Sunday, November 24, 2013

Back to his old ways

After last weeks Governor themed episode, we get another glimpse into The Governor to see if he truly has changed.

The Governor's former underling Martinez has started his own survival group and decides to take in The Governor and his new "family."

As the Chambler family stays behind at the new camp, The Governor goes with Martinez and two others on a supply run. Walking through the woods, they find tied up bodies with their heads missing and signs on them. One sign says "Liar" and another says "Rapist." Even with the ominous figures, they venture on into a walker invested cabin and The Governor has to save them.

It's interesting to note how The Governor tries to distance himself from his Woodbury days. remains changed. As the supply run group takes a moment to rest and search the cabin, The Governor plays coy with his past and takes every moment to shift the conversation from him to the others backgrounds. He does the same back at the camp.

Eventually, as Martinez and The Governor are driving golf balls atop an RV, The Governor gives us a glimpse that he might not have changed at all. He hits Martinez over the head with a golf club and then feeds him into the pit of walkers.

It's shocking and crazy at the same time sine this is the first true aggressive and psychopathic action The Governor has done since the fall of Woodbury. It's easy to think he did this to try and erase the last thing that could tie him back to Woodbury, but if he's trying to do that, killing Martinez isn't the answer. It was more of a selfish act, another first since leaving Woodbury, and could mean The Governor hasn't changed at all.

With the death of Martinez, the camp is not thrown into disarray as they have no leader. The Governor and the two men from the supply run decide to go on a hunt for food. They find a small group of survivors but decide to leave them alone. On their way back from the hunt, they find someone else raided the camp and took all the supplies.

This puts fear into The Governor and comes back to the camp to take Lilly and the other Chamblers away to find a new place to live. Unfortunately, the road is cut off by walkers and they decide to go back.

As morning comes, The Governor shows us he hasn't changed. He kills Pete, one of the supply runners, and then makes he way to Pete's brother but decides to make a proposition with him. As he explains a cover up for Pete's death, he begins to talk about how manipulation and coercion will keep the people happy and in control. In the end, The Governor assumes leadership of the camp.

This episode felt like a long character test for The Governor, and depending on who you ask, it's a pass or fail. As the episode comes to a close, we see that moment from two episodes ago as The Governor takes a watchful eye on the prison.

If you're the hopeful viewer, it's a fail because he really hasn't changed. The other side is a pass because he now is the enemy everyone wants.For me, I think it was a fail because I truly believed he had changed.

It's as if The Governor has come full-circle and the redemption tour was just to test his mental fortitude. To see if he would take his own life after defeat. However, the defeat seems to have made him even more dangerous. He's the enemy we've come to love and he's ready to make a new camp for his new group.

All in all, it was a decent episode but moved slow and wasn't as exciting to watch as last weeks. Aside from The Governor being his old self, there wasn't much this week.

This was really a set-up for next weeks show down at the prison. The next episode is the mid-season finale and it looks like war is going to happen again. It will be fun to watch if The Governor thinks he can take the prison.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Governor returns

This weeks "The Walking Dead" went in a different direction, giving viewers a glimpse into what The Governor has been up to since his defeat last season.

In the cold opening, we see The Governor watch his town of Woodbury burn and then embarks on a journey on his own. Now dirty, unshaven and much thinner than before, The Governor finds a small town with a family living in an apartment building.

No longer cool, calm and collected; The Governor is a shell of what he use to be. Clearly he has not recovered from his defeat and seems to have lost all energy. He looks like a lost old man who talks in short sentences and phrases. Indeed, the old Governor is gone.

As the family he meets explain what happened to them, The Governor looks disinterested. He even dumps a plate of food given to him and instead eats food from can he has with him.

In a way, and fans of Rick and his group would probably agree, The Governor deserved this path. Killing many people and survivors for supplies for his town was not the most noble thing to do. He also incited much of the violence between Woodbury and the prison survivors, lying to his residents to get them to wage war on Rick and his group.

While The Governor was a more ruthless character in the comics, the TV series portrayed him as more of a manipulative figure. Using lies and cohersion to get his way, The Governor was very good at making sure he got what he wanted.

Using his words was The Governor's strength. He almost seemed like he could talk his way out of any situation. Now, he barely talks and lets his actions do his talking from him.

We see this as the episode continues, The Governor traverses to the the floor above the family to retrieve a game board. He even ventures out to a hospital to get oxygen tanks for one of the family members. Risking his life as he gets overwhelmed by walkers, The Governor is able to escape with a couple of tanks of oxygen.  

Another interesting note to The Governor's new attitude is his fear of walkers. As he searched through the hospital, a look of panic crossed his face when a horde of walkers descended on him. The old Governor had no fear and took walkers on head first, even using walkers for protection and research.

As time passes, The Governor begins to get more acquainted with his new "family." Cleaning himself up and regaining some of his old attitude, it almost seems as if finding this family in need is part of a redemption tour for him.

Unfortunately, the family finds out the hard way of how the world works now when people pass away, and as expected, they freak out. After the shock moment, The Governor burns away the last remnant of his old self and decides to set back out, but with new company this time.

The last few moments of the episode are hard to watch, not because it's bad, but because it gets your heart pounding and makes you actually root for The Governor to finally get a win and survive. It's also nice to see The Governor hasn't lost his step in fighting off walkers, as he rips the throat out of one of them. Just as The Governor relaxes, we get to see an old friend come back into his life.

Another satisfying episode in, it was great to see how much The Governor had changed. That new change will be put to the test quickly however, as the next episode will see how much The Governor wants to stay on his road to redemption.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

'The Walking Dead' plays doctor

With last weeks ending in a shocker, "The Walking Dead" continues the plight of the prison gang dealing with a deadly virus.

With Rick returning to the prison, it was going to be interesting to see how Rick broke the news of exiling Carol. There was specualtion as to whether he would lie and say she died or if he would tell the truth.

He tells Maggie the truth and Maggie believes he did the right thing. As he tells Hershel however, he takes the news harder then Maggie.

With that said, this episode was really about Hershel and the dire situation in the quarantine area. We first see Hershel, Sasha and Glenn trying to resuscitate a dieing a survivor. Hershel does everything he could to save the man. In the end, they find a way to keep him breaathing, but some one has to help him to do it, like a manual iron lung.

The mood in the make-shift quarantine is not good. Hershel does his best to tend to everyone but the situation continues to grow dire every day. Almost every new scene has someone falling to the sickness and Hershel has to get another body ready to be burned. Hershel remains strong through it all, even after a grim conversation with Caleb.

Not letting the constant death drive him away, it really shows what kind of person Hershel is. He is the first person of the council to make an effort to take care of the sick in a physical sense. Hershel, like in the comics, has always been the voice of reason and all that is good. So having him play the part of healer is perfect.

After bringing Sasha back from the brink of death, things go from bad, to worse.

Just as Hershel was beginning to bring some order back into the area, some of the survivors who have fallen to the virus begin to attack and turn things into a frenzy. Lizzie, who recently came down with
the virus, lures one of the walkers away from Hershel. In an intense moment, the walker is seconds away from biting Lizzie and Hershel comes to the rescue.

However, the danger is not gone. After hearing gun shots, Maggie breaks through into the quarantine zone to help neutralize the walker threat. In another intense moment, Maggie and Hershel begin work on helping Glenn, who is now having trouble breathing.

Meanwhile, things get worse outside the prison as a big herd of walkers are able to push down one of the fences. In a last ditch effort, Rick arms Carl with an assault rifle as both of them mow down the walkers infiltrating the prison.

Just as things look like they are going all wrong, Daryl and the others return with the medical supplies. Hershel and Maggie are able to get the meds to everyone and it looks like the virus threat is over, but only time will tell.

The relief on Hershel's face says it all. All the hard work and optimism finally pay off. 

We did not get to see Rick break the news to Daryl or Tyreese yet, but hopefully we will next week. I don't see it being an easy conversation with either of them.

As the episode ends, we get a great teaser as for what's to come next. Now with the virus seemingly taken care of, it looks like a returning enemy is going to make his appearance in this season.

All in all, this was a very entertaining episode. It was great to finally get an episode focused on Hershel. Even though he is the oldest and missing a foot, Hershel showed why he is one of the strongest characters in the series. Taking a risk to his health, he stepped up to help out the sick and in the end, is the reason why Sasha and Glenn are still alive. He couldn't save everyone, but he tried his best.

Again, "The Walking Dead" shows us how good an episode can be without a lot of action. It was like watching an episode of "ER" with zombies.Unlike last week, every scene was important and had you on the edge of your seat.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

A bitter moment for Carol

In as cringe-worthy of an opening "The Walking Dead" has had in a while, we see a new, darker side of Carol.

Picking up from last weeks revelation, it's clear Carol has begun to take things into her own hand.

With Rick finding out about Carol, he decides to go on medical supply run as and tells Carol to come with him.  While searching abandoned houses, they find a young couple and help them kill a walker. Rick and Carol are cautious when talking with them but decide to trust in them to help raid houses.

We haven't had an episode to catch up on Carol and it's amazing how much Carol has changed since last season. No longer positive and helpful, Carol has become a shell of what she was. She shows no remorse for killing the two infected people and even gives a dose of reality to Rick as they look for supplies.

It also shows how much she differs on ideals with the council. Recruiting new survivors was important to the council and Carol has no interest in it. Instead of waiting for Sam, she advises on leaving. She also showed no remorse in finding the woman they had met dead and getting devoured by walkers.

In a way, Carol is portraying the role of realist, as opposed to the idealists in the council. The council hopes to cure the infected and continue to grow their ranks. Carol on the other hand, believes curing the sick won't work and wants to save those that aren't sick yet.

It's like Carol has fallen into the mood Rick did last season after the death of Lori. It's probably why Rick took only her with him for the supplies run as a final test to see where she is at psychologically.

Meanwhile, the supply run with Daryl, Tyreese, Michonne and Bob hits a couple of snags along the way.

It's clear Tyreese has not fully recovered from the death of Karen as he is brash in attitude and doesn't seem to care if he loses his life fighting walkers. There are some nice moment between Michonne and Tyreese, with Michonne trying to put a little optimism in Tyreese. It's a little reminiscent of the comics, where the two fall in love, well as close to love as you can get. It remains to be seen if that happens in the show, but for fans of the comic, it's a nice note.

We also get to see what has been on Bob's mind and his need for alcohol. It almost gets the group killed and gets Bob on Daryl's bad side.

As the episode comes to a close, Rick has decided on a punishment for what Carol did. It's a bold move by Rick because of the repercussions it can cause. In his mind, Carol did not pass the test in the way she handled meeting the two survivors. Hopefully Carol will find her self on her own and go back to the positive person she was becoming.

While this episode had a nice ending, it moved very slow. Many of the scenes with Daryl and his group seemed longer then they needed to be and it made the episode drag. Unless Bob will play a significant role later in the series, I really felt the scenes with him were not needed. Still better then the average episode, it needed that extra spice and it took long to get there.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Things go from bad, to worse for the survivors in 'The Walking Dead'

"The Walking Dead" picks up right where it left off last week, with the discovery of the two burned bodies and an angry Tyreese.

In a scene taken right from the comics, Rick and Tyreese get into a fish-fight, but unlike the comics, Rick comes out the victor.

We still see Rick has not truly recovered from his emotional problems. Rick has a hard time accepting the fact he had to use violence to get to Tyreese.

The major theme of the episode is the councils reaction to the viral outbreak. Sasha, a survivor who joined with Tyreese, begins to suffer symptoms of the virus and is quickly brought to quarantine.

However, we soon see many more people coming down with the virus. Almost everyone who was in the cell-block from the initial attack has begun to show signs of the virus and things are beginning to get out-of-hand.

The council discusses options of where to quarantine but things get worse for one of the members. Glenn soon finds himself with symptoms of the sickness.

One interesting thing to note about the council is it seems Rick is not a part of it. The council members include Hershel, Daryl, Carol, Michonne and Glenn. With Rick absent, it's save to assume no one trusts him in a leadership role after how disastrous he made things before and after Woodbury.

It didn't help he lost his mind for the better part of it all, but to not include him really says how the others feel about him. With Rick no longer maintaining the farm, I wonder if he'll try to contribute in the decision making.

Another council member is having problems with the outbreak and it's not because she is sick. Carol is not coping well and is having a hard time having to separate the sick from the children.

It's important to see her struggle because Carol was starting to become a strong-willed character. After making strides in strength, Carol is faltering in staying cool under pressure.

Carol mkes things harder for herself when she goes out to get water ahead. Rick comes to the rescue, but it shows the cracks beginning to form again on Carol's armor. 

With Daryl and the others going for supplies and Carol having issues, Hershel tries to take matters into his own hands as well. Venturing out to get leaves for tea, he puts himself at risk by going outside the prison and then venturing into the quarantine zone to serve the tea.

What all this really says to me however, is even with a council to make decisions, every member tries to solve the viral outbreak in their own way. With Hershel trying herbal teas, Daryl wanting to get supplies and Carol focusing on separating the sick and gather water; it's like having a council is pointless.

With the virus running rampant through the prison, we also get an episode following Tyreese. After his altercation with Rick, he wants revenge for the death of Karen. He also has a problem when Sasha's condition gets worse. He decides to go with Daryl, Michonne and Bob to gather medical supplies.

It's nice to see Tyreese get some air time but it feels forced. Rather then ease him into an important role, he now has to deal with the death of a woman he loved and is now about to lose an important person in his life.

After driving for a few moments, things go wrong on the supplies run with the car getting surrounded by a herd of walkers. In another scene from the comics, Tyreese sacrifices himself to let the three escape danger. And just like the comics, Tyreese miraculously finds his way out and survives.

As the episode comes to a close, it's revealed who killed Karen and the other man, and it's not someone you'd expect. Will Rick tell Tyreese this information? We unfortunately have to wait a week to find out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A new enemy is introduced on 'The Walking Dead'

In an opening that involved feeding a rat to a walker, "The Walking Dead" brought home another entertaining episode. 

As last weeks episode ended, we saw Patrick succumb to the zombie virus yet he had not been bit. Before anyone could notice, Patrick killed a fellow survivor and now two walkers were making their way inside the prison. Things get worse when the walkers find the general population and begin to cause a panic.

It's interesting to note just how Patrick was able to make his way around the prison for so long without being noticed. The size and scope of the prison has never really been explored, but it was clear from last season many of the prison wings were blocked off for protection. It's possible the prison living areas have been extended since the Governors attack, but its never explained. 

After the commotion of the walker attack, it's surmised Patrick and another un-bitten turned-survivor Charlie died from a flu virus. With this knowledge, Rick and the survivors now have to fight an enemy they never thought possible.

It's known that everyone is either infected or something is in the air that will turn people whether they die by another walker or of natural causes. But this is the first case of someone dieing from a flu in less then 24 hours. It's the kind of enemy that is hard to fight and detect. 

It will be interesting to see how the group handles this in the coming episodes. Quarantine seems like the best idea, but that won't come easy. Having no solid medical equipment to even set-up a quarantine area makes things difficult.

As the episode continued, Rick has to sacrifice the hard work he's been putting into the garden and farm to lure away a herd of walkers threatening to breakdown the fence around the prison. It's hard to watch and you feel bad for Rick. The farm took him away from the fighting and let him focus his efforts on something positive. 

Rick ultimately does away with the farm as he straps up his gun again and decides to give Carl something he's been wanting for a while. It's sad to see Rick realize he is needed in other important areas like defense and leadership rather then farming. 

A fun aspect to the show was the little tidbits of Michonne's character development. We're seeing her grow like she did in the comics. At first, Michonne was silent and stoic but as the comics went on she opened up to Rick and the others and became an integral part to the group. She's beginning to open her emotions as she interacts with Ricks daughter and it's a nice touching moment.

In the ending, Tyreese is met with an unfortunate surprise and is left to wonder how and why it happened. With someone feeding rats to walkers and now burning bodies of suspected sick people, someone is up to no good. It's reminiscent of the comics when someone was killing random women in the prison. 

The prison group survivors are going to have some rough seas ahead of them and it will great to see how this all unfolds. 



Sunday, October 13, 2013

'The Walking Dead' has returned

After months of waiting, "The Walking Dead" has returned and it did not disappoint. 

The show's cold opening gives the viewers a glimpse at how much Rick has changed. Finding a gun buried under the now fully grown crops and instead of cleaning it, he looks right at the zombies and throws the gun away, with a jubilant smile across his face. 

As the episode unfolds, we are introduced to new characters and the growing community within the prison. It's setting the new status quo of the show after the climatic battle between Woodbury and the prison camp.

It's never mentioned how long it's been since the last episode, but if the title of the episode makes it seems it's been at least a month. In this time, the community has added horses and pigs and have made the inside into a make-shift farm. 

Daryl has become a living folk-hero and seems to have the respect of everyone. He is more up-beat then usual and relishes in the fact that he is loved.
He leads a supply run with Michonne, Tyreese, Glen and some of the new recruits to an abandoned army camp. One of the new recruits, Bob played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr., makes a mistake leading to zombies raining down from the roof. The threat of a falling military chopper leads to an escape, but not everyone makes it.

The real interesting part of the episode was to see Rick and his new attitude. It's almost a complete 180 degree change. Rick doesn't like to carry around his gun anymore, even when he is outside the prison fences. 

He is also more welcoming, as his first instinct when finding a woman in the woods was to give her food. He then agrees to meet her husband and consider bringing them into the prison community.

Last season was all about shoot first and ask questions later, and now Rick is trying to play ambassador. It's interesting to see and really shows how 30 days is a long time in a world full of zombies. 

As Rick continues to the survivor's camp, he soon learns that things truly haven't changed outside the prison walls and gets a harsh lesson on how much the world has fallen apart. It's a nice reality check and an even better view into how Rick has learned to cope with his loss and make himself better. 

The ending leaves on a dark note as one of the new survivors begins to turn into a zombie, without being bitten. It's a nice twist and could lead to a whole new burden the survivors will have to deal with.

It started slow, but the scenes with Rick were a driving force for a fun and interesting episode. It will be fun to see what new obstacles the prison camp will face now with no overarching enemy.  

7.5 out of 10