Tag Archives: Martinez

The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Live Bait”

I was terribly glad to get away from the prison this week! Is it just me? Seriously, guys, the prison is starting to wear on me big time. And I was quite interested to learn what everyone’s favorite pirate has been up to since we saw him at the close of last season.

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Martinez be like, “You crazy.” Image courtesy of AMC.

So, let’s hit the highlights, shall we?

– After mowing down his own people, The Governor (TG) is abandoned by Martinez and Shumpert. Remember them? They’re the dudes that hopped in TG’s truck and sped away with him at the end of last season. Real stand-up guys. The pair ends up abandoning TG in the middle of the night (you’re telling me TG didn’t hear them drive away? Weird.), and TG grabs a conveniently located flat-bead truck and drives back to Woodbury, blowing the town’s gates wide open and then setting fire to just about everything. Because…you know…vengeance. Or something. I really have no idea why he did it.

– Time passes, and TG is staggering down a road to an evenly paced voiceover conversation with a woman. So, we know he’s taken up with or been taken in by someone. We also know a lot of time has passed because, my goodness, he has long hair! And a beard. He comes to a mostly empty apartment building and finds a family, who inexplicably takes him in, feeds him and treats him like one of their own. This whole series of scenes REALLY confused me. Why would they be so stupid? They don’t know this guy! He could be there to kill them and take their stuff! There are a pair of adult sisters (Tara and Lilly), one of which (Lilly) has a daughter probably around Penny’s (TG’s dead child) age, and an old guy who is dying of lung cancer (he’s the sisters’ father and the girl’s grandfather). TG tells him his name’s Brian, and they start asking him to do a number of mini-quests. Really, they demand it of him, and I could think of no reason why TG complied other than a remaining sense of misplaced duty to idiots who seemed to be as sheltered as the morons in Woodbury. These people didn’t even know how to kill walkers, or biters as TG calls them!

– TG shaves and gets a haircut. Who cuts his hair? Did he do it himself? I’m sure it doesn’t matter, but I’m also sure it’s supposed to indicate that TG is starting to come back to his senses. He’s been rambling around aimlessly, a shadow of his former BA self. Now, that he’s back around people again, he’s coming back from the brink of…where ever he was. I guess we were supposed to think his failure to take out Rick’s group, along with Penny’s “death” and the general lunacy of the Woodbury-ites pushed him over the edge. In fact, he told one of the sisters that he left his former group because the leader “lost it.” #Truth.

– The old man dies and turns, almost eating one of the sisters. But, TG jumps in at the last minute and smashes the man’s skull with an oxygen tank. Gross. Since the sisters and the girl weren’t aware that everyone turns after dying, they weren’t prepared for the brutal necessity of TG’s actions. The girl, who had warmed up quite nicely to TG, is afraid of him again. Oh noes! Replacement Penny doesn’t like him anymore! Her name is Meghan, but I prefer Replacement Penny.

– TG says goodbye to the sisters and girl, preparing to leave and go…somewhere. But, the girl’s mother demands that he take them. And…he does. WHY? They pile into a food truck (The old man drove for the company and stole it when the world “ended.”) and head out like the Beverly Hillbillies. Does TG have a destination in mind? The younger sister mentioned that she worked for the Atlanta police (We later learned she was only in the academy), and that the Army had gone into the city. Is TG going to get his tank?! (Reference to the comics) We don’t find out, guys.

– They park for the night, TG and the girl’s mom fool around and/or have sex (RIGHT NEXT TO THE OTHER SISTER AND THE GIRL! Gross.), and the truck won’t start the next day. Greeeaaat. So, they set out on foot! And, of course, a horde of walkers crosses their path. They dump the luggage to run, and the younger sister manages to fall down and hurt her leg. Seriously? How cliche! As the sisters are helping each other flee, TG looks back and sees Replacement Penny frozen in fear. He coaxes her to come to him, and she eventually runs into his arms and he carries her as they all run/limp through the forest. TG and Replacement Penny are running ahead, and they come into a field. Suddenly, TG falls into a pit! Of course, there are walkers in it, and he has to kill them all in front of Replacement Penny who is screaming/crying/whimpering in the corner. After the walkers are all dead, he assures Replacement Penny that he will never leave her and will always protect her. Awwww! How sweet.

– What’s that? Do you hear gun shots? Yes, you do! As TG was killing the walkers in the pit, you could definitely hear gunshots, and after he was done reassuring Replacement Penny, who pops into view, but…Martinez! See the following video for the emotion AMC was trying to elicit:

FADE TO BLACK!

So, all in all, I thought this episode was a refreshing take after weeks of prison bleakness. Not that this wasn’t bleak! And it definitely had it’s “What the crap?!” moments. Overall, I’m getting tired of The Walking Dead, and I find myself forcing myself to make myself watch it. I like it, but I hate it.

To be faced with people who have presumably been living under a rock for a couple of years (it has to have been a couple of years, now, right? At least a year and a half!), was ridiculous! TG was essentially presented with a tiny Woodbury. And they sucked him in and pushed responsibility on him; he retrieved the Backgammon set and went to the nursing home for oxygen tanks. Why? Why did he do these things? And why in the world did these people assume he would?! It makes no sense.

Was the purpose of this show to provide TG with a reason to live? After Penny’s death, he was bent on revenge, and when that failed, he lost his mind. Now, that he has Replacement Penny, will he totally snap back? And what of his need for revenge on Michonne, on Rick? We did see him skulking about in the trees watching the prison, and after watching the previews for next week, we can assume he takes up with Martinez’s new group. They appear to be nice folks, by the way…not so much.

I, for one, am glad TG is back. This show needs a Big Bad. True, the Spanish flu (or whatever was killing everybody at the prison) was nasty, but once they found medicine, it lost its teeth.

Besides, people are much more scary.

What did you think of “Live Bait?” Hit me up in the comments.

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Welcome to the Tombs”

So, this is a recap for a season finale. Yeah, there will be SPOILERS.

Andrea finally paid the piper for all her stupid decisions this season! YES! Honestly, I wasn’t sad to see her go. I’m sure I’ll find someone else to yell at during next season, but for now, I am satisfied. Ghoulish? Not really. I have my reasons! Read on!

“Welcome to the Tombs” opens with The Governor (TG) beating the crap out of Milton. TG is pretty ticked that Merle got the drop on him and his men and that eight of the group were killed. Of course, Milton is to blame for that! Plus, Milton let Andrea go!

But, TG, ever the understanding despot, offers Milton a chance at redemption –one TG knows Milton will never take.

TG leads Milton into the room where Andrea is handcuffed to the dentist chair and tells him that she will still be useful. TG orders Milton to pick up the terror tools, and the subservient little weasel trudges over, clearly in pain from TG’s tender touch. Milton drops the tools and gets yelled at, and as he’s picking them up, he leaves a pair of pliers behind Andrea. As TG and Milton ready to leave, TG suddenly stops and pulls Milton back into the room, telling him that he needs to kill Andrea. TG gives Milton a knife and tells him to prove himself and earn redemption in TG’s eyes (or, eye, I guess…).

Milton takes the knife and aims a swipe at TG (something TG was surely counting on)! TGgrabs the knife and redirects it, stabbing Milton several times. In true villain style, TG twirls his non-existent mustache and tells Milton that now he’ll turn into a biter and kill Andrea, anyway!

(I was hoping we’d finally learn Milton’s connection to TG in this episode. Brother-in-law? That’s what I wanted. The closest we got was when Milton asked TG what Penny would think of her father, now. She’d be afraid of me, TG says, nonplussed.)

At the prison, Rick and the gang are loading up their possessions and (I thought) preparing to get the heck out of Dodge. But, Carl’s being a moody teenager, and I had no idea why. He wouldn’t let his dad touch him, and he was stomping around. Was he mad that they were leaving? Weird.

Skeptical Tyreese and Sasha are skeptical.

Skeptical Tyreese and Sasha are skeptical. Image courtesy of AMC.

Cut to Woodbury! TG is whipping his conscripted soldiers into a frenzy! They killed our men, and they’re not going to stop until we’re all dead, he tells the mixed group. Off to the prison! They start to pile in vehicles that are loaded down with all manner of heavy artillery. But, Tyreese and Sasha are having second thoughts. Tyreese tells TG that they want to stay and protect the town, because they don’t want to fight people…only walkers. TG gives them the evil eye, but grabs a gun and shoves it into Tyreese’s hands, thanking him for volunteering to stay behind.

Tyreese and Sasha exhale. Shwew! TG’s not going to kill them! Yet…? They think they might have to slip out of town later, though.

Before long, TG and his small army are at the prison, blowing up the guard towers and barreling through fences. They make their way into the prison and can’t find anyone!

YES! I cheered! Rick’s group was smart and left!

TG leads his army into the part of the prison known as the tombs after hearing noises. Well, of course there are noises! There’s a giant hole on the back of the prison, and walkers wander in all the time! But, I guess TG didn’t know that.

I was just saying to my husband that they should have left booby traps for TG, when BANG! Smoke grenades and sirens start going off! TG’s people start screaming and scattering. He tries to get them to calm down, but they don’t listen and run for their trucks. When they get into the prison yard, Maggie and Glenn pop up in full riot gear, shooting at them and causing more panic. They tear off, terrified!

Now their plan was clear to me. Rick’s group had cleared out to make it look like they had abandoned the prison! But, Maggie, Glenn, Rick, Daryl, and Carol had stayed behind to reek havoc on TG and his raiders! Carl was upset because Rick didn’t let him stay and help. Instead, Carl, Hershel, and Beth were on the edge of the woods, watching from a distance.

At the edge of the woods, one of TG’s men stumbles upon Carl, Hershel, and Beth. Carl, still smarting from being left out, was quick to draw on the guy, who was really just a teenager. The teenager surrenders and tries to hand over his weapon, but Carl shoots him!

We got a great shot of Hershel’s horrified expression. Uh-oh! Seems to me that Carl is trying to prove to dear old dad that he’s an adult! Ugh.

Back at the prison, they decide to go to Woodbury to finish the fight. Hershel tells Rick what happened, but, Carl denies shooting down the kid in cold blood. He drew on them, Carl insists. Hershel disagrees, but Rick wants to believe Carl.

On the road back to Woodbury, TG’s army is hurrying on its way. But, TG speeds up and gets in front of the line, forcing the trucks to stop. They all pile out and start arguing with TG, saying they should just leave the prison alone, it’s not worth it, etc. TG is most displeased. So displeased in fact, that he goes quite nuts and mows everyone down with a gun.

Ratta-freakin’-tat-tat!

TG makes sure his townsfolk wouldn’t rise again, popping them in the head. But, he misses Karen! Somehow, she managed to avoid the gunfire, and is hiding under someone else’s dead body. For some reason, TG doesn’t shoot the body’s head. Lucky Karen!

Martinez and Shumpert (Shumpert? I totally had to look this guy’s name up. Tell me I’m not the only one who had no idea what his name was!) are quite shocked at TG’s behavior, but they don’t seem TOO distressed, because they hop right into the truck when TG gives the signal and leave!

Seriously, guys? Why didn’t Martinez just pop TG right there? It would have been the perfect opportunity! You can’t tell me that they’re comfortable with this psychopath. I mean, I actually found myself liking Martinez a little bit when he and Daryl bonded over a cig at Rick and TG’s initial meeting. Now, I gotta wonder what he’s after by staying with TG. Maybe it’s because TG’s the biggest, baddest dog in the junkyard? It’s better to be a servant of the Devil than be in his way? Hmmm.

Oh, hey! Remember Andrea’s plight? Yeah, Milton is about to turn and eat her face. But, what is she doing instead of trying to free herself? She’s monologuing. Milton is barely alive, and Andrea is trying to keep him coherent. She can’t do that and try to free herself at the same time? Fine, then. She deserves to be eaten, I say! 

As she rambles on, she admits to the fading Milton that she stayed in Woodbury because she wanted to save everyone by herself. It didn’t work. And it wouldn’t, would it? After all, the main theme of this season is that you can’t do anything on your own! And there she was, trying to do it on her own; she was doomed to fail.

Milton finally dies, and Andrea flails at the pliers with her feet. Milton’s fingers twitch!

At the prison, Rick, Michonne, and Daryl prepare to head to Woodbury. The others are have decided to stay and guard the prison. Not a bad idea, guys. Rick confronts Carl and asks about the kid his kid gunned down. Carl becomes defensive and tells Rick that he did what had to be done, throwing back in the former lawman’s face several times when the trigger hadn’t been pulled, and there had been dire consequences (Dale, Lori, and Merle’s deaths).

I totally agreed with Carl. I mean, killing TG’s teenaged soldier may not have been the best thing, but can you blame him for not wanting to take a chance? However, I think there was more at play than simply “a chance.” I think Carl was mad that he wasn’t included in the prison defense, that he wasn’t being treated like an adult.

Rick, Michonne, and Daryl strike out, following the road to Woodbury. It isn’t long before they come upon TG’s roadside slaughter. Walkers are busily munching bodies, and the prison trio get out to clear them. Then, they find Karen! She hid in the cab of one of the trucks and begs for help.

Back to Andrea! Milton has completely turned and is shuffling toward her. Oh, no! (Yay!) Andrea manages to get her hands free at the last minute, but not before Milton is on her!

Did he bite her? Did she kill him? We don’t see! But, we hear screaming!

By now, it’s night, and Tyreese and Sasha are still guarding Woodbury’s walls when they catch Rick’s group sneaking up. They fire on them, and it isn’t until Karen makes herself known that Tyreese is willing to listen. Karen explains what happened and that TG went nuts and shot everyone. Tyreese doesn’t seem TOO surprised, but he is shocked to learn that Andrea may still be in Woodbury. Rick tells him that she never made it to the prison.

So long, and thanks for all the fish! Image courtesy of AMC.

So long, and thanks for all the fish! Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick, Michonne, and Daryl lead the way back to the rooms where Maggie and Glenn were held. Tyreese goes with them, and they find a door with blood pooling from beneath it. It is opened to reveal Milton’s body and Andrea huddled against a wall. She’s been bitten and isn’t long for this world. It’s sad, of course, but I wasn’t sad to see Andrea go. I was sad for Michonne’s loss. The secret ninja is crying and trying to believe Andrea will be okay. But, she know’s that’s not going to happen. Andrea is paying for her mistakes, while emphasizing this season’s theme of you can’t do it on your own.

Andrea shoots herself while she is still able. They didn’t show it, though. I watched Rick, Daryl, and Tyreese wait for the gunshot on the other side of the door.

BLAM. Fade to black.

After, Rick and co. head back to the prison with a bus. A bus? Yeah, Rick’s taking in strays, now. Since all (most, anyway) of the able-bodied adults have been slaughtered, the bus is full of older folks and kids.

Carl looks murderous and asks what’s going on, and Rick tells him that they’re taking in the people left from Woodbury.

It’s the right decision. How do we know it’s the right decision? Rick looks up at the catwalk, and pregnant ghost Lori isn’t there, anymore! Has Rick left Crazytown for good? Let’s hope so!

End of season three!

Why didn’t Rick just take over Woodbury? My first guess is that TG knows the town too well. I mean, there were secret torture rooms! Plus, the place just has too much history, and moving to the prison is the start of a new life. That life will be vastly different, no doubt, but it’s new nonetheless.

So, loose ends and/or issues that occurred to me:

  • TG, Martinez and Shumpert are still out there somewhere running amok. Are they going to raid the prison? Ummm, prolly. TG’s too big of a villain for him to just disappear. He’s the bogeyman.  
  • There are tons of new mouths to feed at the prison. You can’t tell me that they’ll be able to forage enough for all these people! I mean, Daryl’s a good hunter, but come on! They’re going to have to start farming in earnest, methinks.  
  • Carl’s becoming a hardened killer (is this a bad thing?). It’s a sign of the times, yes, but how far should Rick let Carl go? Can he even do anything at this point?
  • There’s a giant hole in the back of the prison. They should probably look into this, yeah? Especially now with lots more people in the prison. 

The title, “Welcome to the Tombs,” could be taken in several ways, I thought. The first that occurred to me was it was a greeting for the former Woodbury residents. The prison, for all its worthwhile security in bars and fences, still has the dark, close feeling of a tomb, don’t you think?

“Tombs” is the name the prison group uses to refer to the passages overrun with walkers. So, I thought it was kind of a clever greeting (“Welcome to the Tombs”) for TG and his army as they entered the hallways in search of Rick and his group and were met with smoke bombs and sirens.

What did you think of “Welcome to the Tombs?” Of season three? 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-16-prison.php.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “This Sorrowful Life”

SPOILERS, mates. Plain and simple. Thar she blows!

What happened this week? Well, Rick made a bad call, and Merle paid for it with his life in an effort to earn redemption. BAM! RECAP OVER!

No, not really. But, that’s really what happened! After the show was over, my husband looked at me and said, “Well, there goes one of my main reasons to watch this show!”

“This Sorrowful Life” opens with Rick confessing to Daryl that he plans to offer Michonne to The Governor (TG). See, TG told Rick that if they gave up Michonne, Woodbury would leave the prison folks alone. I thought Rick saw through TG and his plan. In fact, I was sure he did. But, the former lawman seems to do a bit of a flip flop and is now fine with offering Michonne up in an effort to escape the wrath of TG.

Daryl, along with the ever-present hover-bot that it Hershel, is uncomfortable with the plan, but Rick has made his mind up.

But, who will help Rick? How about the black sheep of the group, Merle? Brilliant! Rick approaches Merle with the plan as the elder Dixon brother is tearing apart mattresses in search of drugs. When Rick tells Merle TG’s deal, Merle doesn’t think Rick will go through with it. But, he  advises binding Michonne with wire, and it’s later as Rick is looking for wire, that he gets a flash of conscience in the form of pregnant-ghost Lori. When he sees her, it’s all over; he can’t give up Michonne! (But, that’s later.) Merle totally called that one!

The prison is making fortifications against further attacks from TG’s Woodbury douchbags. They put down some barbed wire in the road, so no one can just drive up to the prison, anymore. Nice, guys. When Rick compliments the move, Daryl gives him a look and tells him it was Michonne’s idea (This was before Lori appeared to Rick, so we got to see the guilt play out and Daryl’s disapproval of Rick’s plans.).

Michonne interjects that they don’t have to win in a fight, they just have to make it really difficult for Woodburyites to bug the prison people.

In the common area of the prison, Carol tells Merle to grow a pair and pick a side. Everyone knows Merle is just there for Daryl, and Merle is acutely aware of everyone’s feelings toward him. He looks like he feels bad about it but isn’t quite sure what to do about it. (What I loved about this scene is the rare Judith sighting. Can I just say again how shockingly quiet this baby is? Shockingly!)

Outside, Daryl approaches Glenn and asks him to forgive Merle, believing that’s all that is needed for Merle to finally assimilate into the prison group. But, Glenn won’t budge; the hurt is just too strong and fresh.

I had to wonder if Glenn (and Maggie) had actually forgiven Merle if things would have gone differently. Can we lay Merle’s death at Glenn’s feet? Would Glenn’s forgiveness have been the bridge to Merle’s redemption? Interesting.

Daryl goes and finds Merle, who is in the boiler room supposedly still looking for drugs. Daryl tells his brother that he must do something to make up for torturing Glenn and Maggie, but Merle doesn’t believe anything can make a difference. Merle tells Daryl that people like Rick and TG always need someone around to do their dirty work, and that he’ll (Merle) never truly fit in at the prison.

After Daryl leaves, Merle grabs a phone and shoves it into a bag. He was totally getting the wire ready to restrain Michonne! That was my guess, anyhow, and it proved to be spot on.

Perhaps it was dredging up what Merle did to Maggie and Glenn that makes Glenn consider his relationship with Maggie. He’s ready to take the next step and go steady! Glenn goes and speaks with Hershel and asks for Maggie’s hand in marriage. Awww!

Then, comes the most romantic moment of this ENTIRE show! Glenn goes ring shopping! He goes to a section of fence and pulls off the fingers (and ring) of a snarling walker. Nice. But, what else is he going to do? Gross. I hope he washed it REALLY well.

Merle decides to take matters into his own hands and doesn’t wait for Rick to tell him to go ahead and grab Michonne. He lures her into the tombs and cracks her over the head. We then see him pull her to the boiler room, where he puts a bag over her head! Next we see the pair, they are on the road, with Michonne’s hands bound with telephone wire and Merle following behind holding a length of her wire like a leash. Dun, Dun, DUN!

At the prison, Rick has just had his revelation from ghost Lori and rushes into the common area to find Hershel, Maggie, and Beth gathered around a Bible. Hershel comes over and starts to dissuade Rick again from going through with the plan to give Michonne to TG. Rick cuts him off and says that he’s definitely changed his mind; they can’t give Michonne to TG!

But, HE CAN’T FIND MERLE OR MICHONNE! Oh, no!

Rick and Daryl look for Merle and Michonne, but can’t (obviously) find them. So, Daryl takes off after them, intent on saving Michonne and his brother.

Nasty skinny walker wants a taste of Michonne...nom, nom! Image courtesy of AMC.

Nasty skinny walker wants a taste of Michonne…nom, nom! Image courtesy of AMC.

Back to Merle and Michonne, who have made their way to a motel. Merle hotwires a car, and they escape just in the nick of time! Of course, walkers were closing in because OF COURSE the car Merle chose has an alarm. Seriously? An alarm? Did you guys see this thing? I can’t imagine that car having an alarm!

So, down the road they roar, all the while Michonne is trying to convince Merle to let her go and return to the prison. She tells him that this is his chance, that he has an opportunity to finally redeem himself and become an asset in the prison group.

Michael Rooker is a phenomenal actor. The emotions played across his face, and you could see the pain and rejection he felt, that he had felt his entire life! He thought that he had found his niche: the guy who did the dirty work that others couldn’t do. But, now he’s not so sure. Does he want to be that guy, anymore? But, how can he change? Is it even possible?

Merle stops the car and lets Michonne out, telling her to go back to the prison. He says there’s something that he needs to do by himself.

On her way back to the prison, Michonne runs into Daryl. She tells him what Merle said, and Daryl takes off after him.

Meanwhile, it’s all about love at the prison! Glenn gives Maggie the ring and she says, “Yes.” Of course! Then, they meet up with the others for a session with our beloved leader, Mr. Crazypants. (It’s totally manageable, now, though! I mean, he told pregnant-ghost Lori that she wasn’t real! … He still listened to her, though.)

Rick confesses what he was going to do to Michonne. He says that he reconsidered, but it was too late; Merle has already taken her, and Daryl has gone after them. Rick tells the group that he can no longer lead as a dictator, that they would all have a say, a vote.

In Merletown, the elder Dixon parks in front of a store and starts blaring music to attract walkers. He’s got some liquid courage, and I knew right then what he planned to do. Moving at a slow pace, Merle leads the walkers to the meeting site where TG and his men await Rick and Michonne (they think).  Then, he jumps out of the car and lets it continue, bringing the walkers right to TG’s men! In the ensuing confusion, Merle ducks into an outbuilding and starts to shoot TG’s men. He almost gets TG, but Ben (Allen’s son –from Tyreese’s group), steps in the way at the last minute.

Darn! (But, it’s not like they would have let that happen! I mean, Rick has to have that showdown!)

Merle gets in some good shots before a walker wanders in (Why didn’t you close the door behind you?!), and Merle has to fight it off, revealing his position. Almost immediately, Martinez and some other TG guys jump on Merle. But, TG is the one who wants to finish him off!

They fight, but TG gains the upper hand. Merle tells TG that he won’t beg, but TG isn’t interested in even hearing that. With a look of manic glee, TG shoots Merle! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Oh, also, in the TG/Merle fight, did I mention that TG FREAKING BIT OFF TWO OF MERLE’S FINGERS? Gross!

Ben was young! Tender and tasty, right, Merle? Image courtesy of AMC.

Ben was young! Tender and tasty, right, Merle? Image courtesy of AMC.

When Daryl finally gets to the meeting scene, TG and his men have cleared out. Daryl picks his way through bodies and munching walkers before finding…WALKER MERLE! Merle is eating Ben, but pushes him aside when he sees Daryl…fresh meat!

Daryl, in tears, has to put down his own brother. It was sooooooo sad! And even in death, Daryl shrank back from his brother. For a different reason perhaps (Nom, nom), but it was a brutal depiction of what their relationship kinda was in reality.

“This Sorrowful Life” ended with Rick in the prison’s watch tower, peering through the scope of his rifle at Michonne as she made her way back.

I usually harp about the theme of you can’t survive alone, and I’m going to do it again! In this episode, Merle was faced with an impossible path to redemption. He realized that he doesn’t fit in this world of group living. He’s a loner, and he doesn’t think he can change like Daryl did.

But, still, he sought acceptance from his brother, from the prison group, and Merle did the only thing he knew how to do: he struck out on his own. And he died. Because you cannot survive alone in this world.

What did you think about “This Sorrowful Life?” Overall, I thought it was much better than last week’s episode, but I was really sad to see Merle go!

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-15-merle.php.]]

 

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Prey”

Pssst! Hey, you! Yeah, you. This article contains SPOILERS and lots of them!

The Walking Dead is trying to make me like Andrea. At least, that was my take-away from last night’s episode.

See, this entire season, Andrea has pretty much been a walking (teehee! “Walking!”) disaster, forcing me to hate her for decisions that could only lead to ruin. In her efforts to cling to a society that has clearly been destroyed, Andrea has knowingly (I believe) swallowed lie after lie from The Governor (TG) and turned her back on Michonne, the woman who saved her life and saw her through an undoubtedly perilous winter.

In “Prey,” Andrea finally sees the light and decides to leave Woodbury and TG behind.

The episode opens with a flashback, and I was excited to think that the whole show would be dedicated to what we didn’t see between season two and three. No such luck.

Michonne and Andrea warm themselves by a campfire, while the walker “pets” shamble at the ends of their chains. Andrea asks Michonne about the pets and who they were before they changed. Michonne doesn’t really want to talk about it, but tells Andrea that they weren’t people to begin with; they got what they deserved.

From there, the scene switches to present day and TG, who is readying chains between two poles in what looks like a basement or hidden room. (I assumed we were seeing his preparations for Michonne’s inevitable torturing after Rick hands her over…or at least when TG gets his hands on her.) It was an obvious allusion to the fact that TG, while not a walker, or biter as the people from Woodbury call them, is an inhuman member of the walking dead. He’s a monster.

In Woodbury, Martinez and other TG lackeys are stocking a truck with all manner of guns, ammunition, and heavy artillery. The plot requires Milton and Andrea to observe and Andrea to stupidly question Milton about it, referencing the supposed deal on the table with Rick. Mousy Milton tells her that it’s probably only a precaution (Ha!) and skitters away.

Milton finds TG in the secret torture room, where he observes the one-eyed man laying out an array of medical implements. Milton jumps to the correct conclusion that some torture is planned and tries to dissuade TG. TG pats Milton on the cheek and blows him off.

Pirates like to torture folks. That's just common knowledge, right? Image courtesy of AMC.

Pirates like to torture folks. That’s just common knowledge, right? Image courtesy of AMC.

Milton then experiences a rare burst of balls and goes and finds Andrea, telling her that TG is planning on killing Rick and the rest of the prison group. He leads her to a room that overlooks TG’s torture chamber (complete with scary dental chair and handcuffs), and Andrea is properly aghast. She determines that TG has to die (Oh, really? Shocking!), and while they are discussing it, TG wanders into the torture chamber with more tools of dooooooooooooooom. Andrea draws her gun and readies to shoot TG, but Milton stops her.

What? Why, Milton? GAH! Maybe it’s because Milton remembers who TG used to be. He told Andrea that he knew Phillip (TG’s real name) before he was TG. What were they to each other? Coworkers? Friends? Family? I want Milton to be TG’s brother-in-law. I think that would fit nicely!

They watch as TG records himself whistling, sits down in the dental chair, and listens to the recording with a smile. Creeptastic.

So, Andrea decides she has to leave and go warn Rick and the prison group. Brilliant! On her way out of town, she happens upon Martinez and a couple of TG lackeys who are collecting weapons and ammo from townspeople. It’s for the coming fight, he explains…Not that they want to kill people…They have to be ready for anything, of course!

Riiiiiiiiiight.

Andrea protests but ends up giving up her gun and extra clip. Then, TG stops her and asks her to be present at the meeting with Rick. It’s happening the next day, and he needs her to be there since the two groups distrust each other.

Riiiiiiiiiight.

She smiles and plays along, promising to be there. They part, and she makes a beeline for one of Woodbury’s entry/exit points guarded by none other than Tyreese and Sasha. Andrea tries to get them to leave, saying Martinez needs them, but they don’t buy it, and she comes right out and tells them that she has to leave Woodbury. She tells them that TG isn’t what he seems, and that Woodbury isn’t the place they think it is.

Tyreese and Sasha are confused and don’t think they should let her go, but they end up standing aside as she goes over the wall and jogs away. Later, they meet with Martinez and TG to tell them what happened. TG puts on a nice show of concern and then proceeds to lie to Tyreese and Sasha, telling them that Andrea was crazy. TG says Andrea spent the winter on her own before making her way to Woodbury, leaving Michonne out of the story and making it sound like Andrea went cuckoo while on her own.

Tyreese falls for the story after being assured that Woodbury isn’t a prison camp, and TG tells him that Martinez needs their help with a particular task. Tyreese and Sasha follow Martinez to one of the walls where a truck is waiting to take them and several others on a job. At the wall, they meet up with Allen and his son, who are also going on said job. There’s a tense moment as Allen yells at Tyreese for possibly jeopardizing their stay in Woodbury, and we find out that Allen’s dead wife was saved by Tyreese. Apparently, it’s a sore spot for Allen, because he felt emasculated in front of his family…or something? I mean, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense… “I hate you for saving my wife’s life!” Huh?

Things simmer down, and they all get in the truck and drive to…the biter pit! Remember this place? This is where Woodbury has a wind-powered noise contraption that attracts biters, who then fall into a pit and are used for nefarious purposes…like biter fighting in the arena, punishment, torture, etc.

It’s a nice place.

Tyreese and Sasha are taken aback by the pit and don’t understand why biters would be needful to Woodbury. Martinez is sketchy and says only that they have uses for everything these days. Tyreese surmises that the biters are going to be used in some way during the following day’s meeting with Rick and co. and is understandably uncool with the notion.

Allen and his kid seems fine with it, thank you very much, and tells Tyreese to go along with it. Another spat erupts between the two of them and ends with Tyreese holding Allen over the biter pit. But, he gets a hold of himself and doesn’t drop Allen in. What a shame! You know that guy’s going to be trouble later!

Tyreese tells Martinez that he doesn’t want any part of the biters, and Martinez says that they’ll have to explain themselves to TG. Dun, Dun, DUN!

In Woodbury, after telling Tyreese to help Martinez, TG heads out after Andrea. But before he leaves, he runs into Milton, who confesses to telling Andrea about the ambush plan against Rick and the prison group. TG loses his temper and slams Milton up against a pointy looking fence. He doesn’t kill him, though.

Cut to Andrea, who is running down the road toward the prison. (I wonder how far away it is…) Suddenly, she hears an engine and ducks off the road into the trees. Smart! We don’t see the driver, but it’s the big white truck we’ve seen TG in before, so you know it’s him. There’s a cheap scare, and she kills a handful of walkers before continuing through the woods. What a fine sense of direction she must have! Or maybe she just knows the way that well?

Oh, and about that cheap scare: Why didn’t she hear the walkers right before one dramatically grabbed her through a small grouping of trees? They are undead, and they don’t make noise? In dry, crackly leaves? Seriously? I don’t buy that.

As she’s crossing a field, the truck appears again and chases her into more woods. We see TG squinting after her and are supposed to feel an impending sense of doom, I think. But, honestly, I’m not sure who I was rooting for. Did I want Andrea to escape? I’m not so sure!

She comes to an old factory/warehouse and ducks inside just as the truck pulls up. Night is falling, of course. How about that for timing? Good job, TG, on READING HER FREAKING MIND AND KNOWING EXACTLY WHERE SHE IS. (As you can see, I have an issue with this, too. Did he just assume she was there? Was that the only cover available to her? Bah.)

They play a game of cat and mouse as he stalks around looking for her. He whistles the tune he recorded earlier, and I wondered if that was supposed to mean something. Did anyone else recognize the song? Or was it supposed to be foreshadowing? (More on that later.)

Andrea watches what she hopes to be the end of TG. SPOILER: It's not. Image courtesy of AMC.

Andrea watches what she hopes to be the end of TG. SPOILER: It’s not. Image courtesy of AMC.

Andrea kills some walkers and makes noise that eventually leads TG to her. He backs her up against a door, and she ducks behind it, letting out a mini-horde that goes after him. She dashes up some stairs and escapes the building, and we hear TG yelling and fighting. That’s the end of him! Riiiiiiiiiight.

So, at this point, I was yelling at Andrea to steal his truck. Why didn’t she steal his truck? I’m pretty sure he left the keys in it, because he left the lights on! WHY DIDN’T SHE TAKE THE TRUCK?!

The next time we see Andrea, she’s approaching the prison walls. She made it! Yay! Her relief is obvious as she starts to wave to get the guard on duty’s attention. The guard happens to be Rick, by the way.

BUT, TG JUMPS OUT AND GRABS HER!

First of all, there’s no way he could have made it out alive. Secondly, if he was following her, how could she not have heard him? Especially if he DROVE!

Rick, who is scanning milling walkers, thinks he sees something at the treeline (where Andrea is being held down by TG), but dismisses it when he goes back for another look through his gun scope. Aw, so close!

Soon, TG’s big white truck is approaching Woodbury again. TG pulls to a stop to speak to Martinez, who he tells Andrea is still on the loose. Martinez, who has no reason to believe otherwise, accepts the story and tells TG about Tyreese’s refusal to help out at the pits…and SOMEONE BURNED THE BITERS!

During the night, while TG was chasing Andrea around, someone in a black SUV went to the pit and poured gas all over the biters and lit them ablaze. The same person also set a horse trailer full of biters on fire. Was it Tyreese? Was it someone else?

TG assumes it was Tyreese. Uh-oh!

Tyreese, Sasha, Allen, and Ben (Allen’s son) gather to see TG and talk about the biter pit. It kinda had a waiting-to-see-the-principal feel to it. TG tells Tyreese that the biters are a scare tactic, and that they would never be used against people. Riiiiiiiiiight. Tyreese seems okay with the explanation, and apologizes for making trouble.

TG accepts his apology and asks where Tyreese got the gas (to burn the biters, of course.). But, TG doesn’t say anything about the fire at the pit, and Tyreese expresses his confusion. He doesn’t know what TG is talking about.

So, Tyreese didn’t do it? Hmmm. Who did, then? TG meets Milton on the street, and Milton asks if TG has found the person who set the fire. TG’s one eye narrows, he declares that he just has.

It was Milton! Go Milton!

“Prey” ended with Andrea in the dental chair of torture. They tried to make it extra dramatic, but you knew it was coming. Seriously. The camera winds down a dark hall, around a corner, and through a door…and there she is! Tied down with duct tape across her mouth!

SHOCKING!

Not really.

So, what about that song TG whistled and recorded. Was that for Andrea? Was she the “Prey” all along? Was that why he was whistling it in the abandoned factory/warehouse? Was the dental chair and torture items for her? Or was he prepping for Michonne, and Andrea just fell into a terrible situation?

Like I wrote earlier, I feel like this whole episode was tailored to make me like Andrea. She finally tried to do the right thing, but TG thwarted her. Did she fail because she struck out on her own? After all, one of the bigger themes of this season, as we’ve talked about before, is you can’t survive on your own. Andrea tried to get Milton to come with her, but he wouldn’t, saying he belonged in Woodbury. Would Andrea have made it if Milton went with her?

I don’t really think so. I mean, it’s Milton, and he’s pretty much worthless in a fight. But, her journey alone was unsuccessful, which emphasizes the theme of group survival.

If they were trying to get me to like Andrea, it didn’t really work. As TG stalked her, I found myself not so much rooting for her as interested in how the plot would move forward without her should she get caught. I assumed TG would kill her, and, really, he should have. But, she’s obviously a plot device, and she lived.

Overall, I thought “Prey” was one of the weaker episodes this season. While, we got plenty of cheap scares and forced dramatic tension, the writing was full of holes (Why didn’t she take the truck? Why didn’t Tyreese question TG further about the walker pit –TG said they didn’t share tactics with people they didn’t know, but they take people they don’t know to the pits in the first place?– How did TG get Andrea into his torture room unnoticed? Oh, the QUESTIONS!)

What did you think? 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-14-andrea.php.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Arrow on the Doorpost”

This is a recap. There will be SPOILERS. You’re my best friend.

Glenn finally made nice with Maggie! Emphasis on the “nice.” (Bow-chicka-wow-wow!) He got to step up and be the leader he so desperately wants to be. In this world, one’s mettle is often shown in the physical realm. Having brains to back it up is a must, but sometimes it’s not until a show of force that characters taken seriously. Last week, Morgan pointed out that the weak have inherited the earth, and that is (or will be) true eventually. But, not until everyone else it dead, right?

But “Arrow on the Doorpost” really wasn’t about Glenn and Maggie, was it? They had several scenes that really stuck out, though, and I was pleased that Glenn got to “prove” himself in a manner he obviously wanted.

On to the rest!

There was a lot of measuring going on in this episode, but something that really piqued my interest was a theme of “twos.” One of the over-arching themes of this season is that you can’t survive alone (without going crazy, anyways). That larger theme was reinforced by the obvious pairs throughout “Arrow.”

(An aside: When the episode was finished, I looked at my husband and said, “Why the heck was it called ‘Arrow on the Doorpost?'” Utilizing Google-Fu, a totally legit, for-realz martial art, we discovered it to be an allusion to “Blind Willie McTell,” a song by Bob Dylan.

Go ahead. Make fun of me for not knowing!

The first part of the song is:

“Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”

Nice. This land full of walkers and the walking dead –the “live” inhabitants– is indeed condemned.

From the last verse:

“Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is”

Does The Governor (TG) fit this? I think so. And Rick? Perhaps.)

“Arrow” was another ping-pong episode, jumping back and forth between the prison and the meeting between TG and Rick. I’m going to follow the storylines as it makes sense, without necessarily keeping to how they edited the show to air.

Rick doesn't really trust The Governor. Good decision, Rick. Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick doesn’t really trust The Governor. Good decision, Rick. Image courtesy of AMC.

“Arrow” opens with Rick, Daryl, and Hershel arriving at a farm. After Rick and Daryl scope out the surroundings (Hershel stays with the vehicle until later), Rick enters a barn/storage shed, and we see a table with two chairs set up on a raised platform. TG enters, and we find out they are there to negotiate. (Ooo! I found out that they’re meeting at a feed store! Really? Huh. Looks more like a storage shed to me…)

Negotiate what? That’s to come…

TG makes a big show of taking off his gun, but we see another duct-taped to his side of the table. Rick wisely doesn’t remove his at all. Go, Rick!

The pair are the first of the “twos” theme.

Andrea has arranged the meeting, and she, Milton and TG minion Martinez arrive a bit later. Daryl and Hershel are standing guard outside the barn, and Andrea is surprised when they tell her that TG is already there. She rushes into the barn to facilitate the meeting, but, it’s already underway, and both TG and Rick make it quite clear that Andrea has no business being there. I got a very apparent “let the grown-ups talk” vibe as they dismissed her. (Teehee!)

She leaves and sits down in a huff outside.

At the prison, Glenn is leading a fortification effort; tons of guns and ammunition are on the common room tables. Merle looks on and says that they should instead go and kill TG while he is distracted at the negotiation. I totally agreed with Merle, but Glenn doesn’t know what I know about the comic books, and told the elder Dixon brother no. It was another thematic “twos” pairing and an opportunity for Glenn to prove himself as back-up leader. He argues that an attack could put Rick, Daryl, and Hershel in danger. Merle is displeased.

Later, Merle fills a bag with weapons and starts for the door, intent on killing TG at the negotiation. Again, Glenn tells him no, but this time, Merle isn’t going to listen. Glenn blocks his path and the two start fighting! Maggie and Michonne lend aid, but it’s not until Beth discharges a gun that the scuffle breaks up.

(Oh, Beth…what do you do all day? Take care of Judith? Who, by the way, is the quietest newborn EVER.)

When Glenn is in the cage (that fenced in area around one of the doors to the prison yard), Maggie comes out (“twos” theme) and they finally talk about the awkwardness that followed their time in Woodbury. Glenn apologizes for making the situation about him (THANK YOU!), and Maggie reassures him that she’s on his side. Always.

They have prison concrete floor sex (ouch!), and it’s all better.

In the common room, Merle and Michonne (more “twos” theme) discuss Merle’s wish to go kill TG. He wants her to help, but she declines. (Come on, Michonne! You know he’s right! I mean, I know he’s right…)

Back at the negotiation, the theme of “twos” resurfaces as Daryl and Martinez measure each other up and compete to take down a small batch of walkers that wander into the area. Andrea gets in on the walker clearing with the first kill, but it’s largely the two men who show off for each other (more measuring).

wdseason3ep13b

I can kill walkers better than you! Image courtesy of AMC.

It was interesting to watch their competition turn into an honest chat, though. After killing all the walkers, Daryl offers Martinez a cigarette (which he initially refuses but later accepts) and the pair bonds. But, they come to the unsettling conclusion that the two groups (another “twos” theme reference) will most likely never be able to peacefully coexist.

Milton, who introduced himself to Daryl and Hershel as TG’s advisor, is spending his waiting time by writing down historical moments. Hershel sits beside him, and we see another pair in the “twos” theme. They seem friendly and companionable…even to the point of joking around. Since Milton is writing down their history, he is interested in seeing Hershel’s leg and the site of amputation. Hershel jokes that he can’t believe Milton would even ask that without buying him a drink beforehand.

It’s obvious that without the rabble-rousing and personal vendettas between the two leaders (mostly on the side of TG), that Hershel and Milton and even Daryl and Martinez would probably get along just fine.

In the feed store, TG and Rick flop ’em out and measure, both men posturing and trying to intimidate the other. TG makes it clear that he’s not really interested in negotiation at all. He’s there to accept Rick’s surrender. Rick doesn’t take to keenly to this and the two go back and forth. But, TG’s tactics change as the meeting goes on, and he does several things designed to loosen Rick’s guard: he brings whiskey and he opens up about his wife’s fatal car accident (which happened prior to the walker apocalypse). At first, Rick refuses the whiskey, but I was disturbed to see him drink after TG’s wife story.

(Don’t fall for it, Rick!)

Finally, it comes down to what TG really wants: Michonne. In a dramatic moment, TG removes his eyepatch and tells Rick that the fighting can end if he simple surrenders Michonne. TG says Rick has two days to consider.

Outside, Andrea asks Hershel (he’s no longer sitting with Milton) what happened with Maggie, and he tells her simply that TG  is a sick man. She tearfully tells him that she can’t stay in Woodbury, and Hershel tells her that if she comes to the prison, her decision will have to (must) stick. No more waffling!  But, when TG and Rick come out of the feed store, Andrea, after giving Hershel a look, still gets in the vehicle with TG!

WHAT?! Gosh, I hate you, Andrea.

When TG, Andrea, Milton, and Martinez get back to Woodbury, TG tells Milton about the deal he offered Rick and how it’s false. Of course! TG says they’re going to have to kill Rick sooner or later, anyhow, so, if he or anyone from the prison shows up, they are to be shot on sight! Except of Michonne, that is. She is to be brought alive to TG. (So, he can do all manner of evil things to her before killing her, I guess.)

Milton seems surprised at TG’s savagery (really, Milton? Gah.), but does little in the way of protesting. The short scene was yet another powerful “twos” theme pairing.

After he’s finished with Milton, TG calls out to Andrea and thanks her for setting up the meeting. She seems skeptical, but accepts his thanks, and they part ways. Oh, and another “twos!”

Oh, Andrea. Sigh.

When Rick, Daryl, and Hershel get back to the prison, Rick tells everyone that there is no deal, and that TG wants to kill them all. (I wondered at that point if Rick was the one who wanted a war, or if he actually saw through TG’s crap.)

Later, Rick is on the fenced-in catwalk that he always seems to drift to when contemplating things. As he stares soulfully into the distance, Hershel hobbles out (“twos” theme alert!), and Rick tells him of TG’s offer. But, Rick also allows that he knows TG will likely kill them all, anyway.

But, Rick is faced with making the call on whether or not to give Michonne up. Would Hershel be willing to sacrifice the lives of his daughters for Michonne? It’s a hard question, and Rick indicates that he’s considering giving her up.

And why did he lie to the group? Rick tells Hershel it’s because they need to be scared to face what’s coming. (What? Giving up Michonne? Defending the prison? Both?)

When Hershel asks why Rick has told him the truth, Rick says, “Because I’m hoping you can talk me out of it.”

Whoa. No pressure, Hershel!

What’d you think of “Arrow?” Did I read too much into the “twos?” And how about that title and the song it references? 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-13-rick-governor-2.php.]

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