SHOCK is in shock after the death of a major THE WALKING DEAD character.
After the ballistic blood orgy that marked last week’s peripheral cast-culling episode, THE WALKING DEAD, episode three shifts its attention from the ruins of the wolves-battered Alexandria to the central super-heroes of Rick, Michonne and Daryl, as they lead a gaggle of dead-weight Alexandrian’s to help sway the herd away from the city.
Of course…there’s that damned horn. The same horn that we heard at the climax of episode 1 and whose origins were explained in the middle of episode 2.
As the zombie pack starts making its way toward the sound, the heroes splinter off into groups, with Michonne, Glenn, Nicholas, Heath and other assorted zombie-fodder Alexandrian extras along for the ride.
Daryl continues to rampage down the highway to the pulsing strains of Bear McCreary’s music, and Rick makes a sprint back to the slaughtered-ghoul wall where they left the RV.
The dead are everywhere. And we mean EVERYWHERE. This season is in fact the most zombie-heavy round of them all and it gives us a chance to pause and really admire just how bloody (literally) miraculous KNB’s work here is. It’s an embarrassment of amazing design and nightmarish application. Truly, no matter your take on the show, no filmed entertainment has ever shown us the living dead as expertly, imaginatively realized as TWD. We’re actually rather spoiled by how good this show is…
In the Michonne/Glenn gang, one Alexandrian gets his throat ripped out, the other gets his back bitten. After the offending ghouls are dispatched, the unfortunate bitee acknowledges his impending fate but opts to soldier on anyway an help the gang. As they walk, we get to explore some of Michonne’s softer, human side as she tenderly discusses the soon-to-be zombified man’s wife. It’s a mildly affecting passage that further exemplifies the emotional core that has always been essential to TWD’s success.
Meanwhile, Rick continues his mad dash, finds a slaughtered survivor now a hot mess of guts and parts all torn asunder that Rick has to gruesomely pick through to raid needed supplies.
Glenn and the increasingly distracted Nicolas split from their team, with the intent of letting off a smoke signal when they reach their destination, leaving Michonne and Heath and a recently shot Alexandrian (as well as the chomped lad) in a pet store. Nicolas is breaking down, a condition realized by having the sound drop and a tinnitus-esque ringing take over the audio. Glenn tries to bring him back down to earth (“you’re not that guy anymore!” he says).
We know Nicolas will die soon. What we don’t know is how and what the consequences will be.
Rick makes it to the RV and is off.
Back in the pet store, Michonne hears a banging behind a puppy poster and suddenly ghouls spill out from behind a hidden door. The noise from the zombie’s groaning attracts the herd and in seconds thousands of zombies are at the store’s door. The gang escapes, people die.
At the same time, Glenn and Nicolas get trapped on a dumpster by the herd, who come at them from every which way in an intense, terrifying sequence. Nicolas goes deeper into his daze, turns to face his panic-stricken partner and blows his own brains out, dragging a shocked Glenn in to the crowd of zombies.
And Glenn is promptly ripped to shreds in slow motion.
There are those who swear that it was Nicolas’ body getting consumed by the dead and that Glenn may have rolled under the dumpster and will live to fight another die.
We don’t buy it. Glenn is dead. And it sucks. In fact, it’s going to be hard to forgive THE WALKING DEAD for a while. I feel like I did at the tail of Frank Darabont’s adaption of King’s THE MIST. Cheated. Like the show has contempt for me, the devoted audience.
With 10 minutes left to go, Rick is attacked in the RV by members of The Wolves, which he quickly lays waste to. But then, the RV won’t start. And the zombies move in…and move in…and…
See you next week!
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