*Review contains spoilers*
I hated the second season of The Walking Dead. The lousy dialogue, the annoying portrayals of all the female characters, and the drawn out stories (it took them way too long to find Sophia). They really had one way to go and that was up and I found that they did.There was still some inconsistencies but for the most part season three was an action-packed adventure. AMC once again split the season in two halves and I found the first half of the season to be a lot more consistent and focused than the second half.
The moment the premiere episode began you knew there something different. No dialogue, just a group of people who have been doing this for a long and have become weary from it. The zombie horror and action was superb in that scene as it was throughout the entire season.
This season the writers seemed interested in picking up the pace and that could not have been more evident than in the episode, “Killer Within.” Which had the deaths of major characters in only the fourth episode of the season. The death of Lori fueled a lot of the drama for Rick and Carl. Her death completely transformed both characters, I think for the better. Carl grew up and became a much darker character, while Rick, on the other hand, lost his freaking mind. He completely snapped. I enjoyed the whole talking to dead people on the phone thing but I felt that his grieving process was dragged out far too long.
The Governor was introduced this season, and was a great addition to the cast and the show as a whole. David Morrissey was amazing throughout the season showing all the different sides to the Governor and his transformation into a more psychotic opponent for the prison gang. When he needed to be charismatic, he was; when he needed to be chilling, he was. Delivering his lines either such charm or menace.
Michonne and Andrea, on the other hand, were just flawed. The came off as unlikeable, with Michonne being frustratingly uptight and silent. If the writers ever gave us a reason to explain why she was like this, I might have understood but they did not. She never spoke about who she was and she never shared her story. She never spoke to Rick or the prison crew and pretty much shunned them away, even after they saved her life.
The second half of the season, when the show returned, was inconsistent. It had amazing episodes, such as, “Clear” and “This Sorrowful Life,” but it also had really awful ones like the Andrea-centric, “I Ain’t a Judas.”
Speaking of Andrea, her arc this season drove me nuts. It took her an entire season to realize that the Governor was a disturbed individual and that she really needed to get away from him but she stuck around. She even pushed Michonne, her only friend at the time, away. It was like Michonne was nobody and the Governor was all she had eyes for. She tried to convince us that, “There are good people here,” but we didn’t get to know any of the people in Woodbury, except for the Governors goons. So, when the the final moments of the finale were based on her everything fell flat. Andrea’s lack of reaction and obliviousness to everything around made her a terrible character. There are a few strong female characters on TV (most of them are in Joss Whedon’s TV shows) but sadly Andrea will never make it to that list. Her post-apocalypse hook up record just sucks or maybe she just digs the psychopaths.
I have to talk about the episode, “Clear” which saw the return of Morgan with a story that had nothing to do with the whole Woodbury vs. the Prison story. Instead, what you got was Rick, Michonne and Carl going on a mini road trip and running into Morgan, who wasn’t all there, mentally. For me this might be the best episode, The Walking Dead has ever done. It was just great TV, period. It had great character moments, it had action, and it had great dialogue. You had Michonne coming across more like a person than she ever did before. She talked to them and she even cracked a couple jokes. Rick was able to see that he was starting to loose his mind like Morgan and they showed you a grieving Carl, who missed his mother. The episode had nothing to do with the main story arc but it had the best character moments for them all season. The episode also bookended with the hitchhiker, reminding us how brutal and vicious this world can be.
As good as this season was there still a few problems that kept me from loving it. Besides the inconsistencies, I hated the treatment of certain characters. Let me elaborate, The Walking Dead has a habit of building up a character and then killing them when we start to care. The moment T-Dog started talking more and sharing his opinions, you know being a real person, he died in that very episode. Axel died while sharing his story. The one episode that had me liking Merle and they killed him off at the end. They need to continuously build these characters so that we they do die, we care instead of just generating shock.
There is one moment in The Walking Dead that really bothered me because I still remember it and it still annoys the hell out of me. It is the moment when Glenn and Maggie name dropped the prison like five or more times in a single scene. I understand that Michonne was supposed to end up at the prison but they could have made it more subtle. It was way too noticeable and proves once again how for every moment of greatness there are these little moments that can cause frustrations.
The finale was disappointing, yes but saying that it ruined the entire season is foolish. The Walking Dead has moments of great TV but it also hurts its momentum with bad portrayals of certain characters (Andrea but I’m glad they fixed Michonne) or a storyline that should have never happened.
Many characters such as Carl, Glenn and Daryl evolved this season. Carl went from this annoying kid to someone incredibly dark and a strong person; someone who can take care of himself in this world. Glenn became a much stronger person and the trials that he Maggie went through made me more invested in their characters. Daryl continued to be as Daryl always is. If The Walking Dead wants me to become a fan, it needs to keep developing these characters because I always come back because of the characters.
That said I already know the fourth season is going to feel a lot different. Glen Mazzara stepped down as showrunner for reasons unknown. Changing of a showrunner always means the show will feel different, whether it will be the pacing or the story lines. I am optimistic because the new showrunner is Scott Gimple and he wrote two great episodes this season: “Clear” and “This Sorrowful Life.”
When The Walking Dead is great. It is great, no question but it is never consistent. For me that is huge deal because just when I’m getting into an episode something comes along and ruins it. People always focus on the bad, no matter how good something is. The Walking Dead is good TV it isn’t great TV. I’m sure it can become great; look at how much of an improvement season three is over season two. We will have to wait till next year to find out if The Walking Dead can achieve perfection. I’m a mild viewer of The Walking Dead I watch the show cause everyone does but I want to become a fan. I want it to suck me every week, and I hope it can next year.