Trigger Warning: violence, rape, abuse
Well, I’ve wanted to do weekly reviews for The Walking Dead to go along with our weekly SPN reviews, and I might as well start now. This show is amazing. I love everything about it. I love its female characters along with its male characters, I love how it’s unafraid to kill anyone, and I love how it’s not Resident Evil.
Spoilers are after the jump.
I already reviewed the first half of the season, but here’s a quick summary of the second half so far:
“The Suicide King”
This was the episode that we had to wait two months for after the midseason finale. Daryl had been taken prisoner by Woodbury, the Governor had lost his eye, and Andrea was finally starting to figure things out. This was also the first time we saw Daryl and Merle together on screen, not counting the brief period Daryl hallucinated his brother in the last season.
In order to save Daryl, Rick takes Maggie with him back to Woodbury, much to Glenn’s dismay over what happened to Maggie the last time she was there. The Governor had sexually assaulted her. And further to Glenn’s dismay and Michonne’s disgust, Rick and Maggie also save Merle in the process.
Due to the mounting tensions of everything that’s going on, we actually see the group start to fall apart. They are a family, but they do have their problems. Daryl leaving with Merle, because the group cannot accept his brother due to the fact that Merle tried to kill both Michonne and Glenn, is just the straw that breaks Glenn’s back. He goes through so much emotional trauma this episode. Daryl leaves, Maggie was sexually assaulted and Rick took her back to Woodbury anyway, etc.
And then there is have Maggie’s emotional trauma. Her options last time were to either take off her shirt or the Governor was going to cut off Glenn’s hand, which she adamantly believed he would do, because she had just heard Merle torturing Glenn. So there is some blame going on between the two. Glenn didn’t make her undress for the Governor, but she did it for him, and it is the Governor who is to blame for all these problems.
Carol also has to deal with the fact that Daryl’s gone. And oddly enough, she handles this far better than the other people are handling their trauma. Daryl is all she has left, really. Sure, she’s friends with everyone else and a part of the family, but she had a special relationship with Daryl because of her late daughter. I really like what she said about Daryl’s departure, because it gave insight into both their characters. She compared what happened to whether or not she would leave the group if her late, abusive husband were alive and told her to leave. And she said she would.
On top of all this, there’s disquiet brewing in Woodbury over what’s happened, because, from the citizens’ perspective, Rick and his group are evil terrorists. Andrea finds herself being the one holding the community together. And while that’s going on, and new group of survivors have arrived at the prison, but they get scared off when Rick starts hallucinating Lori—who, despite dying, still won’t go the hell away!—so there’s a lot going on just in this one episode. It’s also good that Rick’s insanity is catching up with him, because he needs to deal with everything that’s happened. Though, I will say that it picked a terrible time, because right now the Governor is out for blood.
Andrea is now the unofficial leader of Woodbury, because the Governor is too emotionally distraught over the events of the midseason finale. However, he doesn’t completely trust Andrea, and he takes a bunch of his men out on a “run”, which in this case means, “out for an attack on the prison.”
Axel dies, which is a shame. I mentioned in my midseason review that I didn’t really like him, but he grew on me and had some nice development. And he seemed to get along really well with Carol, despite their conversation in the first half of the season. If anything, they had been becoming good friends, and Axel had been a part of the group. I’m upset they killed him so quickly, because now all the inmates are dead, but his death is not something our band of survivors is happy about, either. Yeah, they were upset when the one other inmate died, but even in the following episodes, Axel’s death in particular crops up when the group talks about what they think of the Governor and the kind of man he is.
Also during the attack on the prison, one of the Governor’s men drives a truck filled with walkers into the field, which almost gets Hershel killed, and now the group cannot use that field for crops as they originally planned—and, holy shit! The Governor is so evil and pissed that he attacks the group with walkers!
Meanwhile, Daryl is starting to see what kind of person his brother is, and actually has to threaten Merle with his crossbow when they come across and save another group of survivors from walkers. After the walkers were killed, Merle becomes hostile to the group they just saved, which really helped Daryl to see what kind of person he is. This episode talks a lot about their relationship, why they had originally joined the group of survivors, and what their upbringing had been like. Daryl’s grown a lot these past seasons. This episode helps explain why he was so disconnected from the group in the early episodes of the first season, and it puts into perspective how much he’s become a part of the group by the time the third season begins.
Daryl decides to go back to the prison after a very insightful fight with his brother. The two arrive just in time to save Rick from some walkers, giving Merle a pass to at least be allowed inside the prison, though Glenn, Michonne, and everyone else still won’t like it.
This is also the episode Rick finally admits to Hershel that he’s been hallucinating Lori. And Michonne’s noticed that he’s been going crazy as well.
“I Ain’t a Judas”
The group discusses their plans now that the Governor has practically declared war on them, and Carl tells Rick that he should quit being the leader, which is something Rick probably wants to do. I do like that Hershel yells at Rick and pretty much tells him to suck it up, because he needs to take responsibility for being the leader. Rick did make it quite clear at the end of the second season that he was in charge.
Meanwhile, in Woodbury, Andrea discovers that the Governor went to the prison, but he tells her that he went to talk and was attacked instead. Andrea decides to sneak out of Woodbury with the help of Milton, who’s actually spying on her for the Governor, to go see her former friends. While Milton is ‘helping’ her secure a walker to use as cover for her trip, they come across Tyreese’s group, who had been at the prison before being scared away by Rick. Milton takes them back to Woodbury, where they tell the Governor that they can give him information on the prison and the people there.
At the prison, Merle tries to make amends with Michonne for trying to kill her, but it’s Merle, and his apologizes aren’t very apologetic and instead assholish. But I suppose we can give him some credit. For Merle, we’ll call it an improvement.
Andrea finally makes it to the prison, where she is met with some hostility, in fact, overall, she’s met with distrust. The group does eventually allow her to see baby Judith, or Ass Kicker, as Daryl named her, and catch up. Her relationship with Michonne is explored a bit more, and we discover that Michonne was emotionally hurt by Andrea’s refusal to leave with her. Andrea also discovers that the Governor attacked the prison first, and that he had Merle try to kill Michonne. When she leaves to go back to Woodbury, Rick and the group do see her off, tell her to be careful, and give her a weapon. They tell her they plan to kill the Governor, which Andrea neglects to tell the Governor when she goes back to Woodbury and admits she visited the prison. The last scene of this episode is of Andrea standing over the sleeping Governor with a knife and contemplating killing him.
This episode is more or less filler, but it’s a good kind of filler. Rick, Michonne, and Carl are all out for a drive back to their hometown to gather some weapons for their upcoming battle with the Governor. Carl has some reservations about Michonne being in the group and he doesn’t like her.
This episode has some nice bonding between Michonne and Carl and it does show both Rick and Carl beginning to accept her as one of them. Other than gathering weapons, this episode is nothing but character development, and it’s good character development. It also ties up a loose plot thread from the first season. The three of them run across Morgan, the man who saved Rick’s life back in the very first episode of the series. The last we saw of Morgan, he had been unable to shoot his walker wife, and during his time away from Rick, his wife bit and turned his son Duane. Morgan’s gone a little crazy due to everything that’s happened to him, but Rick still manages to knock some sense into him. Eventually, Rick asks him if he wants to go back to the prison with them, but Morgan turns him down, because he doesn’t want to see anymore death.
I think out of every filler episode I’ve ever seen for any show, this one is definitely one of the best, and it’s not a waste to watch it. It’s tied into the plot, despite the fact that the plot doesn’t really appear, it has some great character development, and it takes the time to explain and a plot thread that’s been dangling since the first season.
All in all, The Walking Dead has been amazing thus far. See you next time.