That’s the thing about the zombie apocalypse, especially at this point — the most challenging threat isn’t walkers, it’s the other human survivors. Some of the people out there are “good,” others are less than good, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell the difference. The three new characters — Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) — would probably qualify as “good” in a big-picture sense, but Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) might not agree. (Glenn or Rick, who gets his arse beat down more often on this show? Discuss.)
Those were “bad” guys in Rick’s house — the sonofadicks were willing to strangle each other to claim a bed — but any “sanctuary” out there (house, prison, farm) is going to face a fight from the tough survivors who made it this far. (Especially if the sanctuary has pudding or Crazy Cheese) We see Rick as a hero because we’re following his whole story and we know pretty much all sides of him now, but he’s proven he can kill when threatened. See the guys in the bar on Season 2, Shane, and the original prison guys.
Rick took a life again tonight, but it was actually pretty sweet to see him back in action, fighting to survive. No trips to Crazy Town after the prison loss — he’s in game mode. And now Rick, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) are on their way to this Terminus “sanctuary,” which is also where Ty, Carol and the girls are headed. Will the Grimes guys be reunited with baby Judith? Will Rick have an awkward confrontation with Carol? What about Daryl and Beth — they were last seen on train tracks too, but did they see a “sanctuary” sign? Are there more “good” people than “bad” at Terminus?
Team Richonne thinks Judy is dead, but we know better. Thankfully. It could’ve gone the other way, since TWD certainly isn’t shy about killing children. Michonne just saw the bodies of a dead family on Episode 11 and we also learned more about her own child — she told Carl her 3-year-old son’s name was André Anthony. As sad as that story got, it was nice to see another layer of Michonne’s emotional onion peeled back. She and Carl, her new semi-adopted son, bring out the best in each other. They laugh. They joke. Their dark moments of loss are made lighter by their bonding.
“Claimed” was another strong, character-driven episode with intense cat-and-mouse action — even if it only followed half the people we love. But Washington, D.C. or this Terminus sanctuary? Where are we headed in the final five episodes? If Terminus is really down the tracks in Georgia, it’s certainly closer than the nation’s capital. (Although Glenn and company are now three hours away, after their drive.) Is Maggie on the tracks to Terminus? Do you think we’ll hit Terminus first, then head to D.C., or is D.C. not going to happen this season (or at all)?
It does feel slightly hopeful to see multiple groups on the train tracks to the same place, but we’re still worried that dark times (and the oft-mentioned “brutality”) are ahead.
Read on for a full recap of February 23’s Episode 11:
The ep starts with a truck driving down with road, with Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, Glenn and Tara inside. Tara is writing street signs on her palm for directions. They stop and Tara prepares to shoot three walkers, but Abraham says no. He fights and slices them instead. Love seeing that red head in action. Chucky or Ronald McDonald — whose hair is his most like? He has a blast killing walkers. Tara said she’s never seen someone smile when they kill. “Well, I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” He is dating Rosita, which is probably not what he meant, but it still qualifies.
MICHONNE & CARL HAVE BREAKFAST
We last saw them on Episode 9 when she knocked on the door. Carl makes fun of her shirt. Child, at least she has two shoes. They discuss Carl’s hatred for soy milk. She wishes they still had some. Carl would rather have powdered milk or Judith’s formula. On that note, silence. Sadness. What Carl meant to say was he’d rather have 112 more ounces of chocolate pudding.
Even completely disheveled in the same outfit, Rick is smokin’ hot. Rick thanks Michonne for helping Carl, since he heard his son laughing in the other room. He can’t be Carl’s dad and best friend. They need Michonne. Team Richonne FTW! Michonne wants to know the plan. Are they staying there or is it a stop along the way? Rick wants to stay there as they figure it out. Michonne said they need supplies, so she’ll take Carl. Rick wants to go but Michonne says no, he should rest. He was unconscious just the day before. He needs a shower too.
They leave at 8:15 and don’t expect it to take long. Maybe a couple of hours. Rick tells Carl to follow Michonne’s lead. Carl is hungry. The house they are living in is gorgeous and it looks like the landscaping is doing well after, what, a year and a half into the apocalypse? Here it is, the end of the world, and everyone gets to take their pick of the most beautiful houses.
GET CRAZY WITH THE CHEEZ WHIZ
Michonne tries to get Carl to talk. Did he find anything good? Candy bar? Comic book? Crazy Cheese. She found some! Carl is in a bad mood. What’s up, kid? He’s just tired. She whizzes the cheese in her mouth. She’s so sweet to try to get him to laugh, but it’s Carl. Just let Carl be Carl. “I was laughing, inside,” he insists. Michonne reveals that she had a 3-year-old son “and he happened to find me extremely funny.” They need food, batteries and water in that order. Carl asks about Michonne’s son. What was his name? Did she have other kids? Was she married? She said she’ll answer one question at a time, one room at a time, and only after they’ve cleared it. Now there’s a good mom — turn chores into a game.
THERE ARE PEOPLE IN RICK’S HOUSE
Rick is asleep upstairs while men are downstairs. We hear them talking and arguing. They sound like randy pirates. Maybe they want Michonne’s puffy shirt back?
RICK HIDES UNDER THE BED
Rick is still not at 100 percent, but there are men with guns roaming through the house at this point and one of them comes into the bedroom, seeming to be suspicious. He goes through the closet, kicks around clothes. Were they here before Rick or just coming upon the place like Rick and Carl did? Rick is shaking under the bed as his watch makes noise. Oh man. The guy lays down on the bed. Awkward, uncomfortable, scary.
Remember how Michonne picked up that “gorgeous” cat statue thing last season on “Clear”? She looks at more art as they clear a house. Michonne’s son’s name was Andre Anthony. Carl keeps pushing her for more info on her son. She just had one child, she said. Andre was enough, he was a handful, like Carl. Sad. Michonne said Andre died … after everything happened. She never told anyone until just now. Not even Andrea. Carl said her secret is safe, but she said it’s not really a secret. “It’s still safe with me.” Aww. Carl isn’t even annoying when he’s with Michonne. She makes him a better “man.”
WHAT’S BEHIND THE DOOR?
Better not to ask. Michonne hears something and goes to investigate. She opens into a bathroom and that leads into a child’s bedroom. So many reminders of the past. That room leads into another pink child’s room and that one contains several bodies. Kids? Two in one bed, one in another, one in a chair. Michonne is moved to tears and also just shocked/scared. She hides it from Carl. He guesses there’s a baby in there. She says there’s a dog. Carl says his dad let him name her. Meaning Judith. “Maybe her and Andre are together somewhere.” That’s touching, but not quite yet.
RICK IS STILL UNDER THE BED
Sophia would’ve been bit by now. Some guy comes upstairs to take the guy’s bed. He wants to sleep there. “It’s claimed.” So they fight over it. One guy sees Rick as he’s on the ground being choked. Uh-oh. So there’s a new guy in the bed. They are literally willing to fight to the death for a bed in a house with several bedrooms. But did the guy on the floor, who saw Rick, did he die? Or was that Davi Jay, who plays Tony? Maybe he'll recognize Rick and see him again? The actor is credited as "Tony" in several upcoming episodes.
GLENN ISN’T HAPPY
He’s still out of it too. He’s riding around in the truck, slowly waking up or coming out of it. Tara tells him not to move. He doesn’t seem to know what’s happening. “Where are we?” Tara doesn’t know. He passed out after they fought walkers. He wants to know if they passed the bus. “What did you see?” Tara: “They were all dead.” How long since they passed them? Three hours. Three hours!? Holy crap. Glenn bangs on the glass to stop the truck. He even uses his gun to bash the glass. He’s mad as a hornet. Glenn grabs his stuff and leaves. Abraham said their “mission” is time-sensitive.
“We need people. the more, the better. We need each other partner.” Glenn won’t last a night by himself. Abraham “insists” that Glenn holds the eff up. “The fate of the entire damn human race might depend on it.” Glenn wants to know what’s up. They’re on a mission to get Eugene to Washington, D.C. He’s a scientist “and he knows exactly what caused this mess.” More on that here, if you’re curious about the story in the comics.
SO WHAT HAPPENED THEN?
How did the zombie apocalypse happen? Eugene: “It’s classified.” Abraham said they’ve been talking to the muckedy-mucks in Washington on the satellite phone but the last couple of weeks no one has been picking up on the other end. They could use Glenn and Tara’s help. Glenn says “Sorry.” He needs to find his wife. Tara defends her choice to get them on the truck, saying she wrote down every turn. They can go back. Abraham said it’s a waste of time, there is “zero” chance Glenn can find his wife. She’s gone. No need for Glenn to die too. Get back in the truck and do something with your life. Ouch.
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Glenn punches Abraham in the face. “She’s alive and I’m gonna find her.” GO GLENN! Love Abraham, but good for him. Abraham calls Glenn a sonofabitch and they fight. All the boys are getting into trouble today. Tara and Rosita try to break them apart. Eugene spots a walker while the boys are fighting. There are tons of walkers — walkers of the corn! Eugene mows some of the walkers down. Everyone else finally joins in. Unfortunately, the truck is hit and it’s apparently leaking fuel. Cue Abraham's frustrated "Son of a dick!" Where are they, at this point?
BACK AT RICK’S HOUSE
Still under the bed. Has it been three hours for him too? Ugh. He inches out and gets up. The other guy is still sleeping in the bed. Rick hides in another room. What to do? He knows they are dangerous. Some guy throws a tennis ball against the walls. It’s irritating. Rick tries to open a window to get out but they are locked. He’s stuck. He grabs a trophy off a wall and prepares to fight. Who is the “she” the guys are talking about? They found a shirt? Oh, Michonne's shirt. They are planning to do things to her when she comes back. Uh oh. Rick hides in a bathroom but there’s already a guy inside so he fights him. He ends up strangling the guy. The man reaches for scissors but our Ricktator finds enough strength to kill him. He also gets the man’s weapon. Beast mode.
GET OUT, RICK!
Rick still has to find a way out of this house, and warn Carl and Michonne that it’s been “claimed.” He gets out a window, takes a jacket with him, and crawls down. He makes noise as he jumps down so he runs to hide. The guy with the ball is still alive.
ABRAHAM TRIES TO FIX THE TRUCK
Eugene killed the truck. He doesn’t know anything about firing weapons. Rosita finds Glenn’s photo. Gives the boys watching a nice arse shot in the process. Glenn walks off. Tara follows. Rosita oes too, ‘cause what else can they do. Eugene says they should follow them. That way is clear. They’ll follow until they find another vehicle than head back to D.C. “Trust me, I’m smarter than you.” Never trust anyone who says that!
SOME GUY ON THE PORCH
Is whistling and eating out of a can. Apparently this is Jeff Kober of Sons of Anarchy. Rick sees Carl and Michonne coming. He has to do something. He’s about to when they hear a walker inside the house. It must be the guy Rick killed turning.
TARA AND ABRAHAM BOND
Abraham gets why Tara is following Glenn. Tara is loyal. He likes it. But Abraham wants to save the world since it’s just more important than one guy finding his wife. How long will Glenn and Maggie last, even if he finds her? They discuss who is a “good” person. Why is Abraham driving Eugene to D.C.? Why is this his mission?
TRAIN TRACKS & SANCTUARY!
Yes! We’re back on track, literally. Michonne, Carl and Rick lost their home but they see a giant banner for sanctuary. Michonne wants to know what Rick thinks. “Let’s go. Let’s go.” They’re looking at a sign reading "Sanctuary For all, Community For all. Those Who Arrive Survive.” So this is a serious grassroots group that can put out a radio message, a map, and now a new sign.
Beth and Daryl are back! They need a safe place to be. Is this the Daryl-focused ep? We just hear from Beth, with her shouting “Daryl!” at one point.
Read a few more details on Episode 12, “Still.”