Turn It Off – Review of The Walking Dead Episode 509

By the end of episode 508, things didn’t look good for Rick and company. They’d finally joined their forces together again—even though that meant the mission to D.C. was a bust—and tragedy strikes. The next episode picks up some time after they’ve moved on from Atlanta once again. Seems like the big city is nothing but bad luck for the gang. Can they break the downward cycle and regroup or will their losses continue to build?

Warning: Episode spoilers lurk below calm waters.

This was by far the best episode the show has released since the main group left the prison. It was also one of the most unique in the way it was written and edited. The opening should’ve gone straight to that first, unexplained shot of the shovel, though. Fans know what happened, the catch-up killed what could’ve been a great opening—even if viewers didn’t understand what they were seeing until everything was explained at the end of the episode. Unfortunately, while the episode itself was well written and acted, the main plot point—finding yet another safe haven—has become woefully predictable. I knew what was on the other side of the wall at Noah’s community long before they jumped over. Just had to listen for the flies. They’re never a good sign on this show. How many times can the crew get knocked down before they develop serious mental issues from trying to cope with more than any person should.

We didn’t see much from Maggie, but Glenn’s struggle to keep going was all too clear. He’s unusually quiet and withdrawn. His sister-in-law is dead. So is his father-in-law. Hell, he and Maggie have no one left breathing to call family outside the survivor group. Over and over, Glenn and Rick touched on their reactions when Dawn and Beth were killed. They wanted her dead. It didn’t matter who ended up with the blood on their hands. There’s only so much a man can take. Glenn may be at his breaking point. But then who will hold Maggie together?

This episode was all about Tyreese. We learned about a childhood spent inundated with the horrors of the world—very Clockwork Orange—with his father the one pushing young Ty to face it like a man. This tidbit of information shaped everything that happened after the twin walker took a chunk out of his arm. The hallucinations ranged from auditory—the radio playing news stories based on what he’s seen since the undead rose—to visual, bringing in the dead who’ve shaped the man. Slightly terrifying to think Philip (The Governor) and Martin (from TERMINUS) had anything to do with how brave Tyreese was at the end. Even more terrifying was when Lizzie and Mika first popped up before the opening credits. If we’d known then what the random visuals meant, I don’t think many viewers would’ve kept watching. It was worth the watch to see Bob again, to hear his advice one last time. Interesting that in his final moments, Tyreese would seek out Bob, who was so unlike himself and how he planned to handle his death. Ty wanted to go out swinging. Bob embraced the transition with no regrets. But Tyreese had been taught his entire life to never turn away, never give up. As his condition deteriorated, the hallucinations from those he’d cared for—Lizzie, Mika, Bob, and Beth—told him it was okay to not be a part of the world as it’s become. The others—Phillip and Martin—mock him for his subconscious desire to get it over with already. “You have to pay the bill,” Phillip told him. Ty’s final line was, “Turn it off.” Was he talking about the pain, the horrific world around them? Could be both. His final moments were some of the roughest to sit through, a testament to Chad Coleman’s incredible performance.

In the wake of yet another loss, it’s become all too clear that what they’re doing isn’t working. Rick agrees with Michonne’s insistence that they take a page from Eugene’s playbook and take up the quest to Washington D.C. again. They need a home. Rick needs somewhere safe to raise his kids. They don’t have the supplies necessary to fortify their own safe haven. It’s one-hundred miles to Washington, will all of them make it?

Messiah Complex – Walking Dead Review

Review of “The Walking Dead” 311 “I Ain’t a Judas”

Reviewer: R.C. Murphy

TWD-311Season three of “The Walking Dead” so far has caused ample amounts of yelling, throwing things at the TV, and sobbing. Even though episode 311 wasn’t as explosive as the previous episode, there was plenty to yell about as the dynamics between Team Prison and Team Woodbury shifted. It is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out where loyalties lie within the groups and the characters who crossover from one to the other. Only one thing is clear, war isn’t coming—it is already here.

Warning: Spoilers below!

How much of Merle’s attitude adjustment can Rick’s group trust? Sure, he’s still outspoken and laying bits and pieces of doubt for the others to trip over, but he’s also taken up arms to help defend those calling the prison home—twice. He’s offered up insight into how the Governor thinks and runs his city, all of which we know is true. Merle has a depth of soul previously unseen on screen. We met him when he was doped up, talking crazy, and hating the world. When we reconnected with Merle, he was firmly in the Governor’s camp, driven by a sense of loyalty for the man who gave him a safe place to live and enough weaponry to scratch his itch for violence. In Woodbury, Merle’s darker instincts weren’t shunned or contained. He was allowed to run wild and do anything necessary to protect the town. That won’t fly with Rick, though. We already know this. Surprisingly, Merle has a connection of sorts with Hershel. Maybe we’ve found the one person—other than his brother—who can truly reach Merle on a level not based on hate and violence. Only time will tell if he will mesh into the group or continue to try and rip them apart emotionally from within. Merle only knows how to defend himself—with words and weapons.

Daryl is caught in the middle of everyone’s warring emotions. Merle wants his submissive little brother back to do his bidding without question. Rick needs a strong second in command to hold him up while he continues to suffer a mental breakdown. And Carol is determined to see him free himself of his brother’s scheming and mental abuse. Carol is possibly the best thing to happen to Daryl since he was a child. She believes in him. Not what he can do for her or how she can use him. Carol wants to empower Daryl, the same way she has herself since her husband became zombie chow. Most of all, she wants to see him whole so they can finally have a meaningful connection, which is denied to so many during crisis situations. Daryl is hesitant to follow her lead, though. It is understandable. Numerous people have used him and tossed him aside when someone or something better comes along. He doesn’t see his self-worth beyond what he can do with a knife and crossbow. With time Carol can make him understand, but not if Merle is going to trail along behind her, whispering doubt into Daryl’s ear.

Oh Rick . . . bats are still winging around in your belfry, aren’t they? You know it has to be bad when Carl of all people steps up and questions Rick’s ability to be the leader they need in order to survive the war with the Governor. But can Rick step down? Leading his group, keeping them safe, may be the final thing keeping him grounded. His wife is dead. He has no connection with his newborn daughter and his son is turning into a young man he doesn’t recognize because of the rough life they lead. Rick is drifting. Lost. The only time he is coherent is when danger and death knock on the front gates of the prison. He won’t find an easy out, though. Hershel and Glenn will hold him accountable for everything that has happened since Lori’s death—crazy or not.

Between Andrea and the Governor, it is difficult to figure out who fans hate the most. Andrea keeps making bad decision after awful decision and tops it off with a slice of, “What the heck were you thinking?” Phillip is evil. He makes no effort to hide it now, even when faced with Andrea’s endless questions about his intentions. Sure, he’ll say the right things, the kind things, but his eyes—eye—speak the truth. He has been wronged, by Rick, Michonne, and Merle. Nothing will stop him from his vengeance, no matter how pretty and blonde she is. Even poor Milton is helpless to do anything kind and decent in the face of Phillip’s vengeance. Andrea, Milton, and now Tyreese and his crew, are nothing more than weapons the Governor can use in his schemes. He knew Andrea would eventually sneak away from Woodbury and go to the prison. He was counting on her to do it so he could gauge the mental health of the people he is at war with. Phillip fights with everything he’s given, and he just happened to be blessed with a seriously intelligent mind and a taste for death. And now not only does he have a feel for who he is facing, but with Tyreese’s help, he’ll have everything he needs to tackle where he wishes to attack.

Andrea should have done what Carol told her to, don’t you think?

I can’t leave without giving props to the wizards at KNB EFX. Their work on the zombie Andrea mutilates is astounding. Disgusting, yet beautiful to those who are intrigued by special effects.

What do you think is in store for Team Prison? Let us know in the comments below.