Halfway done with the season already? We can’t be! But yes, after only three episodes, “The Walking Dead” is already nearing its season finale. Episode 3 recap time! We last left Rick escaping Atlanta with all but Merle. The gang makes it back to the camp and there is a joyous reunion between families and their loved ones that stayed behind in the city. Lori and Shane get the added surprise of seeing Rick appear though, accompanied by the “oh shit” faces on both of them. But, everyone is back together again and life can start getting somewhat normal. Then Daryl (Norman Reedus) comes back from his hunt. Daryl is Merle’s brother. Daryl isn’t very happy that his brother was left for dead in Atlanta. Shane and Rick have to subdue the ferocious redneck to calm him down, and accusations start being made. Daryl ends up shrugging everyone off and says he’s heading into the city for his brother. Rick then claims he’s going with him, to retrieve the bag of weaponry he dropped plus grabbing his radio to warn Morgan and his son (who saved him in Ep1) before they set out for Atlanta. Emotions run high with the news as Rick is risking his life even though he already found what he was looking for. But Rick insists that it’s for the greater good, and he gets two more volunteers in Glenn (by force) and T-Dog. After they leave, tensions increase back at camp. Shane feels dumped because Lori no longer wants anything to do with him, but we find out Shane was the one who told Lori Rick was dead. Tricky tricky. We see the repercussions of these feelings when Shane beats stereotypical womanizing hick Ed to a pulp after Ed hits his own wife. Flash back to Atlanta, and the gang decides to go for Merle first. The door is still chained so hopes of finding him alive are much greater. Until they get to the handcuffs that is and only find his severed hand on the ground, which he hack-sawed off to escape. End scene.
So this will probably be the point where fanboys start pointing out the fact that a lot of the main plot points in the show are nowhere to be found in the comic. We can only assume this whole Merle thing is going to carry till the finale, but in the comic there is neither Dixon. Or many of the characters so far for that matter. I’m sure you’ll find a rant or two about how the show is straying form the source material, but personally I don’t have a single problem with how the season is playing out. Why? Because the characters are still evolving exactly like they do in the comic story. Lori despises Rick in the comic at points because of how he selflessly takes on the role of fearless leader and puts his life in danger for the group, risking leaving a grieving wife and fatherless son behind. The show clearly conveyed this emotion when Lori was the one who said first that Rick was going back to Atlanta. She knew her husband and knew he would take the responsibility for himself. And Shane? Enter the loose cannon. We saw his first outburst of rage which is a result of losing Lori as a lover. Shane was a mere few punches away from killing a man; something you don’t want your “leader” to be doing. Again, an important topic in the comic that the show importantly addressed. And the Lori/Rick/Shane awkward love triangle? Am I not the only one that cringes when Lori and Rick are having those emotional moments, knowing what Rick doesn’t? So I can live with the side story of hunting around the city for a handless man because it’s much more important for the show to focus on the drama and emotions of the survivors along with the atmosphere that is created in the comic. But what about the Atlanta crew? Something tells me only Rick and Glenn are coming back. I’m impressed by this point that no one has been knocked off via zombie attack, which really shows the dedication to story and not to mindless violence. But it’s only going to go so far before a survivor slips up, and having two non comic book characters going back to a zombie filled city just spells trouble. And lets face it, based on typical horror rules, T-Dog will be the first to go.
So off to next week where Rick, Daryl, T-Dog, and Glenn inevitably encounter some zombies, along with some Latino gangbangers according to the preview for next week’s episode. Zombies and gangs? Sweet lord this better not turn into The Horde. But, being halfway done, I have not been disappointed yet. The show is focusing on extremely main points from the comic, even if it strays at times. It’s a true TV adaptation though. Not everything from the comic can make it in, and some things have to be tweaked to appeal to a more vast audience. It would simply take too much time, and not everyone is a fan of the comic directly. So bravo to “The Walking Dead” for keeping the necessary parts while chopping off the excess successfully. Can’t wait to see how Shane will snap next week, and see how far the show is willing to let Rick be blissfully unaware of the relationship between his wife and ex-partner. Till then…