The Big Gap gabs about: The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale, “Made To Suffer”

Walking Dead S3 Title

Did you catch the earth-shatteringly apocalyptic mid-season finale of the Walking Dead?  Intrepid Big Gap bloggers Perr and Junch did, and were on the edge of their seats the entire time.  Read on to find out what they thought of all that has transpired so far this stellar third season.  Warning, major domo spoilers if you haven’t watched yet.  Do join in the conversation too!  We’d love to hear what you think of the zombie-pocalypse TV show of the century.

The New People, Carl, and the Other Prisoners

The New Group

Perr: Ok, first thing’s first – let’s talk about the new gang. Feelings?

Junch: Unexpected, but not if you’re into the comics.

Perr: I didn’t read it, so it was kind of an interesting move.

Junch: Tyrese is introduced early in the comics, but this is quite late in the series. They come out of nowhere of course, which was irksome, but then it got into the swing of things fairly quickly. I like that he is mild mannered, but we don’t see enough to know what’s going to happen.

Perr: Actually, I was relieved to see them make it into the prison. Seeing how the group that left for Woodbury meant that those back in the prison would be really vulnerable. Plus, without the group, we wouldn’t have seen Carl be a MAN. Kickass! Seriously, Carl is the most amazing character retcon ever.

Junch: Hahaha, yes that was awesome, obviously the writers clearly went out of their way to show how awesome Carl can be. But obviousness aside, just the practicalities of how he handled himself in this episode are good. It gives me confidence that if we were to live in a Rick-Grimes-less world, would his son be able to carry forth?

Perr: He would. He is no longer “in the making”; he’s there.

Turning out to be a real minor badass.

Turning out to be a real minor badass.

Junch: Yeah it’s cool. But I hope they don’t play this one note too much. Show other facets of him, maybe blossom some kiddy love ahahahah! Gross!

Perr: Gross, he and Beth! Creeps me out! (Pause) Ok, back to that original group – I was honestly really annoyed that they took their time with killing the girl who was bitten, but then again I was conflicted because if it were anyone else from the Atlana group, I would be more understanding about it.

Junch: I’m glad Carl showed the guts to take the shot, but can’t fault that group for not being as wary as Rick’s group.

Perr: I guess we’re too used to seeing people being adept at surviving.

Junch: No show has made me more wary and paranoid of newcomers than Walking Dead. When Carl locked them in the room, it felt like such a sigh of relief.

"Did you just lock us in here?"

“Did you just lock us in here?”

Perr: Yeah I KNOW! It’s crazy.

Junch: And I had to double-take on my own emotions – I was like, “Wait what- oh yeah, shit that’s what I would’ve done,” then I think of Walking Dead: The Game, then I think how awesome that was. (laughs)

Perr: I did too, I was like, “YES, smart boy, you lock ’em in there with their dead person-clouded sensibilities!”

Junch: LOL actually, I realized so much why Walking Dead the video game was awesome. It’s like what Football Manager is to football fans. They shout at the screen at football managers who make poor decisions all the time, just as we would at the characters in Walking Dead the TV show.

Perr: So true.

Junch: So Walking Dead the game exists to show our decision making chops, but yeah, that’s why Carl’s decision was nice.

Perr: It’s a lot tougher than anyone else thinks.

Jun: ‘Cause it was totally the one we would’ve made.

Perr: Oh, how creepy was Axel hitting on everyone?

Junch: Ahahahahahahhaha! So creepy, but I like that the writers weren’t afraid to try that, and how forthcoming Axel was, shamelessly so. I respect him more for that, especially when a lot of characters in the series keep their thoughts in check, like Michonne.

Perr: I would’ve thought that Hershel would’ve noticed his lecherous skeeviness.

Jun:  Maybe he was off someplace else!

"Hur hurr, not a lesbian, you say?"

“Hur hurr, not a lesbian, you say?”

Perr: Anyway, I’m glad that the other group is there now, then the Lil’ Asskicker Protectors have a better fighting chance against the pain the Governor’s gonna bring when his council raids the prison.

Junch: Provided this “new group” would want to lift a finger to help strangers.

Perr: Yes, I think they would. They seem to have a soft spot for the weak to which, at first glance at the group that’s left behind – they are weak. I mean, Beth, teenage blonde girl; Carol, frail-looking; Hershel, an old one-legged man; Carl, a kid; and a newborn. With the exception of the woman who voted to leave the injured member behind, everyone else seems to be less guarded about their group.

Junch: And that sort of behavior might just get them pwned. But more imptly, the red flag that I was thinking about the whole time is that the prison isn’t as secure as we think if there’s a back entrance. But then again, it might have always been there and we just didn’t realize from the way we were shown the prison through these episodes. I think one thing that isn’t thought about enough in TV shows where the setting is just as important to the narrative as Walking Dead is the architecture of the prison and Woodbury, and what it says about the respective towns. Woodbury – everything is behind closed doors. The prison – bars let you see through, but people are guarded to keep things out or in.

Perr: I didn’t really assume that it was a fortress, because the zombies still wandered in somehow. I mean, if they cleared it out once, and Carl just travels less than 500m within the range of their cell block and meets a rush of zombies, there definitely are holes in their perimeter. I think as long as it’s not overflowing like it was before, it would be fine. And if you think about it, actually having zombies out in the yard does give the impression that the prison still has its walker infestation. The way that they cleared out the place, it’s as good as putting up a sign that says “WE’RE HERE”. I’m looking forward to how they’re going to get out of there because I definitely know that there is no way prison is their long term solution.

Glenn and Maggie

Glenn and Maggie

Junch: I thought it was awesome when Glenn totes ripped out the bone from the zombie! I was like, “Whuttttt?” Awesome weapon idea, didn’t even think of it. But they didnt particularly get far with it. In a sense, as a writer myself, I would look at that scene as unnecessary, because if you took it out and kept them in captivity, it wouldn’t have changed the progression of the episode’s plot. They’d still get taken out to be shot. The Rick group would’ve still come for their ass anyway. If there is one flaw that I have to objectively critique about the Walking Dead TV series, is that there sometimes feels like scenes where you go “oh, that is so added there for dramatic tension”, that it feels obvious.

Perr: I think they have to do something to keep the pressure up. And regarding Glenn’s makeshift weapon, yes, that was clever, BUT my thought was more of, now she’s stabbed the guy, he’s going to die, he’s going to be a zombie, and now the infection will ruin Woodbury.

Junch: Oh yeah! Shit, that would have been a better story, to be honest.

Perr: I see that happening because amid the chaos, they still don’t have the time to do things like remove the dead bodies and burn them in time.

Junch: Or shoot ’em in the head.

Perr: Of course I could just be very wrong and they indeed just put that scene there for the sake of it.

"Here babe, take his hand!"

“Here babe, take his hand!”

Junch: I dont believe the show covered all the angles, which is fine I guess, because it’s in the interest of propelling dramatic tension.

Perr: Why did they have to intro Oscar in the first place right? If not for the fact that they needed a dead body for the Woodbury assault. The show does resort to that.

Junch: To make the assault more “weighty” and “dramatic”. Yes, that’s what I think too. I think as long as you’re wary that the show continually does these “weird” things for dramatic purposes, it will not elevate to GENIUS levels but it’s still a fun ride.

Michonne and Andrea

Andrea and Michonne

Perr: All the fights were really well choreographed. For the first time ever I was hiding behind Ray’s arm because it was just so exciting.

Junch: I actually feared for Michonne’s life, especially when Andrea turned up. I realized I hated her even more.

Perr: That was really tense. I honestly thought that Andrea would shoot her when Michonne turned around but was glad that she didn’t.

Junch: Michonne’s revenge was unnecessary. A lot of the other reviewers of the episode were also perplexed about why she had to go through so much trouble; it’s not like the Governor raped her or anything. But because she stabbed him, he goes ape shit, then he enacts world war on the Dixon bros.

Sitting in wait.

Sitting in wait.

Perr: She didn’t strike me as one to keep emotional grudges too. This is purely speculation, but I think it’s got something to do with Andrea.

Junch: Of course it does. That’s what the plotting looks like to me. I mean on a basic level she is taking revenge against Andrea’s indoctrination cause Michonne is in love with her. But god, Michonne and Governor, they have chosen a really retarded individual to love.

Perr:  LOL.

Junch: Like I think every season, there must be one retard, who is like “WHAT?!” If I stumbled into a room with heads in an aquarium and a dead zombie daughter, I would have shot the Governor and got out of there with Michonne. But no, Andrea decides she must stay put.

Perr: I think Andrea appeals to those characters because she offers a certain strength, resolve, naivete. She’s really emotionally charged and swings from ideal to ideal.

Junch: Naivete has no place in the zombie apocalypse!

Perr: And for people who are constantly faced with hard and ugly truths, Andrea is like the rose from the concrete. They think, “Finally, a person who can believe in me.” I think that when they spend time with Andrea, she is open and honest, even when she has her reservations.

Junch: That’s true, I can see that. It’s just very annoying for us hard nosed survivalists.

And idiot everyone seems to love.

An idiot everyone seems to love.

Perr: When she lends support to someone she makes people feel better about themselves and what they’re doing. It’s all about the context of the situation. Same as when we are totally annoyed with Andrea believing in the Gov’s bullshit about Woodbury. We can see the big picture, but to Andrea at that point of time, she’s been travelling forever and she finally finds a place that can give her a break from all the horror and running that she’s had to endure for the past 8 months. Plus, she really had no clue about what the Governor was about so it’s understandable that she would just jump in and treat herself. And I really think that she chose the Governor during the room scene at that moment because it looked like Michonne was attacking him. He was experiencing a fresh bout of grief and he was the one who was stabbed in the eye, on the ground holding Penny, and Michonne was the one who had actually had the katana poised for a kill. AND  the Gov was totally banging Andrea good and didn’t give her ANY reason to suspect him.

Junch: Totes. Once again it was Michonne’s failure to open her mouth that got her misunderstood. Like when Rick pointed his gun at her after she deserted them, seriously, that woman better learn that sometimes saying something is better than none.

Perr: Andrea’s manipulation was constant, and she was introduced to his psycho-weirdness slowly. It was just perfectly paced. If she was introduced to the experiments, if she found the tanks by HERSELF, maybe it would have been a different story. But at that point of time she made her choice. Sad for Michonne. But did you see Andrea’s face when she saw Daryl? It was like “OMG! YOU GUYS! ALIVE”

>:O

>:O

Junch: LOL, it was IDIOT FACE.

Perr: “GUH!” Absolutely. Classic. And one more thing about her. I think that she was just tired of running around outside that when she got a taste of the good stuff, she just saw what she wanted to see. Hence her acceptance of idiot zombiedome.

Daryl and Merle Dixon

Dixon Bros

Perr: Even though I so knew the Merle and Daryl meet would be left to the very last minute – So exciting! And I loved that Norman Reedus seemed like he was going to cry at the sight of his bro. Watery eyes.

Junch: Oh shit, yeah omfg, I picked up on that too. Daryl’s face, at the end, so SADFACE. I was like nooooooooooo!, even that moment of hesitation when Rick Grimes was like “I need you,” and Daryl was like shieeeeeet! Yes, definitely screencap Daryl’s sadface. He’s like a captured animal, so lost and hopeless, I was like NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU, you don’t capture Daryl Dixon!

"But he's my brother." And all the fangirls cried with him.

“But he’s my brother.” And all the fangirls cried with him.

Perr: Halfway, I told Ray that he would be stuck in Woodbury somehow.

Junch: Haha, yeah you called it, the cliffhanger had to be good enough.

Perr: Daryl’s inner conflict would be interesting to see develop. For this whole time we just know him as a badass with a brother who may or may not have abused him in the past or something.

Junch: Yes, totes.

Perr: But the way he looked at Merle, man, that was crazy. It was like he was so happy to see him living, breathing,  even if it seemed like in 2 seconds he would die.

"Bruther?"

“Bruther?”

Junch: This is probably the biggest reunion of all time on TV for sometime, because now a) what will Merle do, now that he has been exiled by his own group b) will Daryl see through Merle’s evil behavior? c) Will the Dixon brothers just pwn everything?

Perr: Yea, 3 seasons long! I think the way Mike Rooker plays it, it seemed like he would abandon the Governor, and now he will because he’s labelled as the traitor.

Junch: He has no choice but to, what can he do? Merle’s character is like ughface, it will be so hard for him to assimilate with Rick’s group. In fact, that’s the only thing that I am vastly interested in. He can’t [assimilate], no way will they let him back, even as much as Daryl asks.

Perr: Daryl will beg for him.

Junch: Yeah but it’s very hard.

Perr: He’ll threaten to go on the road, just the 2 of them. I see that.

Junch: Then we get spin off Walking Brothers.

Perr: As much as Daryl’s lieutenant like position has steadily grown on him, I am sure that he’ll place his bro over everyone else.

Junch: Yeah I’m sure Rick is none too happy about that.

Perr: The Dixon brothers seem to have that kind of family-first mentality. Even Merle has been talking about finding Daryl since he came back onscreen.

Junch: Yeah, brother love of epicdom.

Awwface.

Awwface.

Perr: Yes, but then again, Rick should probably realise that they left him for dead. The vendetta should make sense, just that he played a part in almost killing Glenn for it. From the get-go I loved how Daryl said, “He’s my brother,” like he was about to break into a sob.

Junch: Yeah, I know, shit. That was the line I was waiting for – when would Daryl realize his bro is still alive?

Perr: It was really good.

Junch: This is an awesome .gif that sums up their love: http://ilovemybadassattitude.tumblr.com/post/37097003434/the-dixon-brothers

Perr: When Daryl and Merle locked eyes, it felt like a season 2 Winchester bond!

Junch: Hahahahah yes, but I don’t ship Supernaturaldom!

Perr: Me neither, I hate slashcest or whatever. I just think that family bonds are the most moving somehow, and the Dixon brothers are up there.

Junch:  Yes indeed. ‘Cause [Supernatural] also is somewhat of a bane on the better magic occult stuff out there.

The Governor

The Governor

Perr: The Governor.

Junch: Yes the Guv’nor. Do you think he got what he had coming? Do you think he is deserved of his pain? Clearly he got up from it, but his cry and pain was quite ugly.

Perr: I think the loss of his daughter is quite heartbreaking, but it doesn’t stop him from being a monster. Well, not exactly a monster, but a pretty terrible person, and his eye loss… Frankly I think that it’s a small price to pay for they way he terrorized Maggie.

Junch: It’s a small price to pay for the killing of everyone, on the show and off it, for how he clearly got to being the Guv’nor through bloodshed and deception.

Perr: I have mixed feelings about him actually. I mean, Penny triggered it all but it seemed like when he partook in the suffering/murder of people, he was also enjoying it to an extent. The mindgames, the intimidation, those Creepus Maximus looks that I keep catching him doing. Doesn’t stem from grief but seems to be motivated by a certain twisted desire to hold onto his power and cause harm to other people to keep them under control.

Don't be fooled.

Don’t be fooled.

Junch: Yes, so I don’t feel bad that he got what was coming, only wished the glass shard went further into his skull, which doesn’t seem as pliable as a zombie’s unfortunately.

Perr: It’s amazing how he survived that. I thought a plunge would’ve killed him, and you know that the shard broke off and remained in his eye right? OUCH. I was grimacing the whole way.

ERRRK!

ERRRK!

Junch: Actually I can believe that he didn’t die from that, but it’s still gruesome as hell.

Miscellaneous and Next Half-Season

Perr: What was with the Shane vision? I thought it was pretty random for that to happen. I thought we were over all the guilt stuff with Rick.

Junch: Yes exactly, I thought so too. It stalled him annoyingly enough, allowing the enemy to get a shot off at what’s-his-face dead black guy who will be forgotten. But in any case, it didn’t make any sense at all.

"Konnichiwa, bitch."

“Konnichiwa, bitch.”

Perr: That was an ugh bit. What are you looking forward to most for next season? I, for one, am looking forward to Rick vs Gov. I know everyone is excited about Daryl + Merle too. Rightfully so. I’m excited to see how the prison people will be flushed out and somehow, I really want to see Milton be chewed by a walker. And I hope to see Andrea struggling to be part of the original group again when she is forcibly wedged back into place. Carol can kick her ass!

Junch: I think Andrea can get a pass with the ol’ group because she didn’t really have anything to do with the kidnapping of the love birds, but also characters that seem to be a dead end are going to get the boot soon enough. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Andrea dies. LOL. Already with these many characters intro-ed, it’s quite a crowded show. Yes I want to see Milton get eaten, and Daryl + Merle is the most important. I think I really couldn’t care less about Rick, he’s so uppity all the time.

Perr: That is his flaw. I really don’t mind his flaws, they are brought about by very tragic events. The flaws make him believeable. It’s hard to hold your own in the apocalypse especially when there is no one there to really act as the voice of reason. I think only Hershel does that for Rick, but even then he doesn’t even go into it that much because he still does see Rick as the leader. Did you see the previews for the next half of the season?

Junch: Yes I did indeed, it was a very good preview, clearly the shooting and the violence doesn’t let up, haha. But what the hell’s with the Guv’nor with a fully automatic rifle going apeshit stepping out of a car?

"-my little friend."

“-my little friend.”

Perr: I have no clue, but I am happy to see that Carl was like, “WHY DON’T YOU STOP BEING A LEADER, RICK DADDY MAC!” And Rick was just like, turning his head and going, huh?! /:O

Junch: That was intense! And I hope he had cause to say that, because of what will most likely transpire in the 2nd half of the season, so I will wait to see!

Talky talk

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