The Walking Dead: Home Review - Mania.com



The Walking Dead Review

Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Episode: Home (Season 3, Episode 10 )
  • Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Laurie Holden,Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker,Steven Yeun
  • Written By: Nichole Beattie, Frank Darabont (developer), Robert Kirkman (series of graphic novels)
  • Directed By: Seith Mann
  • Network: AMC
  • Studio: AMC
  • Series:

The Walking Dead: Home Review

Biter-gram

By Joel Rickenbach     February 18, 2013
Source: Mania.com

There were a lot of concerns after last week's quiet episode that the bulk of the remaining season would be as well. Slowly building to that "cha-ching" finale, and leaving us twisting in the wind for months. Fears should be allayed after tonight's curious, yet satisfying episode. We get gore, ghosts and gunfire!

I'll take some flak for this, but here it goes- I love the scenes with Rick chasing Lori's apparition. When the episode opened I was worried things had settled, and Rick was back to his regular routine, but after a few moments of binocular vision, it's clear he still has a head full of ghosts. There's a quiet beauty to these scenes, particularly when held up against the show's penchant for gore. Lots of ambient sound, gorgeous wide shots of the prison and its surrounding environs, and Bear McCreary's sad yet hopeful cues. There's even a nice level of tension throughout when Rick throws caution to the wind, and leaves the prison gates open on his quest. The most striking thing we see when Rick finally catches up to the phantasm of his departed wife, is not that it's actually actress Sarah Wayne Callies, or that he can actually approach her without another disappearing act, no, it's that she's so clean. No dirt, no blood, no sweat, no gore. Her skin is immaculate, her hair has volume that would make most shampoo commercials jealous. She also looks healthy, well fed, and that's not a knock, it's just a stark contrast to the lean and hungry times our characters live in. It's such a small touch, but seeing Lori outside of the apocalypse is an incredibly powerful image. Jumping ahead a bit-- Rick's admission to Herschel that he knows what he's seeing is not real gives us something to grab on to. Rick is not completely off the reservation, but there's something he needs to accept, something he needs to come to terms with. The bad news is he may have to continue his wanderlust a bit longer until he does.

"The Walking Dixons" didn't last very long. On one hand it feels like it was a necessary sidetrack to set some things straight, on the other it feels like last episodes drama was almost pointless. Regardless of how short it was, it is nice to see Daryl be his own man. Maybe a few hours with Merle is enough to make anyone turn back, even kin. It's interesting to think that this is really the first time in three seasons we've had the Dixon brothers together, and it doesn't take long for old wounds to reveal themselves, literally. As the scars indicate- the brothers had a very tough life pre-apocalypse, an how they choose to lead their lives post-apocalypse speaks volumes. It's no surprise they were originally going to rob our survivors blind, yet fate instead gave them one of their most important assets in Daryl. The bridge rescue was a nice bit of action, Daryl's crossbow got a workout, and Merle only chipped in when it suited him. If you are keeping a top 10 zombie kills list for this season, Daryl's use of a car trunk is a worthy candidate. Merle's reaction to the Latino family just proves he is so racist he can't even help it. The fireworks will no doubt fly when Mr. Combustible is inside the prison gates.

Glenn continues to step up and shoulder the leadership responsibility, even to a fault. That sneaky kid who was good at finding supplies is now scheming to assassinate the Governor, that's quite a step up from baby formula. There really is no right way for Glenn to approach Maggie, but his rage unfortunately gives him that "I just need to know" mentality. It's as if he's assigning levels of response to the Governor's actions. It's obviously all bad, but as long as he didn't go past this level, then everything is ok in his mind. The problem is, what's in his mind isn't the issue, it's not about him. There's nothing worse than trying to rationalize someone else's issues to make yourself feel better. Despite how much Glenn has grown, and how much he contributes, it's a slippery slope he is totally unprepared for.

The Governor is an exquisite shot. He has the ability to pick off minor characters from hundreds of yards away, and doesn't even leave a scratch on our main cast members, it's a gift, truly. The Gov is also back to master manipulator mode. He hands Andrea the phantom reigns to Woodbury, while he takes his best gunmen out for a drive-by of the prison. I hope Andrea grows a pair (not literally) soon, because her character is dangerously close to melting away in the rain. Even a tongue-tied Milton can deflect her aggression. At least the Governor is getting some of his teeth back. The man is not too concerned with bullets, he just tilts his head and keeps on firing. He doesn't even strafe or find cover, lucky for him our survivors only have accuracy against walkers, people standing still? Forget it. Poor Axel, he was this close to getting laid, now he's just a human meat shield. One wonders if he would have just kept his mouth shut, and not opened up about his past, if he would have lived longer. "I remember this one time down in Skokie, Illinois, me and by buddy-" BLAM! It's best to keep it to yourself, the apocalypse has no time for your personal anecdotes. 

I like that the Governor is just toying with the prison. He clearly is not there to invade (not yet), instead he sprays the place with bullets, and delivers the post-apocalyptic version of a candy-gram. Let's just hope he doesn't find a working helicopter... Kudos to the action in this last scene, Rick's group keep proving that when it comes to dispatching walkers they are a well oiled machine, and with the addition of Michonne, Daryl and Merle, they are a fighting force of extra-ordinary magnitude. Here's hoping they can keep this pace for the rest of the season.

Joel Rickenbach is a curator of cult cinema at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA, and can be heard every week talking film, TV and other geekery on the You’ve got GEEK podcast. Follow him onTwitter and hilarity will no doubt ensue.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 39
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calhob 2/18/2013 6:55:40 AM

 LOVED that last scene. Really, loved the whole episode.

But as to your points about the Gov's shooting skills, he was really aiming on that first shot and after that, he was just loving the fact that he scared the prison group senseless. He wasn't even aiming, just spraying the walls. Dude is terrifying when he gets in that mode. And that truck full of zombies was an awesome idea.

RedHood2010 2/18/2013 7:05:25 AM

A very good episode. 

I appreciate what Rick is going thru and I was glad he did admit, out loud, that he is seeing things and that he doesn't know what to do about it.  But I feel and HOPE the shoot out has brought him back to the real world for a little bit.  It is apparent we do need all hands on deck, including Merle and Tyrees group.  And the Gov may have been having fun, but he didn't see the WHOLE group, so he may be surprised the next time he comes by for a visit.

Truck to Zombie head Kill was AWESOME!!

I was surprised that Michone had a gun, but when it came time to play and go for Rick or Hershel, she pulled out her tried and true weapon.

InnerSanctum 2/18/2013 7:45:25 AM

 This is a totally different Gov (as if we didn't know.)  What plans he has for this group is beyond me after last night.  

SPOILER:  Andrea was seen entering the prison in the previews.  She had a walker in tow.  

I won't rag on everyone's shooting skills.  They were jumped and the Gov's men were stratigically placed.  The Gov obviously doesn't care about being killed, or he is so delusional that he thinks he can't be killed.  He did say his "goodbyes", to an extent, when he left Woodbury.  Plus, they were ambushed.  Rick was seeing visions and the others were casually strolling around in the field.  If anything, you should rag on the fact that they new the Gov was coming and didn't have people at every station waiting.  That was just stupid.  

No one has brought up the fact that the walkers have breached the prison.  No one knows how.  Is it just to put them between a "rock and a hard place" or is there something else afoot?  Probably not.  

 

RedHood2010 2/18/2013 8:24:24 AM

I do agree with that point InnerSanctum, there was NO sense of concern by the group as a whole.  While I thought it was funny how Carol was letting her guard down while they were putting up the barriers, it didn't cross my mind that they weren't thinking of what might be coming to their door.

How did one of the Gov's guys get into a tower?

redhairs99 2/18/2013 9:10:02 AM

RedHood, I had the same question about the guy in the tower.  Wasn't that on the inside of the fence?  At first I thought it was one of the prison group's people returning fire, but then realized it was on of the Gov's peeps.

Trunk head smash was great!  One of the best on the show, probably ever.

Not sure what happened to Tyree's group.  Rick went all crazy and scared them completely away?  I mean there was NO mention of them at all as I recall.

Someone needs to just shoot Andrea now.  The woman is just all kinds of stupid.  Quit tooling around Woodbury and GET to the Prison already.  It should be obvious to her by now that she can't trust The Gov. She's got an awful lot of sentiment for all these Woodbury residents who have no names (as in the audience doesn't know or care about them).

Anyone else wonder how The Gov was aiming his gun using the scope?  He was aiming with his non-existant right eye!  You'd think someone on set would have caught that and said, "Uh, David, you said really use you're other hand to fire and only eye to aim."

The Walking Dixons was pretty short lived and seemingly all too short given the drama the decision to leave caused last week, but at least Daryl is back with the group.  Should be interesting to see how Merle factors in with the group.

Lastly,  Red-neck prison guy with the Colonel Sanders 'stache was bound to die to in this episode.  For Godsake's they had him giving us his life story!  If that isn't a death sentence, I don't know what is.  Actually at first, I thought they may be setting him up for a turn like he's telling us this story to gain our trust and then he's really a rapist and rapes Carol or something.  Then I figured, no, their just setting up his exit from the show.

hanso 2/18/2013 10:21:16 AM

Come on guys, The Gov's guy inside the prison was a ninja or a mutant with teleportation powers.  Thats why he was in that tower.  

I was rooting for the prisoner to stick it to CArrol.  You know she was gonna give it up soon after one of those life story chats.  All he needed was one more story.  Damn you Governor, why u cockblock him like that?

hanso 2/18/2013 10:23:01 AM

 Where was Tyrese in this ep?  

TheMovieGuy28 2/18/2013 10:42:50 AM

So, my butthole was straight puckered up for the last 15 minutes of this episode! Definitely an "A".

as for Tyree and his group, they wouldn't have fit the narrative in this episode. All we would have seen was them being in their own ward, hearing/seeing the action from behind bars. There was no way Herschel, Maggie, or Carl would have given them weapons to help fight, so there was no driving force to show them in this one.

I agree with some of the comments about how suddenly they can't shoot straight. But, in reading Bruce Lee, or watching bloodsport, I'm reminded of 

"Boards not hit back!"

 

Zombies aren't carrying fully automatic weapons and shooting back. Most of the group, if not mistaken, has not been in a full on firefight. Plus, given the distance, and the cover the treeline provided for the Guvnah and his bois, it's not unreasonable to think that no one from the group would have been able to hit them.

Also, for some reason, I actually thought Andrea was the one who drove the truck. That little person who jumped out, and was in like full tac/motocross body armor seemed to move like a woman. It just seemed so weird that this person would have all that armor on, for the viewer anyway, if they weren't looking to hide who it was who drove it.

Lastly, how does Glenn not even attempt to fire on anyone when he shows up? I mean, you could have heard that gunfire from miles, and he just rolls right back as he sees a truck taking off, and does nothing?  The review is right; Glenn is stepping up but he's in over his head. I don't know how the books go, but he may end up giving his life in some awesome standoff against walkers and Woodbury.

Oh, yeah! Rick & The Dixons both coming to save him, that was some intense sh*t right there!

And yes, Daryl's minivan trunk curbstomp was definitely Zombie kill of the week, maybe even the season

momitchell7 2/18/2013 10:56:59 AM

Daryll was coming back, so Carol couldn't have two boyfriends... It was stash-guy's time to go, he was growing on me though.

I agree about the Tyrese clan... Did anyone else think that they just up and completely left after last episode? I thought they were just going to another part of the prison, away from Rick. That's one of the complaints I have about the show, the writing can be sloppy at times... I love the show, but I hate having to overlook sloppy writing.

I can see why it's harder to hit a target that's actually shooting back at you, then a slow moving walker, so that didn't bother me too much... But I was thinking the same damn thing about the guard tower sniper; how did he get up there and hasn't Michonne been positioned right inside the gate and didn't The Governor and his goons set up just outside of it?!

Oh well...

rkngl 2/18/2013 12:11:35 PM

 Wow! This episode was GOOOODDDDDDD!!! And I'm not talking zombies or shooting. I'm talking about character and acting. Short scenes, not much fuss, but intense. MIlton and Andrea, for starters. "Where is the Guvna?", Andrea asks for the second time. "On a run?", repeats Milton with the dumbest of faces! Hillarious! And the dialogue between Herschel and Rick was also great. The guy that plays Rick, whoever his name is, behaves like a real psychotic. I know because I work with some. The uncongruous emotional reactions, the aloofness, the absurd answers... Whoever wrote this episode deserves a congratulation, and the right to write many more. They didn't dwell on conflict and long winding talks about how they felt and such; every moment of conflict was short and realistic, and shown not with words but looks and emotions (like when Merle tore Daryl's shirt). That's how a TV show should be; if I wanted declamations, I would go to the theater! (Too bad for plot some holes, though... why was the guy in the tower shooting at the people inside?, I asked myself when I saw him. Wasn't he one of them? Because, if he wasn't, HOW THE HELL DID HE GOT UP THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?)

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