Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 12: Clear

SPOILERS!!!

This week we take a break from all the Woodbury shenanigans and get a welcome and well-needed character building episode.

The Woodbury arc is nice and all, but occasionally it's important to take a breather and remind the audience that these characters are actual people. Otherwise we're not gonna care when they're all eventually eaten.

• If nothing else, Michonne is a better driver than Lori was. Last season Lori decided to go for a spin and despite the fact that she was the only person on the road for hundreds, possibly thousands of miles, she somehow managed to flip her car.

• It always feels weird whenever I see anyone on this show in a car. They spend so much time walking and hiking that it just looks wrong when they actually drive somewhere.

• Poor Hitchhiker Guy, getting ditched twice by Rick and Co. like that. Supposedly the social media world is all atwitter (see what I did there?), denouncing Rick's cold-hearted act when he's supposed to be a hero. Personally I don't fault him for what he did. They're living in an extremely brutal world, one where the living are equally as dangerous as the dead. That hitchhiker could very well have been some kind of ambush, or a lone nutcase. They've already got one psychopath living with them back at the prison.

Plus the prison group is barely surviving and Rick's already on a supply run. The last thing they need is another mouth to feed. 

Not to mention when Hitchhiker Guy started screaming for them to stop, he might as well have been ringing a dinner bell for any walkers in the area. No wonder they didn't want to stop.

• How in the name of George A. Romero is it possible for this group to go on a supply run all the way back to Rick's conveniently unnamed hometown? The action's gone from Rick's hometown to Atlanta, then to Herschel's farm, then to the prison and Woodbury, now back to the hometown again. For some reason I was under the impression that the prison was hundreds of miles from where he started, but apparently all of these places are located within a 20 square mile area.

I sense some obfuscating plot trickery here in order to make this episode work. We join the supply run already in progress, so we have no idea how long they've been on the road and therefore no way of estimating the distance between the prison and the town.  

• Did Rick ever mention going to his hometown in the previous episode? I don't think he did. All I heard him say was, "I'm going on a supply run. Carl, you're with me" or something to that effect. Then in this episode Carl mentions getting a crib for Little Asskicker Judith and Rick says, "Is that why you wanted to come with me?" Um... something's off here. How could Carl ask to go when Rick ordered him to come (and didn't know where he was headed)? I guess this is a mistake we can chalk it up to Rick's cuckoo for CocoPuffs mindset.

• Morgan's big reveal might actually have been a shock if not for the "Previously On AMC's The Walking Dead" recap at the beginning of the episode that all but trumpeted his return. Thanks a lot, AMC.

• At first I was confused as to why Rick was acting so weird about Carl shooting Morgan in the chest. Then I realized the answer: it was the first time Carl had shot (and possibly killed) a live human.

• Hopefully Morgan will never need to get into his apartment in a hurry, lest he get caught in one of his own boobytraps.

• How the heck did Morgan set up all his barriers and traps by himself (not to mention transport that arsenal to his place) without getting eaten? I suppose he might have done so while his son was still alive to help, but still... the last time we saw this town it seemed to be pretty darn overrun with walkers.

• Lennie James did an incredible job as Morgan. I really felt for the guy, having to watch his kid get eaten by the zombie wife that he couldn't bring himself to kill.

• The show's staff is finally listening to me and writing Michonne as an actual human instead of as a glowering animal. It's about damn time! At last she's becoming the character comic fans all know and love. She even smiled and had a few humorous lines in this episode! 

• Carl's sudden distrust and dislike of Michonne seemed to come out of nowhere. I don't recall him ever acting that way toward her prior to this. It seemed he was acting that way for no other reason than it was in the script.

Despite the awkward setup, it was nice to see him finally trust and bond with Michonne.

• The whole thing about Carl staring at the map and announcing his old house was gone had a very odd and overly deliberate vibe. It almost makes me wonder if the producers originally intended for him to go back to the house from the first episode but found out it really doesn't exist anymore in real life. So then they had to substitute the diner for the house. Why else would there be a photo of his family in the diner? Is it like a New York deli and they're celebrities?

• Morgan's warning to Rick that he and his group would either be torn apart by teeth or bullets was pretty ominous...

• I was positive that when they headed back to the prison they'd see Hitchhiker Guy was now a walker. I think the sight of the long bloody smear he left was a hundred times worse. And backing up for his backpack? Cold. Well played, Walking Dead.

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