Monday, November 19, 2012

War Clouds are Brewing in "The Walking Dead:" A Television Review ("Hounded")

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*there are spoilers here.

Director: Daniel Attias.

Writers: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Michael Rooker, David Morrissey, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, and Scott Wilson.

Seas. 3 of "The Walking Dead" is moving towards its mid-season break. There are two episodes to go, "When the Dead Come Knocking" and "Made to Suffer," before there is a pause for a couple of months. So, viewers can expect that the mid-break finale will be a big one. This reviewer expects Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the Governor (David Morrissey) to meet in "Made to Suffer."

In this episode, "Hounded," the series slowed slightly despite Michonne (Danai Gurira) hacking and slashing through most of Merle's (Michael Rooker) goons. The focus was more on drama as Carol (Melissa McBride) was found by Daryl (Norman Reedus) in a minor storyline. As well, Michonne was the unwilling ambassador between Woodbury and the prison. Andrea (Laurie Holden) continues on her annoying path to self-destruction, while Rick tried to deal with his grief through imaginary telephone friends. All of these subplots and many more gelled together to create for another solid entry in this season.

The story in this episode created for a few questions. Why does the Governor want to capture Michonne? Does he simply want to add her head to his collection? Also, how will Michonne get along with Rick and his crew? She seems anti-social at best and murderous on her bad days. She needs to show a softer side. Thankfully, she brought a basket of formula for Lil' Ass-kicker. So, Michonne is beginning her arc.

Also in this episode, Andrea fell for the psychopath and leader of Woodbury, the Governor. She seems to lose herself in the presence of this character. Andrea will need to stand on her own two feet at some point. She has depended on Shane (Jon Bernthal), Michonne and now the Governor for her survival. This weak female character is almost villainous for her inability to fight back against stronger and more intelligent characters.


One of the bigger surprises in "Hounded" involved Carol's rescue. Daryl found her alone in one of the cell blocks. She appeared dehydrated, tired and desperate. But, another question popped up for this watcher. Why did no one search for Carol, in he first place? In Seas. 2, everyone was searching for Sophia (Madison Lintz), Carol's daughter, for almost the entire season. But, no one seemed interested in finding Carol! Carol needs to start making some friends quickly or she might be lost in the next shuffle of characters.

Michonne's main role in this episode was to act as a go-between. She links Woodbury with the prison, after she witnesses Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) abduction at Merle's hands. When Michonne is not jumping out of trees like a ninja and acting like an overdrawn comic book character, she is drawing Rick and the Governor closer to warfare. These two characters will finally confront each other soon. And, Rick will be happy to have Michonne on his side, if she can find a place in his group.

The major storyline in this showing involved Rick and his mysterious friends on the phone. This reviewer had already guessed that Rick was delusional. He had lost too much over such a short time. Rick is just not able to see events as they truly are with so many changes. As well, who would have set up a working telephone line several months after the apocalypse? It was fairly apparent that Rick was having a split with reality here. During that split, Rick talked to Amy (Emma Bell), Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) and Jim (Andrew Rothenberg). These characters appeared in Seas. 1. Then, Rick talked with Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies). Anyone who was not onboard with this cinematic trick quickly clued in to Rick's instability with this grave conversation. Rick looks like he is back with the other members of his group now that some of his grief has been worked out.

"Hounded" offered a balance of drama and action in this episode. This episode did seem a touch slower than previous showings, however. Episode 6 appeared to be focused on bringing Michonne into Rick's fold, while showing the distance between Woodbury and the prison. The two groups are apparently very close to each other. And, Glenn is sure to spill the beans on where Rick and his friends are located after Merle lays into Maggie for a bit. A war is coming! The Governor would seem to have the upper hand involving any battle between himself and Rick. He has a whole town at his back. Meanwhile, Rick only has a baby (Lil' Ass-kicker), a child (Carl Grimes), an amputee (Hershel), another child (Beth), a few men and a very angry woman (Michonne) to help him out in the event of direct confrontation. Most of these characters will cause more problems for this former sheriff deputy than they will solve. Rick will hopefully gather his wits together before he meets up with his looming adversary.

"Hounded" was a decent outing for Seas. 3. Events slowed down slightly, but this episode seemed to be building future conflicts. Further episodes look to be worst case scenarios for Maggie and Glenn. As well, this critic would like to see Andrea become a little more self-aware; she needs to see a hint of who the Governor truly is. Otherwise, she will be lost to the abyss and to a sociopath. Overall, this episode helped develop characters and this viewer is looking forward to upcoming events, which will bring the two stories in this season together in a bloody fashion.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

More from Epis. 6, "Hounded," is here:

"Hounded" at the AMC

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