The Walking Dead has returned for the second half of its third season in exhilarating fashion…at least, for the first five minutes. The opening promised a pretty exciting episode, but unfortunately things kind of simmered down for most of the rest of it.
The episode picks right up where the mid-season finale left off, with brothers Daryl and Merle pitted against each other by the Governor. Their “fight to the death” doesn’t last long, though, as Rick and the rest of the crew come to the rescue with bullets and smoke grenades. If there’s one thing that will stop zombies, it’s smoke grenades. People die, Daryl and Merle get the hell out of there, and the Governor nonchalantly walks through the smoke in dramatic fashion. Cut to opening credits sequence.
Like I said, this beginning set up a pretty exciting episode, but the rest of it fell kind of flat. It was nice to see Rick and the crew kicking ass in Woodbury, though, and the writers are making us anxiously wait for the time when Rick and the Governor finally square off. Really, the only other semi-exciting thing to happen in the episode was zombies in Woodbury,and the Governor nonchalantly shooting a bitten citizen in the head then walking back to his house without a word. He was very nonchalant this episode. It’s probably because he’s pissed about something. I wonder what.
The rest of the episode was basically set-up for what’s to come in the final episodes of the season, which I guess is to be expected after a multiple-month hiatus. There were a lot of things happening here, and yet, not much, because it only hinted at things to come. First off, Daryl decides to leave the group with Merle, siding with his deeply disturbed and racist biological brother Merle over his deeply disturbed and whispering-like-that’s-the-only-way-he-can-talk figurative brother Rick. This all happened very quick, but we guess that the brothers redneck will be back.
Then we’ve got the whole thing with the new group in the prison because, well, there always has to be a new group in the prison to make decisions about. There’s a new black guy who already has more lines than T-Dawg and T-Dawg.2 did combined, so I guess he’ll probably be kind of important. Two of the people in the group (the white ones) want to steal the weapons from Rick’s group while the other two (the black ones) warn against it. Needless to say, this plot point gets scrapped pretty quick because black people finally got their way in this show. It’ll be interesting to see if the white people go through with their plan in the future though. They’ll probably die.
Meanwhile, Glenn is mad at Rick (who is becoming more badass, which I like. He goes all “Drive” on a zombie this episode and stomps its face in), Maggie is mad at God knows what (she’s probably just PMSing) and Rick is mad at the world because Daryl left, Glenn’s mad at him, his baby cries whenever he holds her, his wife is dead, his best friend is dead, he has to deal with new people in the prison (again) and the whole thing with the Governor wanting him dead just tops it all off. Rick’s taking a downward spiral and seeing things, namely his dead wife, which was insanely creepy. Hershel should take a look at him, because, ya know, he is a doctor. Speaking of Hershel, he still only has one leg and a ponytail, and that’s all we need to know.
So overall, Season 3 has been pretty awesome. It’s been good about keeping the pace faster than season 2, but this was one of the weaker episodes. I feel in the coming weeks things are going to get insane though, at least I’m hoping. There’s obviously going to be a big confrontation between the prison group (both of them) and the Governor’s army. I’m just waiting for the payoff. Don’t write off The Walking Dead yet.