Monday, 22 October 2012
Review : The Walking Dead - Season 3 Episode 2 -Sick
Rik and the gang has successfully cleared out C-Block, but a new problem arises as they discover they're not alone in the Prison...
Any doubts regarding the huge leap in quality this season should be put to bed with this, the second episode. It made sense that last weeks debut would be a relentless thrill-ride, but no one expected the quality of the writing to ascend so high so quickly. As great as the opener was, for many, worries still lingered. Could the pace be kept up, could the tension be maintained, could the characters continue with this new found sense of purpose? The answer is yes. Shame on all you doubters. It ain't all zombies, but it sure as hell is all tension.
After leaving us on one hell of a cliffhanger last week in seasons 3's opening episode, THE WALKING DEAD returns and gives no quarter in its new found merciless mission to kill by suspense. After Hershell got himself chewed on, (which messed with my head very badly, as he's my fave member of the group), and Rik lopped off the better part of his leg, we were quickly introduced to the remaining prisoners, and straight away we're thrust back into the moment, full-tilt-boogie.
It's okay, you can admit it...many of you assumed that what we would have here would be a moral dilemma that would take perhaps three or four episodes to conclude. Much like the fence kid in Season 2, you figured Rik would spend days or weeks ruminating on the spiritual implications of 'survival of the fittest'. Hell, I adore this show, but I sorta expected it myself. Not happening, though...THE WALKING DEAD is no longer treading water.
Nope, this particularly tension-fuelled situation is resolved by the end of the episode, in the most satisfying and brutal fashion imaginable. If there were any of us left in any doubt about Rik's continuing rise to the position of badass leader, this should put that shit back in the bag. Most of the episode deals with how Rik will handle the problem of living beside some potentially dangerous criminals. and this time, he handles it like a boss. as we cheer him on, our hearts break for him as his humanity starts to truly dwindle. This ain't the upstanding cop of yesteryear, and the toll of this new world is really starting to show. It's making for riveting viewing.
In contrast to these hyper-tense scenes, we had the situation with my man, Hershell, as the group battle desperately to save his life. There are some deeply affecting moments here. One in particular, wherein Maggie urges her father to find his peace while her heart quietly breaks, is truly a four-tissue- problem, and the conclusion to this story strand is as heartwarming and gentle as the prisoner subplot is vicious and cold. All in all, it's quite the roller-coaster.
Lori continues her transformation into something resembling a compassionate human, and has some of the very best moments this episode, but the real treat here is Carol, who has gone from depressive mouse to authoritative, determined and pro-active. She's one of the groups most positive members now. I feel like I'm living in Homer J Simpson's 'Opposite Land', and I don't wanna fucking leave.
Its official now...I'm calling it. THE WALKING DEAD has found its true footing. The blend of action, terror and drama is pitch perfect. This episode was fast and furious, yet lost none of the character nuance and depth that we've come to love and expect from the show. The dialogue is sharper, the violence hits harder and the surprises just keep coming. No cliffhanger this week, just a quiet, touching moment between Rik and his estranged wife, wherein his actions speak volumes and his emotional isolation becomes very clear.
One thing though....who is that watching Carol from the woods, as she works on the walker? I gotta know, dammit!
Is next week here yet?
10 Z-Sections out of 10