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Monday, March 11, 2013

"Arrow on the Doorpost": Rick and The Governor summit on THE WALKING DEAD

Rick, no.  You almost lost your mind.  Do this and you will lose your soul.

The Walking Dead, Arrow on the Doorpost, AMC, Rick Grimes, The Governor
Despite the resolution to one of the show's bigger mysteries - what happened to Morgan and Duane - I thought that last week's episode "Clear" was almost too quiet a departure from what we've become accustomed with AMC's monster hit series The Walking Dead.  But having just watched "Arrow on the Doorpost", I see how there was a lot more in the previous installment that was investment toward the eventual payoff.

And judging what we saw in the final moments of "Arrow on the Doorpost", that's gonna be a hella payoff when Season 3 wraps at the end of this month.

(I just realized yesterday that my birthday is not only Easter Sunday this year but the night before sees the return of new Doctor Who episodes, and Easter night brings the season finale of The Walking Dead and the start of Season 3 of Game of Thrones!  Have the geek stars aligned for me or what? :-)

Rick and The Governor have finally come face to face (in an antezombiebellum feed store), ostensibly to hash things out between Rick's group at the prison and Gov's faction in Woodbury.  The Governor let it be known in no uncertain terms that Rick will surrender or die... but there's "a way out".  Rick had better listen to whatever Hershel has to say: he's a good Christian man with moral clarity and considerable wisdom.  I can't see him telling Rick to give in to The Governor's demands...

'Course, what makes The Walking Dead such compelling television is what human nature is capable of when the whole world has gone to hell.  This is either going to be a shining moment for Rick, or the point that he really will have fallen beyond a chance at self-redemption.  And that - as opposed to which side Andrea must choose - is as of this week The Walking Dead's meatiest situation.

I enjoyed how Daryl and Hershel had polite conversation with Milton and Caesar while the bosses were talking inside the store.  Milton especially seemed to have a measure of respect for Hershel and vice-versa (even if Hershel refused to show off his stump).  There was even a sense of kinship between Daryl and Caesar: my girlfriend thought it hearkened back to the stories about how during the Civil War.  How Union and Confederate soldiers would sometimes encounter each other before a battle and trade with each other, even attending church together.  Even though they knew that the next time they met, it would be as enemies in the field.  Seeing that kind of interaction was a nice touch.

Glenn took on more of a leadership role in "Arrow on the Doorpost" than we've seen from him in awhile.  He's taking his tasks seriously... but it was also good that he got time to make up (and make out!) with Maggie.  Meantime the two biggest wildcards of this entire game - Michonne and Merle - are each contemplating their moves.

And all the while, the clouds of war gather over Georgia...

"Arrow on the Doorpost" was a more satisfying entry than "Clear" in my mind.  And this far out from the season finale, the episode ended with a sense that the buildup to the inevitable clash won't be a rush job as has happened on too many television series.  It's a good solid pace and if The Walking Dead keeps this up it's gonna be a wild, wild ride throughout the rest of this month!