February 11, 2013

Episode Review: THE WALKING DEAD, "The Suicide King"

The Walking Dead kicked off the start of the second part of its third season with a somewhat reserved episode (at least by this show's standards) that laid of the gas a bit so the characters and the audience could get back on the same page. I know that I'm probably in the minority, but I appreciated this approach over non-stop action and gore.

Naturally, "The Suicide King" picked up where "Made to Suffer" left off. Merle and Daryl were in the Governor's clutches and were forced to fight each other to death until Rick and Maggie opened fire to cause enough of a distraction to allow them to escape. Once out of Woodbury, they regrouped with Glenn and Mischonne which caused some friction for obvious reasons. Daryl pleaded with the group to let Merle return to the prison with them, but it was clear that Rick wasn't willing to allow the elder Dixon or Michonne back into their ranks, and Daryl decided to join his brother out in the wilderness. As for Michonne, Rick would let her get patched up before sending her away since he couldn't trust her.

In Woodbury, the residents were panicked and some even wanted to leave but were not allowed to by those guarding the gates. While everyone was in a tizzy, the Governor was no where to be found as he hid and licked his wounds from the battle. All of a sudden a small herd of biters (that got in via the hole in a fence Merle left behind when he fled) attacked a towns-person who was put down by the Governor after he emerged from his apartment. Andrea tried to convince the Governor to help calm down his people, but he was too upset and questioned her loyalty since her friends were responsible for the attack. With no one left to lead, Andrea took it upon herself to share some words of comfort, which quelled them for now.

Back at the prison, Herschel was dealing with the new group of survivors who stumbled into the prison, and while the old man sympathized with Tyreese and his companions, he made sure that they understood that the decision to let them stay or not was not up to him and that they didn't get too comfortable. When Rick and others returned, he was hesitant to bring in the newcomers since he didn't know them and didn't want to be responsible for more deaths, but Herschel tried to reason with him until he saw a figure that resembled Lori which sent Rick deeper into madness.

After the initial rescue scene, "The Suicide King" shifted to a more dialogue-heavy episode, which could have been problematic since The Walking Dead has proven that it's not at its best when it trades action for words, but I felt that almost every conversation worked and accomplished exactly what it was supposed to. For example, the moment when Daryl had to choose between his real family and his surrogate one was filled with  just as much tension as, if not more than, the attack on Woodbury because his decision could drastically alter the chances of survival for not only himself but the rest of the survivors. And in the end, I thought that his choice to stay with Merle was the right one, in spite of the fact that it fractures the story yet again.

Unfortunately, not everything worked like the aftermath at Woodbury. Now, I'll give those scenes some credit because a wounded Governor is exponentially more intriguing than the one we met before, but everything came to screeching halt when Andrea opened her mouth. It'd be easy to pile on her and discuss why she's a bad character, but all I'll say is her rousing speech fell flat and I didn't buy it for a second. It's just a shame that the episode wasted time on her rather than adding some depth to more interesting characters like Tyreese. All in good time, I suppose.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • I'm kinda over angry mobs and zombie death matches.
  • Merle's inept and short-sighted plan to escape was oddly refreshing.
  • I forgot how much of a crush I have on Beth.
  • It'll be interesting to see where Glenn and Maggie go from here.
  • Man, they're really pushing the whole Daryl and Carol would-be romance. I still don't see the appeal of that pairing.
So, while "The Suicide King" was not the action-packed thriller that most viewers have come to expect from The Walking Dead, there were some good ideas and character moments presented to make up for the lack of blood and guts, and I'm okay with that. Let's just hope the show can maintain this vital balance.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail