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The Walking Dead Review: Team Prison or Team Woodbury?

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There's a pretty good chance that with next week's mid-season finale, we'll end up with something of a cliffhanger that leaves us all reeling with excitement for when it returns next year.

Except where The Walking Dead Season 2 spent most of its time dragging along toward the inevitable outcome, Season 3 seems to be sprinting along with breakneck speed, pushing the boundaries of the series and providing compelling material that doesn't necessarily hinge on a final moment of an episode.

The journey itself has been exciting. It has constituted what feels more like a natural progression of story and character, allowing smaller moments to be just as important as the big ones.

Walking Dead Foursome

"When the Dead Come Knocking" was a great set up for the prison versus Woodbury confrontation, reaffirming why Rick and his crew are the good guys.

I'm pleased, though, that Michonne acted wary of Rick, even though we knew he would actually help her out. I almost expected her to easily accept her new compadres, but she was just as quiet and stand-offish as she was when with the Governor. Acting the same way in both situations helped more fully establish her general distrust for all people.

At the same time, falling in line with Rick and his team made complete sense for her. Woodbury is one of those places that seems far too nice to be real, and the prison is so raw and honest. Michonne is all about the basic necessities - and finding a group that shows real compassion and emotion amidst focusing on plain old survival is far more in line with her thought processes than fake smiles and tea parties.

It also makes sense that both Michonne and Rick would team up to take out a common enemy.

Of course, the episode really captured those dramatic differences between the two groups, especially when it came to Woodbury.

Sure, Merle has always been a little crazy and it wasn't a surprise that not only was he willing to beat the crap out of Glenn, but he was also okay in letting a walker kill him while Glenn was strapped to a chair.

And Glenn had a chance to shine and be resilient in the face of danger. He was able take the beating, kill the walker and not give up his friends' location. This was a great moment for him even if the situation was a horrible one.

But where Merle has always been pretty straightforward with his antics, the Governor got a chance to take the level of interrogation up a few notches.

His scenes with Maggie were tense and uncomfortable, which is brilliant in the sense that you don't need walkers to carry out those scary moments. The Governor's stares and growls while commanding Maggie to take off her clothes felt all sorts of wrong. When he took off his belt and slammed her head on the table, I feared he would rape her.

Thank goodness he didn't, but at this point, I wouldn't put anything past this sicko.

Truly, the outcome for Glenn and Maggie pushed them to the brink to reveal their group's location. Frankly, I'm surprised the Governor kept both of them alive after getting his information.

It only makes me want Rick and his team (the two prisoners have seemed to move in nicely, haven't they?) to take out the Governor before anything worse happens.

I do find the Governor's interests in walker studies to be curious. Perhaps he is hoping to find a way to give his walker daughter a chance at a normal life? The results did seem pretty conclusive, though, in that all a walker wants to do is eat human flesh.

That was grotesquely evident when the cabin man was fed to the horde of walkers. Was the scene necessary? Not really, but it did reestablish that the walkers are everywhere and you never know when you're going to get surrounded.

And I'm glad Carol is back. It was a happy reunion among all the current problems and it's great to see she still has a sense of humor. That and she can take care of the baby.

Are we happy the baby is named Judith? I guess Ass-Kicker was growing on me, but I'm fine with the new name.

This was a solid episode that wasn't filler fluff. Some great tense moments with the Governor and some positive unification ones with Rick rounded out a riveting lead up to what looks to be an outstanding fall finale.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (111 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Rick isn't a hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. The Dark Knight.

Fatin

Could somebody tell me the name of that little beat that goes on towards the end of this episode? And where I could download it?

Fatin

continued: Rick isn't a hero. But he is a leader. He is a damn good leader because he gives his people hope, because he cleared a prison with like 10 people at his disposal, because even if he does make mistakes sometimes, he moves on and he learns from them. I think Rick is Kirkman's (and the directors, I don't know their names) way of playing with what humanity is left in the world after an apocalypse. To put it simply, he's only human.

Fatin

Nathaniel , apologies, most Shane lovers blindly hate Rick. I made an assumption. My bad.
I see a huge difference between Rick and the Governor. Rick doesn't kill people just because he needs things for them, or because they would threaten his leadership. The thing is, with where the world is at, the concept of good and bad changes. Dale was sweet, but he was a little too naive about everything. Honestly, the writers screwed up with his character by trying to make him Rick's conscience. He's much better in the comic. As for T-Dog, I think they let him go because well, he didn't have a storyline, I always saw him as expendable. And never before that episode does he really make an ethical stand. The writers messed up with him as well.

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(cont. from below)
life in a time where it's never been more rare? We shall see if Rick turns things around. As for you @Terrie, what a waste of a post. You lend 0% credibility to your point when you say someone is wrong, but are unwilling or unable to demonstrate what about the argument is flawed. It leads me to suspect that you may not have any valid arguments to counter my points.

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@Fatin
Where did you get from my comments that I was a Shane lover? He flat-out murdered Otis, and his "kill first, ask questions later" attitude with Randall was deplorable...his fate was too easy. Shane should have suffered as Otis did. The characters that I have admired are those that show compassion and don't dispose of their humanity just because the world has changed for the worst. Guys like Dale and T-Dog. Anyway, I hope you are right that we'll see host Rick is truly a good guy, but operating with the attitude that everyone is expendable in the name of protecting yourself and those you solely seem worthy is not a characteristic of a hero. Is this not the same attitude that the Governor took when deciding the lives of those National Guard men were worthless? Who are we supposed to root for in this showdown between the two when they have similar philosophies? How are we as an audience supposed to respect and admire men who callously dismiss the preciousness of human life in a time where it's never been more rare? We shall see if Rick turns things around. As for you @Terrie, what a waste of a post. You lend 0% credibility to your point when you say someone is wrong, but are unwilling or unable to demonstrate what about the argument is flawed. It leads me to suspect that you may not have any valid arguments to counter my points.

Terrie

@Nathaniel You couldn't be anymore off base if you tried.........

Terrie

@Rosanne Can you please type in ENGLISH!!!!!!!

Terrie

@Snake The Critic Thank you

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dead disappointed that we didn't get to see any tits or raunchy rape sex

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