The Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 11

WD3_premier

What a week! Its been a busy one on my end, and there have been subsequent delays. Times like this make me think I need an assistant, or that this blogging thing needs to pay more and more frequently! But I can’t complain… because it’s Friday, which means catching up on sleeping, schmoozing, and all the reading and writing I meant to do sooner!

Which brings me to last Sunday’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. As the third episode in the latter half of season 3, things are once again beginning to pick up and, regrettably, drag out. There’s been plenty of action to be had and some twists and set-ups, but I’m also noticing a trend setting in that’s beginning to concern me.

In season 1, the story and narrative was very tight. But telling an entire first act in only six parts can have that effect. Season 2 tended to drag on inexorably, causing the whole Rick/Shane conflict and the will they or won’t they leave the farm issue a ridiculous amount of time to resolve itself. And with episode 11 now out, it seems like that may be happening here.

I Aint a Judas:
wd3_judas2The episode begins with Andrea seeing the people of Woodbury being armed and recruited for war. She attempts to talk to the Governor about it, but he insists that he and his men went to the prison and Rick’s people fired first. She asks for permission to go and speak to them, but is denied, prompting her to sneak out with Milton’s help.

Using what Michonne taught her, Andrea captures a walker and cuts off its arms and removes it teeth. Tyreese and his party find them in the woods and ask for help, and are told they can come to Woodbury where people are being taken in. After being expelled from the prison, Tyreese and his people are very receptive to the Governor and his plan to go to war with them.

wd3_judas1Back at the prison, the group discusses what to do about the impending siege and the yard that is now full of walkers. Low on ammo and supplies, they realize they can’t do anything without resupply and more trips into town. Rick also decides to delegate some responsibility to others after Carl tells him that he should unshoulder some of the burden. This is clearly out of concern for his recent mental breakdown, and he begins to let Hershel and Daryl step up.

Meanwhile, Merle begins to try and integrate with the rest, with limited success. Despite his insistence he was “just following orders”, Michonne and Glenn are unwilling to let go of the past. Hershel attempts to speak to him and get some idea of who they are dealing with over in Woobury. Merle responds by telling him that Governor is a ruthless man, and that when the war comes to their doorstep, which it will, he will take no prisoners.

wd3_judas3When she arrives at the prison, Andrea gets a cold reception and is snubbed by virtually everyone except Carol, who owes Andrea her life. She and Michonne argue since Andrea thinks she is the one who poisoned the others against the Governor, and Michonne believing that Andrea she has fallen under the Governor’s spell. Andrea is finally told by Carol that if she wants to resolve things, she’ll have to kill the Governor.

Andrea is given a car and sent back to Woodbury, where she is well-received by the Governor who believes she’s “come home”. After making love to him, Andrea wakes up and fetches her knife, and contemplates killing him the way Carol recommended. But after several seconds of struggle, she finds she can’t bring herself to do it and walks away.The episode ends with looking out the window, onto the town that she really has come to think of as home.

Summary:
Overall, this episode had plenty of good points. I like the fact that whereas Michonne was being minimized in previous episodes, she’s being brought forward once again to act in a more primary role. Her antagonism with the Governor is central to the plot in this part of the story, especially when you consider that she’s the one who took his eye and killed his zombie daughter, and he repeatedly tried to kill her!

And the reunion between Andrea and the prison people was definitely due. For some time now, she’s found herself caught between camps and this episode managed to force that issue a little. On both sides, she’s got people who are determined to fight the other and refuse to listen. And now, she was given a choice on how to end it all (i.e. kill the Governor in his sleep) buAt couldn’t. In the end, her desire to stay neutral and try and foster a compromise is very believable.

And yet, this episode kind of felt like a dragger for me, which pretty much punctuates what I said about the last episode. True, episode 10 did end with a pretty big bang after running slow for the first forty minutes. But with episode 11, I once again feel that things are destined to drag on til the end. There are five more episodes this season, conflict (we are told) is inevitable and part of the original material. So… when it’s going to happen? How’s it going to turn out? Who stands to win and who will lose?

In the first half of the season, we received a lot of build-up and some dire warnings. It was made clear that the Governor doesn’t suffer the existence of people he considers a potential threat, and that he was hellbent on finding the prison and dealing with them. After the mid-season climax, it seemed like the bear had only been provoked further and was out for blood. But when he did retaliate, it was with limited consequences and in a limited way.

And in this episode, we’re given more of the same and basically told to wait longer for the big finish. But for how many more episodes can we be told what we already know? How many more times do we need to hear that the Governor is a ruthless man? That he will be coming and there will be no stopping him? And how much longer is Andrea going to be debating her loyalties and being caught in between? Hard to say, but things need to pick up from here on in! Otherwise, I think people might start to lose interest.

Still, looking forward to next week’s episode. Stay tuned for the review, I plan to post it sooner other than later this time 😉

2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead – Season 3, Episode 11

  1. Ah. I enjoyed this last episode for its build up to what will eventually be, I suspect, quite a cliffhanger until next season begins in the fall. We only have, what? 3-4 episodes left, if that many.
    You’re right about season two and how it dragged. This one, so far so good I think. These lulls are set ups.
    I have a prediction/hope regarding the fate of these people.
    We never saw what happened when Glenn led Tyrese’s group out of the prison when Rick went all screwy. I predict (hope) that they joined the Guv’s group with the understanding and knowledge that he is a freak. I think (hope) that Glenn enlisted their help to infiltrate Woodbury and help take the Guv down. Notice how he’s suddenly all radio silence about going to Woodbury with Michonne to kill the Guv? Tyrese and his daughter are essentially good people as evidenced by the fact that they would not allow their mates to jack the prison in Rick’s absence. I don’t see him arming himself against the group because he got kicked out by the crazy guy.
    Admittedly, I could be jiving off of the Tyrese that I know from the comic.
    Which brings me to another point. I watch TWD with a certain degree of confusion as the show is pretty much dismantling much of what I know from the comics. I know, i know, it can’t be exactly the same but does it really have to be so exactly “different”. We have with the show the addition of characters not original to the comic who don’t appear to serve any great purpose. We have Rick going way more lulu than he ever did. We have Tyrese show up 2 seasons late…he is an important character and Rick’s right hand man. We have Michonne being a fire breathing dragon of a mute. We have a dead Dale and a legless Hershel. Lori dies too soon. And Andrea, much hated that she is, is separated from the group and the source of much angst.
    I could keep going but won’t.

    1. Interesting premise. I hope you’re right, because it would inject the next few episodes with some real drama! And you’re right about how Tyrese and his crew just left and we didn’t even see what happened next. I was wondering myself.

      And yes, the differences and convergence are startling. The more I read from the original comic, the more it seems to make me wonder. There’s being a carbon copy, and then there’s being true to the spirit but diverging from the letter.

      Michonne better kill the Governor! That’s something I’m non-negotiable on right now!

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