The Walking Dead 308: “Made to Suffer”
The Mid-Season Finale was as Epic as this Post is Long.
This week opens with the introduction of a new group led by new guy, Tyreese. He takes out a roaming Walker and is joined by Sasha and several others struggling to survive in the woods. With a group of Walkers on their heels they decide to take shelter in a nearby building… which just so happens to be the Prison.
Andrea eyes a picture of the Governor’s family as she hides her shame by fixing her hair in the mirror. After she leaves, the Governor uses the mirror for some freaky-face giving before turning on some music in his Head Room and trying again to get through to his Walker-daughter Penny.
He becomes enraged after he thinks he is getting through to her, only to realize that all she is after is the meat that he brought with him. Come on Gov, could have told you all girls are after the meat. Kind of obvious, here.
Glenn continues to surprise us with how much of a badass he has become. The Walker that Merle set on him earlier is still in the room. As a confused Maggie looks on, Glenn rips the Walker’s arm off. He tears apart the forearm and pulls out the broken bones, handing Maggie what is now a fairly serviceable shank. I have to say I’m incredibly impressed.
As Rick looks for a way into Woodbury, Merle and the Governor try to come up with a plan to invade the prison. I still haven’t figured out what the Governor’s deal is with other groups. Why can’t there be other groups in the area? Why does every other settlement pose a threat? I sort of understood him taking out the National Guard. Those were men who were heavily armed and in all likelihood looking for a safe place, if absorbed into Woodbury they probably would not have taken orders from him. Subsequently he took them out.
But what threat do Rick and his group pose? If anything, the two groups living near each other would be able to reach a truce. Rick’s group could use the land on the prison to plant crops, which they could then trade with Woodbury’s people for other goods. Two separate groups living near one another could be incredibly useful. Why is the Governor so dead set against anyone else of authority in his vicinity?
Led by Michonne, Rick and the others sneak into Woodbury through a supply room. A resident comes in trying to find out who is in there. When he can’t answer any of their questions they knock him out and move on. I would have snapped his neck. He is only going to come to later and alert someone they are there. But I’m cold-blooded like that.
Back at the prison, Axel is getting a little too chummy with Beth for Carol’s liking. Going to take a nerd break for a moment and point out a continuity error. Last season when Beth attempted suicide, it was clearly stated that Beth was 18. Her age was used as a factor in Andrea’s argument that she should have the right to decide if she wanted to kill herself. But tonight when Axel grossly tries to flirt with her, Beth states she is 17. Just throwing that out there, now I’m moving on.
Carol pulls Axel aside and nips that flirty shit in the bud. There is a really funny exchange between the two of them when Axel explains he is hitting on Beth because she is the only straight girl left in the group, since Carol is obviously a lesbian, given her short hair. When Carol sets him straight, he immediately turns his attention to her. But we all know he is barking up the wrong tree because Carol only has eyes for the same guy everyone else watching the show does, the King of Badassery himself, Daryl Dixon.
Maggie and Glenn use their nifty new bone shanks to break out of their cell. But as Glenn wrestles with Merle, Maggie takes down the other guy and he pulls the trigger on his automatic weapon in the process. They are all able to dodge the spray of bullets, but the gun going off attracts the attention of everyone else in town. That distraction allows Rick and the others to be able to sneak out of the storeroom.
And once again, Maggie and Glenn completely fail as survivors. After I was so impressed with their bone shanks, they screw up. Maggie hesitates to shoot Merle after she grabs the gun because he has a blade to Glenn’s throat. Her hesitation allows Merle’s back up to arrive, ending their escape attempt.
Rick is able to miraculously find the exact building they are being kept in and arrives just in time to stop them from being killed. They throw a few smoke bombs and whisk Maggie and Glenn away. There is a moment when Daryl points his gun at someone hiding in a doorway, and I think it is safe to assume that he just almost killed his brother.
They take cover in another building and try to figure out how to get out. Glenn tells Daryl that it was Merle who was about to execute them. Daryl tries to process this new information and hopes that maybe he can go out and appeal to Merle to let them all go. But Rick squashes that and says they can come back and talk to Merle later, they have to get everyone out safely first.
The Governor tells his group of enforcers that they are under attack by terrorists. Only a select few in the group actually know what is happening, and Andrea isn’t one of them. He sends her on a bullshit mission but she goes after the “terrorists” anyway.
Under heavy gunfire, they make their way through the town and the age old cinema rule of everyone suddenly being a bad shot goes into effect. Andrea only gets a look at Oscar, who she doesn’t know. So the Governor uses this to plant the idea in her head that they are being invaded by convicts. Oh, Andrea. What a maroon.
Rick and Daryl attempt to provide cover as the others try to escape. Rick has a hallucination and believes one of the Governor’s men is Shane walking toward him. His confusion results in him hesitating, and the guy is able to get off a shot which catches Oscar in the side. Maggie is forced to shoot him in the head to make sure he doesn’t turn.
Okay here’s another point where I’m taking a break: why can there be only one black man on this show? First Oscar appeared and we lost T-Dog, now at the beginning of the episode we encountered Tyreese, now Oscar is killed. What gives guys? Can we get a little bit of diversity in the show please? I want more ethnicities, and I want people of different sexual orientations. Is it really too hard to ask that our shows reflect the reality of the American population? Moving on.
At the prison, Carl, Beth and Hershel hear screaming coming from somewhere inside. Carl goes to investigate and finds Tyreese and his group fighting off Walkers in the generator room and immediately comes to their assistance. He shoots a few in the head and then leads them out to safety. Is he going to blindly trust them or wise up and keep these guys at a distance?
Michonne is waiting in the Governor’s apartment when she hears noises coming from the next room. She discovers the Governor’s wall of heads before realizing there is someone moving around in a cage in there. At first she thinks Penny is still a real girl that the Governor is keeping captive, but when she removes the hood she sees the toothy-truth.
The Governor shows up just in time to stop Michonne from killing her. But as soon as Michonne realizes how important the girl is to him, she dispatches her with the quickness. This of course causes the Governor to rage out and they get into a fight. The wall of heads is broken and we get the treat of seeing that the heads are actually still alive and biting! Michonne uses glass from one of the broken aquariums to take out the Governor’s eye.
Just then Andrea shows up and holds a gun to her head. There is a momentary standoff before Michonne carefully makes her exit and it slowly dawns on Andrea just who she is boning.
Want to take a minute to just give a quick shout out to my one of my favorite authors, Isaac Marion; the first commercial at the break is for the film version of his novel Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult and John Malkovich. Couldn’t be more thrilled for Isaac, he is a total sweetheart and I’m not just saying that because he actually deigns to speak to me! Love this guy. Go check out our latest interview that went up today, and there is more to come from the two of us in FEARnet and the February issue of Stiff Magazine.
Carl takes the new group to another secure area and locks them in so that he can make sure they are not a threat (smart boy!). Sasha flips her shit for a second at the thought of being caged, but Tyreese seems to be fairly reasonable and explains to her that this is the best way to keep them all safe.
Andrea takes the Governor to the infirmary and tries to get some answers out of him. But they are interrupted by the arrival of Milton and Merle. The Governor tells them that he was attacked and Merle informs him the others in the group were able to escape. Merle promises to go after them in the morning. If we thought the Governor gave good crazy face at the start of this episode, it is nothing compared to the level of rage in his eyes now. Think about it: Merle told him Michonne was dead, remember? What is the Gov thinking about Merle right about now?
Rick tries to regroup outside of Woodbury’s walls. Daryl still hasn’t shown up after providing them with cover to escape. Michonne appears and Rick immediately questions her. She stops him from killing her by asserting they will need her help to try and get back to the prison or get Daryl out of Woodbury.
Inside the town, the Governor convenes a meeting with the residents in the arena. He incites them into frenzy as he betrays Merle and reveals that he has Daryl as a prisoner. Andrea is forced to look on as the Governor labels both of the Dixon brothers as terrorists. With the crowd calling for their heads, we end the mid-season with one last look at the Governor’s frightening, and now deformed, face.
So what did we all think? Cross your fingers that I can come back and keep covering the second half of Season Three, since my Verizon having ass may not have AMC for much longer.
All photos by Gene Page and Tina Rowden © AMC.