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The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes is a former police officer who has been in a coma for several months after being shot whilst on duty. When he wakes, he discovers that the world has been taken over by Zombies, and that he seems to be the only person still alive. Having returned home to discover his wife and son missing, he heads for Atlanta to search for his family. Narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Zombies on arrival in Atlanta, he is aided by another survivor Glenn who takes Rick to a camp outside the town. There Rick finds his wife Lori and son Carl. Along with his partner and best friend Shane, he founds a small group of survivors who struggle to fend off the zombie hordes, as well as competing with other survivor groups who are prepared to do whatever it takes to survive.

Watch The Walking Dead – Arrow on the Doorpost Online S03E13

The Walking Dead - Arrow on the Doorpost
After last week’s road trip back to his hometown and the apparent close distance of everything in The Walking Dead‘s universe, Rick piles Hershel and Daryl into the car? and takes another one! Well, this time it’s to Woodbury to talk to The Governor. But a change of scenery seems to be welcome these days, doesn’t it? Much like last week’s episode, this week’s, “Arrow on the Doorpost” plays with format and is indeed a welcome change from the show’s usual one location per episode mentality.

It also puts Rick directly against The Governor at long last as the two (kinda) attempt to make a deal, while Daryl and Hershel provide cover. This episode does have its drawbacks, but what it does best is pair opposing sides ? Hershel with Milton and Daryl with Martinez ? in a humanitarian approach, showing that despite allegiance to either Rick or The Governor. People are just people! Glenn and Maggie seem to prove this also, though via a somewhat unsanitary act of lovemaking outside the prison.

Rick takes Andrea’s word for it in going to Woodbury, thinking that a compromise with The Governor might actually be a possibility. Obviously, no, that’s not true, since Andrea was probably looking at The Governor through love goggles. Rick has a proposal of divvying up the land between the prison and Woodbury, but The Governor isn’t having that. He claims he will not attack if Rick hands over Michonne ? when Rick leaves, he says he will attack anyway, but really just wants to exact revenge on our fierce lady samurai. And Rick actually considers giving up Michonne. Huh. Did she not babysit Carl last episode and save everyone’s asses several times?

Geez, Rick. Clearly The Governor has proven himself as someone who cannot be trusted, so why would Rick even entertain the option of sacrificing a human life on the word of a madman? Rick’s not trusting Michonne is growing tiresome, and even our one-legged badass Hershel tries to talk some sense into him. Hershel is the show’s main voice of reason, isn’t he?

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Watch The Walking Dead – Clear Online S03E12

The Walking Dead - Clear
For the second season in a row, The Walking Dead took Rick Grimes and a couple of others away from the rest of the characters for an entire episode. And for the second season in a row, this led to one of the best episodes yet for the series. Season 2’s “18 Miles Out” found Rick and Shane working their s*** out (albeit temporarily) as they attempted to deal with the Randall situation. “Clear” instead focused on Rick, Carl and Michonne going to look for guns, leading to a reunion a long time in the making?

As an aside, it’s worth noting, in an optimistic way, that Scott Gimple, who is taking over as showrunner for Season 4, co-wrote “18 Miles Out” with outgoing showrunner Glen Mazzara and wrote “Clear” himself. And I think I liked this episode slightly more even than the wonderful “18 Miles Out” perhaps because it took an even bigger leap by never going back to any other characters but the trio who left the prison and the man they came across – unlike “18 Miles Out’s” glimpses of the farm and Beth’s suicide threats (Man, Beth needs to get a new storyline, besides “She likes to sing.”)

It was great to see Morgan (Lennie James) again, even if Morgan himself had seen better days. Rick’s encounter with Morgan and his son in the excellent Walking Dead pilot episode was quite a memorable encounter and the question of whatever happened to them has always lingered for fans. Rick finding Morgan so very broken (though very capable, in terms of self defense) was quite powerful, as we, and Rick, learned just how much had changed since last he’d been to his home town.

I will say that Morgan revealing that his son was specifically killed, out of all the walkers, but his own wife, was rather an amazing coincidence/dramatic twist. But still, the mere fact that Morgan lost his son was very sad, as Morgan had turned into an absolute nihilist, telling Rick that Carl would inevitably die too. Lennie James was terrific showing this guy so lost in his despair. A particularly notable and chilling moment had him tell Rick, “You will be torn apart by teeth or bullets.”

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Watch The Walking Dead – I Ain’t A Judas Online S03E11

The Walking Dead - I Ain’t A Judas
Andrea is an idiot. I’ve been holding this sentiment inside for a while because I know there are people out there who enjoy Andrea as a character, but after watching “I Ain’t a Judas” I think we should all be able to come together and, once and for all, confirm that Andrea is a freaking idiot.

I get that she’s had a hard time during the course of The Walking Dead. I get that it’s hard to see the greater scope of things when you’re in the middle of them. But with all the evidence pointing toward the Governor pretty much being the worst human left alive, you’d think she’d take that knife at the end of “I Ain’t a Judas” and jam it right into his throat like Carol suggested.

Of course, the Governor is Philip to her, and Philip could never be the cold-blooded killer we all know he is. She didn’t see the havoc he wreaked in “Home” and didn’t believe it when she heard about it. After itching for someone to smack her upside the head for going on two seasons, I think it’s about time somebody forces her to get out of the fantasyland she’s living in and come back to this zombie-filled Walking Dead reality.

First, some context for this frustration. When “I Ain’t a Judas” opens at the Prison, the balance of power is finally shifting away from Rick. Hershel has had enough of his moping and craziness, and even Carl tells his father he should stop being the leader and deserves a rest. At least the incorporation of Merle has been relatively painless, with only Glenn actively acting out against his reintegration into their group. In fact, he goes as far as to suggest that they should trade Merle to the Governor for a truce, which everyone else (hopefully) realized was an awful idea.

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Watch The Walking Dead – Home Online S03E10

The Walking Dead - Home
Despite the agonising wait, it was probably for the best that The Walking Dead had a break from our screens over the Christmas period. It took at least a month to calm down from the chaotic drama of previous episode Made to Suffer, whereby Rick’s group stormed the town, the Governor lost an eye (and a zombie daughter), and brother Merle and Daryl were finally reunited. What The Suicide King showed us was that the explosive events of the mid-season finale have left lasting damage to both Rick and the Governor’s groups of survivors.

Daryl and Merle are given no time to catch-up, as the Governor places them in a gladiatorial contest where there can only be one survivor. “Brother against brother, winner goes free, fight to the death,” he mercilessly declares to an audience of townsfolk desperate for revenge for the attack on Woodbury. When the ‘biters’ are let loose on the two of them, they decide to team up to try and desperately fight off the undead hordes.

Luckily for them Rick’s group come back to save the day. A rain of gunfire on the arena sparks pandemonium, and Merle and Daryl manage to escape from the carnage. Whilst the others are pleased to discover that Daryl has been saved, Merle’s appearance is understandably a lot less welcome. “Do you really want him sleeping in the same cell as Carol and Beth?” Glenn cries, aghast that the man who tortured him could be let into their camp.

Rick knows that Merle is a loose cannon far too dangerous to stay with the group, but Daryl has no plans to abandon his brother again. “No him, no me, that’s all I can say,” he tells Rick before promptly leaving with Merle into the woods. Whilst Daryl’s departure is a sad loss for the show, his popularity means it’s unlikely he’ll be absent for long.

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Watch The Walking Dead – The Suicide King Online S03E09

The Walking Dead - The Suicide King
The Walking Dead returned for the second half of Season 3, coming off what had been the strongest sustained period in the show’s history yet? only for the show to have yet another upheaval behind the scenes with Glen Mazzara, the man who replaced Frank Darabont as showrunner, now replaced himself. Mazzara worked on all of Season 3, so these next eight episodes are ones he was guiding ? but again, the specifics as to what was going on behind the scenes that led to tension between Mazzara and AMC is unclear, though Mazzara has said he and AMC disagreed about where the show should go moving forward.

It’s hard not to ponder all that watching the show’s return, but for now, there is still plenty of momentum onscreen on the heels of what occurred when last we saw these characters. The midseason premiere updated us on the status of everyone, with more success in some arenas then others.

But then, for a moment, it appeared his ghosts had abandoned him, that he would pull through. The old Rick emerged from that dark place and came back into the world, ready to bash in some zombie skulls and protect his loved ones.

In the midseason premiere, we find ourselves only moments after where we left off (hanging from a cliff.) Newly reunited brothers, Daryl and Merle Dixon, have been pitted against one another in a fight to the death, hemmed in by walkers and a bloodthirsty crowd.

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Watch The Walking Dead – Made to Suffer Online S03E08

The Walking Dead - Made to Suffer
The Walking Dead reached its mid-season finale tonight with a gunfight, an eye gouging, and a lot of very convenient plotting. “Made to Suffer” was the title, and its mission was to leave you hanging in agony for a couple of months. Did it succeed? Let’s mull it over.

This season of The Walking Dead has been truly one big plot point after another. I said it in an earlier piece and I’ll say it again, this season TWD has built up and paid off more tension than other series do all year. This week we were reconnecting with Rick, Michonne, Oscar, and Daryl as they were preparing to enter Woodbury to rescue Maggie and Glenn. This segment of the episode was very by the numbers, Rick’s group pretty much stumbled over Maggie and Glenn; it was not at all the force driven event I was expecting. Realistically, the odds were very much against Rick and the gang finding Maggie and Glenn without being noticed, but the writers decided to pretty much ignore that fact and have them essentially ?cross paths’-a little below The Walking Dead I think. None the less, I’ll take it.

Michonne and The Governor finally got the fist fight they deserved, which included M’s blade going through Penny’s skull and a couple of the aquariums getting broken with one shard finding its way into The Governors eye-socket. Another realism straining piece of writing came when Andrea showed up and held a gun on Michonne, who declined to give Andrea any information about why she was there and what The Governor had been doing behind her back. I mean, Michonne could have basically cooked The Gov’s goose as far as Andrea is concerned with one or two sentences. It was at LEAST worth a try.

An unexpected cameo by Jon Berthnal made any subtle complaints you might have about the episode vanish. Even though it was brief and done somewhat frivolously, it was still one of the most squee-worthy moments of the season. It’s doubtful we will ever see Shane again, and I highly doubt anyone was expecting to see him tonight.

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Watch The Walking Dead – When the Dead Come Knocking Online S03E07

The Walking Dead - When the Dead Come Knocking
Let me get my big complaint about “When the Dead Come Knocking” out of the way, which is simply? What the hell, Michonne? Her behavior when first brought into the prison was just ridiculous. Enough with the glowering. Enough with the silence. This was not the time. I get that she’s a very guarded character, but this was just exasperating to watch, and Rick calling her out on it (“You came here for a reason!”) didn’t make it better when she initially wouldn’t even say her name. The Walking Dead has not been great with the portrayal of many of the female characters and Michonne is a character I desperately want to like ? and really do in the comics. So I hope they can figure her out soon. Attitude is fine, but it has to be balanced better than this. Also, it was a bit convenient how she never mentioned that a guy named Merle, or hell, a one-armed redneck, was the one who snatched Maggie and Glenn, so as not to have Daryl (or Rick) realize who it is yet.

Overall though, this was a highly effective episode that put a couple of lovable characters through hell. With last season’s silly “Loving you almost got people killed” drama behind them, Glenn and Maggie are back to being a very likable pair and seeing them hurt — emotionally and physically — like this was not fun, yet incredibly intense and gripping. On the heels of his beat down from Merle, seeing Glenn trapped in a room, tied to a chair with a zombie let loose, was suitably freaky and it was very gratifying to see him fight back and manage to survive.

As for Maggie, in the comics, The Governor’s treatment of a female prisoner is one of the more reprehensible things we see in the entire series. And yes, it doesn’t go as far here, which some might say is “chickening out.” But look, I don’t want to see horrible things happen to Maggie. More importantly, what he did do to her was terrible as it was, as he forced her to strip, slammed her down on a table and basically did all he could to try and mentally break her. Her telling him, in the face of all this, “Do whatever you’re gonna do. Go to hell” was a powerful moment for Maggie. Lauren Cohan did terrific work here, showing someone simultaneously terrified and defiant in the face of a hellish scenario.

The Governor bringing her, still half-naked, to Glenn was also a nasty bit of psychological torture for both of them and by the time The Governor had a gun to Glenn and Maggie blurted out that they were at a prison to save his life, it was very understandable why she would give up that information.

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Watch The Walking Dead – Hounded Online S03E06

The Walking Dead - Hounded
Last week, in “Say the Word,” The Walking Dead left us with a cliffhanger when a common household item suddenly functioned normally. Welcome back to the post-Apocalypse.

At the end of, “Killer Within,” the previous week’s episode, after Rick had seen Carl and Maggie emerge from inside the prison with Rick’s newborn baby, but without his wife Lori, he’d understood within a few mortifying seconds that Lori was dead. The next single minute of Andrew Lincoln’s performance was so wrenching that, I thought, it gave the writers the latitude to take Rick into more-or-less as extreme a state of grieving as they wanted. And they took it: Rick went on a walker-hacking rampage in “Say the Word” that ended with him in the boiler room — where Lori had died and his baby had been born — slumped against a wall, exhausted, covered in zombie blood, when … a phone rings. A disoriented Rick answers. Cut to black.

Now, in “Hounded,” Rick speaks with the calling strangers. They say they’re in a place that’s safe, that’s “away … from them.” Rick serially pleads to let him and his group join them — “we’re good people … we’re dying here …” — but they only ask questions and say they’ll call back later. There’s a Lost-like sense of mystery in this whole sequence. Who are these Others at the other end of the line? But the clues come early that Rick is imagining them, the clearest being when Hershel offers to wait with him for the next call and Rick declines. The final time the phone rings, Rick recognizes the voice of Lori, who tells him he’d earlier been speaking with others from his group who’d also died.

Scott, when you asked last week who I thought had made that cliffhanger call, I had no idea but figured it must be coming from inside; I just didn’t realize how far. Well, this is all a tricky conceit for a plot, and I’m not sure how well it ends up working. Could a spell of post-traumatic madness really play itself out in such an orderly, sequential, reality-approximating way as this series of phone conversations does? Maybe? (Maybe I’ll ask Dr. Hamblin.) But I’d be sympathetic to anyone who found the progression of the writing here forced.

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Watch Walking Dead – Say the Word Online S03E05

Walking Dead - Say the Word “Say the Word” is the first season-three episode of The Walking Dead that I outright dislike, and a lot of it has to do with the weird situation we find ourselves in with Michonne. It’s weird because we, the viewer, know that she’s right to suspect The Governor of being up to no good. We know this because we’ve witnessed him murder, seen his fish tanks filled with zombie heads and understand that the story dictates that this guy be a human villain to eventually challenge Rick and the group. And yet, despite the fact that we know she will ultimately be proven correct, the way she’s constantly Scooby-Doo-ing around Woodbury still seems fueled by needless paranoia and irrationally dangerous. The Governor hasn’t given her a single reason to distrust him so much, and yet there she is at the beginning of this episode, staring at him menacingly from outside his window. What does she hope to gain by being so obvious about it? If she’s wrong not to trust him, she’s ostracizing herself from the town and making things difficult for Andrea. If she’s right, she’s just going to get herself killed by being such a blatant and annoying snoop. I find the whole thing distracting, and it’s not helped by Danai Gurira’s barely-even-one-note performance as Michonne.

This week’s episode opens with the mini-bomb that the Governor is still caring for his zombiefied daughter, who he keeps hidden away at home. I thought for sure that bit of info, taken from the comics, would be saved for an end-of-episode reveal, so it was surprising to see it presented right up front. Meanwhile, Woodbury is busy preparing for some kind of semi-regular party that culminates in a mysterious main event. Andrea is intrigued and remains stuck in a push-and-pull with Michonne over whether they should leave or not. (An emotional tug-of-war that still doesn’t work for me because, thanks to the time jump between seasons two and three, we never got to see these two becomes friends.) Ultimately, Michonne ends up going, convinced it’s time thanks to a creepy though vague journal she finds in the Governor’s home. Andrea decides to stay, although she may want to change her mind when she discovers that the town’s main event is a gladiator-style fist fight where the contestants are surrounded by a ring of chained-up zombies. The Governor assures her that the fight is fixed and not really dangerous as the zombies’ teeth are removed. This does not look to ease Andrea’s mind.

As a reveal hinting that maybe Andrea really shouldn’t trust the Governor, the fight doesn’t work all that well, mostly because the people of Woodbury appear to be having a blast. It also seems a little odd that nobody cared to mention the town’s one big entertainment option clear up until Andrea was sitting on a bleacher watching it go down. As normal as everyone treats it, you’d think “Night at the Fights … With Zombies!” would be on the town brochure.

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Watch Walking Dead – Killer Within Online S03E04

I know I keeping saying it week in and week out, but honestly The Walking Dead keeps on managing to be create more emotion that has everyone on the edge of their seat while watching. Once again the writers have proven no one is safe in this new world, and we should hold our loved ones close while we still can.

We start off with what is a seemingly normal day at the prison, the group is moving cars, cracking a joke about Maggie and Glenn in the guard tower when suddenly things shift after they notice the fence has been cut open and walkers are making their way into the prison guards.

The group is split, with Rick leading Daryl and Glenn on a mission to shut off the sirens that are drawing walkers, while T-Dog after being bitten makes it his mission to lead Carol to safety. Hershel and Beth find shelter behind a fence, while Maggie, Carl and Lori are forced to hide in a boiler room after Lori enters labor.

While we see the tension filled ride through the prison, we are also treated to a more talkative day in Woodbury. The loyalty and bond between Andrea and Michonne isn’t as strong as it once was and Merle wants to try and find his brother. David Morrissey continues to play the Governor as a borderline psychotic character, whose every action seems like it could have ulterior motives.

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