The Walking Dead and AMC flexed serious muscle in Season 3. Dish Network tried to play hardball in negotiations with the network. Record ratings for the season premiere quickly changed the provider’s mind. Good thing, because the first half of Season 3 gave us awesome action, long awaited characters and a serious cliffhanger.
SPOILER ALERT FOR THE WALKING DEAD MIDSEASON FINALE!
Carl’s In Charge
After his unfortunate hand in Dale’s death last season, Carl was polling pretty low among Walking Dead viewers. Little man has stepped up this season. That was never more apparent than watching him save Tyreese and the new survivors. He blew away walkers with precision shots, made the tough call on putting the wounded girl out of her misery and locked the new survivors in a prison cell. Hey, that’s life these days. I couldn’t help but laugh as the new girl asked who the hell he was. Tyreese got it. This is his house, and we follow his rules.
Black Man Dying, Page 12
This is how Samuel L. Jackson described most of the acting jobs he had before becoming “Samuel L. Jackson.” It could also be the casting call for every black male character introduced before now. T-Dog died the second Oscar joined the group. Making matters worse was T-Dog’s virtual absence during most of the second season. Characters lamented his loss by telling us heroic things T-Dog did that we never saw on camera. He did at least die a heroic “go on, save yourself” death, so that’s something.
The running gag became that Oscar would die the second Tyreese showed up. In case you missed it, which was easy to do, Oscar was the big black prisoner. He was also the only prisoner that didn’t seem creepy. As expected, the transition from one black guy to another happened in the exact same episode. The good news is that Tyreese is one of the comic’s most popular characters, so hopefully he is around for a while.
Walker Bone Shiv
OK, we need more backstory on Glenn pronto. Making a weapon out of zombie bones is a serious piece of survival skills. Is there something dark in this dude’s background? Even Maggie had underestimated her boyfriend, as evidenced last season when she said Rick was using him as “walker bait.” I don’t think Maggie, Merle or anyone else will underestimate Glenn again.
Michonne on a Mission
Speaking of popular characters, Michonne lacks “people skills” but makes up for it by being badass. Her fight with The Governor gave us some of the show’s most powerful images to date. You can’t kill a kid on camera, but you can kill a zombie. Sorry, Penny. Though her time on camera was short, her appearance did a lot to humanize The Governor. Once this guy had a family. He wants one again, and will kill, manipulate and stage wrestling matches with zombies to get one. The best villains are ones with motivations that we can understand. The Walking Dead is based on a comic, and comics have often gotten this idea where TV shows haven’t.
Still, Michonne could have cleared a lot of things up if she had just told Andrea about The Governor’s dirty dealings. I’m not sure she trusts Andrea anymore. That’s not a bad thing, looking at Andrea’s track record. After dalliances with Shane and The Governor, Andrea seems to have an attraction to the bad boys. If O.J. Simpson is still alive in this world, Andrea will probably find him. Remember Michonne doesn’t even know about Shane yet. It’s obvious Michonne doesn’t fully trust Rick, a feeling that’s mutual. The storyline I guess doesn’t work if Andrea finds out what’s happening. But it was comical to watch her fight former friends and manage not to see any of the ones she’d recognize.
Do you think Rick realized Daryl’s “I’ll lay cover fire” was just an excuse to go look for Merle? I wonder if he thought about that, or just figured he couldn’t stop Daryl anyway. Rick was fully functioning for most of the fight, but then he saw a ghostly Shane. That serves as a reminder that he’s not all the way there.
My wife Tish asked me if I really thought The Governor would kill Merle. It didn’t take a good two minutes to get the answer. Merle’s only true value is being an unfeeling killing machine, and Daryl compromises that. There’s also the whole lying about killing the woman that took The Governor’s eye and killed his zombie daughter. Really, the only thing that was missing was a “Hey, little brother” from Merle.
Really, February cannot arrive soon enough.