Tyreese Comes Out Swinging: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 4

Until now Tyreese has been a level-headed character. However at the start of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 (Infected), he does a complete 180. After discovering his smoldering dead girlfriend, he comes out swinging. Was she torched as a walker? Or murdered? Tyreese doesn’t care. He just puts Daryl in a choke hold and punches Rick. I’m glad to see Tyreese becoming more nuanced like he is in the Walking Dead comics, but I wish his development would happen under less depressing circumstances.

Despite Tyreese’s grief-stricken state, Rick doesn’t take kindly to sucker punches, and loses his shit. He goes full-on crazy, turning self-defense into a total beat down. I can’t blame Rick for returning blows, because I would too, except I’d exercise more restraint. If you know about Rick and Tyreese’s epic entanglement from the Walking Dead comics, you’ll be pumped to watch this episode’s brawl, even though the show’s reasons for their fight are less complex.

Later on in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3, Tyreese comes out swinging again, this time with his hammer. When he, Daryl, Michonne, and Bob Stookey accidentally drive into an enormous herd of walkers, their car gets trapped on a hill of zombies, forcing them to fight their way out. Tyreese stays to take on a swarm singlehandedly, which seems like a sacrificial play if you haven’t read the Walking Dead comics. Using a situation similar to one in the comics, the show’s writers have Tyreese channel his rage into walker-killing superpowers. Like the Rage Mode from Doom, Tyreese angrily and rapidly destroys his foes, leaving him exhausted, yet alive.

Back at the prison, everyone left there tries to combat the mystery illness killing people off. Even Glenn and Sacha catch it, leaving us devastated. Get well soon guys! Most uninfected prefer quarantine to stem the illness, while their friends search for supplies. Although Hershel is willing to put his life on the line to help. Once again he thrives as the show’s emotional anchor, especially when he delivers one of his famous knock you on your ass powerful speeches about risking your life for what’s important. Aw snap, Rick and Maggie, you got served!

Following this season’s theme of answering a previous episode’s questions while raising new ones, we learn that Carol burned Karen and Dave. Now that Rick knows about she did, we’re all left wondering, is there anything he’s going to do about it?

This week’s poll: If you were in Rick’s position, would you tell anyone it was Carol who torched Karen and Dave?

Are you happy with Tyreese’s character development? And if you were Rick, would you have fought back against him? Click here to leave me a comment.

What Carol did in Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

Toward the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3 (Isolation), Rick figures out that Carol is the person who burned Karen and David. Ultimately what she did kept everyone safe, but it has Tyreese pissed off and demanding justice.

To talk more with me about The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 3, check out my full post on the episode, to let me know what you think.

Bloodletting: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2

Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2

Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 (Infected) proves that the show’s writers haven’t lost their penchant for eerie openings. This episode’s pre-credits sequence is creepy as f*** and it’s not just because it follows the season premiere’s foreboding ending.

In his opening, director Guy Ferland tantalizes us with a mysterious figure feeding walkers live rats at the prison’s outer fence. Then Ferland transitions indoors, where Tyreese sings to his girlfriend Karen. After that, he follows Karen as she travels perilously toward the newly zombified Patrick. Until she retires safely to her cell, Ferland has you on the edge of your seat because you’re suspicious that undead Patrick could jump out at any moment. Ferland finally delivers the gore you’re expecting, when he has walker Patrick chomp into the juicy throat of some poor sleeping guy. And…cue the show’s opening credits.

During the chaotic events that follow in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2, there are several haunting scenes that stick with you long after the end credits.

  • Cell block D’s fight for survival
  • Michonne’s tearful breakdown
  • Pig sacrifice to the walkers
  • Rick’s fire and rearming
  • Discovery of Karen’s torched remains

The fight in cell block D is unforgettable because the episode’s music reaches a peak that deftly conveys the frantic tragedy of the situation. Then as things settle down, the score comes crashing down, leaving you emotionally winded. Michonne’s breakdown while holding baby Judith is memorable since she hardly shows emotion. While she sheds tears, you can’t help wondering if she lost a child of her own. Rick’s sacrifice of his pigs for the safety of his settlement gives horrifying validity to the expression “bleeding like a stuck pig” as he cuts them and throws the unfortunate squealing animals to their death. The spray of blood and somber music here are gut wrenching. Following that mess, when Rick burns the pig area and puts his gun belt back on, you become certain that there’s nothing but trouble ahead for him. Lastly, Tyreese’s discovery of the bloody trail to Karen’s burned body is heartbreaking since he never got a chance to say goodbye or know for sure that she turned.

Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 provides answers on how Patrick got sick (pig meat) and whose gun Rick dug out of the garden (Carl’s). However the episode leaves us with a brand new questions as well. Who burned Karen’s body and why? Plus the subject of this week’s poll: Who is feeding the walkers rats?

Who do you think torched Karen and why? Click here to leave me a comment.

It’s Raining Dead: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1

Hershel and Rick talk in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1

Hershel (Scott Wilson) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. 

(Singing) It’s raining dead! Hallelujah, it’s raining dead! Amen!

For me, the high point of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 (30 Days Without an Accident), is a delightfully action-packed scene where walkers are raining down on our heroes. This is a frightening situation for them, but thankfully Daryl Dixon is there to save the day by delivering lethal shots with his crossbow and stomping zombie heads into pulp. The juicy supply run gone-wrong represents the season-opener’s most intense section. There’s blood by the bucketful, peeling rotten flesh, and a walker hanging entertainingly by its entrails. It’s an absolute delight for zombie fans.

Although new showrunner Scott M. Gimple rewards us early on with this thrilling gory conflict, he does a fantastic job balancing The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1 with some great character development. A significant amount of time has passed since the end of Season 3, so in this episode we’re treated to catching up with the significant changes that have taken place at the prison. There are physical modifications that the site has undergone like an outdoor cafeteria, a garden, a stable, and a pig pen. Relationships have shifted too during that window. Romantic connections have emerged for Tyreese and Beth. Maybe even Daryl and Carol got together too? Carol calls him “Pookie,” however that mostly seems like a joke.

Rick and Carl have also been working at fixing the rift that formed between them at the end of Season 3. Rick has turned into a farmer and provider who helps find food for everyone while others have formed a council to lead the community. It’s nice to see Carl acting like a kid again, talking about comics and following his dad around. One of the stranger moments in the episode is the odd flirtation between Michonne and Rick when she gives him an electric razor and jests “Your face is losing a war.” Perhaps they’ll hook up as well at some point?

A bizarre detour during the episode involves Rick’s trip into the woods and his encounter with a deranged, lonely woman named Clara. What’s silly about the whole thing is that Rick follows her without telling anyone where he’s going. Then she ends up attacking him and killing herself senselessly. The subplot goes on longer than it should considering the whole adventure serves one point: for Rick and Hershel to later debate whether you can come back from the terrible things you have to do for survival. Hershel believes you can. And it appears Rick has turned himself around.

By the end of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 1, you’re left with three fascinating questions and a fun cliffhanger. First, whose gun is it that Rick digs up in the garden? Second, how are the pigs getting sick? Third, and most importantly, the subject of this week’s poll, how does the kid get sick who dies at the end? His death and transformation into a walker in the final moment spells trouble for our friends at the prison. Can’t wait to see how it plays out.

What did you think of The Walking Dead’s Season 4 premiere? Any surprises or disappointments? What do you think will happen next? Click here to leave me a comment.

Thoughts on AMC’s Robert Kirkman Fan Chat

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching the season finale, before reading further.

Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer and Writer for The Walking Dead

Robert Kirkman, Executive Producer and Writer for The Walking Dead

This week’s Dead Alert newsletter contains Part I or a two part interview with Walking Dead Executive Producer, Writer, and Creator Robert Kirkman, which is conducted entirely through fan questions. I found the Part II linked and available so I’m going to comment on both of them.

A few of the questions fans ask Kirkman in Part I are fairly common things fans might want to know, but unfortunately elicit really uninspired responses. These are questions like “What was the reasoning behind having Laurie Holden’s character killed in the Season 3 Finale? With Rick bringing more people back to the prison, will this is some way complicate his relationship with Carl? Can you talk more about the casting process for the show? and Robert, will we see Morgan again?”

It doesn’t surprise me that they had a plan for how Andrea’s death would impact characters in Season 4 of the show. Otherwise it would have seemed pretty pointless to kill her. I think we could already see Rick and Carl’s relationship getting complicated in the middle of Season 3, plus they seemed to be at even greater odds during the finale. I was pretty certain that their relationship would change in “startling and interesting ways” as Kirkman puts it. Casting? Do people really want to know about that generally? It only seems like something that should be of note when it comes to specific actors. I guess, a general question gets a generic response. And then lastly, I’m not sure why they would bother re-introducing Morgan if the writers had no intention of him showing up again. That would just be silly to waste him as an ammo producing plot device.

The other questions in Part I are much more fascinating. It’s cool to learn how an actor finds out about his or her character’s impending death and how much say he/she has in the actual death scene. I’m not surprised they play things close to the chest. I wouldn’t want a performance tarnished by someone’s awareness that they would die either. I like that someone asked if the group could survive without Rick. Killing off a central character like that could be risky, however it would be exciting and take the show in cool directions the comic hasn’t gone. Lastly on Part I, I absolutely LOVE that someone asked Kirkman about the Walking Dead/Toy Story meme floating around which compares the similarities between the two. Kirkman takes a silly question like that with a good sense of humor and reveals something we all probably suspected. No coincidence intended.

Robert-Kirkman-Fan-Interview-2The questions fans ask in Part II of the Robert Kirkman Fan Chat are much more interesting. There’s only one question that seems like a setup for Kirkman to play coy “Can you shed any light into how the Governor’s story will continue…or close in Season 4?” Of course he wouldn’t spoil any details, which is why Kirkman responds “I can say the Governor will certainly be around. But we’ll be seeing him in a new light, and doing some different stuff with him, so it’s not going to be the same Governor in Season 4.”

The question about whether Kirkman would want to be a walker is a bit cheesy, but still goofy and fun. I can’t see too many people answering yes to that question. I dig the inquiries about differences between The Walking Dead show and the comic. When asked which one he cherishes more, I had no doubt he would say the comic considering he created that first and has been working on it for some time. I also liked learning about story lines Kirkman wished he had thought of for the comic.

My favorite questions in the entire two-part interview though are tied for the one about Daryl’s potential love life (simply based upon how it’s phrased), and the one about whether a particular zombie in Season 3 Episode 15 was meant to be a nod to “Dawn of the Dead.” I can’t believe how observant that person was! I’m shocked that I didn’t notice such a brilliant nuance considering how much I love George Romero’s film AND the fact that I usually pick out all sorts of tiny references.

I’m already going through withdrawls now that Season 3 is over. I don’t think interviews like this will sustain me all summer, so it’s back to reading more of the comic, playing the video game, and perhaps finally checking out the webisodes.

 

Philip Waxes Poetic: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16 (Welcome to the Tombs)

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. SERIOUSLY, there are some mega spoilers here, so don’t read ahead unless you’ve seen the episode or you absolutely don’t care about learning major plot points.

Summary: The Governor tortures Andrea and leaves her for dead, so that he can storm the prison with his army. However he quickly discovers that his troops don’t have what it takes to kill the prisonfolk, because they’re chased out. Afterward Rick, Daryl, and Michonne travel to Woodbury to finish the fight, although they’re surprised to find that that the people of Woodbury are anxious to switch allegiances.

Just as Season 3 opens with a closeup on a zombie eyeball, its finale, The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16 (Welcome to the Tombs) starts by focusing on a human’s. It slowly pulls back to reveal The Governor’s one good eye as he’s face-punching the crap out of…dun…dun….dun…Milton, for torching the walkers! Guess Milton finally grew a conscience (pair). Too bad it wasn’t Morgan who did it like some of us suspected.

Milton tries to reason with his captor, however The Governor is beyond saving. Philip issues Milton a scumbag ultimatum: kill Andrea or die. Milton tries to kill Philip instead, but sadly he gets crazy stabbed and left in the room to become a walker with a chained up Andrea. That’s sadistic Phil! During this scene he delivers a scary insightful comment akin to Jule’s Ezekiel 25:17 from Pulp Fiction, “You kill or you die. Or you die and you kill.” I think Jules would agree; that’s some cold-blooded shit to say.

Back at the prison everyone is making plans seemingly to flee. Carl is acting like a big baby giving Rick the silent treatment while they pack. The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16, is actually the first episode Carl has annoyed me all season long. Unbelievable after all the “Get Out of Here Carl” memes from Season 2. Michonne and Rick then have a heartwarming moment where she thanks him for taking her in. I really like her now.

Speaking of other characters I love, Tyreese politely declines The Governor’s invitation to fight, while offering to keep guard over the remaining folks. I was shocked The Governor tossed him a gun and said “Thanks.” Once The Woodbury troops arrive at the prison, they’re hooting, hollering, and blowing stuff up like they have unlimited ammo. Kudos to the writers and director for creating a massive amount of escalating tension as the Woodburyians comb the cellblocks looking for trouble. The highlighted bible passage sitting out was brilliant.

I was fairly disappointed however by what I felt like was an anticlimactic end to that fight. A few grenades plus Glenn and Maggie shooting and yelling scatters everyone to the wind. Then the pissed off Governor kills his troops for punking out, while his lackeys Martinez and the other dude just sit there in silence. Plus The Governor lives to see another day. UGH! I was hoping he’d get a huge satisfying death during the prison siege like he did in the comics. I was fascinated though by the whole piece about Carl shooting an innocent kid and trying to deny he did anything wrong.

I dug that Rick, Michonne, and Daryl found the one survivor of The Governor’s wrath and they went to Woodbury together where they got Tyreese and Sasha to switch teams. There was some good suspense leading up to Andrea’s bite. I loved the shot of Milton’s reanimated fingers just before the commercial, as well as the one of a closed door with screaming on the other side. It was touching when everyone came together to wish Andrea goodbye. Michonne even got misty!

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16 ends on a happy-go-lucky note with the Woodburyians joining Rick’s group. Rick has regains his humanity (which I’m happy about) and he no longer sees Lori (thank god). But it’s not an ending that feels right to me. Not many characters die (at least important ones) and that closing seems uncharacteristically upbeat for the show. I didn’t have any significant attachment to Milton, Andrea, or Allen so none of their deaths got to me. Plus Andrea’s death was completely avoidable if she just tried to escape faster instead of wasting time. I was hoping for a huge throw down with lots of death and drama like in the comic. Sadly I didn’t get it.

Click here to take this week’s poll: Were you satisfied by the Season 3 finale?

Any predictions for what will happen in Season 4?

Merle, Merle, Merle: The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 (This Sorrowful Life)

Michael Rooker on The Walking Dead

Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 Copyright 2013 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. SERIOUSLY, there are some mega spoilers here, even more so than usual. Don’t read ahead unless you have seen the episode or you absolutely don’t care about knowing major plot points beforehand.

Summary: Rick fills Daryl in on his plan to turn Michonne over to The Governor and enlists Merle’s help to take her into custody. Later on Rick has a change of heart, but before he can tell everyone, Merle takes matters into his own hands. Acting alone, he captures Michonne and leaves the prison with her. At the same time, The Governor and his men trek toward the rendezvous point with murder on their minds.

First off, the title for The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15, “This Sorrowful Life” is amazing not only because it encapsulates the horrible existence that is the zombie apocalypse, but also because it foreshadows the episode’s epically tragic ending. In fact, this installment has the saddest ending of Season 3, and maybe even of the entire show so far. Despite its conclusion, The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 is loaded with great banter between Merle and others, since this episode is almost all about everyone’s favorite one-handed loose cannon.

When we first see Merle, he’s ripping through prison mattresses in the hopes of finding some crystal meth, which seems silly, yet strangely smart. If you’re looking for drugs in a prison, might as well search likely hiding places right? His comments to Rick like “You’re cold as ice Officer Friendly,” are amusing with an underlying hard honesty. His following conversations with Carol, Daryl, and Michonne all contain elements of that same humor and unabashed earnestness. He asks Carol “You have any whisky? I’d even drink vodka.” He tells Daryl “People do what they gotta do or die.” And he says to Michonne “You gotta play the hand you’re dealt. I’ve only got one.”

The worst thing is that Merle’s totally right. Rick and his team are willing to essentially do the same thing they vilified Merle for: kidnapping an innocent person all in the name of survival. Although Merle knows that they don’t really have the stomach for it, which is why he anoints himself as the guy who does the dirty work. He’s willing to bear the group’s sins, which actually makes him a decent guy. As Michonne says to him, if he was really a monster he wouldn’t feel any guilt over what he was doing. He’d be “light as a feather.”

Speaking of Michonne, she’s overcome her rocky start and just keeps getting better as a character. She does an amazing job getting inside Merle’s head, convincing him that he shouldn’t turn her over to The Governor. Plus even without her sword she proves that she’s a regular McGuyver walker killer, using just her boots and wire. Of course Merle changes his mind and let’s her go, so she heads back to the prison. One of my favorite moments in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 is Rick on lookout, awkwardly seeing her waltzing back onto the prison grounds.

Side note: it’s interesting that they used this episode to have Glenn’s propose to Maggie. I was wondering if they’d tackle that considering the two tied the knot in the comics when they were living at the prison. Totally grody that Glenn snatched the ring off a walker, although at least he picked a good one. Hope he cleaned it off first! Also it’s hilarious that Rick and Hershel have a change of heart about their stance on Michonne at the same time. For Rick it’s seeing his dead wife and Hershel it’s reading the Bible that triggers it. What a contrast!

And now the part you’ve all been waiting for! Merle’s demise. I laughed when he was getting drunk listening to Motorhead before his heroic attack on The Governor. Even in the zombie apocalypse Lemmy is still God! The writers actually do a great job of slowly making him sympathetic over the course of the episode, so that when he finally meets his end at the hands of The Governor you’re really sad. I love how they don’t show him actually dying, you just watch Daryl finding zombie Merle. Makes the emotional punch to the gut that much harder. I go on and on about Daryl and Norman Reedus, but Reedus gives us an AMAZING performance during this scene. He puts all of these intense emotions out there that Daryl would be feeling: loss, disgust, fear, and rage.

Also toward the end, Rick spills the beans on what was really happening with Michonne. He renounces Ricktatorship in favor of equal say for everyone. Definitely curious to see how democracy works given the impending showdown with The Governor. I’m so excited for the Season 3 finale I could almost pee. For your sake and the sake of my furniture I won’t though.

And now click here this week’s poll: Did the end of Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 15 make you misty?

Any predictions for the Season 3 finale? Who do you think will live or die? Will we find out who torched the walkers?