Talk about a step in the right direction! The Feb. 23 installment of ‘The Walking Dead’ was all (or at least mostly) about the introduction of a ridiculously exciting new character from the comics, Sgt. Abraham Ford.
The jaw-dropping and much needed bomb dropped by Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) combined with an all-around stellar performance by Andrew Lincoln made the Feb. 23 installment of Walking Dead the most thrilling we’ve seen this season.
‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Sgt. Abraham Ford Brings Hope For A Cure
Oh my God, I’d forgotten what it felt like to to have a character on The Walking Dead with a mission and a clear sense of purpose. It’s so nice!
Yes, Sgt. Ford may make Daryl and Merle Dixon look like distinguished English gentlemen in comparison with his dyed ginger mullet and handlebar mustache, but he still managed to inspire some hope, which is more than we can say for pretty much anyone else on this show, sans Hershel, who is dead. We’ve gotten so used to living with a group of people whose only goal is to bare-minimum survive (which, all things considered, is pretty fair) that we forgot about the probability of there being many other survivors of this zombie apocalypse who were actually still trying to do something about it — to give the human race a chance to thrive instead of just cling to survive. It’s probably just a pipe dream, but it’s still ridiculously refreshing to be with a new set of characters who offer the unparalleled thrill of change.
Of course we’re going to have to wait a tick if we want to see what’s waiting for Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene — the man who knows “exactly what caused this mess” — in D.C., because Glenn (Steven Yeun) still wants to wander around the same five square miles they’ve been circling over the past three years in search of Maggie. It’s romantic, sure, but wandering around with the newly glum Glenn sounds far less exciting than a trip to the capitol, land of Georgetown, the Washington Nationals, and House of Cards.
(ASIDE: As Glenn and the rest of the separated Grimes Gang members continue to spread out wider and wider and unnecessarily mourn the others’ deaths, it’s almost impossible not to conjure up memories of Game of Thrones. The majority of the Grimes Gang members are living in the past and acting like total depressing Starks right now, while Sgt. Ford and his friends are like a group of refreshingly alive and dangerously pragmatic Tyrells. Obviously, in this scenario, every Walker is just a giant Joffrey.)
The episode realistically could have ended with Sgt. Ford’s jaw-dropping truth bomb — saving the mopey Glenn stuff for later — but I did also enjoy the part where Tara (Alanna Masterson) called Ford on his bulls–t, letting him know that she knew he wasn’t risking his ass to go to Washington solely to save the human race for the sake of being “a good person.” It would definitely seem that Ford has a hidden agenda behind that smile — the creepy smile that mostly rears its head when he’s murdering/verbally belittling Walkers — but at least we don’t have another bats–t insane Governor-type dude on our hands. OVER IT.
‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Rick’s Return From The Dead
I’m not just talking about the “fooled ya!” moment from two weeks ago when I say Rick finally came back from the dead this week. For the first time in ages, Rick acted like the strong, capable leader everyone always says he is, and he even made a competent decision on behalf of his little group, risks and all!
Theoretically, Rick playing hide-and-seek with a gang of murderous thugs straight out of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road should have been far less exciting than the stuff happening with Glenn and Ford on the actual road — I mean, the man never even spoke a word! — but Lincoln’s intense performance and sheer will to survive made his B/C plot a total thrill. Rick has had a very tough time making necessarily violent survival decisions ever since the Shane situation of five decades ago, so watching him strangle that jerk while still being close to the brink of death was pretty rad. Carl (Chandler Riggs) would have been SO PROUD had he been there to see it.
Then, to make matters better, Rick made the solid decision to move on and take a risk with unknown people once it became clear that the suburban neighborhood he so desperately wished could be his home was “claimed.” Of course he doesn’t know right now that Carol, Tyreese, and his freaking baby are headed there too, but we do, so consider those emotional stakes raised! Man, I can’t wait to see what kind of freaks are living in this weird hippie survival commune.
Last but certainly not least, Carl and Michonne (Danai Gurira, who has suddenly become lively and verbose as she falls more deeply in love with her second family) had a much-needed bonding day that unearthed a pretty shocking truth — you could tell by Mich’s reaction in that unforgettable murder/suicide room that she almost definitely murdered her son, lil’ Andre Anthony, when the going got tough. If this is true — and come on, it is — then it’s a pretty solid explanation for why Michonne has been such an extremely difficult nut to crack. I mean, we thought Rick had PTSD over killing Shane and losing Lori… but what Michonne did has to have hurt about a bajillion times more, especially in the guilt department.
What did you think of the episode, fellow Dead-heads? Did you love Sgt. Ford as much as I did? Do you think Michonne killed her own kid? Did you miss the rest of the Grimes Gang, or did the narrowed focus work for you? Were you terrified of Michonne’s “crazy cheese” face? I sure was! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
— Shaunna Murphy