That was a pretty great episode, huh? The plot moved forward quickly as if pursued by walkers, we got two big reveals and were introduced to new characters who judging by their Charlie's Angels poses are gonna be big deals. We even got a couple new narrative devises! The diary one was boring (that probably has to do with it being associated with Beth) but I really liked the way the writers played with time, leaving little Easter eggs for the viewer to piece together a time-line. For once we were shown not told. Daryl and Beth were behind Tyrese and the girls but we got to figure that out based on a bunch of mashed berries, yet another walker in a plaid shirt and a log full of slaughtered bunnies. It was all very Run Lola Run. Unfortunately this lead to the disappointing realization that Daryl is terrible at tracking. He couldn't tell that there was an adult and two kids? Didn't see the tracks that lead away in the forest? Didn't see the tracks that lead away on the rails? I would think that seeing dead walkers would lend hope not despair. Yikes, Daryl. Poor Sophia never stood a chance.
|First time Larry Gilliard Jr has been able to smile in a role|
I know last week I said that I hoped we'd get a lot of time with each group but that opening with Daryl and Beth got me powerful tired. I've never really used the word 'drip' to describe someone both because I'm not entirely sure what it means and because it seems like an insult that Rizzo from Grease would use and, let's face it, I am no Rizzo but Beth is a such a drip. If drip means someone who's very presence is exhaustive in its boringness. I swear I take five naps every time she opens her mouth. I'm extremely grateful we didn't get even another second of her and Daryl. All in all though, it ended up being the perfect amount of time for each survivor. Although I could easily do with an entire series following Carol, Tyrese and that sweetie-pie Lizzie.
|Beth making the same face that I do whenever she's around|
There were two legitimately tense moments this episode: Lizzie falling into her dreamy-murder zone and almost sending Judith off into a forever nap and when Glenn went back into the prison. Glenn's scene was aided considerably by the spooky, Left 4 Dead music that I wish they'd utilize more. Nothing drives tension more than sound (or a total absence of it). Sure we can always hear the groaning onslaught of zombies (even if it's not entirely clear that the survivors can. How many times have we seen zombies sneak up on people?) and the juxtaposition of lovely forest sounds with the rasping moans of the undead is always nice but the horror genre is famous for its use of creepy instrumentals (thanks to horror music, we know when to expect a shark attack, a shower attack and an in-bred hillbilly attack) and it's time for TWD to capitalize on that. Their zombie-head-smashing-and-stabbing, flesh-being-chomped-on game is super tight but time to expand into tension-building instrumentals.
As ecstatic as I am to leave the prison behind, I wish that we had been given a few more glimpses into life there. Beth's diary makes it sound like a happy, friendly place but while things did seem more peaceful at the beginning of the season, the audience was never granted any scenes of happiness or relaxation. The stakes over the prison never seemed particularly high in part because life still seemed so bleak. The prison never felt like pre-bloodthirsty Woodbury. When Glenn is grabbing things for his pack, I found it striking that there were so many little details signifying a settled community and it would've been nice to see more of that earlier.
Both big reveals (Judith and Carol live!) were really well done. I actually gasped with joy when Carol turned up. She's becoming my favourite character. No guff, that one. I'm really excited to see how things play with her and Tyrese. Wouldn't it be rad if they hooked up?? Carol needs to get her dick wet for sure.
I was also really surprised to see Judith in Tyrese's arms (granted I had put some effort into convincing people that she was better off dead). My friend saw it coming and I'm pretty jealous of his prophetic powers.
|Oh look, it's fucking Judith|
|Is anyone else watching Nashville? Because |
Hayden Panettierre is Judith's hand twin but her hands don't
ellicite nearly as much girly cooing from me
As I mentioned above, Beth narrating her diary didn't do it for me. Not only is it always weird to introduce a totally new plot devise four seasons in but Beth has never once mentioned a journal. And at the beginning of the season we were lead to believe that she has hardened considerably (girl didn't blink when she found out her boyfriend was killed) that hardly jives with this episode's Beth the Beacon of Hope. Ughhhhhhhhhh BETH.
|Super deep metaphor, Beth|
When is Daryl gonna make the move to a top knot? I love the hair-in-his-face look when the hair is clean (wanna run my hands through that) á la Riggins but Daryl faces some hygiene hurdles so clearly a bun is the way to go. A Google image search tells me that Norman Reedus has never worn his hair like that. Obviously no one has ever told him that it's been scientifically proven that there are few things sexier than the top knot/tank top combo. Disappointed.
As much as I love Maggie and Glenn together, it's nice to see them separated and interacting with other people. Looking forward to their tear-soaked reunion.
My favourite thing about Chad L Coleman is the horrified face he makes while realizing kids have lost their blush of innocence. We saw it a thousand times on The Wire and now we get to see it again with Lizzie.
Why is it that this crew of rag-tag survivors cannot, for the life of them, remember any sort of strategy when it comes to distracting walkers? Why isn't everyone always accompanied by jaw-less, arm-less walkers? Or covered in rotting guts? Or wearing riot gear? And now we learn that fire attracts zombies? Come on.
How do we feel about Tara? I liked her before but in this episode I found her pretty grating. Especially her reaction to the new guys showing up. Why did she call them assholes? They just pulled up, girl, no need to get weirdly aggressive.
I watched this episode three times and each time I laughed my ass off at the first zombie who struggles off the bus. I expect to see that clip on that guy's Emmy reel.
|Y'all wanna see a dead body?|
Things are shaping up to be a matriarchy, huh? Carl is the only surviving boy child in a land of little girls.
I watched the Talking Dead this week and there was a poll asking who the audience was most happy to see alive: Carol, Glenn, Tara or Judith. YOU GUYS JUDITH WON. 46% of people were happier to see that non-character than Carol. What is this world coming to??
Read the previous episode recap here.
Alex Snider watches a lot of TV. Follow her on Twitter where she'll be super active for a week then be quiet for months – she's a social media cicada.