It pains me to type the following words: I didn’t really like this episode of THE WALKING DEAD. Which is an unfortunate admission seeing as this is one of my favorite shows on television. The last thing I want to sound like is some sort of source-material snob, but this episode did nothing to further the story or get to the heart and soul of what this season is supposed to progress to. It’s clear that they fell way short on a couple of golden opportunities with some of the comic plotlines and I can see where the rumored production delays have started to show through.
Primarily, ghost Lori is really starting to piss me off. Was there a ghost Shane? Well, I guess there was a ghost-Shane-voice, but how about a ghost T-Dog? A ghost Carol’s daughter? How about a ghost of Hershel’s leg to give Rick a swift kick in the ass? Hey Rick, how about you start taking care of your newborn baby? Way to be an absentee father, ya douchebag.
As far as The Governor is concerned, we see a little more of his supposed true colors, but it all seems a bit out of place. It’s like they can’t decide what they want the character to be and refuse to stop straddling the fence between sympathetic and sadistic. If they just chose one, I would be completely fine either way and quite frankly if they came at it from a purely sympathetic standpoint, it would be a good twist on his personality. But you cannot water down such an iconic character and expect it to translate well on screen.
So I’m curious why they choose to present a ‘vanilla-zation’ of everything? Is it to appeal to a wider audience? Their ratings are already massive (to say the least) and the show is relatively violent to begin with, so what gives?
Full spoiler-filled breakdown inside:
Rick continues his loss of sanity by chasing his ghost wife around the grounds of the prison. Carl and Glenn continue to find small groups of walkers within the prison which can only mean that there is some sort of way they are getting inside. For as much talking as they do about it, unfortunately we see no Carl/Glenn hunting action. A little bit would have been nice…
Tyreese and his group are suddenly nowhere to be found. With the significant role that Tyreese plays in the comic book, it’s odd to introduce him just to ignore him and probably end up killing him a couple of episodes later. To reference the book, Tyreese’s daughter and boyfriend have a suicide pact that they end up carrying out which would have been a great addition to the season. Tyreese also takes over a large part of the leadership of the group after Rick goes nuts. I’m not seeing any of that happen here.
Another big disappointment is Axel’s character. *spoiler alert*… he dies in this episode. In the comic book, there is a fantastic piece where one of the inmates is not exactly who he says he is and ends up beheading two of Hershel’s daughters. I had it in the back of my head the entire time that it would end up being Axel, but chalk that up to another missed opportunity. For an already dark show, it can go to many darker and many better places that it glosses over for some unknown reason. The script is written already! It’s called the comic book. Why have such blatant disregard for it??
Daryl and Merle work out some deep seated family issues on their trek through the woods and end up saving a random Hispanic family from a pack of zombies. Afterwords, Daryl leaves Merle to join back up with Rick. Merle follows.
The Governor, seemingly defeated, tells Andrea that there is no point to retaliate against Rick. He has Milton keep tabs on her while he leads a detachment of his troops to stage an assault on the prison. With the prison surrounded, they open fire and take out Axel handily. Mini-spoiler alert: out of hundreds of rounds and a huge firefight, only one other Woodburian dies who somehow had a vantage point on one of the prison towers.
A van busts through the outside gates and drops about a dozen walkers inside. Which would be frightening if they hadn’t already killed hundreds of them. As far as WMD’s go, let’s chalk this one up as an epic fail for The Governor. “Walker bomb”?? Not so much. Carl could probably take out a dozen walkers by himself armed only with Rick’s hat. How about a real bomb? Or how about their freaking tank? If I was in The Governor’s shoes, run down the gates with their tank, shell the outside walls, drive that ice cream truck into the yard full of explosives and detonate. Or even better, strap the walkers with explosives for some sort of undead jihad action. I guess losing an eye made him lose a little of his creativity too.
Daryl and Merle come back just in the nick of time to save Rick from a group of walkers after he ran out of bullets. We’ll see how bringing Merle back into the mix will fare. I’m guessing not well for anybody.
This week’s hashtag: #visionaryleader. My personal hashtag: #heyghostloripleasestaydead
I’ll give this episode a C-. Hopefully we can see something new next week.