Tag Archive for Danai Gurira

The Walking Dead Recap: “Claimed” (Season 4, Episode 11)

Last week, we left a passed-out Glenn and a panicked Tara in the clutches of a muscular ginger in military fatigues. This week’s episode opens on Tara riding in the back of the Army truck, writing directions in Sharpie on her hand. When the motley crew encounters walkers, the military gent climbs out and stabs two of the undead through the head, leaving one to smash with the butt of Tara’s gun. He isn’t particularly efficient, but he’s cheerful. When Tara comments on his smile, he tells her, “Well, I’m the luckiest man in the world.”

Abraham shoots

Sergeant Abraham takes a shot. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Back in the suburbs (it’s notable that Rick keeps gravitating toward familiarity), Carl and Michonne joke over breakfast. Just as the laughter is in full swing, Carl says he’d rather drink Judith’s formula than Michonne’s hippie soy milk! Womp womp. Every time these characters begin to find solace in each other, they find new emotional stumbling blocks, raw spots that surprise them. The house in which Michonne, Carl, and Rick are situated is lily-white: Michonne stands in an impeccable, colorless kitchen in a starched men’s dress shirt. The color (or lack thereof, depending on your level of nerd) looks immensely out of place in this apocalypse, especially with these wounded warriors wandering around in it. Rick decides they should just stay here while they figure it out; it feels like home, and it’s as safe a space as any.

When Michonne and Carl decide to go on a food run, Rick offers to come along. Michonne isn’t having that; he’s in no shape to travel after his long bout with unconsciousness. He says goodbye on the front porch of the house, asking how long Carl and Michonne think they’ll be. Rick tells his teenage son to “follow her lead.” The scene, positioned on a comfortable, well-furnished patio, plays very much like a proud/nervous dad sending his kid out on his first date. Rick is both proud of his son’s ability to handle himself, and nervous that he’ll lose him forever, so it works well.

Michonne and Carl

Everybody’s lost somebody. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

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The Walking Dead Recap: “After” (Season 4, Episode 9)

When last we left off, Rick’s crew of misfits was scattered in the aftermath of the prison altercation. Last night’s mid-season opener scoops up the shrapnel and slides it around a little. We’re still missing a whole cadre of folks in all states of being (undead, dead, alive but not present), most notably Judith (who I think survived and is with Tyreese). But at least this episode followed up on some of the more frustrating aspects of the season.

Michonne, who killed the Governor and then slunk into the woods with her reclaimed sword, falls immediately back into her old routine: she takes out as many walkers as she sees fit, then lures two of them to the makeshift wood fence. After they impale themselves she renders them jawless and armless. By drawing the walkers near to protect herself, she’s withdrawn back into her previous shell; she’s disappeared once more into herself.

Taming the walkers. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Back to basics. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Meanwhile, Carl and Rick make their agonizingly slow way toward suburbia. Rick’s injuries are great, his face green with infection and pain. Carl won’t speak to him, and it’s pretty clear to everyone (including Rick, I imagine) that he blames his father for all the deaths at the prison. Over the course of the last season, Rick has found himself with a sullen, defiant teenager instead of a little boy. Chandler Riggs’s voice has dropped, his jawline has become more prominent, and he’s taking on all the characteristics of awkward pubescence. Like a lot of dads, Rick doesn’t want to let go of his kid yet. It’s understandable, but unbelievably frustrating when you actually think about their circumstances.

The father and son stumble on a diner conveniently called Joe and Joe Jr’s Barbeque Shack, and investigate to see if there’s any food. They discover only hot sauce – and the walking, decayed corpse of Joe Jr., who begs any passersby, via handwritten note, to “Please do what I couldn’t.” As requested, the Grimes gents put him down. Rick tries to quietly exterminate a cowardly (established by his inability to kill himself) son (evidenced in his moniker) and fails because he’s horribly injured – at which time his own “brave” son comes to the rescue with a pistol. I see what you did there, writers. Read more

The Walking Dead Recap: “Indifference” (Season 4, Episode 4)

A third of the way through season four, the writers have picked up the pace after last week’s slog. The prison was starting to get a bit stuffy, both for our cast of characters and for us faithful viewers (even if I didn’t entirely realize it). In Sunday’s episode, on offer are a hefty glimpse of Bob Stookey, some movement outside the prison walls, and a number of big revelations that were back-burnered to make room for establishing the season’s themes.

The Walking Dead Michonne

Michonne and her weaponry. Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC.

In the opening sequence, Carol visits the sick block to see Lizzie, who doesn’t look terribly ill. When Lizzie says nobody’s died yet, she adds hopefully, “nobody’s gotten to come back yet.” As though resurrection as a zombie is a second chance. Carol has to reiterate that walkers aren’t people. “We don’t get to stay the same way as how we started,” she says softly, before coaching Lizzie about her knife and what to do if she’s in danger. When Lizzie accidentally calls Carol “Mom,” the older woman prickles. Sometimes we forget that we spent an entire season of this show searching for Carol’s real daughter, Sophia. (Okay, I might have forgot on purpose – season two was so boring.) I’m becoming more and more certain it’s Lizzie who’s feeding rats to the walkers. She thinks they’re pets, and said as much to Carl a few episodes ago. During this series of scenes, Rick bandages his hands, which are still raw from beating Tyreese. He wanders around the complex, collecting supplies and experiencing visions of Carol’s solution to the flu; he sees her murdering Karen and David.

Out in the real world, Tyreese, Daryl, Michonne, and Bob are trying to find a working car to get them back home. Tyreese, with his crazy eyes and violent demeanor, is in exactly the same place Rick was all of last season. As Willow would say, “BORED NOW.” In the books, Tyreese was a dynamic figure who tended toward violence but maintained an edgy interest – and the writers are once again tamping down the character’s motivations in order to continue a motif (they’re also doing this with Carl and the Governor, whose characters were far, far darker in the books). Read more

The Walking Dead Recap: “Infected” (Season 4, Episode 2)

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead spoke quite powerfully to me, as I am currently suffering from the Sinus Infection of Doom. When I had what was basically Captain Trips in 2012, I narrowly avoided watching Contagion during my worst symptoms – thank Jesus. I’m always under the vague assumption that I might die of some stupid thing like the common cold. Sunday’s Walking Dead clarified for the audience just how fragile we are, how vulnerable to even the simplest bugs in a world without real medicine. (I, on the other hand, am dosing myself with real medicine as I type.)

Patrick zombie

Dinner! Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

Last week, Patrick died suddenly in the shower and reawakened as a walker, which rendered the whole prison open to attack from within its own walls. In the opening scenes of this week’s episode, Patrick goes about his zombie business, unfortunately silently – which leads to a rash of deaths and near-misses in the snoozing cell block. Luckily (and conveniently), none of those killed were our core group of folks.

Michonne leaves the prison to go on another Lone Wolf expedition, telling Rick and Carl she’ll bring them back the things they like – but returns in a panic when she hears a gunshot. She chastises herself for returning; it was indeed very stupid, and she’s letting her feelings get the better of her. But Michonne with feelings is better than the hardass we met last season. Unfortunately, she nearly gets herself killed coming back through the gate to help her friends; Carl and Maggie come to her rescue. In one of the season’s best scenes (Danai Gurira is truly a force to be reckoned with), Michonne outright refuses to take baby Judith from Beth after Judith spits up carrots all over Beth (babies are gross). Finally, Michonne takes the baby, at first holding her away, listening stone-faced to her imploring cries – and then she holds her close while tears spill from her eyes. Sometimes we forget that Michonne has a past, and that even she can’t turn it all off forever. She’s softening, and it scares her…but it sure is exciting for us. As Beth says (suddenly she’s full of wisdom), “When you care about people, hurt kind of comes with the package.” Read more