TV REVIEW: THE WALKING DEAD [SPOILERS]
The Walking Dead – “When the Dead come Knocking”
Season 3, Episode 7
If this week’s entire episode was just Glenn and Maggie dealing with their Woodbury interrogations, it would have been a tremendous week. The series has always been a bit dismissive of Glenn, despite his resourcefulness being one of the most useful skill sets in the post-zombie world. And even if he slipped up a bit in this episode by mentioning Andrea to Merle, he managed to take out a walker while handcuffed to his interrogation chair. Steven Yeun sold the desperation and terror of the moment, but every movement he makes after Merle released the walker was something that helped him live longer and ultimately prevail. Glenn in a tight spot is a surprisingly hard to kill creature.
The rest of the Woodbury action was far less impressive. The Governor in the series has been developed as a more complex character than the cartoonish villain in the comics, but that same depth makes him far less threatening. Nothing he did while interrogating Maggie seemed especially effective as far as psychological torture. Maggie’s terror and acceptance that she might be raped undid the threat of the man with all the power in the room. In a show where people routinely perpetrate the violent things that they threaten with (and then some), unfulfilled threats can destroy a character. By the end of the scene, Maggie was naked, but the Governor was the one that was exposed and weak.
The rest of the Woodbury gang didn’t look any more impressive this week. As fun as zombie experimentation should be, the test performed on Mr. Coleman just seemed to confirm how amateurish the methods of the Governor, Merle and Milton really are. Besides putting a wall around the city, I don’t see a single reason anyone would want to follow this man or his lieutenants.
Back at the prison, it was surprising how things moved along so quickly this week. Between the tendency previous seasons had to drag things out and the writers insistence on keeping Michonne near mute (apparently these guys watched Hoosiers and thought Jimmy Chitwood was the coolest thing ever), Rick teamed up with her and began the assault to free Glen and Maggie in record time. It helped that Michonne got over her trust issues relatively quick and decided to trust Rick with only a little torture and posturing.
The show always works better at a breakneck pace. The zombie slaughter kept our attention and with fewer breaks made the few chances the characters had to take a breath stand out even more. Rick and Carl’s terrific conversation was a nice moment between two weary souls and it was refreshing that the usually mature before his years Carl got to play the part of a kid again and pick a name for his baby sister that wasn’t someone he had to watch die. Welcome to the gang, Judith.
A faster pace also kept us from thinking about things like the chances of a lone man in the woods that had no clue about the zombie infection despite an army of them hanging around outside his shack. They probably needed a line to show him as definitively crazy during the showdown in the cabin.
But between Rick and Carl calmly and quietly clearing the area and saving Michonne (and her supplies), the fact that their organization in battle later clearly impressed the show’s uber-badass and the near awe that the Governor and his men had for what Rick’s group accomplished (while they were secretly marching on the city walls) made our crew look even more impressive. It looks more like the mercenaries in Woodbury are the ones in trouble next week.