This episode establishes some more direct ties to Robert Kirkman’s comic. We get a proper introduction to the three characters who showed up at the end of “Inmates”, though fans of the comics have already recognized them as Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). The three take Glenn and Tara along on their mission, which Abraham reveals is to get Eugene to Washington, D.C. to hopefully find a solution to the mess the world has found itself in. Of course, things don’t go quite as planned, as Eugene, who is not exactly the most adept at handling an automatic weapon, shoots their truck during a walker attack. Glenn wants to head off in search of Maggie, and once the truck is done for he does so. Seeing as they have little choice, the others follow along, with Eugene saying the way Glen is going is safer than the way they were heading, telling Abraham “Trust me. I’m smarter than you.”
It was an interesting exchange between Tara and Abraham, each trying to size the other up and determine their motives for doing what they feel they need to do. Abraham tells Tara that she’s a good person for trying to help Glenn, which Tara dismisses. Tara wonders about Abraham’s motive for helping Eugene. Abraham says he wants to save the world, and believes that’s enough. Abraham did talk about a larger group, but it isn’t clear yet as to whether he is still a part of such a group or if he’s left the group behind in order to escort Eugene to D.C. The actors chosen for the roles really do seem to fit them perfectly, as they resemble their comic counterparts and seem to have captured the essence of these characters from the comics in just a few short scenes.
The rest of the episode was divided between Carl and Michonne out on a supply run and doing a bit of bonding, and Rick dealing with some very unwelcome house-guests. The scenes between Carl and Michonne ranged from amusing as they discuss soy milk over breakfast to a bit tender when Michonne reveals some details about her past life (we learn that her son was three years old and was named Andre Anthony). Things take a creepy turn when Michonne discovers a child’s room, complete with a large dollhouse, and in a room behind a pink door finds the family dead on the children’s beds, with the mother sitting in the chair with the back of her head blown off. She keeps Carl from witnessing what was inside the room, knowing that he was already somewhat upset earlier when he inadvertently brought up Judith, who he still believes to be dead. It was again a nice performance from both Dania Gurira and Chandler Riggs, who have a real chemistry between them.
Back at the house, Rick gets a rude awakening from a group of intruders. We don’t know who these men may be (could be another possible tie to the comics), but the scenes were handled in a fairly tense manner. Rick evades detection by hiding under a bed, which of course is promptly occupied by one of the intruders. Another comes in and a fight ensues, but the man is killed before he can say anything when he spots Rick. Rick eventually sneaks out of hiding, and does his best to avoid being found. He does surprise one of the men in the bathroom, which leads to a struggle and Rick killing him. While tense throughout, this part struck me as a little off. With all of the noise made during the struggle, why weren’t any of the others alerted to the ruckus? Hard to believe no one heard what was going on, especially when later a walker provides the distraction that enables Rick to make a break for it and keep Carl and Michonne from returning to the house. It was the one sour note in an otherwise solid episode.
The end finds Rick, Carl, and Michonne on the railroad tracks, and they come across a boxcar with a sign pointing the way to a safe haven: “Sanctuary for all. Community for all. Those who arrive survive.” Looks like they’ll be meeting up with some other survivors soon, as we know Carol, Tyreese, and the girls, including baby Judith, followed a similar sign in last week’s episode.
This was overall another solid outing for the series, stumbling only with Rick’s tussle in the bathroom with one of the intruders that for some reason didn’t attract any of the man’s cohorts. There’s a nice blending with the comics with the introduction of Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene, and the mission to “save the world” by getting Eugene to Washington, D.C. We’ll have to see if that plotline plays out like it did in the books (I won’t spoil it here, but those who are caught up with the comics will know what I’m referring to). Still have a couple of questions to be answered. Just what is this sanctuary that the signs are guiding our survivors to? Who were the men who invaded the house where Rick was holed up? Is another big bad from the comics (again, readers of the books know who) going to make an appearance soon? It’s going to prove interesting over the next few episodes.
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