The Walking Dead: Us

Joe: “Seems to me that things are just starting to fall together. At least for guys like us.”

Glenn: “There’s got to be a way. There’s got to be a different way.”

Sometimes good things can happen to good people even at the end of the world. I continue to think of The Walking Dead as a roller coaster ride and this episode is the part where you are climbing up a very big hill and I expect that next week we will experience the precipitous drop. I predicted that it would take at least until the end of the season for our little group to reunite but I’ve mostly enjoyed the journey to Terminus and I wasn’t exactly expecting that the reunion would be crashed by a roving bunch of nasties out for revenge. All I can say is that next week looks like it is going to be pretty interesting. My one worry is that we will only get half a resolution or an interrupted one.

At least some of our group has finally made it to Terminus. It looks too good to be true. The gates were not guarded or reinforced. There was one lonely woman ready to greet them. They are all good people but have they found good people or wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing? It seems unlikely that with all the signs up such an idyllic, unguarded place would last.

This week we followed two very different groups of people that seem the opposites of each other. The two quotes at the beginning of the review reflect this. On the one hand we have Glenn and his group. I felt terrible for Tara who is in such grief and remorse that she would happily give up her life for Glenn’s dream. I was glad that Glenn refused to leave her when she was trapped. He is still a ‘good’ guy. I was somewhat surprised when Eugene also turned out to be a ‘good’ guy. His little trick of driving to the other side of the tunnel was great. Of course, this could have provided a walker-free way of getting through if anyone had thought about it but I guess finding a car was more of a gamble than Glenn was willing to take. I am developing a fondness for Rosita. She is a kick-ass woman. Of course this probably means she will soon be dead.

On the dark side we have Joe and his band of merry assholes. Joe has found a unique way to survive. He collects ruffians and provides them with a simple set of rules to keep the peace enough for him and those he chooses to survive. The rule of ‘claimed’ reminded me of those childhood rules like calling ‘shotgun’ to claim the front seat. At least everyone understands those kinds of rules. Joe’s group reminded me of pirates. Keep at least a minimum of order through violence and make sure there is enough booty and women to keep the men happy. I’m not looking forward to the pirates reaching Terminus.

I think I am supposed to be worrying about Daryl. Joe is a smart man and knows that Daryl is an asset. He is using Daryl’s past and some favouritism to pull Daryl into the group. Joe knows that this type of violence combined with rough rules is familiar for Daryl. It seemed to be important that Daryl decided not to cover up the body of Len. Still, I can’t imagine Daryl turning on anyone from the prison.

Finally, the best and most important event of the episode was the reunion of Glenn and Maggie. We all knew it was going to happen but it was still sweet. I enjoyed the mirroring of Maggie’s search of the walkers in the bus. Glenn didn’t care that he was drawing walkers to him, he had to know if Maggie was one of them. The look on Glenn’s face and his immediate desire to run, was a wonderful response to the first message from Maggie. The burning of the picture was also very powerful and I hope not any kind of foreshadowing.

Bits and Pieces

The concept of Us was very interesting in this episode since ‘us’ changes depending on which group you belong to. Hearing Rick described as the ‘bad’ guy was an interesting twist.

Michonne and Carl balancing on the tracks was a nice light break. Michonne looks so different now.

The “Let Mom Be” message written on the dirt on the windshield was an effective way to remind us that walkers were once people, particularly in contrast to the efficient and depersonalized way Ford dealt with her.

I really wanted to put a picture of Glenn and Maggie up with this review but that would have been a major spoiler. Still there are some nice ones on the web if you are interested.

Yeah Denise Crosby! This show certainly has some interesting guest stars.

Things I could live without - walker tearing up his face on the barbed wire, walker drool, Len being beaten to death for basically being a jerk.


Eugene: “I am well aware it sounds bananas but looking at the fossil records and knowing what I know about this infection you cannot say for certain it isn’t what killed off the dinosaurs. Now do I believe that’s what happened? No but it’s enjoyable as hell to think about an undead ankylosaur going after a diplotocus. That there is a video game worth a pre-order.”

Ford: “Something you did or something you didn’t do?”

Joe: “So I laid out some rules of the road to keep things from going Darwin every couple of hours.”

Joe: “Hey, ass end is still an end.”

Ford: “Tired is slow. Slow is dead.”

Rosita: “Man Up.”

Daryl: “Hey, there ain’t no us.”
Joe: “You leaving right now? No? Then sure seems like there’s an us.”

Joe: “Ain’t nothin’ sadder than an outdoor cat that thinks he’s an indoor cat.”

Glenn: “I’m sorry I hit you in the face.”
Ford: “I’m not. I like to fight.”

Eugene: “ I have to say that you are seriously hot, Tara.”
Tara: “I like girls.”
Eugene: “I’m well aware of that.”

Tara: “I was just hanging on the 'might'.”

Eugene: “I’m formally requesting a straight-up do over on that one.”

Eugene: “After I save the world. I still have to live with myself.”

Joe: “Teach him all the way.”


Jess Lynde said...

I was thinking the same thing on the half resolution, Doc. It seems like there are too many balls in the air now to resolve everything in only one episode. I’ve seen lots of creepy theories re: what may be the real deal with Terminus (cannibals, breeding cult, religious nuts, etc.). Maybe they’ll surprise us and it will be a great place! Which our characters will then inadvertently destroy. Because whether it is too good to be true or not, “good things” don’t ever last for this crew. In the meantime, we’ll just have to cling to the few moments of joy and lightness we got this week. :)

I think the photo burning was ominous foreshadowing. At first, I thought it was a sweet reflection of their faith in each other, but the more I thought on it, the more it just seemed like doom for Maggie. I’m now fairly well convinced she’s going to be the big season finale death. Strangely, I’m not completely traumatized by the idea. I don’t want Maggie to die. What I’d really like is for the writers to start defining her and Glenn by more than their love for or need to find each other. But, if the writers aren’t capable of pulling that off (and lately it seems like they aren’t), then killing one of them might potentially lead to better character development for the other. I’d rather see them go with Option 1, but I’m bracing for Option 2.

Freeman said...

It's gotta be cannibals. The way the meat was just sitting there cooking while she was greeting them seemed kinda tell-tale. I also think the photo burning is a foreshadowing of Maggie's death. Now he'll have nothing at all to remember her by. They'll probably do a fake-out to make it look like Glenn will die to mess with comic book readers then pull a switcharoo. Or it's possible they'll do a double fake-out and Glenn will die anyways. Heck, maybe BOTH will die.

Eugene is obviously being set up to be revealed as a fraud somewhere down the line. the little beats between him and Rosita and even Tara seem to indicate a cowardly liar with a hyperactive imagination or even a pathological liar. The again he could just be an idiot. I'm still curious to know why Abe trusts him so implicitly though. I like Rosita and Abe, I know at least one of them's gotta bite the dust eventually, but seeing as Rosita seems like the more level-headed one, I hope she sticks around.

Still not sure where Daryl fits in this whole thing. I agree it seems very unlikely that he'll kill anyone from the group but if that's the case, what's the point of him sticking around? Maybe it'll be one of those situations where he helps them kill a bunch without seeing their faces until the last minute.

drnanamom said...

@Jesse and Freeman - Yikes, you both have really dark ideas of what is going to happen next! I'm not sure it is healthy to be looking forward to and at the same time, dreading the next episode of this show. I never even thought that they might kill off Maggie so soon and cannibals didn't enter into my imaginings either! Unfortunately, you may both be right. If I had to choose between Maggie and Glenn I would say that Maggie (being a kick-ass woman) is going to go down. There seems to be a quota for them on the show.

Jess Lynde said...

Doc, it is not healthy at all. I want the episode to just get here already, so that I can stop anticipating and dreading! Of course, they are almost guaranteed to leave us in a bad place, so more anticipation and dread no doubt await. Except over months this time. :)

I'm trying to make mental peace with possibly losing Maggie, but at the same time, I'm totally stressed about who might go, if not her. I can probably cope with losing some of the second-tier characters, but they are just starting to develop several of them, and I'd like to see their stories progress. At the same time, I'm pretty attached to all the major characters, so I don't want to lose any of them either. Especially since lots of them are starting to develop and strengthen new connections. Ack! What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I so into a show that puts me through this? It really is like a bad relationship. :)

Billie Doux said...

The photo-burning scene was so obviously foreshadowing that I am hoping it's just a fake-out. I'm not ready to lose anyone in my little group of faves, and that includes Maggie, Glenn, Daryl and Michonne.

Terminus must be a bad place. Freeman, I bet you're right that they're cannibals. On The Talking Dead, they did a poll on Terminus, and 89% chose the option that Terminus is worse than Woodbury. And of course, this is a show where no one lives happily ever after.

Mark Greig said...

It's a cook book! It's a cook book!

Tim said...

Thanks for the great reviews, Drnanmom.

Wanted to mention that Greg Nicotero put a nice Easter egg in this ep for fans of the George Romero movies - one of the zombies in the tunnel was Bub, from Day Of The Dead,the walker who the mad scientist tried to tame and rehabilitate. Made me smile to see a familiar face:-)

Freeman said...

Just a heads up, Rosita and Tara were promoted to series regulars for next season. So they'll probably be sticking around for a bit.

Lamounier said...

If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, zombies won’t be what I fear the most, testosterone-filled men will. I can’t stand guys like the ones from Joe’s group. Honestly, I’m not digging that particular storyline at all. They crossed Rick’s way, but there was not enough of a build up for them to matter as the villains of the season finale. Also, I just want Daryl to get away from them and back to his original gang.

As for Terminus, I do believe it’s a nice place. Am I too na├»ve? I’m actually worried for the place, because wherever our characters go to it’s just a matter of time until destruction and death ensue.

Glenn and Maggie’s reunion was lovely and badass at the same time. Maggie burning her own photograph was a very dark move. My view is that she can’t stand anything that represents her past life (before zombies, at the farm, and at the prison) and so she destroyed the picture.