Being in prison and having an unplanned pregnancy would suck in itself but add a zombie apocalypse to the mix and the situation is enough to make you wish you were dead. Season three of AMC's The Walking Dead premiered back in October and has been pushing the envelope at lightening speed, relentlessly killing off major characters and shocking audiences along the way. The pace hasn't slowed since its start and by the looks of this Sunday's mid-season finale, it doesn't appear to have plans to do so.
A lot has happened this season to make audience's feel uneasy and unsure of their favorite characters and those character's fates. The season opened with Rick and the gang finding the prison, months after the last season ended. The group cleared out the zombies and took the prison as their refuge, leaving viewers to believe that the survivors would be safe. Four episodes in and showrunner, Glen Mazzara, kicked us all in the gut by proving that no one is safe, not even early on in the season.
The first episode in, my favorite character, Hershel, got bit and had his leg amputated with an axe. The old man's life was questionable but luckily, he pulled through. In the midst of his amputation, Rick and the others met the prisoners that were hiding inside. Right away, Rick questions their intentions and his hesitations were right--two of them tried to kill him and take the prison for themselves.
When the prisoner begged Rick to let him back in, Rick stated, perfectly, "You better run."
BOOM. And then I fell deeply in love.
It was in that very moment where audiences realized just how much Rick had changed and how far he was willing to go to protect his people. He became a bonafide badass. A ruthless, sexy, southern (British) badass. Oh, and for the Lori haters--he hated her too, and actually made her feel like shit for everything she had done.
Rick wasn't the only noticeably different character; a few other survivors had changed as well, actually becoming likeable and relevant. Carl, the stupid child always getting himself into trouble and doing things like causing Dale's death, had stepped up and become useful to the group, running off to do productive errands for them and actually shooting up zombies.
He had also become considerably more horny and so had Beth, because the two constantly exchange creepy glances. Gah! He's 12, Beth. Even in an apocalypse, that is pathetic and illegal. And disgusting. He probably doesn't have ball hair yet, girl!
Speaking of horny, umm CAROL. Carol's hair still hasn't grown (and neither has body hair on any of the women) but she has become quite the flirt with the equally dirty-looking, Daryl. And, T-Dog actually spoke and had interesting things to say as well!
Things were just heating up between Lori and Rick as the two came to terms with their relationship when zombies overrun the prison and force Lori into labor. Lori gets separated with Carl and Maggie and when they realize something is wrong with the baby, Lori orders Maggie to cut her open. C-Sections in the apocalypse also look like no fun.
After having her uterus and lower belly cut open, Lori died, but not before telling Carl to stay good and Maggie to shoot her when she turns into a walker. As much as I despised Lori and her actions throughout the series, the moment where she breaks down and begs Carl not to let the world destroy him, completely destroyed me. It was a heartbreaking scene and in my opinion, she was taken far too early in the season, especially when her relationship with Rick was becoming a lot more interesting.
Meanwhile, as Carl watched his mom die, and inevitably shoots her, T-Dog practically hands himself over to walkers so that Carol can escape, dying as a hero, just as he was becoming an interesting character.
In the midst of this catastrophe, audiences are introduced to the Governor residing in the seemingly perfect town of Woodbury. Andrea and Michonne are captured and taken to the town where everyone is functioning as if the world were still normal, because there are men with guns--one of them is Merle--overlooking the gates of the town, ready to shoot down any danger that comes close.
The Governor keeps fish tanks full of heads of all the people he has killed and he also keeps his zombie daughter chained up in his house. But, don't worry--he brushes her hair and still embraces her, as a father should. He's only doing what's best. Right.
He presents himself as understanding and gentle when in actuality he is very manipulative and vindictive. In Woodbury, he has absolute power and power can make one feel above the law and unstoppable. Everyone is fooled by his facade, except Michonne, who leaves Woodbury and is chased off by Merle and the rest of the Governor's henchmen.
While hiding, Michonne witnesses Merle run into Glenn and Maggie on a supplies run, and after they refuse to take him to where they are staying--so he can reunite with his brother, Daryl--Merle shoots at them and manages to hold Maggie at knife point, forcing Glenn to do whatever Merle says.
The couple are taken to Woodbury where they are interrogated, beaten, and humiliated by the Governor and Merle. During all of this, Michonne finds the prison and informs Rick and the group what has happened. Trusting her, the gang set out to save their kidnapped friends.
The last episode before Sunday's finale ends with Rick's group finding Woodbury, waiting to attack, as the Governor plans to send his men out in search of the prison. The music that plays in the background sets the atmosphere perfectly, building up the tension and excitement for what is to come.
This season, particularly the last episode, has reminded me of 1985's Day of the Dead. Everything from the music, the people, and the situation, are all reminiscent of the Romero classic that changed the way audiences looked at zombies.
For one, in TWD there is a character performing tests on the walkers, trying to figure out if a person's personality is still in tact once they turn. The character is comparable to the doctor in Day of the Dead who performed the experiments on Bub, the zombie that could actually think. Of course, the outcome of Day carried on into Land of the Dead, where zombies could think, feel, and work together--just like humans. It will be interesting to see how the optimistic character in TWD plays out and if things are actually discovered about the walkers, as was discovered in Day of the Dead.
Comparisons aside, this season of TWD has been intense, and it's difficult to predict what will happen in the upcoming episodes. The group is becoming smaller and smaller and all of their morals are being tested, constantly. Even Glenn has changed, morphing from the weak and timid individual into the loyal, strong-minded character that he is now. Although he does care about Maggie, I got the impression that he would have let the Governor kill her in order to protect the location of his group.
Daryl has changed a lot as well, completely welcoming the group with open arms and accepting them as his new family. My prediction is that he will come face to face with Merle (obviously) and will have to choose whose side to take. He will choose Rick's side and the two brothers will fight to the death.
Speaking of choosing sides, Andrea has become involved with the Governor and she doesn't want to run anymore. She has a stable place in Woodbury and she actually agrees with some of the things that are being done there. Andrea will stay in Woodbury and she will fight for them, rather than Rick's group once they are reunited.
Everything is up in the air at this point because it has been proven early on in the season that anything can happen. The mid-season finale looks like it's going to be exciting and fun--and probably a bloodbath. It will be interesting to see where the season goes after this.
What are thoughts on the season so far? Are you excited for this Sunday's finale?