor Andrew Lincoln.

In the end, Rick, Michonne and Carl find a map to the sanctuary Terminus. This is the same place Tyreese, Carol, baby Judith, psycho Lizzie and Mika found in the previous episode. So it looks like the gang is getting back together to deal with another dysfunctional community.

Overall, I found this to be a very good episode. Michonne steals every scene she is in and her new emotional range is making her even more riveting to watch. Rick had a tense story that put him to the test and didn't involve him making bad parenting choices with Carl. And though Glenn is being kind of one note, who doesn't love this badass side of him?

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