TV Review: The Walking Dead [SPOILERS]
The Walking Dead – “Hounded”
Season 3, Episode 6
For the first time this season, The Walking Dead slowed down its breakneck pace with the last two weeks of episodes. And like the last two seasons, the series struggles to maintain its early momentum. This has all happened before and this will all happen again.
The Walking Dead starts out with a bang every year; Rick’s original awakening in the hospital, the terrifying encounter on the highway, the search for Sofia, and invading the prison were all terrific opening stories. But the writers never manage to keep things especially interesting, and once the plot slows down the cracks start to show.
Bouncing back and forth between Woodbury and the prison was less distracting than it was in the immediate wake of the deaths at the prison last week.
While Rick dealt with his grief over Lori and a mysterious phone call, the Woodbury situation dragged the story towards the inevitable conflict between the two groups. Andrew Lincoln did a great job conveying a Rick that’s at the end of his rope. His work here is not quite as impressive as when he was telling off Lori at the end of the premiere, or screaming his rage after she died, but the quiet torment he put himself through in the last two weeks was some impressive work.
The idea that Rick never actually saw or found Lori’s body was a good dramatic decision, because it provided a bridge towards the utterly batshit crazy use of the phone to communicate with Lori. And if that phone call finally forced him to bond with the baby, it was a step into insanity that the audience can forgive. Watching Daryl carry Carol out of that hellhole as Rick carried his new baby into the light of day was a nice silver lining before Michonne’s arrival at the jail surely kicks off the next big conflict.
Michonne’s character still fails to resonate. Her decision to leave Woodbury last week and her fight for survival didn’t matter much, given how little chance we have had to relate to her character. She doesn’t trust anybody and doesn’t express her opinions well. That’s about all there is to Michonne. So her valiant fight for survival wasn’t very effecting. We ultimately don’t know enough about her or connect to her, so we’re left supporting her simply because Merle was obviously a bastard.
The sheer amount of coincidence that must occur for Michonne to lead Merle right across Glenn and Maggie was a bit heavy-handed, but ultimately forgivable since the baby’s arrival forces the group to make more frequent supply runs. It’s a bit harder to believe that, despite knowing Merle is a crazy bastard (now with a knife hand!), they let him walk right up to them, pull a gun, shoot at them and take Maggie hostage. If you have a gun pointed directly at someone and they attempt to reach for a gun, how hard would it be to just pull the trigger?
The stories set in Woodbury failed to gain much traction. Andrea’s seduction into the community and specifically the Governor’s bed felt underdeveloped. Andrea developed a harsh edge after Amy’s death, and between ignoring Dale for Team Psycho Shane and now bedding the series new Big Bad, she is obviously drawn to the bad boys. I still remember how much more reasonable and enjoyable her character was in the comics. Here, Andrea is quickly becoming one of my least favorite characters. We can only hope she finally learns her lesson when she inevitably discovers her new boyfriend torturing her old pals.