Blick Tolkien reviews The Walking Dead – Episode 031 – Clear

The Walking Dead - Episode 031 - Clear 45 min., 2013
Written by Scott M. Gimple
Directed by Tricia Brock
Language: English
My rating: ★★★★★

Negroes with weapons…who knew?

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The following review is rated SIN (Sincerely Intrigued Negro), 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.


What up pimps and players. Welcome back to another installment of whitey and son oppress the black man! Naw, I’m just dicking with you… sort of. This time around Rick actually came up with a plan, having stepped out of crazy town long enough to realize they may need more guns, vests, and body armor since the Governor has tanks and such. Considering how far from home they’ve gone already, it’s surprising that he waited until now to backtrack and claim the weapons from the police station he worked at back in Atlanta. This, however, is precisely what this episode centers around plot wise. Leaving as many hands on deck as possible in case the Governor comes back, Rick takes a 3 man crew including himself which actually consists of a boy and woman. Despite Carl’s blatant lack of trust in her and Rick’s “you ain’t one of mine so you’re expendable attitude,” Michonne seems in frangible as usual. Rick lets Carl know that he can at least give Michonne a chance rather than be pissy and jaded about her presence in the group, so it’s ironic she turns out to be Carl’s saving grace later in the show.

As predictable as this was, they get to the weapons storage area and there is not more than few stray bullets laying around. All the guns, grenades, vests, and body armor seem to have grown legs and walked out of there. Rick gets the bright idea that a few hand guns and shotguns are better than nothing and since he gave licenses to some local shop owners he wants to  stop around town to reclaim those guns from their now long deceased owners’ hiding places. In the process of making his way to their first stop, they run into some elaborate assed zombie obstacle course meant to lure them, stab them, trap them, and impale them until whoever the erector of this Rube Goldbergian monstrosity can dispatch of them. The mystery of who this person is doesn’t last for long. After taking a few pot shots at Rick and company, Carl yet again mans up and puts a bullet in the mystery man’s chest so as he lay there unconscious Rick can unmask him Scooby-Doo style and reveal that it was old man Morgan all along. Rick goes to carry him inside of his fortified place only after avoiding several nasty booby traps to find not only the guns from the police station stockpiled there, but also a secondary arsenal Morgan has amassed in the year or so he’s been gone. While Rick waits for Morgan to come around and explain how things got this far as we ll as what happened to his son Dwayne, Carl decides to go get a crib for his baby sister at a local furniture store. Rick approves this little side mission under the single condition that Michonne tag along. Carl unsuccessfully tries to ditch her so he can sneak off to his real target, some family friendly restaurant his parents used to frequent. While the hot wings were divine and the pickled eggs may be good for a couple of months to come, his sole purpose in going there is to retrieve the last known photo of his parents so baby Judith will at least know what they looked like as she grows up. As crazy as it sounds Michonne agrees to this even after finding a dozen or so walkers meandering inside. With some teamwork and some quick thinking they grab the photo and get out of Dodge. Rick, in the mean time, gets stabbed by Morgan before he can snap him out of it and make sense of his crazy talk ramblings. Eventually he talks him down and finds out the fate of young Dwayne.

Sad as it is to hear, Morgan’s inability to put a bullet in his wife’s head when Rick gave him that sniper rifle turned out to be his undoing. One day while scavenging for food, Dwayne’s mother found him and it seems the old adage of “like father like son” applies because even though he was armed he couldn’t shoot her either. After all that time, it seems as though mommy wanted to wrap her arms around her little boy again. Sadly, this also came with gnashing teeth and while Morgan looked on in horror, his son was no more. He finally blew her brains out though for what it’s worth, but if you ask me it’s a classic case of too little too late. Feeling a deep sense of remorse and guilt for leaving him behind the last time, Rick begs Morgan to come with him and help defend the prison. As history repeats itself, Morgan declines and as Carl and Michonne pack up, Morgan is once again left behind to his own devices. As Rick, Michonne, and Carl drive off, with a family photo, a new crib, and more than enough guns to keep the governor at bay, at least for a little while, the tone is somber but I think they would all agree they were better off in the end for the excursion.

Watching Morgan’s descent into madness or the result thereof is truly tragic. Examining him in the character in the graphic novels, it does play out pretty much the same way with two minor changes. First of all, Morgan had a beard and a fro as if though he had been living in the mountains for 20 years in the comics. The second difference would be that Dwayne was being kept on a chain in similar fashion to the governor’s little girl and being fed the flesh of whomever came a callin’. There is no way to be sure if he put Dwayne down or it we will see him risen from the dead later on in the show or if they decided to go in a completely different direction. What is clear is that Morgan is hurt and broken but not gone. The fact that he still remains no matter how scattered his thoughts or sporadic his actions is the proof Rick needed that he can come back from his own separation from reality. The show plays very well and in a deviation from the way the other shows this season have been playing out, these three characters remain the central focus of the entire episode without a single location change to peek in on his confederates at the prison or the people of Woodbury. I would say we were treated to very high caliber episode this go round. It rates a solid 4 stars for me. I am genuinely looking forward to the next episode. This episode coming to a close has got me hankering for more so I will join you again in a few weeks for episode 13: Arrow on the Doorpost. Until then may all your films bring 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
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