November 26, 2012

Episode Review: THE WALKING DEAD, "When the Dead Come Knocking"

Comparatively speaking, "When the Dead Come Knocking" wasn't as pedal to the metal as some of the previous episodes due to its lack of zombie ultimate fighting and hunting parties out for Michonne, but it was still a well-crafted hour of television that set the table for what should be an epic mid-season finale.

In Woodbury, Merle took a shot at getting some information on his brother and the rest of Rick's party by interrogating Glenn. When it was clear that he was not going to give up the goods, Merle roughed Glenn up a little and even sicked a walker on him. Thankfully, life in the post-zombie world has taught Glenn a thing or two and he was able to save himself. Meanwhile, the Governor took it upon himself to question Maggie, but he took a very different approach. Instead of physically torturing her, he took a psychological route by having her remove her top and threatening to rape her. In the end, it was all a power play to rattle her cage, and he was able to get what he wanted after he threatened to kill Glenn in front of her. Now, the Governor has intel on the prison and we're one step closer to the inevitable showdown.

Actually, we might be even closer to the face off because Rick and a band of survivors showed up at Woodbury's doorstep when they learned that Glenn and Maggie were taken. A weary Michonne had to fight off some walkers in front of the prison after they caught a wiff of her blood, and eventually Rick and Carl saved her after she passed out from her wound. She was brought into the prison and was staying at arms length until she witnessed the return of Carol and how it affected this new group that she stumbled upon. Michonne eventually came around and told Rick about Woodbury and what happened to Glenn and Maggie. Once she was patched up by Hershel, she accompanied Rick, Daryl and Oscar on a mission to get their people back. After a brief detour that involved walkers, a cabin in the woods and its occupant (who was sacrificed so they could live on), the search party showed up at Woodbury ready to bust out their friends.

I know that I'm going to sound like a broken record, but pretty much everything that involved Rick and the prison worked (even the admittedly silly cabin scene) while Woodbury continued to be the show's main weak spot. Granted, the interrogations of Glenn and Maggie were disturbing, especially the latter since it showed how despicable the Governor can be, but the prison still packed the most emotional wallops due to the return of Carol and them gearing up to get their people back. Woodbury just had bad men doing horrible things under the guise of survival, but we all know it's about more than that. And to be fair, killing the hermit in the woods and sacrificing him to the walkers was just as self-serving, but that felt like more humane compared to what Merle and the Governor were doing.

The thing is Woobury's not hamstrung just by its lack of action, which included a C-plot about Andrea helping Milton with an experiment on whether biters maintain a sense of consciousness after they've turned, but also due to a lack of compelling characters. Sure, the Governor's shaping up to be a somewhat interesting villain, but Merle's already showing signs of regression, and Andrea's cluelessness is starting to be a huge detriment. Even Michonne switching sides wasn't enough to make her any more interesting because she was only there to help Rick inch towards the Governor, and this lack of development was the episode's biggest misstep because we could have learned so much about her but she continued to be a plot device instead of a true character. That said, things could get really interesting once Daryl, Merle, Michonne and Andrea are all reunited and loyalties are tested.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • The exchange between Rick and Carol after she realized that Lori died was beyond amazing.
  • In my opinion, Michonne's turning point was when she saw how Rick's group was a family rather than just a community, and that's something she could get on board with over just security and electricity.
  • We also got a great moment between Rick and Carl as they talked about what's happened and naming the new baby Judith.
  • Aw man, I really wanted to see Beth kick some ass.
  • Andrea and Milton's experiment raised some interesting questions, but boy did those scenes suck the wind out of this episode.
  • Glenn's such a badass.
  • Honestly, I'd rather take Glenn's beating than be subjected to what Maggie had to endure.
  • "It's what we do."
  • "Remember the Alamo?"
In a lot ways, "When the Dead Come Knocking" was a bridge episode primed to get everyone pumped for the mid-season finale and it did just that. There were enough character and plot-centric moments to make up for the relative lack of zombie killing, and for the most part they did their job because I'm excited for next week. I can't wait!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail