For a penultimate episode of the winter season, last night’s The Walking Dead could’ve hardly been more perfect, moving all the parts into place, highlighting what a despicable couple of villains we are dealing with, and establishing conflicts of loyalty. It was an insanely intense episode, another strong one in a series of strong episodes this season. There’s been no letdown.
One quick reminder before we get started: As usual, please limit graphic novel spoilers to the thread at the bottom of the page created by Maske.
1. The Continuing Evolution of Carl, Bad Ass Mother Killer — The Michonne zombie perfume trick only lasted so long before even those brain-dead zombies caught on and lunged toward her.
Leave it to Carl to save Michonne, taking out a couple of zombies on her behalf and earning an elevation of his Uproxx badge for next year. Carl, in season four, you will now be placed above Axel (assuming Axel lives). You’ve earned it, kid. Three months ago, you and Lori were the least liked characters on the show, and now you’ve earned our respect.
2. Judith Grimes — Later on, Rick gives Carl a man of the house speech in one of those Leave It To Beaver moments. Then Carl decides to name Lil Ass Kicker the much less glamorous Judith, which sounds like an elementary school teacher or the Mom in Who’s the Boss. Damn, Carl. That’s the best you could come up with? Way to ruin all your good will. YOU’RE BADGE LEVEL IS BUSTED BACK DOWN. I’ll still put him ahead of Beth, Hershel’s other daughter, who I nearly forgot existed until last night.
3. Reunited And It Feels So Good, Now Shut Up and Kill, Kill, Kill — Carol was revealed to Rick to still be alive, which provided another heart-warming moment for the show. There were lots of hugs, but dammit, with so little time left before the winter finale, that’s too much time hugging and not enough time stomping zombie ass.
4. I Didn’t Ask For Your Help — Michonne was, at first, a very reluctant hostage, but she warmed up to Rick and the Gang after she spied them with the baby and realized their strength in clearing the prison.
I think Michonne delivered more lines last night than the entire series put together, revealing the whereabouts of Maggie and Glenn and the existence of Woodbury, which is full of “paramilitary wannabes.” I think she might have underestimated the threat of Woodbury. My only issue with the Miconne joining the prison gang is that, you’d think after spending nine months with chatty Andrea, that she’d have told Michonne all about Rick and her old farmhouse pals, and Michonne would be able to connect the dots for Rick between Andrea, Merle, and Woodbury. Yes, it takes away some of the fun of the reveal, but it also puts Daryl in the awkward position of invading the village where his brother resides. Anyway, it was good to see Michonne slightly break away from this:
5. Say Hello to the New Character. Say Goodbye to the New Character — It was a pointless diversion on the way to Woodbury, but I thought it was fun to see Rick and Co. stumble onto a cabin where a hermit — unawares of what was happening in the outside world — was hiding under a blanket. Michonne dispatched with him eventually, and the gang wisely used him as bait to distract the Walkers. RIP Bearded Hermit Dude.