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Walking Dead, Season 3

Posted April 22, 2013 into Telly by John Birmingham

The one upside of today's migraine was being 'free' to catch up on the last eps in this season of TWD, which had been sitting on my iQ box, taunting me since February/March. I had a little mini-marathon until my head stopped pounding. Long enough to make it through to the finale.

A few spoilers below.

Can't emphasize enough how impressed I am with the story telling chops of this series. There were sections that were nigh on unwatchable because of the tension. I avoided spoilers as best I could, and went into the last installment not knowing who would live or die. Excrutiating stuff.

There were even a few larfs to be had. A dark comedy highlight? Rick explaining to the liberated cons how to carefully fight zombies, and their completely disregarding everything he said at the first sign of a shambler.

All the character work was brilliant, as always, and with some of the more annoying regulars gone the way of all flesh (ie, eaten) I'm looking forward to the return.

I enjoyed the overaching theme of whether there is a morality of survival in the most extreme of circumstances. And I especially enjoyed the way this question played itself out over hours, weeks and months, rather than in the seven minute segment before the next ad break. The nadir for the group, i think, wasn't the 'deal' struck with the governor, but an ep or two earlier, leaving that poor hitch hiker to his fate without a backward glance.

I really thought they'd move on from that prison in the end, but I guess it's about to become something of a castle of the deep south.

Anyway, that's as much 'puter screen as I can handle. Might add a few thoughts tomorrow.

22 Responses to ‘Walking Dead, Season 3’

Stevo 73 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 22, 2013

I really enjoyed season 3, more than season 2 even though there was a parallel between the safety of the farm and the safety of the prison.

The big difference for me was a character with no redeeming qualities, the Guv. He was a nutter, I loves me a nutter and the fact that **SPOILER** he walks away means next season he still needs to be dealt with.

I was also impressed african-american-radio-dude who made a comeback and is now a total crazy, with guns, lots of guns.

Oh and of course I appreciated the sudden violent deaths of characters mid sentence, reminds me a little of an author who hangs around here. It reinforced the whole "do not get attached to ANY character" rule.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted April 22, 2013

I dunno. Even the guvnor loved his zombie daughter. He wasn't a bigot or anything.

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Spanner mutters...

Posted April 22, 2013

I liked crazy Rick. He was too nuts to even manage his own Ricktatorship.

I'm conflicted about Merle. Just when you think he can't be anymore of a douche he does just enough not to get fed to the next bunch of brain feeding skin munchers.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

I had to lecture on the breakdown of Roman civilization and the coming Feudalism more than once this semester. It is surprising how easy it is to use The Walking Dead as a touchstone for so many of those historical themes. Surprising in that my students "get it" when I explain it using TWD as the example. Otherwise they struggle with the concepts.

My hope for Season Four is that they'll have moved forward two or three years, which will make Daryl's rapid growth a bit more plausible. In that time I'd like to see the prison turn into a feudal/manorial style warrior commune.

The danger, I think, is the same one BSG RDM ran into, which is the urge to Empire Build. Once you've got some stability, the easy way to wreck it is to have another war. They've done that. I think a better tack would be to have the Prison attempt to expand outward to take territory back from the Walkers. As they do so, they find it is nearly impossible due to the overwhelming numbers.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

You concerns are well founded.

One of the advantages is with the comic material to draw on some of the risk of empire building with the story is limited it they have to stick to the flow of Kirkman's story. I suspect the series will not advance to far in time whe they return next season as they will want to play through Carl's decent in to badassness parallelling his developmental growth as a teen. You can already see how much he has physically developed from the first season.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

Yeah, I think for once the usually inconvenient aging of a child actor really, really works for the benefit of the show in this case. Carl is turning into a true child of the post apocalyplse. It's getting easier to imagine him as a child soldier of the zombie wars simply because he's getting some real age on him.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

Murph, the sub textual stuff about how primitive tribes organise themselves, as compared to have civilised socieities do the same thing, was one of the highlights of S3 for me. There was a whole undergraduate degree in political science to had in comparing Woodberry to the prison. It should be possible to advance the story arc along these lines next season without having to get caught in the tar pits of a civl war with the Guvnor, who'll be back.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

One of the highlights for me as a long time reader of the comix series is where it diverges from the source text. In particular in the fan favourite Daryl. You know he is a fan favourite when you see a fourteen year old at the local archery club wearing a "If Daryl dies we riot".

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

Yeah, I haven't read all the comics yet, but will probaby buy them - yes, buy them - in one big splurge for my birthday. I found myself wanting more of the world after hitting stop on the magic iTunes box yesterday. (I only had the first half of the series recorded on Foxtel. Missed the second half due to mid season hiatus breaking my series link. So I paid $3.49 an ep for the second half. And it felt good).

Anyways, I went to the wikipedia entries for a few characters after trying to find if there was any info out on Season 4 storylines. It was fascinating to see just how far, or not, the TV show has diverged from the comic books. And sometimes for the better. Even Kirkman prefers TV Shane to comic book Shane.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

Me too, thatsdown to how good the actor that played Shane.

Also Carol who I also mark as one of the stand out character developements in the TV series. In the comics I think Carol was an amalgum of a couple of characters none of which stood out enough in my memory.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

I am told that if one wants to buy the comics, any comics for that matter, that perhaps those with iPads should get them in that medium.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

One of the themes I enjoyed this series was Rick's mental state, where he has to,like Odessyussail between Scylla and Charybdus, or in this case the twin extremes of psychosis portrayed on the one hand by the Governor’s controlling madness.

“What would your daughter think of you now” – Milton

"She’d be afraid of me, but if I’d been like this from the start, she’d be alive”

He knows he is a monster at this point, but he thinks a monster is what’s needed.

and the utter hopeless madness of Morgan in 'Clear'’ where he is simply lost.

“I’m sorry I shot you.”

“don’t ever be sorry”

And the whole wearing a dead man's face stuff ‘Shudder

The choice that Rick must face in his madness is:

  1. Ruling his Ricktatorship and end up like the Governor,
  2. Keep talking to ghosts on the phone and end up like Morgan,

And it was the episode 'Clear' that had the scene you referenced above Birmo about the leaving the poor hitchhiker to his fate. 'Clear' was written by Scott Gimple who takes over as showrunner in season four.

Can't wait .

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

See wouldn't this make a fantastic book club discussion.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2013

It would, but it's filed under Telly.

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Murphy mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

No reason we can't have a season finale thread at the end of Season 4.

Respects,

Murph

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

2nded, though that would mean Birmo would need to watch it in a timely fashion rather than wait until a migraine laid him out and forced him to watch.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

I'll bet if we sent him a bottle of something expensive for his pains and told him to drink it while watching we could probably get some discussion going sooner.

Maybe some drunk tweets to boot. :D

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Stevo 73 has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

Ok I can see that the Guv in his screwed upness can kind of justify I am the kind of monster that is needed and I keep my zombie daughter in a cupboard because I love her, but then executing all the fighters from his township when they do not want to counter attack the prison, and riding off into the sunset that just screams total nutter.

Redeeming features zero - result perfect enemy for season 4

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

Warning Birmo, while the TV series had some brutal moments, Carl having to shoot his own mother after giving painful birth to his sister being the one that springs to mind, the comics have their own unique brutality different and in some cases worse than the TV series.

Interested to see your take on the comics reading them after seeing the TV series.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted April 26, 2013

And where the hell was I when we had this conversation?

The phone conversations freaked the p!ss out of me, testament to AWSM + television. I didn't really get that the wheels were falling off until Hershell came down.

The Govenor, actually strikes me as one of the thinner characters, perhaps its the actor.

The hitch-hiker and the laino family - pure gold.

Merle, man he's got 12 kinds of crazy going on.

Good enough to pay for. Snerk.

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TC asserts...

Posted April 29, 2013

I avoided this thread until I'd finished the season, which I finally did on Friday (surprisingly only had one ep to go when I thought I had more).

I like what everyone's said - most of which I was thinking, some of which I hadn't really considered (I have zero knowledge of the comic so some of those side discussions were interesting).

One of the lines that still haunts me was when Glenn to Rick said something along the lines of "I'd rather see 100 of them dead than 1 of us", referring to anyone else apart from the main group. This stood out for me because it's so different to the usual hero mantra and different to what I expected to Rick to say (who didn't answer... but at the time he seemed to agree). When Rick brought all the people back to the prison at the very end, I felt as though his actions made it very obvious as to what his thoughts on the subject were by that stage. I'll be interested to see what Glenn thinks of the changes as we move into a new season. It's about time he did something interesting...

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted April 29, 2013
I think he did agree with Glenn when they were talking. Witness his emotionally 'dead' reaction to the plight of the hitchhiker. That was the nadir for him, I think.

But he saw his own future in the Governor's madness, in decided to pull back.

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