Season 3 has finally arrived on home video and Walking Dead fans are sure to be pleased. This season did an excellent job of phasing characters in and out with maximum emotional impact, and provided a gradual simmer-to-a-boil chess match between the heroes and a radicalized group of survivors. You struggle through the moral dilemmas with them, wondering what you would or should do in this new world where “right” and “wrong” has been turned upside down. The characters develop so differently in response to all the things they go through; you wonder what might emerge in yourself, qualities or demons that lie dormant because there is no need in an orderly world. Each season is so different because life would be constantly changing as you adapt over time. New viewers must start from the beginning to appreciate the evolution of the characters and their situation. .I won’t lie: I was hoping for the big, dramatic showdown between Rick and the Governor. Instead, The Walking Dead’s Season 3 finale ended on a mixed note, part tragic and part hopeful. As a season finale, I’m not sure this works. The last five or six episodes of the show have been all about rising tension. The drama, the stakes of the game, the whole arms race between Woodbury and the prison, all of it has built up to a breaking point, spilling over last week with Merle’s suicide run against the Governor and his men.
But, let’s go back, shall we? In season 2, many complained about the lack of action and violence. That all changes in Season 3. The monotonous killings may please gore hounds, but you’ll soon long for the big picture questions that separate “Dead” from most other zombie offerings. The season still holds plenty of potential even with the show dumping some red meat out for the base.
Another great moment of season 3 is the mid-season. Take the sixth episode of the season, titled “Hounded.” The episode begins with Merle and three of his Woodbury cronies chasing after Michonne in the woods. Planning to not let her get away, Michonne surprises the group by dropping out of the trees and slaying two of the men immediately. Michonne quickly escapes from Merle, but gets shot in the leg in the process. The hunt continues after the credits, but Michonne is the one doing the hunting. She wants to put an end to Merle and his last partner, a new recruit that the Governor wants Merle to teach the ropes to. But on Michonne’s second attack, she is unable to kill either men and barely escapes a zombie attack in the process. She cuts the stomach open on one of the geeks and has herself covered in walker guts as she scrambles to escape again. When Merle decides that the pair of men will head back to Woodbury and claim that they killed Michonne, the other man says he wants to hunt her down and end it for real. But Merle won’t have that. He pulls out his gun, and takes down his last Woodbury partner in cold blood.
Part of the problem with the zombie apocalypse, is that it has been told before. The great thing that this show does is tells the story of the people, just trying to survive. It isn’t about putting bullets into as many zombies as possible, or why it happened in the first place. First and foremost, it is a story about people put into a horrible situation. We watch as they either rise up to be great and just people, or sink down into the darkness and become the most vile human beings imaginable. But it isn’t always black and white, good and bad. Sometimes the best this group of survivors can hope for, is the moral grey. “The Walking Dead” isn’t afraid to sic walkers on some of the main characters to keep us guessing. It’s one of many reasons why “The Walking Dead” isn’t like any other show on television.
Andrew Lincoln is one of the greatest new actors I’ve seen in years and the rest of the cast that are still alive are almost as good. I hate to be another one of the complainers but I thought the season finale was terrible, the episode with Merle and Michone was fantastic. The season was just too inconsistent, and when you have to wait a week to see 45 minutes worth of your favorite T.V. series, it’s a let down. But fortunately, you don’t have to wait week-to-week anymore with this set! Having seen The Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2, season 3 was incredible! However, without watching the earlier seasons, this latest season would lose some of its entertainment value. Season 3 further built the characters, showing their toughness amidst the world changing around them. There was enough action to satisfy the intent of the show, yet, enough drama to add a delightful human touch to the show. Finale aside, this is the best show on television next to Breaking Bad. This set comes highly recommended.
- Audio Commentaries: Director Guy Ferland and Actor IronE Singleton for “Killer Within;” Director/Co-Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist Greg Nicotero and Actor Danai Gurira for “Say the Word;” Executive Producer/Writer Robert Kirkman, Executive Producers David Alpert and Gale Anne Hurd, and Actor Danai Gurira for “Made to Suffer;” Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and Actor Danai Gurira for “The Suicide King;” and Director/Co-Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist Greg Nicotero and Actor Michael Rooker for “This Sorrowful Life.”
- Rising Son (HD, 6:47): A look at casting Chandler Riggs and the character’s arc through the series and in season three in particular.
- Evil Eye (HD, 7:54): An examination of “The Governor,” including the character traits and dichotomy between the Woodbury exterior and the dark interior. It also highlights the character’s evolution and David Morrissey’s performance.
- Gone, But Not Forgotten (HD, 8:14): A piece that focuses on the death of a character, death scene makeup and prosthetics, and the emotional on-set and on-screen feelings surrounding the death.
- Heart of a Warrior (HD, 8:25): This featurette examines Michonne, including Danai Gurira’s performance, her conflict with Merle, and her deeper character traits.
- Michonne vs. The Governor (HD, 5:13): A closer look into one of the season’s driving conflicts with emphasis on the making of one scene.
- Safety Behind Bars (HD, 9:44): Cast and crew discuss the prison location, the prison’s place in the show, and the process of constructing the set and the amount of detail that went into making it.
- Making the Dead (HD, 8:06): A detailed focus on zombie construction and the visual effects that support their “lives” and “deaths,” both practical and digital.
- Guts and Glory (HD, 7:42): A look at additional character deaths.
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 13:20): Scenes from “Walk With Me,” “Say the Word,” “Hounded,” “Home,” “I Ain’t No Judas,” and “Clear.”