The Walking Dead: Hounded Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, November 19, 2012
Initially this episode felt like another transitional tale, but once it was over it definitely felt like the quiet before the storm. There is some distant thunder rumbling its way towards us, and tonight we saw some of the pieces that will make things go "boom".
In Merle we trust. As in "In Merle we trust to be completely untrustworthy". I'm really curious what his endgame is. So far we assume he really wants to see his brother again, but obviously not enough to wait for him in town, so he assaults Glen and Maggie, and takes them back to Woodbury. It's fairly obvious he is going to torture them to find out the location of the prison, but wasn't there any easier way? Or is his brother really his motivation? In a bit that's even more odd, Merle lies to the Governor about killing Michonne. "Red Zone" or not, it's a pretty sloppy lie to tell. How in the world would Merle believe that won't come back to haunt him? One could assume the Governor would punish Merle for not completing his task, but they've never set that precedent. Maybe that's part of his plan, or maybe big bad Merle is just plain afraid of Michonne after that last tussle, it's hard to say just yet, but he is definitely playing his own dangerous game.
Andrea likes a taste of the ultraviolence. This feels much more true to what they've established for Andrea in season's past. Her admission of actually liking the gladiator games, and her bloodlust filled leap over the wall, must have made her irresistible to a dark soul like the Governor. He finally makes his move with a little whiskey; all that's missing is Al Green, or does the Gov prefer Barry White? It's clear Andrea getting personally involved with him will create all sorts of situations and drama in the coming weeks. One thing that did strike an odd chord was the Governor saying “We don’t need you on the wall.” Who do they need on the wall then? The weird chick who can’t hit the broad side of an aircraft carrier with her daddy’s bow and arrow?
Big brother Daryl. Seeing Daryl slowly morph into the role of big brother to Carl is yet another dimension to the character once labeled “The Boba Fett of The Walking Dead”. It’s another smart juxtaposition as we see Merle get even more rabid while Daryl is trying to help Carl cope by sharing a very personal story. It gives us insight to how their upbringing has affected both Dixon brothers in different ways. It’s sad to think what Daryl would be like if he never got out from under his brother’s thumb, a cycle he clearly does not want to repeat with Carl.
Rick sees his child for the first time, and it’s about time. The ringing phone idea turned out to be essentially the same as it was in the comics. Whether or not it will be a constant in the show will be interesting. I can definitely envision Rick being hounded by a ringing phone in some tense situations. It seems Hershel will be keeping a weathered eye on Rick for a while, he definitely got the vibe Rick is not playing with a full deck. It’s nice to see Rick finally connect with his newborn daughter. His expression when he holds her for the first time, and the gentle kiss, keep us rooting for Rick to be the good man we know he is.
Carol is alive. Sorry conspiracy theorists, Carol and Lori are not hiding out in the woods stitching each other up and braiding a walker’s hair. As I’ve mentioned before- there was no way in HOTlanta they were going to kill Carol off camera, and bury her without us seeing proof. And revealing that Carol somehow saved Lori would be a betrayal to writing itself. Daryl’s inner (and outer) turmoil with facing the possibility of having to dispatch a Carol zombie was yet another moment of progression for the crossbow-ed one.
Michonne makes it to the prison. It was a long hard road out of hell, but we finally have a through line between Woodbury and the prison. Michonne is apparently a love all, decapitate all kinda gal. If I’m not mistaken, this episode probably had the first ‘human dispatched like a walker’ scene in the show’s tenure. It’s not the rotting flesh that makes it so easy to make julienne fries, but the kick ass gal wielding the blade. I would say Merle is lucky he didn’t lose his other hand after that tussle. Lucky for the einhander they both fell down in an awkward way, which was either odd choreography, or odd editing. It was cool that they brought back the zombie gut camouflage from the first season, now Michonne has another trick up her sleeve. And for all of you who thought she could only express her feelings through anger, let’s not forget she sends the loveliest of Biter-grams.
Mania Grade: B+
Episode: Hounded (Season 3, Episode 6)
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira
Written By: Frank Darabont (developer), Robert Kirkman (series of graphic novels)
Directed By: Daniel Attias