I know I came late to the zombie feast and phenom that is The Walking Dead, but hey, I am following a ton of shows this fall. I also read up to volume 6 of the comics so roughly I am at the same point in the show as this mid-season. Now, one beef – what is it with cutting seasons in half here AMC? You did this to us with Breaking Bad and now again with Walking Dead? Is this a bid to keep the actors from re-negotiating their contracts or just a way to cut production costs by having 8-episode seasons rather than the traditional 12 or 13 episode run?
This was a pretty interesting season and while there was a prison and a Woodbury in the comics, the Governor and the characters in the prison were almost entirely different. I have to again concur with the Afterbuzz team on the lameness of killing off Oscar and T-Dog. I mentioned this back a few weeks ago in terms of T-Dog, but here is Oscar getting ignominiously knocked off (without even a close up or slo-mo but just a distant shot in the chaos) and like a magic bunny, here is Tyreese. Hmm, Jumping the shark? Subtle racism (“we need a black character but kill them off before folks become attached to them”)? And what about Morgan? I would have liked to see him come back. [Confession: I actually thought it WAS Morgan until I read a bit more and looked at the cast of S01E01 compared to that of S03E08 and boy was I wrong!]
I think that the prison stuff isn’t bad but as previously mentioned, sometimes was a little too much like playing Doom but with zombies instead of nazis. Rick’s sudden loss of sanity with the phone episode was interesting. And, honestly, I am glad that they spared us the psycho-killer dude from the comics because when Kirkman spent almost two pages of drawings of the beheaded girls, I was pretty taken back and didn’t want a repeat of that bad feeling. As for the Governor, he is a little less one-dimensional in the TV version than in the comics. I mean both are pretty cool and totally evil bastards, but David Morrissey’s performance (I am told that he has a hard British accent in real life!) is splendid and solid in this role. I also love how the Glenn character totally grew a pair this season. He and Maggie kicked some serious ass when they were in captivity. I was a little disappointed with the apparently sex-starved Andrea (but did appreciate that one shot of her ass in a string as she got dressed in the Gov’s room in E08) completely oblivious to her old friends predicament and not curious enough until the end to investigate all the commotion.
I think my favorite character in S03 is Michonne. She is relatively complex and – FINALLY – a strong black woman character that kicks some serious butt and is neither prostitute nor big mama. Just a super smart chick caught in the maelstrom of the apocalypse with incredible wits for self-preservation. Again, Andrea totally disappointed me when she stays in Woodbury for her booty calls. The epic fight in S03E08 between her and the Governor was certainly a high-point of the season. It was FAR less gore than the comic version which was VERY disturbing. But it was still awesome complete with her beheading folks, zombie heads rolling on the floor still biting, and the destruction of the Governor’s sicko zombie head-aquarium. That scene may well have been one of the best in the whole 2 1/2 year run of the show but perhaps folks will comment about that.
So, what will happen in the second half in February? Will Daryl and Merle survive and head back to defend the prison from the enraged citizens of Woodbury (did you see that granny foaming at the mouth at the arena?)? What the hell are “screamer pits”? And what happens when Tyreese and Rick hook up? Will Carol and Daryl do the nasty? We’ll just have to have some KFC and wait…