Early on in this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, the makeshift family of Rick, Michonne and Carl is settling into its suburban digs so swimmingly that a sitcom spinoff seems inevitable. But, of course, that’s before unexpected visitors drop in, and a fatal fight breaks out over the home’s one grownup-sized bed. Confused? Keep reading. (It gets better.)
ON THE ROAD AGAIN | After a dust-up with some walkers during which Tara notices that Abraham smiles as he bashes in their skulls, an unconscious Glenn finally comes to and is horrified to learn that he and his new sidekick have been riding in the back of the sarge’s truck for more than three hours. (Even worse, they long ago passed the bus on which he hoped to find Maggie.) But he can’t go back, Abraham argues. First of all, Maggie’s dead. (As if.) Second of all, “believe it or not, the fate of the whole damn human race might depend on” them sticking together “like wet on water.” What’chu talkin’ bout, Willis!?! Turns out, Abraham and his companions — smokin’-hot girlfriend Rosita and mullet-headed scientist Eugene — are on their way to D.C., because the post-apocalyptic Sheldon Cooper “knows exactly what caused this mess” and apparently is going to help unmake it. To get there in one piece, however, they need as large an army as they can amass. Not interested, Glenn says with a right hook. Before he and Tara can take off, though, more walkers emerge from a field like rotting Children of the Corn, and, in his haste to dispatch them, Eugene accidentally shoots — and kills — the truck. After that, Rosita goes along with Glenn and Tara. “What else we gonna do?” she asks. It’s the right — safe, sensible — thing to do, Eugene agrees. And, when Abraham starts to object, the brainiac shuts him up by telling him, “Trust me. I’m smarter than you.” (Hey, at least he found ONE target he could hit.)
HOUSE BEAUTIFUL | Back in the ’burbs, Michonne and Carl start their day with cereal and a playful debate about the deliciousness and/or grossness of soy milk… which leads to Carl accidentally making a joke about Judith’s formula… which, in turn, sours the whole moment. Still, Rick is so happy to have heard his son laugh again, if only briefly, that he appeals to Michonne to stay with them. “I can’t be his father and his best friend,” he says. “He needs you.” Not a problem. By this point, Michonne couldn’t be more committed. In fact, when she and Carl later go on a supply run, she even tries to get him to crack a smile by filling her mouth with Crazy Cheese and pretending to be a zombie. When that doesn’t work, she gives up on the smile and confesses that she once had a 3-year-old son, Andre. Naturally, this floors Carl. But, to keep things light (or at least LIGHTISH), Michonne makes a game of his subsequent interrogation. As they search a house for food, she offers, “I’ll answer one question at a time, one room at a time, and only after we’ve cleared it.” When they’re done, they are, as you’d sorta expect, closer than ever. “Your secret’s safe with me,” he promises. “It’s not really a secret,” she replies. “It’s still safe with me,” he says. (I know there are a lotta Carl haters out there, but c’mon. That’s freakin’ sweet.) Michonne’s openness even seems to help Carl make peace with his baby sister’s fate. “Maybe,” he suggests, “her and Andre are together somewhere.”
HOME INVASION | Meanwhile, a still-recuperating Rick has no sooner dozed off reading Jack London in bed upstairs than (as far as I could count) four hooligans have burst in downstairs. Before he has time to spell WTF, our weary hero is out of sight, sweating bullets under the bed, and one of the thugs has plopped down in it to make some Zs of his own. Shortly thereafter, another villain enters the room, and a battle royal ensues over napping rights. During the fracas, hooligan No. 1 hits the floor and — ack! — sees Rick hiding. Luckily, these baddies take their sleeping arrangements VERY seriously, so before hooligan No. 1 can blurt out, “Dude, there’s a guy under the bed!” he’s dead. Later, while the discovery of Michonne’s freshly washed shirt gets the scoundrels excited about the prospect of terrorizing a woman, Rick sneaks out from under the bed, kills another goon (No. 3? 4? No idea!) in the bathroom and climbs out the second story window. Now all he has to do is warn Michonne and Carl before they’re spotted not to come anywhere near the house — a prospect made 100 times more difficult by punk No. 2 (3? 4? Does it matter?) parking himself on the front porch with a can of beans. Rick is just about to take him out when the ruffian is drawn back into the house by the reanimated corpse of hoodlum No. 1 (maybe). After that, keeping Carl and Michonne away is easy. And, as the episode concludes, the trio are on a collision course with Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika and Judith — like that gang last week, the threesome is following signs to a place that offers “sanctuary for all, community for all.” In other words, Terminus.
Okay, your turn. What did you think of “Claimed”? Are you digging Michael Cudlitz as Abraham? Hit the comments!