The Walking Dead 411 – Claimed: Awkward bonding down unknown roads

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

In season 4 episode 11 of The Walking Dead, Michonne reveals more about her past, Glenn revitalizes his mission and Rick is in peril.

In many ways, The Walking Dead episode 411 titled “Claimed” seems to be a middle-of-the-road episode. The characters are transitioning to new lives, finding new purpose, meeting new people and getting to know each other.

That’s not to say there isn’t action or peril, but we’ll get to that later. What’s really key here are the bonding moments between Carl and Michonne as well as Glenn’s interactions with Abraham Ford and his crew.

Carl and Michonne

Michonne has always been the strong, silent type, and that’s 100% intentional. By this point in the series, details about her are quite scarce. However, as her and Carl head out on a supply run, she lets her guard down a little. It’s interesting that she reveals details to Carl, but even more important is what she holds back. Sure, she tells him that she had a baby, and it seems as though more facts will emerge. However, when she stumbles upon a room of a family that committed suicide, it obviously sends a jolt through her. There’s every sign that she realizes the danger of getting too close to someone. For some people, revealing your softer side sends a possible signal of weakness.

The carcass family no doubt represents people who share everything, including death. Sure, familiarity and attachment may seem necessary to some degree, but so is letting go and so is mobility. We have known Michonne to quite solitary, and she may have joined others mostly as a survival strategy. This isn’t to say she lacks empathy, but she’s definitely a realist. When she shuts that hideous room off to Carl, it’s perhaps for her sake as much as his. It’s also apparent that reality has disrupted her bonding ability again. In The Walking Dead, additional harshness is always in store. Nevertheless, Michonne helped Carl cope with the possible death of his baby sister, by reminding him that she’s lost someone, too.

Glenn, Tara, Abraham and the rest

Glenn is one of Walking Dead‘s toughest characters, but he’s by no means invulnerable. In fact, when he passed out in the previous episode, Tara was one of the main reasons he survived. What’s interesting is that Tara is still basically a stranger yet, according to Glenn, he had no choice but to take her along. Like with Michonne, this may be partly a survival strategy. However, it’s likely that Glenn might have lost his mind without someone by his side. Tara herself was plainly psychologically scarred by the prison attack. However, Glenn was even worse off. In addition to losing the prison, his wife and his respected father-in-law, he was also physically sick. Pair that with facing undead corpses and you have a lot of stress.

So, what kind of people does Glenn meet in this episode? Abraham Ford is a headstrong tough guy, but likable and always well-meaning. He is determined to get Eugene Porter to Washington, D.C., believing that Eugene will solve the walker crisis. Eugene considers himself a brilliant mind, but could barely kill a walker if his life depended on it. Little is known about Rosita at this point in The Walking Dead, other than that she’s with them and can fire a weapon.

Under ideal circumstances, Glenn might trust these people, except the incompetent Eugene blasted up their military vehicle, which means they’ll have to walk wherever they go. This, of course, means he’ll have a much harder time finding his wife Maggie. Still, that is his main purpose in life, as a man who lost all else. Ford’s D.C. mission sounds like a mere pipe dream, but Glenn wouldn’t care about it even if it wasn’t.

Rick’s dilemma

The Walking Dead loves a good human enemy, and this time it’s uncertainty itself. After Rick falls asleep on a bed upstairs in an empty house, he is awakened by some nightmarish screaming. Not knowing who’s in the house, he hides beneath the bed as two of the strangers fight over it. Rick then must carefully escape, instantly knowing these people must be dangerous. It’s a very simple yet plausible scene, and delivered in a skillful and naturalistic way. It’s by no means the deepest Walking Dead scenario, but a reminder that nowhere is safe.

Next. Breaking down The Walking Dead episode 410. dark

So, taken all together, this transition episode has a lot of different elements. When Rick, Michonne and Carl regroup and set out for the mythic “sanctuary” down the railroad tracks, it’s a rather literal symbol for the character’s collective and individual journey. No matter what happens to them, they will have to find their own meaning out of the chaos.

What are your thoughts on The Walking Dead and “Claimed”? Let us know in the comments!