The Walking Dead - Season 4, Episode 15: “Us" TV Episode Review
Written by Steve Pattee and Daniel Benson
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Written by Nichole Beattie
2014, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on March 23rd, 2014
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey
Michael Cudlitz as Sgt. Abraham Ford
Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa
Jeff Kober as Joe
Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler
In this episode of The Walking Dead, there's more...walking.
Warning! This discussion contains spoilers!
Steve: So before the airing of this episode, I sent you an email that said, “We need to find another show to review. Because after I posted The Walking Dead the last recap, I realized I very well may not be watching next season. Or just half assing it.” I wrote this because I’m exhausted with where this show I once loved is going, and that’s apparently nowhere. Before this episode, Us, I’ve been unmotivated to watch this series each week. The only reason I’m doing it at this point is for these recaps, because I might as well finish out this season seeing how it only has one episode left.
You replied to my email, “I’m sure you’ll be suckered in by whatever they pull in the last two.” Well, we’re one episode down, and while Us is certainly a bit more enjoyable than most of what’s come since Hershel lost his head, I don’t know. I’m desperately trying to have faith here and hope that you’re right, but with Us being more of the same, I just can’t see the draw anymore. I now know how the people who hated season two felt, and to them I apologize for defending that season so much. I get it now, my eyes have been opened to the pain you were feeling.
Dan: I’m kinda stumped on what the intentions are for this season. As I’ve mentioned in the past, there was a bit too much padding post mid-season, but I’d expected the tension and story to ramp up a bit before this one closes. And yet, here we are, still watching everyone wandering along the train tracks or through the woods. Something amazing is going to have to happen in the finale to hook me in, otherwise I think I’m only going to be watching it out of a sense of duty.
Dan: I will say though, both the Daryl and Joe and the journey through the tunnel stories in this episode were a step up from anything we’ve seen recently, but even then do they just seem that way because of how lacklustre everything’s been lately?
Steve: Except that tunnel scene was nothing more than a poor man’s rehash of Larry Underwood’s journey through the Lincoln Tunnel in Stephen King’s The Stand. Granted, Glenn and Tara’s journey consisted of an undead problem that was quite different than Underwood’s, but it’s the same concept (and the execution in King’s novel is far superior). I’ve been accused of being too harsh in these recaps, and maybe I am being a little too nitpicky here, but I don’t think I am. The show is giving me nothing but boredom and rehashed stories.
Speaking of the tunnel, why do you think Maggie didn’t ask Glenn about Beth once the kissy kissy was over with? Wouldn’t you think that would be the first question she had?
Dan: Maybe she did. We’re not party to every conversation, but it does seem odd that any mention was omitted.
Steve: It wouldn’t surprise me. They’ve omitted a lot of things this season. Like enjoyment. Yet, surprisingly, I didn’t hate this episode. Maybe I’m getting battered spouse syndrome and just can’t leave no matter how often I’m disappointed, or maybe it’s the show had a lot of interaction with the new characters in Us. For some reason, I’ve become quickly attached to Ford, Eugene, and Rosita, especially Eugene. I really like that redneck scientist.
Hell, I’m even digging Joe’s character. Clearly he’s a man that probably lived his life on the wrong side of the law more often than not (when there was law), but he has this weird moral code that he lives by that kind of works in this new world.
That said, just because I said I didn’t hate this episode, these new characters didn’t save it from another experiment in mediocrity.
Dan: I’m definitely digging Ford and company, they seem larger than life compared to most of the characters in the show, so they provide some light relief from the drudgery we’ve come to expect from this season. I loved Eugene’s awkward hit attempt on Tara as they parted ways, it brought a genuine laugh.
Steve: Me as well. It’s the way he articulates that has me looking forward to his scenes.
Dan: Joe’s bunch I’m still on the fence about. On the one hand it’s good to have a new group, but on the other they look to be exactly what we should expect from survivors of this world. And it’s been fairly clearly mapped out that there’s going to be a showdown between him and Rick in the finale because of the death of one of his guys. I’d like to think Joe could become a permanent part of the regular group because there could be some great friction between him and the sheriff over leadership issues.
Steve: That would be ideal, especially since Rick hasn’t had a capable threat to his position since Shane. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the two will be able to make nice once they inevitably meet and if Joe will be able to satisfactorily be able to answer Rick’s three questions (roll eyes).
I’d much rather see your scenario than Joe being this season’s main antagonist because he’s really kind of a more likeable Governor. Since we already had that type of character, I’d much rather see something different in the mix. I guess we’ll know for sure with the upcoming finale.
Dan: OK, I know you thought the tunnel scene was derivative, but I thought the walkers trapped in the cave-in was a great set piece. That’s one gauntlet you wouldn’t want to run, especially in the dark. Other than that there wasn’t much to write home about (yet again).
Steve: I can’t argue that. It definitely brought a feeling of “they’re screwed”. And I have to admit that I liked Maggie’s explanation of how it all came down (no pun intended). It’s unfortunate that we didn’t see the cave-in as it happened.
Well, at least half of our players made it to their end goal...which was interesting to say the least.
Dan: That ending at Terminus was so saccharine it defied belief. It felt like a feel-good ending to a movie and it would have suited if they were going to end the show there on a cop-out ‘happy ever after’ note (which would be tragic if it ever happened). I can’t help thinking there’s going to be something sinister about that place though, it can’t be so simple that the survivors will end up there and live in harmony until the next governor comes along.
Steve: Agreed, and as cheesy as it was, it still felt...off. No locks on the fences, no lookouts, one lady behind a big grill. There is definitely more to it that meets the eye. I guess we’ll find out in the promised “shocking” finale. I’ve put up with your laziness for most of this season, The Walking Dead. You have one more episode to make it up to me.
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