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The Walking Dead Review: Team Prison or Team Woodbury?

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There's a pretty good chance that with next week's mid-season finale, we'll end up with something of a cliffhanger that leaves us all reeling with excitement for when it returns next year.

Except where The Walking Dead Season 2 spent most of its time dragging along toward the inevitable outcome, Season 3 seems to be sprinting along with breakneck speed, pushing the boundaries of the series and providing compelling material that doesn't necessarily hinge on a final moment of an episode.

The journey itself has been exciting. It has constituted what feels more like a natural progression of story and character, allowing smaller moments to be just as important as the big ones.

Walking Dead Foursome

"When the Dead Come Knocking" was a great set up for the prison versus Woodbury confrontation, reaffirming why Rick and his crew are the good guys.

I'm pleased, though, that Michonne acted wary of Rick, even though we knew he would actually help her out. I almost expected her to easily accept her new compadres, but she was just as quiet and stand-offish as she was when with the Governor. Acting the same way in both situations helped more fully establish her general distrust for all people.

At the same time, falling in line with Rick and his team made complete sense for her. Woodbury is one of those places that seems far too nice to be real, and the prison is so raw and honest. Michonne is all about the basic necessities - and finding a group that shows real compassion and emotion amidst focusing on plain old survival is far more in line with her thought processes than fake smiles and tea parties.

It also makes sense that both Michonne and Rick would team up to take out a common enemy.

Of course, the episode really captured those dramatic differences between the two groups, especially when it came to Woodbury.

Sure, Merle has always been a little crazy and it wasn't a surprise that not only was he willing to beat the crap out of Glenn, but he was also okay in letting a walker kill him while Glenn was strapped to a chair.

And Glenn had a chance to shine and be resilient in the face of danger. He was able take the beating, kill the walker and not give up his friends' location. This was a great moment for him even if the situation was a horrible one.

But where Merle has always been pretty straightforward with his antics, the Governor got a chance to take the level of interrogation up a few notches.

His scenes with Maggie were tense and uncomfortable, which is brilliant in the sense that you don't need walkers to carry out those scary moments. The Governor's stares and growls while commanding Maggie to take off her clothes felt all sorts of wrong. When he took off his belt and slammed her head on the table, I feared he would rape her.

Thank goodness he didn't, but at this point, I wouldn't put anything past this sicko.

Truly, the outcome for Glenn and Maggie pushed them to the brink to reveal their group's location. Frankly, I'm surprised the Governor kept both of them alive after getting his information.

It only makes me want Rick and his team (the two prisoners have seemed to move in nicely, haven't they?) to take out the Governor before anything worse happens.

I do find the Governor's interests in walker studies to be curious. Perhaps he is hoping to find a way to give his walker daughter a chance at a normal life? The results did seem pretty conclusive, though, in that all a walker wants to do is eat human flesh.

That was grotesquely evident when the cabin man was fed to the horde of walkers. Was the scene necessary? Not really, but it did reestablish that the walkers are everywhere and you never know when you're going to get surrounded.

And I'm glad Carol is back. It was a happy reunion among all the current problems and it's great to see she still has a sense of humor. That and she can take care of the baby.

Are we happy the baby is named Judith? I guess Ass-Kicker was growing on me, but I'm fine with the new name.

This was a solid episode that wasn't filler fluff. Some great tense moments with the Governor and some positive unification ones with Rick rounded out a riveting lead up to what looks to be an outstanding fall finale.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (111 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Snakethecritic

★★★★☆TV I was revved up and then it finish. Same thing happened with Red Dawn. Although we get more TWD next week and same the thing can't be said for RD. Daryl and Merle confrontation, MAN I'm nervous for Daryl. @Neejan , Agree. @Terrie, Firefox has an Add-On call Adblock Plus.

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Saw this in "The Deadnecks" group on FB -Tyreese wasn't in this episode. The bowman walking away from the barricades was Shupert played by Travis Love. Tyresse will be played by Chad Coleman from The Wire. The whole naming the baby Judith seemed forced to me. I mean why did Carl want to name her after his 3rd grade teacher? He didn't say she was his favorite teacher or she was a strong woman or anything else that would make us know why he thought it was a good name.

Neejan

They better not kill off Glenn and Maggie!!!

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RE: Cabin Scene - I think the scene was necessary for the reaction shot of the ex-prisoner in their group as he realizes how expedient they are with the lives of people that aren't members of their group, and what that might mean in the long run for him and his fellow ex-prisoner.

Terrie

I don't think Daryl and Merle confrontation will be easy.......Daryl will be torn while Merle just won't give a damn........... If ya'll saw TALKING DEAD last night, you saw that next week Michonne finds The Governors daughter........what's going to happen there???? And just WHY would Michonne be there by herself..... NOTE TO TV FANATIC YES you do need to change the cover photo for this show. And can you PLEASE do something about the CONTINUOUS POP UP
ADS?!?!? ANNOYING!!!!!!!! Oh yeah, TEAM PRISON, too..........

Terrie

Reviewer mentioned the scientific aspect...of course I went to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 and in the trailers for new movies coming out....there IS a zombie movie coming out on this very issue. It focuses on HOW to cure a young boy zombie and it seems to use love.....can't remember the name of the movie right now...... VERY solid episode this week...... after next week how long until it's back on? March? Michonne doesn't trust anybody and she's better for that.......
Andrea.......ugh ...is all I can say
Glenn and Maggie shined this week........Glenn is a future leader of the pack He's proven that several times over now....
The Governor is a sicko.....there was no need, albeit for his power trip for him to do Maggie the way he did when he had just bumped uglies with Andrea...... I like everyone else am waiting with baited breath for the confrontation between Rick and The Governor and Merle and Daryl......

Ilkvomit

Merle finally returned to being.....Well Merle.

Ilkvomit

They dropped the ball with the Govenor not rapeing Maggie.....It really should of happened in this episode so my hate of the Govenor chould start to fester.At this point i should be hating his guts but i dont.

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Another great ep. I also thought that was Tyreese at the end. In earlier eps when Andrea and Michonne first arrived at Woodbury, you can notice him watching her. I don't understand why everyone is saying Michonne is so bitchy? The dead are walking around and eating people and whoever is alive is trying to stay that way by any means necessary. Until she met up with Andrea, she was surviving alone. She has every right not to trust a single word anyone says and be wary of any groups. Though I believe she's leaning more towards Rick's group as was stated. Rick isn't spewing sunshine out of his mouth. I wonder how the stand off will go between Daryl and Merle. The group has shown Daryl more compassion and what a family is more than Merle ever has. Like they say, you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends!

Fatin

San, I thought that was Tyreese as well! And I don't think Michonne's bitchy. She just has her guard up. And she's right to do that. She'll probably relax once the fight's over and she's officially part of the Rick group. She does in the comic anyway.