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18 February, 2013

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 3 - Episode 10 "Home"

A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character's actions might be applicable in a real-life societal collapse.  I hope you enjoy.

This week's episode was all about leadership.  The Governor, in what seems at the time to be a sincere moment of clarity, approaches Andrea about accepting a greater level of responsibility in Woodbury's leadership structure while he deals with the loss of his daughter.  Unfortunately, it seems as though his intentions are not altogether altruistic, which I'll touch on later.  Meanwhile, Rick plays the part of the absent leader off pursuing his nervous breakdown, and Glenn is trying to step-up to fill the void; the problem being that he's proceeding far too aggressively and with nowhere near the level of calculation required to do it successfully.

Glenn is still fumbling the ball in his relationship with Maggie as well.  Both of them had their own traumatic experiences during their ordeal as prisoners in Woodbury, and -- being a young guy -- he feels as though he needs to somehow fix things when it would be far better were he simply to be there for her as a sounding board.  He asked her yet again in this episode if the Governor raped her, even though she's already told him that the answer is no.  I believe that his apparent obsession with that idea is coming across as possessive and serving to push Maggie away when that isn't really Glenn's intention.

The fact of the matter -- and this is something that those of us Prepping for harsher times would do well to remember -- is that traumatic experiences don't always bring people together like they should.  Sometimes they tear otherwise happy people apart.  Hopefully, Glenn and Maggie will find their way through their rough patch.  True happiness seems to be in short supply in their world, though, so I'm not sure yet which way I'd lay odds on it going.

Also, the interaction between the brothers Dixon was very intriguing.  These two really are two sides of the same well-worn and slightly damaged coin.  I wondered last week what the breaking point would be that would drag Daryl away from his no-good older brother, and it seems my answer was only a week in coming: Daryl decided to do the right thing, endangering himself to help a group of strangers beset by Walkers on a bridge, despite the fact that Merle urged him not to bother helping folks who have never done anything to assist them.  Merle himself did nothing to help, until Daryl was the one in danger, and then proceeded to try to rob the fleeing family whom he believed now owed them.  Daryl was having none of it and held his crossbow on Merle until the family could escape.

We also got a deeper glimpse into the brother's shared history, involving an abusive father, abandonment issues, and the revelation that their original plan in joining the group of survivors at the quarry from season 1 was to rob them all.  Apparently, the only reason that didn't happen was that Merle got pulled away to join the foraging group in Atlanta (where we first met he, Glenn, T-Dog, and Andrea), and then never returned.  Needless to say, that little tidbit is something that I'm sure the since-changed Daryl would rather none of the others ever learn, which could be sticky very soon because he made the decision to go back with or without Merle.

Perhaps that's a good question for we, as Preppers / Survivalists, to ponder: Just how much can surviving harsh times change a person?  If you found out your friend had originally planned to harm you in some way, how would that affect your ability to trust them in the future?  If you've been fighting side-by-side with a person for months and you somehow discover that they were in prison when TEOTWAWKI occurred, would you be able to overlook that or would it change how you feel about them?

The climax of this episode was an attack on the prison by the Governor and a group of his raiders, which left the outer gates of the prison in ruins, the outer-yard they intended to eventually plant with crops clogged with Walkers, and the last surviving prisoner Axel dead.  I believe this attack represented a show of force on the part of the Governor; he gained a measure of revenge (though not enough, I imagine), while also showing himself to still be strong in an effort to ward-off possible future attacks against he and his people in Woodbury.  As for his approaching Andrea earlier in the episode, I feel as though he's essentially dangling a carrot in front of her face to keep her in Woodbury.  He wants her around both for personal and political reasons (she has proven herself to be an asset), but he also has doubts about her loyalty because of her ties to Rick's group.

I also think that, if the Governor dies at the end of this season, it will be Andrea who kills him.  He clearly doesn't trust her and lied to her about his intentions to attack the prison, and, when she figures out the kind of man he's become, she'll be in prime position to dole out a reckoning.

The flip-side is that the attack also seemed to possibly pull Rick out of his trip to CrazyTown, by giving him something new to focus on, as well as reuniting scattered forces.  In the final moments, there's even a very subtly moment when Maggie takes Glenn's hand after having rejected him earlier in the episode, so maybe they'll be okay after all.  Merle is still going to have a seriously hard time fitting in and being accepted by folks he recently tried to murder; there's gonna be bad blood, but -- like with Michonne, who Rick also doesn't trust -- his presence during the battle was undeniably valuable.  As any fool should know, the enemy of your enemy can often be a friend, if an uneasy one, and all alliances aren't based on mutual affection.  Sometimes they're products of necessity.

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]

My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below:

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