February 18, 2013

Episode Review: THE WALKING DEAD, "Home"

The Walking Dead flipped the script with "Home" compared to last week's episode, meaning that it had a slow and quiet beginning just to end on a crazy bananas high-note. Add a few twists and turns, and you've got a pretty entertaining hour of television.

At the prison, Glenn and Maggie tried to come to terms with what they went through in Woodbury while preparing for the inevitable retaliation made by the Governor. Herschel tried to be the voice of reason and suggested that the prison was no longer safe and they should move on. Glenn, on the other hand, refused to give up their safe haven and wanted to take the fight to the Governor but ultimately backed away from that suicidal plan before storming off. While all of this was going on, Rick was off chasing Lori's "ghost," and was coming clean to Hershel when the Governor and some of his men opened fire on them. While chaos broke out, a van being driven by a mysterious masked person charged through the gates and let a herd of walkers in the yard. Thankfully, Daryl and Merle showed up to join the fight, and Glenn returned in the nick of time to save his friends.

Before returning to the prison, Daryl and Merle talked about how much things have changed since Atlanta, and Merle wondered how his brother's new family would react if the knew that they planned on robbing them blind. Daryl tried to convince Merle that he was a different person, and even proved it by helping a family survive a walker attack and let them go before the elder Dixon could steal from them. While this was going on, the Governor was sweet-talking Andrea into becoming the new leader of Woodbury before he asked Milton to keep tabs on her and then snuck off to attack the prison.

Like most of this season, the Woodbury scenes didn't quite work for me, like when the Governor was duping Andrea or when she tried to act all tough in front of Milton, but everything that happened outside of the town was pretty great. For example, Glenn morphing into this hardened person who's pushing away everyone close to him has a lot of potential and could be a turning point for both the character and the narrative. And there was Rick's continued decent into madness, which I'm more on board with now after watching this episode because Andrew Lincoln plays crazy awfully well.

But at the end of the day it's all about the Dixon boys. Even though we only got a few glimpses of them on their own, their scenes together were a nice combination of tension, action, but more importantly character development that sometimes gets tossed aside in favor of zombie gore. I would've preferred to watch them wandering the woods for one more episode, but I understand why the story needed them back at the prison, and I was ultimately happy with what we got so I really can't complain.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • The opening scene where Rick sees Lori while Michonne watches on was another example of how good this show can be when it embraces quiet and starkness over zombified action. Good stuff.
  • For some reason Andrea using the word "abdicate" was laughably bad. She's got to go at this point.
  • It was refreshing to see Rick tell Herschel about his visions because that's the kind of secret that most other shows would keep hidden until the last possible second.
  • Poor Axel. We hardly knew you, you dirty perv.
  • Having a masked person behind the wheel of the van was an unnecessary layer of "mystery" but it worked because I want to know who it was.
All in all, "Home" was another successful episode of The Walking Dead because it hit all of the right notes that I look for from this show. Sure, there were some low points but the good outweighed the bad when it was all said and done.


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