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Hounded is a mixed bag, in some way it’s very interesting and advances the plot, but certain storylines felt slow and downright obvious. Starting with one of the episodes strong points, we had Michonne versus Merle. I have criticized Michonne quite a bit in my reviews and while I still think she’s a bit clichéd when it comes to drama, when the show throws action at her it has been a homerun so far. A little more context on why Merle and his gang were chasing her down would have been nice. The show has given us more than enough clues that the Governor isn’t the fine gentleman he wants everyone to believe he is, but every decision he’s made so far has been justified in his warped mind, so how does sending men after a dangerous woman in zombie infested areas justified?
The cause of the chase aside, watching it unfold was the highlight of the episode. Michonne seems to know that she can be scary, since her apparent mind games were working on at least one of the men. Her “go back” sign definitely would’ve worked on me and leads to the question of who was hunting who. Between quickly killing two men and attacking them again later plus zombies, Michonne is definitely making the translation of being a comic-book badass to a TV one. It was nice to see that Merle isn’t completely faithful to the Governor, since he was willing to lie about the successfulness of their mission, until Mr. wimp to Rambo in less than five minutes had a major change of heart. Perhaps Merle himself questioned the point of going after Michonne himself, since she was leaving Woodbury like they wanted.
While Michonne is being hunted, her best friend Andrea is flirting and eventually sleeping with the man who ordered it. As I said last week, Andrea staying in Woodbury makes sense and even hooking up with the Governor makes sense too, but did so much screen time need to be used for this very predictable plotline. It has been obvious that they would get together when they first met. While I don’t mind them hooking up since Andrea appears to like the alpha male type, she did bang Shane too, and she’s quite attractive, so the Governor liking her back isn’t hard to believe either, but the same thing could’ve been accomplished this episode with them getting half the screen time they received.
Rick talking on the phone was another perfectly fine subplot for this episode, but it was pretty obvious that the phone call was never real. The chances that they would just happen to call that number, Rick would be there, and it being at such a critical time made the whole scenario highly improbable. So high that it would’ve been downright corny if it was real. This show has no overarching theme of fate or destiny, so the call being real would work on Lost or maybe even Battlestar Galactica, but not here. These last two plotlines weren’t awful at all, but due to their predictability and how interesting the Merle chasing Michonne storyline was, I kept hoping they’d just switch back to that and stay there.
There was absolutely no predictably for the ending of the chase storyline. I never would have guessed at the beginning of the episode that Glenn and Maggie would be kidnapped and on their way to Woodbury. If anyone could guess that then I would definitely suggest opening your own 1-800 psychic hotline right now. The standoff scene with all three of them pointing guns at each other and Michonne watching was one of the most suspenseful scenes this season. Something bad was going to happen, especially since Glenn and Maggie had a happy moment before Merle came around the corner, which is always a sign of trouble on this show. Michonne’s actions during the event were both reasonable and a little frustrating. Her not saying anything was the safe thing to do, but due to her recent badass status and basically pushing around Merle this episode, it would’ve been nice if she had done something.
The final scene between her and Rick was a good place to leave things, my immediate reaction to the last few minutes were “about time”, since this does start the collision between the two groups and that could make the remaining episodes this season the best yet. I do hope that Andrea being in the dark about everything, and Maggie/Glenn being kidnapped doesn’t last too long. I actually liked Andrea being a fighter last season and I like what Maggie/Glenn bring to the group. It looks like we could see the beginnings of a rescue mission next episode and everyone making it back, or at least surviving this season, seems highly unlikely.