45 min., 2012
Written by Angela Kang
Directed by Greg Nicotero
My rating: ★★★★★
Similac saves the day!
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Sheriff Rick Grimes, after waking from a coma and finding his family along with a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world, attempts to lead them all to safety. After losing Sophia and finding a farm where they could take shelter, he was forced to kill his best friend for the good of the group and was shortly after, chased from the farm by giant hoard of zombie. After losing Andrea, Rick and the remaining crew, try to carve out a new life at a prison they’ve found in their travels and its criminal inhabitants.
The following review is rated EPMF (Extremely Pleased Mutha Fucka), it contains several rants that appear at random. The views here do not reflect the thoughts of a completely sane person. They are being presented by a person of African-American descent who has grown up in a rather unseemly portion of town, taken recreational narcotics and has been molested by a clown. Feel free to skip certain paragraphs, if you simply want a recap and continued review of the episode. Hipster, child, feline and vegan discretion is advised.
Once again we tread lightly through the corpses to visit the Grimes family and friends at their new prison home in the midst of another tragedy and triumph by way of Lori’s death and her child’s birth. Rick is still in shock after receiving the news, but Hershell’s quick thinking reminds everyone that breast milk, even though it’s the healthy choice, isn’t going to be an option. This leads to Darryl and Maggie getting proactive despite Glen’s worrying as they go make a run to find formula.
In the meantime, back in the peaceful utopia of Woodbury, the governor is tending to his daughter as the residents frolic and party in the streets. Michonne is still suspect, apparently with good reason. As she stands outside his digs, he continues tending to his daughter, who, by the way is a zombie he keeps in his closet. As he puts her away and goes out to glad hand with the people, she sneaks into his place to retrieve her weapons and get the hell out of dodge. She hears his little darling rustling around in the next room, but before she can investigate she is summarily interrupted by the governor’s unexpected return. She escapes unseen through a window and through further snooping finds a cadre of zombies being kept in a pen. After cutting them all down, she is caught and taken to the governor for a little chat. Some of the points of order in that conversation are rules, community, partnership, and team building, but the biggest point was at the end of a samurai sword she pressed into his jugular as she backed out of the mansion and walked off.
Back at Camp Rick, Glen is burying his friends T-Dog and Carol or at least what’s left of them, while Rick is on a psychotic killing spree avenging his wife in the bowels of the prison. Glen tries to bring him back to reality but after nearly getting his neck snapped, it is clear Rick has officially gone off the reservation. Elsewhere Maggie and Darryl hit the mother lode at a daycare. Andrea and Michonne prepare to leave Woodbury. The question comes up as the two ladies get ready to depart whether or not Michonne is rejecting Woodbury because she really believes something sinister or is it her need to withhold and her personal paranoia keeping her from enjoying this quiet little town. Despite Michonne’s belief she will have to fight her way out, they open the gates and let her walk, no questions asked. Andrea, however, as we all knew given her track record for dumbass decisions, has decided to stay. After the bitter parting of ways between her and Michonne, of course, the governor is there to comfort her.
Darryl and Maggie make it back just in time to give the child a bottle and a nickname “Little Asskicker,” while Rick finally stumbles upon the area his wife’s body had been left. Rather than the gruesome site of her corpse, he discovers something far more grisly. Instead, he is greeted with the sight of a lone zombie that has gorged himself on her remains not leaving behind so much as a bone. After blowing its brains out, he pulls out a knife and sets himself to the task of reclaiming what is his. The irony of this bloated zombie being cut open in similar fashion to Lori’s C section where he has to birth the girl he cares most about in this post-apocalyptic world is not lost on me and provides some very powerful imagery.
To cap off Woodbury’s anniversary celebration, all the residents gather together at a make shift arena. Andrea and the governor arrived hand in hand. It seems there is to be a fight tonight gladiator style with an M. Night Shyamalan-like twist. The twist seeming to be that the combatants are encircled by zombies chained to posts that may take a chunk out of the unfortunate fighter that isn’t on his toes. Andrea, while excited at first, becomes appalled at the sight of these zombies and I’m sure in that moment starts wondering if Michonne was right. The episode ends with Darryl laying a Cherokee Rose on Carol’s grave giving his final goodbye, Andrea in a state of shock about her place in Woodbury, and Rick receiving a mysterious phone call a few feet from where his wife died.
My overall impression of this episode is that I will rate it a weak 4 rather than a strong 3 for the way it delivers its twists and turns. The beserker rage you have to watch Rick go through is sort of heartwarming that he is finally showing some level of regret concerning his wife’s death considering how far apart they had grown. Darryl, in any capacity, never ceases to amaze. And after watching Michonne walk off into the distance as Andrea makes another decision with her useless crotch, I watch these changes unfold with a smile. This is because the show without effort remains riveting, relevant, and full of real life problems. It’s the same reason Resident Evil (the games, not the films) remains such a tour de force. It is the element of survival horror brought to your TV screens once a week. It’s an element that Hollywood has yet in any genre of film to capture with any real accuracy. Horror films and dramas can scare you or make you feel ill at ease, but this, in my opinion, is the first television show to consistently remind you without having to use heavy handed dialog that imminent danger is literally lurking around each and every corner. They do this by effectively setting up a world where no place is truly safe and they keep you in this world by knocking off cast members’ at the most random times and in some of the most unexpected ways. This episode dangled the carrot just close enough to smell and just far enough away that you can’t quite take a bite. It did drag in a few places but those instances don’t seem to effect the overall plot or kill your interest. I’m certain this show will continue to impress and as it does, I look forward to sharing those glimpses into that amazingly well fleshed out world with you. I’ll be back to do that again very soon with episode 6 but until then may all your films bring fright.Have You Read...?