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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 7 – ‘When The Dead Come Knocking’ Review


Thanks to the encouragement of The Walking Dead TV Podcast, I will be writing weekly episode recaps for this season of The Walking Dead.  Anyone continuing on should expect spoilers.

The biggest question on my mind regarding this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, is whether or not the rest of the nation had a KFC ad pop up after the random cabin dude was thrown to the walkers to be eaten.  Please (really, please) leave comments on wherever this post is to let me know.  Along with that, ‘When the Dead Come Knocking,’ was another solid episode for the season, which was able to work in multiple plot threads and keep it all interesting, within the span of the hour.  While this season continues to seem very much in a hurry, as opposed to last season, it is hard to complain when it is all done effectively enough, give or take issues here or there (again, random camper dude).  So let’s seal up that bullet wound and move forward.

This episode picks up where last week left off.  Sure, the cold open starts with the torture plotline, but I’ll get to that next.  First up is what happened following the end of last week:  Michonne arriving at the prison.  I will say that I think the episode got better as it went along, because once again, we have a case of “how stone cold silent, but tough, does Michonne need to be?”  This is literally the case, as Michonne says nothing at all, despite Rick looking directly at her and wondering what is going on.  She then continues to say nothing, is attacked by walkers, takes some out with her sword, passes out due to blood loss and exhaustion, then continues to say nothing some more.  She is of course defensive, as is the group, when it comes to her sword, which is held away from her, but we still go quite some time without her actually saying anything.  My take away is that information is the only thing she has at this point, so she wants to be guarded about what she reveals, but waiting so long, despite willingly bringing the baby formula to the prison in the first place was quite frustrating.  The issue was emphasized further when Daryl walks in on the scene and tells everyone to “Come look,” instead of just outright saying, “Hey! Carol’s Alive!”


Moving past this though, we get to another somewhat awkward scene, once Michonne finally does speak.  She makes Rick and the group aware of Woodbury and the fact that Glenn and Maggie have been taken captive by them (yet still holding out on certain pieces of information – Merle).  What makes it awkward is how quick Rick went after Michonne with more questions, leading to him very quickly inflicting pain, by grabbing her gunshot wound.  Bad form Rick and what a hell of a parallel to what’s going on elsewhere.  Anyway, after some quick stitching from the good, one-legged Dr. Greene, the group is quickly packing up and ready to get their people back.

That is a lot to happen in just one of the plot threads occurring on this week’s show and while it is convenient that Michonne is ready to go on a mission so soon after having her gunshot wound patched up, I did like this, rather than have things drag out for another week.  Also nice is that this whole sequence does take time to have Rick and Carl have a very well done scene together, where they talk about Lori and the newest little Grimes in the family.  Right after that though, we get the rescue team (Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne) walking through the woods and into the silliest scene of the episode.

 
They all happen upon a group of walkers, find that it is too many for them to handle, and happen upon a nearby cabin.  Once inside, they soon find the cabin’s lone occupant:  a jittery fellow who seems to have no idea that a zombie apocalypse was occurring outside.  Kudos to him for enjoying some peace and quiet, despite being shortly dispatched when a bunch of intruders try to shut him up and end up killing him and feeding him to walkers.  This scene is practically played for laughs and is over so quickly that it almost feels like a deleted scene that was put back in so the episode would be longer.  Still, it sucks to be that random cabin dude.

Moving on, in this week’s chapter of, “What’s Andrea Up To?” The Governor decides that Andrea should help Dr. Milquetoast Milton with his experiments.  We find that Milton is planning to test sense memory with a man who is about to die, therefore turning into a walker, and proceeds, despite Andrea telling him that it won’t work.  It doesn’t work, Andrea saves Milton’s life at the last second, and Milton takes notes and presumably changes his pants.  Andrea seems to still be quite fond of the Governor by the end of the episode, but it seems clear that the Governor and Milton need to start accepting what world they are now living in and stop thinking that they can control what happens with silly experiments, if they really think they can lead a town surrounded by the undead.


The best part of this episode is the tense interrogations/torture sequences with Glenn and Maggie.  Merle doles out punishment to Glenn, while the Governor manages to one up him by pretending to be the good cop, only to threaten sexual assault, making himself worse than the one-handed racist next door.  These scenes are appropriately uncomfortable to watch, especially Maggie’s, but are effective, well shot, and have you half expecting someone to actually die, given what we have seen so far this season.  Fortunately, no one dies, but Glenn does get beat up pretty badly and forced to fight a walker, while in a very compromising position.  The ending of this whole sequence is intense as well, with the Governor threatening death to either of them, with Maggie caving, once the gun is placed on Glenn.  It is a chilling scenario and of course it is upsetting to see the bad guys get what they want, but I certainly can’t blame Maggie and it enriches these characters, as we see that their love makes them vulnerable.

It is quite impressive that so much happens and yet this is still just a setup episode to what should be a pretty explosive mid-season finale next week, as Rick and his team are arriving at Woodbury, just as Governor ‘Almost-Rape’ is having his team scout out the prison.  Will Rick and the Governor meet?  Will Merle and Daryl reunite?  Will Andrea figure out what the hell is going on?  Will Michonne speak up?  All of these are questions that I hope will be answered, but for the time being, I am pleased with the direction of this episode, a lot of solid work done on a technical level as well, and I just hope that random cabin dude doesn’t have any random cabin friends hoping he makes it to the next fishing trip or something.

4 out of 5 Busters

Zombie Kill of the Week:  Glenn Strapped To Chair Versus Walker! Glenn Wins via Splinter Attack!

Official Baby Name:  Judith Ass-Kicker Grimes

Carpenter’s Corner:  Based on the music at the end, did anyone else get a John Carpenter vibe from that?

Get The Game:  I wrote a review for The Walking Dead Game, which can be found HERE


Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS3.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.

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