Category Archives: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead — Home (S3E10)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, The Suicide King)

Merle is quick to insult Rick, the group, and their methods, but Daryl only weakly protests. However, the pain in his eyes is evident when Merle jokes about how soon the crew will die at the hands of the Governor. When they encounter another group of survivors being attacked by zombies, Daryl runs to their aid–against the protests of Merle. Daryl and the few men with guns take out the walkers (and Daryl gets the zombie kill of the season when he smashes the trunk of a car onto one of the walkers in a gory explosion). Since the survivors only speak Spanish, they can’t thank them properly, so Merle takes it upon himself to take his own reward. When he tries to loot their car, Daryl pulls his crossbow on his own brother. He helped the survivors because it was the right thing to do, and he wanted to save the baby. Daryl wasn’t surprised that he didn’t come to the survivors’ aid because he never came to his. The Dixons’ father abused them when they were young, and we see Daryl’s scars to prove it. Daryl realizes that Merle has never been there for him, but his new group took him in and appreciated him from the start. As he storms off, Daryl tells him passionately, “I may be the one walking away, but you’re the one leaving. Again.” And his eyes nearly well up with tears as he yells, “He’s Korean!” when he defends Glenn.

Rick spends the episode outside of the safety of the prison gates following his hallucination of Lori. When pushed, he admits to Hershel that he is following Lori, though he knows she isn’t real. He thinks that her presence means something and he won’t rest until he finds out what that is. Glenn finally confronts Maggie about the Governor’s attempted rape: she only let it go that far because she heard the beating he was receiving and was terrified they would kill him. She pushes him away, maybe because she doesn’t trust men in general or maybe because his first instinct was to seek revenge rather than ensure she was safe. Hershel warns him that the rage that is building up inside him will get him or his friends killed, but Glenn won’t hear any of it–he won’t be satisfied until the Governor lies dead. While the other couples struggle, Axel and Carol finally make some headway. He admits that he was in prison for robbing a gas station with a toy gun, they flirt as she shows him to load and use a real one.

With Rick’s lack of sanity and Daryl off gallivanting with Merle, Glenn decides that he has to take charge and lead. When the group shoots down his idea to take Michonne and attack Woodbury immediately, he sets off to check how the walkers got into the tombs where Tyreese and Co. were attacked.

The Governor is unsure of where Andrea’s allegiances lie. Though she took charge in Woodbury’s time of need, she has a much longer history with Rick’s group. He tries to push her choose Woodbury by asking her to take on the role of leader because he is clearly no longer capable. After the Governor calls Milton a friend, he is forced to lie to Andrea about where he disappeared to. His short, shaky response of “he’s on a run,” clearly won’t cut it, though. Andrea is not going to let this slide, and she is not going to be pleased when she hears the truth. But let’s be honest, she still won’t leave The Governor, she’s nuts.

The Governor led a surprise attack on the prison, beginning the battle by shooting Axel in the head. The survivors are quick to duck for cover and those with guns retaliate, but only succeed in taking out a few unimportant Woodbury guards. Rick is pinned outside the gates, where the real threat is the mass of walkers that surround him. Luckily Daryl and Merle arrive just in time to save him, which will probably lead to Merle being saved. A truck filled with zombies breaks through the prison gates, unleashing a walker bomb that nearly kills Hershel. Though the Governor only succeeds in taking out one survivor, he is beyond ecstatic, overjoyed by the attack and what he knows will be a fierce war.

I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed with the Governor. He had a dozen or so armed men attack the prison, but he started the battle with a single bullet. If he had used any sort of strategy he could have taken out a couple of the prisoners with the snipers they were equipped with. Or, at the very least, he could have shot someone important. Why would he choose to shoot someone he has never seen before when he could have easily killed Rick? This is gonna cost you, Governor, because it’s Rick’s move now.

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The Walking Dead — The Suicide King (S3E09 Mid-Season Premiere)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Made to Suffer)

The crowd at Woodbury is excited to watch Daryl and Merle fight to the death, Andrea is the only one who tries to resist it. Rather than a joyous reunion, Merle beats his brother, but promises he has a plan to get them out. Before he has a chance to prove this, Rick and Maggie shoot them free. Daryl retrieves his crossbow in the most badass–a very Daryl–fashion, and he and Merle escape. Rick, Glenn, and Maggie easily agree that Merle can’t be brought back to the prison, but Daryl refuses to return to the group without his brother in tow, so he storms off. Rick and Glenn disagree about whether they should bring back Michonne, but Rick, as the leader, prevails in and tells her that they will only patch her up and send her on her way; he’s terrified of new people, and finds any reason not to trust her, even though they definitely need her strength.

I don’t think it will take much abuse-–be it the verbal or physical-–for Daryl to realize that Merle might be his blood, but Rick’s group is his true family. He has finally found a group of people that accept and want him, he has finally taking on leadership and he has Carol back at the prison. I expect a joyous reunion between Daryl and the group, particularly between him and Carol very soon (Hopefully before the Governor launches his attack).

Glenn is no longer the sweet, innocent boy that we met in season one, he has seen the horrors of the world and realized how terrible people can really be. And he isn’t just fighting for his own life now, he believes it is his job to protect Maggie, and he failed. He’s infuriated that Rick didn’t take the time to kill the Governor and he wasn’t even given the chance to avenge Maggie himself. Until he takes out the Governor, Glenn can never forgive himself, and probably can’t have a healthy relationship with Maggie.

When the group rolls back into the prison, Carl seems genuinely surprised that they survived. Rick has the chance to hold baby Judy, and Beth mentions how she has Lori’s eyes. As all else fades away, Rick must wonder if her other features are his or Shane’s. After all this talk of the group’s amazing leader Rick, Tyreese and his group must be quite disappointed. Tyreese promises that they would do anything possible to stay in the prison, even help them in their battle with the Governor, the Rick doesn’t want to be responsible for them, since everyone he tries to protect dies. For the first time, Hershel stands up to Rick, telling him that this is the wrong thing to do, they need to reinforcements to protect themselves. But before Rick has the chance to change his mind, he sees ghost Lori. He is conscious enough to know that he wants nothing to do with her, but he doesn’t realize that she’s just a ghost; he waves his gun around and threatens her. Tyreese takes this a threat to his own life, and he and his group are quick to leave. Rick’s mind continues to deteriorate, and this time it wasn’t just Glenn who saw it. With Daryl gone, there aren’t many people left to take the lead.

Forgetting how dangerous it is outside of the walls, the citizens of Woodbury try to escape. A group of walkers manage to break in and bite one of the citizens before Andrea can kill them. The Governor walks out of his apartment, shoots the man in the head, and walks back into his house in complete silence. Andrea rushes into his place and demands that he give her answers and speak to his people, but he no longer cares about his people. He tells Andrea the whole truth now, thinking that she didn’t deserve to know before, because she was “just passing through.” Rather than become pissed, Andrea tells him not to push her away. For some reason, even after seeing tanks full of heads and his zombie daughter, she still wants to be with him. In my opinion, she’s even crazier than Rick. Because the Governor won’t take charge, Andrea makes a speech to the people about how they have suffered, but they must pull themselves back up; when society returns, the history books will write about Woodbury because they persevered. Though this inspires the people, I find it hard to believe that anyone expects the world to return to the way it was before. Now that Andrea seems to have found her place, it’s hard to know which side she will choose in the battle between Rick and the Governor, they did leave her for dead after all. And they barely reacted to the news that she was still alive, probably because they didn’t have the time to worry about it.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Home)

The Walking Dead — Made to Suffer (S3E08 Mid-Season Finale)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, When the Dead Come Knocking)

Though Rick and co. believe that Michonne might be leading them into a trap, they still think it’s their best bet. The group quickly advances through Woodbury in their search for Glenn and Maggie, they easily take out a guard without lethal force. After Glenn and Maggie struggle with their captors, the group manages to find and save them. After mild protest, Daryl agrees to wait to speak to Merle, because right now they need to get out of enemy territory. While Rick’s group is trying to make their escape with smoke grenades and bullets, Andrea is intrigued by the gunfire and ignores the Governor’s order to stay off the street. Andrea manages to take out Oscar (Conveniently the only member of the group that she sees) and Daryl offers to stay behind to provide cover fire, but every other member of the group makes it out unscathed.

Michonne slips away during the firefight to confront the Governor and possibly to retrieve Andrea. While she waits for him, she finds the aquariums full of walker heads and Penny. Michonne finds the Governor’s only soft spot, h=e trembles with fear and begs for his daughter’s life, but Michonne ends it anyway. During the vicious struggle, she manages to stab him in the eye with a shard of glass, a token to remember her by. Andrea arrives in time to stop Michonne from killing the governor, but she lets her old friend escape. Andrea, completely blinded by her affection for the Governor, believes that he only keeps the tanks there to “prepare [him] for the horrors outside.” And now, with nothing left to lose, the Governor announces that he failed his community, he allowed Merle into their safe haven and he led the terrorists into Woodbury. The Governor brings out Daryl and ask the community what to do with these two monsters, they are intent on killing them.

During the battle, Rick believes that he sees Shane and hesitates before shooting him, almost ending in his own death. Though Rick’s realization that it was only his imagination on the phone made it seem as though he was improving, he has clearly gone insane. The question that remains: does Rick know that he’s gone crazy and will he ask for help?

To replace those lives lost in this episode and those most likely to be lost in the mid-season premiere, a new group of survivors is introduced. The leader of this group is Tyreese, a beloved character from the comics. One of the women gets bitten before they arrive at the prison, but Ben (most likely her son) refuses to leave her behind. Carl arrives in time to save them from her a group of walkers. Due to his reasonable lack of trust of strangers, Carl locks them in a cell block and promises them food and water. Though Sasha begs to be let free, Tyreese calms her down and promises they’re not looking for trouble.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, The Suicide King)

The Walking Dead — When the Dead Come Knocking (S3E07)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Hounded)

Merle is eager to see his brother, appease the Governor, and get revenge for being left handcuffed to a roof. So when Glenn won’t reveal the location of his group and blatantly lies about who is with him (He names Andrea, who Merle knows for a fact is no longer with them), Merle is happy to coerce the information out of him. Glenn battles through a nasty beating and nearly being eaten alive by a zombie Merle sicced on him without spilling anything. Since Glenn won’t talk, the Governor tries his hand at making Maggie spill. His method of good cop doesn’t work, so he forces Maggie to strip down and threatens (rather convincingly, I might add) to rape her. Even this won’t break Maggie, though. Their last attempt proved fruitful, threatening Glenn in Maggie’s presence made her sing like a bird, she gave up their location and their numbers. The Governor doesn’t show it, but he feels threatened by them, a group of only 10 managed to clear out the entire prison, and they’re probably coming to fight for their people. And the biggest worry: is Merle going to side with him or with his long-lost brother?

With each episode the Governor seems to become more of a monster, but this time he showed that he knows no bounds. Rape is the one thing that everyone in the show has steered clear of, it’s the most vile act and they have to be true savages to resort to it. And he clearly isn’t lacking in that department, since he and Andrea have gotten close; it was strictly a power play. Luckily for Maggie (and Glenn), he only doesn’t make do on his threats. As for Merle, he’s excited to hear that his brother is alive and well, especially knowing that he came back to try to save him. When faced with choosing between Daryl and the Governor, I think he might struggle at first, but side with his brother. Daryl, on the other hand, will pick his friends. I don’t think that Daryl feels much for big bro anymore, he hasn’t mentioned him since the hallucinations last season. He has also formed a close bond with the group and even taken up the role as one of the leaders. Since they won’t accept Merle, Daryl will have to deny his brother’s entry.

While Rick stares dumbfoundedly at Michonne at the gate, Carl takes action and shoots the zombies near her. Right after promising not to hurt her, Rick grabs her bullet wound to force her to talk. She admits that she saw Glenn and Maggie’s kidnapping and reveals enough information about Woodbury to get the group headed in that direction. Michonne must have realized that these are Andrea’s people, but she doesn’t mention that she knows her or where she is. She’s saving this bit of information to leverage the best deal for herself. Rick apologizes to Carl for having to take care of his mother. Carl suggests naming the baby after his third grade teacher Judith, because Ass-Kicker just won’t do, and I think Rick would have agreed to just about anything. And the group is thrilled at Daryl’s discovery that Carol is alive and fairly well, it takes a bit of the sting off of their losses.

As soon as Hershel sows up Michonne’s wound (which she genuinely thanks him for, shocking!), she, Rick, Daryl, and Oscar set out for Woodbury. They duck into a cabin when they get ambushed by a hoard of walkers and find a paranoid hermit living there with no knowledge of the zombie apocalypse. When he is about to open the door and let the walkers in, Michonne stabs him and they toss him out as zombie bait. Michonne doesn’t let on whether this was a mercy killing or out of cold-blood. They all make it out in one piece and approach Woodbury unseen. The showdown is being saved for the mid-season finale next week.

The Governor enlists Andrea’s help in Milton’s experiments. He wants to prove that biters have a recollection of their past lives by training Mr. Coleman, a man about to die from prostate cancer, to respond to questions about his life. And when he reanimates he asks these same questions. When the response is inconclusive, he unshackles Mr. Coleman, who goes directly for the kill. Andrea kills the zombie and saves Milton’s life. From his reaction, it doesn’t appear that Milton has ever been near enough to an active zombie to feel the fear and threat that they bring about. When she goes to the Governor for comfort he promises her that “it’s over now.” But it’s never over Andrea.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Made to Suffer)

The Walking Dead — Hounded (S3E06)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Say The Word)

When a zombie killing spree didn’t solve Rick’s problems, he invented a phone conversation with his wife. The woman on the phone insisted that she and her group were in a safe place that she couldn’t name. When Rick begs for refuge, she disconnects and allows him to talk to another member of her group later. He gets bounced around to different members of the group until he speaks with a very familiar voice, that of Lori’s. When he realizes that this is his last chance to talk to his wife, he begs for her forgiveness for letting her die, he thought that this would be a safe haven for them, Carl, and the baby. She reminds him that she may be gone, but the children aren’t, and someone needs to look out for them. All Rick needed to return him to his sanity and his leadership was a reminder that he is the only one who can look out for his kids. Rick approaches his (or Shane’s) daughter for the first time since she was born and finally accepts her as his own.

Daryl, Carl, and Axel run through the prison cell a couple times to ensure that they cleared out all of the walkers, not willing to take any chances again. Daryl tries to comfort Carl by sharing the story of his mother’s death, she burnt the house down while smoking in bed. Because he didn’t have to see it or her, it didn’t feel so real to him. But Carl shot his mother in the head, it was very real for him. Carl didn’t even hesitate to mention it, he seems to be building up a wall around himself. If he acts like nothing can hurt him, maybe nothing will. They happen across a zombie with a knife sticking from its neck, and Daryl is quick to realize that the knife belonged to Carol. After some pacing, he throws open a closet that had been shaking, and inside is a badly injured Carol. We don’t know what wounds she has, she might have been bitten. Daryl doesn’t care though, he picks her up and brings her to safety.

While Merle and three of the Governor’s men are searching for Michonne they find a “bitergram” that she left for them, zombie parts positioned to say “go back.” When Merle decides to press on, Michonne leaps out of hiding and slays two of his men, but gets winged by a bullet in the process. She didn’t hesitate to kill these live people, though she has no idea who they are or if they are as corrupt as the Gov. Merle doesn’t want to go toe-to-toe with Michonne, he knows that she can take him out, so he decides to head back to Woodbury with the news that he already killed her. When he gets resistance from the last man standing from his group, Merle takes out this threat. Michonne manages to slip out of a horde of zombies by pouring the guts of one onto her. She had no idea that this would mask her human scent (as Rick and Glenn figured out when they were trapped in the department store in the Guts, episode 2 of season 1), but it was a welcome surprise.

Maggie and Glenn discover a storage facility where they find their fill of baby formula and extra food. Merle, also happens upon the location and pulls his gun on the two. But when Merle realizes that this is his old pal Glenn, he drops his gun and asks about his brother. When Glenn refuses to bring Merle back to their camp to see Daryl, Merle grabs his gun and Maggie. If they won’t take him to their camp, he’ll take them back to Woodbury where they can get the information out of them. Michonne watched this entire scene play out from her hiding place, either she was too injured to take out Merle or too weary of these strangers to intervene. But because she didn’t, Merle got away with Glenn and Maggie and she made it off safely. As Rick watches a hoard of zombies near the prison walls, he notices that one of them is alive and is holding a basket of goods. Michonne made it to safety among the walkers and with a gift for (what will probably be) her new group.

While the rest of the group struggle with their humanity or staying alive, Andrea and the Governor (Or should I say Phillip?) get some time to themselves. After quite a bit of flirting and losing Michonne, their major distraction, Andrea and the Governor hit the sheets. His interaction with her changes naught after discovering that his three men and Michonne were killed. But Merle will pay the price when Michonne returns to seek revenge and retrieve her friend, clearly alive and well.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, When the Dead Come Knocking)

The Walking Dead — Say the Word (S3E05)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Killer Within)

Unsurprisingly, Rick can’t pull himself together after Lori’s death. He grabs an axe and heads back into the prison on a zombie killing spree. He takes out all of his aggression, rage, and depression out on the zombies. When Glenn trails in to help Rick, he finds him covered in blood with crazy eyes. When he tries to calm Rick down by putting his hand on his shoulder, Rick loses it (even more) and throws Glenn against the wall. Rick has never threatened the group with real harm, but he didn’t hesitate to attack Glenn. He finds a shell casing followed by a bloated zombie. This bloating was from devouring his wife. After a close-up of the zombie’s decaying flesh, Rick shoves his gun into its mouth and pulls the trigger. This isn’t enough for him, he repeatedly stabs it in the stomach. His losing Lori and the guilt he feels for the way he treated her is manifesting itself in the worst possible way. Rather than trying to make amends by caring for the child that may or may not be his, he tries to shut himself off from his friends. And to close off the episode he hears a phone inside the prison ring. As he answers the phone, he speaks his first word in the entire episode, “Hello.” His first word as a new, hardened, unloving man.

Daryl steps up to take Rick’s place, both as a leader and as a father. He immediately offers to search for formula for the baby with Maggie, but first asks Beth to watch Carl. Maggie and Daryl find a nursery and quickly search the place for anything they could use, they find bottles and formula. They are on their guard when they hear scratching, but it’s just a possum (or, ya know, dinner). When they return to the prison, Daryl is the first to feed the baby, and he looks so nurturing. But to even out this loving and caring interaction, he suggests calling the baby “Little Ass-Kicker.” Carl suggests honestly naming the baby Sophia, which would be really sweet. If not Sophia, then they could name her after one of the other women they lost. Or after her mother, Lori. When he has some time to himself, Daryl leaves a flower at Carol’s grave. Daryl has grown so much from the first season. He’s not just the tough redneck, but he’s really a sweet, caring guy. And he’s clearly the greatest guy ever. Who wouldn’t want him in their crew during the zombie apocalypse.

The Governor gently brushed the hair of his zombie daughter, Penny. But when he accidentally ripped off a piece of her decaying scalp, she rebelled and he had to bag her head and put her in a straightjacket. Because Michonne saw the entire thing from the window, she decided to explore Woodbury further. The Governor keeps a journal with a long list of women’s names, the last one being Penny’s. She then finds a pen full of zombies, and just like Rick, takes out all of her aggression on them with her katana. When the Governor detains her, she questions him about the names of the girls in the book, practically accusing him of keeping whores. The Gov understands Michonne, he knows that she’s pushing him so that he kicks her out of Woodbury. If she is forced out, she won’t feel the guilt for leaving Andrea behind; either Andrea will go with her willingly, or she will see where her allegiances really lie.

Andrea tries to talk some “sense” into Michonne: they are safe in Woodbury and there are other people around. But sadly Michonne isn’t quite as good at explaining herself. Andrea believes that Woodbury is a great place because she needs it to be, she can’t handle the outside world anymore and protects herself from anything bad about the place. When Merle opens the gate to let them out, Andrea refuses to leave with Michonne. Michonne tries to protect herself by telling her that “You just slowed me down anyway.” She has no idea how hard it will be when she’s fending for herself without any friends and without her walkers.

The Governor comforts Andrea and invites her to enjoy the celebration that is conveniently going on. She takes him by the arm, and it’s obvious that their affair is imminent. Everybody is enjoying the party except for Milton, who can’t conduct his research, because the generator is in use. And when the zombie fight club begins, the crowd goes wild. Merle and Caesar are fighting hand-to-hand and surrounded by zombies trying to claw at them. Andrea is appalled at the barbaric display, but the Governor convinces her that it’s not terrible. It’s completely staged and the biter’s teeth have been pulled (Merle and his crew had a lot of fun with that). Because Andrea needs the safe haven of Woodbury, she lets it slide. But how much can she let go before she regrets not leaving with Michonne?

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Hounded)

The Walking Dead — Killer Within (S3E04)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Walk With Me)

If you haven’t watched this episode, DO NOT READ ON! There are immense spoilers, and trust me, you don’t want this to be spoiled.

This was definitely the most traumatic episode of The Walking Dead, and possibly the most traumatic episode of television I have ever seen. They tugged on the heartstrings (nearly ripped them out) and forced us to realize just how cruel the zombie apocalypse can be. The loss of T-Dog’s life is not much of a loss to the group, but Lori’s death will reverberate throughout the camp with terrible repercussions. Carl will lose all sense of the boyhood he had left, Rick will be wracked with guilt to the point where he might fail as a leader, and the rest of them will have to help raise her and Shane’s love-child. And Carol’s disappearance (and supposed death) will just pile onto the misery that they will have to deal with. I would now like to apologize for all of the terrible things I have said about Lori. She managed to redeem herself in the last few minutes before her death, and I now feel that this was a real loss for the show, the group, and the fans. RIP Lori.

The episode starts on a fairly happy note, which is never a good sign with this show. Glenn and Maggie are fooling around in the guard tower while Hershel takes his first steps with his new crutches. Their only catch is deciding on what to do with Oscar and Axel. T is the only one who wants to let them join the group, but after the incident with Tomas and Andrew, the group doesn’t want to take any chances. Majority rules (or, since this is a Ricktatorship, Rick rules) that their deal with them is nonnegotiable and sends them on their way outside of the prison with a week’s rations. Hershel has a sense of humor about his injury, he jokes with Carl about being able to win in a race. And Lori smiles broadly across the way at Rick and she gets a small smile in response. This can either be taken as her saying goodbye, knowing that she won’t survive the pregnancy, or a chance for them to rekindle their romance. This chance at returning to happiness is going to ruin Rick, if she had made it through the pregnancy, maybe they would have reconnected and had a chance.

Rick, Glenn, and Daryl are stuck on the far-side of the prison when the herd of walkers attack the women and children, and they can’t make it to them in time. Hershel and Beth make it to safety while the others are trying to take out the zombies that overran the prison yard. Carol and T-Dog think they make it info a safe area, but before he knows it, a walker is on him and takes a chunk out of his soldier. Maggie, Carl, and Lori make their way back to Cell Block C, but the block is also infested. Just as Rick, Glenn, and Daryl realize that someone hacked through the fence to allow entrance for the zombies, the klaxon sounds. It’s more like a dinner bell being rung for all the zombies within a mile’s radius.

T-Dog decides that he wants to make his death mean something. When Carol offers to kill him before he turns (it’s the group’s promise to one another), he turns her down. It was God’s plan for him to lead Carol to safety, even at his own peril. When a hoard of zombies have them pinned down, he tells her to run and leaps in front of them. Carol doesn’t watch as T is eaten alive by the zombies, but she will never forget that he died a hero.

Oscar finally proves his worth by leading the way to the backup generator to disable to alarm. As they reach the generator, Andrew jumps out with an axe to get his vengeance. Oscar grabs the gun that Rick dropped, but rather than take back the prison with Andrew, he shoots his “friend” in the head. And immediately returns the gun to Rick. Rick doesn’t even bother to thank the man that saved his life, but I’m sure he will get thanks enough by being instated as an official group member. Andrew had probably started setting up this takeover since the day Rick left him to die. He broke the gate and set the alarm to sound to attract all of the walkers. He might not have taken over the prison, but he managed to take out a couple of Rick’s party. As they continue through the prison they find T’s mangled corpse and Carol’s scarf. The only thing they can assume is that they both lost their lives. And that was the last we saw of Carol, so maybe she really didn’t make it (Though I doubt they would kill three main characters in one episode). And there is no sign of Lori, Carl, or Maggie.

The worst case situation is upon them, Lori is having the baby, they are pinned down by walkers, and she doesn’t have anyone to deliver the baby. After some freaking out about how Lori can’t have the baby now, Carl leads them to safety in a boiler room. Since Lori has given birth before, she knows what she’s doing, and she knows that she can’t give birth to the baby. She begs Maggie to cut her open, saving the baby is more important than her own life. She must be pretty sure that the baby is Rick’s, because she shouldn’t thrust the baby of her affair upon her husband. It’s hard enough for him to keep himself and his thirteen year old son alive, but a baby will make survival near impossible.

In the most emotional scene of the series, Lori tries to comfort Carl. She praises the good man that he has become, he’s smart, strong, and caring, and he can’t lose that. “Don’t let the world spoil you,” she begs him. He can’t do what’s easy in this world or he will be corrupted, he has to do what he knows is right. The two cry as they say their goodbyes, ending with “I love you” from both. Maggie cuts Lori open to retrieve the baby and we are treated with a terrible scream out of Lori before her demise. Carl is forced to help Maggie remove the baby. When the baby comes out silent, Maggie freaks out, but manages to get it to cry with a few taps to awaken it. But that isn’t the end of Lori, Carl can’t let her turn into one of them, so he gives her one last hug and flashes back to Rick telling him that there’s no more kid stuff. We hear a gunshot and Carl steps out, completely stoic. No more tears, no more emotions, he is forced into being a man. He has to take care of Rick and his baby brother or sister, he has to grow up.

Carl and Maggie, holding the baby, step out of the prison. The rest of the group look so relieved, but when they realize that Lori is gone, it’s over for them. Rick yells that he has to go back and find her, but Maggie, through choked cries, tells him that he can’t. After yelling and crying, Rick collapses into a heap and just cries. I think that, because Rick and Carl feel guilty for the way they treated Lori near the end, they will raise the baby themselves, and Rick will insist that it’s his. If she had made it through the pregnancy, Rick wouldn’t have been able to raise the baby as his own, but this changes everything.

I had been dreaming about Lori’s death since season one. She had been incredibly annoying and she couldn’t contain herself in any way, but her death was devastating. She finally redeemed herself to her son and became a genuine character, and then she gets killed in such a brutal way. And I’m sad to see Sarah Wayne Callies go, she is a truly amazing actress and she really pulled the show together.

I think that Michonne, Andrea, and the Governor’s story really detracted from the intensity and excruciating pain of Lori and T’s deaths. It could have been held off until the next episode and would have made the main group’s plight seem that much more futile. While the main group are being picked apart, Andrea is having the best time since the apocalypse began with two men trying to get into her pants. She has Merle hitting on her in the creepiest way and trying to get her to join his mission to find Daryl and the rest of the crew. And the Governor is trying to convince Andrea to stay with him in Woodbury, though the landscape of the world has changed, their instincts and way of thinking is the same (Read: their highest priority is love and/or sex). And to really send the message that she needs to stay to be with him, he tells her what he never tells anyone, his real name: Phillip.

Merle has finally decided to stand up for himself by requesting to set out and look for Daryl. The Governor puts it very gently that there is no way that he’s leaving. And I’m pretty sure that Merle got the hint, and this will probably drive him away from Woodbury sooner or later. His thoughts of the Governor being such a good man are beginning to dwindle. And since Michonne is still dead-set on leaving Woodbury, maybe she and Merle can venture off together. Michonne is going to have to offer Andrea something more than the idea of heading to the coast where there might be safety. A shred of honesty might do the trick, but Michonne will never give up information about who she was.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Say the Word)

The Walking Dead — Walk With Me (S3E03)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Sick)

To make up for the lack of Andrea and Michonne in the last episode, we are gifted with an entire episode of their presence! We are also presented with the introduction of an entirely new plot line, centering around The Governor and his gated community, Woodbury. I haven’t read all of the comic book series yet, so I’m not sure how closely AMC’s adaptation will follow the original story, but I do know that we will still be delighted by a high level of creepiness surrounding this strange town.

Michonne and Andrea investigate the site of a recently crashed helicopter and find two dead passengers and a third, the pilot, possibly alive. But before they have the chance to get a good look at the wreckage, two cars roll up with men who seem to be well trained in the art of zombie killing. To avoid capture, Michonne slices the heads off of her pets before they give away their location. For two creatures that she has kept with her since (we assume) the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, she does this surprisingly easily. She doesn’t give it a second thought and shows no remorse for her actions. As one of the Governor’s researchers points out, she probably knew them from before. Maybe she felt like she was finally releasing them from the curse they have suffered with for nearly a year. Or maybe she’s heartless.

But the loss of her pets was unnecessary, they are captured anyway. But not by just another one of the Governor’s men. Daryl’s bigoted, foul-mouthed, hand-less brother Merle has reappeared to capture these two. He is thrilled to see Andrea and to show off the replacement for his hand–a retractable knife. After being transported to a clinic and being stripped of their weapons, Andrea and Michonne are nowhere near as grateful as they should be. They are given fresh clothes, food, and medical attention, but all they can do is insistent on the return of their weapons and freedom to leave the camp.

When Merle comes in to talk to Andrea, he sounds like a changed man. He sounds genuinely sorry to hear about the loss of Amy’s life and reassures them that they will be safe here. The Governor found him when he was near death and took him in. Now that life has ended, it really is a small world! The Governor has to break the tough news to the girls, everybody is infected. If they die from natural causes (such as a gunshot wound), they can still turn. This shows that Michonne and Andrea haven’t seen another living soul in eight months.

Woodbury actually seems like the perfect set-up for the zombie apocalypse. There is food, water, education, work, and most importantly, safety. And there’s even hot water! There are 73 citizens in Woodbury, and another on the way. This introduction of another pregnancy is no accident. We will see next week with whoever has their baby first (Lori or this woman) whether or not children born now are real children or walkers. Andrea realizes that this might be the safest place for them, they should at least stay there until they get their act together. But Michonne insists that her act has always been together. Even after seven months, she won’t open up to her only friend.

The Gov invites Michonne, Andrea, and his prime researcher Milton to breakfast. Milton had been studying Michonne’s pets to try to understand her motivation to keeping them. Since they don’t have arms, they can’t grab at the living, and without jaws, they can’t eat. With no way to eat, they stop trying. They were perfect camouflage, if they were with zombies, then they probably were Zs as well, or so the other biters would think. Or, the more likely reason is that she knew them. And he believes that there is an echo of the human left inside. Michonne probably thought (and thinks) the same.

The pilot from the helicopter crash is alive and seems to be healing fairly well. He sends the Governor in the direction of his ten men to go retrieve and save them. But when the Governor rolls up with his white flag, it’s all a trick. The army that he set up is incredibly organized and swift in taking out every single man without any hesitation or delay. This couldn’t have just been for the weapons, because the men of the National Guard most likely would have shared the wealth if they were welcomed into Woodbury. I’m not sure his motivation, but I’m sure the Gov will explain himself soon.

The Governor plans on taking back civilization, “We will rise again. Only this time we won’t be eatin’ each other.” He explains to the citizens of his town that by the time they reached the soldiers, it was too late. They have gained a nice supply of food and medicine, and they need to use it wisely to honor the soldiers’ lives. Afterwards, Andrea tries to get The Gov to open up (when her efforts with Michonne were futile, she had to talk to someone else). She asks him what his real name is to which he responds “I never tell.” Andrea responds with, “Never say never,” hoping that she will get to know him well enough one day. “Never,” he responds shortly and walks off. He probably needs to keep his old identity separate in order to maintain his level of leadership and bravado.

And, in the usual The Walking Dead fashion, they end on the most disgusting note in the episode. The Governor sits down in a private room with some liquor, looks at a picture of his wife and daughter, and wallows. And he looks at a wall of fish tanks. Fish tanks that contain human heads. And his newest additions are Michonne’s pets and the pilot (whom he must have killed). A truly gruesome sight.

My absolute favorite part of this episode was how bearable Lori was! Right, right!?

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Killer Within)

The Walking Dead — Sick (S3E02)

(My review of the last episode of The Walking Dead, Seed)

The people that were seen at the end of the last episode, are in fact alive and well. These prisoners had been locked in the cafeteria for around 10 months. A guard sent them in, gave them a gun, and never came back. They had no idea that there was an outbreak, and it takes quite a bit of effort for Rick, Daryl, and T-Dog to convince them that nearly everyone they know is dead. When faced with this harsh reality, they decide that it is their prison and that Rick’s crew needs to get out. Obviously, Rick isn’t going to give up the first safe place they have found in months, so he threatens to kill them. They fought their way through all of the walkers and saved the prisoners, therefore it’s his prison. They manage to come to an agreement without bloodshed, half of the food for each group and Rick will help the prisoners clear out another cell block.

Rick admits to Lori that killing them would probably be the best option, they wouldn’t be taking any risks that way. Rick from last season wouldn’t dare shoot a human without cause. And he hasn’t changed too much, because he agrees to help them out rather than remove the threat. Rick, T, and Daryl explain to the prisoners that they need to be organized, only aim for the head, and not to use their guns. The prisoners break all of these rules. As soon as they see walkers, they break off and start stabbing and hacking at the zombies, mainly at their torsos. Once Rick manages to regroup them, they follow his formation, all of them besides Tiny. A large inmate, Tiny wanders off by himself and is ambushed by a horde of walkers and gets bitten. When the men explain that there is nothing that can be done to save him, the head prisoner takes his axe to Tiny’s head. Repeatedly. Even after he is long dead, he continues to crack his weapon across his “friend’s” head, clearly enjoying himself.

The leader of the prisoners swings open double doors when he was only told to open one, to which he says, “Shit happens.” While they are taking on two dozen walkers, the leader swipes at Rick and throws a zombie onto him. Rick, his face covered in zombie blood, and a scowl across his face looks at the leader and responds with, “Shit happens,” and drops his machete down onto his head. One of the other prisoners tries to take a swing at Rick, causing him to be chased down and locked out into the pen of zombies. The old Rick would have understood where he was coming from, but the new Rick mocks him. The other two prisoners had nothing to do with the plot against Rick and his crew, so they let them live. But if they get anywhere near any of Rick’s people, they are as good as dead. T and Daryl show a little remorse in leaving them, Daryl lets them know that they really are lucky, and T imparts a little advice.

The rest of the crew are left trying to deal with Hershel. His leg was bleeding profusely and he was unconscious. Carol managed to stop the bleeding and keep him from getting a fever, but there wasn’t much she could do, she isn’t actually a doctor. And they are running on practically no medical supplies. That is until Carl treks off on his own to procure the supplies. He found the infirmary himself, took out a couple of walkers, and filled an entire bag with medical supplies. Rather than being praised for his success, Lori freaks out. It’s completely understandable for her to be upset, he could have gotten himself killed, but she should at least give him a little credit for managing to do this himself. He has matured so much from last season, it’s actually hard to tell that he’s the same sweet, innocent little kid. He’s starting to grow into himself and turn into a teenager.

Carol knows that Hershel won’t be around to deliver Lori’s baby. Even if he wakes up, he probably won’t be able to help, so she takes matters into her own hand. She decides that she needs to practice performing a c-section, in case it’s necessary. To ensure that she knows what she’s doing, she decides to practice on a cadaver. She kills a walker and practices the surgery. Though this is a rather logical decision, it is absolutely gruesome. Cutting into a zombie doesn’t seem anywhere near ideal and it’s horrifyingly gross. But maybe Carol won’t be around to deliver the baby, because there was someone watching her from the bushes.

Maggie blames herself for Hershel’s death, she shouldn’t have let him clear the prison with them. She doesn’t believe Glenn when he tells her that everything will be fine, which is the first time his comfort hasn’t been enough for her. She is sure that his death is imminent and she is trying to brace herself for it.  I believe that to some extent Maggie actually hoped that her father wouldn’t make it. Living isn’t so great during the zombie apocalypse, and with only one leg, Hershel can’t run. And a lot of what they’re doing is running. When she is given a moment alone with him, she tells him that he can stop fighting, she and Beth can take care of each other. He can leave them and be peaceful for a change. I think that a part of her wishes that she could give up, too. Beth doesn’t take Maggie’s negativity well, she believes that their dad is strong and can make it through it. She knows he can.

In what seems like the end of Hershel, he stops breathing. Maggie is completely calm and silent, while Beth is screaming for help. Lori tries to give Hershel CPR. When it looks like all is lost, Hershel’s head raises and it appears that he is about to bite Lori (which really wouldn’t be so bad). But he is still a human and has been revived. After a little while he opens his eyes. Though he doesn’t say a word, he grabs Rick’s hand, which brings about tears of joy and laughter from his daughters and the rest of the crew.

Lori knows that she’s been a terrible wife and mother and she finally confronts Rick about it to apologize. All he can muster to tell her is that she isn’t a terrible mother. But he says absolutely nothing about her position as a wife. He doesn’t look her in the eyes, but he holds onto her shoulder when he thanks her for bringing back Hershel. When he steps away, Lori rubs her face against her shoulder. This is probably the closest she’s been to Rick in months, and it’s killing her. She still loves him, but she will never get to be with him again.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Walk With Me)

The Walking Dead — Seed (S3E01)

The Walking Dead starts the season with an absolutely killer episode. It begins the winter after the finale. Rick has taken complete control of the group, Lori is getting very near her due date, and the group has become much closer. The group is completely in sync, they have learned how to infiltrate a house in complete silence. Rick, Daryl, Carl, Maggie,  Glenn, and T-Dog, the fighters of the group, break into and clear the house of zombies. None of them, including Carl, hesitate to gun down or stab the walkers. When the house is safe, the rest of the group steps in and searches for food and medicine. This entire process is completely streamlined, they do it swiftly and in complete silence. They had been sweeping houses all summer and practice seems to have made perfect. They have also mapped out the locations and numbers of the herds they have encountered, the amount of walkers seems to have risen exponentially. Nowhere is safe.

That is, until they find the prison. While Rick and Daryl are hunting, they notice a prison in the distance. Though Rick doesn’t look thrilled to see it, he shows a hint of a plan. When they get down to the prison, each member of the team (including the women) man a tower with their guns or stab zombies through the fence. Each has their preferred weapon and has honed it, making nearly every shot a head shot. Rick manages to close the gap in the fence, shutting out the only entrance into the prison. Once the zombies are wiped out, the group is incredibly relieved to have a wide open field to sleep in for the night. They are in such a chipper mood that Beth (Hershel’s other daughter) breaks into song, with Maggie chiming in. Carol and Daryl joke about Lori’s pregnancy, followed by a massage; the last thing we need is another couple. But they play it off with a joke about fooling around, and it looks like we’re safe from them getting together. For now.

Though everyone else is nearly in tears with excitement at the momentary safe haven, Rick isn’t. He hasn’t smiled a single time and has barely said a word. He has probably had a constant grimace across his face the entire winter and it doesn’t look as though this will change. He has become so hardened from the apocalypse that he’s become detached from reality. He can’t stand to look at Lori anymore, because every time he does, he must think of Shane. The only thing that is propelling him forward is trying to keep the group safe and let the baby (that he doesn’t want) be born in a safe environment.

Rick insists that they push into the prison the following day to try and find a safe place for the long haul and to retrieve more food and munitions. The fighters (besides Carl) are in a circular formation so that they can cover each other from every angle. It started off with easily pickings, but then the zombies with headgear show up. It takes them significantly longer to kill these ghouls until Maggie finds the sweet spot under the neck.

They clear the cell block quickly and grab two pairs of keys for the cells themselves. Though Daryl refuses to be caged like an animal, the others find their cells and are thrilled to find real mattresses to sleep on. Carl walks Beth to a cell of her own, but is shooed away by Hershel. Looks like Carl has a little crush, it’s so cute! Glenn and Maggie check each other for scratches and embrace when they realize that they’re clear. Everyone seems to be happy besides Rick. When Lori thanks him, he just nods and walks off. He leans against a wall by himself and tries to gather himself, but it doesn’t seem like he’s going to return to any level of happiness anytime soon.

When Lori tries to go to Rick with her problems, he just sends her off to Hershel, he does “stuff” rather than talking. Lori explains to Hershel her fear of her baby coming out stillborn or already being dead and trying to kill one of them, or that she will die during childbirth and bite one of the others. This doesn’t seem like such a terrible end, Lori has just been in the way and I don’t think many people (in the show or viewers) would be at a loss without her. Since she has no one else to turn to, she tells him her fears that both Carl and Rick hate her. She’s the reason that Rick had to kill his best friend (and her son had to kill him a second time) and they haven’t forgotten that.

When the men and Maggie go to explore and clear the prison, Rick makes Carl stay behind. And surprisingly enough, he doesn’t talk back. He understands that someone needs to stay behind, and he does just that. Carl was forced to grow up too early, he has taken on a stronger, more mature role in the past few months. When the crew is faced with multiple swarms of walkers, they bolt into a closet, but Maggie and Glenn ran a different direction. When they are clear, Hershel starts calling out for Maggie. Just as he sees her, a sleeping zombie awakens and takes a bite from his calf. They make a break for a clear room, carrying Hershel with them.

They decide that they have to try anything to keep Hershel alive. So they take an axe to his leg to try to get rid of the bite before the infection spreads to his brain. In an absolutely disgusting scene, Rick has to swing the axe a couple times to tear through the muscles and bone in his leg. This is a nasty comparison to the typical one-shot needed to remove a zombie threat. Nicotero does an absolutely spectacular job with this, because I felt sick to my stomach, and I’m not squeamish. If that wasn’t enough for you, the crew looks up and sees a group of living, breathing, talking humans.

There was very little about Andrea and Michonne (she hasn’t been named in the show yet, but she is known from the comics as Michonne). All we see of Michonne is her amazing katana-wielding powers, where she takes out two zombies at once and her pets. She keeps two armless zombies on chains walking behind her. These pets seem fairly trained, as they will follow her without trying to eat her. Andrea and Michonne have been covering each other all winter, but now Andrea has dropped into a terrible sickness. She is extremely pale and looks near death, but Michonne won’t leave her behind. Though we don’t see too much of this storyline and we know very little about Michonne, I have no doubt that we will see much more of her and her pets.

(My review of the next episode of The Walking Dead, Sick)

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