Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 8: Made To Suffer

Well, here we are at the dreaded mid-season finale. No more Walking Dead until sometime in February, as AMC jealously doles out the episodes and tries to stretch them out as long as possible. Remember when networks would produce a season of 24 episodes and air them all once a week until they were done? I miss those days.

There've been a couple of slight missteps (who or what is buried in Carol's grave?) but so far this season continues to be a vast improvement over last. Nothing seems padded this season; things have moved along at breakneck speed. We've had some truly shocking deaths and new character introductions and the show has deviated just enough from the comic to keep me guessing. Let's hope they keep up this streak for a long time to come.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

• It's Tyreese! Everyone's favorite hammer-weilding ex football player. Tyreese was a big part of the comic book for quite a long time, so it's nice to see him finally pop up on the show. I was just talking about him a couple of weeks ago too, wondering if, when and how they might introduce him.

I'm assuming the young black woman in Tyreese's group is his daughter Julie, and the white guy is her boyfriend Chris, both also featured in the comic.

• A few weeks ago when T-Dog died, Oscar the Friendly Inmate rose up to take his place. Many internet wags criticized the show, saying that the writers can only handle one male black character at a time. I rolled my eyes and dismissed such claims as nothing more than fan wankery. But then this week Tyreese appears and a few minutes later Oscar bites the dust. I hate to say it, but perhaps there's something to this theory after all?

By the way, did anyone NOT think Oscar was going to die in the Woodbury raid? He might as well have been wearing a bright red shirt over his prison coveralls.

• Axel trying to hit on the 17 year old Beth ("Interesting!") was just wrong, wrong, wrong. I have a feeling they're gonna need to keep a close eye on him.

On the other hand, it was hilarious when he thought Carol was a lesbian just because she had short hair.

• Carl has rapidly gone from a nuisance and annoyance to one of the most valuable and rational members of the team. He single-handedly saved Tyreese and his group, gave them a cell in which to stay, then locked them up until it could be determined if they were trustworthy or not. Not bad for a ten year old kid.

• Kudos to Tyreese for realizing Carl saved his group's lives and actually thanking him, in an effort to show they could be trusted. Let's hope Tyreese sticks around for quite a while.

• Rick decides that the best time to have another cuckoo flashback is during the raid on Woodbury, as he hallucinates Shane coming toward him. Nice touch that they actually got John Bernthal to come back for the five second scene. But what the heck was up with his Wolverine hair?

• When Daryl said, "I'll catch up to you," did anyone in the audience NOT think he would end up getting captured?

• Glenn calmly ripping up a zombie in order to use its bones as a shiv? Not a guy you want to mess with!

• So I guess Michonne was a little peeved that the Governor sent a hunting party after her a couple weeks ago and decided to sit calmly in his apartment until he returned and then kill him? Chick knows how to hold a grudge.

• We finally got to see the zombie heads in the aquariums looking around and snapping their jaws. Maybe they were doing that the first time we saw them, but if so I sure couldn't see it.

• Michonne wins the "Bone Headed Move Of The Week" award. She's just found the Governor's secret man cave full of tanks containing "undead" zombie heads. Then she spots Penny and actually unchains her and removes the bag from her head. Then, and only then, does she seem surprised that Penny's a zombie! How the hell could she NOT realize this? Why else would you have a little girl bagged and chained in your house? At the very least you'd think she'd be able to smell Penny; I doubt she gives off the refreshing scent of baby powder. Bad writers! Bad!

• Interesting to see the Governor totally freak out and surrender in order to save Penny. He actually seemed almost sympathetic in that moment. TV Governor is definitely more subtle, nuanced and interesting than the cartoonish comic book Governor. The comic book version was so over the top and unappealing as to be laughable, but the TV Governor can actually be a complex character at times, leading you to wonder if he's really a bad guy after all, or just willing to do whatever it takes to protect his people. He's a lot like Rick in that respect.

• The Governor should consider himself lucky that all he lost in his battle with Michonne was an eye. Things played out much differently and much more horrifically in the comic, as the Gov lost many more parts.

• Andrea was mighty accepting of the Governor's explanation as to why he had a wall full of zombie heads in his man cave. His answer of "I look at them to remind myself of the horrors out there" was a lit-tle thin, if you ask me. If I was Andrea I'd have said, "Ah, of course, that makes perfect sense," and then causally whistled as I slowly backed out of the room and got the hell out of Woodbury.

She was even more accepting of the fact that he was keeping his undead daughter chained up in his room. The least she could have done was shudder a little as she realized she's been sleeping with this nut job. I suppose it's possible she does finally realize that he's Cuckoo For Cocopuffs, but knows that she can't just walk out without getting a bullet in her back, and is biding her time.

• At first I thought the Governor's "outing" of Merle seemed to come out of nowhere, but then I remembered that he lied and told the Gov that Michonne was dead. It's not nice to lie to the Governor.

• So the Dixon brothers are reunited at last. Believe it or not, this is the first time the two have ever been onscreen together in "reality." Daryl hallucinated a conversation between Merle and himself last season of course, but this is the first time the two have ever physically appeared together since the series started. Weird.

• Who was that holding a gun in the foreground as the crowd called for Merle and Daryl's deaths? It seemed too deliberately shot to be random. Most of the Woodbury residents seem to be unarmed. Was it Andrea? Is she going to save the Dixon boys?

• Some have suggested that the Governor is staging Merle's "arrest" so he can escape with Daryl and reveal the location of the prisoner. Um... the only thing wrong with that theory is the Governor already KNOWS the prison's location. He said so last week, when he chastised Merle for saying it couldn't be safely de-zombified.

• Obviously Daryl and Merle are going to escape, as they're not going to actually kill them off. But what next? Is Daryl going to bring Merle back to the prison? Will Rick let him in? Certainly not without locking him up in a cell. I get the feeling Daryl's going to have to make a choice between blood family and adopted family.

2 comments:

  1. the other people in tyreese's group are (according to the episode's guest cast list) allen and donna and their son ben, all characters from the comics, although in the comic ben was closer to carl's age and had a twin brother. and tyreese's daughters name was changed to "sasha".

    ReplyDelete
  2. and apparently sasha is tyreese's sister, not daughter. check out the cast credits here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_(season_3)

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