The Walking Dead – Season 3 – “Hounded” Review
In Hounded, the characters struggling to survive dealt with both external threats as well as internal battles. At the conclusion of last weeks episode, a broken and nearly defeated Rick felt a glimpse of hope when a surprise phone call broke the eerie silence in the boiler room where his life, Lori, had recently died after child birth. With the phone call, viewers of the show wondered who could possibly be calling the prison, and how that might affect Rick and his friends. After being on the run for months and finally finding a relatively safe place, the walker uprising and subsequent death of his wife and friends really shattered Rick and the idea of being able to reach a truly safe place was all that mattered. Much of the episode centered around this idea, and showed the internal struggle that Rick was going through.
In other parts of paradise, the Governor and Andrea were becoming closer, a sign that had been indicated basically as soon as the two characters met. Andrea was outwardly disgusted by the gladiatorial bouts that had taken place in “Say the Word,” but revealed that she actually enjoyed the fights to an extent, which frightened her to a certain degree. The Governor’s style and what he’s been able to accomplish have captivated Andrea, and the two characters have become intimate and intwined. Unfortunately, Andrea doesn’t know that the very man she’s trusted in and developed a relationship is the person who sent Merle and company after Michonne to dispatch of her without remorse.
Speaking of Michonne, she’s in the battle for her life. Not only are walkers a constant threat, she’s being trailed by Merle and 3 others whose goal is to not only kill her, but bring her severed head back to the Governor for his twisted experiments and collection. Fortunately for her, she’s extremely skilled with her sword and remarkably swift and silent, posing a major challenge and threat to Merle and his men. This is evident when she manages to surprise them, quickly slicing off one of their heads and fatally wounding another. Merle manages to shoot and sound Michonne in the leg, however, which in these circumstances is surely a death sentence. The scent of blood and a wounded leg would surely lead to her demise at the hands of walkers.
In spite of that, Merle and his remaining soldier press forward. Michonne manages to again surprise them, and wounds the other guy. In an epic battle of bayonet hand vs katana, Merle and Michonne clash, with neither gaining an upper hand before walkers show up, surely drawn by the sound of the gunfire. Michonne kills a walker and is covered in blood and guts, but is able to avoid getting bitten and escape capture. Merle and Gargulio, the remaining soldier, have a disagreement about pursuing for Michonne. While Merle is confident her gunshot wound will eventually kill her, Gargulio isn’t comfortable about lying to the Governor. In a scene that had betrayal written all over it, Merle distracts then shoots Gargulio in the head. Merle is the last person you want to put your guard down against.
Meanwhile, Rick is still anxious about the phone call. The woman at the other end of the line has told him she’s staying in a safe place and that they’ll call back soon. When the phone finally rings, it’s a man on the line this time, asking questions that Rick isn’t comfortable answering. Unfortunately for Rick, the man doesn’t like this and hangs up on him. Hershel, who had walked into the boiler room and spoken with Rick, is informed that someone called the prison and said they’re in a safe place. Hershel picks up the phone, and the look on his face suggests there isn’t even a dial tone. Could Rick be imagining all of these phone calls? This thought is confirmed when the phone rings again, and it’s Lori on the line. The previous callers had also been survivors in Rick’s group who died. Rick imagined all of these calls, but had it not been for that last call where Lori tells him to look after the baby, all might have been lost for him. Rick emerges from the boiler room to see Hershel holding his baby, and slowly walks towards him. Hershel hands the baby over to his father, and it would seem that Rick has finally managed to regain his sense of purpose and resolve.
The baby still needs more formula, however. Glenn and Maggie are on it though, and have driven to a nearby store to collect as many supplies as possible. As they pull into the parking lot, Michonne has stumbled into the same complex, having avoided getting eaten by walkers because she’s covered in their blood and guts (think back to season 1 when Rick and Glenn covered themselves to avoid detection). She is cautious of the vehicle as it pulls up, and watches and Maggie and Glenn get out of the car and start to gather supplies. Before she can discern whether or not they’re friendly, Merle jumps out, presumably to kill them and take their belongings. When he notices Glenn, however, he immediately asks if his brother is okay and demands to be taken to him. Glenn is reluctant, however, and says they’ll return to their camp and Daryl will meet him at the store. These terms are not what Merle was looking for, and in the blink of an eye he has Maggie at gunpoint. He threatens her, and Glenn has no other choice but to get back in the car. This time, though, Merle doesn’t want to go to where Daryl is, but instead takes his prisoners back to Woodbury.
The episode ends with Rick walking out into the courtyard and looking at a group of walkers that have assembled outside the prison. Only this time, the walkers are not alone; Michonne has also made her way to the prison. Ohh yeah, and did I mention that Carol is alive, too? With just 2 episodes left until the midseason finale, who knows what’s going to happen next!
Did you like this episode of The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments!
REVIEW – 8.5 / 10, SOLID
Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at Flydrs.com.