In “Claimed”, Abraham’s mission is revealed and Rick wakes up to find the house is full of dangerous strangers.
Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11 entitled “Claimed”.
If “Inmates” objective is to reestablish the whereabouts of the remaining survivors, including Carol & Judith and put new pieces into play (Abraham & his companions), “Claimed” functioned as a transitional episode. By the end, all the characters featured in the episode are manoeuvred like pieces on a chess board. Rick, Carl, & Michonne are out of the house, walking down a set of train tracks introduced in the previous episode while Glenn, Tara, & Abraham’s gang turn back around seemingly on a collision course with the rest of the survivors at a mysterious place called the Terminus.
The concern with transitional episodes is that while it’s needed to set up upcoming events, it can come across as filler without strong character moments or a self-contained, compelling story. In “Claimed”, Michonne’s & Carl’s story is nowhere as cathartic and effective as the mid-season premiere and Rick’s story, well instead of laying unconscious on the couch, he spent most of the episode underneath a bed.
This post is a conversation starter where I’ll briefly recap some interesting moments rather than giving the complete rundown of everything that happened.
Luckiest Guy In The World
What’s interesting about Abraham is that he’s either lying to Tara about his true nature or he’s in denial. The way he got off on bashing the heads of those walkers it’s like the apocalypse is the best thing that ever happened to him. I don’t have a good read on Rosita yet but I noticed how she grimaced when Abraham went into his story about the exploding camel hump. Eugene gets the mullet of the post-apocalypse award! Somehow I don’t believe he’s as intelligent as he wants everyone to believe. And did he shoot the gas tank on purpose?
Probably the most interesting thing about this episode is the possibility that there is a cure and that there is a headquarters in Washington D.C. However, without more information to go on, other than the words of Eugene/Abraham, I’m skeptical this is legit.
As for Glenn, it would have been interesting to get a conversation between him and Tara about the decision between searching for Maggie and going on a mission to save the world. But it wasn’t really a decision for him. If he has to choose between something and Maggie, it’ll be Maggie all the time.
Michonne and Carl make an unlikely pair yet oddly the chemistry between them works more often than it doesn’t. When the two are together like in Season 3’s “Clear” we witness a more vulnerable, softer side to Michonne. In this episode, it’s a little strange but also refreshing for Michonne to completely let down her guard and crack some jokes.
The trauma that both Michonne and Carl have endured have certain points of similarity in that they believe they failed in their responsibility to look after a little one. Michonne has come to terms with it but she recognizes that pain and guilt in Carl, especially after he stops mid-sentence about Judith’s baby formula.
While Michonne can openly talk about her past now, her intent is to connect with Carl. Ending the game of truth on a white lie is meant to help Carl heal, the last thing he needed is to see a room full of dead little girls bodies.
Although I appreciate the intent of what the writers wanted to accomplish, this is my least favorite segment. It didn’t land on a strong enough emotional beat, making me think the writers just wanted to get these two out of the house, leaving Rick alone to deal with the unwanted company.
Those Who Arrive Survive
Opening Rick’s story with him hearing the violent argument downstairs puts him into survivor mode. This is not Farmer Rick from the first part of the season or the guy that’ll ask 3 questions to evaluate a person. It’s kill or be killed. As contrived as it was, most of the suspense worked fairly well though there are some holes in logic. Why didn’t that guy on the toilet yell right away for help? And why was he sitting on top of the toilet with the lid down?
While the show is alternating between different characters these past few episode, the direction they are all headed is towards the Sanctuary. Is this a community for the ultimate survivors of the apocalypse, the baddest of all the badasses? Having the Sanctuary as a destination helps to make this season feel like it’s building towards something bigger than “we survived another episode”.
“Claimed” is my least favourite of this half of the season so far. None of the individual stories are strong enough to carry the weight of the weaker segments. Also, by focussing on a handful of characters, it’s runs the risk of alienating some viewers who are more interested in the other group of survivors. While I’ve mostly enjoyed separate storylines to give each character a moment to shine, I’m looking forward to the overall story of the season to converge and become more focussed.
What did you like and dislike about this episode? What are your theories on the Sanctuary?