The Walking Dead – Made to Suffer Review – Season 3
The midseason finale of The Walking Dead came and went, and in typical fashion left fans craving for more. “Made to Suffer,” showcased the prison vs. Woodbury, as Rick, Michonne, Daryl, and Oscar infiltrated the settlement in hopes of rescuing Glenn and Maggie.
A new character was also introduced on the show. Tyreese, a popular character from the comic, was introduced at the beginning of the episode, as the small group he was with desperately tried to find a safe place to take refuge from the walkers. They stumbled across the prison, and were able to enter through a broken down wall, but not before one of their members was bitten. Without spoiling too much of the comic, Tyreese is entering the storyline in the TV show much later than he was introduced in the comic. A former NFL football player, Tyreese is a physically imposing man and his muscle will surely be needed against walkers and the Woodbury threat.
Back at Woodbury, Rick and company managed to sneak into Woodbury, where they were able to rescue Glenn and Maggie after throwing some tear gas and flash bangs. It is then that Glenn reveals to Daryl that his wounds came at the hands of Merle, that he is the Governor’s right hand man. Daryl immediately urges Rick to let him search for his brother, but Rick forbids it. Clearly the fact that his brother is still alive has moved Daryl, as it had Merle when he found out that Daryl was alive and well. I had been hoping that Merle would somehow defect and take his brothers side and join Rick’s group, and this scene provided a flicker of hope for that. For all of his wrongdoings, I find it easy to root for Merle, due in large part to the way in which actor Michael Rooker plays the character.
On a side note, did anyone notice the gun that Merle was holding at the end of the episode? It looked a lot like an MP7, which fans of Black Ops 2 should appreciate, especially considering that Rooker is a voice actor for the game.
Meanwhile, Carl and Beth are in a cell feeding the baby when Axel makes some comments that should have fans thinking twice about this inmate. He inquires about Beth’s age, who is 17, and then says that’s interesting. Noticing Axel’s intentions, Carol immediately pulls him aside and tells him to leave Beth alone. Axel tries to defend himself saying that he hasn’t been around women in a long time, and that considering Maggie is with Glenn and that Carol is a lesbian, he figured Beth was his only shot. Carol tells him she’s not a lesbian, and Axel again mutters his interesting line. This is the first time we’ve seen Axel’s personality starting to show, and it remains to be seen what else he may have been hiding about himself.
Not long after, Carl, Beth, and Hershel hear screams coming from inside the prison. Assuming the mantle of leadership, Carl makes his way towards the cries, taking out a walker on his way. He passes the boiler room where his mother died, and soon finds Tyreese and his friends battling with walkers that presumably followed them inside the prison. Without hesitation, Carl dispatches one of the walkers and yells for them to follow him. Once they reach relative safety, Carl says that the bitten survivor has to be taken care of, but when he motions to shoot the victim, Tyreese says that they handle their own. At this point, Carl proceeds to lock the door behind them, saying that they’ll be safe and that they have food and water.
The Carl from season 3 is a far cry from the Carl in seasons past. This Carl has grown into a leader and strong member of the group. His decisive and stoic attitude has saved his friends on multiple occasions, with his father’s personality also shining through. He’s willing to help strangers, but not to the point that it compromises his position or threatens his family and friends. When Beth says “shouldn’t we help them?” Carl simply responds “I did.” Carl has certainly cemented his place within the group, and earned the admiration of the fans at this point.
Back at Woodbury, Michonne has broken away from Rick and the group, causing them to question her loyalty and wonder if they were lead into a trap. As Rick is trying to lead everyone back to safety, an all out gun battle erupts. Rick becomes confused for a second, thinking he sees the one and only Shane Walsh. Shane is walking at him, and fires his shotgun. It’s not Shane, though, of course, and just Rick imagining things. The shotgun blast is real though, hitting and killing Oscar. Rick shoots the man in the head, realizing that it’s not Shane. Maggie screams for Rick to hurry, shooting a dead Oscar in the head preventing him from becoming a walker. In the frenzy, Daryl yells at Rick and everyone else to get to safety as he provides cover fire.
While all of this is going on, Michonne has snuck into the Governor’s room, sitting directly in front of the door, sword in her lap. She’s waiting for the Governor to return so that she might impart justice, and possibly in a way to show Andrea how Woodbury really is. She hears a commotion coming from the Governor’s secret room, though, and decides to investigate. She finds a locked up Penny, not realizing she is a walker. I know I’m not the only one who feared that she would be bit, but she is able to secure Penny. I thought that she would cut off Penny’s head and throw it in one of the Governor’s fish tanks, but instead the Governor arrives just in time to plead for his daughter’s “life.” This side of humanity seems to baffle Michonne, at least initially, but then she shoves her sword through Penny’s skull. The Governor cries out, and an epic fight breaks out. Both combatants beat up on each other, but it’s Michonne who gets the last laugh as she shoves a glass shard into the Governor’s eye. Just when she’s about to deliver the fatal blow, Andrea rushes. Her and Michonne are equally shocked and disappointed, but Andrea allows Michonne to leave. I felt this was a fitting end to the fight, as it allowed both the Governor and Michonne to live to fight another day.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King. Even though the Governor has lost an eye, he still reigns over Woodbury. The residents of Woodbury seemingly have little other choice than to trust in the Governor, and after all he’s accomplished who could blame them. Perhaps they simply choose to ignore all of the atrocities that happen in the shadows at Woodbury. Perhaps the state of the world has desensitized them to the violence, or even to the point where they relish in it. As the Governor gives his final speech, he places the blame on Merle, who had told him Michonne was dead. A captured Daryl is also brought forth to stand beside his brother, and as the torches burn illuminating a bloodthirsty crowd, the midseason finale ends.
What did you think about the midseason finale? Did you like it as much as Season 2’s midseason episode? What are you hoping for in the 2nd part of Season 3?
REVIEW – 9.5/10 – AWESOME
Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at Flydrs.com.