The Walking Dead Season 3 Review

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Since I didn’t do a review for The Walking Dead season 3 finale, I decide to do a review of the whole season instead.  

The is the best season of the show so far.  The story is a lot more faster and intense.  Knowing how the comic series went, I really expected this season to go differently.  While the comic tells a good story, the TV series tells a different, but equally good story.  By this time, it really is unfair to compare which medium is better anymore.

The season begins with the group finding the prison.  A very important setting in the comic series, and something all fans are looking forward to.  This is the location where most of the important events from the comic series took place, and I’m glad to see that the TV series has the same idea.  Quickly into the season 3, we have the death of two important characters- T-Dog and Lori.  While Lori’s death is mainly due to the character’s unpopularity, T-Dog’s death is just depressing.  The character never has much to say in the series, and he is usually only around for “muscle man” purposes.  However, he is one of my favorite character due to his loyal, and silent guardian type.  Anyway, he was killed in the episode where he revealed himself more as a character.  This has been a trend in the show for quite some time now.  If a character who usually don’t say much speaks up suddenly, it means the death of that particular character.  More on that later.

Lori’s death is expected by fans for a while already.  While she died giving birth to baby Judith, it’s horrific that the writers have a walker COMPLETELY devoured her remaining body.  I mean, come on!  Hasn’t the poor woman suffered enough?  No wonder Rick goes crazy after this.  There’s isn’t even a body for him to bury.

Mentioning bury, there’s also Woodbury (zink!).  The small town not too far away from the prison runs by a guy who called himself The Governor.  In the comic, Rick, Glenn and Michonne accidentally stumble across this Utopian town just to find out how horrific the town really is.  The Governor keeps them hostage, wants to know where they came from, cuts off Rick’s right hand, and rapes Michonne.  I’m almost glad that, while the TV counterpart is bad, he’s not as bad as the comic counterpart.

In this season, Andrea and Michonne are the one that stumbles across to the seemingly wonderful small town of Woodbury.  While things didn’t take a bad turn from them at first, The Governor still displays evilness to the audience.  He kills other survivors to get their rations, and he keeps walker heads on display while his walker daughter is chained up.

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Not a sane person

Once Woodbury is established, it’s only a matter of time when the two groups are going to collide.  In the comic, it happens naturally due to Rick and others are wearing prison riot gears when captured by The Governor.  In the TV series, the two group meet each other when Merle kidnaps Glenn and Maggie when hunting for Michonne.  Michonne, who heard enough of the conversations, learns the two are from a prison and goes looking for help.  This is how the two groups begin their war- Rick’s group breaks into Woodbury to get Glenn and Maggie back, killing people during the process, and Michonne stabs an eye out of The Governor.  The Governor is not going to let things go that easily, and attacks the prison back.  The two leaders are trying to come to terms, but nothing works out as The Governor continues to attack the prison group, only to have everything ends badly for himself.  While the battle isn’t as gory as comic, it is definitely more realistic.

Let’s talk about the deaths of this season, shall we?  First of, what’s up with The Walking Dead killing off a black man, just to have another one replaces them right away?  T-Dog’s death is a tragedy, and they have Oscar replaces him right away.  Yep, I say replace because everything Oscar had been doing after T-Dog’s death can be easily done by T-Dog as well.  The way Oscar follows Rick and others to rescue Maggie and Glenn is something that T-Dog would have done being Rick’s right hand man.  Especially the scene where Rick, Daryl and Oscar are talking away from Michonne is definitely something reserve for T-Dog.  To make things worst, the episode where Oscar died is also the same episode where they introduced Tyreese, another black character.

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At least Tyreese doesn’t feel like a generic replacement of T-Dog or Oscar.  He has a personality clearly separate from others.  But still, if they kill him off right when they have another black guy…

Since we’re on the topic of Tyreese, I’m glad to see him making an appearance this season.  He has always been one of my favorite character in the comic, and it’s good to see him making his way to the show.  I’m also glad he’s not accompanied by his annoying daughter, but really awesome sister Sasha- a new character created for the TV series.  These characters didn’t have much to do yet in the show, but things are to change next season where they’re promoted to main character status.  The characters are doing pretty good so far, and hopefully they don’t disappoint.

Axel’s death is exactly how it is in the comic.  It comes unexpectedly, but predictable.  Like I say earlier, when a character is starting to show more characteristic, it’s about time that character is killed.  The episode Axel died is when he’s closer to Carol.  A fun, and surprisingly kind of cute moment for Axel just to have the whole thing ends with a shot in the head.  Axel is a fun character, they could really keep him around longer.  You follow me?

The biggest death this season has to be Merle’s.  Through out the season, he doesn’t know what’s the right thing to do, and what’s wrong.  He comes from a place where he is always misunderstood, and the only person that accepts him is the murderous Governor.  Now that his brother is around to give him a second chance, he decides to drop his selfish acts and do what’s right.  He takes out plenty of The Governor’s men before he meets his demise, and it was a heart-breaking death.  Merle might not be a likeable character, but to me, he will always have a place in Rick’s group.

Andrea’s death is expected the same way Lori’s death is.  She has become a very disappointing character unlike her comic counterpart.  I can say that Andrea is my favorite comic book character, while she’s also my least favorite TV series character.  While many fans are happy that she’s dead, I feel conflicted about it.  With her death, I can never see her possibly becoming the same character from comic anymore.  It’s a pity, really.

The individual character development is important this season, starting off with Rick.  Rick begins this season has a tougher, and more risk taking leader than before.  He makes sharper decisions, and he is willing to do whatever for the safety of his group.  This is shown when he realizes that Tomas is too dangerous to keep around, and chops down his head right on the spot.  This is something the old Rick will never do unless the person drawn on him first.  However, the death of his wife brings him to a really dark place.  Rick starts seeing Lori’s ghost all over the place, and he once heard ghost talking to him on the other side of the phone.  While talking to both Hershel and Michonne might help him with the situation, at the end, he needs to come to turn with things himself.

Glenn’s character improves a lot this season.  Steven Yeun’s successful portrayal of Glenn makes him the least Asian stereotype character in TV history.  This is a good thing because I’m so sick of seeing Asian character on TV, and all they can talk about is the cultural differences, and honor.

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Shut the fuck up man!

Anyway, Glenn is really coming to be another leader when necessary.  While he might not have as much experience as Rick or Daryl, he’s shown to be really handy when needed to.  The scene when he is tied up to a chair and has to fight a walker?  That’s the coolest thing I’ve seen anyone done in this show.  Not to mention when he stands up to Merle when he wants to go interfere the meeting.  You’re becoming a true man, Glenn.  And thank you for not being an Asian stereotype.

Carl has become a very troublesome character this season.  From watching the comic series, we know that Carl is starting to take matters into his own hand, and he will kill another human when necessary.  One big different is that Carl in comic actually feels bad for what he had done, and it doesn’t seem like the case in the TV series.  In TV series, Carl is becoming a kid who grew up in twisted environments, and has troubled morals.  While he claims that the teenager he shot drawn on him, we know that it is clearly not the case.  It makes me feel a little better if he is just lying to get out of trouble- this shows that deep down he knows what he’s doing is wrong.  However, if he really believes the teenager drawn on them, then he is more troubled than ever.  This means that not only his moral is distorted, but he is also delusional.  This happens at the season finale, so we don’t have enough chance to explore on this issue, but hopefully we will learn more just how Carl is becoming next season.

And these all bring us to the season finale.  Welcome to the Tombs sets us the tone of what’s coming next season.  While we’re all expecting a massacre to the prison survivors, it is surprisingly the Woodbury side that took the toll.  To make things worst for Woodbury, the soldiers won’t even killed by the prison survivors, but their very own leader.  At the end, Rick “adopts” all the survivors from Woodbury and that’s easily at least 20 people and more.  At this point, I’m completely lost what approach the TV series is taking because it’s completely different than the comic series.  While it’s good to see that Tyreese officially joins Rick’s group, it does bring up the question that are Woodbury citizens good fist for our heroes’ group?  Whatever happens to the close-family group they were always talking about?  Also, not to forget that these are the same people whom once cheered  for a death match between Daryl and Merle.  There’s no way these people are good matches to our heroes.  I can already see what’s going to happen next season: it’s going to be a few months later, and the prison is going to be a community with enough people to have specific jobs and positions.  Things are all seemly well when The Governor returns with a troop of military powers and everyone is going to either eat lead or become walkers food.  Just my two cents of what might happen next season.

Anyway, this is a wonderful season of The Walking Dead.  While there are down moments, majority of the season is still wonderfully done.  Hopefully next season things will be as good, and if anything, better.

8.8/10