The Walking Dead – “Home” (season 3, episode 10)
This review will be relatively short for two reasons. One, this is not an impressive episode, not just for this show but in general, it’s just not great television, and two, I would hate to hear about Hershel having to hobble down anywhere (ha!).
I’ll start with the only bit that I found interesting in this whole 45 minutes, it’s the only reason this episode was able to get a 2 in my scorebook, and that’s this great, but unfortunately unexplored, idea of “who is the leader here?” And this isn’t something that just came out of nowhere; it’s been there since Rick showed up to the group all the way in season 1. Eventually it turned into what we the audience have endearingly come to know as a “Ricktatorship.” Then there is the Governor and the way he decides to run things, after all, Woodbury is his town. This is a great concept to have in any show that focuses on a group surviving, but having a great concept only gets you so far. There needs to be an exploration of said concept, either through your characters or even through plot development, maybe incorporate the setting into this whole thing. I mean if we’re comparing this show to another show with the same idea (just done much better), Lost is basically about who will lead a group of people to survive an island that is clearly more than just an island, so the setting could help in getting that point across (it did for Lost!). Basically what I’m saying is The Walking Dead has no excuse, there are freaking zombies everywhere, use it!
Now, in all the places this episode went wrong. Well, like I mention if you have a great theme and don’t use it well then don’t even bother bringing it up. It was nice to see a slight break down of the authority and power both in the prison and in Woodbury, but okay what happens after. The whole Rick wigging out and seeing ghosts everywhere that’s interesting, but he did nothing but run around the grass outside the prison, why look for ghosts outside? The Governor is clearly not seceding his rule to Andrea, he just wants to make her believe he is leaving her in charge. Of course this only really comes up at the very end of the episode, where all the action occurs, in the last five minutes. Really? We’re still doing this formula; it’s the middle of season 3!
This then leads me to another point and that’s the terribly executed episode in terms of pacing and structure. It just makes very little sense to have the second episode after an extended break also be very slow and talkative. I was slightly put off with last week’s episode being slow and talkative, but I let it slide. In this episode it was so obvious there is no way it’s okay.
The Daryl brothers bonding walk in the woods almost had substance, but most of that felt like it was Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) demeanor, the writing was so boring. It felt like a conversation Merle and Daryl already had, oh yeah, back in season 2 when Daryl imagined he met his brother but he was actually dehydrated, so nothing new there. Axel dies, to the shock of no one. Also, no mention of Tyresse’s group, what the heck happen to those guys? Did they leave the prison completely?
I worry for this show when I watch episodes like these, it’s just not great and it’s frustrating on account that it has all it needs to be good but some people are dropping the ball, or should I say dropping the walker (or in Hershel’s case, the clutches, ha!). I’ll leave in an optimistic note, I hope that with all this follow the leader allusion that Glen, Maggie, Carol, heck even Carl, step up and actually decide to lead. Forget Rick, he’s in “crazytown.” Oh and even though this has not happen and I keep wanting it to, please, please, please let Michonne have some actual lines, like say words. That would be cool.