The Walking Dead Season 3 Review “Clear”

All right! That’s more like it!

I really quite enjoy The Walking Dead, and overall I’ve enjoyed this third season quite a bit, but my feelings on the second half of the third season so far have been pretty “meh”. Not that it’s bad, but it really pales in comparison to the first eight episodes for sure. That’s why I couldn’t be happier to report that I thought tonight’s installment “Clear” was not only the best episode of the season, but one of my favorite episode of the whole series!

Before we get to the actual events of the episode, I’d like to mention how much I really enjoy how this show has taken such a casual approach to the state of the world our survivors are living in. I mentioned it earlier in this season, but it used to be that every time we saw a zombie on this show it was a big deal! Now, however, I love how blase and almost bored everybody is when they have to dispatch a walker. With that being said, I did think it was a little odd how they just ignored that other survivor with the backpack. Every other time they’ve come across a survivor, it’s always been a big deal.

Speaking of finding another survivor, Lennie James returned tonight as Morgan Jones! We haven’t seen him since the very first episode “Days Gone Bye”, and it was so good to see him again! Considering that the whole episode seemed to be taking a bit of a walk down memory lane, it wasn’t altogether surprising that he was the one wearing the mask in that crazy booby-trapped city. It also wasn’t very surprising to see that he was driven a little bit crazy after his son Duane turned, and he’s been cooped up in a house surrounded by zombie traps and weapons. His scenes tonight with Rick were so powerful, and it’s not often on The Walking Dead that I can really complement the incredible acting, so I’m glad to be able to in the case of both Lennie James and Andrew Lincoln!

It often happens on this show that there’s one storyline that you really care about, that you’re really invested in, but then there’s usually a second or third storyline that you don’t really care about. That wasn’t the case tonight, as our secondary story involved two characters that many fans have had problems with: Michonne and Carl. I loved the idea of Carl wanting to preserve a picture of his mother so that his sister will know what she looked like, and it was great seeing Michonne helping him out and kicking a little zombie butt in the process. Carl has really improved this season as both a character and an actor, with little Chandler Riggs doing a great job with the really heavy stuff they’re giving Carl.

It was also great to finally hear Michonne saying more than three words at a time tonight. She really seems to be reverting to the “Who gives a crap?” Michonne character that we saw in the comics. It’s a little odd that it’s taken this long for her to suddenly be sprouting a personality, but better late than never, I guess! Also, her reason for eating Morgan’s food was hilarious. “Mat said welcome”, she shrugged. Classic.

This was definitely quite different for an episode of The Walking Dead. No prison, no Woodbury…heck, there were only four characters in the entire episode! In that way it felt like a bit of a “Bottle episode”, with just a few characters being secluded and exploring their relationships with one another. I realize that not every episode of the series can be like this, but it was certainly a great change of pace. It looks like next Sunday’s installment is getting right back into the action, as Rick and Co. continues on to Woodbury to face The Governor at last! With only four episodes left in the season, I’m wondering what else can happen after Rick faces off with The Guv, but I guess we’ll see!

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I was so excited to see their Hyundai finally get dirty! It’s usually impeccably clean, and stands out like a sore thumb in the dirty and drab Walking Dead world, but now it actually had some mud on it!

– Did anybody else pause the TV and read all of the crazy stuff that Morgan wrote all over his city? My favorite was the “TOLD YOU” scrawled on the booby-trapped axe.

– I thought that they had fixed the terrible transitions from the show into the Talking Dead promos, but it looks like they’re still slamming the screaming Chris Hardwick face right after the show cuts to commercial. Sigh…