The Walking Dead Episode 3 Episode 12 ‘Clear’ Analysis

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Like last week I’ve done a review of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. If you haven’t watched it, or don’t want any spoilers, STOP READING!

*Spoiler Alert*

Road Trip

This is the episode that walking dead fans have been waiting for for 3 seasons now. But before I get into that let’s start at the beginning of the episode. This episode centers around Rick, Carl and Michonne on their little road trip to find weapons to help protect the prison from the terrible threat that is the Governor. While on the road they pass by a backpacker who is very much alive and seemingly healthy but none of them do anything to try and help the poor fellow. What happened to the Rick that wanted and tried to help every living thing within his reach? Even Michonne helped Andrea survive in the middle of the woods. (Although most of us wish that she hadn’t). It becomes apparent, at this point, that all three of them have become hardened and cold in order to survive the day to day struggle to stay alive. They don’t think twice about leaving the guy in the middle of the road.
Morgan

And who decides to finally show up 3 seasons later? Morgan. For those of you who don’t remember him, Morgan and his son were the ones that saved Rick as he was teetering home from the hospital unaware of what had happened to the world while he was in a coma. Fans wanted to know what had happened to Morgan and tonight they finally got their answer. Not only had he stayed in the same town that Rick had met him in, but he was able to put together an elaborate setup to keep the walkers at bay. Pretty amazing if you ask me. It looked like something right out of Indiana Jones. There were spear-like rods to impale walkers, barbed wires delicately placed to trap and stop them from advancing further and even welcome mats with a knife contraption carefully placed underneath. This man has thought of it all! Using animals in cages to attract and distract zombies, priceless! I wish I could have thought of that!

But like Rick, Morgan, who can be seen as Rick’s double, had gone a bit crazy so when Rick’s group encroached on his territory he told them to drop their stuff and go. But of course, things aren’t always that easy when it comes to dealing with these three so they decided to shoot him to try and get his rifle. And at this point, Rick didn’t know that it was Morgan because he had been wearing a mask the whole time. Michonne and Rick both tried to kill him but it was finally Carl who had shot the masked man later to be known as Morgan. But luckily it turned out that Morgan had raided the police station and had been wearing a bulletproof vest when Carl had shot him. Morgan was only knocked out due to the concussion caused by his fall from the shot to the chest. And upon safely entering into his house, Rick and Michonne were able to gather supplies to bring back to camp.

Carl and Michonne

Carl, on the other hand, discovered Morgan’s hand drawn chalk map of the town which noted that Rick’s house had been burnt down since. Knowing that he wouldn’t have another opportunity to be in the same town that he had grown up in, Carl wanted to grab a picture of his mother for Judith, Carl’s newborn sister, to have so that she would know what her mother had looked like. But wanting to do this by himself he used the guise of getting a new crib for Judith from around the corner at the local kid’s store to convince his father to let him go. Michonne, who has really started to become an integral part of Rick’s group, persuaded Carl that he would need a helping hand in order to carry the crib back and he finally agreed. At one point Carl tries to pull a fast one on Michonne so that he can go get the picture by himself but Michonne soon catches up to Carl and decides to help him instead of letting him go by himself. It turns out that the local restaurant has a picture of Rick and Lori together hanging as part of some wall decoration. They send in Morgan’s rat cage on a skateboard decoy to safely sneak inside and once they’re in, Carl grabs the photo but as they try for the door it turns out that one of the rats have escaped and they will have to fight their way out. And on the way out Carl drops the photo amongst the midst of zombies and by this point the zombies are all crowded by the door. Carl insists on going back in but Michonne stops him and says that she will get the picture. And just like that, Michonne goes around the corner for a split second and is magically back with the framed picture. How? I have no idea. She also brings a rainbow paper mache cat with her saying that she couldn’t resist. This is the first real episode where we hear Michonne talk and express herself. I have never seen her more human than she was in today’s episode. And because of this undeniable bond that has been built between Carl and Michonne, Carl now knows that Michonne is here to stay.

Clear

After Rick zipties Morgan’s hands together so that he doesn’t do anything rash when he comes to, he walks around the room reading the various chalk writings all around the walls. And again and again on the walls is the word ‘Clear’. What it means, Rick has no idea at this point. Then he comes upon one space of the wall that says, “Duane has turned”. Duane was Morgan’s son and after Morgan comes to he tells Rick that because he wasn’t able to kill his wife, who had turned, that when he left Duane alone to search a cellar for goods that his son was confronted by his zombie mother but was unable to shoot her and was therefore bitten and turned.

When Morgan finally does come to he is able to cut through the zipties with a knife kept in his bed and he attacks Rick, not knowing who he really is. Morgan keeps saying that the dead wear people’s faces and that he knows no one. The most climactic moment in this whole episode is when Morgan stabs Rick in the shoulder shouting that he, Rick, is not ‘Clear’. Being a lot like Rick, after the emotional stress of having lost loved ones, Morgan has just about lost his mind. Rick pulls a gun on Morgan after he is shot and Morgan begs to be killed so that he will no longer have to suffer but Rick can’t do it. Rick makes him understand who he is by showing him the walkie talkie which leads to the whole conversation about his son. Needless to say, Rick wants Morgan to come with him but Morgan knows better than to go to the prison knowing that the need for guns means that there are people who are out for them. Maybe since Rick was able to see how crazy Morgan had become, he will finally realize how he has been just as crazy since Lori’s death. If this can be a turning point for Rick then his group has a chance of survival against the Governor’s army.

Talking to the Dead

As they are loading up their car full of guns and ammo Rick is seen looking off into the distance until Michonne asks if he sees something. Michonne, along with everyone else at the prison, knows that Rick has been seeing things but instead of ignoring it or passing it off as odd behavior, she tries to connect with Rick in her own way. Michonne opens up to Rick saying that she too would talk to her dead boyfriend from time to time. This is more readily seen in the graphic novel but it is something new for the TV series. Michonne is becoming a fully developed character that viewers can not only love but relate to.
The episode ends with Rick’s car passing by a zombie who is feeding on a fresh kill and as they pass it they see the same orange camper’s backpack that the guy had been wearing. They stop the car to pick it up like it was no big deal and they go back on their way. What has become of everyone’s humanity? The needs for supplies and weapons surpass the compassion shown for the fellow man which can be applied to both the prison and the Woodbury group. Rick has become like the Governor in his quest to keep his group alive and only time will tell who will be able to come out on top. And again this week they end the episode with a song that goes, “O lord, lead me through the darkness”. And what Rick’s group will be dealing with is exactly that, darkness, and they will need all the help they can get to survive it.

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