Mar 24 2014

The Walking Dead Review: “Us”

Published by at 12:00 pm under Movies,Reviews

us

The long, hard march to Terminus continued this week on The Walking Dead, and for some, surprisingly, it actually ended. I figured the big reunion and Terminus reveal would be in the finale, but a few major events happened a week early. Two large group blobs merged as Glenn reunited with Maggie, and in the end, they wandered through the weirdly open gates of this new “haven.”

Time was mostly split between Glenn, Tara and their new merry band of world-savers, and then Daryl learning to assimilate with his new wolf pack. Or should I say, “outdoor cats.”

I’m still not sure what to make of the new group of Abraham, Rosita and Eugene. Though the entire series is based on a graphic novel, Abraham and Eugene are the characters that have most felt like cartoons that we’ve come across in all four seasons of the show. I’d include Rosita in that as well, but they made her stop dressing like a Latino Lara Croft, and replaced her conspicuous booty shorts and tank top with an actual pants and jacket.

Abraham I like, because I was expecting him to be a new villain, but he’s turned out to be a pretty good guy, at least so far. He’s a badass without being brooding and dour, which is often the case between Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Tyreese. He is cartoony (he looks like freaking Yosemite Sam for crying out loud), but I think he rounds out the cast decently well.

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I can’t say the same about Eugene. As much as I like for there to be some focus on the larger issue of the whole zombie plague and a possible cause and cure and all that, this seems like an odd way to go about it. He’s clearly meant to be autistic or have Asberger’s or something, but between his general demeanor, his mullet and the ridiculous unlikelihood he actually knows anything about saving the world, I really can’t stand him. He just doesn’t fit in at all with the tone of the show, but also doesn’t have the benefit of being a likable character like Abraham. It just seems weird to have the world’s darkest episode last week with little girls getting murdered and then hear Eugene yammer on about RPG video games. There are ways to insert comedy into otherwise dark shows (see Breaking Bad), but the Walking Dead has been really, really bad at it so far.

I’m glad Glenn and Maggie got to reunite because I was sick of their characters being wholly consumed by their separation. They kept doing stupid things like ditching their groups to run ahead, and I think that was capped off by the ridiculous moment in the opening scene where Glenn sees the sign from Maggie and immediately starts sprinting straight ahead while wearing full riot armor. Even a goddamn NFL player would be winded after 100 yards of that. Chill the f*** out Glenn.

I much preferred the more interesting side-story of Daryl and his newfound group of murderous bandits. I think his relationship with Joe is an interesting one, and the guy probably reminds him a lot of Merle, which is why by the end of the evening, he starts becoming one of the pack.

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Clearly these guys are like, horribly evil, which we knew from their past run-in with Rick as they plotted to rape Michonne when she returned. I think Daryl is starting to realize that, but I don’t think he really cares. He saw they straight up murdered the guy who lied, then didn’t even bother covering him up and started with the whole “claimed” thing.

It’s clear this plotline will take even darker turns as time goes on. Note that the entire group is adult males. What happens when they run into women or children? I expect “claimed” will take on a whole new meaning, and pretend bad boy Daryl will morph back to good guy Daryl in a hurry. And it seems like he’s all but given up on Beth after she was randomly abducted by the mortician person (or whoever that was). I noticed him checking the models of the cars in the garage, but really what else can he do? You can’t track a car through the woods. I expect she’ll show up in Terminus somehow though.

So what about Terminus? That was certainly a weird introduction. Flimsy fences that aren’t even locked. Loads of gardens and a mostly vacant industrial-looking complex. It’s certainly not Woodbury, that’s for sure.

I may be reading too much into this (and I haven’t read the comics to this point) but they seemed to place an awful lot of emphasis on both the grill and being “served a plate” given the fact that we only saw that woman for less than a minute. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Hannibal, but you don’t get to exist in a post-apocalyptic world for long without running into cannibals. Theoretically things really shouldn’t be that dire as there’s still food all over the place, but it seems like a likely turn at some point. Maybe now, maybe later. I’m curious to see more of Terminus and figure out of its more than one woman in the world’s least secure compound protected mainly by a sign telling people to lower their guns. Which for some reason, everyone obeys like idiots.

It’s weird. The prison invasion felt like a full season finale rather than a midseason finale, and I have a hunch next week is going to feel more like a midseason finale than a full season finale. That’s mainly due to poor structuring of the show and let the Governor’s plotline go on for about eight episodes longer than it needed to. Though with the show being on for like six months out of the year at this point, I suppose it will be back soon enough.

 





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10 responses so far

  • Steve

    Haven’t read the comics, but I’ve heard enough “cannibals” from fans of the comic to know that this is definitely where the show is going. Beth is definitely there (Mary was preparing her for slaughter but she’s still alive), and the house her and Daryl were in previously was in pristine condition because it’s a “trap house” to get more victims for said cannibals. As for no security at the Terminus gates, a shot in the opening of the finale will be a wide overhead shot showing armed men in various windows, ready to put down any hostiles that enter the grounds.

    All speculation. Those are my theories and I’m stickin’ to ‘em.

    • MattChi

      I am pretty sure I saw some shadows lurking in the windows and someone standing in a doorway when they were walking in, so fully agreed there. Agreed with everything else about the cannibals too. The human-sized grill and the overall atmosphere sure seemed like some sort of cannibal cult

  • Christopher Schera

    There definitely was a storyline about cannibals (different situation and characters and an ending that I don;t think would make it onto TV). And I was wondering about that too with all the signs and such. Steve’s comment about a “trap house” makes a lot of sense in that line.

  • EarthDragon2189

    God I hate Eugene. In the comics, he’s a pansy, but at least he’s tolerable. In the show, he’s just annoying.

  • Jose Ignacio

    and after all they had to went through at woodbury with the governor they are so stupid to just go to Terminus without any caution? seriously? I like TWD but I think the show needs better writers.

  • Jose Ignacio

    btw I won’t be surprised if terminus is actually a cannibal club.

  • Nick Ramsay

    I think at this stage I’ll be more surprised if terminus *isn’t* a cannibal den…

  • ferryman

    I was afraid that Terminus was going to turn out to be a time share sales center! I’m much more at ease with cannibals…

  • Txlonghron

    I hope they do something more with Terminus…. I really don’t want another “Place seems ok, but not is what it seems” locale like Woodberry. I was really digging the episodes where everyone scatters after the prison.

  • domin8r

    I have the feeling that we might not fully get to know about terminus in this season. I hope I’m wrong about that!

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