Episode 4 review.. **spoilers**

This series has been shaping up to being amazing and it is only the 4th episode and you are feeling for these characters.  Not only feeling for them but understanding their struggles.  You really start to come to terms with how mentally all of them are having to cope with what is around them.  Each one of the members of the camp have been building a bubble to keep the insanity out and the stability they once had intact.  The problem with this is that the game has changed.  No matter what they try to do to keep the kids believing that those walkers are far gone while they are up in the mountains the reality is that one day that might not be the case.  We already saw that happening in the last episode when they found a walker chomping on a deer Daryl killed.  Not only are they trying to keep out the dead but also their own craziness.  The world has ended and yet there are still little things each of them will do to try and maintain.  In this episode you start to see that whatever those little things are it will not save them in the end and what they really should be maintaining is a good sense of action.  Putting your guard down for even a second is grounds to accepting death.  It is not an easy life and not only any of them have chosen but it is what they have to accept.

The opening is with the sisters reminiscing about their previous life.  They start by talking about their parents and how they were both taught by their father to fish.  We learn they are 12 years apart but now all they have is each other and they are both glad to be what they have.  We move to our lookout, like a Meercat sitting atop a rock keeping an eye for eagles and other predatory birds, instead they are watching to make sure their isn’t a predatory on foot.  It leaves off with one of them digging holes in the distance, but for what?

So once we get into the meat of the episode we are back on the roof where we left off.  Daryl is upset but saves his brother’s hand for memory and they get to tracking the blood droplets left behind.  It leads back into the building and down a stairwell that is super scary.  We find out that Merle may be alive even with the blood loss because he had seared the end of his cut off arm to keep from dieing from blood loss.  We have no idea where he has gone and there is a struggle between Daryl and Rick to leave the building and search for Merle.  You begin to see that emotion cannot be your source of motivation in a world like this.  Rick is the sense of reason and thinks with logic and not his heart.  Glenn proposes a strategic plan to gather the guns and his alone in this.  He is smart and fast and we only learn once Daryl asks that he used to be a pizza delivery boy.

While Glenn is running to grab their prize Daryl actually finds another living, breathing human.  What?!  Not only do they have to worry about geeks but now they were almost mugged and Glenn was kidnapped?  Not really anything these guys were expecting.  The new boy shows them where their group hideout is a hopefully get to meet their leader, Guillermo.  This is a tense situation.  There is really a gang in this point in the game but then again it makes sense.  While everyone has alliances and before the world has fallen apart a gang would be as good as family.  Now they are stuck to make a trade.  They thought it would be simple, the new boy for Glenn, but instead he is realizing that maybe G is not thinking with compassion or fairness.  Rick decides that he is not going to get bullied around by these men and is rightfully rewarded in the end.  By chance an older woman comes out and the gang we learn are really guards for an old folks home hidden in the back.  Maybe they have misjudged G and his group.  Instead of bulling around they actually were nurses and special care providers turned thugs after the fall of the world.

The world hasn’t changed but it is shown now for what it is.  It is a dream that these older people will ever leave the city and they all look to G as their leader when no one else would stand up and fight for them.  This is a noble situation and as a sign of humanity Rick gives them almost half their weapons and ammo.

Who thought digging holes could be therapeutic.  He is on a mission and even his partner doesn’t understand for what but in times like these any little thing that can keep you occupied and not from getting overwhelmed then you just can’t fault them for that.  The entire camp comes out to confront Jim.  This impromptu intervention is all for the good of the camp.  Their reasoning is because his madness is infectious.  The kids in the camp and the adults are uneasy and want to maintain a level existence.  This is a powerful scene because you really can feel the desperation they are all experiencing.  You are helpless and no matter how much you want to deny or pretend because they have built a bubble for themselves, inevitably the swarms will overrun and they are outnumbered.  Jim is taken down and we learn of his guilt.  He is alive only because the walkers were too busy eating his family and didn’t notice him getting away.  That is quite a burden to have on your shoulders in a world that seems to have very few victories left.

The two sisters come back victorious with two long lines of fish to bring back for the camp to chow down on.  A victory is hard to attain in these days and the bubble these people have built for themselves is a safety not only to keep alive but to keep sane.  Once Jim has come to his senses and the camp’s morale has been restored they all sit together and eat.  A rare family moment.  They are happy and learning about each other.  Dale’s sense of time and his watch is all about a sense of hope for the future.  He talks about the watch as a sense of forgetting time and not trying to conquer it but it kind of goes over many of their heads.  It is a paraphrasing of William Faulkner short story, “The Bear.”

The climax comes when the camp is overtaken by walkers.  All of a sudden the bubble is burst and guns shots ring free through the mountains.  One by one people are bitten and the tragedy they all faced when the initial outbreak took over is being relived.  Maybe Jim had a premonition of the future.  This is a scary thought but the madness they all wanted to keep the kids and themselves from feeling was actually what is keeping them all alive.  They cannot forget that they are living in a world of terror.  No matter how ‘safe’ it may seem once they let their guard down it will only pop up later to come and bit them, literally.

Of all that is lost in this night, Amy dieing in her sister’s arms the night before her birthday is the epitome of what they are trying to bring across.  The opening sequence of the two of them spending time together was a foreshadowing of what will happen now.  They only have each other and that is still only fleeting because in the end they will be outnumbered and some will die at the hands of the dead.

Stay tuned for Episode 5…

Jess