Feb 252013


Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead on AMC had what many of us had waited for. The reunion between Andrea and our underdog group of prison troops. For me a lot of the episode seemed anti-climatic and that some bigger confrontation might occur but it didn’t.

As always I will qualify for any new readers that I refuse to watch The Talking Dead and will not watch previews of next week’s episodes as I loathe spoilers.

I was so excited to see what would happen with Merle inside the prison walls with everyone. He gives a grave warning to the entire group about The Governor in that he will see blood and kill off the prison gang one by one, saving Rick for last. It’s interesting that aside from Merle’s highly volatile and unpredictable behavior he can also provide some fantastic intelligence. And in this case he was obviously very accurate on the information regarding The Governor.

There is great conflict within the group as to whether they should stay or go. For me, I would be feeling highly claustrophobic knowing my food and ammunition are running out and the mad-man from Woodbury could come crashing in again at any moment. And we can see the prison has been highly infested with walkers again. But, where the heck would they go? Gosh, I miss when life was good on Hershel’s farm. Hey, I like farms until zombies are coming after you!

Merle has many interesting moments with a get-to-know-you (again) session with the group. Glenn obviously wants him gone. I absolutely do not know how Glenn is able to maintain his composure and not take Merle out immediately for what happened to him and Maggie at Woodbury. Hershel has reminded the group of Merle’s military background being useful to them.

He and Merle have a short bible study in one of the prison rooms after he re-tapes his hand-blade. Merle was able to finish reciting a verse from the Bible that Hershel had started. Where was Hershel coming from here? Was he trying to get a feel for where Merle is at in the head? Or that there can be forgiveness for Merle? They discussed how both of them lost limbs which extended both of their lives. If Hershel was trying to bring about some holy gratefulness to Merle’s soul he picked the wrong pupil.

Merle has a brief chit-chat with Michonne about having a truce that in no way is she buying into. Again, I find this whole thing with Merle being there unrealistic in that he wasn’t killed within seconds by Glenn, Maggie and Michonne.

I felt Rick was much more back to being himself in this episode. But, we are watching episodes weekly and real-time for them is a couple of days. Hershel essentially tells Rick that he’s had enough of his psychosis and that the group needs a leader. A moment that pulled at my heart-strings was when Carl tells his Dad to stop being the leader and that it’s time for him to rest. Who else would lead the group?

Carl is far too young but I know he will be an amazing leader in probably just a few years while he is still a teen. Michonne has a lot of battle sense but absolutely no people skills.  Hershel offers so much wisdom and life knowledge but he is a cripple were they to go on the run. Carol seems really solid at times but wishy-washy at other times. Glenn is still too traumatized to have both of his feet on the ground to make rational decisions for the group in this irrational world. Maggie is a lot like her father but I can’t see her stepping into that role right now. Daryl is an amazing warrior and he’s shown again and again his love and loyalty for this group (ok, sans a day or two). But, he isn’t a communicator and seems much more comfortable and a better fit as second in charge. Which still leaves Rick, our hero, as the natural-born leader and I hope that is the route it goes.

Oh by the way, earlier in the show when The Governor took his eye patch off to reveal his missing  right eye. It looks like it needs some disinfectant. Is it just me or did anyone else think he was going to cauterize it with that match?

We finally get to see Tyreese and Sasha and the other two as they meet up with Andrea. Hang on, I’m getting to her shortly.  Tyreese assists Andrea and Milton with a walker they have obtained. Milton takes them back to Woodbury while Andrea goes on her way. And there was never a word about the prison until the new visitors mention it to The Governor.

This part twisted me the wrong way because their lives were saved at the prison and now they are throwing Rick and the gang under the bus wanting revenge and to take them out. I thought they were generally really good people (not so much on the other two) but I’m rethinking this now. And Tyreese offering to map out the prison for The Governor? Doesn’t he have even a twinge of guilt to do that against the folks that saved him and knowing there is a little baby there?

Wouldn’t it be cool if that was all a hidden plot and they are there covertly to help take The Governor out. No, I don’t believe that but it would be cool and I had to throw it out there for the conspiracy theorists.

And now for our dear, rose-colored-glasses-wearing, Andrea. At the beginning of the episode she tells The Governor that she wants to go to the prison and he tells her, if she does, to stay there. She asks Milton for help and he rats her off  to The Governor without blinking but he does tell Milton to assist her. All of sudden Andrea and Milton are in the woods trying to corral a walker with a zombie catch pole. She channels her inner Michonne and hacks off a walker’s arms then does an apocalyptic zombie version of hobbling like they did in the diamond mines 50-100 years ago. Only this involved not the walker’s ankles but Andrea obliterating its lower jaw off its face against a cement rock. She obviously learned plenty when she and Michonne were on their Thelma and Louise walk-a-bout.

She gets to the prison using the tame walker as camouflage and they take her in the front gate. Rick searches her very aggressively and puts her on her knees. I liked that he was rough with her that way,  though it was a bit unnerving at the same time as she used to be part of the family. She seems immediately baffled by the hostile welcome and to me it becomes more clear how clueless she is. With the exception of a hug with Carol the group does not want her there. Carol did impart some cryptic words about telling Andrea to essentially do her best impression of Kim Basinger in Nine ½ Weeks with The Governor. Then slit his throat while he’s sleeping and end all of this. This is called foreshadowing.

It was fascinating to see the prison and the gang through the eyes of Andrea. They are living in retched conditions with barely enough food and ammunition left to survive in what is essentially tomb. The last was Daryl’s exact words and he’s right. But, Andrea telling the group that there was room for them in Woodbury was absolute lunacy! Michonne gives her a very icy, venomous word of reminder saying, “You chose a warm bed over a friend.” Some of the best words Michonne has ever spoken and I totally gave a fist pump for that.

The group decides to let Andrea use one of the vehicles to return back to her pirate-looking-lover at Woodbury. This was completely out of whack to me. One, why are you helping her that much as you’ve already shown you do not want her there or trust her. And two because Rick says they could spare the vehicle? How in the heck can you spare a frickin’, good-running vehicle period? I thought that was completely asinine.

She gets back to Woodbury and she and The Governor of course wind up in bed. While he is sleeping in spent hormonal bliss she gets up, grabs a knife and stands over him momentarily. Of course she doesn’t kill him because he’s not going away in this show! I did keep expecting him to dart awake and discover her though.

The Walking Dead continues to have filler shows in between the big bang episodes that blow our socks off. I wish there was more consistency in keeping it at a higher energy level every week. I honestly wonder if the writers and producers had no clue it would be this successful so far and got ahead of themselves. Hence, maybe they are trying to recover from the quick end to Shane and Lori.

We part this episode with Beth’s beautiful voice singing a song of hope and another day. Then we see views of both the prison and Woodbury at night as if on the eve of a very likely forthcoming war.

What were your thoughts on this episode?

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  2 Responses to “The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 11”

  1. Your coments are great. There are a couple of options for leader to fill in for Rick while he is out there, 1) I’ve never seen a show turn over cast members, even popular ones like this one. So, a possible new leader can come from the outside out the prison as new people seem to do every few weeks and be taken in by the group and gain the group’s confidence; 2) Andrea could come back to the group at some point when she’s got to make up her mind on her loyalties, probably during some dramatic battle scene or escape scene after someone has been captured. She has shown leadership qualities in the town and if she goes back to the group these may surface again. Just some possiblities I though of while reading your great comments.

    • Thanks for your great comments as well, Pete! Those are two amazing scenarios that I had not considered. Of course, after reading your comments, both of those would make total sense. I’m saying they would be popular or not but definitely in the realm of possibilities. I guess we have to leave any and all things open to maybe happening!

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