We have made it to the halfway point of this incredible third season of The Walking Dead! There have been some surprising deaths as well as tense moments already so far. What else could we have suspected from this show to keep us in suspense two months from now? Let’s dig into it, deadheads!
WARNING: There will be spoilers here for Episode 8 “Made to Suffer”.
We start the episode out immediately with a surprising sight; new characters! Fans of the comics will recognize the name of the leader Tyreese. Before this episode aired, I started thinking that we would never see Tyreese and that the prison inmate Oscar would fill that role. You can understand then when I started to fear what might happen to Oscar after this reveal at the beginning scene.
An interesting character that caught my eye in this new group was the young black girl Sasha. Immediately, I thought this was supposed to be Tyreese’s daughter (same character but named Julie in the comics) being young as well as being with what seems like her boyfriend. After some careful digging, I found out she is actually his younger sister. Will we see the same sort of conflict between the siblings? Is she destined for the same fate as the daughter?
We are treated to a very creepy and unsettling scene between The Governor and his undead daughter Penny. What really makes this such a skin-crawling moment is the music playing as well as the performance. Despite how wary we are lead to be of The Governor’s deceptively charming ways, he shows a great deal of love and care for his little girl despite now being a walker.
Glenn and Maggie are together awaiting their fate. This scene has Glenn thinking ahead by first breaking a walker’s arm then ripping out the bones for the two of them to use as weapons. The way this is done is both ingenious and gruesome at the same time. The sound effects genuinely made me cringe.
The show then lightens the mood a little bit the only way it knows how; having Axel hit on the 17 year old Beth. His response to hearing her age as being “interesting” may have sent a chill up my spine even more than the previous bone-shattering scene with Glenn! That interaction between Axel and Carol that follows right afterwards was too good. I probably would have thought the same thing about the hair if I was him honestly. You just wouldn’t catch me saying it out loud!
The attack on Woodbury begins! These scenes are all shot very well and packed to the brim with action. It was almost like something out of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Commando! Rick’s gang is well prepared constantly moving, using cover, and throwing smoke grenades. As feared earlier, Oscar does go down (honorably at least) when making cover fire for Glenn and Maggie to escape.
In a surreal moment, Rick hallucinates seeing a grizzled Shane out of one of the Woodbury soldiers shooting at him. I have to admit, this caught me by surprise once realizing who it was. It’s a nice cameo and makes for an excellent way to integrate dead characters back into the show. Everyone has gone at least a little crazy in the zombie apocalypse!
During the fight, Andrea is trying to help out defending Woodbury despite The Governor’s orders. The smoke grenades used makes for a plausible reason why she doesn’t end up seeing it’s actually Rick leading the assault and holds out this moment of truth until the very end.
Back at the prison, Carl overhears screaming inside. His investigation finds Tyreese and his group after after they came in through a blown out side. I guess Rick missed this end when on his rampage? It seemed a bit odd that this part of the prison was missed when it’s close enough for Carl to hear screams from their cells.
Carl takes up a leadership role here quite convincingly first by helping out the group and then locking them in an area that’s safe for them as well as his own group. You can really tell his father’s ways are rubbing off on him even down to that stone cold stare.
Next we’re treated to the matchup in the making; Michonne and The Governor. Her reaction upon discovering the zombie Penny was priceless and made for a pretty tense standoff with “daddy dearest”.
After plunging that sword through the back of her skull with no remorse, The Governor just goes ballistic! My hat goes off to the actor David Morrissey. His performance throughout this episode has been nothing short of spectacular. You feel a little bad for him honestly especially after having his eye jammed with a shard of glass! The Governor eyepatch makes its debut and with it a surely more sadistic turn for the character.
Seeing The Governor trying to scramble up excuses for the revelation of his zombie daughter and the “head tanks” to Andrea was fun to see. She finally asked the right questions this time!
The final scene does its job well making us wait with unbearable anticipation. Daryl, having been captured during the attack, is brought out in front of the town at the zombie arena. At the same time, The Governor uses this moment to throw Merle under the bus and blame him for the raid. He makes for a perfect scapegoat as the crowd chants for his blood. It’s almost parallel to Jesus Christ being sentenced to death by the crowd in Jerusalem.
Now the brothers finally meet face to face for the first time in the show (not counting the ‘Chupacabra’ episode hallucination). This reunion is unfortunately bittersweet as The Governor seems to have deadly plans for our favorite rednecks.
Is The Governor pitting the brothers against one another or a teamup against the caged walkers the town has stashed away? This was unclear by the episode’s closing but if one thing is for sure, it’s that Merle is no longer BFFs with his boss.
This begs a few questions. Is Merle willing to be a part of Rick’s group (or vice versa) if he survives? How will Andrea react knowing that Daryl (and by default, the rest of Rick’s group) were the ones attacking Woodbury? Just how much meaner and nastier is The Governor going to get from here on out?
The second half of the season will almost certainly lead up to Woodbury returning the favor by attacking the prison. With The Governor’s hold over his people, he has a devoted army willing to bend to every request. We also have Tyreese to consider and his involvement on the show. Perhaps we’ll see a romance develop between him and Michonne just like in the comics? She does need to open up more and that would be a perfect way in doing so.
Let us know your thoughts of the midseason finale as well as what you anticipate will happen when Season 3 of The Walking Dead continues in February!