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The Walking Dead – Made to Suffer Review: It’s Everything it Needed to be

The midseason finale, Made to Suffer, delivered everything it needed for us to appreciate what we’ve seen so far this season, and for what’s to come. It’s still a little annoying that cable channels are straying away from airing their shows consecutively like they used to (other than major holidays), but that was the turning around point for season two of the show, which went from dismal to fairly entertaining after its break. Season three has held up and actually improved upon that quality. There have been some hiccups like Woodbury dragging during the beginning and filler subplots, such as the zombie experiment last week, but luckily, there was no filler in this episode.

Things started with a surprising bang when we see Tyreese (a fan favorite from the comics) and his group stumble upon the prison. Maybe it’s because I’ve read certain issues of the comic so I knew they were friendly, but this group never seemed to have a possible threat level that certain others like the Philly guys, prisoners, or even Michonne have, since she is a stranger to Rick's group. Between having a somewhat young family in their group and refusing to leave their bitten member, the idea that they weren’t a threat was quickly painted for none comic readers too.

Carl is one of the major improvements this season. He’s no longer the annoying kid who does dumb things like play with a zombie that results in someone getting killed. Him helping the new group but still not fully trusting them was the smart thing to do. Leaving them there would be inhumane and fully trusting them would be foolish, which Tyreese seemed to understand. I am still pretty iffy towards the portrayal of Michonne on the show, but I have a little more faith in them nailing Tyreese. His character is a bit simpler, and if The Wire was any indication, Chad Coleman is a very good actor.

I did think to myself that Tyreese coming on the show could possibly mean they’d kill Oscar off, apparently the writers don’t want more than one black guy in the group at a time… and unfortunately I was right. It sucks because T-Dawg and Oscar both had potential that we’ll never see. Someone did need to get seriously hurt or die so we could still take Woodbury serious, but Oscar was the easy choice out of the group. The assault on their town was very straightforward, perhaps too simple, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Glenn and Maggie fighting back is how they were found and they’ve continued to impress me with their resourcefulness and resilience. In this episode, Maggie was more impressive out of the two, since she had no problem killing a human. However, I don’t blame a beat up Glenn for not being able to take on crazy ole Merle.

The Woodbury scenes only major flaws were Rick hallucinating and Michonne waiting for the Governor. Rick seeing Shane and it causing Oscar’s death on its own wasn’t that bad, but my worry is more about this being a regular subplot later this season. I’d rather see Rick in his prime while going against a big enemy like Woodbury and the Governor. Also, there has to be a better way for the show to create doubt in his leadership than “Rick sometimes sees and hears thing because his wife died”… that’s not very interesting. Of course, it depends on how the writers handle it, so only time will tell, but it seems random so far.

Michonne’s behavior for most of this episode was fine, since she actually talked when she needed to. However, her decision to abandon the group and wait for the Governor in his apartment seemed overkill on her part. Sure, he sent a group to track her down and kill her, but the hate in their relationship seems a bit one sided. In the comics he does awful things to her then she does horrendous things back to him, but deservedly so, and they have a bit of a rivalry.

For the show, it seems like Michonne has always hated the Governor while he’s indifferent to her. Even though her waiting to kill him seemed slightly strange, their confrontation was expertly done. His plea to save his daughter was great acting, their fight captured a scrappy and enclosed feel, and his pain after losing an eye as Andrea saves him from death was perfect. Once the face-to-face started with Andrea, Michonne went from cool to annoying again, it seems like she would’ve tried to explain her position, mention that she’s found a safe place for them to live besides Woodbury, or something rather than stare.

Like any good villain, right after you might start to feel a little bad for one they do something to make you dislike or hate them all over again. Daryl being captured was surprising, I do wonder if it was on purpose to see his brother, but right now is a very bad time for it to happen. Either way the Governor probably would’ve killed him, but with his daughter gone, injured, and possibly embarrassed, he could easily become unhinged. Blaming Merle for the attack was also a dirty and surprising move.

The preview for the rest of season 3 quickly killed the tension of Daryl, such a likable character, being in danger since (spoilers ahead if you don’t watch promos) they quickly showed him running in a forest with his crossbow, so it appears he isn’t killed on the spot, which I was glad to see. With Daryl captured for now, Michonne back with the group, Tyreese at the prison, Andrea less in the dark, Rick going crazy (sigh), and the Governor possibly evolving into a darker villain, this episode delivered many things this season had already setup and leaves a lot of questions for a very exciting return in February.



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