Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Chandler Riggs (Carl Grimes)

This week AMC posted an interview with Chandler Riggs who plays Carl on The Walking Dead. It was my first time reading an interview with the young actor, so I was impressed by how well-spoken he is. I felt bad for him while reading the interview because the person mostly just asked questions that remind him that he’s young and how much that sucks being on an adult show.

He gets asked about being the only kid on set, about witnessing his mom on the show die, and about not being allowed to go hold a real gun. Talk about an interview that throws salt in the wounds. Plus he’s forced to bring up that he can’t go to the cast’s death dinners that they do when a character on the show dies. That must be a major bummer getting left out of a fun group activity like that. At least he has big kids like Norman Reedus and Steve Yeun to clown around with on set.

I like the interview with Chandler Riggs best when the person switches to asking him questions like how the show has impacted his acting abilities and about what he does in his spare time. That’s cool to see a young actor with insight on his craft and nice to learn a little more about him off set.

I think Carl has matured a lot this season and really grown into a responsible, level-headed character. Do you like Carl better in Season 3? If not, what still bothers you about him?

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?

Uncle Phil Wants You: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 11 (I Ain’t a Judas)

Andrea and a zombie from The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 12

Andrea (Laurie Holden) in 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’s people argue about their next move and whether they should allow Merle to stay. At the same time, The Governor starts forming an army to “defend” Woodbury. A frantic Andrea decides to sneak back to the prison in an attempt to negotiate peace before the impending war. Tyreese and his friends find their way to Woodbury where they offer their allegiance to The Governor in exchange for sanctuary. 

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 11 (I Ain’t No Judas) is the talky-est, most
dialogue-heavy episode of the season so far. Believe it or not, I’m actually happy about that because it pleasantly reminds me of The Walking Dead comics with of its rich verbal exchanges between the characters.

There are some very bold words thrust into the conversation as Rick and his people debate their next move. The most unexpected comment of the lot is that Merle is right. And I hate to admit it, but he does makes a valid point. By hanging around the prison instead of leaving immediately, they’ve lost their strategic advantage. What’s not shocking though is that Hershel publicly calls Rick to the carpet for his looney behavior. “You said before that this wasn’t a democracy, now it’s time for you to own up to that!” he yells. Amen Hershel.

Then we actually see young Carl muster up the courage to tell his dad to stop being the leader. Carl’s advice is to let Hershel and Daryl handle things while Rick gets a rest. Good move little man. Speak your mind.

Later on Glenn tries to say that they should toss Merle, maybe even give him back to The Governor as a peace offering. Hershel shoots him down with gusto (did I mention this was another great Hershel episode?). “He (Merle) may be erratic but he has military experience. Don’t underestimate his loyalty to his brother.” Hallelujah Hershel! And speaking of Merle, Hershel goes to see him and they have a kick-ass moment. They quote the Bible together, AND we find out that Merle likes to read?! Maybe this other Dixon has more than meets the eye.

Merle seems to be truly turning over a new leaf and this time I buy it. He tries to make things right with Michonne, giving the closest thing he can to an apology and admits with what seems to be absolute sincerity (this time) that he’s done a lot of things he’s not proud of. Plus Michonne actually has lines in this episode! Holy crap! She starts to become the character I know and love from the comic when she tells Andrea off “You chose a warm bed over a friend.”

Phil wants YOU/ Phil wants YOU/ Phil wants YOU as a new recruit. He’s certainly not putting together a Navy as my singing may suggest, but Uncle Phil (aka The Governor) is forming an army to take on Rick’s crew. And he wants every able-bodied person to serve in it, even old ladies and asthmatics. Well he decides against the old lady but still keeps the asthmatic. It’s needlessly silly and over-the-top.

Lucky us, we get to see him take off his bandage to reveal his nasty eye before he switches to an eye patch. Which reminds me, I loved the line where Daryl says to Andrea “Next time you see Philip, you tell him I’m gonna take his other eye.” Damn straight Daryl.

I’m kind of annoyed that they’re lining Tyreese’s group up with The Governor and Woodbury. Tyreese is so desperate for shelter he’s willing to do whatever to “earn their keep.” He has nothing to do with The Governor in the comics so it’s stupid they’re putting them together in the show. Although at least Tyreese seems like he doesn’t entirely trust The Governor.

And finally, Andrea may have earned awesome points with her brilliant curb stomp maneuver and her hatchet jobs on several zombie faces, however she quickly lost them when she failed to stab Philip at the end of the episode. Totally weak Andrea.

Make sure to click here to take this week’s poll: Are you tired of Hershel’s daughter singing?

Where do you think Rick plans to take Michonne and Carl on the “run” he discussed at the end of the episode? Also, who do you think will spill blood next? Rick or The Governor?  Leave me some comments and share your thoughts!

Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon)

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

This is the first season I’ve started receiving AMC’s weekly newsletter, so I have no idea if they’ve done one before, but I’m surprised they took this long to do an interview with Norman Reedus, who plays my favorite character, Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead.

Because I heard tons of hilarious stories about Reedus clowning around on set with his co-stars, I was expecting an epic interview. Although I was disappointed that this one turned out to be a bit anticlimactic, given my anxious anticipation to hear from Reedus about his experiences working on the show.

I was definitely fascinated to learn that Reedus actually rides a motorcycle and likes cruising around down south while working on the show. I also liked finding out about the ways he has influenced who his character is on the show, since Daryl is so layered and complex. I would have asked more questions about his character’s back story and influences.

I can definitely see what Reedus means about how his fight scene with Michael Rooker (Merle) went down. It would have been cool to see them really go at it like “wild animals” as he puts it, but I think they did things just right. It had an authentic sibling vibe to it.

He does show his fun side too, talking about how he re-gifts some of his fan mail to Chandler Riggs (Carl) and how they hang out. Some of his fans who send him those things are probably disappointed to read that however. I got a laugh when he said that he accidentally called the baby on the show “Lil-Ass-kisser” instead of “Lil-Ass-kicker.” Whoops.

Like Reedus says at the end, there’s always the concern that your character could get killed off at any moment on a show like this. Although I think we’re all hoping that Daryl will stick around for a good long while. He continues to make The Walking Dead worth watching, even when the writers do annoying things with other characters.

Do you have a favorite Daryl line or moment from the show so far? What is it?

Prison Crew vs. Woodbury Round 1: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 8 (Made to Suffer)

Michonne (Danai Gurira) on The Walking Dead

Michonne (Danai Gurira) on The Walking Dead Copyright 2012 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: A new group of survivors stumble upon the prison and take shelter there. Back at Woodbury, Rick launches his rescue operation, Michonne finally faces off against The Governor, and Andrea uncovers some of her new boyfriend’s dark secrets.

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 8 pulls a Lost with its opening. Remember that exciting moment right before stuff was supposed to down in the last episode? That spot where you were focused on all your favorite characters? We’re not going to pick up there. Instead we’re going to be in a completely different place with brand new characters, and we’ll get back to everyone else later. Normally I would be annoyed by that kind of tactic, except it’s hard to stay mad when an awesome new character from the Walking Dead comics is introduced right in the beginning.

We start out with Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and his daughter, his daughter’s boyfriend, and some other random couple fighting their way through walkers in the woods, until they come upon the broken backside of the prison. Unfortunately the woman is bitten and with zombies hot on their trail, they must make the quick decision to seek shelter there. Luckily for them, Carl hears their screams of terror and tracks them down to help. He escorts them back to safety and even offers to shoot their doomed friend. Already displaying excellent character, Tyreese waives off the assistance with the line “We take care of our own,” as he wields a ball pein hammer. Then his daughter flips out when Carl locks them up together (smart move Carl), but Tyreese continues to be a cool cat with the response “His house (his rules)…” Heck he’s just grateful for a place to sleep.

For those unfamiliar with the comics I’ll briefly explain why Tyreese’s appearance is so great. In the comics, Tyreese and Rick become total besties because they’re both strong, determined guys. They often disagree about how their group should be run and who should be the leader. Sometimes their arguments are so serious that they get physical. One of the most beautiful two-page pieces of art in the comics, involves fists flying between the two. I’m looking forward to fascinating drama and complex dilemmas Rick will have to face with Tyreese around.

Anyway, how could we forget about everyone else at Woodbury? First off, props to Glenn and Maggie for their escape attempt. Glenn’s plan to rip sharp bones out of a dead walker for weaponry is pretty genius. Rick, Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar infiltrate Woodbury and not a moment too soon, considering they save Glenn and Maggie right before execution. The ensuing firefight left me on the edge of my seat constantly wondering who would get killed. I wasn’t surprised that Oscar goes, though I was a bit sad that he gets a throwaway Star Trek red-shirt style demise.

Michonne’s showdown with The Governor is fun, although a bit agitating because she leaves everyone else high and dry just to fight him. She kills The Governor’s walker daughter, smashes his zombie televisions with her head, and shoves a glass shard into his eye. Believe it or not, that’s Michonne being nicer to him than she is in the comics. She brutally mutilates The Governor there, but she has more reasons to.

I love (sarcasm) how Andrea stumbles onto the whole nasty scene and still manages to stay with The Governor, even after he dodges her inquiries about what happened. As a Daryl fan, I was so mad that he stayed behind to find Merle, and that he was taken prisoner. I was legitimately surprised that the scumbag Governor gave that big speech in which he sold out Merle, outing him falsely as a traitor. I’m extremely nervous for Daryl and Merle, since The Governor whipped the crowd into a murderous frenzy. Hopefully Andrea will intervene on their behalf.

Were you surprised that The Governor turned on Merle? Let me know in my poll.

What do you think is in store for the characters when the season resumes in February? Will Daryl and Merle survive? Will Rick and The Governor come directly to blows?

Glenn Goes Beast Mode: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 7 (When the Dead Come Knocking)

Michonne (Danai Gurira), Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Oscar (Vincent M. Ward), and Daryl (Norman Reedus) on The Walking Dead

Michonne (Danai Gurira), Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Oscar (Vincent M. Ward), and Daryl (Norman Reedus) on The Walking Dead Copyright 2012 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: Glenn and Maggie are brutally interrogated in Woodbury, while Andrea helps The Governor with a bizarre experiment. After rescuing Michonne from a pack of walkers, Rick and company learn of Glenn and Maggie’s misfortune. Michonne, Rick, Oscar, and Daryl then set out on a mission to rescue their friends from Woodbury, but hit some snags along the way.

I’m proud of Glenn for taking such a brutal beating in the opening of The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 7. I can’t believe that he manages to take all that abuse and still maintain his wits. It’s a little sad though when he tells Merle about T-Dog being dead, and rather silly when he lies and says Andrea is still with his group. Can’t wait to see the look on Glenn’s face when he finds out Andrea is in Woodbury.

Later on that sicko Merle leaves a tied up Glenn to fend for himself against a zombie. Thankfully Glenn busts out of his chair and goes beast mode on that thing. It is simultaneously awesome and hilarious when he screams like a madman after killing it.

Any ounce of sympathy I might have felt before for Merle or The Governor immediately evaporated once they started abusing Glenn and Maggie. I’m just glad that scumbag The Governor didn’t actually rape Maggie, since he did force himself on another woman in the comics. I was upset that Maggie is the one who finally cracks and reveals the prison considering the show already does such a poor job writing female characters. The writers seemingly throw every opportunity out the window to show women in a positive light. In the comics, Glenn is actually the one who can’t take the interrogation, so why not carry that over to the show? Give Maggie a chance to prove she’s tough.

Andrea does The Governor an interesting favor by helping out the nerdy guy with an idiotic experiment. Obviously The Governor wants to see if his daughter has any of her old memories left, so he has nerdo see if a dying man’s memory stays behind inside the zombie’s brain. No surprise that the experiment is a failure! Andrea has to stab it in the head. No idea why we needed to see this. I don’t remember it from the comics.

Back at the prison, Rick reluctantly rescues Michonne from a pack of walkers with sharpshooting assistance from young Carl. I can’t believe that Rick immediately tries to squeeze information out of her wounded leg. What a bastard! I thought his very tearful, emotional reunion with Carol was rather bizarre. Maybe Carl will get a new mom? That would be weird since Carol clearly has the hots for Daryl.

Rick and Carl decide on a name for the baby: Judith, the same name given to her in the comics. Being the great father that he is, Rick decides to leave Carl and the others at the prison while he gathers a rescue party for Glenn and Maggie. In a completely twisted scene, Rick’s party gets surrounded by walkers and Michonne kills some noisy kook who finds them (thank god she finally became useful). Wisely they feed his corpse to the zombies. Did you agree with that decision? Take my poll and let me know.

Rick’s crew is right outside entrance of Woodbury by the episode’s close which left me totally amped up for the next episode. Shit is clearly going to hit the fan and there will be some serious bloodshed in Woodbury.

Do you think Merle will remain loyal to The Governor? Or will he take Daryl’s side? Will Daryl remain loyal to his friends?