After the crazy ending of last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I fully expected the toned down hour of television we got tonight. There were a few minor surprises here and there with a little bit of classical practical effects work thrown in for good measure. Tonight’s episode was all about setting the stage and the players for the inevitable conflict between the two groups of survivors. Only five episodes left!
Starring Andrew Lincoln, David Morrissey, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Laurie Holden, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson, Dallas Roberts, Emily Kinney, Chad Coleman and Lew Temple, AMC’s The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9. Hit the jump for my review of “I Ain’t a Judas.”
The attack from the Governor’s forces left the crew at the prison a bit shaken; the effects were still being felt this week. Merle is being kept under the watchful eye of his brother and may have found an unbiased ally in Hershel. Michonne continues to exist on the fringes of the group, but appears to have gained Rick’s trust, along with Carl, who gets an upgrade in guns, armor and responsibility. When Andrea crashes their party, she’s welcomed warmly by some (okay, only Carol) and treated hostilely by others (mostly Rick). After attempting to broker a truce between the survivors at the prison and those at Woodbury, Andrea heads back to The Governor and has a chance to put the feud to rest permanently, but decides not to take it.
I understand that last week’s episode was all about escalating the stakes while giving the audience a shot in the arm with a last-minute shoot out, but the character development was also far superior in that episode compared to tonight’s. We see a rehash of the same themes that have been brewing all season: Rick is losing his grip and everyone knows it, Andrea is stuck in a difficult position but refuses to make a decision one way or the other and the Governor is an absolute lunatic. We get it.
One interesting thing to happen in this episode was the reunion of Andrea and the Atlanta crew. They filled her in on the deaths of Shane, Lori and T-Dog, along with the birth of Rick’s daughter, Judith. Apparently this news and the disdain from Michonne weren’t enough to bring Andrea around to help their cause. It feels like the writers have scripted her into a corner in which there are no good choices to make; the audiences certainly seem to feel that way, at least. Another interesting bit was the “two ships passing in the night” between Andrea and Tyreese and his crew. I was hoping that there’d be a bit more tension built into the scene where Tyreese et al met the Gov, but they pretty much bowed to his whims right away, even as the Gov raised an army of child soldiers around him. The show is starting to turn a few of its characters into caricatures and I hope that the resolution of this feud puts a stop to that and returns the strong character interactions that makes The Walking Dead a stand-out.
Zombie Kills: 3
Human/Enemy Deaths: 0
Best Kill: Andrea’s hatchet to the face of an approaching zombie.
Best Effect: Andrea hacking off a zombie’s limbs and “curb stomping” him. Brutal stuff.
Musings and Quotes:
- Carl: “You should stop.” Rick: “Stop what?” Carl: “Being the leader.”
- Merle: “You’re the farmer; Hershel.” Hershel: “You’re the black sheep; Merle.”
- Carol: “This is our home.” Daryl: “This is a tomb.”
- Merle to Michonne: “Smart to stay fit. Don’t leave out the cardio.”
- I love that Carl has upgraded his gun and is wearing a bullet-proof vest.
- Andrea: “Where’s Shane? Where’s Lori?”
- Daryl to Andrea: “Next time you see Phillip, tell him I’ma take his other eye.”
- I also loved watching viewers freak out over the Gov having the patch over the wrong eye…only to realize it was a mirror shot.
- Michonne to Andrea: “I did not realize the Messiah complex was contagious.”
- Andrea to Carol: “I can’t leave without meeting Little Ass-Kicker.”
- Carol: “Shane tried to kill Rick.” Andrea: “Shane loved Rick.” Carol: “Shane loved Lori.”
- Any episode that features Emily Kinney singing is fine by me.
Be sure to tune in next week for our continuing recaps of AMC’s The Walking Dead.