luke kalamar returns for the second of season three…
Plot: The fragile peace in Woodbury has been shattered. Following the assault, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) are trapped in Woodbury and are pit against each other by The Governor (David Morrissey). It is up to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) to rescue them before it’s too late. The Governor himself has also shed his kind façade, and is now letting his dark side out for everyone to see. Meanwhile, Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and his group are trying to fit into The Prison, but Allen (Daniel Thomas May) has his own plan.
Finally! The Walking Dead is back! Sure, those two months went by in a flash, but still. It’s nice to have my Sunday night show back for a few more weeks. I’m sure you the reader can agree to this sentiment. The Mid-Season Premiere “The Suicide King” starts off without missing a single beat. “Made to Suffer” ended with Daryl and Merle reuniting, and this premiere immediately shows what happens and how the two escape the now chaotic town of Woodbury. In many ways this premiere was incredible, but it doesn’t reach the same level as the first Season 3 Premiere “Seed.”
A major highlight of this episode was Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) furious rage. A lot has happened between his capture and subsequent rescue, but I forgot he never really had a chance to completely release his anger. In this episode, I was speechless when I watched him stomp a zombie’s head into a pile of mush. It was great watching Rick and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) trying to figure out how to react to it as well. Plus, Glenn’s fury at Rick for not killing The Governor when he had the chance wasn’t surprising either. Rick has never met The Governor and has no idea what he looks like, so he didn’t have the complete knowledge to kill him on the spot. Glenn has plenty of reasons to do the deed, but Rick didn’t at the time.
I also enjoyed watching The Governor completely unravel and stop giving a shit about keeping up a positive Woodbury image. In a single episode, everything he worked so hard to build up has blown up in his face. Now all he has is unending rage at both Rick and the world surrounding him. In the comics, this is really where The Governor shined, so I’m really excited to finally watch this on the small screen.
I did find it a bit bizarre that Andrea (Laurie Holden) began to place herself into a position of leadership. Rick’s assault to rescue Glenn, Maggie, and Daryl shattered Woodbury, and with The Governor no longer giving a shit, no one is there to calm down the rioting citizens. Andrea decided to put this on herself, and I can’t help but question her actions. She just learned that all of her friends are still alive and that The Governor was keeping a ton of secrets from her. Despite this, she still wants to stick around? Maybe she sees some good in Woodbury and wants to be a benevolent leader, but let’s be serious here. That’s not going to happen. I can only see this setting Andrea up as some villain against Rick’s group, which is a role she was never supposed to play.
The complete lack of closure regarding Daryl and Merle’s departure was very bizarre too. I know this is going to be covered next episode, and many beyond that, but there should’ve at least been a scene or two of them traveling. Instead we got many scenes about people being pissed at Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride) being heartbroken. I am glad that Carol’s feelings for Daryl were explored in greater depth in this episode. I’m officially rooting for them to get together. I also understand why Daryl left and view that as much more believable than Rick suddenly forgiving Merle and hoping they’re all sunshine and rainbows.
Michonne (Danai Gurira) was oddly quiet this episode too. Her character literally did nothing, which was weird considering how pivotal she was in the first half. I even found myself wondering where her character was at one point. She was that absent and little was done with her. You never even see her return to The Prison, and she doesn’t get out of the car to help Rick, Glenn, and Maggie move the broken down truck. She’s simply yelled at by Rick, vanishes for 30 or so minutes, and then reappears asleep on a bed.
The best part of the episode by far, in my opinion at least, was the very end where Rick sees Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) ghost and totally loses his shit. We first caught a glimpse of this when Rick saw Shane (Jon Bernthal) during the Woodbury attack, and I’m very happy that this theme is going to be explored in more detail. There simply is nothing more insane than seeing your dead loved ones watching you. I honestly even felt a bit scared when Lori appeared. The scene was just set up so perfectly and I welcome the addition.
“The Suicide King” brought The Walking Dead back in a big way and it sets up the remainder of Season 3 perfectly. However, there were things that prevented it from reaching the same level as “Seed”, the true Season 3 premiere. It’s still one of the greats though, and I’m extremely excited to have the show back.
All Photos Credit: AMC