This was a fun episode. It was filled with tension and great character moments. This week’s penultimate episode did a fantastic job of setting up what looks to be an entertaining finale. When you sit on the edge of your seat the entire hour anticipating what’s going to happen next and empathizing along with the characters, the television show is doing something right. This was the best episode so far, which isn’t saying much five episodes in. All the episodes have been good, and it’s great to know we will get to come back to this story for a full slate next year.
This week we started out with Ophelia throwing things at the fence imploring the military to tell her where her mom is. While I didn’t necessarily agree with her being the one at the gate (she seemed the most leveled headed of their family), it was interesting to see the military react. The Lieutenant wanted to immediately detain her, and sent a Sergeant to deal with it. This caused Ophelia’s boyfriend to step in and talk her down. We find out later this is what Daniel wanted to happen. I don’t buy that this machination would work, too many things could have gone wrong. However it allowed us to see the dissention in the military ranks. It was interesting to see one of the soldiers try to walk away and say he was tired of doing this type of “protection.”
The military the past two weeks has been the true menace of the show. We don’t really know how much we should trust them. They seem to know much more about the situation and didn’t let masses in on what is happening. This makes me wonder about the bigger picture of the government and how much they knew about the outbreak, especially with the order to pull out, Cobalt, being given. Travis makes a stand to Lt. Moyer, and gets him to take him to the hospital where Nick, Liza, and Griselda are being held. Cliff Curtis did a masterful job in this episode. During the scene with Moyer he stood up for himself, but you could tell Travis was scared. This was all done just with facial expression and it was conveyed perfectly. Yes, I’m frightened of you, but I still have some power and can stand up for myself.
This scene was quickly followed up by Moyer reasserting his power. He pulled over to have Travis kill a walker and Travis couldn’t do it. I still like the progression of Travis. He was able to make a stand, which means he isn’t a complete wimp, but still sees the walkers as human. He may say he doesn’t, but you can still see he does. We also see how much Moyer’s men hate him. They try to stand up for Travis, but are shot down. They soon get the better of him when the patrol makes a stop at a house filled with Walkers. Moyer’s men turn on him while he is in the house and leave him to die. One of the soldiers has a family in San Diego and wants to get back to them. Chaos and anarchy is starting to take hold. This was also portrayed in Curtis’s eyes. The utter terror and shock, of everything he knows crumbling around him.
Back at the farm Madison finds Daniel getting ready to torture Ophelia’s soldier boyfriend. If there is one part of the episode that is a stretch it is this torture scene. I’m not sure Andrew would have needed to be tortured. He probably would have wanted to help and tell the family everything. Order is already breaking down, why not go ahead and tell them? He of course might have been willing, if they wouldn’t have tied him up. Daniel goes crazy and starts flaying the young man.
Daniel, we find, is a gruesome individual. This is why these scenes have to take place in this episode. We have to see how far he is willing to go to find his wife. I just wish another solider would have gotten the treatment, *cough*Moyer*cough*. Madison didn’t have much to do tonight, other than let Daniel proceed with the torture. Travis when he comes back from his patrol didn’t even set Andrew free when he heard what they had found out. They know the military is going to pull out, and going to kill all the people in the hospital. This was a good reason for Andrew not to tell Daniel about what is going to happen to his wife.
The scenes at the hospital are tense as Liza helps all of the sick people. We also see Nick stuck in a cell with new crazy man Strand. Strand opened up the episode, breaking the crazy neighbor from last week. I’m not sure I liked this introduction, but we aren’t supposed to like this character. He’s someone who sees opportunity and plays the angle to his own advantage. He’s a survivor, and in the new world he wants to stay that way. I loved his line: “The game has changed. We return to the old rules, and the people who won the last round with their grande latte’s and their frequent flier miles are about to become the buffet.”
Liza is trying to help save the world, but it seems a losing struggle. Griselda’s death was well done and loved the bit of exposition Liza got about how quick the Walker’s reanimate. Liza doesn’t trust Dr. Exner, and wants to see Nick and Griselda at the start of the episode. This should make for an exciting finale when Exner wants to lock up and leave all of the patients and people behind. It will be interesting to see where all the character’s end up next week. It should make for a great start to next season if Strand joins the overall group.
The overall aspect of this season is the collapse of society and everything we know. This was thrown at us in several different ways this week, first with the military. Then with Strand with his dialogue and trading of expensive possessions, and with Chris and Alicia. Chris and Alicia break into a big house get drunk and play with all the toys. They also get dressed up, and have a few scenes with some palpable sexual tension. Both actors did a phenomenal job with the scene. The shyness of Chris seeing Alicia looking at herself in the mirror. Alicia’s little knowing smile was a nice touch to top off the scene. They then proceed to smash all the expensive things in the house. Another symbolic gesture of what was once important is now worthless.
Loved this episode and the season. The show seems to be polarizing, with some still not liking the limited Walker kills, and not identifying with the characters. I found this episode to be well acted and had great buildup for next week. The military is pulling out, and our characters are going to have to step up and deal with the zombie population of Los Angles. I am extremely excited to see where they finish this season, and will eagerly anticipate season two.
My Rating: Fantastic
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