Tis the season for mid-season report cards!
Best Episode: "Sick." This has been the best season in my opinion and picking a favorite was far more difficult from the slew of quality ones. Yet, it was this second episode that really showed Rick a transformed man after he took a machete to one inmate's head before leaving another trapped for walker fodder. The dark and gritty tone was certainly set.
Worst Episode: "Hounded." This was probably the weakest of the season, but by no means a bad episode. It was a little slower in pace, but it was a necessary breather from everything that had been happening. And Andrea continued to make poor judgments and decisions by shacking up with the Governor making it harder and harder for me to like her character.
Best Character: Carl's certainly come into his own, but his dad, Rick, has provided for some fantastic moments. He's been a determined leader, he's taken out enemies, and he's worn his emotions on his sleeve. This is a far different character from The Walking Dead Season one, but the darker transition is a welcome one. I can't wait to see what's in store for him.
Worst Character: This is a toss up between Andrea and Michonne. I've been harder on Michonne's character this season mostly because I just want to know who she is beyond just the sword wielding abilities. Yet, we've had two and a half seasons to know Andrea and she's still making bad decisions. And now that she's seen the Governor's heads in fish tanks, him trying to kill Michonne, having gladiator walker fights, and capturing Daryl? I'm sure she'll find some way to rationalize it all for her "good guy" lover. Smarten up!
Best Death: Lori's death was a shocker because I never guessed she would be gone in only the third season. I thought she had at least a few more in her. But I have to give the win to T-Dog, who went out a hero as he took down walkers and saved Carol. RIP T-Dog, we're gonna miss you.
Best Daryl Dixon Moment: Daryl remains effortlessly cool. He makes some of the best jokes, wears a poncho like a bad-ass, and shows he's a caring guy especially with Carol and Carl. It was when Rick ran away that Daryl had to step up and take charge and he did fantastically. Plus, I'm sure he made women's hearts swoon with his daddy duty, all while giving the baby a perfect name like Ass Kicker.
Hopes for 2013: Like I said before, I really want to delve into Michonne's character, but I also want to see the Governor descend even further into evil. We've seen those hints of crazy, but I think we've yet to discover his full potential. Of course, I'm also hoping the show maintains it's speedy pace and focus on the character conflicts instead of just running around killing walkers. This season feels solidly entertaining and I'm excited for the second half to carry that momentum to an outstanding finish.
Overall Grade: A
Your turn, TV Fanatics: What grade would you give the first half of The Walking Dead Season 3?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.