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Walking Dead – Season 3 Episode 12 “Clear” Review

WARNING: Full Episode Spoilers Below

‘Clear’ is one of Walking Dead’s finest hours, providing a very focused story and making some good character progression. Though the main plot progression might have taken a backseat, it couldn’t have been down any better.  I stated last week that this episode will be very telling in how Michonne will be handled in the TV series, I am happy to say I was left excited for the characters future. Not only were we given a more relatable version of the comic favourite, but we were also greeted to a visit by episode 1 hero Morgan. Who sadly, was accompanied by some unfortunate news.

The episode begins strongly with Rick, Carl and Michonne passing a hitchhiker on the road without hesitation. They are finally understanding nobody in this new world can be trusted, allowing them to open up to strangers leaves them open to be double crossed. Acknowledging this, by ignoring the hitchhiker twice was definitely aiming to emphasise that fact.

The crew travels back to Rick’s hometown to search the Police station for weaponry, having already been cleaned out they start searching other locales. At this point we encounter Morgan from episode 1, who has changed a lot since his last appearance. Becoming the Home Alone of zombie traps, he tries his best to take down Rick and friends. It was nice to see Carl step up at this point and shoot Morgan without hesitation, the fact this was a real human and he barely seemed phased continues to showcase the characters progression. We are revealed Morgan was wearing body armour and introduced to his new ‘home away from home’.

At this point the episode follows two storylines, one involving Rick and Morgan and another with Michonne and Carl. We see Rick notice the walkie talkie he gave Morgan in episode 1, it was nice to see Rick become emotional, guilty and responsible for Morgan’s situation. Rick completely forgot about the walkie it was nice to see the acknowledgment that this occurred, it was also great to see Morgan react to this fact. Lennie James who plays Morgan did an excellent job, his emotional scenes depicting the situation that brought about his child’s death were some of the most heart-retching the series have offered.

These interactions really made for a strong episode, Morgan has lost so much and really hasn’t had human contact for months on end. His first reaction to Rick was done extremely well, solidifying the strength in James’ acting.

Over on the other side of the episode Michonne and Carl, who had already stating his distrust for Michonne, were off exploring the area. Carl after lying that he was searching for a crib for Judith, reveals to Michonne he was looking for a photo of his family located in one of the bars down town.  This sequence allowed for some interesting stealth elements, as the two infiltrated the bar in search of the photo. It was nice to see Michonne keep Carl in line, but also allow herself to open up to him and help him with his endeavor. Once the photo was in their possession we were greeted to a touching moment between the two characters, with Carl finally trusting Michonne and Michonne expressing her personality she tries so hard to hide.

This is what really sold me throughout the episode, a character like Michonne who has struggled to find her footing in the series was able to truly flourish in smaller focused episode. She gave more personality in this episode than all her previous ones put together, it seems like the writing are finally ‘getting’ that you can balance her personality traits. Michonne can keep to herself, but allowing her to open up like she did ever so often, makes these moments even more special.

After Morgan refuses to go back to the prison, we see all three characters loading their car for the trip back. In this short scene we see Carl acknowledge Michonne is “One of us” which made every comic fan smile. It’s great to see Michonne now being considered part of the group, in the ever unpredictable series that Walking Dead has become this could lead to a bright future for the character. Her interaction with Rick before they leave was another short conversation done well, confessing that she used to talk to her dead boyfriend not only made Rick feel better but allows him to trust her. With Morgan being left behind, could we see him in the future? Only time will tell.

Remember the hitchhiker? Well his bloody remains are seen by the group as they drive back, they simply stop, pick up his backpack and move on. This is what the world has become and what makes the show so interesting to watch every single week.

Overall this is the definition of how to make a brilliantly entertaining filler episode. We didn’t get any main story progression apart from the gathering of weapons, but we were given a focused story with some great character interactions. Exactly what I could have hoped for going into this episode.

Next episode…

As always I try to predict what will happen from the small preview we get at the end of the episode. It definitely looks like Merle and Glenn will go head to head next week, their truce seems to have finally worn off as it seems they fight in the prison.

However the most important and interesting piece of footage shows Rick, The Governor and Andrea all in the same room together. Does Rick go visit Woodbury? If so what good can come from this? I am very much looking forward to seeing the interaction between both characters, as they finally face off man-to-man.

Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction and you can like them on Facebook, follow his daily life on Twitter @JamieAA and his videos on YouTube.


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