45 min., 2013
Written by Angela Kang
Directed by Angela Kang
My rating: ★★★★★
The end of a Rickocracy.
* * *
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 the death of Sophia and finding other survivors on a farm, he was forced to kill his best friend for the good of the group (losing track of Andrea in their hasty exit) after which he lost his wife in childbirth. After, Rick and the remaining crew, try to carve out a new life at a prison they’ve found in their travels a man called “The Governor” has risen as a threat and an enemy that they struggle now to defeat.
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.
Well, this week’s episode review sees Hershel abandon the kindly old understanding guru-with-a-gentle- hand and give Rick the verbal bitch slapping he’s deserved throughout this season over him spacing out and going on spirit walks while the group is facing a real thinking, breathing threat. Merle just gave them a detailed description of who exactly The Governor is, and why they should’ve gotten out of dodge when they had the chance. Everyone but Daryl is keeping Merle on the fringes of the group after remembering the kidnapping/beating that Glenn and Maggie endured. Carl actually gets desperate enough to ask his dad to step down and let someone else lead. And this all happens in the first five minutes of the show.
The rest of the show bounces around between Woodbury and the prison. Woodbury has two primary struggles this episode. The first of which is Andrea’s struggle with the realization that she is likely dating a vengeful murderous douchebag. Meaning in short, Michonne was right all along. The second of Woodbury’s plights would be the army comprised of every able bodied person over the age of twelve that The Governor is trying to raise. This is of course going to be for his assault on the prison. However in full Governor fashion, he has convinced the residents of Woodbury he is simply training them to defend themselves in case the group of “terrorists” come back to threaten their peaceful way of life. Milton is having and internal struggle of his own where he is trying to follow the man he knew
The Governor to be, while The Governor continues to push him to spy on Andrea and compromise his moral code at The Governor’s whims.
At some point Andrea decides she needs to go to the prison to broker a peace between her old friends and her new neighbors. She leaves Woodbury with Milton’s help, but little does she know this supposed covert mission to leave Woodbury was already cleared with Milton through The Governor. With Milton’s help Andrea escapes and eventually makes her way to the prison where she is greeted with a far less than warm welcome. She finds herself sent to her knees at gun point and searched before she is allowed entrance to the prison. After some very failed negotiations on her part and catching up on who’s died since her absence, she is sent back to Woodbury with the knowledge The Governor truly is a villain, Rick has no intention of negotiating, and lastly her best friend Michonne was almost murdered for leaving by Merle the day they were given the opportunity to go on their way.
The struggle at the prison is one of acceptance for Merle, Rick learning humility and to work by sharing the responsibility of safety for the group, and fortifying their new found home against what they’ve learned will be an army hell bent on destroying it with no attention of taking prisoners. Merle still doesn’t have a place there, but despite everyone’s objections, he’s too big of an asset to let go of. I mean Merle did just save Rick’s life, has insider information on Woodbury, and the icing on the cake is that if he goes, Daryl goes. Knowing this the group seems to have accepted it begrudgingly, as their main focus seems to be on surviving.
Overall I think this episode comes together well and plants the seeds for the upcoming season finale, since we all know there will have to be some grand confrontation. I think this episode’s main purpose was to draw some lines in the sand and sort out where Andrea’s loyalty will lay. I want to rate this a 4, but I will say instead that it is a strong 3. I’ll be back with more Walking Dead, since I know you’re jonesing for your zombie fix, very soon. Until then, may all your films bring you fright.Have You Read...?