Robot Television Roundup Feb 8-14 2013 [Spoilers]
Welcome to the Robot Television Roundup. Sometimes there’s just too much television to cover, but the Robot Television Roundup is here to help. Inside you’ll find quick thoughts about episodes of our favorite television series that we just weren’t able to review.
The Walking Dead — The Suicide King
Jacob: This Sunday, The Walking Dead returned to finish up its third season, and I’m a little iffy on the show at this point. I find myself enjoying a whole lot of what goes on in the episode, but there are still more than a few issues that continue to nag at me. First let’s start of on a good note. I just loved everything that had to do with Glenn, Maggie, Carol, and Daryl. The Glenn/Maggie split here makes perfect sense to me, and I thought it was well acted. After the dire circumstances wear off — and the two of them have time to think — it is only right for Glenn to feel bad for not being able to protect Maggie better. It isn’t really his fault but it seems like something a character like him would think was his fault. As for Daryl and Carol, I disliked the choice to have Daryl walk off with his brother (for now), but it was another accurate character choice. If forced to choose between his blood and his stand-in family Daryl seems like the kind of person to choose blood every time. The fact that this led to Carol’s great explanation of her own role in an abusive relationship only confirmed to me that it was the correct creative decision to make.
In stark contrast to the previous highlights stands everything in the episode about The Governor, Andrea, and Michonne. The Governor turning into a Joker level psychopathic villain just doesn’t work for me in the series. Sure, he is now closer to the character from the comics, but his previous incarnation on the show worked a whole lot better in my opinion. This is only emphasized by the complete and utter mishandling of the Andrea character at every turn. How does she not push back at The Governor? She has seen how he’s acted, seen the heads in the room, and knows that he’s kept all these secrets from her, but is somehow willing to overlook everything for a guy she’s known for days or weeks, not months or years. Michonne, at this point in time, is completely useless. She hardly does anything, and when she does do something it hurts her standing with the group — especially when she can easily explain away her actions or help the group out by informing them of things she knows, but instead she decides to say nothing at all. At this point, the character is an utter waste of space, which is concerns me considering how much I like the character in the comics. These things don’t have me hating the series — it is much better than it was at this point in either previous season — but they do stop me from recommending the show to friends.
Jim: Will the zombie fans out there come for me if I bash this as the weakest episode (and coincidentally lowest zombie body count) that I can remember? It seemed to be a waste of a terrific cliffhanger last fall to have Meryl punch Darryl a couple of times, them both punch some zombies a bit, and Rick to shoot from a distance to cover as they ran away, while the Governor acted nonchalant about the whole thing. Wasn’t he barely containing his rage like thirty seconds ago, and now some casual gunplay turns off his emotion switch? I found myself thinking, “That’s it?!” And the rest of the episode was just moving pieces around: getting Meryl and Darryl off on their own, getting Rick’s crew back to the prison, and throwing a wrench into what have been the smooth integration of Tyrese’s crew into the larger prison crew. Even Rick going bat-shit insane at the end came from nowhere, and has me afraid of another episode that will tread the same ground we covered last year. It was a somewhat boring and worrisome start the the back-half of season three.
Billy: I’ve long since given up on this show being anything remotely good (instead, my intense love of zombie fiction keeps me locked in), and it bothers me to no end that it’s such a monstrous hit. Maybe it’s because this specific section of the story was where I stopped reading the comic monthly, but I just have no praise for it any longer. There was a time in the first season where I would tell everyone that the show was better than the comic–but now? No chance. So, no, Jim, at least this zombie fan will not hold your disdain for this episode against you. I agree with both estimations above. Jacob’s point about the wasted potential for both Andrea and Michonne is spot on, and one of the reason’s I’m dreading how they handle Chad Coleman’s Tyrese (one of my favorites from the comic book). And that ending? Rick screaming at a hallucination of his (thankfully) dead wife … one of the worst endings to a TV show I’ve ever seen. The comic was never this heavy-handed with that story.