If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
THE WALKING DEAD has really learned how to
master the pre-credit sequence. No exception, “Hounded” sets the tone from the
word “go”. Merle and some good ol’ boys from Woodbury are on a hunt for
Michonne and as they discover, Michonne is hunting back. She gives them the
straight up Viet Cong guerrilla treatment, first with a message written in
downed walkers and then a brutal ambush where she takes down half the hunting
party with her katana. Merle does manage to wound her, but it’s beyond clear
she isn’t helpless prey.
It’s a masterful hook and after the opening
credits we get right back down in it with poor Rick and his deteriorating
mental state. He’s back on the phone again, and this time we get some more
insight on who is on the other end. A female voice is telling him about a safe
place and Rick begs her to tell him how to get there or to appeal to people in
charge to let his band of survivors join them. In the depths of his madness, he
is still thinking about the group and their safety.
Later, as Rick tells Hershel about the
phone call, you can clearly see the incredulity on his face as he lifts the
dead receiver to his ear. The show keeps us guessing about whether this is all
in Rick’s head right up to the point where he receives a second call, this one
a man asking about the people Rick has killed and why and how he lost his wife.
Nobody outside the prison could know about Lori and the baby and so it’s
confirmed the caller on the other end of the line is Rick’s own delusion.
Merle and his remaining huntsman catch up
to Michonne again and what was shaping up to be a classic confrontation is
broken up by walkers. In the ensuing melee, Michonne escapes again, covered in
zombie guts after a nasty disembowelment.
In another interesting turn, Daryl is
rising up as Rick descends into hell. He helps with the baby, he bonds with
Carl over the tragic story of how his mother died in a fire (“she liked her
wine and smoked in bed, Virginia Slims”). It’s funny how that detail makes the
scene all too real, the brand of cigarettes that contributed to her demise is
burned into his mind. It’s great to see
that the characters in this show always seem to be in motion now in terms of
their development. They are rising and falling in the ruthless arcs of this new
Back in the bush, Merle wants to give up on
the hunt for Michonne but his emboldened partner wants to carry on and refuses
to lie to the governor. For his loyalty, Merle gives him a bullet in the face,
proving that at least while he’s out of The Governors sight, he’s his own dog.
For her part, Michonne discovers that with
a good slathering of walker guts on you, the undead will leave you alone. It’s
like the mud in PREDATOR, or something. She stumbles into a town and finds
Glenn and Maggie and unfortunately leads Merle to them, as well. After a
standoff where Michonne stays in hiding, Merle manages to kidnap Glenn and
Maggie and takes them back to Woodbury. This sets up a Bad Cop (Merle) and Good
Cop (The Governor) torture routine next episode. We’d bet money on it.
In the good borough of Woodbury, Andrea
ends up finally falling for the charms of The Governor and they end up in bed.
In an interesting revelation about his former life though, he mentions he was nothing
special; didn’t have a car and house he was proud of. This fits with the theory
of him as someone who sees this apocalypse as a chance to hit the reset button
on his life and become a very different sort of man. Many people with failed
ambitions went on to become brutal authoritarians and the more we learn, The
Governor is fitting this like a glove.
At the prison, Daryl finds Carol’s knife in
the throat of a zombie he takes down. It leads to him searching for his lost
friend. They were close, and seeing him later in the episode sitting outside a
cell with her knife, terrified to open the door and see what remains of her—walker
or no—is so human. It’s awesome to see these dimensions of Daryl. When he works
up the courage to open the door, I think we all breathe a sigh of relief that
Rick gets a final phone call. This time, it’s
from Lori and she asks him to be strong for Carl and the baby. It’s heart
wrenching, and it seems to bring Rick back together somewhat. When next we see
him, he has a sense of purpose back. He sees his baby and embraces her for the
first time. He smiles. He walks with her and Carl and they share a laugh. “She
looks just like you…”. Then Rick spies something at the fence line and finds Michonne
waiting at the gate, blending in with the walkers and bearing
the basket of baby formula and supplies Glenn and Maggie were supposed to bring
Worlds are colliding and all we know this
is building to something truly epic. There is a clash of ideologies, a clash of
civilizations that is about to unfold and the outcome will be at least as
important as the clash with the walkers.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment