The back half of season four's focus on character development continues in this transition episode as the writers take their sweet time answering viewer questions. While I'm glad Michonne, Rick, and Carl are back on the road, or rather tracks, and we have been properly introduced to Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene, I don't know if I can handle another pure character study episode. And that's coming from someone who loves character-centric episodes! (Unlike many viewers, for the most part, I liked the Governor episodes.) Mysteries hinted at in early episodes are still mysteries. Plus, more mysteries keep piling up as the season progresses! When will I not be plagued by multitudes of questions? When?! This is what happens when you care too much about a TV show.
"Claimed" opens on a street sign for Crook Road. Below, a trio of Walkers enamored with a deflated balloon tied to the sign are distracted by a passing truck on the adjacent street. In the truck bed, Tara writes down "Crook Rd" on the palm of her hand, as the back of her hand is already filled with road markers and directions including — BUS. The truck stops as cars block the rest of the street. The Walker trio approach the truck bed, and Tara readies her rifle. Before she fires, Abraham exits the driver seat, barking "Do not fire that weapon." (Unlike Carl and Bob, Abraham refreshingly does not come from the School of Let's Waste All Our Bullets For No Reason.) With a chuckle as jolly as his hair is red, he impales the zombies, using the butt of Tara's rifle to finish them. In awe, Tara notes, "You smiled. You were smiling." Taking a moment to answer, Abraham replies in a serious tone, "Well I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Why don’t you help me with these cars; we’ve got some miles to go.”
A go-getter who gladly includes desperate people into his group AND isn't (visibly) plagued with existential angst? I think I'm going to like this guy.
Later, Glenn awakes from the truck bed, disoriented and confused. Tara explains that he passed out on the road, and the safety of the truck seemed better than the vulnerability of the side of the road. He asks about the bus, but they passed it three hours ago. The people at the bus "were all dead," indicating that by the time they passed the bus, Maggie, Sasha, and Bob had already killed the bus Walkers. Glenn and Tara bang and yell until Abraham stops the truck. Without a second thought, Glenn grabs his pack and rifle and jumps off the truck, heading back towards the bus. Tara follows — as does the rest of the group. Abraham stops Glenn in his tracks. He formally introduces himself along with his companions: They are Sgt. Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa, and Dr. Eugene Porter. They're on a mission to bring Eugene to Washington, DC as Eugene "knows exactly what caused this mess." Eugene's immediate answer to what that exactly is — "it's classified." Great. How I wish this were all true. I just remember the CDC fiasco all too well.
Abraham wants Glenn's help on the mission, stating, "We need people — the more, the better." Glenn declines the offer, heading back down the road. Tara accompanies him. Having written down the truck's route, she can guide him back to the bus where Maggie might look for him. (He's right, just not on the timing.)
However, Abraham is persistent, emphasizing that Maggie is gone. He states, "When the people we love kick — when they disappear, it doesn't mean you gotta go out that way, too." With those encouraging words, Glenn responds in kind, punching Abraham square in the jaw. Glenn walks off, asserting Maggie is alive, and he will find her. Sgt. Ford is not a man to let things go; he jumps Glenn's back and pummels him to the ground. Abraham and Glenn’s kerfuffle attracts Walkers from the woods and cornfields. Eugene, in his scientific wisdom, randomly shoots a rifle, putting holes into the truck, and more importantly, the truck’s gas tank. Although they dispose of the Walker horde, they waste precious ammo (A major no-no in the School of Let's Not Waste All Our Bullets For No Reason) and are out of a running vehicle. Son of a d—, Eugene!
NEXT: Suburban living, Zombiepocalypse-style