It finally happened. The Walking Dead had their first blah episode of the season and I feel greatly disappointed. There were definitely some moments that were good but the overall episode just fell flat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the set-up episodes and I didn’t have as much to gripe about last season as most, but I’m willing to take the good with the bad and continue on. REMINDER: There are SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen this week’s episode avoid this article like the impending zombie plague.
“Hounded” definitely has me split down the middle because there are parts that I think are great and some parts that really just rub me the wrong way. I’m a glass half full kind of guy, so I’ll start with the moments that I liked. Rick’s descent into madness was heartbreaking and Andrew Lincoln gave another great performance. I really felt for Rick when the voice he talked to finally became Lori because his grief had finally taken over his rage. The only thing that I can hope is that the creators diverge from the source material and this is one of the last times that we see Rick on the phone with Lori. It happened multiple times in the book and started to feel a little redundant by the last time in the book.
It was awesome to see heads roll (literally) when Michonne took on Merle and his group. It was also nice to see Merle once again showing his true colors. He preached that in Woodbury they take care of their own, but unfortunately for one of his crew they weren’t in Woodbury anymore. While I saw him shooting his guy from a mile away, I was still in a little bit of shock. For weeks now I’ve been curious why the Governor hadn’t found the prison before Rick’s group, and we finally find out that the prison seems to be smack dab in the middle of a zombie infested area known as the red zone. Merle is also quite perplexing because he acts like he’s afraid of the Governor but apparently not enough to finish the job with Michonne. I just can’t get a read on what his character is going to do and I love it way.
The last thing that really hit home with me was to finally see Daryl show a little emotion. For weeks they have been hinting that him and Carol have started some flirtatious behavior but despite the visit to her grave last week, Daryl didn’t seem too broken up over her ‘death,’ but now we know that he took it a lot harder than expected.
Of course this moment leads me into one of the big beefs I had with this episode; Carol just sitting in a closet. While I hoped it wasn’t true, it seems that the group just nixed any search of the prison for Carol and took her bandana as a sign that she was dead. Really?! I buy the reason that Carol couldn’t get out of the closet because she seemed exhausted and dehydrated, so of course she doesn’t have the strength to escape, but why didn’t the group search for her? Maybe they did, but the way I perceived it in the show was that they found her bandana and later that day they buried her and T-Dog. Especially after seeing Daryl’s reaction this past week, I would want to believe that he would’ve been searching every inch of the prison for Carol.
Though it may still be too early, I feel that I’ve completely given up on Andrea. I think that her character is completely moronic. She became such a dominate character in the last season and I loved her in the book, but I just can’t get behind her this season. Just when you think the Kool-aid wore off, Andrea went and jumped right into the deep end of the pool. Granted her track record with sane men hasn’t been great, but I would think she’d be able to spot a psychopath when she sees one. I have my fingers crossed that there are some pretty big plans for her character but hope is really running out.
I’m also going to say that I’m pretty disappointed in Michonne. I know she was hurt but why not sneak up behind Merle and chop his head off? She could’ve easily made her way around the back of the building and got the drop on him, especially after he attacked Glenn and Maggie. What’s worse is that she doesn’t lift a finger to help but finds it necessary to pick up the baby formula and deliver it. I guess it’s sort of a step towards redemption, but it just seemed farfetched.
Don’t worry, I’m not where near disowning The Walking Dead because I still hold firm that the weakest episode of The Walking Dead is still better than the best episode of most shows on television to date. I just hope that we’re in for something better next week.