TV Review: “The Walking Dead” – Third Time’s A Charm

Written by Mitchell B November 19, 2012

Sunday night’s episode of “The Walking Dead” marked the sixth episode of the fantastic third season. At this point last year, I was doing everything in my power not to gouge my eyes out due to sheer boredom. The first half of season two was excruciatingly slow, revolving around the search for Sophie (who, thankfully, was dead). I am extremely happy to say that this season has been leaps and bounds better and has catapulted the show to elite status amongst TV dramas.

Zombies! Beautiful Zombies!

I’m not sure what changed so drastically behind the scenes of the show, perhaps it was the firing of showrunner Frank Darabont, but the change has been incredible. As mentioned above, last season was so mind-numbingly boring that I nearly stopped watching the show altogether. They picked up the pace in the latter half of the season, but it still didn’t really make up for what came before. This season, the writers have learned from their mistakes, and have really upped the ante. To start, the amount of actual zombies in the show has increased and has added a greater sense of danger. In previous seasons, the show had been referred to as “the zombie show with no zombies.” Well not anymore! This season has included some excellent zombie kills, and even some awesome human kills.

A couple of these human kills are attributed to Rick, who has stepped up this season and become a total badass. The moment that solidified this for me was when he macheted Tomas’ skull. The new Rick is a leader; someone who will make the difficult decisions when he needs to. It’s a nice change from the Rick of the past, who spent most of his time wondering what to do and looking for his son. He is looking more and more like Shane every week, but let’s hope the writers know where to draw the line and don’t go full-Shane.

Also contributing to the new sense of danger is the fact that we’ve seen numerous characters killed off this season, including regulars Lori and T-Dog.  Maybe it’s my cold heart, but I couldn’t wait for Lori to get killed off. She was an irritating character who treated Rick poorly and pitted him against Shane (one of the only other likable characters on the show, before he went insane). As much as I am enjoying this season, I still find that the show lacks good characters. Apart from Rick and Darryl, there isn’t a single character who I’d be sad to see go (okay, maybe Glen). The rest of the gang are pretty much expendable, which kind of proves how weak the characterizations are for the secondary characters. They’ve been around for two and a half seasons now and we still don’t care about them.

“Killing can be this comfortable”

 A Welcome Change

The villains, however, are a nice addition to this season. The Governor, played wonderfully by David Morrissey, is equal parts charming and creepy. Every week we learn something new about him, which makes us hate him that much more, but we’re still eager to learn more. The return of Merle has also been enjoyable, though at times his character is so over-the-top that it’s hard to take him seriously. The addition of human villains has given this season a new dynamic, in place of the “humans vs. walkers” dynamic of the previous two seasons.

This season of “The Walking Dead” has easily been the best yet. We’ve been treated to a much faster paced show, full of intense action sequences, gritty human drama, and some great acting. It’s a joy to tune in every Sunday knowing that I won’t be disappointed with another dull episode. The only real weakness that remains in the show is the lame secondary characters that are really just filler for the group. They aren’t a major issue, as there are enough interesting characters to keep the show going, and the writers are smart not to include the weaker characters very often in the story. Except Andrea…..She needs to die.

My Rating: 9/10

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