The Walking Dead: Half-Assed ‘Home’ Did Not Quite Deliver

By  · Published on February 18th, 2013

The last Walking Dead brought us the showdown between the prison and Woodbury. Was it climatic? Eh. The only character-with-a-name struck down was Axel, and he wasn’t overly integral to the show. Sure, it was somewhat of a shock that he was shot mid-conversation with Carol. And he was Carol’s one chance at gettin’ some – sorry, Carol. But it’s doubtful anyone – show character or home viewer – will miss him after this week. The showdown also seemed a bit too conveniently orchestrated in that the brothers Dixon just happened to make it back to the prison at exactly the right time. Right. Also, where were my boy Tyreese and his crew during the prison invasion? Twiddling their thumbs in their holding cell, or did the show’s writers just forget to include them? Well, neither one of those options is too great, and either way, it’s just extremely haphazard on the writers’ parts…

Though The Governor did look absolutely orgasmic at the prospect of wreaking havoc at the prison and taking shots at Michonne. So good for him! And the zombie car bomb was a cool idea. This new installment of The Walking Dead, “Home,” seems to have squandered not only the Prison vs. Woodbury confrontation, but also a few other opportunities.

For one, it almost would have been nice to ruminate more with the brothers Dixon rather than so hurriedly getting them back to the prison with everyone else. So much has changed since they parted – and they have become much different people. For one, Daryl’s tracking skills are a bit rusty. For another… Daryl’s also just barely racist, whereas Merle is just as racist as when he was hatin’ on T-Dog back in Season One. Well, is Daryl racist at all at this point? He really has morphed into a heroic figure at the prison, and now that he’s back with the group, he’s the most likely to hold court as the new leader, now that Rick is full-on crazy (more on that later).

Well, as if we couldn’t glean that the Dixons now have a difference of opinion, re: bring racist, as they walk through the woods, we get hit over the head with their newfound difference as they save a latino family from getting eaten by zombies on a bridge. Yeah, both Daryl and Merle use prized ammo to help them, but Daryl is disgusted at the way in which his brother treats them, racial slurs and all, and the two seem to go off in separate directions – though they both arrive at the prison together and in an improbably short amount of time. Wouldn’t it have been a much more sophisticated, organically-plotted idea to stay with the Dixons as they eventually go back to the prison? It would be interesting to see what brotherly issues could be uncovered and what shared childhood experiences have impacted them. Thrusting them back into the prison at the end of the episode like this just reads as sloppy – the prison must be less than a mile away since they get there so fast – and robs us of a some desired character development.

So, what else… oh yes, Crazy Rick. Now, I am all for getting another leader into the mix – Glenn seems like he wants the job, and duh, it should be Daryl – but this is getting annoying fast. And apparently going crazy after your wife dies makes you look like you have malaria. Rick spend this entire episode wandering around in crazy town outside the prison, looking for Ghost Lori, who is pleasant and nice this time. Death has been good to her, as the afterlife has put some meat on her bones and given her a tan. Much of Crazy Rick time actually proves to be laughable, as Michonne catches Rick caressing no one from across the gate, and Andrew Lincoln spends most of the episode with a ridiculous look on his face – I could almost feel the humorous GIFs being made as I type this. As if we didn’t know he was crazy, director Seith Mann even added come extremely obvious swirly camera movements around Rick’s face to filmically code him as such. Really, Mann, that’s all you got? Someone needs to reign Rick in and fast – it is understandable that he would be devastated after Lori died, but watching him wander around chasing a ghost gets tired fast. Heck, Carl’s put it behind him – and he’s the one that shot her!

Beyond insane mourning, drama is happening at Woodbury as The Governor needs to make an escape route to the prison. The alleges he needs a vacation from being leader, and appoints Andrea as the new head honcho. This also prevents her from visiting her peeps back at the prison. But being the little sneak that he is, The Governor asks the delightful Milton (more Dallas Roberts, please!) to keep an eye on her and wants to know if Milton would take a bullet for him. Milton says yes, but we all know, nerds are too smart to take bullets. I mean, as I said last week, it’s a relief that Andrea finally has purpose. And Milton will have more to do in coming weeks as he has to spy on her. But, boy, isn’t Andrea going to be pissed when she finds out that The Governor tried to massacre her friends…

Some loose change: there’s trouble in paradise for Glenn and Maggie, and Maggie subsequently faces her demons by feeding the baby. Ah, nurturing, you are the cure to many ills.

The Upside: Daryl’s an officially reformed racist. Also, it’s nice for Andrea to have a purpose.

The Downside: Crazy Rick, the sloppy showdown, and more alone time with the Dixons would have been nice.