The focal point of The Walking Dead’s first two seasons was the survivors adjusting to their new world while avoiding zombie attacks. At some point the show had to pull away from this, so season 3 switched its focus from the threat of the (un)dead, to that posed by the living. With this in mind, it has been inevitable that the two main communities (the people of Woodbury and those in the prison) were going to come to blows and “When the Dead Come Knocking” got the ball rolling for what I imagine will be an epic battle between the two.
(spoilers to follow)
When Merle reappeared it seemed he had changed, and for the better. But this facade was soon dropped and with Glen at his mercy, his true personality reared its ugly head . Never one to forgive and forget, Merle proceeded to torture him with some rather imaginative methods of interrogation. After beating his face into a unrecognisable pulp, Merle unleashed a hungry walker leaving Glen to scrabble for his survival. While Glen has proven himself by killing countless walkers I was surprised at the ease with which he knocked off this one, especially as he was duct taped to a chair. With such an epic kill under his belt Glen is becoming an unlikely hero. Season 1 proved he could think strategically, 2 allowed him a romance which developed his confidence and 3 has demonstrated he’s a total badass, I’m excited to see what he’ll do next! I didn’t think the Governor could get much worse, but his treatment of Maggie proved he still has a few sick tricks up his sleeves. Using psychological and sexual intimidation he was finally able to learn the location of the other survivors. His usually cool demeanor was shaken slightly when he learnt that they emptied the prison of walkers. The Governor uses the fear of ‘biters’ to rule his people, so any group with the ability to get rid of so many walkers are going to be a serious threat to his idyllic little town, one which he’ll have to get rid of.
For me, the best thing about this episode was Michonne. I had thought her collision with our survivors would show off a more sensitive perhaps grateful side, but no. Michonne held her own throughout the episode. As usual she gave away no more information than she absolutely had to, so while she is progressing to one of the shows most pivotal characters we still know nothing about her. I’m hoping that she will eventually open up. That’s not to say her closed-off nature is a bad thing, but her remaining a complete enigma is likely to get boring. However, she is the catalyst for the survivors hunting down Woodbury and I have my fingers crossed for a showdown between herself and the Governor which could result in some of her secrets being shared.
Being the penultimate episode before the mid-season break, “When the Dead Come Knocking” was really just an oppurutnity to set up the storylines which will appear in the finale. For this reason the zombie memory experiment seemed rather out-of-place, however it did prove that there is none of the former human left after transformation. It also gave us a chance to get to know Woodbury’s resident lab geek Milton. It’s becoming clear that all those close to the Governor have a few screws loose and in this sense Milton could prove to be quite an interesting character. But where the writers will go with this tangent is yet to be made clear.
The episode ended with both sides preparing for battle. The Governor sends out men to find the prison, but unbeknownst to him 4 of its most deadly inhabitants are already within his midst. Theres certainly a lot to look forward to in next week’s episode, mainly the reunion of Daryl and Merle, especially after the former pledged his allegiance to the Governor. Despite us never seeing the two brothers together it has been heavily implied that they are close. I got the impression that Merle was something of a father figure to Daryl so its safe to say he’ll be most unimpressed when he see’s Daryl all buddied-up with his nemesis, Rick. Bearing all this in mind, the series finale is definitely going to be centered around the characters so it’ll be interesting to see how the writers manage to fit the walkers in too, as no episode would be complete without these grotesque monsters making an appearance.