"The Walking Dead" has a fever, and the only cure is more cowbell — and by "more cowbell," we mean "classified."
Mullet-rocking scientist Eugene is the proud owner of that classified information, as revealed last night on "Claimed," the eleventh episode of "Walking Dead" season four. It turns out that Abraham Ford, Rosita and Eugene — the three characters we met at the end of last week's hour — are on their way to Washington, D.C., because Eugene has been in contact with government officials about how to end the plague. But how much does he really know?
Elsewhere in the episode, Rick engages in the most explosive bathroom encounter this side of "Who does Number Two work for," while Michonne and Carl get into some crazy-cheese shenanigans of their own. Relive "Claimed" with us while we ask our burning questions about the episode:
1. What does Eugene know? What the scientist lacks in marksmanship, he apparently makes up for in information. If we take the episode at face value, then Eugene knows the cause of the apocalypse, and might be the only man who can restore the world to its former glory. But should we take the information at face value? Or is there more to Eugene's story than meets the hairline?
2. When will we find out what Eugene knows? Probably not for a while, certainly not next week; based on previews, it appears that Glenn and his new pals will be sitting out of the upcoming episode. Even still, this is a major bombshell to drop, one that likely won't resolve entirely until the end of the season, and maybe even later.
3. Does Abraham dye? That's not a typo. I'm genuinely curious: does Abraham dye his hair in the apocalypse? Because that red hue does not look natural at all. It's a faithful rendition of Abraham's appearance in the comics, but sometimes, things that work in the comics don't work on the show. Abraham's goofy red mop is one of them. Rosita's entire wardrobe is another. Eugene's mullet, for the record, is awesome.
4. Is Abraham really the luckiest guy in the world? That's what he says to Tara, when she asks why he enjoys killing walkers as much as he does. Maybe he feels lucky to be part of a worthy cause: Protecting Eugene and helping him toward coming up with a cure. Or maybe he's just a violent psychopath who is relishing the opportunity to smash zombie brains with rifle butts on the regular. Interpret as you will.
5. Does Glenn need a wake-up call? It breaks my heart to say this about one of my favorite characters on the show, but Glenn really needs to gut up or shut up. There were so many better, peaceful ways for him to part company with Abraham. The punching and subsequent beatdown was entirely unnecessary. I understand his need to reconnect with Maggie, but he's going to get a lot of people killed with that foul attitude. Here's hoping Glenn can pull himself together in the weeks ahead.
6. What's your burning question for Michonne? And why don't more shows offer up that same question game? "Lost" would have been so much more satisfying! Kidding aside, I love how Michonne's opening up more and more with every episode. We now know her son's name (Andre Anthony, a name that's eerily similar to Michonne's fallen friend, Andrea), his age when he died (only three years old, poor thing) and her taste for crazy-cheese.
7. Is "Walking Dead" about to launch a food line? Speaking of crazy-cheese, it feels like "Walking Dead" is gearing up to release some branded snacks in stores one of these days, doesn't it? Just from the food we've seen this season, we could enjoy "Walking Dead"-branded pudding, spaghetti-O's, soy milk and crazy cheese. Tell me you wouldn't eat 112 ounces worth of the stuff.
8. What's the deal with the house of the dead? Carl and Michonne didn't find much of value in the house they scavenged, but they did find one very disturbing scene: a whole family killed and laid to rest on their beds, Shane Vendrell style, with what looked to be the mother sitting in a rocking chair, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her head. Was this just another reminder of the bleak nature of the "Walking Dead" universe, or is there something more important happening here?
9. Did you catch the "Super Dinosaur" shout-out? One of the dead girls in the house is clutching a comic book close to her chest. It's called "Super Dinosaur," the very same comic book written in real life by Robert Kirkman, creator of "The Walking Dead." Never let it be said that Kirkman doesn't know how to advertise.
10. How cranky was that one guy who killed the other guy just so he could sleep in his bed? SO CRANKY!
11. What did you think of the bathroom battle? Rick's evasion of the intruders was my favorite storyline of the episode, and his struggle with the thug in the bathroom was the best part of all. Either the intruders are deaf, or that thug is infamous for having the loudest poops of all time. Either way, it was a great scene, and a nice change of pace from the kind of action the show usually delivers.
12. Who are the intruders? That's the million-dollar question, isn't it? Well, maybe the Eugene thing is the million-dollar question, but this one's worth a whole lot of dead presidents, too. Will we see these guys again, or were they a one-off appearance? Are the intruders connected to Randall's group from season two? Are they the dreaded "hunters" from the "Walking Dead" comics? And here's another scary possibility: what if these are the denizens of the sanctuary our heroes are headed toward?
13. What lies ahead? Sanctuary! Those who arrive, survive, according to the signs. Tyreese and friends are already headed that way. Rick, Carl and Michonne are moving in that direction now, too. How long until the others get on that trail, too? Perhaps as soon as next week, which looks to be another hour heavy on Daryl and Beth — or as I like to call them, Deth.
What are your big questions coming out of this week's "Walking Dead" episode? Let us know in the comments below!