TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 3!
An almost inverse of last season, the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead started off extremely strong, but ended on an anticlimactic note. Sure, this season has been the best yet, but at the same time, there were many frustrating moments and missed opportunities for characters (I’m looking at you Andrea).
Let’s get the good out of the way first. The introduction of The Governor to people’s TV screens was the boost in the arm this show needed, and David Morrissey’s performance really covered a lot of ground. While his look was a departure from the comics, seeing The Governor go from a slightly unhinged leader to full-blown maniac was a lot of fun, and I honestly think Morrissey could be up for an Emmy when award shows come around.
Another possible contender is Andrew Lincoln as well. Rick’s grief over Laurie’s death was absolutely heartbreaking, and Lincoln’s anguished cries at that episode’s end was haunting. It’s hard not to think about this season without picturing that moment.
Now the flip side: Andrea. Lorie Holden, you did your best, and it’s fitting that her character’s final words before killing herself were “I tried”. Well, unfortunately your character will forever live in the shadow of the comic book Andrea, who is not only still alive, but a bad ass as well. Andrea is really the only weak link in this season when it comes to characters, with the exception of Hershel’s daughter Beth, who’s big character defining moment this season was singing some Tom Waits.
But enough of that, let’s get to the storyline! I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that the first half of this season was better than the second. From the premiere episode to the mid-season break, there wasn’t a dull moment, which put too much on the second half of the season, which teased the Governor’s revenge on Rick and his crew for too long, and didn’t give us a satisfying pay off for their inevitable confrontation. The Governor’s status after the finale is interesting, and I’m sure we’ll see him in season 4, but to not have your season end with a bang like season two (or even the mid season finale) after hyping it up rings like false advertising.
The second half of season 3 had the fantastic episode “Clear”, which featured the return of Morgan, but the odd placing of that episode really hurt it. An episode earlier we had Rick declaring war on the Governor and his army at Woodbury, then he goes back to his hometown? Perhaps producers need to look at their pacing, and scale back on the number of episodes. At this point Walking Dead essentially prints money for AMC, but a ten episode season like Game Of Thrones would be a lot more manageable than sixteen, and cut out a lot of unnecessary filler material.
While season 3 ending fairly weakly, The Walking Dead is still a lot better than most TV shows, and as long as it takes (acceptable) changes from the source material, I’ll still be watching. Sure, we can all complain that our favorite character was misused, or that the Governor in the comic was a thousand times more brutal than David Morrissey’s portrayal, but if things played out exactly as they did in the book, we comic fans would have no reason to watch it. I for one am still intrigued by what the next season will bring, and with Andrea out of the way, I’ll probably enjoy it a lot more than previous ones.