The Walking Dead - Season 4, Episode 13: “Alone" TV Episode Review
Written by Steve Pattee and Daniel Benson
Directed by Ernest Dickerson
Written by Curtis Gwinn
2014, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on March 9th, 2014
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey
Jeff Kober as Joe
In this episode of The Walking Dead, we learn that discrimination will still exist in an apocalypse, Bob Stookey will inevitably die this season or early next, and AMC clearly is not pumping any money into the series.
Warning! This discussion contains spoilers!
Steve: Is it me, or is it getting harder and harder to muster up the motivation to watch The Walking Dead? I used to be at the TV by 9:00 on Sundays, in time for the start of the show, but now...it doesn’t matter. I may catch it Sunday, but Monday’s fine too. So is Tuesday, Wednesday, or even Thursday. The show’s just been so mediocre for most of this season, and this episode, entitled Alone is no different.
Don’t get me wrong, like most episodes, there are a few things I really like about it (which we’ll get into), but overall it’s just another blasé entry in a TV show that was once worth all the critical acclaim it received, but is now on a downward spiral to boredomville. A big part of my problem with the show is can it leave the goddamn woods already? Honestly, who in the hell is going to hang out in the woods during a zombie apocalypse? Can AMC maybe splurge on some sets? This is a show that is clearly bringing in money for them (judging by all the commercials I’m fast forwarding through), and the only thing that ever seems to change is whatever the newest vehicle they are whoring that season. Not clothes, not locations. This all stinks of how the Planet of the Apes movie sequels were treated; each subsequent film after the original got less money and was expected to do more (side note: if you haven’t seen the documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes, go check it out). It’s painfully obvious there’s only so much you can do with a limited location.
Dan: Agreed on everything, this is milking it to the extreme. I called it a few episodes back that this was going to be padding up until some cliffhanger in the final episode. I didn’t realise how much padding they’d be doing though. They’re separated, we get it, and they’re heading to the Terminus, we get that too. What’s happened since the mid-season break could have been condensed into a couple of episodes and then the writers could have started to develop the story at the Terminus. I guess that’s for season five though.
Steve: A season five that will most likely be short one Bob Stookey. I’m calling him now as death of the season because I’m starting to really like the guy. In this one episode, they’ve already made him a far more interesting character than Tyrese, but I have a feeling that he’s doomed. The main reason being is the show is becoming too character heavy. This is painfully obvious with all of the filler character episodes we’ve had to plow through since the show returned from its mid-season break, and the herd is going to have to be thinned. It just feels like they are setting Sookey up for that, which is unfortunate.
Steve: However, even if he is doomed, I will remember him for being part of a few special moments. The first is when he first meets Glenn and Daryl and our poncho-wearing hero asks him Rick’s two idiotic group-requirement questions: How many zombies have you killed and how many people have you killed. Aside from them being just pointless drivel, Sookey had the best answer to the first to date; he never kept count because it didn’t matter, and his reply to the second was damning. I never got the point of those dumb ass questions, but I did like Sookey’s answer to them because his reply showed how nonsensical Rick is.
The second special moment is when Sookey joined Glenn and Daryl and the group headed off into the sunset ..with Sookey riding in the back of the truck. What the hell was that all about? Daryl was on his motocycle and Glenn was alone, so there was clearly a seat inside the truck. Does this mean in The Walking Dead universe, blacks are once again relegated to the back of the bus? THANKS, OBAMA.
And honorable mention goes to when alcoholic-Sookey was holing up in a cave and hammering a bottle of cough syrup. That was pretty damn funny.
Dan: I've learned not to get attached to anyone outside of the core characters. Hell, when someone like Herschel can go out then there's no chance for a fringe cat like Bob. It did make me chuckle a bit when he was denied shotgun, but maybe it was their protocol when picking up anyone new so he couldn't cause any problems in the cab. And if that was the case then it makes it more stupid they were organised in that respect, but not for a disaster at the prison.
And dude, you're totally not being on my team if there's a zombie apocalypse. Rick's questions get the measure of someone quickly, and there ain't no time to mess around in their situation. That said, it could be a LONG conversation if he had to answer himself, especially when it comes to "Why?"
Steve: Well, sir, if you are taking leadership lessons from Rick, I don’t want to be on your team anyway because we see where his crew is at now. I prefer not to camp out in the woods during a zombie apocalypse.
Steve: What do you think happened to Beth? I’m thinking this is just a red herring of some sort and they’ll be a big reunion at Terminus. On the other hand, if her death means there won’t be a Daryl and Beth more-than-father-daughter-type relationship, I’m okay with that too. The way things were going this episode seemed to be pointing to sexy time between the two, and that’s just gross.
Dan: Even more gross when you think how long its been since Daryl cleaned his downstairs crossbow. If you know what I mean. I'm thinking maybe Joe's (Jeff Kober) group had something to do with Beth's implied abduction, but we've never seen them with vehicles so it's anyone's guess. I'm wondering how that's going to pan out too. I think Daryl will fit in with them well, but if they ever meet Rick there's going to be conflict because they have a whole different style to him.
Steve: Yeah, and good call on noticing Kober the first time out. Maybe he’s the new antagonist that will carry over to the next season. Or, better yet, he’s the leader of the new town (although that will just be a repeat of The Governor and another example of incredibly lazy writing).
The bottom line is they need to do something to get The Walking Dead kickstarted again. It’s just been so boring. At least the music has been consistently solid. Lee DeWyze’s "Blackbird" was a great way to open the episode (even if it was yet another mediocre outing for the show).
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