Tales of the Walking Dead S01E04 Recap/Review: Rick Grimes Was Right

Kicking things off with an episode that offered a look at the lighter side of the TWD universe, AMC's Tales of the Walking Dead followed up with a time-loop episode and deeper dice into the backstory of one of the franchise's most notorious big bads (check out our thoughts on "Dee" here). As you can see, the horror anthology has definitely been living up to its promise of presenting bold & diverse perspectives- and that looks to continue with this week's chapter, the Anthony Edwards & Poppy Liu-starring S01E04 "Amy; Dr. Everett" (directed by Haifaa al-Mansour and written by Ahmadu Garba). Set in the "dead sector" (and reportedly set some time in the TWD franchise's future), a nature documentary brings together a naturalist who studies walkers and a spirited settler, who develop a respect for each other as the settler argues for the living taking back the land from the dead. Did it live up to its goals? If you were looking for an intimate and heartfelt examination of one of the core foundational truths that the entire franchise is built upon that includes awards-worthy performances from Edwards and Liu? Then you were as impressed as we were. But before our deep dive into S01E04 "Amy; Dr. Everett" to offer some real-time thoughts & observations, we're throwing on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign and throwing down an image spoiler buffer. See you on the other side…

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Anthony Edwards as Dr. Everett, Poppy Liu as Amy – Tales of the Walking Dead _ Season 1, Episode 4 – Photo Credit: Curtis Bonds Baker/AMC

"Tales of the Walking Dead" S01E04 "Amy; Dr. Everett" Real-Time Thoughts & Observations

Okay, first thing? Why don't we see Edwards (Dr. Everett) in more things? Because his voiceover helps convey the nature doc vibe that they're going for. I dig the phrase "homo mortis" for the walkers and the way Everett offers the dead's continue backstory by the way he's been tracking them (like a twisted Discovery+ docuseries).

Yeah, I have a feeling there's more to "Specimen 21" than we're being told… just a vibe.

"The excruciating process of life" (Everett) might be one of the best ways to describe the entire franchise, and it's fascinating how the dead have become just another part of nature's process (and also, the dominant life form… sorry, living)

Listening to Everett discuss the skull hunters and describing their practices as "barbaric," we quickly see that Everett sees the dead as another functioning life form deserving of respect. Think Herschel (before the barn heartbreaker) time ten. Fascinating…

Okay, first? I'm a big fan of the drone usage and how the footage looks. In fact, I'm now convinced (though Fear the Walking Dead helped with this) that Tales of TWD needs to have a "found footage" episode.

In the process of scouting out the dead via drone, Everett comes across Amy (Liu)… who he observes fighting the walkers without stepping in. Ouch. This dude is seriously all about not f***ing up nature's way of doing things…

And just when you think Everett's ready to do the right thing for the right reason? Nope. He saves Amy to protect the walker that he has tagged and is studying.

Tales of the Walking Dead S01E04 Recap/Review: Rick Grimes Was Right
Image: AMC Networks

"I don't work with humans"- Everett to Amy (and there you have it), though the dude has a sweet bunker/home. Hook that up with some serious satellite WiFi? That would be sweet…

Amy's not taking Everett's hints and using the knife as a ladder was a particularly nice move. And you can never go wrong with a good "the creatures are at your feet just as you start going up the ladder" scene.

Okay… Amy apologizing "in advance" if she ends up turning and taking a chunk out of Everett's neck was a pretty funny moment in the midst of everything. Thankfully, Everett lets Amy in, and not a moment too soon. Turns out she's been unexpectedly poisoning herself with the berries she's been eating. Whoops.

Edwards is giving Everett a Doctor (from Doctor Who)/Sherlock Holmes vibe that's working. He already feels like a character who's been a part of the franchise for a while.

Side note? That's a nasty-looking weapon that Amy has on her stump. Not like Alicia's from Fear TWD, but close…

Amy offers a wonderfully graphic description of just how sick she was throughout the night and reminds Everett what a simile is (a great scene that demonstrates their early chemistry).

"Chompers" versus "Homo Mortis": and in that, the philosophical divide between Amy and Everett. The former sees the dead as an obstacle to overcome for humanity to reclaim the land (including the "dead sector" that Everett's in). While the latter doesn't have a positive view of humanity and sees "homo mortis" just as deserving of its place in nature's food chain as us or any other animals. Amy's brief description of just how bad things have gotten is pretty chilling…

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Image: AMC Networks

"Specimen 21 is a subject… that's all."- Everett to Amy, after she asks why she has so many images of that one walker in particular. Of course, none of us believe him… right?

Everett is noticing patterns that the dead has established, referencing how Specimen 21 killed a dog but then left it for the herd behind him (a move he's done twice). Interesting because this fits in with what we've seen on The Walking Dead: World Beyond and teased in the remaining episodes of the flagship series, this idea of the smart. evolving walker.

That moment when you realize that the "chomper" was more important to Everett than you ever were…

Well, that was an ominous, not-so-friendly goodbye to Amy… and not a good sign as to where this will all go. Uh-oh…

So Amy makes Everett a deal: she'll show him where Specimen 21 is at if he helps her find her way back to her community. Interesting how Everett backs off from his warning about the area when she opens up about needing a place to keep her people safe like a nerve was hit in a very humane way.

Everett shows Amy what he's been up to via footage from his documentary, and we quickly learn why he's so protective of the area. With the help of some beautiful imagery, we learn that a number of escaped zoo animals found their way there and built new homes. And that's when Everett drops the crushing reality of it all. The animals are thriving because there are no humans here short of him.

Since "The Shift"? Interesting… as it would be to learn more about Everett's research group and what fractured them. And here's where we learn of Everett's "no interference" approach to life… though Amy makes a good point about his reasoning for breaking it to save her. The offer to lend her poetry was a nice moment of grace in an otherwise foreboding scene…

Amy asks the question of what happens to the walkers if all of humanity dies, Everett states, "Home Mortis will exist as long as humans are around," and the idea of this Eden existing because no humans are there all thematically hit back to what Rick Grimes said so famously in the comics and the television series. Humanity really is "the walking dead."

Watching Amy with the bird and her inquisitive nature allows Everett to open up and offer Amy the opportunity to assist him and eventually take over his work. She counters by trying to get him to join her group. And that's where their different philosophies come into conflict once again. She feels that she would be giving up on society, while he feels he would be helping mankind destroy nature… again.

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Image: AMC Networks

After listening to Everett's story of how Dr. Mosley took him and got him moving forward on his research, we learn that Dr. Mosley was Specimen 21. Unfortunately, there's not much time to process that since Everett learns Amy hasn't been telling the truth. Her people may not be headhunters, but they did make a deal with them to get into the land. And from the sounds of things, the plan is not going well…

Holy shit! Everett stopped Amy from saving her friends. Wow! And now, he needs her help to get Specimen 21 back. These exchanges between Edwards and Liu are top-notch tense and shockingly tragic and expose Everett's core hypocrisy.

Amy's going back to save her friends now that she knows they're in the migration path of the "homo mortis" as we begin getting a better sense of just how large these walker hordes have become. Thankfully, Amy makes it through the walkers to her people…

After the break, we cut back to Everett as he begins another day. But once he starts with the Emily Dickinson poem, we know things aren't going to go well. And then we see the settlement from before the break… Amy's settlement. Sadly, it looks like they didn't heed Everett's way-too-late warning. But for Everett? It's another opportunity to stage & study another "community."

And then there's what was once Amy. And at that moment when Everett looks into the eyes of his hypocrisy, there is a pause before the episode ends. Leaving viewers with questions that may never be able to be answered… but better for the journey that led to them being asked.

Tales of the Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 4 "Amy; Dr. Everett"

walking dead
Review by Ray Flook

9/10
Kicking things off with an episode that offered a look at the lighter side of the TWD universe, AMC's Tales of the Walking Dead followed up with a time-loop episode and deeper dice into the backstory of one of the franchise's most notorious big bads (check out our thoughts on "Dee" here). As you can see, the horror anthology has definitely been living up to its promise of presenting bold & diverse perspectives- and that looks to continue with this week's chapter, the Anthony Edwards & Poppy Liu-starring S01E04 "Amy; Dr. Everett" (directed by Haifaa al-Mansour and written by Ahmadu Garba). Set in the "dead sector" (and reportedly set some time in the TWD franchise's future), a nature documentary brings together a naturalist who studies walkers and a spirited settler, who develop a respect for each other as the settler argues for the living taking back the land from the dead. Did it live up to its goals? If you were looking for an intimate and heartfelt examination of one of the core foundational truths that the entire franchise is built upon that includes awards-worthy performances from Edwards and Liu? Then you were as impressed as we were.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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