It’s amazing how much meat and potatoes AMC’s The Walking Dead has already crammed into the first five episodes of season three, but the best is yet to come. We’ve seen two independent storylines develop so far this season and it looks as if tonight’s episode is going to be the catalyst to set those dramatic arcs on a collision course. It remains to be seen whether Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group or The Governor (David Morrissey) and his town will be left standing.
Starring Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs, IronE Singleton, Melissa McBride, Laurie Holden, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson and Emily Kinney, AMC’s The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9. Hit the jump for my review of “Hounded.”
Since it looks like we’ll be seeing divergent storylines for just a bit longer, we’ll split them up in a quick recap to make it easier to follow. Things get a little sexy between Andrea and the Governor finally. On the outskirts of Woodbury, Merle hunts Michonne with little luck but takes Glenn and Maggie hostage instead. At the prison, Rick continues to lose his mind as a series of phone calls from beyond the grave have him questioning his sanity. Meanwhile, Daryl shares a personal story with Carl and then reunites with Carol; Oscar (Vincent Ward) finds a pair of slippers.
Let’s start off at Woodbury where things are nice and cozy for Andrea and the Gov. So cozy in fact that they provide a bit of tension relief to an otherwise taut suspense thriller. The Walking Dead has romantic/sexual moments that are few and far between, which makes sense considering the hostile environment everyone is in. Notable, shall we say, liaisons were Lori and Shane in the series opener, Lori and Rick’s reunion, Andrea and Shane, Maggie and Glenn on a couple occasions and now Andrea and the Governor. Not a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on! So it’s wonderful that Andrea and the Gov have found some solace in each other, although we all know that good things simply can’t last on this show.
More interesting this week was the Saga of Merle (and Little Merle…it’s what Rooker calls his stump). He went Michonne-hunting with a couple of red shirts who either managed to get cut in half by the katana-wielder or shot in the head by Merle due to insubordination. When he approached Glenn and Maggie on their shopping spree, I honestly thought he was going to be cool…until he nearly shot Glenn and then took Maggie hostage. Oh, Merle…will you never learn?
Meanwhile, back at the prison, Merle’s brother Daryl is having a heartfelt story session with Carl as they clear out more of the prison with Oscar. I’m liking all the character development that Daryl is getting this season and Reedus is knocking it out of the park. He’s a solid member of the group who’s also Rick’s strong right hand. He stepped in to provide a temporary father figure for Rick’s newborn baby while Rick was vacationing in Crazy Town and is continuing to look out for Carl. We also got a little bit of backstory on Daryl’s childhood, specifically the part where his mom died when he was a kid because she fell asleep while smoking and burned the house down. Carl’s reaction to this was perfect and Riggs is doing quite well with what he’s been given this season.
A question among fans over the last couple of episodes is, “What the hell happened to Carol?” During the outbreak of Walkers in the prison, Daryl found Carol’s scarf next to a big ol’ pile of half-eaten remains. While viewers speculated that Carol wasn’t dead, we thought something nefarious happened to her: dragged away by more inmates, mortally wounded fighting the Walkers, or kidnapped by whoever was watching her from the woods. Nope. Turns out she was just chillin’ in a room and was too weak to open the door or call for help when the guys were right outside. Okay. In any case, it was nice to see Darol (or Caryl) reunited.
Now for the crazy train. It was speculated by some (and spoiled by others, you know who you are) that Rick wasn’t actually receiving any phone calls at all, that they were all in his head. Turns out that this was the case. It was a nice sequence of scenes that let Rick work out all of his issues without resorting to couch sessions with any members of his group. It felt very Stephen King-ish at times, which is a great testament to the writing on this show. Rick could have gone all Jack Torrance when he heard his dead wife’s voice pleading with him, but luckily he kept his cool (so far as we know).
While Rick was off on his own most of the time, Hershel was there briefly to check up on Rick AND pick up the phone…which I’m assuming had no dial tone. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hershel warned the group of Rick’s unbalanced mental status, even though he handed the baby over to him towards the end of the episode…just before Rick walked up to the gates to see Michonne, very much alive, surrounded by a pack of Walkers. (Smart of Michonne to figure out the scent-masking technique but Glenn knew that since Day 1.)
A solid episode all around and a little better than last week since it established the line in the sand which will soon be crossed in order to unite these two storyines. Looks like Glenn and Maggie are in for some interrogation while Michonne informs Rick and the prison group about Woodbury and, presumably, Merle and the Governor. Will Glenn and Maggie make it out alive? Will Andrea learn about their presence? Will Daryl want to rush off to reunite with Merle? Will Rick attempt to get his people back by force or will he try to reason with the Governor to reach some sort of mutually beneficial arrangement? Things are about to heat up, Dead Heads!
- “She sent us a biter-gram, y’all!” – Merle
- “I’m gonna keep callin’ you Neil.” – Merle
- “We havin’ fun yet?” – Merle
- “It’s brutality for fun; I think the world’s brutal enough already.” – Andrea
- “I don’t want to talk about that…” CLICK – Rick…who just hung up on himself.
- “I ended it. It was real.” – Carl
- “Sorry about your mom.” – Carl. “Sorry about yours.” – Daryl
- “Glenn, get that duck!” – Maggie
- “So, how long’s it been?” – The Gov
- “I love you. I loved you. I couldn’t put it back together.” – Rick to “Lori.” It’s nice that Rick got to say goodbye to her in his own way.
- “Do you have em? Her head? The sword?” – The Gov to Merle
Looks like only four this week. Definitely a season low.
Three, but they were all on Merle’s crew.
Probably Andrea’s gung-ho melee kill on the Walker at the wall, especially since “Katniss” couldn’t hit the thing with her daddy’s bow.
Best Zombie Effect:
The zombie guts that came pouring out when Michonne sliced one of the Walkers open.
As always, feel free to voice your thoughts in the comments below! Make sure to tune in again next week when we review and recap the next installment of AMC’s The Walking Dead.