The Walking Dead Season 3 Review “When the Dead Come Knocking”

Well, we’re getting close to the end folks! Only one more episode after tonight’s “When the Dead Come Knocking”, and then we don’t get any more of The Walking Dead until 2013! It’s a good thing this show is going out on such a high note, and what really feels like the first part of a two-parter was still satisfying in its own right.

For the first time of this season, the storylines that I cared more about in this episode were actually happening at Woodbury! The episode started out with the storyline that would prove to be my favorite tonight, and that was with Merle interrogating Glenn. Not only were Merle and Glenn’s great fun when they were together, but this led us to probably one of my favorite zombie fights in Walking Dead history. Glenn so rarely gets to do big exciting zombie kills, and I don’t think he’s ever got to do one all by himself, but man was that freaking awesome or what? We’ve kind of run out of cool and inventive ways to kill walkers on this show, but tying a guy to a chair and setting a walker loose on him was just so clever and fun to see as it played out. You couldn’t help but join Glenn in his primal scream when he finally bested the zombie!

Right next door to Glenn, something a little less violent (but just as terrifying) was going down. The Governor asking Maggie to disrobe in front of him was extremely effective in showing us just how deranged this guy is, and it was some incredible acting from David Morrissey and especially Lauren Cohen. Cohen was put in just about the most vulnerable situation a woman can be, but she was still able to put off a sense of strength and resolve. Definitely some great work for her, as she becomes one of the only women on this show that I actually enjoy watching anymore.

Back at the prison, Rick agrees to bring Michonne into the compound itself, but seems rightfully wary at first of letting her join the group. I’ve made it no secret in these reviews how unimpressed I’ve been with Michonne’s character on this show so far this season, and these scenes were no exception. When I saw her walk up to the fence at the prison last week with a basket of baby formula and stare longingly into Rick’s eyes, I obviously assumed that she was there seeking help or refuge and that she was bringing the baby formula as a peace offering. Why else would you do what she did? So when they actually accept her into the group, she still puts off that frustrating untrusting attitude and glowery facial expression. She then leads into one of the more frustrating plot contrivances of the episode: Her Woodbury speech.

Look, I get that we’re obviously leading up to next week’s big mid-season finale, and I’m just as excited for it as the next guy, but please give me one good reason why the group couldn’t have spent five more minutes getting more information on Woodbury and Glenn and Maggie’s captors? Michonne could have easily told them with a little more pressing that both Andrea and Merle are at Woodbury, and that would have changed their game plan drastically. Maybe Rick wouldn’t have been so gung ho to shoot up Woodbury if he knew that Andrea was there, and Daryl definitely wouldn’t have been so gung ho if he knew his brother was there! It just felt all so contrived, and that we were just being conveniently written to fit whatever is planned next week. If I’m sending my four strongest fighters to go take on 75 people at a heavily guarded town, I’d want more than 30 seconds of Michonne’s vague descriptions. Despite being largely uneducated on the situation they’re getting in to, Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and Oscar all pack in to their impossibly clean Hyundai Tucson and take a little road trip over to Woodbury. They take a quick detour through a very unfortunate hermit’s house, but they end up on the gates of Woodbury all ready for the mid-season finale shootout!

There were a few other small scenes in here that I enjoyed. We get a little more background on the experiments that The Governor and Milton have been conducting, but it’s nothing we didn’t know before. I also enjoyed Carol’s reintroduction into the group, as well as Rick and Carl’s little father-son moment. I didn’t notice until tonight that Rick and Carl haven’t discussed Lori’s death since it occurred, so it was nice for them to have this scene together. We also got a name for the new Grimes baby: Judith!

Like I said at the beginning of my review, this episode really did feel like it’s just setting the stage for next week’s season finale. In that sense, it’s hard to get too excited about storylines that we know are only really going to be resolved next week, but man did I enjoy what we saw! Despite some goofy moments, tonight’s episode was an exciting and effective set-up for what promises to be a very interesting mid-season finale next week. See you all then!

Random Thoughts:

– If you haven’t done so yet, I implore you to immediately download The Walking Dead game series available on PS3, Xbox, and PC. All five episodes are available now, and it’s even better than the show!

– I like how the scene of all of the walkers tearing apart that hermit was followed up by an ad saying that the show was brought to you by KFC. Because you know what I really want after seeing a human being get torn to shreds? A big bucket of extra crispy, please!

– Tonight’s annoying promo for Talking Dead came right after the very powerful scene between Maggie and The Governor. Stop yelling at me, Chris Hardwick! Go away!