This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” was a feel-good romp about the meaning of family and sticking together when the odds are against you and the situation looks grim. Intrigued? Then better late than never, it’s time to review “The Walking Dead” episode 3.10, “Home.”
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS.
First of all, I see what you’re doing there, writers of “The Walking Dead.” I’ve figured you out. You take marginally interesting characters, make them way more interesting, and then suddenly make us care about them all in the space of a single episode before KILLING THEM DEAD LIKE THE HEARTLESS JERKS THAT YOU ARE. Otis. T-Dog. Oscar. And now poor Axel, who was guilty of no more than getting his flirt on with Carol. Man’s just cracking innocent jokes, revealing his self-deprecating nature and slightly ironic back-story before DEAD. It’s like you enjoy toying with our fragile emotions or something.
Oh wait, we knew that already. I think we figured that out right around the first time Rick shot a little girl in the face. But I digress.
“Home” is one of the finest examples of the cavalry riding in to save the day the world of television has ever known. In the beginning, the group is scattered. Rick’s wandering around in the woods after the ghost of his not-so-dearly departed wife. Daryl and Merle are wandering around in a different part of the woods working through their deep-seated mutual childhood trauma. Tyreese & Co. are in yet another part of the woods trying desperately not to get eaten… we assume. And Glenn is galavanting around trying to be in charge. All of this leaves the prison at half strength and relatively defenseless… but with huge amounts of potential for all of the above to come to the rescue if anything goes wrong.
Which, of course, it does.
A moment here for the Governor and his dastardly, manipulative ways. He plays Andrea like a fiddle, probably because she wants so desperately to be safe and secure in Woodbury (we’re sticking with this explanation because really, no one can be that obtuse). And then he simultaneously gets Milton to spy on Andrea while he and his posse ride of to cause mayhem. How does he keep two such disparate personalities in the same person? There’s the guy who exudes level-headed, compassionate leadership… and then there’s the homicidal maniac who tortures people and shoots up the new neighbor’s house just because they declined his invitation to join his my-way-or-the-highway HOA from Hell.
But I digress once again, because there are more important things to discuss.
Like, for example, the fact that our fearless leader is a few floats short of a parade.
Ghost Lori is a nice touch. And in this episode, the whole appearing-in-sunlight thing is doing her a lot of favors. Gone is the horror movie trope, come to stay is zombie apocalypse Galadriel. And Rick is eating it up. But is hanging out with his dead wife a good excuse for sacrificing the integrity of the group and driving away potential allies? We think not. C’mon Rick, get yourself together.
So the stage is set for things to go horribly wrong at any moment, which of course they do, and that leads to one of the most exciting scenes this show has given us so far. The Governor’s attack on the prison was brilliant both for its sudden efficiency, its diabolical strategy (why waste bullets when you can just send in a truck full of walkers?), and the true peril our heroes faced. There was nothing more gratifying than Michonne hacking her way across a field full of walkers to save Hershel while the brothers Dixon and their trusty sidekick crossbow showed up just in time to save Rick. In the end, everything was ok (unless you’re Axel), but for a couple minutes there we were genuinely worried.
So what now? Indulge us in a few predictions.
For one thing, the attack on the prison was probably just the thing to knock Rick out of his funk. He’s going to pull himself together, start leading from a place of rationality. Because of her courage under fire, Michonne will be welcomed into the fold. Rick will reconcile with Hershel and the others, and even welcome Daryl back on the condition that Merle is on probation.
Meanwhile in Woodbury, Andrea’s going to pull off the blinders and go check out the situation at the prison for herself. And being a not-entirely-irrational person, she’s going to realize that they are the good guys, and her ex-boyfriend is a sociopath who needs to be put down like a rabid dog. She and Michonne will have a heartwarming reunion.
The only real wild card is Glenn and Maggie. Their relationship has taken a turn for the It’s-Complicated-On-Facebook, and it’s hard to see how they’ll get through it. The ramifications of PTSD and vengeance in the zombie apocalypse are convoluted to say the least.
Will Rick pull the group together to defend their home? Will the Governor stage another attack on the prison? Will Tyreese & Co. find their way to safety? Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode of “The Walking Dead” to find out!