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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘The Walking Dead’ (’Made To Suffer’) recap: season 3, episode 8

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Who is Andrea pointing her gun at? CREDIT: AMC

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My parents live on Woodbury, Long Island. A golf course. A 24-hour diner or two. A decent Jewish deli or ten.

Then there’s the Woodbury of “The Walking Dead,” episode 8. Once an eerily calm refuge from the zombie apocalypse where a decent pastrami sandwich is probably hard to find, things went a bit haywire Sunday night during the fall mid-season finale. Hostage escape! Loose heads! A painful eye injury! Tear gas! Ridiculous amounts of gunfire! And terrorists! At least that’s how the Governor phrased them.

Best part: An angry Governor tells the entire town of Woodbury that he places the blame on the whole mess on… Merle Dixon! And yes, it was technically Merle’s fault this whole mess happened. But Merle didn’t do anything specifically to undermine the Governor’s leadership but did conveniently lie to the Governor about killing Michonne. (Whoops!) But he did want to see his brother again and brought Maggie and Glenn into the city to get the ball rolling. Then the Governor pulls his trump card: a captured Daryl Dixon! The two brothers are reunited  in not the most optimal circumstances. And now the townsfolk are chanting “Kill them!”

Let’s wind back a bit to see how we got there:

The opening scene features a group of five people we’ve never met before who are trying to get away from zombies. One gets chomped on. Bad news. They know she’s going to turn. But they drag her into the prison anyway because her significant other can’t give her up quite yet. The leader appears to be a black dude named Tyrese, who was heavily featured in the comics as Rick’s right hand man. With T-Dog gone, Rick needs more man power soon, doesn’t he?

Later, Carl finds the crew fending off walkers in the prison, shoots a couple and leads them to safety. Then he locks them in a separate room. He learned well from his dad to be suspicious of newcomers. (And yes, we get a creepy moment where creepy Axel starts hitting on 17-year-old Beth and Carol tries to ward him off. He thinks she’s a lesbian. She says no. He’s interested. She? Not so much. During a very serious episode, this was the closest to comedy relief.)

But let’s get to the A story. Rick, Michonne, Oscar and Daryl enter Woodbury through a weak spot in the defenses, courtesy of Michonne. She splits off from them as they try to find Maggie and Glenn.

She enters the Governor’s apartment to wait for him. She wants him dead. She hears a noise where Penny, the Governor’s daughter is kept. (If she’s so noisy, why haven’t others heard her?) Michonne sees her. Her head is covered. She thinks Penny is not a zombie at first and starts acting oddly motherly. Then she lifts the bag off her head. Oops. Penny is a zombie after all.

Michonne’s about to kill her when the Governor pops up and says, “Don’t hurt her!” He still loves his daughter and wants a manifestation of her, even if it’s just a zombie Penny. He doesn’t want to lose her. “No need for her to suffer,” he says, begging, pleading.

“She doesn’t have needs,” Michonne says, incorrectly. (Zombies do need blood.)

So Michonne kills Zombie Penny through the throat.

He goes nuts, attacks Michonne. They go at each other. He bangs her into one of the fish tanks holding loose heads, shattering it. A zombie head rolls to the ground, teeth biting. He has her in a lock but she reaches for a glass shard and stabs his left eye. Ouch! Then Andrea pops up with a gun and she is shocked to see Michonne, who holds her sword up to her. They are at a stand off momentarily. Then Michonne drops her sword. Somehow, Andrea lets her get away, off camera. (Andrea also asks the Governor later about the zombie heads and he says he’s using them prepare for worse times ahead or some odd, lame excuse.)

Meanwhile, Glenn finds out Maggie didn’t get raped by the Governor. He’s relieved in a sense but still angry. Hee knows their lives are in danger. So he gives her a shank, a very cool shank. He rips off the right arm of the zombie  he killed episode 7 and rips a bone out of it for Maggie to use as they exit. He’s in pretty bad shape but when they exit the room to await their death, Glenn starts tackling Merle while Maggie kills some other dude in the throat.

But other Woodbury security folks show up. Things are not looking good for Maggie and Glenn. But Rick, Daryl and Oscar hear them and all the ruckus enables them to locate Glenn and Maggie. They use tear gas to extricate the couple. But now they have to figure out a way to get out of Woodbury.

The townsfolks are on full alert. The Governor tells Andrea to do door-to-door duty instead of join the armed staff to try to kill the invaders. She tries to convince him otherwise but fails. He obviously does not want her to find out the intruders are her folks. Rick & Co. do eventually find a way to get out – except for Daryl and Oscar. At one point, Rick thinks he sees Shane and hesitates shooting the guy. But then the dude kills Oscar, forcing Rick to shoot the guy, who obviously is not Shane. (Oscar’s out. Tyrese is in? I guess we always figured Oscar wasn’t long for this show, eh?)

Michonne meets back with Maggie, Glenn and Rick, minus Daryl. They are suspicious of her disappearance but Rick grudgingly gives her props for leading them to Maggie and Glenn once he takes away her sword.

Anyway, the Governor is reeling over losing his eye and his Penny. He then meets the townsfolks and conjures a story that isn’t remotely true while creating a veneer of vulnerability.

“What can I say. There hasn’t been a night like this since the walls were completed. I thought we were past it, past the days when we all sat huddled and scared in front of the TV during the early days of the outbreak. The fear we all felt then. We felt it again tonight.

I failed you. I promised to keep you safe.

Hell, look at me. I should tell you we’ll be okay. That we’re safe. Tomorrow we’ll bury our dead and move on. But we won’t. I can’t. I’m afraid. That’s right. I’m afraid of terrorist who want what we have. [There's the fake story to set up what's coming up next. Most of the townsfolk had no idea he had taken two people hostage, found out where they're from and plans to exterminate them. Fact: the "invaders" were merely there to get them, not to get what they have.]

“They want to destroy us. Worse because one of those terrorists is one of our own.’ [Gasp!]

He then points to Merle. Merle grimaces. His buddies moments before point guns at him.

“A man I trusted. He led them here. He let them in.” [In a sense, that's true but not really.]

He brings out another guy and it’s… Daryl!

That’s when the crowd goes crazy. The brothers look confused, ready to die, because it sure looks like they’re doomed, doesn’t it?

We won’t know what will happen for at least two months because the show won’t be back until February. Another solid, action-packed episode with a great cliffhanger.

RATINGS

Episode 7 last Sunday was typical in terms of ratings this season: 10.43 million and 5.4 18-49 rating.

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42 comments Add your comment

Mavis Beacon Teach AJC Employees Remedial English

December 2nd, 2012
11:53 pm

Rodney,

You should never end sentences, even sentence for photo captions, with a preposition.

Sincerely,

Your 6th Grade English Teacher

p.s. Please try one of the following instead:

* “At whom is Andrea point the gun?”

* “Who is Andrea pointing the gun at, AJC readers?

Rodney Ho

December 2nd, 2012
11:55 pm

Sorry Mavis. I ended a sentence with a preposition. Life goes on.

Baron Hats

December 2nd, 2012
11:58 pm

Hey Rod-

Cool hat!

Would you mind coming by our shop so we can inspect, and subsequently mimic, the style? Baron Hats is Hollywood’s hat maker! We’ll sell the piece to all the celebs, and make sure to give you full credit for the design. We’ll even name it after you: The Dirty Ho!

Michonne Lover

December 3rd, 2012
12:05 am

RE: “Best part: An angry Governor tells the entire town of Woodbury that he places the blame on the whole mess on… Merle Dixon! And yes, it was technically Merle’s fault this whole mess happened. But Merle didn’t do anything specifically to undermine the Governor’s leadership. ” – Rodney Ho

So, Rodney, are you saying that Merle lying to The Governor about completing his previous assigned mission of killing Michonne, beheading her, and returning both her head and her katana blade to him for his trophy room, THEN compounding that by lying about his team members on that mission who were supposedly carrying those items separately until being attacked and eaten by walkers to prevent him from returning with those items, does not count as Merle “not doing anything specifically to undermine The Governor’s leadership?”

Especially since the “dead & beheaded” Michonne then showed up in his man cave, WITH a head, a pulse & a blade, to put down his dead daughter and then poke out his eye?

Dr. Clemons

December 3rd, 2012
12:06 am

Haha, Rodney! I say the same thing after I make a rudimentary mistake in my “profession,” like, say, leaving a scalpel in a patient during a surgery, which ultimately leads to major infection, and sometimes even death.

“Sorry I left a foreign object in the body cavity of your loved one. Life goes on!”

We are peas from the same pod, you and I. Let’s go grab a beer sometime and chat about the joys of being incompetent, all the while creepily staring at young women’s asses.

Rodney Ho

December 3rd, 2012
12:07 am

I get a sense someone is a bit angry about life.

Rodney Ho

December 3rd, 2012
12:08 am

@Michonne Lover. You’re right. I forgot about that. Naturally, Governor has good reason to be peeved at Merle lying to him about Michonne though Merle was just being cowardly.

Michonne Lover

December 3rd, 2012
12:13 am

To be honest, I had initially thought Carol was “in the closet” during the first season or two, too.

Axel has always seemed like the type of sicko who might have coached football defense at Penn State before going to prison.

Dr. Clemons

December 3rd, 2012
12:36 am

Angry? No way! I love life. I’m successful, yet a complete fraud. The joke is on the world.

This isn’t a movie theatre, Rodney. No projection needed.

JC

December 3rd, 2012
1:20 am

I think the ending a sentence with a preposition rule doesn’t serve a useful purpose and is one we can scrap.

Pirate

December 3rd, 2012
7:52 am

Question: How did Govenor know Daryl ws Merle’s brother? Think about it.

(the other) Rodney

December 3rd, 2012
7:52 am

I’m not sure why I was so freaked out in the scene with Michonne, Penny, and Gov’nah but from the moment she unlocked the cage, I was tense. Then – with the shard of glass in the eye – I screamed. Out loud. Thankfully, nobody was around to laugh at me, but dang. I haven’t been that tense with TWD since the first episode where Zombie Mom was trying to get back in the house.

Da Mick

December 3rd, 2012
8:12 am

I enjoy “The Walking Dead,” and have watched the show every week since the first episode. I admire the way it’s managed to stay pretty fresh, for the most part. But just lately, it’s begun to feel a little forced, and even worse, many of the scenes feel kind of deliberately strung out. I didn’t sense that, as a viewer, even when they were killing a whole season hanging out at the farm, and a lot of that was slow going.

Even with all the action points in last night’s finale, the narrative flow really felt that way to me, especially by the time we got to that final scene in the arena area. There’s a sense that the director is really playing scenes up to be very “dramatic.” The only thing I can say about this is that though the show has always thrived on surprises creating plot points and narrative direction, I feel like the meat of the show was more about the characters themselves, and the personal interactions of the characters under the grueling circumstances they find themselves.

This season, the show feels like it’s shifted to being more about action scenes, or what people are DOING per se, rather than the people themselves. Case in point, all the inuendo about the Governor, while he fakes everyone out. For me, that got really old, and I got tired of that plot line, and of his character.

I don’t have anything against changing the way a show works in theory, as I know that the creators have to do different things to try and keep things fresh. But I do notice, that many times, while I’m watching the show, I’m aware that I’m sitting there watching it, as opposed to being so involved in watching it that I don’t come back to my own reality until it’s over — as I was in previous seasons.

Bubba

December 3rd, 2012
8:35 am

I think Merle is going to use Darryl to go the prison for the governor. A spy I guess you could say. Merle wasn’t saying a whole lot when he was accused, I just think it’s a set up.

Mercedes S.

December 3rd, 2012
9:11 am

Just how long is “still” here (as in “your last request is still being processed please wait awhile”)? Voted for alternaive A but the click didn’t work.

Good recap, Rodney. I didn’ give a hoot about the preposition rule – other languages fully accept ending a sentence with a preposition.

Mercedes S.

December 3rd, 2012
9:13 am

“Duplicate comments” pop up for me, but nothing “takes.

Michonne Da Bomb

December 3rd, 2012
9:25 am

I agree with you Da Mick, the storey seemed very focused on the characters initially. Now it seems more situational. I’d like to see them go back to more character based story lines…and um… how about stop killing off all the black folks and then just replacing them with another… T Dog down, enters black inmate Oscar, Oscar down, enter the unknown black couple.

blah blah blah

BB

December 3rd, 2012
9:38 am

@Da Mick so would you prefer a long, boring, dialogue driven season 2 again???If so I think you are watching the wrong show. You need to watch a Lifetime movie on Sunday nights instead.

AdamATL

December 3rd, 2012
9:40 am

The most important part of the show is the appearance of TYRESE! He’s painfully important in the (comics) story line, and “Rick’s Group” really need him. He’s a force to be reckoned with. Another important part to note is Glenn’s new ferocity. Gone is the allusion to Short Round, and born is a man who will kill or be killed for his partner. I can’t wait until February for the next chapter.

Walking Dead Comedian

December 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

Q: What did the Governor say after being attacked by Michonne? A: “EYE SEE YOU!”

Michonne Da Bomb

December 3rd, 2012
9:51 am

walking dead comdian… you are crazy….lol

Justin Engel

December 3rd, 2012
10:03 am

Juicy clip from the first episode in 2013, showing The Governor still on a rampage against the Dixons, with Andrea trying to run interference. Here’s a link to a blog with the clip: http://www.mlive.com/tv/index.ssf/2012/12/the_walking_dead_blog_daryl_ri.html

Granda

December 3rd, 2012
10:40 am

Sorry Mavis, that doesn’t matter anymore.

Linda

December 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

Awesome! Great damn show!

Miss J

December 3rd, 2012
11:40 am

The Walking Dead is a pretty good show (with some great acting) but it needs some new storyline twist. For example, it’s getting pretty old running from zombies episode after episode.

The writers should:

1. Introduce some new characters that are half human and half zombie (maybe through a genetic mutation – these folks did not fully “turn” into a Zombie – but can communicate with them and humans (sort of a Planet of the Apes scenerio),
2. Introduce a story line about a possible cure.
3. Add more characters that push the limits (the characters they have know seem to be too straight laced ( = boring).

4. Spend a little more $ on the special effects….

How knows with these few suggestions the show could really take off…..

Miss J

December 3rd, 2012
11:43 am

I really like the Planet of the Apes scenerio.

Create a character that’s half human and half zombie….that can unite the zombies against the humans………………

mechi

December 3rd, 2012
11:57 am

TWD is a great show..I agree with most of your points Miss J…1. I thought this is where they were headed with the Milton experiments and creepy Governor fascination with the heads. Maybe the mutation could be a result of trying to find a cure. 2. They did touch on this beginning of 2nd season at the CDC, but could be revisited. 3. Definitely, I think a blend of character development, without weighing down the plot would be nice, like maybe a few more flash backs pre-zombies, but not so many flash backs it gets confusing. 4. I think the special effects are pretty good now. Definitely a lot more untapped possibilities to keep it interesting, don’t know if any of this meshes with the comic, but I don’t read them, so I really don’t care..lol.

Jaquanda

December 3rd, 2012
12:00 pm

An intriguing comment in last night’s Talking Dead came from Kirkman, who said the AMC censors have yet to draw the line on the special effects gore and that the show plans to keep amping it up to see what they can get away with. Should be interesting.

Miss J

December 3rd, 2012
12:12 pm

@Jaquanda…good news I hope they keep pushing it..

@mechi…great comments…I agree with all your points…the show needs a bridge between and zombies and the humans….some kind of “True Blood” story line.
Do you remember the “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” movie?

Think about a story line where a human brings a half zombie home and tells the parents.”this is my future husband/wife”…then let’s see where it goes…

NOW THAT’S DRAMA………….

mechi

December 3rd, 2012
1:16 pm

Miss J, yeah remember the movie, now THAT would be “out there”..lol. Definitely True Blood, Vampire Dairies theme. Could be fun to watch the post-zombic rebuilt civiliation.

classof10

December 3rd, 2012
1:34 pm

why did Rick see Shan? Does Shane hunt Rick even tho he thought it was shane he shot him quick

Mr. Obvious

December 3rd, 2012
2:16 pm

Now, when Andrea says she is going to “have a tug of war with Cyclops,” that phrase will now have a double entendre.

Mr. Obvious

December 3rd, 2012
2:19 pm

The way Andrea keeps spreading like peanut butter for every alpha male she sees, she have to worry about much more than just the “zombie virus” getting her.

Mercedes S.

December 3rd, 2012
2:55 pm

But the whole point of the zombies is that they are unreachable… they are WALKING DEAD. Vampires mingle with humans because they, ahem, like to mingle, in a very hot sense. Zombies couldn’t care less. Nothing but the urge to eat live flesh moves them.

Mercedes S.

December 3rd, 2012
2:58 pm

Oh, and Kate is pregnant!

Melissa

December 3rd, 2012
3:23 pm

Mercedes S.

December 3rd, 2012
6:01 pm

Thanks, Melissa, for link.

DeadManWalking

December 3rd, 2012
9:44 pm

I can never quite get through your write-ups, Rodney. Journalistic excellence involves at minimum proofreading your work:

WORD MISSING: He rips off the right arm of the zombie he killed HERE episode 7 and rips a bone out of it for Maggie to use as they exit.

TYPO: Hee knows their lives are in danger.

The Governor tells Andrea to do door-to-door duty instead of joinING the armed staff to try to kill the invaders.

I didn’t read everything though though it would be nice to see a well written article once. I hope AJC isn’t pressuring you too much.

On the flip side, I am glad that you’re managing this forum and giving us fans a chance to talk/vent.

Very good point about Penny being tied up all this time with no one hearing her. One would think that Andrea would have heard something by now as much as she’s there. I just knew she’d be the one to find Penny and try to escape the governor.

The 5 people in the beginning, that just seemed odd to me how they were separated. Not very good attack formation or whatever they were trying to do. Then the backside of the prison was open like that? I thought they did a better job of securing. #FAIL How will the second half of this season fair? I’ve no clue. I’m hoping that since they delayed so long in killing the bitten lady that she’ll turn and chomp on her son and husband.

Overall, a good episode. I didn’t see Oscar dying so quickly. He seemed no more or less important than any other character they’ve brought on. In fact, I think he had more screen time in 3 or 4 episodes than T-Dog had in 2.25 seasons. Finally, Andrea. She has gone from being one of the strongest characters to being one of the weakest – QUICKLY. She’s nothing like who she is in the comic, and they would have been better off creating some other daft character. Instead of giving Michonne the silent treatment, why not ask her why she tussled with the governor instead of waiting to ask him.

To someone’s question about Rick and Shane, I think that momentary lapse of hallucination was just so that Oscar could get killed while Rick daydreamed.

Here’s to hoping they tell a compelling story upon our return in Feb.

Rodney Ho

December 3rd, 2012
11:06 pm

It’s the downside of trying to write two recaps of two shows the same night. When AMC gives me an advance screener, I have a lot mroe time to proofread.

deadmanwalking

December 4th, 2012
7:07 am

I’ll stop being such a harsh critic. Thank you again for providing a forum for TWD fans.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

truthpaste

December 4th, 2012
10:40 pm

Any info on the rating numbers for the mid-season finale?