The Walking Dead, S3E09: The Suicide King [TV review by Blick Tolkien]

The Walking DeadOriginally broadcast February 10, 2013
Written by Evan Reilly
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
My rating: 4 stars
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No Christopher Walken… Sorry.

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Show Premise:

Sheriff Rick Grimes, after waking from a coma and finding his family along with a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world, attempts to lead them all to safety. After losing Sophia and finding a farm where they could take shelter, he was forced to kill his best friend for the good of the group and was shortly after, chased from the farm by giant hoard of zombie. After losing Andrea, Rick and the remaining crew, try to carve out a new life at a prison they’ve found in their travels.

Warning

The following review is rated ABMT (Angry Black Man Talking), it contains several rants that appear at random. The views here do not reflect the thoughts of a completely sane person. They are being presented by a person of African-American descent who has grown up in a rather unseemly portion of town, taken recreational narcotics and has been molested by a clown. Feel free to skip certain paragraphs if you simply want a recap and continued review of the episode. Hipster, child, feline and vegan discretion is advised.

Review:

Howdy folks! As we visit again the land of the dead, we find the Dixon brothers reunited and surrounded. It seems like anything living or dead is trying to get a piece of them after the governor did the very quick impromptu job of painting Merle out to be a traitor and Darryl out to be a terrorist. The lynch mob doesn’t have time to exact their vengeance since Rick went back for his right hand man guns ablazing and ended up with a second Dixon at no additional charge. Andrea doesn’t come with, but instead decides to stand by her man, proving out the stereotype that blondes really are fucking stupid. The rescue mission being successful, they all head back to the car, but not before we get a glimpse at the zombies discovering a hole in the wall they breached. Glenn, as expected, was more than ready to put a bullet in Merle’s head with Michonne and Maggie both there backing up that decision, but since this is a Rick-ocracy, he decides Merle lives for now and it is so for he has spoken.

Back at the prison, Tyrese and the other new survivors get their wounds treated and their bellies filled as they await Rick’s return to find out if they can be voted into the tribe. As they go to bury one of their own, one of their group starts hatching a plot to overpower Carol and Carl, take their guns, and set up shop. Tyrese completely disses this idea and with their opportunity missed, they are forced to actually act like they are grateful for the help they are getting. When given the option of coming back with the group or saying with his wayward brother who is not welcome, Darryl decides blood is thicker than water and the Dixon brothers hit the road again.

Back in Woodbury, people are trying to get while the getting is good, but none of the guards will let them out of the gate. Andrea, of course, tries to keep the peace but all bets are off once two walkers that breached the wall near fatally attack one of the Woodbury residents. All the bickering and pleading for help comes to an end once the governor, whose been sitting in his apartment sulking about losing his eye, prisoners, and the confidence of his subjects in the same week, steps outside and puts a bullet in the guy’s head. Everyone is shocked by his actions while Andrea just looks like she would like to give him a hug.

Rick and company make it back to the prison after Glenn gives him a piece of his mind and scolds him for letting Darryl go and letting the governor live. Rick arrives breaks the news to Carol that Darryl has decides to with Merle even though she is noticeably heart broken, she presses on. Meanwhile, Glenn gets some much needed medical attention and Rick goes to interview the applicants. Back in Woodbury, Andrea gives a heartwarming speech about how Woodbury will survive, canonizing the residents, and driving them toward that good old fashioned manifest destiny since the governor can’t find a shit to give. When Rick is confronted with the possibility of being responsible for these new people, he declines their offer to stay and join the group. Hershel, after a little cajoling, looks like he has convinced Rick to let them into the fold. However, this is when crazy Rick makes another appearance. As he spots Lori on the catwalk all dressed in white, he starts freaking out and wailing that he can’t be responsible for anyone else. Noting that these freakouts are out of character for Rick is one thing. But when you throw him waving a gun into the equation and pointing it at total strangers, shit gets a little tense. Seeing Rick slowly lose his grip on reality, first with the one man zombie slaughterfest, then again with the imaginary people on the other end of the phone, the pressure of being the leader, as well as a widower, seems to be taking its toll. We now have the larger problem of the faith the group placed in him to lead and protect is more than reasonably shaken.

Watching all this tension build, Rick’s slow decline, and the devolution of Woodbury as a town has been a hell of a way to follow up the previous episode. In honor of Roger Ebert, I would give this episode two thumbs up and highly recommend you watch it. The next review, however, will see a slight decline in this rapid forward momentum we’re becoming used to. We do get to watch Rick go a little crazy so that makes it alright. I will catch you for the next episode in a few weeks so until then, may all your films bring you fright.

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About Blick Tolkien

About Blick Tolkien: The bastard half brother of Zeb Carter, he grew up in Chicago's urban jungle, forced to be the victim of racial injustice and daily bullying until the day he saw Night of the Living Dead. the immersion into violence on film gave him the tools to externalize his hate and make the world a horror show for all his enemies. A card carrying member of the Black Panther party, he hates whitey and all forms of coonery including any and all Tyler Perry films. You have been warned. About Zeb Carter: The younger brother of Blick Tolkien, he used horror films as a way to open him self up to the social and story telling aspects of cinematic fear as well as his love of the silver screen. After seeing Gremlins at the drive in he was hooked. He also writes short fiction, has 2 daughters and a pack of animals that he is currently serves as the alpha male over. You can read his fiction at forums.drabblecast.org.
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