*taps mic* Is this thing still on? These recaps’ readership dropped down into the single digits, which was frankly heartbreaking. Are people over the show? This site? Are you getting all the meta/discussion you need from Talking Dead? That was the general consensus here. But then some private messages and comments started coming in, wondering where the recaps were.
Well, they’re here, they’ve been here, and nothing would make me happier than to have a group of people who want to talk about all things ZA with me. So if I’ve given you the impression that your thoughts/comments/shared ProTips aren’t welcome, then apologies all around. And if you like these recaps, COME BACK. :) (True, yet sad fact about writers: we are pathetic, solitary beasts who thrive on interaction. No one wants to talk into a vacuum, you know?)
PREVIOUSLY, AND ALSO PREVIOUSLY: lots of meta, blues, people staring bleakly into the woods, and new folks show up, namely Abraham, aka my TV boyfriend, Michael Cudlitz.
This ep has two stories, Tara and Glenn getting taken for a ride by Abraham, and Michonne bonding with Carl as Rick has the most tense nap in the ZA. First, Tara and Glenn.
Tara is a smart cookie (finally!) and takes notes of where they’re being taken as Glenn is passed out in the back of a truck. Walkers swarm the truck at one point, leaving Abraham to take them out with a grin. No, that’s not disturbing to see someone delight in killing them. He says he’s happy about it because he’s “the luckiest guy in the world.”
Dude, you’re with a dough-faced Mullet riding shotgun, you ain’t that lucky.
Glenn eventually comes to, finds out that he’s miles from where he ought to be, and makes them stop the truck. He’s got a wife to find. Yeah, they can beg and plead all they want, but Glenn isn’t having any of it.
Abraham: Uh, the fate of the world rests on all of us sticking together and getting to DC. THE FATE OF THE WORLD.
Glenn: …hyperbole, much?
Abraham: See this guy? *points to Mullet, aka Kentucky Waterfall, aka Alabama Mudflap, aka Whorehouse Cut (business up front, party in the back), aka Camaro Cut, aka Ape Drape, aka…you get the picture.)
Señor Beaver Paddle: *waves* Hey.
Abraham: I need to get El Capitan Eugene High-Low to DC for Science Saving Lives reasons.
Lead Scientist Neck Protect: I’m gonna save the world. *spits Skoal*
Glenn: Uh…you look absolutely nothing like a scientist.
Cleetus Einstein: That’s my disguise. You know how valuable a sciencetician is in an Apocalyptic situation?
Glenn: *blinks* …yeah, I’m out.
Perfect time for Walkers to pour out of the corn field while Abraham explains to Glenn why he has to stay with them, and perfect way for Nobel Hair Prize to prove that he just might be a scientist since he can’t shoot for shit and proceeds to go fully automatic on the ground, the space around the Walkers, the gas tank of their transportation, and not one of the Walkers. Nice shootin’, Tex!
Son of a Dick. ~Abraham, spying important fluids bursting from their vehicle.
Abraham can’t believe that Nobel Hair Prize (I think that’s a winner, don’t you?) killed their truck. Rosita decides to drop that zero and get with Glenn, the Hero on his quest for Maggie. They’ll all stick together until they can find a new vehicle.
QUESTION: where the hell is Glenn’s riot gear?
Back in Suburbia, Michonne shows us how to wear baggy clothing in the ZA: tie it tight. (She looks like Han Solo. Just me?)
Protip: Close-fitting clothing is a must in a ZA. You don’t want anything that could be grabbed. Like dreads. (Sorry, Michonne. They’re beautiful, but they’re easily grabbed, pulling your face towards the hungry maw of a Walker.)
While Rick takes a much needed nap to heal, Michonne and Carl go scavenging in other houses. She tries to bond with Carl by filling her mouth with canned cheese, but everyone knows teenagers are the hardest to impress. She scoffs and says he sucks, toddlers are her jam. That’s how old her baby was. Oho, now she has Carl’s interest! For every room he searches, she’ll tell him something about herself.
He finds peppermint, learns that her baby’s name was Andre Anthony. He checks bedrooms, hears Andre was her only child and that Carl is the only person she’s ever spoken to about him. After finding a really disturbing painting, defaced with black eyes and blood splatters, she wanders into a child’s room, sees a door, and finds a pretty sad tableau in the adjoining room: a family laid out on two twin beds, everyone killed, and a mom with a gun shot to the head in a chair watching over them. Eesh.
Time to head back to Rick. Not so fast, guys…
Rick has been napping comfortably when he wakes to the sound of people coming in. People who aren’t his people. Bad people. They’re arguing, one of them sounds like he’s fighting for his life, and this is bad. The strangers are heavily armed, it sounds like, and they like the look of this place. Rick grabs his water bottle – smart – and gets under the bed.
PROTIP: In a similar situation, grab all usable items with you to prevent Raiders from doing a more thorough search. At this point in the Apocalypse, things are going to be pretty well picked over, so a cursory search is about all you’d do in an empty bedroom.
One guy falls onto the bed and tried to nap, leading another guy to come up and challenge him for the nice, comfy bed because he’s an asshole. They fight to the point where Guy #1 is strangled on the floor, sees Rick hiding, holy shit, and either dies or passes out. Wait, no, he’s not dead, or he’d turn. Right?
After Guy #2 begins snoring, Rick – sans Six Shooter – slowly crawls out, heads to a kid’s room to hide from Guy #3, overhears them all say they found a woman’s things downstairs and hey, they should stick around and get rapey, fun! (I AM SO SICK OF THE “THREAT” OF A DICK, I JUST REALLY AM. Michonne will show you HER stiff rod, aka her katana, fellas.)
Rick reacts appropriately: finds Guy #4 on the can, has a really loud struggle with him, killing the guy, takes Dead Guy’s Uzi and slips out of the bathroom window leaving it open-
PROTIP: SHUT THE DAMN WINDOW. You just alerted everyone to how/where you escaped.
–safely drops off the roof to the shrubbery below, skirts Guy #5 (JFC) and waits in shitty cover of weedy shrubs until a Walker distracts Guy #5 so Rick can make his way to where he sees Michonne and Carl headed back. They make their way to the train tracks, Carl with a mouth full of Crazy Cheese, until they see the signs for Terminus.
Hmm. I still say Terminus is a Slave Trader haven.
4.12 – Still
Beth and Daryl are super smart at night, hiding in the trunk of a car with the latch tied, but blocked from locking them in as a small herd of Walkers pass by. Once the coast is clear the next day, they head on out. Arrows are running low, so Daryl uses a stick to catch and kill a snake.
Fun fact! I was a camp counselor (at my Apocalyptic Preparedness Church Camp) and once beheaded a Copperhead while leading a group of young girls on a hike. You know what? It does taste like chicken. Caught it right behind the head with a shovel, neat as you please. (And then broke down with the shakes once we got back to camp.)
Protip: How to quickly skin a snake. 1) Cut a hole in the snake. Wait, there already is one, the ah-noose vent. Slip the tip of your knife up in there and make a shallow cut from stem to stern, after beheading your snake. 2) Put your junk in that snake. At the neck, peel back enough of the hide to get your fingers around the scales. Pull down at a sharp degree- sliding your fist along the body underneath- and pull off that skin in one long, slick motion. 3) Make her open that snake. Back where you cut into the ah-noose, cut a little deeper to expose the innards, pulling them out with a neat snick at the ah-noose tube and the throat tube. Now you have a nice long piece of meat to wrap around a stick and roast over the fire, medium well, please.
And that’s the way you do it. Awesome moment: Beth using a rearview mirror to start a fire to roast up yon rattler. (BTW: snakes are super helpful creatures. Don’t just go randomly killing them. Copperheads and Water Moccassins, I say go for it.)
Somehow Beth decides that it’s time for her Rumspringa now that Daddy Hershel is dead. She wants to get liquored up and lacquered down and is off to find herself some booze, meaning she does stupid things like go off into the woods half-cocked with Walkers all about. Which means Daryl has to break out of his misery to come find her.
She finds a Country Club up ahead, convinced there will be booze there. Hope you like Captain and Coke and some Benson Hedges! Maybe grab a pair of tasseled loafers while you’re in there. Fun discovery: Walkers hanging from the ceiling, so you know those rich white Southern people liked to party. Deeper in is a dead woman stuck onto the legs of a mannequin with “Rich Bitch” hanging around her neck, so it looks like the working class got theirs? Eesh.
Beth finds a pretty little cardigan sweater seat – just right for looking nice in the End Times! – has a speech about how people still matter, dead or no, and the two of them find even more Walkers crawling all over the place. After getting rid of them, Beth finds some Peach Schnapps at the bar, ready for Grown Up Initiation.
Daryl smashes the bottle after Beth starts weeping, unable to drink it, because that shouldn’t be anyone’s first taste of alcohol. I agree, Daryl. It should be something worse like Jaegermeister or Rumplemintz, something that makes it coming back up so awful that you learn your lesson.
I forgot that Daryl is the redneckiest of them all and leads Beth to an old Moonshine Shack, complete with a shootin’ car (“Three more payments, and it’s ours!”) and hands her God’s Beverage: White Lightning in a Mason Jar. Beth drinks it and reenacts Buffy:
-while Daryl sips it, pinkie out. It’s like Mother’s Milk to him. They don’t have a Quarter, so it’s “Never Have I” for drinking games. Which turns into Daryl having to drink for every “I’ve never been hit!” and “I’ve never gone a night without the loving embrace of family!” and “I’ve never had pig’s feet or BBQ’d donkey teeth!” Instead of getting ‘faced, he just stops playing.
He goes out and angrily tortures a Walker until Beth tells him to stop acting like a heartless butt face and admit that he has feelings, because she wants to gobble up his manpain to become stronger.
Fun Fact: women metamorphose from childhood to woman hood by consuming a certain amount of men tears. Secret’s out!
He’s wallowing in guilt in not saving people, but the time for wallowing is past. It’s time to reflect, drink a lot, and watch Beth go slightly crazy from alkee-haul. She suggests they burn the place down, whee! And he agrees, because when strapped with a crazy white girl, you always go along with what they say until you can quietly slip away while they reapply nail polish.
They flip the burning wreck the bird and walk on as a bunch of Walkers show up to watch the fire. Walkers are so stupid.
4.13 – Alone
Am I the only person who isn’t emotionally invested in Medic Bob? Also, I’m really angry with the show for going with the “wear the girl down until you get what you want” trope. Hey! Consent matters! Ain’t no way that busted down alcoholic has a magic healing kiss. I’m getting ahead of myself.
We again have two stories, Medic Bob, Sasha and Maggie, and Beth and Daryl. Medic Bob has a flashback of being alone, struggling to survive, and being found by Daryl and Glenn. This will be his third group of survivors, which I find troubling that he keeps surviving. He’s not…good. Yeah, he has medical skills but- Hmm.
Present day and it’s him, Sasha and Maggie back to back in a heavy fog as they wait to be attacked by surrounding Walkers. Oooh, that’s awesome. That would be pretty frightening. Bob gets bit on the shoulder and they smartly put him down and leave his body to feed the earth. Shit, no, he was bitten on the bandage – so he says – and they all push on together, Bob continually flirting with Sasha only to get shut down. She’s not interested, Bob.
They find the Terminus signs, and Maggie smartly deduces that it would be where Glenn would go, so she’s on her way. Sasha thinks it’s a shot in the dark and just wants to find some place high and fortified where they can live out their days. Maggie slips away, because she knows Glenn would do the same for her. (He did!)
Bob convinces Sasha to go after Maggie. She wants to convince Maggie to stay with her, Bob wants to head to Terminus and grind at Sasha until she realizes she has to like him romantically because there’s no one else. Ah, tale as old as time.
Maggie, meanwhile, kills Walkers at junctions along the train tracks and uses their blood to write helpful messages to Glenn: “GOING TO TERMINUS. STILL HOT FOR YOU BABE. NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER SURRENDER. WOW THIS IS A LOT OF BLOOD.”
Sasha finds a town, sees a nice, sturdy red brick building with multiple floors, and says she’s staying. Bob won’t. Okay! Bye, Bob! Oh gross, not until he says “I’m going to try something here.” She knees him in the balls, yells, “There’s no such thing as a Friendzone!” and they move on from one another. (No, he kisses her even though she’s made it clear she’s not interested, and when she doesn’t respond – HEY, LOOKIE THERE – he sighs and pushes on. That’ll show her. GROSS.)
Sasha moves inside and finds a perfect loft inside that big ol’ building. Plenty of sunlight – you could grow herbs inside – and a big central staircase. Now, I say take that staircase out and install an attic stair with a pull-up feature for safety at night. She looks out the window and sees Maggie lying in a parking lot among dead bodies, hiding from Walkers. (She clearly went to the Michonne School of Camouflage and Survival.) Sasha accidentally knocks out a window, alerting the Walkers to human presence. SHIT.
Sasha hustles ass down to the street to help, they use a street sign to behead a Walker (cool) and generally prove that the women are doing it for themselves. *funk bass line* Except Maggie says she decided to come back for them, because it’s not really smart to be solo in a ZA. They go off along the train tracks, find Medic Bob, and the three of them push on to Terminus. WHERE I AM STILL SURE THEY’RE GOING TO BE ROPED INTO SLAVE TRADE.
Meanwhile, Increasingly Crazy Beth (I’m kidding, she’s just getting her feet wet in Adulthood) and Daryl spend some time tracking (Beth is learning how) when she sprains her ankle and gets a piggy back ride through a cemetery. They find a funeral home that looks promising as a place to hole up. Why, there’s even pickled pigs feet and Diet Rite Cola in the cupboard! Daryl, because he’s the best of all of us, realizes there’s no dust in the cabinetry. Which means someone is staying there. It’s smart to be wary – Beth just thinks they should write a thank you note, because that’s the world she came from: country club cardigans and thank you notes.
Daryl’s a bit more on edge than that and says they shouldn’t eat all of it as a sign of “we don’t want to kill you and take all your stuff, so don’t kill us” when the homeowner eventually shows up. Beth decides this means Daryl is the best sort of guy (she’s right) and they settle in, her at the piano and him in a casket. Those things, especially the top of the line ones, are padded as hell and comfy! Ha. They’re becoming friends, and it’s nice.
Later they settle in for a feast of pig’s feet with a peanut butter chaser when a mangy dog trips their security system of empty cans. (Smart.) The dog runs off (could be a sign of skittishness or a sign of Walkers.) so they go back to eating. Maybe they could stay there? Maybe they could join up with whoever’s been staying there? Which is when the dog makes a strangled yelp and oh, shit.
And then get-ta sep-a-rated. Hey-ey, you were doing fine! Daryl gets trapped in the corpse room, manages to be bad ass once again and either kills Walkers or traps them so he can get free, but he can’t find Beth. What he DOES find, however, is a car pulling away as a girl screams.
Holy sheep dung, this is bad. He screams after her, takes off running until he can’t put one foot in front of another. Just when he finally opens up to someone about having feelings, they get stolen. Figures. He lays down in the road, and I got the impression that he was just done. Spent. Kaput. He passes out.
When he comes to, he’s surrounded by a gang of dudes, and holy hell, they’re the same guys Rick got away from. Daryl manages to get to his feet and disarm the leader (Jeff Kober, long time character actor who has been on EVERYTHING, including Buffy as Rack, “You taste like strawberries.”) but there are still five or so hillbillies with itchy trigger fingers pointed at him.
Bad Guy Joe: You have no chance. My boys are gonna take you down.
Daryl: Yeah, they might get me first, but not before I turn your face into a canoe.
Bad Guy Joe: Ha! I like you. Maybe I won’t kill you slowly.
Daryl can either stand strong and die, or hand over his weapon and possibly live. Or die. Either way, it’s not looking good for our buddy. He’s told, “Why hurt yourself when you can hurt others?”
So…a gang of Merles. Yeah, not looking too good. At least he knows how to survive among assholes of that flavor.
And last shot: Glenn seeing a sign for Terminus. YAY! He’s closer than ever to finding Maggie! Even though I think this gang Daryl’s trapped with are just slave hunters for Terminus. I’m hanging on to this theory until proven otherwise!
Reminder that I’m spoiler-free for the comic books and show, and this is a place where we talk with joy for the show, no bashing allowed. But do chat me/others up!
NEXT EP: THE GROVE. (omg)