04 March, 2013
Review - Walking Dead 3.12: "Clear"
This week we follow Rick, Michonne and Carl on a trip off the reservation with a few interesting side missions. But all of this just delays the inevitable battle with the Governor. The episode isn't bad though and it seems to bring Rick back from the brink of insanity, so it's not a total waste.
First off, apologies for my absence last week, but I was without cable due to a move. Apparently I didn't miss much because I could have summed the episode up like this: ANDREA WHY ARE YOU SUCH AN AWFUL CHARACTER!?!?!?- Tom Waits montage. Anyways, moving on…
This week Rick decides to venture out on a run for guns to fend off the impending attack from the Governor and he takes Carl and Michonne along for company. After getting stuck on the road they encounter a settlement/ experimental modern art installation, which appears to be inhabited. Rick and Michonne attempt to take out the lone gunman guarding the place, but resident bad ass Carl eventually takes down the masked, and bullet proof vested, gunman who almost kills his father. As it turns out the gunman is none other than S.1's MORGAN! (the dude Rick left with his son Dwayne to practice sniper shots on his wife). Since we last saw him the perils of life among the walkers has made Morgan pretty insane, and when he wakes up he manages to stab Rick before realizing that his friend has somehow returned.
Meanwhile, Carl is on a mission to retrieve the last known picture of his family (which seemed to be hanging at the bar at a local watering hole?) so that Judith (ass kicker!) can see what her Mom looked like. Awwww! He doesn't really want Michonne's help but Papa Rick insists she go along just in case. The two bond a bit and Michonne manages to prove her loyalty to the group's most discerning member by retrieving his prized picture from a literal room full of zombies. Pause here to consider how awesome Michonne must be to get in and out of there so quickly, and without alerting any of the vicious undead.
The most significant part of the whole episode turns out to be the story Morgan tells Rick about how his own son was eventually killed by his zombie mother because, unlike Carl, he couldn't bring himself to shoot her. Morgan's story and his speech to Rick about the meek inheriting the earth and everyone eventually turning were definitely the best parts of this episode and Lennie James certainly did them justice. Towards the end even Rick and Michonne bond over their shared penchant for speaking to the specters of dead loved ones. And Michonne's place within the group seems cemented enough that they can go into the upcoming battle with her firmly on their side.
I'd give this one a 75 out of 100. This was an emotionally strong episode, but it did seem like it was killing time a bit before next week's episode which looks far more exciting. Also, this was the second week in a row in which we didn't get much focus on the other characters so I'm anxious to check back in with them. On the other hand it did make me feel better about Rick leading the group into battle next week.
Odds and ends:
-Michonne's walker bait trick was not only pretty genius, but also provided some laughter in the form of: rats on skateboards!!!
-Also double points for Michonne stealing the brightly colored cat statute, it's the little things that matter when the world has gone to hell.
-I left out the minor side story involving the survivor the group encountered on the road, but I did enjoy the imagery and the way it concisely showed how much things have changed since the early days. The end scene where Carl jumped out of the car and retrieved the now-dead survivor's pack was especially good.