Michonne’s Redemption: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12 (Clear)

Rick, Carl, and Michonne in The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), and Michonne (Danai Gurira) The Walking Dead Copyright 2013 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. Similarities and differences between the show and the comic are also discussed, but whenever possible, details of the comic are left ambiguous in case you decide to start it later on.

Summary: Rick, Carl, and Michonne go on a supply run together which takes the father and son back to their home town. After they arrive, the trio encounters an old friend of Rick’s who has fallen on hard times. While Rick tries to talk some sense into his pal, Carl and Michonne go off on their own adventure, bonding with each other in the process.

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12 (Clear) is very different from the other episodes in Season 3 due to its exclusive focus on a single group. I’ve been spoiled by the constant shifting between Woodbury and the prison, so I didn’t care for the change in format. Since the writers whipped me into a frenzy with all the preparations for war in Episode 11 (I Ain’t a Judas), the fact that they left that behind for an entire episode felt like someone pulled the rug out from underneath me.

At the beginning of Episode 12, as they’re trying to get their car out of the mud, Carl questions his dad for bringing Michonne along. That’s when Rick reveals that he’s trying to keep an eye on her and merely sees Michonne as a temporary ally. During this conversation you witness a beautifully awkward moment where the camera cuts to Michonne, who can hear everything. This exchange clearly impacts her since she starts to soften herself to both Rick and Carl over the course of the episode.

In the empty police station armory, Rick recommends searching local businesses for extra guns, something Michonne finds foolish. So of course Rick tries to provoke her by saying “Do you have a problem with that approach?” Cool as a cucumber she responds “No Rick, I don’t have a problem.” There are many similar moments where Michonne continually takes the high road, like when Carl tries to brush her off. She responds “I can’t stop you, but you can’t stop me from helping you.”

An effective alternate title for The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12 would be “Michonne’s Redemption.” That’s because she not only shows her worth as a valuable, reliable teammate to Rick and Carl, but she also proves herself to be a complex, interesting character for the audience. This is the point where I finally feel like I’m seeing the Michonne I love from the comics. She’s level-headed, funny, dependable, and open. I’m of the opinion that the writers wouldn’t have had to burn an entire episode endearing Michonne to us if they had started to develop her character’s positive traits earlier on.

My favorite Michonne moments from the episode were her comment about the Welcome Mat (“Mat said Welcome.”) and with the rainbow colored cat (“I was gonna go back in there anyway, couldn’t leave this behind. It’s too gorgeous.”). Also I loved her badass moment where she saved Carl from the zombie’s grip TGIM (Thank God It’s Michonne). Carl sums up his feelings and mine nicely when he says “I think she might be one of us.”

The other main thing going on in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12, is Rick’s encounter with Morgan. I was initially confused by his crazy hideout with booby traps and zany messages scrawled everywhere, but as soon as I saw the sniper on the roof, I knew immediately it was Morgan. I’m surprised that they reintroduced him this quickly in the show considering he doesn’t resurface until much later chronologically in the comics. It’s terrible to see how downtrodden Morgan has become since losing his son. And although I’m slightly surprised Rick doesn’t manage to convince Morgan to join up with them, I can’t blame Morgan for smartly staying out of the fight. He wants only to continue his work amassing supplies and disposing of zombies. I am curious though, how the heck did he get such a massive arsenal?

In the beginning of the episode, they pass a random guy on foot with a backpack, who they speed by without helping. At the end he seems to be dead, torn up by the side of the road, so Rick, Carl, and Michonne scoop up his gear on the way by.

What do you think the point was of including this guy? Was he a red herring, or simply a means of showing how callous and distrustful everyone has become?

Also, make sure you click here to take this week’s poll: If you were Morgan would you leave with Rick?

I want to hear from you! Tell me what you think.