The Walking Dead: 4.14 The Grove & 4.15 Us

After some dull, dull times on The Walking Dead the last two weeks have picked the pace up a little and have gone some way to addressing some of the concerns previously raised.

First up is The Grove one of the most downbeat and downright depressing hours of television you’ll see this year. It’s Carol and Tyreese’s turn in the limelight here, and turns on two of the most surprising scenes the show has ever thrown at the viewer. There are also some more answers given, yes it was the freaky kid (Lizzie) that was feeding the Walkers and that gutted the rabbit in the prison, and there’s confirmation that Carol killed Karen and the other one. Although isn’t too much being made of all that? We only had two episodes to get to know that character, do we really care about her? No. Does it make us care about Tyreese’s grief? Not really. And isn’t it a bit of a departure for Carol’s character? Yes it is.
All that aside this episode is bubbling along nicely, the kids are being a bit weird, Carol is teaching them the world is a nasty place, and Tyreese is staying true to form by not really doing anything/. You know it’s not going to end well for someone. What you don’t expect though is for the writers to kill off both of the children in about five minutes. First poor innocent little Mika get stabbed by her sister, the discovery of this is a genuinely heartbreaking scene, then Carol kills murdering weirdo Lizzie in cold blood! Carol! It’s a shocking few minutes for the show . Killing kids in TV shows happens all the time, look at almost any ITV detective drama, but it very rarely happens on screen, and not by a well-loved character. From a purely objective perspective they had to go as their story was going nowhere, but whether it adds a new dimension to Carol and Tyreese we’ll have to wait and see.

And so, after that shocker we’re on to Us. Whilst it’s a tamer episode it also moves the plot along and gets everyone close to the final destination – Terminus and the end of the season. Finally we get to see most of the stories converge on one another, it’s all a bit convenient (convoluted?) that everyone wants to go to Terminus though.

First up there’s the largest group, Glenn and Tara, along with Abraham, Eugene, and the other one. Despite the potentially interesting “saving the whole damn world” aspect of this group that’s completely ignored for the Glenn needs Maggie angle. And as boring as that’s become their relationship is the one true bright spot in the whole show these days, and there’s a definite need for a cheesy smile when they finally get back together. That torching of the photo surely means that Maggie’s going to die in the finale though…
“Claimed.” Now there’s a catchphrase for the show to make some t-shirts about. Joe and his gang of hunters have rules, and those rules are pretty basic. Number 1, call claimed (basically TWD version of calling shotgun to get in the front seat of the car) and it’s yours, whatever it is. Number two, lie and you get the shit kicked out of you, maybe even the life. Again, not a lot really happens and the group merely seems to be a macguffin to get Daryl into a situation where he has to make a tough choice again, namely Rick or Joe’s gang. There’s not a choice though surely? One of the weaknesses of the show is that the size of the cast means it’s a challenge for the writers to really sell the idea of conflict, we haven’t spent enough time with Joe’s lot to understand why Daryl would give up four seasons of the show to side with them, so it’s a no brainer that when conflict comes he’ll be on Rick’s side.
So to Terminus. It’s quiet. Unlocked. With just Mary to greet them. And that’s it. No Carol or Tyreese this week. Still no Beth. Just the weeniest bit of Rick, Michonne and Carl. Looking too happy. It’s not going to end well, is it?

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