After the shocking events of last week, there is a lot to be dealt with in the aftermath.
Rick is left inconsolable after Lori’s sacrifice and descends further into the darker recess in which he has found himself this season. Glenn is faced with trying to step up to Rick’s side while Daryl and Maggie go on a quest for supplies for the group’s newborn. Meanwhile, in Woodbury, Michonne continues to follow up her suspicions about The Governor and Andrea becomes increasingly torn between her friend and the community in which she is starting to be indoctrinated.
Greg Nicotero, the genius behind the special effects and make-up, takes over behind the camera as director and displays a great eye for a visual. There are some very well staged scenes including a gladiator fight, with zombies, and Rick going on a one man rampage in a zombie filled corridor. Nicotero also demonstrates a delicate touch with some of the more emotional scenes especially one involving Rick and Glenn where the latter tries to offer some comfort to his friend and leader.
There is no one stand out character or performance this week, with pretty much everyone getting a scene or moment to shine. The facades around Michonne and The Governor begin to crumble. Andrew Lincoln is as compelling as he has ever been as Rick even with barely any dialogue throughout the entire episode. Glenn, Hershel, Maggie and Daryl all have their own personal moments trying to cope with the group’s losses that each stand out. This is great testament to the cast and production team. There is a particularly touching moment at the end of the episode for Daryl as he brings some closure to his relationship with Carol.
With Rick somewhat incapacitated, its interesting to see Daryl step up into a leadership role within the group and take the initiative. He has grown into Rick’s right hand man during this season and he is a character who deserves to get a little more of the spotlight. Glenn has to take more responsibility too, looking to step back into the role of friend and closest ally to Rick, which is something that hasn’t been explored greatly since the two first encountered one another right back at the beginning of season 1.
It is an episode where so much happens it almost demands a repeat viewing. There are so many ideas and developments you are left to mull over that you can’t help but realise that this is now a show firing on all cylinders. The only challenge is going to be maintaining the standards that have been set so far, but if they pull it off, this is shaping up into one special season.
Review by Jonathan Gray