Season Three Of The Walking Dead Concludes, Part I

Editor’s Note: For those of you who haven’t visited our other site Deadloggers, here’s a brief recap of the second half of the third season of The Walking Dead

daryl-merle

Brothers In Arms

Episode Nine: The pre-credits scene of episode nine of The Walking Dead, “The Suicide King”, opens in the fights arena as the bandaged Governor (David Morrisey) leaves Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) and his captured brother Daryl (Norman Reedus) to slug it out to the death. The crowd, hungry for action, spurs them on. The Governor’s thugs hover around the arena with harnessed walkers –part of the sport – as Merle pulverizes his younger brother, calling out his declarations of loyalty to Woodbury. Unbeknownst to the crowd, Merle instructs Daryl to follow his lead in escaping as the two turn on the surrounding walkers. Suddenly, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the rescue team raid the arena, throwing smoke bombs and firing shots as they enable Daryl and Merle to slip out …

governorPost-credits, Merle leads the rescue team out of Woodbury, curiously leaving an open hole in the fence. They meet up with Glenn (Steven Yeun), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Michonne (Danai Gurira) on the outskirts. Both Michonne and Glenn are incensed that Merle has joined them and both need to be restrained due to their anger. Merle, however, seizes the opportunity to jibe Michonne, sneering a variety of politically incorrect taunts until Rick knocks him unconscious. Heading back to the prison, an argument ensues. Daryl vehemently wants his brother in the group – claiming they need the muscle against the Governor  – but is against Michonne’s presence.  Glenn – his face still red and bruised from Merle’s beating – is opposed to Merle but wants Michonne to stay. Rick, meanwhile opposes the presence of both. Daryl understands Rick’s thinking, and declares that Merle and him will leave the group and fend for themselves. Grabbing his gear, he joins his brother – now awake – and they disappear into the forest. Rick, meanwhile, snaps at Michonne, warning her that the moment she is patched up she is on her own…

Please click on the link to Deadloggers to continue reading about Episode Nine.

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Increasing Tensions

Episode Ten: In the pre-credits scene of the episode “Home”, former sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes takes a break from manning the prison barricades in order to scope the perimeter. Using his binoculars, he spots a few stray walkers, but then discovers an odd sight: his dead wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), her back turned, standing over hers and T-Dog’s graves in the prison yard. Dressed in white, she stands erect, radiating a spectral, ethereal beauty. Rick grabs his rifle and feverishly heads out to confront her only to find her gone, having re-appeared outside the prison gates. Drenched in sweat and consumed with longing, he finally reaches her. Lori strokes his cheek as they gaze at one another, face-to-face. Michonne, alerted to this curiosity, closes the gate behind him and watches, shocked, as she realizes Rick is deep inside a powerful hallucination…

Post-credits, Andrea (Laurie Holden) visits the Governor in his Woodbury apartment and finds him apologetic and insecure over his eroding leadership skills. Complimenting her over her impromptu speech to the citizens (in the previous episode, “Made to Suffer”), he declares his plans to abdicate and offers to make her his successor. Andrea, stunned at the revelation, is speechless…

Outside the prison, the now-independent Merle and Daryl Dixon are hiking through the forest. Unsuccessful at finding food, there is growing tension and a general lack of agreement between the brothers. Daryl wants to return to the prison, although Merle assures him that the Governor has already annihilated the survivors, leaving Daryl in somewhat of a funk…

merle-daryl

Continuing on, sweaty and gasping for air in the thick humidity, Merle continues taking shots at Daryl, this time over what he perceives are his poor navigational skills. Alerted by noises that shatter the morning calm, Merle laughs it off as animals getting intimate although Daryl recognizes it as a baby crying. Hurrying in the noise’s direction, they spot a horrifying sight: a desperate Hispanic family is trapped on a bridge, surrounded by a herd of walkers moving in for the kill. Daryl races in to help, while Merle remains behind, mocking his brother’s valiant tendencies and yelling after him to “stay put”…

Please click on the link to Deadloggers to continue reading about Episode Ten.

episode-11

Strained Reunion

Episode Eleven: As the pre-credits scene of episode eleven, “I Ain’t a Judas” opens, the survivors are gathered in the prison, arguing their next move. Rick Grimes wants the survivors to stand their ground and prepare for the Governor, enthusiastically seconded by Glenn but the rest are scared and want to abandon ship. Merle Dixon – locked-up off to the side – provides insight into their opponent’s hardline thinking:

“That truck-through-the-fence thing? That’s just him ringing the doorbell. We might have some thick walls to hide behind but he’s got the guns and the numbers, and if he takes the high ground around this place, shoot, he could just starve us out if he wanted to…”

Hershel (Scott Wilson) argues hard for leaving, even calling out Rick’s unfocused leadership in the process. The former sheriff’s deputy has no answer. Perhaps to get away and clear his head, Rick goes out to man a lookout post. Other than seeing a brief glimpse of what might be his dead wife Lori – gone after a blink – he sees only walkers. After a while, his son Carl comes out to talk. His tone calm, he asks his father to step down as leader…

Post-credits, the Governor is in his office (its comfortable furnishings contrasting to the prison’s Spartan interior). Together with Milton (Dallas Roberts, in an outstanding performance in this episode), he is reviewing the town’s population roster and demands andrea-walkerthat all those over thirteen years of age receive arms and undergo training. Andrea arrives, incensed over the attack on the prison. The Governor claims he went to negotiate but was attacked first. Andrea expresses a desire to visit her old friends in the prison (she has never been there) in order to smooth things out between the two groups, but the Governor emphatically states that if she goes, she is forbidden to return to Woodbury. Andrea leaves his office in somewhat of a huff. Later, she witnesses the Governor confront the nervous and awkward citizens during the arms and fortifications preparation. She watches as he charms them, soothing their fears…

Please click on the link to Deadloggers to continue reading about Episode Eleven.

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Can’t Go Home Again

Episode Twelve: In the pre-credits scene of The Walking Dead’s episode, “Clear”, Rick Grimes, his son Carl, and Michonne are on a run to scrounge for weapons at Rick’s old police station. Looking glum and somewhat bummed-out, the three take a quiet country backroad drive. A hitchhiker (Russ Comegys) – loaded up with camping gear – appears out of nowhere, yelling to join. The survivors ignore him and keep driving. Running hopelessly, his gear rattling on his back, he trips and falls, watching the three disappear down the road. A few hundred yards up they pass the scene of a grisly accident, seeing wrecked cars with passengers inside of them dead and bloodied. After their car gets stuck in the mud, they are suddenly attacked by walkers. Rick opens his window a notch and blasts the creatures away. They manage to pull the car out, but while arranging the corpses by the roadside, the hitchhiker appears on the horizon again, straining to catch up. Hurrying into the car, the three leave him stranded…

Post-credits, the three reach the police station, only to find out it has been hopelessly plundered. Realizing that some establishments around the town’s main street kept guns as protection, Rick takes the others with vague hopes of retrieving them.

The town is a silent, crumbling shadow of its former self. An empty lot serves as a ghoulish pyre of charred corpses, unnerving them. Reaching the town center, they are puzzled by a bizarre obstruction of low-strung ropes, sharpened sticks pointing in all directions, caged animals, and blockades. While trying to navigate their rick-morgan-michonneway, a lone helmeted figure on a rooftop holds them at gunpoint, demanding they forfeit their weapons and shoes and then leave. A gun battle breaks out, with Rick and the loner blasting away at each other. Michonne slyly slips away and reaches the roof while the loner descends to the street to confront them. Carl shoots him in the abdomen, knocking him out. Rick, noting he survived due to body armor, removes the helmet and discovers it’s Morgan Jones (Lennie James), the man who sheltered him in the series opener, “Days Gone Bye”…

Please click on the link to Deadloggers to continue reading about Episode Twelve.

Evan Rothfeld

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