Zombies

The Walking Dead: "Prey" (Season 3, Episode 14), "This Sorrowful Life" (Season 3, Episode 15)

One kind of weak episode followed by one kind of strong episode. Yin and Yang. Peanut butter and chocolate. That sort of thing. The bottom line is that zombies are back drop and this show lives and dies by characterization. The weak episode focused on Andrea and the Governor, who have become tiresome. The strong episode focused on black-sheep brother Merle, who was a breath of fresh air.

“Prey”

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The Walking Dead: “Arrow on the Doorpost” (Season 2, Episode 13)

My dinner with the Governor.

That’s pretty much this episode, which revolves around a meeting Andrea arranged between Rick and the Big G to try and settle their differences. Since we all know the Governor is a deeply disturbed man who will still want to kill Rick and Company no matter what they agree to (as he’s killed others), it’s inevitably anticlimactic. It does serve to move the story along. It’s just not the Emmy winning confrontation the writers seem to think it is.

In short, it’s milked.

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The Walking Dead: "The Suicide King" (Season 3, Episode 9) & "Home" (Season 3, Episode 10)

We left with a brewing civil war between mentally disturbed survivor leaders. Well, consider it brewed. “The Suicide King” is a little weak, but “Home” ends with a certified bang.

People are still dropping like flies, Rick is still falling apart, and that does not bode well for his overmatched group. The Governor is a full blown sociopath at this point, which doesn’t bode well for his group even if he wins. Nothing like a little lose-lose confrontation in a post-Apocalyptic world to bludgeon hope to death. Maybe that’s why Mad Max never stuck with any group for long.

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The Walking Dead: "When the Dead Come Knocking (Season 3, Episode 7), "Made to Suffer" (Season 3, Episode 8)

Today, for the season ending finale, we look for the positives in everyone. The Governor is a family man, if in a totally demented way. Merle may be a total jerk, but he is handy to have around if you want to torture someone. Michonne is a bad ass with a sword, but she actually cares about children in distress. Rick, is well, our everyman who still tries to sort of pretend he has a conscious. Darryl is pretty much the switch hitting utility infielder who’s also good with tools that everyone needs when catastrophe comes a knocking.

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The Walking Dead: "Hounded" (Season 3, Episode 6)

Merle is still a jerk, Michonne is still a badass, the Governor is still a bad guy, and Andrea is still a truly dreadful judge of men. Meanwhile, Rick conducts a therapy session with himself. Yet despite these repetitions of theme, a lot actually happens in this episode. And, to use a science fiction pun, we finally see worlds colliding at the end.

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The Walking Dead: "Say the Word" (Season 3, Episode 5)

We open with the governor brushing a girl’s hair. When a piece of her scalp comes off, she snarls and just like that we meet his dead daughter, Penny. So the Governor, who up to now has been a more successful version of Rick, becomes an echo of Hershel as well in trying to salvage walkers.

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The Walking Dead: "Walk With Me" (Season 3, Episode 3), "Killer Within (Season 3, Episode 4)

We spent one week meeting a psychotic Andy Griffith in Woodbury, Georgia. We spent the next in a truly harrowing prison zombie fight. The first one was kind of slow, but the second was quite the ripper. All in all, it was entertaining, but I wonder how long a show can go on like this. Short seasons are a big help. Sixteen straight weeks of this might burn out even the old Fangoria readers.

“Walk With Me”

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The Walking Dead: "Seed" (Season 3, Episode 1)

Ten million viewers. 10.9 million to be precise, with 7.3 million in the coveted 18-49 age bracket. So yeah, it seems like the zombies will be with us for a while.

You may recall that when we last left our intrepid band of survivors, they’d just been cast out of paradise as Herschel’s farm became overrun by a herd of walkers. We pick up several months later. Lori, Rick’s wife, is noticeably pregnant and everyone is kind of tired and bummed (post-Apocalyptic life is not for the whiners among us).

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