The Walking Dead: 411 “Claimed” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson.
Somehow Claimed managed to both speed up, slow down and stall the return of The Walking Dead in its combination of narratives. Eugene’s attempt at washing the truck in bullets has stranded Glenn at least a day’s hike from where he was, Rick was evicted from the suburban safe haven and Michonne finally opened up, to Carl of all people. On the whole it was a decent outing for the show that keeps things moving at the right pace and in the right direction, however, there where a few moments of monotony that let it down.
Rick’s segment was probably the most entertaining and gave us the biggest sense of worry when he was trapped under the bed. Fighting the intruder in the bathroom not only notched up a kill in a somewhat walker-free instalment of the series, it also brought about a problem that Rick’s going to have to deal with later down the (train?) line. Obviously Rick’s face has been seen at the house where one of these men was murdered so as soon as he runs into them again he’ll be a wanted man, the question is whether these folks are part of the sanctuary that the cast all seem to be drifting towards.
Carl and Michonne’s search and supply mission was always an insightful pairing, Michonne’s clearly getting more focus this half of the season and it’s about time. Confiding in Carl about her child answered a few questions from the first episode although there’s clearly a lot more to be discussed about her past. Usually we see Rick and another character on this type of mission so it was a good change of pace for Carl to take the lead here.
What was a little clumsy about Michonne and Carl’s little venture was the pacing, which felt dull and misplaced. Carl finally reacting to Judith’s murder in more depth should have happened in the first episode back when we as an audience were unsure of her fate. Now that we know Tyreese has got her it’s a bit of a waste of time, instead it was simply used as a set up for Michonne to open up so for that it served a purpose. As they moved through the rooms the Q&A rules were pointless and after all this time, surely they should know you clear a house quickly and quietly before scouring for supplies.
Abraham Ford is a character that has a lot of potential due to the fact that his character, although slightly clichéd as a bit of a jarhead, isn’t as obvious as you might think. In the absence of a commanding officer he’s given himself, and his girlfriend, a mission – get Eugene to Washington, cure the plague and save the world – this seems a worthwhile venture and no doubt he has a sense of inner duty to uphold, but during his exchanges with Glenn he didn’t come across as a complete caricature of the usual type of military bonehead that you see in these types of dramas.
That’s probably for 2 reasons; one, that the TV shows is trying to drain Ford of anything too comical and two, they have chosen the right actor to play him. Michael Cudlitz may be familiar to some viewers as ‘The Bull’ from Band of Brothers, whilst it’s fair to see actors with a frame as big as his play recurring parts as cops or soldiers, here it looks like he’s taken some of the more realistic traits to Ford like he did in BoB. We’ve still only seen a glimpse of him in the grand scheme of things but he’s already given us a hint that this persona won’t be the over-the-top, gun-ho Army type you would find in GI Joe.
As for Eugene, well I can’t say too much because I know where this is going but I have to say he is a pretty poor shot. Also, the reveal that he knows the cure to the ‘plague’ was delivered quiet plainly and just sort of fell into conversation, there was no big twist or well-timed reveal. Regardless, it brings a new element of the world into the series’ spectrum and the addition of these characters should provide the group with something different to think about.
Scene of the Episode: Rick’s Rest – By far the most intense part of the episode and no doubt there will be repercussions down the line for Rick’s bathroom kill.