Life for the survivors has been well and truly shaken up following recent events. This week’s episode is built around one prominent idea: escalation. The Governor is seeking retribution for the attack on Woodbury, tension within the prison group is growing and Rick’s loosening grasp on reality is increasingly getting worse.
Elsewhere, two reluctant leaders are stepping up to the plate. Andrea is accepting greater responsibility in Woodbury, especially after her rousing speech to calm to townspeople amidst the chaos of last week. Meanwhile, with Rick continuing to hallucinate, it falls on Glenn to grasp the nettle in trying to protect the prison.
The episode is brilliantly constructed and builds to a barnstorming climax. There are plenty of careful character moments and plot developments to keep driving it forward allowing for a powerful and emotional pay-off at the episode’s denouement.
With Rick absent for a large portion of the episode, other characters get their moment in the spotlight. Glenn has come along way from the former pizza delivery boy he was when we first met him and this is an episode where he is brought front and centre, tackling his relationships with Maggie and Herschel and his role within the group. The brothers, Daryl and Merle, are also the subject for some concentrated focus as Daryl gets to showcase how he has evolved as a character, although there is a revelation that may come back to haunt him later as he returns to the group.
Credit must go the episode’s writer, Nichole Beattie, who serves up some major shocks and several moments that serve to keep the viewer on tenterhooks.
Season 3 continues to deliver and the wait for the next fix seems to get longer and longer with each passing week.
Review by Jonathan Gray