Monday, December 3, 2012

The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 8: "Made to Suffer"

For all the anticipation and careful setup over the last several episodes of The Walking Dead, the show's mid-season finale was somewhat anticlimactic. Many burning questions were introduced leading up to the episode. What will Andrea (Laurie Holden) think when she finds out about the zombie daughter the Governor (David Morrissey) keeps hidden inside a cage and all those heads floating inside wall-length fish tanks? What will Merle (Michael Rooker) and Daryl's (Norman Reedus) reunion bring? How is Rick (Andrew Lincoln) going to get Glen (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) out of Woodbury? All of these are answered, if not in a particularly satisfying way. We do, though, get bombarded with more questions. "Made to Suffer" delivers on tension, action, and confrontation, but it's all pivot and no release.
The episode's primary focus initially seems to be Rick's mission to penetrate Woodbury and rescue Maggie and Glen. He remains suspicious of Michonne, who disappears after helping Rick's group sneak into the town. Meanwhile, the Governor scampers around trying to manage the residents' fears that their haven's been infiltrated. He also wants to keep Andrea away from the action so she can't learn that the intruders are members of her former group. He's away from much of the episode's action until his confrontation with Michonne in his quarters, where his cool surface disappears when Michonne kills his zombie daughter and the two engage in an intense fistfight that ends with him likely losing an eye. Afterward, he weeps and hunches over his lifeless daughter with a shard of glass protruding from his eye—the defining image of the episode and likely the defining moment for the character going forward.

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