Whose Episode Is It?
The gang’s all here! Team Rick prepares for war with the
hospital folks, and Team Abraham (now and forever knows as TEAM GREATM) takes
stock after Eugene’s revelation from two
weeks ago. Then they go fishing! It’s an episode of set-up combined
with wheel-spinning, getting everyone in place for next week’s 2014 finale.
Why Did You Bring Tyreese?
You know, if Rick knew his assault plan was just going to be
“murder everybody,” why bring the one guy who doesn’t like murder and
will spend the entire planning session trying to talk Rick out of it? And Michonne
helped beat the Termites to death — why does she stay behind? It’s not like
Tyreese looking after Judith is a demotion. Tyreese talks Rick out of his plan,
substituting it with a plan to kidnap some of Dawn’s officers and make a trade
— that sounds even riskier to me, although Tyreese and Daryl don’t agree with
me. But they should have, because everything goes pear-shaped before episode’s
end, basically thanks to Tyreese.
Man Is the True Monster
I’m not saying Tyreese is the monster here, but in hindsight
it really seemed like a poor tactical decision on Rick’s part to bring him
along. Sasha’s still upset about Bob’s death — specifically about how she
couldn’t bring herself to kill him. Tyreese gives her a nice speech about how
he helped her when she needed it, and she should be willing to accept that
help. Sasha takes his words to heart and decides to pay it forward, offering to
kill a zombie that one of the captured officers claimed to recognize. The
officer’s name is also Bob, further tugging at Sasha’s heartstrings. It’s all a
con, though, because when Sasha goes to aim her rifle, Bob 2 knocks her out and
runs for the hills. Lesson learned: Never
take Tyreese’s advice.
A Shred of Humanity
Carol’s not doing so hot, and Dawn orders her life support
cut off when Beth challenges her. Ice cold! But no, Dawn was just cementing her
position in front of the officers, and actually gives her the key to the
medicine cabinet and instructions to help Carol out as best she can. Beth
trades some strawberries to an elderly patient to fake a heart attack so she
can steal the drugs, because Beth is apparently the indentured-servitude-hospital
equivalent of Morgan Freeman in “The Shawshank Redemption.” She’s got
that place wired.
As I mentioned when
they were introduced, I like how the group at the hospital aren’t
complete lunatics. Dawn is capable of kindness and humanity, as is Dr. Edwards,
when they both assist Beth in helping Carol. They’re regular people in a bad
situation, which adds to their tension with the Ricketeers. Since they aren’t
monsters, it’s difficult to root for Rick and company to burst into the hospital,
guns blazing. A peaceful resolution would be best, but it’s not likely.
Meanwhile, we have Team GREATM, so named by Tara as an
acronym of all of their names. Seriously, Glenn, Rosita and Tara really do wind
up going fishing. Tara’s the MVP of the episode, with her mordant humor about
Eugene’s lies. It’s the sort of levity the show could really use, because it
can be a real grind when it’s all grim, all the time.
And hey, Eugene’s alive and Abraham’s not crazy! Neither of
these things is particularly surprising, but they’re both a relief. Just
because the answer is obvious, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
The only drawback to these scenes is that they’re intercut
with all the suspenseful hospital stuff. I’m certainly not opposed to the show
slowing down for some character work (that’s what’s made the show so much
better!), but it’s a jarring shift between plotlines. The show is probably
better off sticking to one gear per episode.
Achievement in Grossness
We get a long, lingering look at some napalm-ed zombies in various
melted states. Not pleasant, but oh boy, does it get amazing. Daryl finds
himself on the losing end of a fistfight with one of the hospital officers. As
the cop strangles Daryl next to one of the fried zombies, Daryl reaches over,
pops his fingers in the zombie’s eyes like a bowling ball, rips the zombie’s
head off, and clonks the cop in the head with it. It’s totally gross and
completely bad-ass. Kudos all around.
Most Obvious Metaphor
Scrub all you want, Father Gabriel, but that blood’s not
coming out. It’s a stain! ON YOUR SOUL. Turns out Father Gabriel has his own
secret exit from the church, and after Carl tries to give him a crash course in
the fine art of zombie murder, he takes off on his own. Then, he’s jumped by a
zombie in one of those unbelievable moments the show is fond of, where a zombie
gets the drop on someone despite the characters being outdoors and the zombies never
shutting up in situations where a jump scare is not required. Anyway, Gabriel’s
about to smash the zombie’s head when he notices she’s wearing a crucifix, and
he can’t bring himself to do it. Presumably this is all going somewhere but
it’s not particularly compelling at the moment.
This Week In Death
Nada. Next week, presumably? And here I thought this header
would be a slam dunk when I thought of it.