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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
  • 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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Bom, aqui vemos as varias reações do ser humano em situação de risco. O que enlouquece, o que recua, o que agride, o que pensa no coletivo, o que pensa no indivíduo, etc..... Vemos claramente dois líderes, o louco pela sobrevivência de todos e o louco pela sobrevivência de alguns. Não há como mudar a história, então tem que se adaptar e se esta sobrevivência depende de matar aqueles que não tem um mínimo de equilíbrio, então tem que se matar. Em conversa com alguns colegas de irmandade WD, foi me revelado que o Rick sofrerá muito para manter seus poucos vivos, ainda não consigo ver um Rick desse jeito, mas se for pela sobrevivência de todos que assim seja, agora que a mocinha dos drad's vai ser muito útil ao grupo da prisão não tenho dúvidas e viva o Rick o meu herói.

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Perhaps it was Carl's last teacher before the world went bonkers!

Fatin

TV fanatic, I think it's time you changed most of your headers. Even for other shows. This isn't working.

Fatin

Nathaniel, you're one of those Shane lovers right?
It's the zombie apocalypse, he will do what he has to to keep HIS group alive. And he isn't morally bankrupt. He's just accepted that some people will have to die. After what the crazy prison guy did, Rick was right to be wary. Yes, he should have killed him right away, but he was giving him a shot, and he learned his lesson. Rick is an amazing leader, he keeps his group alive through thick and thin, he gives them hope, and he is definitely ethical himself. Just wait and watch. No one does it better than he does because he never puts on any pretence, he's accepted the world for what it is, and he isn't sugercoating anything for anyone anymore.

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This review stated that the episode reaffirmed why Rick and his crew are the good guys. Please remind me why this is so? Rick is pretty much morally bankrupt at this point, and he proved this episode that he is willing to slay another (potentially innocent person) without a second thought if he perceives a threat. He is a hothead, and makes split-second poor decisions that hurt people in the short and long-term. Had he tried to reason with Andrew instead of assuming he would be a threat and seemingly arranging his demise, his wife may still be alive (certainly T-dog would be). It seems that one of the themes of this showed that attempting to be ethical in a post-apocalyptic environment means certain death (take a stand, like Dale or T-Dog, and die). What a nihilistic outlook; I refuse believe that the cold foolishness that Rick has demonstrated this season is the only way to viably survive in such an environment. I certainly do not consider him a good guy...

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Is it just me or has ANYONE else noticed that this show has to be THE FASTEST HOUR on television! Can't believe how fast it goes by. My gut is telling me that when the brothers meet the advantage will be with Darryl. Simply because he was a follower with Merle. he will find it hard to believe that Darryl has evolved into a leader and that will throw off his game. At the prison the gates should still be locked. That should give early warning to everyone inside.just because he's crippled doesn't mean he can't shoot a gun. they have the advantage of being on the inside.Not much to hide behind close to the doors. They will be sitting ducks. Think it's to soon to lose the love birds but with this show,you just don't know. never read the comics so don't have a clue. Just wish the show wasn't that fast!! Turn around twice,drink of water and the next thing I know,i'm watching previews for next week!!!

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I agree Al, what is going to happen back at the prison? Poor Carl! Not that I don't think he will kill some bad guys. I hope they keeping an eye out while Rick and the rest are gone.
Darryl and Merle. Yikes! I'm torn. Merle obviously wants to see his brother but he may think Darryl will come join the crazies. I don't think Darryl will turn on his friends.
Poor Glenn and Maggie! I too was afraid of what the Gov might do. Glenn is some kind of bad ass. It looks like in the preview that Andrea is going to turn on Rick's group.
Cannot wait till next week!!!

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Fatin,
maybe bitchy was the wrong word ;-) I haven't read the comics, just happen to know some parts because others mentioned them. And after all the build-up and people being so excited about Michonne being in the show I guess I expected something more than ... well, than her being wary like a watch-dog.

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What a situation!! The evil SOB governor is sending scouts to the prison and it is held by a kid, a cripple and not much else! I thought that Maggie was going to be raped as well. Sending the walker in to feast on Glenn was very clever. When Merle and Daryl go head to head my money is on Daryl, he has a lot to pay him back for. The governor is a super villian, the guy is so vile and slimey I can't wait till Rick kills him. I still like little kick ass for a name.

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I agree with Neejan....I really like Glen and Maggie and don't want to see their run end this soon.....PLEASE keep them around!! I would LOVE to see Daryl take out his brother; even though I know it will be hard on him; I like the person he has evolved into without Merle. Wasn't too thrilled with the name the baby scene either and I think they could do A LOT BETTER than Judith...what about naming the child after the mother who gave her life bringing her into the world????