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The Walking Dead “Made To Suffer”

The Walking Dead - Made To Suffer

Photo Credit: AMC

Wow. Wow. Wow. If I could type that word a thousand times, it still couldn’t describe the awesomeness of The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale.  Actually, I can think of some other flowery language like “Holy &*&**&*” to describe it, but it still wouldn’t do it justice.

First, if you read my Preview and comments earlier, my suspicions that we were going to lose Oscar (Vincent Ward) were correct.  We had all heard rumors that the character Tyreese (Chad Coleman) from the comic series was going to be introduced in this episode, and with Oscar and Tyreese being very similar characters, it seemed logical that Oscar would not make it out of the assault on Woodbury alive, and he didn’t.   But, we do have this new character Tyreese and his gang of survivors, and they stumble onto the same prison Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group is staying in, except in a different area.

This is where we have some excellent character development, and if there were a MVP in tonight’s episode it would be Carl (Chandler Riggs).  Unlike his father, he still has a heart and decides to help Tyreese’s group and get them to a safe area in the prison – something I don’t think even Rick would have done.  Hell, in last week’s episode, Rick was going to let Michonne die, and if it weren’t for Carl stepping up, Michonne would be dead now. But, once he leads them to the safe area, he locks them in, thus insuring the people his father entrusted him to remain safe.  Now, that is one grown up little boy and a far cry from the annoying little shit from last season.  In many ways, he’s a better leader than his own father, and the writers have done a fantastic job developing his character.  Just like Merle (Michael Rooker) may still have an ax to grind for Rick leaving him on that roof, I still have an ax to grind with Carl for getting my favorite character, Dale (Jeffrey Demunn), killed, but I’m slowing getting over it.

But, the major drama tonight happens in Woodbury.  Holy Mother of God!  Of course, the usual stuff happens, like Rick’s group breaching Woodbury’s patrols and finding Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan).  As was mentioned at the beginning of the review, poor Oscar is lost in the process, but Michonne (Danai Gurira) also sneaks away in the process.  And, where does she go?  She goes straight to The Governor’s (David Morrissey) office and waits, sword in hand, to execute this man.  In the television series, I’m not sure we ever learned what Michonne did for a living before the zombie apocalypse but my guess is that she must have been some psychiatrist or something, because she is so convinced of The Governor’s evil that she breaks away from the group in order to execute him.  The Governor is so charismatic, manipulative, and charming that no one can see what a psychopath he is except Michonne, and she’s only known him for a few days.

What comes next is again, in my opinion, brilliance on the writers’ part for picking out certain parts from the comic series, mixing them up a little bit, and actually coming up with a much better story.  For those not familiar with the comics, Michonne is beaten and raped repeatedly by The Governor, and in the end, she gets her revenge by gouging his eyes out, and well, let’s say, cutting off his manhood.  Michonne is never abused by The Governor in that way but the showdown between the two is just as mind-blowing.  First, she finds and kills Penny, even with the pleading from The Governor.  I think most viewers saw that coming from a mile away with the sneak peeks that had been leaked out (and, yes, for a split-second, I did have sympathy for The Governor for the lost of his ‘little girl’, but only for a very brief moment). Then, during the fight with The Governor after killing Penny, Michonne stabs The Governor in the eye.  Now, that’s a very cool twist of events compared to the ones from the comic book series.  We still get the disfigurement of The Governor, but with a very different plot.  I give the writers and producers two thumbs up for those sequence of events.

But, the very best part of the episode is the ending, and the unfortunate thing is now, we have to wait until February to see how all of this plays out.  At the beginning of the episode, I tucked away the conversation Merle had with The Governor because I had a feeling it would be important later:

         “Nothing happens to Daryl, right”  — Merle

          “Of course not”  — The Governor

I knew right then and there that the ending was going to involve Merle and Daryl (Norman Reedus), and I was right on the money.  I don’t know if it was just grief and rage after losing Penny and after being humiliated by the attack by Michonne, but The Governor decides to throw Merle under the bus.  Remember those horrific gladiator fights?  Well, now it’s Dixon vs. Dixon to the death.  Holy freaking crap!

But, I’m not too worried.  Glenn was strapped to a chair and managed to take out a walker and survive.  Daryl is just as tough, and my God, Merle survived after cutting off his own hand.  If people from Rick’s camp can do that, then Daryl and Merle can get out of this mess as well.  My only hope – and actually my secret Christmas wish – is that Merle will move back to Rick’s side which is where he belongs.

I normally end my reviews with some favorite or memorable quotes, but this time, I have only one, simply because I thought it was hilarious:

          “You’re not a lesbian?  Well, that’s interesting” – Axel (Lew Temple) to Carol (Melissa McBride)

          “Actually, it’s not” – Carol

I guess when you’ve got your eyes on a hottie like Daryl, poor Axel doesn’t stand much of a chance!

Until we meet again in February 2013, folks….

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