“The Walking Dead” recap (4.11): Claimed

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I love when The Walking Dead inserts new characters that you just know are going to stick. Such is the case for newbie, Sgt. Abraham Ford. Our very own Tara (I can say she’s “ours” because the girls’ got to have our support in a zombie world without any AfterEllen) wants to drudge up the softer side of Abraham, and I get why — he may be a bad ass you want on your side, but there’s also a totally gentle ginger inside of him, and maybe Tara can get it out of him.

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Meanwhile, it’s time to check back in with Rick, Carl and Michonne—taking up residency at a house that pre-apocalypse was probably owned by filmmaker Nancy Meyers—because it screams Pottery Barn. Michonne has even found a very Diane Keaton-looking shirt to freshen her look up, while Rick could probably benefit the most from a fresh shirt. However, Rick is what I call a “heroic wallower” so he’s not concerned so much in how he looks, but he fails to remember that one important key to survival is also mental: Like if you are sick and you go to school in your pajamas and feel even worse. What I’m saying is, maybe if he popped on a fresh shirt, he’d be surprised by how much better he feels.

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Michonne and Carl go on a hunt for food, batteries and water, locating another Pottery Barn house, where after trying to lift Carl’s sour mood, Michonne confesses she once had a three-year-old named Andre. Inside the house, Michonne stumbles upon the family, deceased, and lying together on beds in the little girl’s once lively pink room. What the two don’t know is that back at the base house, Rick has woken up to the sounds of intruders, now huddled under his bed to sweat it out while they fight, sleep and stomp around in their boots, unaware that the house is being occupied already. One can only hope that Carl and Michonne don’t head back very soon—but that seems imminent.

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Similar to last week, Glenn wakes up in a daze, not sure of where he’s at. Realizing he’s on the back of an army vehicle with Tara, he instructs Sgt. Abraham to stop and let him out—after all, his goal is still to find his wife, Maggie. Abraham explains that they’re on a mission to get one of his comrades, Dr. Eugene Porter to Washington, D.C. Apparently, “the entire human race depends on it,” says Abraham. Dr. Porter is a scientist who knows exactly what “caused all this mess.” Say what? If it’s true—this means there’s a chance we’ll have deeper clues that we haven’t been able to sufficiently understand since Season One when the original gang, including Shane, found Dr. Edwin Jenner in the Center for Disease Control, right before he blew the place up.

The problem is Glenn is a man in love, and the only thing that keeps him moving, believing in a tomorrow, and not totally losing his mind is Maggie. While Glenn and Abraham scuffle over whether Glenn should move on and “do something with his life” or backtrack all the way to where he thinks Maggie could be, only to end up dead, it’s discovered that Dr. Eugene Porter as one of the sweetest country ‘90s mullets anyone has ever seen since Billy Ray Cyrus.

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Oh, also—while the humans are fighting and not paying attention, the Children of the Corn are beginning to emerge.

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Dr. Eugune Porter should stick to mullet-growing—he has no clue how to work a gun. He should take some lessons from Rick, who, back at the house has successfully killed one of the new squatters, and is climbing out the bathroom window to escape. You guys, I am sweating, biting my nails and generally feel like my stomach is about to do somersaults over how nerve-racking this is.

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Oh, so that’s why he didn’t change his shirt yet. You win, Rick.

As the episode wraps up, I’m left with a few questions I can only assume you are left with, too. For starters, how are Daryl and Beth, Tyreese and Carol and the kids? Will Dr. Eugene Porter ever be able to “help save the world” like Sgt. Abraham believes he will? It seems like Abraham is keeping a secret, and while he’s certainly no villain, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding some darkness—and (our) Tara knows it. She’s a keen one, that lez. Are Dr. Porter’s days numbered? I can’t help but be curious about his so-called “classified” information about the zombies. Tell us what it is—before you get bitten, please.

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Will the groups ever sync up as one again, or is The Walking Dead forever changed as we know it? If so, how can we as an audience grow to accept that Glenn and Maggie may never find each other, and that Rick’s former leadership toward an entire group now forces him to channel a role he wasn’t able to fulfill for a long time — father. Whatever happens next, I get the feeling we’re being set up for something huge. Limbos like this in TWD episodes are preludes, but there are no such “filler episodes.” What key details were you paying attention to during this week’s show? How do you think those elements will come together? The trails may not be happy ones, but they’re trails leading somewhere.

Don’t forget to tweet with me each week about your reactions to the show: @the_hoff

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