The Walking Dead: 413-414 “Alone,” “The Grove” Review
Reviewed by Rich Jepson.
The Walking Dead continued to focus on the segmented groups once again in “Alone” and chose to look at Bob’s trio alongside last week’s only depicted group members, Daryl and Beth. Bob is one of the newer characters so it was good to get a taste of what life was like for him before reaching the prison. Overall, this was a much better outing for the show than the Beth-centric filler episode we were made to sit through the week before.
Starting with Bob’s group, it’s appreciative to see the writers trying to give us some background into each of the three in this sub-team as the build towards the terminus continues. What sets apart Bob from the others is that Maggie & Sasha are both separated from someone who they deeply care about and have conflicting believes about reuniting with them. Maggie is on a furious mission to find her husband, which is more than admirable, even if she doesn’t know his fate, whereas Sasha believes Tyreese is dead or is too scared to find out the truth. The latter of these approaches is much harder to believe.
This places Bob firmly in the middle and gives him the casting vote when it comes to decision-making, as Sasha clearly found out. Whilst this segment of break up/make up on the track to the terminus was enjoyable, it also felt pointless and drawn out for the sake of something to do.
Sasha we still don’t know much about, I’ll admit, but to think she would just give up and want to take refuge in a random building seemed pretty unconvincing and by the end of it all the three were still doing what they were at the start of the episode.
Outside of this we were given yet more insight into Daryl & Beth’s relationship which again felt overkill and pointless, why not just have her be kidnapped last week and have Daryl hook up with the crew that drove Rick out of the house?
It all just feels like a massive stall before the reunion, which will obviously happen at the ‘terminus’. With that being the case, each time we see a watered down edition of the series like this we put more and more into the final episodes that have to deliver, otherwise we’re going to be in for a huge disappointment.
Scene of the Episode: The Fog – A dramatic and new approach to walker attacks, this John Carpenter-esk approach was one of the highlights of the episode.
As horrid and heart breaking as it was to watch last night’s episode, it was by far the most important edition of the show we’ve seen in the second half of season 4.‘The Grove’ reconnected with the true spirit of the comics when it put Carol and Tyreese in this situation.
Decisions have to be made in this world that are unthinkable and darkly unpleasant but they are forced upon its inhabitants. If the writers ever forget this then The Walking Dead becomes just another senseless zombie-filled drama like so many films in the past.
It’s USP to the millions who watch it is that anyone can die, any time and by any means. The moment we feel certain characters are off limit or couldn’t possibly be harmed, the series fails. Tonight’s episode was a horrendous realisation of this fact and was brilliantly put to the test by show runner and scripter Scott Gimple.
One bone I do have to pick with this episode is the fact that after the girls were forced to shoot a walker in the head outside the house and run away from BBQ walkers, Tyreese and Carol still went off and left them alone for a third time for Lizzie to stab Mika. In real life you wouldn’t leave girls alone with a baby like that so why in an apocalypse would you do it three times?
Regardless, the moment when we saw what Lizzie had done was breathtaking. It was soul destroying and gut wrenching even more when Carol was forced to take Lizzie outside and put her down. Carol’s decision to tell Tyreese the truth about what she did at the prison capped off the worst day of her life but at least there was some redemption in Tyreese’s forgiveness.
Scene of the Episode: Count The Flowers – Carol has come a long way since season 1 and this horrific act shows that there is no boundary she isn’t afraid to cross.