I may have been a little overzealous in rating last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Even though it pulled in a ridiculous number of viewers, there were some clunky moments and some odd character behavior written into the episode, one which lacked the cohesiveness and punch necessary for a mid-season return. I’m happy to say it picked back up this week with great character building, two solid action sequences and even a surprise character death, but that wasn’t the biggest surprise by a long shot!
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 “Home.”
Tonight’s episode picks up where we left off with Rick continuing to lose his marbles. Pretty much everyone knows he’s not stable now and Glenn is starting to assume more of a leadership role. He and Michonne are looking to team up and take out the Governor on their own, even if Hershel thinks this is a terrible idea. (At least someone is finally patching up the breach in the prison!) We get some closure on the tension between Glenn and Maggie but it’s certainly not resolved just yet…there were more important matters to attend to.
Meanwhile, back at Woodbury, the Governor is testing the loyalty of his followers. He comes back and plays the apologetic boyfriend to Andrea and asks her to take on the mantle of leadership for a time, while also asking Milton to keep an eye on Andrea after letting him know how invaluable he is to him. Then the Governor disappears…I wonder what he’s up to.
We also get to spend some time with the Dixon Boys trekkin’ through the woods! Sibling rivalry continues as Daryl and Merle can’t seem to agree on anything. A few survivors defending themselves from Walkers on a bridge get some much-needed help from the Dixons (more Daryl than Merle) and a showdown between the two of them ends with Daryl leaving Merle behind, perhaps for good…or perhaps not!
This was a great episode for character building, which happen to be some of the strongest of the series. Rick continued his descent into madness (or “Crazy Town” as Glenn calls it), Glenn is beginning to assume a leadership position and Hershel continues his role as the new Dale/advisor. Andrea doesn’t have too much to do in this episode, but it looks like she’ll be heavily involved next week. Carol and Axel share a few nice moments, but like anything else on this show, they don’t last long. Finally, it’s revealed that the Dixons’ father was an abusive sort, which firms up the bond between Daryl and Merle. Thank goodness, because those two certainly saved the day when the Governor decided to attack the prison!
How about that crazy action scene? I thought everything was going to be more or less wrapped up in this episode with a nice bit of character work but I was way wrong. In 55 minutes, there were 15 zombies killed, meaning over half of the show’s undead death toll occurred in the last five minutes! That was a ballsy move on the Governor’s part to retaliate so quickly and it seemed like he had his plan well in hand: well-orchestrated attacks from shooters at choke points, a truck driven through the apparently-not-so-sturdy prison gates to release a “Walker Bomb” onto the grounds and an escape route as a contingency plan. Surprisingly, the only one to bite the bullet in this ep was poor old Axel who was busy making moves on Carol. Everyone else managed to escape by the skin of their teeth, no one closer than Rick. Hopefully that snapped him out of his funk. Rick’s eyes said it best at the end of the episode: it’s on now!
- Great opening with almost literally no dialogue and a welcome cameo from Sarah Wayne Callies.
- “Ain’t nothin’ out here but mosquitos and ants.” – Daryl
- “You keep an eye on her for me.” – The Gov to Milton
- “I’m going to ask you to give me a very specific answer to a very specific question: Where’s the Governor?” – Andrea “On a run?” – Milton
- “I may have lost my hand but you lost your sense of direction.” – Merle to Daryl
- I loved the back and forth between the Dixons as always, but there was a nice subtle moment that revealed to the audience that Daryl is better off without his brother by his side. They argued over the direction they were going and it turns out that Daryl was right, of course, by a brief shot of a Yellow Jacket Creek sign.
- “Slow down, beaner! That ain’t no way to say ‘thank you!'” – Merle
- “The least they could do is give us an enchilada or somethin’!” – Merle
- “I tried to kill that Black bitch…damn near killed that Chinese kid.” – Merle
- “I may be walkin’ away, but you’re the one that’s leavin’…again.” – Daryl
- “Rick went to Crazy Town. I’m the next in charge.” – Glenn
- “You know I wouldn’t have hobbled all the way down here if it wasn’t important.” – Hershel
- I’m always happy to see a little extra Michonne katana action!
- I love that Merle is momentarily tolerated by Rick for the simple fact that he helped save his life. We’ll see how the others react to this new-found recruit.
Zombie Kills: 33
Human/Enemy Deaths: 1
Casualties: 1 – Sorry, Axel. We hardly knew ye.
Best Kill: Daryl’s last minute crossbow bolt through the skull to save Rick from certain death.
Best Zombie Effect: Daryl’s smashing of the zombie’s skull with the car’s hatch.
Check back with us next week when we review the next episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “I Ain’t a Judas.”