Weekly WALKING DEAD Commentary Episode #312 “Clear” Aired on March 3, 2013

(Big time spoilers in here, so watch first before you read. These ain’t cliff notes…)
 I like the idea of taking the show to different locales once in a while, because 1) all Prison and Woodbury can grate on you after a while and 2) you have to keep this new crazy world in perspective by showing that other people have set up their own camp as well It is sad that the survivors have to pass up hitchhikers, who might otherwise be saved, because of “distrust” issues, but the new world is what it is and everyone is a threat. When Rick tells Michonne and Carl “cover your ears” in the car when readying a pistol shot, it’s the first time anyone has warned about a nearby weapon discharge causing ear damage. They’ve all fired many shots in closed quarters. Rick learned such perils the hard way in the pilot episode in the space-constricted tank. For only the second time ever, we know the name of a non-cast member walker. The walker-girl attacking the car on Rick’s side has a bracelet saying “ERIN”. The first time was in the season 1 episode “Guts”, when Rick pulled a walker’s corpse into the store to use its guts as a scentdisguise, and he pulls out the ex-person’s wallet and reads his name. Good strategy – not leaving Michonne at the prison with Merle. Bad strategy: leaving Glenn there…. Rick returns to his old police station for the first time since the pilot episode. This is where he parted ways with Morgan and Duane. Carl is displaying a great sense of combat coordination, despite disobeying his father. Carl is defying his father more and more, and Rick is allowing it. “Holy sh** it’s Morgan” I yelled when he was shot and unveiled…. Too bad Rick didn’t seem as shocked. Interesting side fact: four actors on the show are British but act using American accents: Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), David Morrissey (the Governor), and newly returned Lennie James (Morgan). Morgan’s trap-pit street looks very much like Woodbury. The barbed wire walker-trap seems to be a simple effective idea that the prison crew (or Woodbury) should have thought of a long time ago. The animal-spikes contraption is extremely clever but will eventually become clogged with impaled walkers if not maintained. Rick tells Morgan exactly what he told the “bicycle girl” zombie in the pilot: “I’m sorry this happened to you”. Morgan’s story is even sadder than Rick’s. It’s too bad the writers chose not to show it as a flashback. Yet Lennie James’ acting brings it out well. Glenn Mazzarra (outgoing showrunner) said he does not like to include flashbacks in the show. They had several last season though. Carl and Michonne are having surprisingly little trouble holding the door shut in the café as about ten walkers are piling on it.

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In addition to wanting the picture for his sister Judith, I believe Carl shows that he sorely misses his mother and needs a connection to the past. What a sad reflection on the new world that the three add insult to injury by not only avoiding the hitchhiker, but then also stealing his bag on the way back after they see his eaten carcass. Is Rick perhaps propelled back to reality by seeing Morgan as he is now? Does Rick imagine himself becoming like Morgan if he were to isolate himself? Morgan is modest proof that you need other people to stay sane and survive. Would walkie-talkies have even worked in the zombie apocalypse, even if powered up? This episode should convince Rick to not only keep Michonne, but allow her into his inner circle. He needs everyone he can for the battle ahead. Finally, the Michonne character opens up more than ever before. I believe she bonded with Rick, and quite possibly displays a little attraction to Rick). Morgan is firmly entrenched in the “rules” of the new world. He tells Carl “don’t ever be sorry” for doing what one has to do. I find Morgan’s statement that “your boy is going to die” a sign of unfettered despair, the opposite of what Rick and even Woodbury presume to be about. Yet even Morgan has a glimmer of hope, as he has not killed himself yet. It is too bad Morgan chose not to go with Rick. His pulleys, booby traps, and general inventiveness would be an extreme advantage in the battle with the Governor.

Until next week, don’t pick up any hitchhikers….. but if you just see their backpack heck just grab it….

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