They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and after a week away from Rick’s group holed up in their prison surroundings we return with a bang. This is one of the most emotional and thrilling episodes in the history of the show and firmly reinforces the new tone that has been set in place after the pedestrian nature of season 2.
After being introduced to the Governor led Woodbury community last week, this episode runs the two different plot lines simultaneously. Rick is forced to make a decision regarding the safety of the group when the two surviving prisoners ask to join and Andrea and Michonne begin to form a difference of opinion about their next step and what the Governor’s true intentions might be.
Season 2 padded out a very thin storyline over the course of the entire season but only four episodes in to season 3 and there has already been so much packed in. Indeed, this episode feels like it could have been a mid-season finale but, with four episodes to go until the break, it will be fascinating to discover what the writers have in store.
Series debutant writer Sang Kyu Kim does a fantastic job with the script nicely balancing the the two parallel story threads whilst giving several characters emotional charged scenes.
As ever Greg Nicotero and his team continue their outstanding work in the effects department, not only with the zombies but also an amazing scene at the end of the episode which I won’t spoil here.
The performances are again of the highest order, and a few cast members who have been singled out for a lot of fan angst get their moment to shine. Chandler Riggs as Carl and Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori have a gut-wrenching scene together while there are equally impressive performances from the likes of Lauren Cohan as Maggie and Andrew Lincoln as Rick. David Morrissey continues to make for an intriguing presence as the Governor and Michael Rooker gets a few choice moments as Merle.
This season is really on a roll and a week is now an awfully long time until the next fix.
Review by Jonathan Gray