The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11 “Claimed” Review

The-Walking-Dead-Season-4-Episode-11-Sneak-Peek-Claimed-01-2014-02-17

In “Claimed”, Abraham’s mission is revealed and Rick wakes up to find the house is full of dangerous strangers.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 11 entitled “Claimed”.

Claimed

If “Inmates” objective is to reestablish the whereabouts of the remaining survivors, including Carol & Judith and put new pieces into play (Abraham & his companions), “Claimed” functioned as a transitional episode. By the end, all the characters featured in the episode are manoeuvred like pieces on a chess board. Rick, Carl, & Michonne are out of the house, walking down a set of train tracks introduced in the previous episode while Glenn, Tara, & Abraham’s gang turn back around seemingly on a collision course with the rest of the survivors at a mysterious place called the Terminus.

The concern with transitional episodes is that while it’s needed to set up upcoming events, it can come across as filler without strong character moments or a self-contained, compelling story. In “Claimed”, Michonne’s & Carl’s story is nowhere as cathartic and effective as the mid-season premiere and Rick’s story, well instead of laying unconscious on the couch, he spent most of the episode underneath a bed.

This post is a conversation starter where I’ll briefly recap some interesting moments rather than giving the complete rundown of everything that happened.

Luckiest Guy In The World

What’s interesting about Abraham is that he’s either lying to Tara about his true nature or he’s in denial. The way he got off on bashing the heads of those walkers it’s like the apocalypse is the best thing that ever happened to him. I don’t have a good read on Rosita yet but I noticed how she grimaced when Abraham went into his story about the exploding camel hump. Eugene gets the mullet of the post-apocalypse award! Somehow I don’t believe he’s as intelligent as he wants everyone to believe. And did he shoot the gas tank on purpose?

Probably the most interesting thing about this episode is the possibility that there is a cure and that there is a headquarters in Washington D.C. However, without more information to go on, other than the words of Eugene/Abraham, I’m skeptical this is legit.

As for Glenn, it would have been interesting to get a conversation between him and Tara about the decision between searching for Maggie and going on a mission to save the world. But it wasn’t really a decision for him. If he has to choose between something and Maggie, it’ll be Maggie all the time.

The Walking Dead S4x11

Crazy Cheese

Michonne and Carl make an unlikely pair yet oddly the chemistry between them works more often than it doesn’t. When the two are together like in Season 3’s “Clear” we witness a more vulnerable, softer side to Michonne.  In this episode, it’s a little strange but also refreshing for Michonne to completely let down her guard and crack some jokes.

The trauma that both Michonne and Carl have endured have certain points of similarity in that they believe they failed in their responsibility to look after a little one. Michonne has come to terms with it but she recognizes that pain and guilt in Carl, especially after he stops mid-sentence about Judith’s baby formula.

While Michonne can openly talk about her past now, her intent is to connect with Carl. Ending the game of truth on a white lie is meant to help Carl heal, the last thing he needed is to see a room full of dead little girls bodies.

Although I appreciate the intent of what the writers wanted to accomplish, this is my least favorite segment. It didn’t land on a strong enough emotional beat, making me think the writers just wanted to get these two out of the house, leaving Rick alone to deal with the unwanted company.

Those Who Arrive Survive

Opening Rick’s story with him hearing the violent argument downstairs puts him into survivor mode. This is not Farmer Rick from the first part of the season or the guy that’ll ask 3 questions to evaluate a person. It’s kill or be killed. As contrived as it was, most of the suspense worked fairly well though there are some holes in logic. Why didn’t that guy on the toilet yell right away for help? And why was he sitting on top of the toilet with the lid down?

While the show is alternating between different characters these past few episode, the direction they are all headed is towards the Sanctuary. Is this a community for the ultimate survivors of the apocalypse, the baddest of all the badasses? Having the Sanctuary as a destination helps to make this season feel like it’s building towards something bigger than “we survived another episode”.

“Claimed” is my least favourite of this half of the season so far. None of the individual stories are strong enough to carry the weight of the weaker segments. Also, by focussing on a handful of characters, it’s runs the risk of alienating some viewers who are more interested in the other group of survivors. While I’ve mostly enjoyed separate storylines to give each character a moment to shine, I’m looking forward to the overall story of the season to converge and become more focussed.

What did you like and dislike about this episode? What are your theories on the Sanctuary?

More Posts You Might Like:

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 “Inmates” Review

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 “After” Review

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 8 “Too Far Gone” Review

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on February 24, 2014, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I’d agree this was the weakest of this half of the season. I don’t think I was as bugged by any particular storyline as much as I was Carl’s in episode 9, but the whole thing just felt a bit ho-hum to me I guess.

    You raise some good questions too. Why was that guy just sitting on a toilet? Is there not a more comfortable chair unoccupied elsewhere? I also laughed when that one guy almost walked out and saw Rick as he bounced a ball against the wall. That was the one time where I really felt like they were forcing the tension a bit too much.

    Sounds like I’m just complaining a lot here, but the episode wasn’t so bad, just sort of run of the mill I guess. I look forward to them all (or most) meeting up soon assuming they do since they seem headed in the same direction.

    Also figured you’d enjoy hearing that I started watching Spartacus and am totally hooked on that at the moment.

    • I think we’re pretty much on the same page. There’s nothing that bothered me to the point of frustration but none of the stories stand out as great either.

      When Rick closed the bathroom door, it took him a couple of seconds to turn and see that dude chillaxing on the toilet. In that moment, that dude should have reacted or done something other than stare. Maybe he was constipated? haha ><

      That guy who bounced the ball with Rick around the corner, that was a bit much for me too. Overall, I enjoyed the suspense especially that part when Rick is under the bed and that guy getting strangled sees him. That part was good.

      So awesome that you started watching Spartacus! Yeah, it definitely makes my day to hear that, I've tried to get people to watch that show but it's hard to convince them. I hope you started with Season 1: Blood & Sand first, not the prequel Gods of the Arena. The prequel actually makes more sense and is intended to be watched after Season 1.

  2. Re-watched last week’s episode. It was so hard to follow first time. The way the four sections were out of order. I did not like it. The show does that sort of non-linear stuff a bunch but I remember it being done a hell of a lot better. Because of that, I still don’t get the timeline on part three and four of that episode. This week’s episode was a little better with just two parts and both of them happening simultaneously. Last weeks episode was so bad. They pretend that the kids are dead and then show the kids part. Then they pretend that Glenn is dead and then show his part. That episode was annoying. And you’re right the truck does pull up but only if you hear the sound of it. When they show the truck it is already stopped. I thought the truck was just there. It was all messed up.

    This week was better. I don’t know the comic book story but I think the “scientist” guy is full of crap and is just surviving by making himself seem important to a good killer. I like the new characters, including the scientist, but I don’t think they want us to like him. And it’s things like the screwed up timeline, the faking characters deaths and the cartoonishly evil paramilitary guys, so violent they choke each other and talk about raping women that may or may not exist, The sudden appearance of Carol and the truck, ie. the bad directing, that make me feel like the show has changed and not for the better. New showrunner I guess. I sure hope the prison shootout wasn’t the shark jump but it’s beginning to feel that way.

    • I also rewatched last week’s episode as well. It made more sense the second time around. The last time they did the non-linear stuff was I think with the back to back Governor episodes that explained how he ended up back at the prison. I thought those were really well done and were easier to follow. Although I didn’t find it annoying, Glenn’s part was really confusing for me too. Yeah I remember that truck came out of nowhere as if it was there all the time but no one noticed.

      I haven’t read this part of the comics either. Not that a doctor or a scientist can’t have a mullet but he doesn’t look or act like what’s he says he is. He’s definitely very suspicious at this point. I think your bring up some fair criticisms, certainly the truck could have been set up with an establishing shot and it would have been suspenseful not knowing who’s in there. Overall I still feel positive about this season but I do understand where you’re coming from. Thanks so much for commenting!

      • It’s only been three episodes and the first one was so good. I always re-watch the last week before watching the new one. I think that episode may have just annoyed me too much. Like this week they pass the bus. Do they pass the bus after Maggie cleared the bus? When she says they are all dead do they mean they are all turned or all terminated? When they show Rick on the bed with guys in the house, I almost thought it was another flash-back because he’s dressed different and we never see him go upstairs. I don’t think it’s me. I think the direction has been sorely lacking.

        • I was thinking the same thing too about the bus. My interpretation is that Tara saw the walker bodies around the bus that were already slaughtered by Maggie. If they were still in the bus it would have been hard for Tara to see if they were “dead” since I assume they quickly drove by since Abraham wouldn’t have stopped to look inside the bus because he’s determined to get to Washington. One other small detail that was overlooked is how did Carl get his shoe back? Is this a new pair that he found inside the house that happened to fit him or did Michonne help him get it back off-screen?

          • Well if you really want to get into shoes. That kid should be going through pairs like water. the way he’s grown so much in uh… how long has it been? I know… child actors. It’s a problem with me. I’m a movie guy. The child stays the same visual age the whole movie, or ages appropriately. TV dramas (except for Mad Men which handles it perfectly by aging the show to match the kids) in general have a big problem with kids aging too fast. But I’m a movie guy. I get annoyed when a pregnant actress plays a non-pregnant character. Whose baby is that? OMG We can all tell she’s pregnant write it into the show. At those times we are socially forced to suspend disbelief. Because it’s the right thing. I yearn for a time when we never have to suspend disbelief. Where the first thing you ask when something ends is, “Was that real?”

            • Haha, I also thought during the mid-season premiere how many pairs of shoes a growing kid must go through. Speaking of kids aging fast, compare Bran in Season 1 vs 3 of Game Of Thrones. One example I can remember that wrote the pregnancy into the script is X-files but I can’t think of others off the top of my head. For the actress that played Lori Grimes, when she was on on Prison Break they tried to work around her pregnancy but after conflicts in scheduling they killed her off … but brought her back the following season.

              • I like the way It’s Always Sunny handled it. Since the characters can’t possibly take care of a baby. They wrote it that she had someone elses baby but of course her husband is writer creator and one of the stars. House of Lies did it pretty well by using effects to give Kristen Bell a slim body while her face was incredibly pregnant. You’re right about Bran on GoT. He’s huge also Walt Jr. on Breaking Bad. Two shows that I have a hard time figuring out how much time has past because in real life the first thing you say is how long has it been look how much you’ve grown and in both of those shows as well as Walking Dead it is supposed to be like the next day.

  3. I actually preferred this to the other two episodes. ‘Inmates’ was too all over the place for me and it would have been better if we didn’t have four different groups. I liked the action in this one. Call me easily-pleased, but sometimes I just want an action-packed episode, rather than a slower character based one. I like development, but the Walking Dead gets too slow. Rick taking on the intruders is exactly what I want from this show. Thumbs-up from me.

    • I think I was in a hard-to-please mood when I watched this week’s episode. It didn’t really have any big water cooler moments for me. It did start off with some good action and I loved that head-bashing by Abraham but it sort of slowed down too much for me, particularly Michonne and Carl’s scene in that house. I’m glad to hear that you liked this one better, I think overall fan enjoyed it especially Rick taking on the intruders. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and discuss the show!

  4. I was actually pretty pleased with this episode. I get some of the complaints about the tension with Rick being forced. The guy bouncing the ball right at the door entrance, the guy on the toilet but not “on the toilet”… Some of these things seem to be popping up more than I remember in previous seasons. However, I really enjoyed the tension with Rick. Small groups of marauders like that would be a reality in this world and I think we saw some real fear in Rick.

    I thought Carl was much better performed, and more real, in this episode than in episode 9. He and Michonne are forming a kinda cool, kinda weird little tandem there.

    Depending on what happens with this next episode, I feel like Daryl and Beth are kinda getting left out. I thought they were following the tracks, but a teaser clip shown during Talking Dead had them emerging from the woods onto a road. Then it was announced that they’ll both be on Talking Dead…. one of them may be biting the dust!

    • It’s good to hear you’re digging this episode. To create real suspense on a show, there has to be believability or it’ll take the viewer out of the moment. I think the bouncing ball part as well as the toilet dude left me asking questions instead of getting caught up in the suspense. My favorite part of the whole intruders scene is the guy who sees Rick under the bed while getting strangled, that part had a lot of tension. Rick was in bad physical shape plus he wasn’t armed until the end, except for that trophy, so it made him more vulnerable than usual.

      I liked when Carl re-enacted the vomiting, it’s easy to forget he’s a teenager and it’s good to see him be less serious if only briefly. Michonne and Carl bring out interesting sides of their personalities in each other, they are certainly quite the odd couple.

      I haven’t watched the previews for next episode yet. Daryl is a huge fan favorite, it’ll be a weird decision to sit him out for a couple of episodes in a row without checking in on him. Ohh, if one of them goes it has got to be Beth or the internet will explode haha. Thanks so much for discussing the show with me!

  5. The whole subplot featuring Rick and the intruders was definitely one of the better sequences I’ve seen from this show in quite some time. Only wish the show was like that all of the time. Good review.

  6. I thought this episode is going to be boring, but it turns out to be much better than last week. I find it interesting how the writers focus on the separate groups rather when they are all jumbled up together. I like Rick’s story line the better out of this episode, where else Glenn and Abraham’s fighting was tedious.. but the ending of the whole “Washington” hoopla definitely caught my attention.

    Are you interested in the next week’s episode? Looks pretty rad to me 😀

    • By the sounds of it a lot of fans liked this episode better than last week’s. By having separate groups it gives everyone something to do. In the first half of the season, Beth basically spent all her time in that cell block holding the baby so it’s good to see all the survivors get into the action and stand on their own two feet so to speak. The most intriguing thing about Abraham’s scene is the Washington reference and the possibility of a cure. It could have been used as a cliffhanger but then again maybe they don’t want to put too much emphasis on it depending on the direction they are going to take with it.

      Haha, I’m always pumped for the next new episode. I’ll probably check in on the Oscars once in a while if I remember, but my attention will be on The Walking Dead. It’s nice to see you stop by and I’ve enjoyed discussing the show with you. 🙂

      • If they actually reveal the possibility of a cure in this season finale, I promise I will be a loyal fan haha.

        I completely forgot about the Oscars (don’t kill me) until I read your reply; Sunday is going to be one pack day. No problem buddy, it’s good to have a friend to discuss your favourite show with 😀

        • Haha, the Oscar show itself can be quite formal and forgettable compared to the Golden Globes. I’ve heard the Oscars described as one hour of good television spread over 3 plus hours. 🙂 I’m interested in which movies wins though.

  7. I feel like Abraham is trying to atone for something he did before things went wrong. Yeah this wasn’t one of my favorites, but I like the new characters. I don’t know about the Sanctuary, anything that seems too good usually has a dark side. I did like that the episode made the characters move and not stay in one place for long.

    • That’s a good theory about Abraham, it could explain why he’s determined to help save the world. If we learned anything from Woodbury is that things don’t seem to be as they appear and like you said have a dark side. This episode gets Rick and company out of the house quickly which is good to keep things from getting stagnant. Thanks so much for commenting!

  8. Am really liking the glenn story line now 😀

  9. I have to do some catching up on this show. I’ve been watching a lot of The Following lately.

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