Tag Archives: Lori

The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Clear”

I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you that there are SPOILERS in this article. I mean, you’re a smart person; you see the word “Recap,” right? So, you don’t need me to tell you something obvious. But, yeah…SPOILERS!

We got to reconnect with an old flame during “Clear!” And by “reconnect,” I mean almost die from an attack. And by “old flame,” I mean a guy that saved Rick in the first episode of “The Walking Dead.”

“Clear” followed Rick, Carl, and Michonne as they made a weapons run back to Rick and Carl’s hometown. It was a singular episode in that we didn’t have to jump back and forth between multiple groups and storylines. Seriously, sometimes I get dizzy by how many times we leap about between the prison and Woodbury. Last night was refreshing in its cinematic simplicity.

As they are traveling, Rick, Carl, and Michonne pass a man on the road. He’s alive and starts screaming and yelling for help. Shutup, dude! Don’t you know this is the zombie apocalypse? Gotta be quiet! Michonne, who is driving, doesn’t spare him a glance as she speeds by. The other two don’t look too affected, either. Even Carl, who is sitting in the backseat looks unmoved.

It makes me a little sad, but I suppose it’s a brave (cowardly) new world, eh? They have to protect their own, and who’s to say the guy’s not bait?

A bit down the road, several vehicles block the way, and Michonne goes off the road to get around them. However, the ground is soft, and she spins out next to a walker trapped under a vehicle who is doing its darndest to scrabble out and get them. Carl gives Michonne a death glare, and they all just generally looked cheesed off. The audience is supposed to be focused on the trapped walker, so we won’t see the cheap scare coming.

I totally saw it.

Suddenly, several walkers are clawing at the windows (which are wisely up). Again, everyone just looks bored and irritated at the interruption. The walkers are dispatched post-haste, and Rick sets about showing Carl how to get the SUV out of the mud. But, Carl, who is barely paying attention, is more interested in complaining about Michonne. Why did they have to bring her? She’s not even really part of the group!

Rick tells Carl that they share a common goal and that Michonne is a valuable resource to have with them. Carl looks disgruntled. Are we a moody teenager already? Ugh. Oh, and Michonne totally heard the exchange between father and son. Classy.

The man that hailed them for help earlier comes into sight and starts yelling. He’s running toward them, but Rick, Carl, and Michonne pay him no mind. They just get back into the SUV and leave. Heavy.

When they reach the town, they discover painted messages (vaguely crazy and warning) and arrows, and it looks to be generally deserted. After parking the SUV, Rick leads them to the sheriff’s department, where he expects to find a weapons cache. It’s predictably empty, but Rick seems to be surprised and angry about the lack of weapons. (Because, you know, they need all the weapons they can find for the upcoming war with The Governor.)

Rick decides to venture further into the town in search of more weapons. He knows some of the businesses had weapons and wants to get them. Michonne isn’t so sure it’s a good idea, and Rick, sensing dissension, calls her on it immediately. She backs down and gives him one of those soul-searching looks that she’s so good at. (You know the one, I mean! Where she looks at a character and sees right to his or her core! She’s really good at it.)

Rick, Carl, and Michonne enter the clearing zone. Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick, Carl, and Michonne enter the clearing zone. Image courtesy of AMC.

As the trio continue on foot, they come to what appears to be a main street. It’s blocked with barriers made of sharp implements, ropes, burned out vehicles, and various other bits of crap. There are even caged pigeons and rats scattered about. It quickly becomes clear what the road blocks are for as a walker gets trapped, and Michonne stabs it through the face. (Oooooh! The caged animals are to draw the walkers, right? They’ll eat animals, after all.) There are also more painted messages on buildings, fences, and banners warning intruders away. But, our intrepid trio continues on.

Suddenly, a man on a rooftop commands them to drop all their weapons and supplies and leave. He’s got a scoped rifle pointed at them, and he’s wearing a helmet. Rick, Carl (who is told to get away), and Michonne scatter, and the man (who was obviously trained by the Galactic Empire) fails to hit any of them. Michonne ninjas her way up to the roof, but the man is already gone.

Oh, no! Now, he’s on street level, shooting at Rick! Rick dives behind a series of conveniently placed vehicles and trashcans as the man moves closer, shooting as he comes. The man is only several feet away from Rick when Carl steps around a corner and shoots the man in the chest. BLAM at close range!

Rick lightly scolds Carl for still being on the street, but it’s plain to see he was glad his son was still around. However, Rick does feel a little bit of guilt that Carl had to shoot a “living” man.

But, the man isn’t dead! SHWEW! Rick pushes aside his shirt to reveal a bullet-proof vest, then removes the vest to reveal a giant bruise where Carl shot him. The man is still alive, but he has been knocked out. Rick removes the helmet to reveal…MORGAN! Remember Morgan? Back in the first episode of The Walking Dead, Morgan rescued a newly awoken Rick. He saved Rick’s life and let him stay with him and his son, Duane, before Rick left to find his family.

Unsure of how to proceed, Rick at least wants to get Morgan off the street. Plus, Rick knows Duane should be around somewhere. So, they find where Morgan lives and take him to his rooms, avoiding several quite nasty booby traps along the way.

Morgan’s rooms hold tons of guns and ammo, and Michonne and Carl set about looting what they need. But, Rick stops them, conflicted about the state of his former rescuer and friend. Morgan’s rooms are covered with writing, detailing people who have turned, supply lists, and other scribbling. Every so often, the word “CLEAR” is written, most often after names (I noticed).

Rick decides they will stay until Morgan wakes up. He wants to talk to Morgan, and see how he is. I kinda got the feeling he wanted to take him back to the prison, too. Having an ally and friend like Morgan around could do a lot to settle Rick’s mind and recent brushes with insanity.

Carl declares that he needs to go on a run to get a baby crib for Judith. There’s a baby store right around the corner, and Rick agrees to let him go when Michonne offers to accompany him. Rick stays with the unconscious Morgan, and Carl and Michonne head out. Carl tries to give Michonne the slip while she kills a walker, but she quickly catches up with him. He tells her that there’s something he has to get for Judith, and Michonne makes it clear that he won’t be going alone.

(A little aside, here. Okay, Carl, I get that you’re basically a grownup and able to take care of yourself. I mean, you had to shoot your mom, for goodness’ sake. But, don’t knock a willing ally! Someone to watch your back is ALWAYS a good idea!)

Carl leads Michonne to a restaurant. I still had no idea what he was after. At first, I thought he was going to go to the old Grimes house and get a teddy bear or something like that. I had no clue what he could be after at a restaurant!

The restaurant, called the King County Cafe (I think…something close to that, right?), was filled with trapped walkers. Apparently, they were all there, having a bite to eat, when the walker plague struck. Or maybe someone trapped them in there. Seems rather odd to me. Anyhow, there’s a ton in there.

Michonne helps Carl sneak in by sliding some of the caged animals in through the cracked doorway. While the walkers are busy trying to get at the terrified animals, Michonne and Carl dart in and back to the bar where a framed picture of Rick, Lori, and Carl hang. (Oh, it’s one of those hometown places! Ooooh!) Carl hops up on the bar to get the picture…and is grabbed by a walker who was on the other side! But, Carl keeps his head, and Michonne quickly stabs the walker…quietly. They start to ease their way back to the door when a scared rat runs toward them followed by the mini-horde! (I don’t understand how the rat would have gotten out of its cage and away from the walkers, but…okay.)

They have to fight their way out and manage to barely escape (of course), closing and leaning against the front doors, which happen to have nice big panes of glass that allow us to see the walkers pawing and trying to get them. Nice. But, on their way to the door, Carl dropped the picture. REALLY, Carl? He is devastated, explaining that he wanted Judith to have a picture of Lori, and that’s the only one he thought was still in existence. Awww!

Carl declares he has to go back for it, but Michonne tells him to stay put. He reluctantly agrees and she disappears behind the corner of the building. She’s a ninja, because moments later, she reappears with the picture and an ugly cat statue. Making a light moment, Michonne tells Carl that she had to go back in because the cat statue caught her eye.

And, poof, Michonne has won over Carl!

Back in Morgan’s rooms, Rick is looking at all the writing on the walls and feeling bad for Morgan. He comes on some script saying Duane has turned, and he knows Morgan’s son is dead.

Suddenly, Morgan attacks! Rick had zip-tied Morgan’s hands, but Morgan freed himself with a hidden knife. They scuffle and Morgan stabs Rick! All the while, Morgan is babbling and accusing Rick of wearing a dead man’s face. It’s clear that Morgan has had a rough time of things and is not all there.

Sad Morgan is sad. Image courtesy of AMC.

Sad Morgan is sad. Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick finally gets the upper hand and disarms Morgan, pushing him down. Morgan realizes who Rick is and basically goes to pieces. (In the first episode, Rick told Morgan he would be on a radio every morning at dawn. Rick kept his promise for as long as he could, but as his group moved farther away, the signal wouldn’t reach anymore. Apparently, Morgan kept trying.) Rick learns that Morgan failed to kill his walker wife, and that Duane had been attacked by her. Morgan blames himself and has decided he was left alive to “clear” things. It becomes apparent that Morgan believes he has to clear out the walkers from the town, hence all the walker traps.

Rick tries to convince Morgan to come with them back to the prison, but Morgan refuses, saying he must clear the town.

It’s a heart-wrenching scene, really, with powerful acting. Your heart breaks for Morgan and what he’s gone through. If you haven’t seen it, go find it and watch it; I count this episode as one of the best so far. It goes to a solitary place of despair and looks madness in the eyes, and as the character of Morgan looks back, you shiver. He’s justified in his feelings, in his emotions, but he decided on a task, on his form of redemption: to “clear.” It’s moving as he considers throwing over that task and equally moving as he remains steadfast in his choice.

When Rick leaves Morgan’s rooms, he finds Michonne and Carl just returning from their run carrying a baby crib (pack-n-play, actually). It looks like they found some other supplies at the baby store, too.  As the trio pick their way back through Morgan’s clearing zone, they see the man removing walkers from spikes and strapping them (after they’ve been killed, of course) to a gurney. Carl calls out to him, apologizing for shooting him and begging him to understand that he had to do it. Morgan stops what he’s going and approaches, a little wild-eyed.

“Don’t you ever apologize,” Morgan tells Carl.

Morgan knows the consequences of hesitation and failure to “clear.” He wants to impress upon Carl the necessity of doing the necessary.

When the trio reaches the SUV, Carl tells Rick that his run had been successful and that Michonne was “one of us.” Rick looks a little surprised, but also somewhat pleased. (It seemed like he was looking for a reason to let Michonne stay, and Carl’s words gave him that needed push.) After Carl gets in the SUV, Michonne helps Rick load the rest of the supplies (Morgan let Rick take some guns and ammunition). She tells him that she knows he’s been seeing things (Uh-oh! Is there going to be a showdown?) and says it’s okay. Whaaa? Michonne confides that she spoke to her dead boyfriend for a long time, and that it’s okay to grieve.

Rick asks Michonne if she wants to drive, and she says yes, but asks why. With a smile, he says it’s because he sees things. Levity! How refreshing!

On the way back to the prison, they have to go around the vehicle pile up again. This time, Michonne goes around on the other side, and they don’t get caught. As they drive, they pass fresh blood and man bits. It’s the guy that was yelling for help…sad panda. Of course, he wasn’t being very smart by yelling, was he? Gah. They pass only to stop, back up, and pick up his pack.

It’s always about the resources!

So, what did you think of “Clear?” Hit me up in the comments!

 

[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-12-rick-3.php.]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Home”

Spoilers, yo, and lots of them! You’ve been warned. (It does say “recap” in the title…just saying.)

I was seriously JUST starting to like Axel. Dang it! Now, all of the prisoners are dead, and the prison truly belongs to Rick’s group. (Crazy people running the asylum, anyone?) But, is it even still Rick’s group? Or is Glenn trying on some britches that are a couple of sizes too big? That’s the thing about wearing big pants; you’re going to trip and fall on your face.

“Home” opens with Rick seeing Lori in the prison yard. Still dressed in white, Lori’s back is to him as she stands before the graves. He runs to the graves only to have her vanish and reappear beyond the prison fence. Not recognizing the symbolism of running through the gates away from safety and into the wilderness of crazy, Rick dashes by Michonne and meets Lori on a footbridge. (Michonne appears to be living in an overturned bus in the prison yard. Or, if she’s not living in it, she at least crawled out of said bus. Rick did say they would be kicking her out of the prison as soon as she was back on her feet. Is this as far as they’ve kicked her?) Michonne wisely closes the prison gates behind him.

Lori and Rick share a moment as she gently strokes his face. Aww! Poor Rick looks miserable and elated at the same time.

But, Michonne looks on in disbelief as Rick cuddles into open air, because, obviously, Lori is not there!

In Woodbury, The Governor (TG) pays Andrea a visit, and I was glad to see that she wasn’t shacking up with him. Although, it was never clear that she ever was, I guess. They just shagged, and she left. How elegant!

He compliments her inspiring speech to the townsfolk following the break-in and biter attack and encourages her to step into a leadership role. See, TG thinks he hasn’t lived up to the mantle of power and wants Andrea to take over.

Right…

He loves me? He loves me not? Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-andrea.php.

He loves me? He loves me not? Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-andrea.php.

Blah, blah, blah…you know he’s lying through his teeth when he says he’s going to take some time to sort things out. And you REALLY know he’s lying when he assures Andrea that there will be no retaliation against Rick’s group at the prison. But, she buys it, because she’s Andrea.

TG leaves her and goes to see Milton. The man is visibly scared by TG, but he also wants to prove his loyalty to the one-eyed pirate. TG has a strange hold over the people of Woodbury; it’s interesting to see the desperate need for leadership and the willingness to latch onto someone in power. You see it in Milton, and you can see it in Andrea, too, to a certain extent. The world has gone mad, and people need some semblance of order, even if that order is through brutality. They need a “home” (See how I worked the title in there? I’m so smooth.).

TG verifies Milton’s allegiance and then tells him to keep an eye on Andrea. He’s not so sure she’ll side with Woodbury, after all. It’s rather a different story from the crap he just sold Andrea, but that’s our TG, and that’s why we love to hate him!

When Andrea is looking for TG and several other of Woodbury’s known fighters (all the scary dudes who carry the big guns and do TG’s bidding) later that day, a woman on the wall, Karen, won’t give her a straight answer. Andrea sees Milton and asks him where TG is, and Milton is also coy, saying TG is on a supply run. Andrea doesn’t buy it, and Milton doesn’t appear to really care that she doesn’t buy it.

Do you think Milton knew where TG had gone? I mean, I knew! Seriously, how could you not know? But, TG did tell Andrea that there would be no retaliation against the prison, so she was left to wonder.

But, she had to know, right? Come on! The illusion of safety and normalcy at Woodbury was shattered, and while she’s desperately grasping at the loose strings, Andrea has to know there’s something truly rotten in Denmark.

We got to check in on Daryl and Merle a couple of times during this episode before they were drawn back into one of the sure-to-soon-be-feuding camps (Woodbury or the prison? Which one will they end up with? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!). The brothers were struggling to adjust to one another while fighting for dominance (on Merle’s part) and respect (Daryl’s goal). Daryl’s time with Rick’s group had changed him, and the knowledge galled Merle. So, the elder Dixon picked at Daryl, maligning everything from his hunting skills and sense of direction to his loyalties.

Daryl readies to save folks in need. Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-daryl.php.

Daryl readies to save folks in need. Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-daryl.php.

When Daryl and Merle come upon a Hispanic family being attacked by walkers, Daryl immediately wants to help. He hears a baby and must think of little Judith back at the prison. Merle, on the other hand, doesn’t care and is content to let the family get eaten. But, Daryl comes to the family’s rescue, shooting and knifing walkers. Lo and behold, Merle wanders in behind him and kills a few, too.

I loved Merle’s face during this scene! It was a mix of consternation and awe as he watched his little brother handily dispatch the walkers and save the family.

When it was all over, Merle decides they are owed payment for their services and starts to rob the family, tossing out a racial slur in lovely Merle fashion. Daryl tells him to stop, but Merle doesn’t listen. It’s not until Daryl threatens his brother with his crossbow that Merle backs down. The family leaves, and the Dixon brothers realize just how different they’ve become.

In the woods, they get into a small scuffle, and Merle rips Daryl’s shirt, revealing old scars left by their father. Merle is shocked and tells Daryl he had no idea about the abuse. But, Daryl really doesn’t believe him and decides enough is enough. It’s time to go…(Ready for it?)…home. He sets off for the prison, leaving Merle, who swears he can’t follow, not after his history with the group.

As Daryl strikes out, he leaves his brother with “I might be the one who’s walking away, but you’re the one who’s leaving…again.” (Or something close to that.) His voice cracks, and you can tell he’s choking back tears.

As Daryl disappears into the woods, Merle is torn between a new found protective streak for his little brother and saving his own skin. As he waffles, the indecision is plain on his face as he weighs the consequences of the only decision he can make before following Daryl.

It’s a great stretch of acting from two great actors!

At the prison, Glenn’s got his big-boy pants on and is assessing the perceived vulnerabilities of the compound. He’s going over with Carl and the others how Tyreese’s group and walkers got into the depths of the prison, known as the tombs. But, Hershel thinks the possible attack/retaliation by TG is more pressing and says they should leave the prison. Glenn adamantly disagrees and then comes up with the idea that he and Michonne should sneak back into Woodbury and just kill TG. Not too bad of an idea, really, but no one but Michonne goes for it.

So, Glenn settles for a foray into the tombs to clean out walkers. Later, when he returns (looks like Carl went with him), he wants to take a vehicle to look at the back of the prison to see how bad it really is (It’s pretty bad, remember?), but no one really wants to go with him. Glenn declares that he’ll take Maggie with him, but Hershel isn’t so sure she’s willing, either, and Glenn goes to find her. She’s lying down in her cell and doesn’t react too kindly to Glenn, something that really puzzles the man.

And why is she acting this way to Glenn? Isn’t he trying to protect her, to avenge (in a roundabout way) the wrong done to her? Not really. Actually, he’s just trying to make himself feel better. See, he really didn’t even know what TG had done to her. In his mind, the worst thing was that Maggie had been raped. She wasn’t, and she told him that. But, instead of treating her like an equal who had done the necessary to save Glenn’s hand (TG threatened to cut it off if she didn’t cooperate.), Glenn put himself in the role of her protector and insinuated his own feelings of powerlessness over her feelings. By doing so, he made the situation about him. It turned into something that HE had to fix, that HE had to avenge, because she was HIS woman. Now, he’s on a quest to prove himself capable of running things without Rick and Daryl. He’s obsessed, and Maggie is disgusted.

After Maggie rebuffs him, Glenn decides to go look at the perimeter by himself. He meets Hershel in the prison yard, and the older man again says they should leave the prison, but Glenn isn’t having it. He pitches another hissy fit, stomping his feet and holding his breath (not really). Since Daryl’s gone and Rick is “wandering Crazytown (He actually said “Crazytown!” Someone was reading my recaps and wrote that into the script, right? HA!),” Glenn is the next in charge, dang it! Or so Glenn thinks. He hops into a giant truck and roars away.

Hershel hobbles down to the outer fence to look for Rick. The former lawman comes out of the woods looking paranoid and rather deranged but sound in body, overall. Hershel tells Rick about Glenn and asks him to come back to the prison. But, Rick isn’t ready, yet. He confesses his recent delusions, but tells Hershel he knows they aren’t real. At the same time, though, he has to believe there’s an explanation.

Yeah, you’re nuts!

But, Hershel is nicer than me and gently prods Rick to come back to reality. This was a great scene visually with Hershel on the inside (reality) of the prison yard and Rick on the outside (Crazytown), clutching at the chain link as he is clutching and searching for sanity. Nicely done.

Closer to the prison, Carol and Axel are getting ready for what they assume will be an assault from TG. The pair are setting up cover and chatting, flirting a bit and getting to know one another. Beth and Carl are also outside wandering about, and Michonne is down by her bus.

I had to cheer for Axel. I mean, he thought Carol was a lesbian, but once he found out differently, he’s quite the charmer!

But, this is The Walking Dead, and AMC doesn’t want me to forget this world is terrible.

A gunshot rings out, and Axel is shot in the head! TG shot him, and we see the self-satisfied smirk below his eye patch as he lowers the gun. TG and some goons are outside of the prison fence shooting up the place, and Rick and Hershel dive for cover as they come under fire, too.

Umm, can someone tell me how a guy got into the prison tower? Yeah, because a TG dude is up in the tower shooting at the group, too! I have no idea how that could have happened.

Carol is crouched behind Axel’s dead body, remarkably unscathed even though Axel is still being shot…a lot. (Not one of those bullets would go through Axel’s body? Huh. I have my doubts.) Carl and Beth take cover, and Carl whips out his gun to return fire because, yes, Carl’s awesome, now. Maggie runs out of the prison with extra guns, and they are able to cover Carol as she runs away from poor dead Axel.

Everybody’s shooting and no one’s hitting anything! But, TG is delighted and gleefully sprays bullets into the air several times. It’s clear that they are not only trying to kill the prison group with bullets, but they are also making as much noise as possible to draw walkers.

But that’s not enough for TG. A delivery truck races up the road and plows through the prison gates to release walkers into the yard. A figure jumps out and runs back to TG’s truck. The person was wearing all black with a helmet,  but it looked like a woman to me. My money’s on Karen; she was totally shifty with Andrea. (Had TG and his group already left when Andrea spoke to Karen? Were they just getting ready to leave? I dunno, but Karen definitely knew something! And I’m not going to be surprised if we find out she was involved in the prison raid.)

The walkers are released right around where Hershel is hiding in the grass. The old coot’s got a gun, but he won’t last long, that’s for certain.

Then, someone finally nails the douche in the prison tower, and TG decides it’s time to go. He and his minions jump in their truck and speed away, passing Glenn on the way out. (It’s about time, Glenn! Where the heck have you been? It took you THAT long to drive around the prison?! Pfft!)

By this time, more walkers are wandering into the area surrounding the prison, drawn by all the noise. Rick, who has used all his bullets, is set upon by a pair of hungry walkers! Oh, no! But, at the last minute, an arrow erupts from the walker’s forehead, and Daryl rides in on a white horse! Okay, there’s no horse, but he and Merle wade into things and save Rick’s butt.

Glenn picks up Maggie in the truck, and they rescue Hershel, while Michonne slices her way through too many walkers (Seriously, this woman is a machine!).

The tragedy seems to bring clarity to Rick as he surveys the damage. A hard, determined look comes in his eyes, and you know this means war!

Dun, Dun, DUN! (Dramatic flourish)

Jeez, what a mess! Axel’s dead (RIP. We hardly knew ye!), Merle’s at the prison, and Rick’s teetering precariously on the edge of insanity. His high-wire act isn’t going to be helped by Glenn’s desire for vengeance. Heck, no! Rick’s going to be out for blood, now. TG has defiled his HOME.

Meanwhile, TG is trying to keep Andrea under his thumb and convince her he’s not a monster, while wiping out her long-lost friends at the prison! At least this time, she’s suspicious of him. (Gosh, she’s thick.)

But, the thing about Andrea is that I know she wants to be thick. She’s not stupid, she just willingly deluded. She wants to believe there’s still a nice little town like Woodbury in the world. But, she’s finally starting to come out of it, and that spells trouble for her stay in TG’s good graces.

What did you think about “Home?” Hit me up in the comments!

 

[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-governor-2.php.]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “When The Dead Come Knocking”

The new fake James Bond movie has a great Bond Girl. Did you hear about her name? It’s SPOILERS Galore.

Little Ass-Kicker got a real name this week! I’m okay with the fact that a newborn now sounds like at 54 year old woman. Really, I am. Judith will fit right in, I’m sure, pulling her weight as soon as she’s able to lift some kind of pointy object. (How cute would a baby katana be? Squeee!)

“When The Dead Come Knocking” was an “in-between” episode. Not a whole lot happened plot-wise, but it served to set up the mid-season finale, positioning main characters in various dramatic story arcs. You will no doubt hear my angry yells next week when the show comes to a close, and everything is up in the air. I’ve already singled out a couch pillow to scream in so I don’t wake up my kids.

I’m such a good mother.

The episode starts with Merle beating the crap out of Glenn in a basement/cellar somewhere in Woodbury. Merle’s got that knife/stump cover on his right hand, and as I was watching him punch Glenn, my mind wandered. (This show paid special attention to gory details this week, and I had to look away more than once, so I had the time. It was definitely more blood and guts than normal, and I’m chalking it up to the lack of actual story. Sure, some stuff happened, but it seemed like they didn’t have quite enough to fill the hour.) Was Merle left-handed to begin with? He didn’t seem to have any trouble pounding Glenn with his left hand. Huh.

Merle wants to know where Daryl, Rick, and the others are. Glenn is duct taped to a chair, unable to fight back, of course, but he’s manfully keeping his trap shut about important details. Finally, goaded into answering, Glenn tells Merle that his people will come looking for him, and he mentions Daryl, Rick, and…Andrea. Merle gets a huge, nasty smile on his face because he knows Andrea’s in Woodbury, dancing to The Governor’s (TG) tune. Glenn realizes that he’s stepped in it, and the beating continues.

Maggie is in the next room, and she can clearly hear what’s going on. She looks terrified, and you can tell things are not going to end well.

Help me, Obi-Wan-Rick! You’re my only hope! Image courtesy of AMC.

Back at the prison, Rick and Michonne are still giving each other the disbelieving stink eye. She’s on the outside of the prison fences, camouflaged with walker guts. But, they’re old walker guts and are apparently losing their potency, because the walker next to her suddenly turns and sniffs at her. Deciding she’d be tasty, he lurches forward. Michonne backs away, drawing her sword, but other walkers catch on and start to surround her. After dispatching several, Michonne falls to the ground, weakened by her gunshot wound (on her thigh. Thanks, Merle.)! Then, she passes out!

Oh, no!

But, Rick and co. can’t leave her to be eaten. Carl shoots walkers that are about to rip into Michonne, and Rick comes out to clear off more before scooping up the wounded woman and taking her back to the prison. Carl grabs the shopping basket of baby formula and Michonne’s things.

Michonne comes to in the prison common room, just outside the group’s cell block home. Rick asks for her name, but she stays silent. He tells her that they’ll see to her wound, give her provisions, and send her on her way…after she answers some questions. Michonne, who has the look of a trapped wild animal about her eyes, thinks she’s traded one prison (Woodbury) for another. (I came to this conclusion after they shot her –with the camera, silly!– through the prison bars.)

Daryl draws Rick away with news, and they go back into the cell block, leaving Michonne.

It’s Carol! It’s a happy reunion that turns bittersweet when Carol sees the baby and realizes Lori is dead. Tears!

Then, back to Michonne. Rick demands to know how Michonne found them, and I was sure she’d tell them about Andrea. But, she doesn’t, instead telling them about Glenn and Maggie’s capture and how she overhead them saying the prison was a straight shot. She tells them that the kidnapped pair are most likely in Woodbury, and the men make an easy decision for a rescue. Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne (Hershel sewed up her thigh.) set out.

Before they leave, however, Rick becomes a dad again, talking to Carl away from the others and comforting him about Lori’s death. Yay, Rick! FINALLY. Of course, Carl will still feel terrible that he had to shoot Lori to prevent her turning, but I’m sure his dad’s acknowledgement of what happened will make it easier.

They also decide on the name Judith for the baby. Carl’s third grade teacher? Huh.

They leave the prison in the hands of the weakest among them: Hershel, Beth, Carl, Axel, and Carol. Judith, too, but she totally doesn’t count. I’m not saying that Carol and Carl couldn’t hold their own…for a while, but still…Yeah. I’m saying they couldn’t hold their own for long.

Parking about a mile away from Woodbury, Michonne leads Oscar, Rick, and Daryl into the woods, so they can sneak up to the town. Rick, getting all his good guy/good dad stuff out of the way, thanks Daryl for stepping up while he went a little nuts and cleaned out a cell block of walkers (Remember Crazytown?). They share a comradely head nod. Very manly.

All of a sudden, walkers are everywhere! Rick decrees no guns, and they start hacking and retreating, trying to find some place to hide. They come upon a conveniently placed cabin and duck inside to find a crazy man huddled under a blanket. The crazy guy starts making a lot of noise, agitating the walkers who are already pawing at the front door and yelling that he’s going to call the cops.

Perfect! Rick says that he’s a cop and offers to show his badge. When did he start carrying his badge again? PSYCH! Rick grabs crazy guy’s gun, and crazy guy goes for the door. But before he can open the door to let in the mini-horde on the other side, Michonne kills him with her katana. STAB!

But, how to get the group away safely? Simple! See, there’s a convenient back door, so all they have to do is throw crazy guy out the front door and escape out the back. He hasn’t turned, yet, so they chuck him out and dash away. (BTW, why are there varying turning rates? I smell a plot device…)

In Woodbury, Andrea gets a job (in addition to boinking TG). TG wants her to hang out with Milton in his research lab, where a Mr. Coleman is dying. We’re supposed to think it’s from old age, and, sure enough, the guy looks old, but I’m suspicious of what Milton is ladling into Mr. Coleman’s mouth. Suspicious, I say!

Milton is trying to find a way to control walkers. Mr. Coleman actually volunteered, because he knew he was dying. So, Milton runs him through a series of memory exercises starting with auditory cues (a bell and a song). He also shows him pictures of family.

When Mr. Coleman finally dies, he’s strapped down in preparation for his turn. Andrea is skeptical FOR ONCE, but stays close to assist should something go awry.

When they’re sure Mr. Coleman has turned, Milton starts the memory exersises and is convinced it’s working on the dead guy. However, the restraints are obviously hampering Mr. Coleman’s participation, so Milton lets one of his arms go against Andrea’s warning. Sure enough, Mr. Coleman tries to eat Milton’s face. Luckily, Andrea is on her game and swiftly stabs the old guy in the head, ending the day’s research.

((UPDATE: I’m almost ashamed to say that there was a part of the show that I missed! I have no idea how it happened, and I’m going to blame it on a combination of my DVR and my son’s unwillingness to go to bed on time. Suffice it to say, there was a scene with TG and Maggie that I didn’t see. Here’s a description from AMC:

The Governor decides to question Maggie himself.

The Governor cuts Maggie’s bonds and offers to return her to her group. When she gives him the silent treatment, he orders her to remove her shirt and bra. He unbuckles his belt, sidles close, shoves her head against the table and leaves.

Now, back to my recap!))

Merle doesn’t play nice! Image courtesy of AMC.

Meanwhile, Glenn is still being beaten to a pulp. He remains resolute in his silence, however, and Merle seems to give up. Not that that will save Glenn, though! Merle brings in a walker and turns it loose! Glenn is still duct-taped to the chair, but he manages to get away, kicking the walker back and stumbling around, pushing stuff over and in front of the walker. He ends up breaking apart the chair and stabbing the walker at the last minute. The DRAMA!

Merle comes back with a minion, TG, and…Maggie! She’s still shirtless, braless, and covering herself but doesn’t appear to have been brutalized. I assume they left her in this state to demoralize and humiliate her. But, it’s clear she still hasn’t given up anything when TG again asks where their group is, holding a gun to Maggie’s head. Glenn hesitates and TG shifts his aim, crossing to hold the gun to Glenn’s head.

Maggie breaks, telling them about the prison and how many are in their group. TG allows her to run to Glenn, and he, Merle, and the minion leave to discuss what to do.

TG tells the minion to get a group together to scout the prison, and Merle, of course, wants to go along. But, TG is cautious of Merle, questioning his loyalty. Would he side with his brother or stay true to TG and Woodbury?

Merle declares himself for Woodbury, and TG seems satisfied. It made me wonder what TG has over Merle. Is TG just the alpha dog? Or is there something more?

As night falls, Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne arrive at Woodbury’s walls; they hide and assess the defenses as the camera shows us Andrea walking back to TG’s rooms after her day with Milton. She seems a bit overwrought and goes for some liquor as soon as she gets to TG’s apartment. TG, ever the solicitous man of her dreams, asks about her day, and she tells him that things had not gone according to Milton’s hopes.

Andrea snuggles into TG’s chest, and he comforts her, stroking her head and saying, “It’s alright; it’s over, now.”

SHIVER!

So, where does that leave us? There’s a Woodbury group headed for the prison; Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne are about to break into Woodbury to attempt the rescue of Glenn and Maggie; and Andrea is all about TG and will probably defend him against the would-be invaders (who she won’t recognize until it’s too late!).

The mid-season finale should be a good one!

What do you think? Leave your conjecture in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and can be found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-7-merle-glenn.php.))

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Hounded”

I uncovered an ancient map yesterday. It was at the bottom of an old chest that smelled of brine, and I had to assume it was a pirate’s. The map had a picture of your computer with the words “Here be SPOILERS!”

The mayor of Crazytown is talking to dead folks, but the upside is that he realizes they’re dead. So, there’s that.

At the end of last week’s episode, Rick received a telephone call in the room where Lori met her grisly end. After Rick’s tentative “Hello?” the screen went black, and I shouted unkind things at the television. This week, “Hounded” let us listen in on Rick’s conversation with a couple of people from the Great Beyond, a painful journey of self-soothing and coming to grips with a series of incidents Rick couldn’t handle in real time. It took mowing through a cell block of walkers and several fake phone convos to help him through. Plus, it wasn’t until he had Lori on the line that he realized it was all in his head.

As usual, I shall follow the plot lines not necessarily in screened order.

“Hounded” jumped back and forth between the prison and the goings-on of everybody’s favorite town, Woodbury. But, the episode started with Merle and three henchmen searching for Michonne. Woodbury must have a “What Happens in Woodbury, Stays in Woodbury…Or If We Let You In, You Gotta Stay Or We’ll Kill You” policy much like Las Vegas, except there are no slots (Hear that, Andrea? I’m judging you!), and there’s killing and whatnot. Little differences.

Michonne’s nasty message. Image courtesy of AMC.

So, Merle and company are tracking Michonne in the woods when they come on a message left by the irate, katana-wielding BA. She’s arranged walker limbs to spell “go”, and left an upside down torso to complete the tableau. New minion Neal correctly reads “go back,” and Merle is amused.

Good ole Merle! Always seeing the humor!

They push on and are ambushed by Michonne. Hack! Stab! Two minions are down, and Neal is sliced but still in working condition. Merle, of course, is fine, and makes squeamish Neal buck up, stab one of their two dead compatriots in the head and continue on. When Michonne returns, they are a bit more ready, but things don’t go quite as they’d like when walkers attack at the same time.

Fighting! Slashing! Stabbing! In the midst of the fray, Michonne, who was knocked down, disembowels a walker, inadvertently spilling rotting guts all over herself.

“They’re not going to do that, are they?” I said, looking through my splayed fingers. They did. Gross!

As Michonne retreats, Merle manages to get off a shot that hits her leg. Merle figures she’s as good as dead and tells Neal they can head back to Woodbury. But, Neal’s got the blood lust now, and he wants to pursue her. Merle, being the kind and gentle new soul that Woodbury has transformed him into, tries to convince him again. But, after Neal declares that he won’t lie to The Governor (TG), Merle shoots him in the face and leaves.

In Woodbury, Andrea is enjoying the town, watching a group of kids playing when TG slithers up and says she’s welcome to join in the game. She defers but tells him she’d like to help out on the wall. But, bullets don’t grow on trees (How’d you trim those suckers?), and TG asks her to train with a bow instead. Andrea flirts, accepts, and we next see her atop the wall with a younger woman named Haley, who is a self-identified bow expert. As a walker approaches, Haley jumps up to show off her skill, but cannot hit the lurching target. Andrea, eager to prove herself, jumps off the wall (Why is it so low?) and takes out the walker with a knife.

Haley is scandalized because Andrea went over the wall; TG says no one is supposed to go over the wall. Uh-oh! Andrea’s crush is going to be upset!

Back in the prison, Rick hasn’t yet realized he’s crazy. He’s talking to a woman on the phone (not Lori), who says she’s part of a group that’s in a safe place. Rick is desperate to move his people to safety and pleads with the woman to tell him where she is, telling her about Carl and the new baby.

“We’re dying,” he breathes into the receiver. She tells him that she’ll talk to her group, and that she’ll call back in two hours with an answer.

Rick then goes back to Cell Block C to ostensibly check on everyone. We see Hershel holding the unrealistically quiet baby before Rick takes off again, fleeing back to the room with the phone. It was like he had to remind himself that reality still existed, that his kids and the rest of the group still needed him. I think he was steeling himself to do whatever he had to do to get to the mysterious caller’s haven. His brief contact with his family (the kids and Hershel and Beth, who also happened to be there) gave him needed resolve.

Hershel eventually follows him back to the phone room, and tells him that Lori was sorry about how things had gone. (When they had first gotten to the prison, Lori confided in Hershel) The older man tries to comfort Rick, but Rick is too obsessed with what he’s convinced is their ticket out of the prison and to safety. He tells Hershel about the phone call, and Hershel picks up the phone, not really expecting to hear a dial tone. Of course, there is no dial tone, and that’s when I knew for sure Rick was making it up. I wanted to believe, however improbable it was, that there was a working phone and hope at the other end of the line.

I did want to believe, but I knew it probably wasn’t so. And, it wasn’t!

But, Rick’s still convinced and tells Hershel to leave after the older man offers to stay and wait with him. Hershel knows there isn’t anyone on the  phone; I could see it in his eyes.

Two more calls, and then Lori is on the line for Rick’s fourth and final conversation with his psyche. Amid tears and confessions, he makes a sort of uneasy peace with what happened between them. I don’t think he’ll ever fully forgive himself, but talking to dead Lori gives him a much needed outlet for his pent up emotions.

She doesn’t hang up like the previous callers, and I think that’s important. The other callers stopped the conversation, hanging up on Rick and leaving him frustrated and needing more. But, with Lori, the connection seems to break up after he’s poured out his heart, after he’s told her what he had to in order to feel some small shred of closure.

Meanwhile, Daryl is being useful and clearing walkers from the prison with help from Oscar and Carl. They pass by a door that is being feebly pushed from the other side, and Daryl states they’ll get the walkers on the other side on the way back.

No rush, guys. Just flesh-eating creatures clamoring for your faces. Or are they? (Insert mysterious eyebrow raise)

I gotta say that Daryl is proving himself a better mother than Lori ever was by taking Carl under his wing and bonding with the boy. As they wander through the hallways, Daryl tells Carl about his own mother’s death in a fire, and Carl looks up at him like he’s grateful for the attention. Poor kid.

After killing a cheap-scare walker (You know the kind. They pop up, and you go “Ahhh!” from your spot on the couch. Is that just me? Don’t lie! You do it, too!), Daryl finds a knife stuck in its neck. He recognizes the knife as Carol’s, and the scene closes to a dramatic music crescendo!

Later, we see Daryl sitting across from the door that is still being pushed against. He’s alone, and it’s obvious that he’s all torn up about Carol. I’m sure he’s probably blaming himself for somehow failing to protect her. Ridiculous, I know, since he was no where near Carol and T-Dog, but, still, that’s how these things work. Trust me.

A large dead (deader?) walker is blocking the door, preventing whatever is behind it from getting out. Finally, Daryl grows tired of the walker(s) behind the door and leaps up to take them or it down. He throws open the door, ready to stab with the knife, when, lo and behold, who is there but Carol!

I so totally called this RIGHT before it happened.

He picks her up and carries her back to (I assume) the group’s cell block.

Back in the woods, Michonne is limping along in the forest still covered in walker guts and blood. She realizes the camouflage potential when a small group of walkers wanders by without giving her a second groan. (We already knew this, though. Remember in the first season when Rick and Glenn wrapped intestines around their necks? Ewww…)

Michonne hobbles into a small town and takes cover just as Glenn and Maggie drive up and park in front of a store. The two are on a supply run for more formula, along with other supplies, I’m sure. Michonne obviously doesn’t know the pair, but I had to wonder if she suspects who they are from previous talks with Andrea.

After a time, Glenn returns with a shopping basket full of formula, declaring they’d hit the mother lode to Maggie, who was keeping watch by the vehicle.

Suddenly, Merle comes around the corner, fresh from offing Neal!

Glenn and Maggie draw a bead on Merle. Image courtesy of AMC.

I had to wonder why he just happened on Glenn and Maggie. Before killing Neal, Merle referred to a vehicle that they were to take back to Woodbury. So, where is it? Was his car parked by Glenn and Maggie, and we just didn’t know it? Hmmm.

“Merle?” Glenn says, not believing his eyes. Merle seizes on the moment, quickly recognizing Glenn and ascertaining Daryl is still alive. Merle advances, hands in the air but gun in his belt. Glenn keeps ordering him to stop, but Merle doesn’t under the auspices of friendship.

No such luck.

Merle attacks, taking Glenn by surprise and Maggie hostage. Oh, no! Merle orders them into their vehicle and takes them back to Woodbury. Michonne, who observed the whole thing, watches them go. The camera focuses in on the shopping basket of formula, and I immediately became worried. Crazy Rick’s baby needs that formula!

Back in Woodbury, Andrea is called in to see TG to answer for breaking the rule of not going over the wall. TG is not pleased, but Andrea bats her eyes and flirts up a storm (**cough, coughMORONcough, cough**), and soon, they are out in TG’s garden enjoying a drink. Andrea comes on to him (See what I did there? Ewww.), confessing that she actually did like the undead fighting match, and they end up in the sack together.

But, a knock on the door interrupts them mid-coitus; it’s Merle! TG steps out into the hall, and Merle tells him that, sadly, none of the henchmen made it. But, he says that Michonne was killed (Liar, lair!), so it’s all good. The short conversation makes it obvious that TG was involved in the planning of the trip, and makes the sinister feel of the too-good-to-be-true Woodbury all the more apparent…to EVERYONE (me) but Andrea, that is! Gah!

Merle glosses over Michonne’s “death,” telling TG that her head and sword were lost in a biter scuffle. (Interesting to note that TG’s people refer to the undead as biters, while Rick’s group calls them walkers. Might it be construed as a description of their outlooks on this post-apocalyptic life? Have TG’s people always seen the undead as mindless aggressors? Rick’s group seems to hold a certain respect for the people the walkers used to be. Or, at least, they used to.)

Merle further distracts TG from Michonne by telling him about the capture of Glenn and Maggie. After finding out that Andrea knows the pair, TG becomes quite interested. Just what is he planning, and how does Andrea fit in? Now that she’s slept with him, she could be easier to control. But, the sight of Glenn and Maggie could change her mind pretty quickly!

At the prison, it seems that Rick’s imaginary talk with Lori did the trick, and he is ready to rejoin the group mentally and physically. He makes his way back to Cell Block C, and takes his daughter out into the yard, trailed by Carl, Beth, and Hershel. He comes from the literal dark of the prison into the light of day; it was clear symbolism of his transition from Crazytown to Saneville and his choice to take responsibility for his family (both blood and other).

But, then something catches his eye, and he hands the baby to Carl before walking to the fence line. There, still covered in camouflaging walker grime, is Michonne clutching the shopping basket of formula! Their eyes meet, and “Hounded” slams to a close!

The DRAMA! I love it.

So, what do you think? Is Andrea a stupid moron not to see TG for what he really is? What’s TG planning to do with her? And Glenn and Maggie! What will happen to them? Michonne will obviously lead Rick to Woodbury, but will that happen before Merle shows up at the prison?

So many questions! Speculate in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and can be found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-6-merle.php.))

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Say the Word”

So, yesterday was a holiday for me, and I took a break. Here’s a nice Tuesday extra for you! Aren’t you excited? I know you are. As always, SPOILERS abound. You’ve been warned! (It DOES say recap…)

Just so you know, I’m going to follow the pieces of Sunday’s story as they make sense to me, not necessarily how they played out on the small screen. So, pay attention, will you? There’s a flow.

“Say the Word” jumped back and forth between the prison and not-so-idyllic Woodbury. It was a satisfying mix of stories that let us keep tabs on all the main plots and bits of crazy floating around.

Speaking of cray-cray, Woodbury is in the midst of some kind of celebration. Everything is dudded up like the 4th of July, only not so much. But, this was the first time I can remember seeing kids run around in Woodbury. Maybe I’m just not that observant, but I’d like to think they were trotted out for a purpose, and I think they were. More on that later, though.

Andrea’s wandering around, talking to folks, and generally falling in love with the town. Michonne, on the other hand, is not. She’s skulking about, looking for the evil she knows is there.

Hold still! Daddy loves you! Image courtesy of AMC.

Evil, huh? Take a gander at what happens next! We’re treated to a charmingly domestic scene with The Governor (TG). He’s gently brushing the hair of his…DEAD DAUGHTER! It’s all fine and dandy (Um, not really.) until he pulls a chunk of scalp and hair away from her ROTTING HEAD.

But, it’s not like he’s totally out of his mind; at least he has his walker daughter restrained. Kinda. Not enough to suit me! She, of course, tries to BITE him, but he, being the understanding daddy, puts a bag over her head, makes sure her restraints are intact and expresses his love.

It’s frighteningly similar to how I express my love to my children.

Not really!

Maybe.

Totally kidding!

Probably.

You can see the struggle in TG’s eyes even as he struggles with the monster that used to be his daughter. I almost felt sorry for him (Darn you, AMC!). He happens to look out the window, and who is looking up at him? Michonne, of course! There’s no way she could have seen anything, let along TG’s exchange with his daughter (who we later find out is named Penny), but you know TG has just about reached his limit with Michonne.

Back at the prison, we pick up right where we left off, with Maggie holding the new baby, Carl looking distraught, and Rick losing his $hit. It’s kinda already gone, though, because he’s just staring, unable to hear what’s happening around him. Finally, his eyes lite on a nearby ax, and he goes for it. We know Rick has understandably jumped off the deep end, and I was pretty sure what he was about to do.

Sure enough, Rick begins to helpfully run amok in the prison, hacking through walkers and probably being mistaken for Chloë Grace Moretz’s Carrie stand in. It’s gory, and frankly, I was turned off by it. It felt like something from the Saw franchise. Ugh. But, at least he’s using his profound grief to do some house cleaning. Half full, right guys?

Back in the prison yard, Daryl steps up and takes control. (GO DARYL!) After Hershel declares the baby healthy, the old coot says what’s been on my mind since Lori bought the farm last week: the kid’s going to die without something to eat. Soon. Formula is the answer, and Daryl readies to go scavenging. Maggie hops on the back of his motorcycle, AKA the loudest FRACKING means of transportation in the area, and they head off down the road.

They find a daycare center fairly easily (what luck!), and get creepin’. Maggie finds some baby bottles in the first cabinet she looks in (so much luck!), and they continue into the facility’s darkened hallways.

By the way the camera kept zooming in on kid-specific decorations and creepy, deserted cribs, I was sure we were about to be set upon by a pack of baby and toddler walkers. Would there be anything more terrifying? As a mother of two, I tell you there would not be!

Sure enough, a rattling sound starts coming from the kitchen. It’s in a cabinet! Oh, no! Don’t open the cabinet! There’s going to be a flesh-eating baby in there! Daryl takes point and Maggie throws open a cabinet to find…a possum (opossum?). It looks scared, and Daryl quips that they’ve just found dinner.

Yum.

Of course, there are several cans of formula in another cabinet.

Let’s talk about the luck of this, shall we? There’s so much luck. So much. Also, I’d like to point out that the little bit of formula they found will not last that long at all. I’ve had to use formula with both of my children, and they go through it like sand through the hour glass on Days of Our Lives.

Back they roar on the loud, fecking motorcycle to the prison. Glenn is keeping an eye out for them, and Oscar and Axel open and close the gate for the motorcycle.

The prisoners are slowly being accepted into the group. That afternoon, while Daryl and Maggie were out, the pair approached Glenn as he was digging a grave. Oscar and Axel definitely want to join the group; they made overtures last week, and their quest continued in this episode when they expressed their sorrow for what had happened. After a time, Glenn bends and accepts their offers of help, telling them that two more graves need to be dug.

Why was Glenn digging in the first place? For the three members of the group who supposedly died in last week’s episode. I say “supposedly” because while Lori and T-Dog are most certainly dead, Carol is still MIA. I don’t think she’s dead. Do you? Also, it’s not like they have bodies to bury. It was more symbolic than anything.

After he leaves the prisoners to dig, Glenn confides to Hershel that he wishes the group had just killed all of the prisoners when they had first discovered them. I don’t mean to insinuate that Glenn doesn’t like Oscar and Axel. After all, Glenn’s pretty easy going overall. But, he regards the people they’ve lost more than the people he’s just met.

It’s during this time that we actually get some backstory for T-Dog! Now that he’s dead, we find out a little more about him.

Nice.

Apparently, T-Dog was a pretty upstanding guy. Last week, we found out he was religious as he accepted his fate and tried to protect Carol. This week, we got a little more of that as Glenn revealed that T-Dog had driven a church van to try to help some old folks after the walker outbreak. It was a nice send-out for a great character we barely knew.

Later, Glenn goes in search of Rick. It’s not hard to find him; Glenn just follows the mangled walkers to find Rick at the end of a hallway, half in shadow and covered in blood and bits of walker. It was very Luke Skywalker battling against the Dark Side. When Glenn tries to reason with Rick, the crazed man pins him to the wall, and then throws him back, ignoring Glenn’s offers of help and assertions that Rick doesn’t have to do this alone. Rick staggers on, leaving Glenn to return to the group.

The positive here is that Rick is slowly ridding the prison of walkers. Everybody wins!

When Daryl and Maggie arrive with the formula, the baby is screaming her head off. Babies don’t wait well. After a brief discussion about what the baby’s name should be, Daryl christens the baby “Little Ass Kicker.”

I gotta say, that wouldn’t have been my first choice, but, hey, I guess I’m not in a walker apocalypse, so who am I to judge? Yeah, here’s hoping they come up with a real name, soon.

It was nice to see Daryl taking such a keen interest in the baby, though. I wanted to think it was because he felt a certain kinship with her; she’d been abandoned by her parents, rather like he was abandoned by his. We’ll see how that pans out.

In Woodbury, the celebration continues. They never come right out and say what’s being celebrated, but you get the idea it’s a party to celebrate survival. I can get behind that.

While Andrea is off drinking the Kool-Aid, Michonne decides to poke around TG’s personal quarters, recovering her katana (finally!) and finding a notebook with a list of names followed by pages and pages of odd hash marks. The last name on the list is Penny, and while Michonne doesn’t know who Penny is, she surmises it’s someone important.

You know she’s about to find the real Penny because she hears TG’s walker daughter in the next room. You just know she’s gonna hack her little head off! But, no such luck! The evil trinity (TG, Merle, and Milton) enter and set about gathering some supplies for the party, I assume. Michonne ducks in the next room to avoid detection and listens as Milton asks TG to postpone the evening’s festivities. Milton wants to save the power for an upcoming experiment. They’ve been using the generators and (one must assume) plenty of fuel all day for the celebration to cool drinks and provide various creature comforts, and Milton wants to conserve. But,  TG denies the request, saying the town needs the entertainment.

After they leave, Michonne escapes and wanders into an area we haven’t seen before that looks like a mini warehouse district. Why this is in Woodbury, I have no idea. It seems out of place, and as Michonne explores, she comes on some captive walkers. Looking pleased, Michonne releases the walkers and steps back, readying her katana.

Hack! Slash! Stomp! Splat!

Michonne takes down the walkers, but, of course, she gets caught by someone with a bucket of walker chow. You don’t see who it is, but I think it was probably Merle coming to “feed” the walkers.

You’re supposed to wonder why TG is keeping walkers, but since we’ve already seen his unhealthy obsession and curious aquarium exhibit, I just chalked it up to one of Milton’s experiments. Or, could they have something to do with the list that Michonne found? I wondered if these walkers were perhaps former Woodbury residents. Hmmm…

I was wrong.

Michonne is taken to TG for some good old fashioned scolding –jr. high. principal style. She takes it up to a point, because TG has HER point (katana). There are some tense moments of conversation, and at one point, Michonne mentions Penny, throwing the name out there to test the waters and to see if TG will reveal anything.

Penny’s obviously a secret, but from whom? Do the other members of the evil trinity even know about her? The way TG reacted has me thinking that they don’t. But, he figures out Michonne is largely fishing and pushes on.

When TG proposes Michonne join the “research team,” Michonne finally makes her move! She whips around, grabs the blade, and holds it to his throat.

(DRAMATIC INTERLUDE)

Research team? Does this have something to do with Mad Milton? Maybe. Milton’s with Merle and several others on the research team when we see them out in the field gathering more walkers from a pit. It’s obvious that they trapped them on purpose, but it’s unclear what they’re going to do with them. We do know, however, that they’re being gathered to replace the ones Michonne disposed of.

When the research team begins to pull out the walkers’ teeth, my husband mentions that the walkers Michonne just put down didn’t have any teeth, either. Huh! I hadn’t noticed that…

(END OF DRAMATIC INTERLUDE)

Michonne presses the katana to TG’s throat, making you wonder why she just doesn’t go ahead and kill him. I counseled her to do so, but she didn’t listen. Do they ever listen? Then, she backs out of the room and goes to gather her gear, intent on leaving Woodbury.

Meanwhile, TG tells Merle to bring Andrea to him. Merle obliges and stupid Andrea breezes in, wide-eyed and ready to believe whatever TG feeds her. He doesn’t go into a ton of detail, but tells Andrea that Michonne just isn’t fitting in. Andrea’s gotta talk to her, gotta get her under control, or she could be asked to leave.

Andrea, who definitely has a crush on TG, tries to reason with Michonne, but Michonne sticks to her guns and convinces Andrea to pack up as well. As they approach the town gate, Merle stops them, confirming Michonne’s complaint that they are not actually free to go. But, after a few moments, Merle opens the gate and invites them to go if they wish.

Michonne takes him up on his offer, and strides out after a terse exchange with Andrea. Andrea balks and stays behind.

Stupid, stupid Andrea.

After night falls, the town’s celebration is all set to commence. The people of Woodbury stream into the same area where Michonne killed the walkers. I had to wonder if TG was planning to kill them all! Oh, sick! There’s kids and everything! Why do I watch this?

But, the people instead sit on bleachers and wait for the entertainment to begin. The area is well-lit and music blares from unseen speakers. TG is with Andrea and guides her to sit on the bleachers. She looks puzzled, but doesn’t really question anything. Stupid Andrea.

Then, walkers are staked in a circle, and stupid Andrea finally begins to realize something is very wrong. Merle and a cohort come out and start to fight in the ring of walkers, and she finally begins to question TG about what is going on. FINALLY.

Merle and the other guy start beating the crap out of each other, and the crowd goes wild while the walkers strain against their bonds, trying to get at the fighting men. Talk about a death match! Kids are hoisted up so they can see; it’s a real family affair.

Andrea tries to leave, but TG stops her, telling her that this was a good way for the people to let off some steam. Besides, it’s really just staged because the walkers don’t have any teeth. Oooooh! So, that’s why the research team was pulling out walker teeth. Gross.

Andrea still wants to leave, but TG makes her stay, and she realizes that perhaps Michonne had been right all along.

Dun, Dun, DUUUUUUUUUN!

Of course Michonne has been right all along! Gosh! I haven’t even read all of the comics, and I knew that! You can just tell by TG’s creepy smile and voice (that reminds me of Liam Neeson) that he’s a bad egg. Plus, we’ve got some pretty good evidence: Exhibit A – Walker Head Aquarium; Exhibit B – Slaughtering Nice Military Men; etc.

Dead walker is dead. Image courtesy of AMC.

“Say the Word” wraps up with a final scene with crazy Rick. He’s finally made his way to the room where Lori died, and looks for any sign of his dead wife. He sees a trail of blood and follows it to a bloated walker, too engorged too move. The creature sits against a wall, and, at first, I thought it was walker Lori because the camera zoomed in on the big belly.

Gosh, I’m glad it wasn’t Lori.

But, apparently, it did EAT Lori, hence the large stomach. Rick figures that out, too, and takes out his rage on the walker, shooting it in the head and stabbing it repeatedly in the stomach.

I thought he was going to try to carve what was left of Lori out of the walker, but that went out the window as Rick stabbed and stabbed.

Finally, spent from his rage/grief fit, Rick drags himself away and sits against an opposite wall to stare at the walker that ate his wife. He starts to hallucinate and hears a baby cry. Strange, but understandable considering he’s basically abandoned his newborn daughter. But, stranger still is want happens next: a nearby telephone begins to ring. The sound snaps Rick out of his reverie and he moves to answer the phone. Makes sense to me! I’d probably answer a ringing phone, too.

The episode goes to black with Rick’s “Hello?” into the receiver.

So, who was on the phone? Was it even real or was Rick still hallucinating? Will “Little Ass Kicker” ever get a real name? Is Andrea the biggest moron ever?

Gah! So many questions!

What did you think of this week’s episode? Hit me up in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and can be found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-5-michonne.php.))

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Killer Inside”

If you’re new to the Interwebz, I suppose you wouldn’t know that I’m about to talk all up on the latest episode of The Walking Dead. So, here’s your warning. Also, go crawl back under your rock. SPOILERS!

I don’t want my son to have to shoot me in the head. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. After last night’s episode, I told my husband that he better do the deed. I don’t want my son to put me down. No, thank you.

Holy crap! What an emotional episode! Lori’s dead, T-Dog’s dead, we don’t know if Carol made it, and there’s a newborn who will soon be a itsy bitsy walker (crawler?) if they don’t find some way to feed her.

I am not ashamed to say that I cried during “Killer Inside.”

Let’s start from the top, shall we?

A mysterious hunter drags a dead dear by the camera. Gross. You can’t see the hunter’s face, but the pants look like the lower part of the prison coveralls. Next, we see the coveralls leaving parts of the dear around what looks to be the prison yard. A couple of walkers take the bait, and coveralls dashes past them to hack open a chained fence. He places a bloody heart in the opened gate, the music comes up and under and they cut to the opening credits.

Ominous!

Rick and the others (minus Lori, Carl, Beth, and Hershel) are trying to get the prison yard more organized. They want to get the vehicles arranged in case they need to make a speedy getaway, and the walker bodies strewn about need to be dealt with. So, they busy themselves, tidying up what is to become their safe home.

Before they start, however, they invite Glenn and Maggie to join them. The couple has been using the guard tower for a little bom-chicka-wow-wow, and Glenn exits tugging on his pants, this show’s only brief moment of levity.

The two remaining prisoners, Oscar and Axel, approach the group, asking to amend their deal. They’re literally sick of living in the other cell block alone, having to deal with all the bodies of their former friends. After a short discussion, T-Dog voices his favor of allowing the men to join them. Rick remains firm, though, and tells the prisoners they can stick to the deal or hit the road. Go, New Shane!

The prisoners decide the road would be better, and preparations to see them on their way begin.

Back in home sweet Cell Block C home, Hershel is starting to get up and hobble around on crutches. That should mean that a couple of weeks have passed, but I’m not so sure that’s the case judging from Andrea and Michonne’s story arc in scary, too-good-to-be-true-why-the-heck-won’t-Andrea-listen-to-Michonne Woodbury. But, more on them later.

The proverbial crap hits the not so proverbial prison when a siren starts to sound at the prison. Suddenly, walkers are everywhere, drawn by the sound. But, not only are they gathering on the outside of the prison fence, but, inexplicably, walkers are now swarming the inside of the prison as well, most likely due to the cold open of coveralls opening the gate. Plus, I’m thinking that other doors and fences all around and in the prison were intentionally opened to let in the dead.

By this time, Hershel’s little hobble walk has taken him, Lori, Carl, and Beth out into the yard. Of course, they don’t see the walkers until the shambling dead are almost upon them. And the siren didn’t start to sound until they were outside the relative safety of their cell block. Of course!

Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, T-Dog, and Carol rush back to the prison yard followed by the prisoners.

“Lori!” Rick yells, scared for his wife. And, I’m so glad! The episode before last had the pair at distinct odds, and Lori was sure their marriage was over.

Rick’s group starts shooting and cutting down walkers, and the prisoners hang back. I mean, you can’t blame them, though. It’s not like they have any weapons! The two seem to be good eggs, but I know you’re supposed to be doubtful. After all, someone had to let the walkers in and turn on the siren. And that someone definitely had prison coveralls on!

Rick must think like me because he immediately starts to suspect the prisoners. But, at the moment, there are more pressing matters trying to eat his loved ones. Oscar and Axel deny any involvement with the siren and influx of walkers, but Oscar offers that someone must have turned on the back up generator. After shooting out the nearest siren speakers, Rick and several others head inside to find the generator.

In the craziness, the group is scattered and separated. Hershel and Beth barely make it into a fenced in area around a door. Maggie, Lori, and Carl escape back to the cell block only to find it overrun! They turn into the bowels of the prison, desperately trying to find a safe haven. Walkers are everywhere!

Then, Lori starts to go into labor.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Of course you’re not kidding me, AMC. You like to see me like this, you sadistic creep!

Carl finds a safe room, and Maggie prepares to help Lori deliver. But, something goes very wrong and Lori starts bleeding out of her hoo-hoo. I’ve given birth before, and I’m pretty sure blood before a kid is a bad thing. Yeah, it is.

Lori tells Maggie that she’s going to have to cut her open and get the baby out. It’s the only way to save the baby. You get the feeling that if Maggie doesn’t cut the baby out, Lori will probably die anyway. Eeesh. Maggie doesn’t want to, of course. Who would? She wasn’t even the one who was practicing for this! Carol was! Oh, Carol where are you?

T-Dog, look behind you! Nooooo! Image courtesy of AMC.

Carol and T-Dog are also in the prison after escaping the walker-infested yard. But, T-Dog’s been bitten; a walker nailed him right before he and Carol ran inside. Now, they are trying to find a place to hide. T-Dog’s struggling, but he hasn’t turned and is determined to get Carol to safety. It’s dark and the lights are flickering in a very horror movie-esque manner, and we see a pair of approaching walkers’ shadows trundling toward them. With a yell, T-Dog barrels into the two walkers, moving them out of the way to let Carol escape through a nearby door.

It was very heroic, especially for a character who didn’t have a real name or ANY KIND of a back story. You were robbed, T-Dog. Rest in pieces.

TIME FOR A SUSPENSE BREAK!

Meanwhile in Woodbury, Michonne is busy not trusting the Governor (TG). She wanders around the new military vehicles that TG and his men brought back, noticing bullet holes and looking suspicious. TG approaches her, obviously trying to win her over. Honey Badger Michonne don’t care. The women are about to leave, anyway.

Andrea, on the other hand, is getting to be more and more all about TG. She has drinks with him, and he reveals that his real name is Phillip. Aww! So, he’s totally a good guy, now, right? Too bad she and Michonne are leaving…

Not really. They aren’t leaving, of course. Andrea wants to stay for a couple more days. Michonne doesn’t, but for some reason, she hangs around to be with Andrea.

Pffft!

Andrea meets Merle and hands over a map. She’s circled where the farm is and confides that she’d want someone to do the same thing if her sister was still alive. They bond over hurt feelings of being left behind and then Merle, ever the gentleman, propositions her. Classy! She brushes it off and walks away. He leers.

Merle then approaches TG, asking to take a couple of men to look for Daryl. TG doesn’t want him to go, saying that Merle is needed in Woodbury. However, if Merle were to get more concrete information about Daryl, TG himself would join the search party.

NOW, BACK TO THE PRISON!

Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Oscar and Axel are on a mad dash to find the back up generator. They have to get the power off, so the siren will stop. Once they reach the room where the generator is, Rick begins to wildly search for the right switch.

WATCH OUT, RICK! It’s Andrew, the prisoner we all thought was dead after Rick left him locked outside with a bunch of walkers! Andrew is a bit upset and tries to chop Rick with an ax. He misses, and Rick tries to shoot him. Rick misses. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM, NEW SHANE? GET IT DONE!

Andrew is the one who has been causing all the trouble, opening gates, letting in walkers, and turning on the power and siren. There’s a scuffle, and Rick’s gun goes flying. Before either of them can pick it up, Oscar grabs it. Andrew yells for Oscar to shoot Rick, letting the prisoners take back their prison. A brief, nail-biting hesitation later, Oscar blows Andrew away. SHWEW! Close one, New Shane.

Rick finds the right switch with Oscar’s help and turns off the power. Then, they all rush back out to the yard.

Lori proves that she’s a good mother, after all. Image courtesy of AMC.

Back in the delivery room, Lori is trying to convince Maggie to cut her open. After she does, Lori proves that she can be a decent mother and turns her full loving attention to Carl. She tells him that he is “good” and to not let this terrible new world change him. He must watch over Rick and his new baby brother or sister. They’re all crying. I’m crying. I think my husband was crying.

EVERYBODY’S CRYING!

Lori holds Carl, and I’m still crying. I’m holding my sleeping, seven-month-old daughter, who I had by c-section. I’m crying. Gosh.

Then, it’s time, and Maggie takes Carl’s knife (CARL’S KNIFE), and cuts along the underside of Lori’s big belly, tracing over the c-section scar left from Carl’s birth. Lori cries out in pain but tries to hold it in before finally passing out. Maggie delivers the baby with assistance from Carl and works to get the child to breathe. A small shaky cry confirms the baby is going to live (at least for a short time), and Carl gives Maggie his shirt to wrap up the baby.

Maggie turns to leave, but stops when Carl says, “We can’t leave her here like this! She’ll turn!”

It’s utterly heart breaking.

Maggie tries to give the baby to Carl, so she can take care of Lori, but Carl refuses.

“She’s my mother,” he says.

And Maggie leaves. SHE DOESN’T TRY TO ARGUE. SHE DOESN’T TRY TO PLAY HER ADULT CARD. SHE JUST FRACKING LEAVES!

Maggie peeks out the door, sees some walkers and closes it again. Then, she hears a gunshot, and Carl comes around the corner looking completely numb. He’s just shot his mother. HE JUST SHOT HIS MOTHER! I can’t believe Maggie let him do it! She should have done it!

Cut back to the prison yard as Rick and the others make it back. He rushes over to where Hershel and Beth are still in the fenced in area, asking where everyone is. Then, he hears a baby cry and turns to see Maggie clutching his daughter to her. Carl follows with his head down.

It doesn’t take Rick long to figure out what has happened. He starts in after Lori, but Maggie confirms that it’s too late. Rick appropriately loses it, and I’m totally fine with that except for one thing: Carl. Rick should have gone to his son. True, we don’t know for sure if Rick was aware that Carl shot Lori, but he had to know the immense trauma his son had just experienced. The boy’s mother had just died, and Rick can’t give him a hug?

Bad form.

That’s where “Killer Inside” ended. It was abrupt, terrible and awfully good television.

“Killer Inside” could have several different meanings. The first one that occurred to me was Lori’s baby. Maybe it’s because I recently just had my second child, but I couldn’t help but think that this child could be seen as a kind of killer. After all, it’s her fault her mother is dead. Rick looked to be in pretty bad shape at the end of the show. Let’s hope he doesn’t blame the baby.

The more obvious meaning refers to Andrew, the man who turned on the power and let in all the walkers. That’s pretty self-explanatory.

Then, there’s Rick. None of last night’s calamities would have befallen the prison group if he had not abandoned Andrew to the walkers in the first place. It’s all on his head, and it looks like he knows it judging from the preview for next week’s show.

What did you think of “Killer Inside?” Were there any other killers inside? Let me know in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-4-glenn-daryl-rick.php.))

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Revolution, Walking Dead, and Bad Decisions

There’s a zombie in the well. It’s been there for awhile, and it is waterlogged and disgusting. It’s moaning for your brains and thrashing about. You’re having problems getting it out, so you send your best scavenger down there to put a rope around it so you can haul it out.

Bad decision.

You’re captured by the troops of an evil post-apocalyptic warlord and have managed to escape while the troops are preparing for imminent tornado. You escape, but are recaptured by the leader of said troops, and he drags you into a storm cellar. This guy’s been pretty abusive, using you as a boxing dummy, etc. The ceiling suddenly collapses and the troop leader is trapped and about to be crushed to death by heavy machinery. He appeals to your morality, and you save him.

Bad decision.

The two above examples are from The Walking Dead and Revolution, two shows set in a post-apocalyptic America… and the main characters make some terrible decisions in every single episode.

The Walking Dead I can kind of justify. It hasn’t been too long since the outbreak of undead flesh eaters started, and most people don’t understand the extent of what the walkers can do. Still, when you have a guy trained in medicine (he’s a veterinarian, sure, but he’s still better than nothing), your best bet isn’t to take him into a zombie infested area, especially when you have a lady in your group about to give birth. (Don’t get me started on Lori, she is bad decisions incarnate.)

Revolution, on the other hand, is senseless. Fifteen years ago, society collapsed after electricity stopped working (although, in the aforementioned storm, there was plenty of lightning… and electricity is needed for brains to function… but whatever), but most of the people on the show seem completely clueless about how to survive in a lawless world, and don’t understand the depths of depravity to which  humanity can sink.

The main character, a girl named Charlie, seems to be decent with a crossbow and works as a scavenger, but she trusts EVERYONE. She knows that there is a soldier trailing them, who is sent by the bad guys (this plot also doesn’t make sense to me. What’s he there to do? Report their location? I guess.). Charlie, of course, instantly starts crushing on him. She also seems to vacillate between finding her brother (the kid who saved his captor in the story above) and helping rebels bring the United States back.

Here’s what I’m saying: if you’ve lived in the apocalypse for 15 years, you should know a little bit about what other people will do to you in order to survive. Charlie is annoyingly clueless.

Also, there’s this bearded guy who used to work at Google who is still fat after 15 years. It’s the end of civilization, dude, do some jumping jacks. (I might be a little biased since the guy seems absolutely cowardly and useless, and I myself am a fat bearded guy.)

I’m not a fan of stories where characters make bad decisions for the sake of plot. I think it’s lazy. I’d much rather get a glimpse of how people would actually live in the situations on these shows. The Walking Dead is slowly getting better in this regard. Revolution has yet to impress me.

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