Monday, March 4, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 12: Clear

Michonne is driving and Rick and Carl are in the car, when they come across a man in the street, who begs them to stop.  They drive right past him and keep going, only Carl looks back.  As they drive by a car wreck, the car gets stuck in the mud and then surrounded by walkers. Rick instructs everyone to cover their ears and then rolls down his window and starts shooting.  When they get out of the car, Rick shows Carl how to create traction when stuck in the mud and Carl is not impressed and points out that Michonne never should have gotten stuck in the first place.  Carl is also not happy that Rick invited Michonne along.  It seems Michonne was asked because Rick didn't trust her at the prison without him there and says that for right now, they have the same problems. The man they passed earlier, comes running toward them screaming and begging for them to wait for him, but Rick and Carl get in the car and he instructs Michonne to keep driving.

They arrive in King Country, the area that Rick and Carl are from and get out of the car and start walking around.  The police station has been raided, so there are no weapons available.  Michonne says that they need guns and ammo. Rick says he knows where a few people in town kept weapons. When Michonne sighs, Rick asks her if she has a problem and Michonne replies, "no Rick, I don't have a problem." Outside they pause at a pile of dead bodies.  On the ground there are green arrows.  there are signs which say things like "turn around and live."  As they walk through  town, a walker is following them and before they can act, it is shot from the roof.  The man on the roof tells them to drop their weapons and head back to the car. Rick shoots and they are quickly in a stand off. It's Carl who ends up taking the guy out. Rick is shocked to see what Carl has done and reminds him that he had told him to run to the car because he didn't want hm to have to do that.  The man was wearing body armor and so, though he has been shot, he is still alive.  When they take off the mask, it turns out that it's Morgan Jones from season one.

Rick instructs Michonne to keep an eye out for boobytraps. Michonne points out that their mission was to get in and get out and Rick says that Morgan saved his life.  Rick then recalls Morgan's son Duane.  They decide to head inside, and there they find a ton of weapons. Michonne grabs a bag and begins to load up the guns. Rick joins them and sees the walkie talkie he left Morgan with. When he looks up, he sees the words, "Duane turned," written on a wall. Rick says that they are going to stay until Morgan wakes up, but Michonne wants to leave and points out again that Morgan tried to kill them. Again Rick asserts that they are going to wait and that there is not going to be any discussion about it. Michonne points to the writing on the walls. When Ricks asks if she thinks Morgan is crazy, Michonne says "no, I think he's dangerous."

Carl looks at a map of the area and sees that Morgan has written that their neighbourhood has been destroyed. Since Michonne has been told that they have to wait, she sits down and starts to eat. Carl says that he wants to make a run for a crib for Judith and Michonne points out that he is going to need help. Rick agrees and so the two leave.  Outside, Carl tells Michonne that she didn't have to come with him. When Michonne walks over to take out a walker Carl keeps moving, forcing Michonne to chase after him.  When she catches Carl, he says that he wants to do this on his own and Michonne follows at a distance.

Alone, Rick tells Morgan that he is sorry this happened to him.  What he does not know is that Morgan is awake and is reaching for a knife. When Morgan charges him, Rick asks him if he knows who he is but Morgan says he doesn't know anyone anymore. They fight over a knife and Rick gets stabbed in the shoulder.  Rick gets away and pulls a gun on Morgan. Morgan then grabs the end of the gun and begs Rick to kill him.

Rick has bandaged up his arm and is telling Morgan how he saved him last year. When Rick brings up the walkie talkie, Morgan says that he knows who he is. Morgan adds that he turned it on and that Rick was never there.  Rick tell him that he found Lori and Carl and that he kept getting pushed back into the country.  Morgan tells him that he can have his radio back and then he remembers that Rick gave him the gun to kill Jenny.  Morgan says that he was checking out a cellar and that Jenny was standing in front of Duane, who couldn't kill his mother and so Jenny attacked and killed him. This is when Morgan shot but it was too late to save Duane. Morgan asks about Carl and says that he is going to die and that the good people and the bad people die, but weak people, the people like him, have inherited the earth.

Carl and Michonne have made their way over to the King County cafe and when he tries to open the door she stops him. Carl gets upset and tells Michonne that she doesn't know him, or his father, and that she is only there for common interest. Carl walks away saying that Michonne cannot stop him.  Michonne calls out, "I can't stop you, but you can't stop me from helping you." Michonne and Carl throw a few of the caged rodents into the cafe and when the walkers are distracted, they sneak in.  Carl gets on the bar and grabs a photo of  him with Rick and Lori. When a walker grabs his leg, Michonne takes the walker out.  They are forced to run for their lives, as the walkers chase them. On their way out the door, Carl drops the photo.  Carl says that he has to go back because it's the only one left.  Michonne answers, "I don't know you, but you wait here. That is how we get this done."  Michonne returns quickly with the photo and Carl thanks her and says that he thought Judith should know what her mom looked like.

Rick tells Morgan that he is not going to kill him and that he should come back with them.  He then tells him about the prison they found and Morgan asks if this is where his wife died.  Rick tells Morgan that he can help him and that he can heal.  Morgan wants to know why Rick wants the guns and says that if he has something good, then someone wants to take it.  Rick tells Morgan, "you know that there's a chance. that's what you can square."  Rick adds that they both started out in the same place and things went bad for the both of them and that Morgan is not seeing things right. He tells Morgan that he is able to come back from this. Morgan says no and that he has to clear.  Rick grabs the bag of guns and walks away.

Outside, Morgan has started to clear away the walkers, when Michonne and Carl return with a playpen for Judith. As they walk away, Michonne asks if Morgan is okay and Rick says that he is not.  Carl tells Morgan that he is sorry that he had to shoot him and Morgan replies, "hey son, don't ever be sorry" before returning to tying up zombies. Rick asks Carl if everything with Michonne went okay and he replies, "I think she might be one of us." Rick is standing by the trunk and Michonne asks him if he saw something and then admits that she used to talk to her dead boyfriend. They start the drive back to the prison and this time when the pass the man, they discover that he has been eaten alive. This time, they stop and pick up his backpack.

This was an extremely emotionally intense episode. I was starting to wonder if the show would ever show us what happened to Morgan the way that the comics did. In many ways, Morgan served as a teaching lesson for Rick as to why he cannot isolate himself and must keep it together.  Moran essentially was the canary in the mine . 

With Duane dead it seems that Morgan feels his task is to clear away all of the walkers he can as a form of penance for not shooting his wife when he had the chance.  Morgan clearly feels that there is nothing left worth living or fighting for. In a way, in is sadness and depression he is once again not as good a the White male lead Rick but still must exist to serve. 

This is the episode where Michonne finally stopped looking angry eyed and finally had a few words to say.  I know that Carl was simply following his father's lead on his treatment of Michonne but a part of me just wanted to smack him.  Carl has been forced to grow up fast but he is still not adult and clearly capable of making reckless decisions like entering the cafe without thinking through the danger.  The fact that he didn't listen to Rick and return to the car really makes me as a viewer question what kind of man Carl is growing up to be.  Having a child see killing as just another job to do, really does point to the disintegration of society and the rule of law. Essentially, Carl is a but a few years away from becoming his father.

Michonne has to reveal that she sees dead people as well to gain Ricks trust.  The degree of vetting that she had to go through to be thought of as part of the group is ridiculous considering that Merle who attacked Glen and Maggie is sitting comfortably at the prison.

Finally, the hitchhiker represents just how far they have come.  I think that even in season two, they would have at least stopped to see what he wanted, if not picked him up.  At this point, though they need the manpower, Rick et al, have learned that not every survivor is good.  Essentially they keep driving because this man's humanity has been deemed irrelevant.  In the end, his backpack is worth more to them than he is.  This is a clear sign of what the zombie apocalypse has done to them.