Friday, February 22

The Walking Dead Friday - 'Home.'

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Season 3 - Episode 10: 'Home.'

The Walking Dead Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

Right off the bat, I'm using my usual Intro paragraph to plug the LIVE WALKING DEAD CHAT that takes place on my Facebook wall every Sunday night at 8pm Central during The Walking Dead. This is where you, me and a bunch of CDP faithful from around the globe get together and watch The Walking Dead like a family, drinking and cracking jokes like we were all in one, giant collective Living Room (bring a dish to pass, and you can only smoke on the deck).

Everyone is welcome; last week was twice as big as the week before it, and if it gets any larger, we may have to move it off of Facebook and into an actual chat room somewhere (does America Online still exist?). All you have to do is friend me on Facebook, show up when The Walking Dead airs (I'll have a link up) and start sounding off (or just watch everyone else have all the fun). See you there.

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(Michonne watches in horror as Rick begins to slow dance with a walker.)

Okay, about Sunday's episode. I really enjoyed it. Don't get me wrong, it's still as pitch-bleak as ever: Rick lost his mind, the Governor murdered Axel and the actress who plays Lori got another paycheck that was more than I make in a year, but it was still fun, though. The inevitable war between Team Grimes and Team Governor has reached a fever pitch, and with only six episodes before Season 3 ends (already?!), it's already looking like it's going to be a bloody sprint to the finish.

Now, let's mock the things we love. Here comes The Thick And Meaty!

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Rick, looking as sweaty and disheveled as ever, has been having a bad couple of days. He’s starting to hallucinate (more so than the average amount), and after seeing his dead wife in the rafters of the prison, he took it out on Tyreese and company, forcing them to vacate the premises (that’s why you didn’t see them this week). Who knows if they’re okay or not (or even if they left the prison), what’s important is that Rick is very, very sweaty, and he’s seeing his unfathomably pale wife wandering around the prison gates.

Rick rushes through the gate to greet Ghost Lori, and hastily leaves it open when he darts out, which is not befitting of a thoughtful leader in times of zombie crises. He begins to get all grabby with the vision of Lori, which I thought for SURE would be a walker once he snapped out of it. Wouldn’t that have been hilarious? Nonetheless, he just stands there and makes out with thin air as Michonne watches in the distance and contemplates swift decapitation.

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("Andrea, those people think I can cook. I CAN'T COOK!")

In Woodbury, the Governor essentially asks Andrea to take over. He said something like, “I’m not fit to lead these people,” but what he really meant was “I’M TIRED AND MY EYE HURTS AND I DON’T WANNA PWAY ANYMORE.” Andrea, who seems to lose IQ points with each passing breath, takes his advice under consideration. Perhaps there's a slow gas leak in her apartment.

In the forest, Merle and Daryl are arguing, hick-style. Daryl is thinking about life back at the prison, but Merle assures him that once the Governor finds the place, he’s going to slaughter everyone inside. Then he says about eight racist things in under 30 seconds, a personal Dixon record. Daryl is starting to realize that he made a mistake by leaving the group for his brother, but Redneck Blood runs thick, as it is heavily fortified with moonshine. It’s a fact; Wikipedia it.

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("You know what I really like about this place, Carol? The fact that my skull has exactly the right number of holes in it.")

Glen, serving as de facto leader while Rick gets his mind right, makes a decision to fortify the prison against the Governor, despite Hershel’s suggestion that they leave. Glen is starting to man up, as his (understandable) rage against the Governor is taking him over. Maggie finds this unattractive and indicative of what almost every man would do in this situation, which is to make it all about him and forget to tend to the needs of his girlfriend. I feel for Glen; I’d probably do the same thing (ie: the absolute wrong thing at the absolute wrong time).

At Woodbury, the Governor asks Milton (a poor, POOR man’s Ben Linus) if he can count on his allegiance. Milton says yes, and the Governor asks him to keep tabs on Andrea while he goes and murders all of her old friends. Later, when Andrea asks Milton of the Governor’s whereabouts, he freezes and stammers worse than Marco Rubio after the State of the Union.

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(Sadly, this is one of the nicer car washes in Atlanta.)

Back at the prison, Glen has gone on a murder spree, proclaiming that the Boiler Room is once again overrun with walkers. Hershel again suggests a retreat, but Glen again ignores him and continues searching for the breach. He finds Maggie alone in her cell, forces her to talk about some stuff that she really didn’t want to talk about (ie: rapey stuff), and gets justifiably cold-shouldered. Patience, homie. She’ll come around.

Out on the catwalk, there’s a Zombie Fashion Show! Okay, not really, but every time I hear ‘catwalk,’ that’s what I imagine. Let’s reset.

Out on the catwalk, Carol and Axel engage in paltry flirting, while Axel carefully treads the line between “I like you but I’m kind of shy” and “I want to kiss the bones inside of your body.

Axel explains to Carol that he was sent to prison for holding up a gas station with a toy gun. Hey, in L.A., that’s more than enough to get you shot by the cops. That’s the LAPD: Literally the worst people in the world. And I know that’s a generalized, inflammatory and potentially dangerous stereotype about people I know next to nothing about, but isn’t that what the LAPD does best?

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("YESSSSS.")

Meanwhile while arguing, Merle and Daryl encounter a Mexican family of survivors (con un bebé!) under attack by walkers (how the hell did they survive this long?). What follows next is one of the greatest zombie mass-murder sprees not just in Walking Dead history, but in zombie TV/film history, as well. It was clever, creative, sickeningly violent, funny and loaded with tension. Pretty much everything you could possibly want. If you can only re-watch a minute of this episode, make it this minute. The Walking Dead is the only show on television that gets me to jump off the couch and curse about once every episode or two, and this was the scene that did it for me this week. Outstanding.

When the walkers have been killed, Merle points his gun at the family and begins looting the car. Daryl takes offense, steadies his crossbow at Merle and stomps off (the family flees). They get into an argument and Daryl’s shirt rips, causing many-a-swoon from the female viewing audience, but also revealing signs of childhood abuse at the hands of his father. Daryl’s had enough, and explains that he’s going back to the prison, with or without Merle. Merle is afraid to go back to the prison, because he fears his prosthetic arm will trip the metal detector. Merle is not a smart man.

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(Merle's rebuttal argument is just an unbroken string of N-words.)

Outside the prison, Hershel tries to stop Glenn from going off on his own to kill the Governor, but he drives off anyway. Hershel then has a heart-to-heart with Rick, who confesses that, yeah, he’s been acting strange, but he’s still totally wandering off into the woods to figure some stuff out. Hershel then looks directly into the camera, shrugs and says “It’s like this every day here!” as we freeze-frame and cue up the wacky credit music. (NOTE: I may have fallen asleep at this point and dreamed an alternate ending.)

In the courtyard, Carol and Axel chat and awkwardly flirt. I think that--POW!!!

Dead. Axel’s dead and his head goop is all over Carol’s face. The Governor has showed up and fired the kill shot from beyond the fence. Somewhere, someone owes me a beer, as I predicted this from the beginning of the episode. The prison is officially under attack, and Rick’s crew is seemingly scattered all over the place.

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("L-Lori?")

Gunfire erupts on both sides of the fence, as a TROJAN ZOMBIE HORSE crashes through the prison gate and floods the courtyard with walkers. Bravo. The Governor and his men drive off, leaving Rick’s crew to deal with the mess he just made. Outside the fence, Rick is out of ammo and surrounded, when Daryl and Merle show up to save the day. Together they kill the remaining walkers outside of the prison, but the inside of the yard is now completely swarming with the dead.

Shit’s getting real. Smash cut, episode over. Time to Pick Your Brain!

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1. As will be the case probably every week, I'm kicking things off with the ratings. 'Home' was watched by nearly 11.1 million televisions, making it once again the #1 show on all of cable television. You'll notice that this number is slightly down from the other-worldly 12.3 million they gathered last week, but it's to be expected, and they were up against the NBA All-Star Game (which only managed an 8.1). That's right, zombies are officially more popular than basketball in America.

If you're thinking to yourself, "Ruh-roh, the numbers are slipping," think again. 'Home' was still watched by more people than anything from Seasons 1 or 2. The freight train of ratings insanity continues to steamroll everything in its path.

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(Nobody leaves Dave and Busters without filling out a comment card.)

2. So, a few Walking Dead cast members showed up to the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee last week for what was supposed to be a fun Q and A, and from what I can gather, Milwaukee pretty much made an ass out of itself.

Now, I wasn't there and I can only go by what I've been told by those in attendance (I also know the writer of the article), but I'm genuinely not surprised. I've been going to all types of shows in all types of cities for 20 years now, and I know better than to saddle an entire city as 'craptastic' based on a bad experience or two over the span of two decades. Problem is, the amount of 'bad show experiences' I've had in Milwaukee is disproportionately higher than anywhere else I've ever been. In fact, I can easily say that it's the epicenter of the worst concert experiences of my life, and it has everything to do with the Milwaukee audience. It's purely personal experience, but for me, it's hardly ever fun to go there for entertainment anymore.

In short, The Walking Dead cast should come to Madison next time. That is, if we haven't soured them entirely to Wisconsin as a whole.

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(She's a lot like the Virgin Mary, in that she's a lying whore.)

3. In the comments section of the Onion AV Club's review of this episode, a reader asks, "Would the sound of the bullets hitting Axel's body be called the 'Axel Foley?'"

I needed to share this with you, as...well, because it's a brilliant pun is why. It's been a long week for me, so I'm more than happy to let people with better jokes sidle in for a minute.

4. I swear to God, it seems like Andrea will sleep with absolutely anyone. Expect to see a lot of Sunday's episode revolve around her, by the way (that can't be good for ratings).

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("PACKERS!!!!!")

Alright, we're done for the week. Thanks for reading, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. And don't forget to join me Sunday night for the LIVE WALKING DEAD CHAT!

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Season 1 - Episode 1 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 2 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 3 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 4 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 5 Review.
Season 1 - Episode 6 Review.
Season 3 - Episode 9 Review.

Comments:
Rage Against the Governor - Everyone's favorite airport lounge band since 2002.
 
I was really hoping Axel would turn out to be the serial killer from the comic book.
 
BRIAN - Take the (zombie) power back.
 
COMET - I kept waiting for that; I think most comic readers were. He was just perfectly cast as a guy that you just couldn't really trust right up to the very end. If Lost has taught me anything, it's that when a character starts to show personality and (gasp!) redeem themselves, they're a goner.
 
I've been saying the same thing about Milwaukee audiences for years. I'll never understand the impulse behind the dicks that are like, "Hey I love this band. Why don't I huck a half-full tallboy of PBR at the lead singer to demonstrate my appreciation."
 
WALLROCK - I'm with you. Sometimes (sometimes!) Milwaukee thinks they're the star of the show.
 

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