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

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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…

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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. Continue reading

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Idiotic Twist Ruins The Governor In The Book The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor

Warning: The review/rant below contains major spoilers about the Governor in The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor novel.

bookI just finished reading or rather wasted my time with the horror book The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor written by the creator of The Walking Dead comic book Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga.

It was worse than Michael Crichton’s Sphere!

The thing that gets me about the book is that I was really enjoying this; I’m a recent convert to The Walking Dead phenomenon thanks to the excellent TV show on AMC. I think that the character of the Governor (played on the show by David Morrisey) is one of the best villains I’ve ever seen. As soon as I could I went to the local comic book shop and picked up the graphic novels. I saw the book The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor and decided to buy the book too.

The book focuses on Philip Blake, his daughter Penny, his brother Brian, and Philip’s friend Nick. As you probably know Philip Blake becomes the Governor and his daughter becomes a zombie or as they say on the show and comic book a walker or biter.

It starts off showing the group when the walker outbreak began and their struggles to find safe shelter. There are a few times where you think Penny will get bitten by a walker but it never happens. Instead, Kirkman wrote a nice twist, she gets killed by crazy living people then turns into a walker.

The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor had the characters facing many hardships, building up to Penny’s death that makes Philip become angry and crazy and logically becoming the Governor. You really see that as he captures two of the attackers that killed Penny, locks them up and tortures them every day. His brother Brian was a wimp throughout the book and Nick was often the voice of reason.

Spoiler time: Philip gets really crazy and kills a woman to feed to walker Penny. Nick tells Brian he can’t stand it anymore and a fight between Philip and Nick happens. Around this time, they wind up staying in the town of Woodbury, the same place that the Governor rules as seen in the comics and show. When they first arrive at the town, the place is controlled by Major Gene Gavin, a lunatic National Guardsman who calls himself the Major and abuses the residents. Continue reading

Deadloggers Of The Walking Dead

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Some of the most popular clicks on Starloggers have been for the reviews of the hit TV show The Walking Dead. Many of us here love the show and think it’s one of the best if not the best TV show on air right now. Although it has primarily a horror theme, it is borderline sci-fi with the revelation at the end of The Walking Dead’s second season that the cause of the zombie (or rather walkers) outbreak was because of a virus that is infecting every living person on the planet.

cast[1]After some discussion, it was decided to launch a new blog called Deadloggers, which will be dedicated to The Walking Dead TV show. Each post will take the same detailed look at each episode from The Walking Dead as seen here on Starloggers. Evan Rothfeld, who wrote all the previous reviews/commentaries of each episode, will continue to do the same over at Deadloggers. Each review will have a detailed synopsis and commentary of each episode aired to date. We’re starting off now with all-new reviews of the first season of The Walking Dead, readers will see how Rick Grimes and company (including the fleash-eating walkers) were first introduced. Afterwards, the plan is to transfer over the second and third season reviews that appeared on Starloggers. The reviews here will be condensed and abridged, so in order to read the complete posts readers will have to visit Deadloggers. Then reviews of the remainder of season three will be posted on Deadloggers and so on. And who knows? Maybe in the future we may go beyond the show.

We hope anyone who enjoyed reading the reviews will visit the new blog and check it out. If anyone has any comments make sure to drop us a line.

Worlds Collide In The Walking Dead, Parts I & II

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Part I:

What you all did – leaving me up there – people wouldn’t do that to an animal…”

Merle to Glenn

In the pre-credits scene of episode seven of The Walking Dead, “When The Dead Come Knocking”, Merle (Michael Rooker) is brutally interrogating Glenn (Steven Yeun). Still bitter about being abandoned in Atlanta (in season one), Merle demands to know the survivors’ whereabouts. When Glenn refuses, Merle reacts savagely.

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Post-credits, Michonne (Danai Gurira) is standing at the prison gate, her walker-blood-drenched shirt serving as camouflage to the surrounding creatures. Before Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) can act, her open gunshot wound reveals her presence and the walkers attack. Michonne’s limp and fatigue hamper her ability to fight back, but Rick saves her just as she passes out. Inside the prison, Rick’s group tend to Michonne’s wound but they and she are mutually suspicious of each other. After she witnesses Rick’s touching reunion with Carol (Melissa McBride) – previously thought to be dead, Michonne opens up and tells about Glenn, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) held prisoner by the Governor (David Morrissey) in the town of Woodbury. Rick formulates a rescue plan, and heavily armed and equipped, sets out to Woodbury taking Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne, and Oscar (Vincent Ward).

In Woodbury, Milton (Dallas Roberts) conducts a bizarre experiment, with Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) assistance, on a dying old man (Peter Kulas). Seeking to determine if he retains his human memory after re-animating as a walker, the experiment fails. Before the re-animated walker could bite him an already cynical Andrea kills the creature.

lunchMeanwhile, Glenn, duct-taped to a chair, still refuses to divulge any information to Merle, who then releases a walker on him. In an exciting scene, Glenn fights for his life as he cleverly alternates between evading the creature, striking it and smashing apart his chair to break free; eventually he gains the upper hand and kills it with pieces of the smashed chair. The Governor decides next to interrogate Maggie himself. With the sinister air of a viper, he calmly orders her to remove her shirt and bra, hinting at rape. Unable to break the sobbing young woman, he leaves her but later reunites Maggie and the bloodied Glenn. After threatening Glenn in her presence, Maggie in her loved one’s presence. Maggie breaks down and reveals the survivors’ numbers and whereabouts.

Outside of Woodbury, Rick and the three others leave their car a few miles from the town and stealthily approach; but are spotted by walkers. Initially fighting them off, more walkers arrive in distractionimpossible numbers, so they seek shelter in a nearby cabin. Locking the door, they discover the cabin’s sole inhabitant, a hermit (Alex Van) who initially holds a gun to Rick. Although they disarm him, he panics and runs to escape; Michonne kills him to prevent him from opening the door. To distract the walkers, his body is thrown to them, which they devour in a grotesque feeding frenzy. Rick and the rescue party escape the cabin and later approach Woodbury after dark, hiding just outside its heavy fortifications.

The Governor meanwhile is stunned from Maggie’s revelation that such a small group – ten – was able to clear out a prison by themselves, a task thought to be impossible. Together with Glenn’s performance with the walker, he is impressed by them as a tough group. The Governor orders Merle and another of his thugs, Caesar (Jose Pablo Cantillo), to scout out the prison.

Except for a few token touchy-feely moments involving the newborn baby and Carol’s return, “When The Dead Come Knocking” is exciting and fast-paced. We are opening our eyes to Glenn, no longer the baseball-capped, delivery-boy-next-door type. He is emerging as a serious hombre with testicular fortitude, surviving a savage beating without ratting out his friends and later killing a walker while initially strapped to a chair. The episode suffered a few reality black holes, though. Jumping into a rescue mission without a complete and thorough re-con is a serious (and possibly fatal) mistake, especially up against a hard-nosed cat such as the Governor. Additionally, Michonne’s reluctance to reveal even her name also struck me as odd, considering she went through hell and high water to get to the prison, meet them, and deliver the baby supplies. And how exactly did that hermit survive in the middle of walker territory?

But ultimately that’s nitpicking, as The Walking Dead is leading to a deadly confrontation. Perhaps Michonne can clue the rescue team in to something we have already witnessed, because despite the grisly acts regularly committed by walkers in The Walking Dead, “When The Dead Come Knocking” ultimately focuses on the dark side of human behavior, something Rick and the survivors will soon experience for themselves.

Continue reading

Breakdowns & Aftermath On The Walking Dead, Parts I & II

 

Part I:

“This place..is not what they say it is..”

-Michonne to Andrea

In the pre-credits scene of episode five of The Walking Dead, “Say the Word”, Milton (Dallas Roberts) hands Andrea (Laurie Holden) a cold drink at an outdoor town festival; Michonne (Danai Gurira) watches from afar, suspicious. Andrea presses the tight-lipped Milton for details of the evening’s festivities, to no avail. We cut to the Governor (David Morrissey) in his den, combing his daughter’s hair, her face unseen. As the brush rips into her scalp, she suddenly turns hostile; turning around, she is revealed to be a walker. Frustrated, the Governor forces a bag over her head to restrain her, softly declaring his love for his little girl.

Post-credits, the survivors are gathered in the cell block yard, as Maggie (Lauren Cohan) holds Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) crying newborn baby girl. Hershel (Scott Wilson) pronounces the baby healthy, but in desperate need of formula. Carl (Chandler Riggs) holds his newborn sister and considers names for the baby girl; suggesting those of the dead survivors, he even offers that of his mother Lori. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) – glassy-eyed and unresponsive – suddenly grabs an axe and runs back into the cell block…

Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Maggie go on a supply run for the newborn; entering an abandoned nursery school, they find formula, bottles, and other provisions. Meanwhile, inside the cell block, Rick goes on vengeful rampage, mutilating all walkers in his path. Later, after a curt reply to soft-spoken Axel (Lew Temple) and Oscar (Vincent Ward), Glenn (Steven Yeun) reveals to Hershel his wish that they should have killed all the prisoners “on sight”.

In the Woodbury town center, while a smiling Governor, glass in hand, gathers the residents and raises a toast to the sacrifices and hard work that built the town, Michonne enters his office and snoops around. Fetching her katana, she finds an odd notebook full of names, but leaves before being caught. In an industrial area nearby, Michonne finds a cage full of walkers. She breaks the lock and empties the cage. Like Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, she smirks as she rips them to pieces, but is caught by the Governor’s men. Questioned privately by the Governor, she is uncooperative, and after holding her katana to the Governor’s throat, leaves calmly.

That afternoon, Milton and Merle (Michael Rooker) drive to a nearby location, and using a net, pull walkers from an underground pit. The Governor’s crew hold down the walkers as Merle removes their teeth. At the town party that evening, Michonne reveals her dark suspicions about Woodbury to Andrea. Describing the townspeople as prisoners unable to leave, she sets out. Andrea, staying put, is approached by the Governor, who invites her for a drink; they walk away, hand-in-hand.

In the inner cell block, Glenn locates a silent Rick, who pushes him away.  Prowling the dark, eerie cell block, Rick locates a butchered mess, who he surmises to be the remains of his deceased wife Lori. Seeing a bloated, well-fed walker nearby (presumably from eating you-know-who) he attacks and savagely kills it with his hunting knife…

As the Governor escorts Andrea to Woodbury’s evening festivities, a barbaric twist on old-time, bare-knuckle brawling: Merle and two of the Governor’s other muscled thugs duke it out in an arena, while chained (though toothless) walkers lunge at them from the side. Although the crowd cheers, Lori balks at the spectacle; the Governor waves it off, assuring her that it’s harmless.

The next day, Daryl lays a flower on an unmarked grave – Carol’s? (Melissa McBride) – while Rick remains in the cell block, still in shock. As the newborn’s crying reverberates through his head, he picks up a nearby ringing phone, answering “Hello?”

“Say the Word” was an overall exciting and well-paced episode, jump-cutting like an MTV video between the different storylines. With less of the usual fighting-their-way-through-hordes-of-walkers shtick, the highlight of this The Walking Dead episode is the slow and methodical unfolding of the Governor’s story. Seeing his sad, pitiful relationship with his walker daughter, we now understand why he and Milton are so fascinated with walkers’ behavior and memories. Michonne, on the other hand, remains an enigma, but in our first glimpse of what she can do when the odds seem to be against her, she is an impressive fighter. Somewhere between a manga heroine and a Pam Grier-style blaxploitation mama – with a touch of Snake Plissken – Michonne treats killing walkers as child’s play; in fact, she even seems to enjoy it. But questions arise. Where will she go, now that she has left Woodbury? What was that notebook? What will happen to Andrea? Will she develop a true romance with the Governor, or seek to leave? Was that Carol’s grave? If not, where is Carol (there was no mention of her)? Will Axel and Oscar prove their worth and link up with the survivors? Who called on the prison phone? What will happen to Rick?

A note to readers: At this point in the season we are so used to walkers popping out from every nook and cranny that even Daryl and Maggie’s supply run kept us on the edge of our seats. This time, all they encountered was an opossum. Also,I’ve felt for a while that the show has certain Western-style undertones (Rick is a sheriff; Daryl has a crossbow and a motorcycle, akin to a Native American with a bow and arrow on a horse, etc.). Case in point – note Daryl’s poncho, a tribute to Eastwood’s man-with-no-name from the famed Dollars trilogy. Continue reading