THE WALKING DEAD: 3.12 “Clear”
I’ve missed the last two episodes of The Walking Dead, which may have been a good thing. From what I’ve heard they were a little shaky, full of too much Andrea, Rick’s silly hallucinations, and some questionable attack strategies on the Governor’s part. The last episode I watched, “The Suicide King” left a pretty bad taste in my mouth and I can’t help but wonder that if I had kept watching the next two episodes in a row, I may have given up on this series all together. After watching “Clear,” though, I think I’ll be sticking around with the series for a little longer. “Clear” was the best episode of this show in a long while. In a pretty little numbered list below, I’ll rattle off what I liked most about this episode:
- Focus, Focus, Focus: This was a tight, focused episode that really benefited from focusing on only three main characters. We had no Angela, the Governor, or Merle taking up space and time. Instead, the episode stuck mostly to Rick, Carl, Michonne, and to a lesser extent, Morgan, which leads to my next point…
- Character Development: This show has tried to develop it’s characters before and failed. I remember being particularly bothered by this halfway through their time at the farm last year. I’m not sure why it didn’t work, but every time people started talking or endlessly debating the nature of their group, I just got bored. In “Clear,” however, the side story with Carl trying to recover the picture of his family from the bar really worked. He’s often come across as annoying throughout the course of the series, but in this episode, he was a convincing, sympathetic, confused kid and it worked. Michonne seemed to have more lines in this episode than she’s had throughout the series combined. Instead of just pouting and sulking in silence, she actually displayed a wry sense of humor that really endeared me towards her. I hope we see more of that in the future.
- Contrasts and Good Acting: I’ll admit, I’m getting tired of writing this list, so I’m going to combine these two points together. Bringing Morgan back was a good idea because his acting here was great, and I think Rick was really able to pivot off of him well. The scenes between the two of them were great, particularly when Morgan was relating the heartbreaking story of what happened to his son. I thought it was also interesting to compare and contrast Rick and Morgan. They’re both very similar men, but while Rick has managed to remain at least somewhat connected with other humans, Morgan’s been isolated and driven insane by his isolation. It’s a path that Rick could probably easily go down in the future (especially in light of his recent hallucinations) but for now, he’s at least not completely alone.
I was disappointed to see that Morgan wasn’t going to join Rick and the rest of the group; he would have been a great addition to the cast, but maybe we can hope to see him again in the future. I also don’t have much hope that the show will be able to keep up the focus and characterization it showed in this episode, but at least I know it’s capable of really landing a good episode. That, I hope, is enough to keep me watching the last four episodes of the season.