The premiere of the back half of season three of AMC and Robert Kirkman‘s The Walking Dead is fast approaching and AMC is pulling out all the bells and whistles to get returning fans and new viewers to tune in. A $4 million dollar 30 second Superbowl ad and a slew of television spots will be making the rounds on the Internet soon.
In addition we’ve got the episode titles and air dates for the second half of season three. You can check out the full schedule below:
Episode 3.09: “The Suicide King” – February 10, 2013: The Governor (David Morrissey) plans an assault on the prison, but Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the other survivors might just attack first! Written by Evan Reilly; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter. Episode 10: “Home” – February 17, 2013 Episode 11: “I Ain’t a Judas” – February 24, 2013 Episode 12: “Clear” – March 3, 2013 Episode 13: “Pale Horse” – March 10, 2013 Episode 14: “Killer Within, Part II” – March 17, 2013 Episode 15: “This Sorrowful Life” (directed by Greg Nicotero; written by Scott M. Gimple) – March 24, 2013 Episode 16: “Welcome to the Tombs” (directed by Ernest Dickerson) – March 31, 2013
Which of those episode titles intrigues you the most? “I Ain’t a Judas” is the one that really jumps out to me. Could this be the big Meryl and Daryl episode? I doubt their going to have much time for a reunion considering the teaser trailer below, it looks like they will have their hands full just staying alive.
The network has also released a new teaser trailer for the season three:
On the heels of AMC renewing The Walking Dead for a fourth season, AMC and show-runner Glen Mazzara announced Mazzara’s exit from the show. That makes the second high level departure from The Walking Dead in just three seasons, two and a half seasons really. The first was the surprising exit of creator/original show-runner Frank Darabont early in the second season. The average life expectancy of a Show-Runner is about as bad as a secondary cast member in the show.
Today’s announcement of Mazzara’s leaving is worrisome, can the show continue to survive the changes in leadership and direction? There is no word on who will replace him and what the creative differences of opinion were. Hopefully we’ll get more once the third season has aired and Mazzara’s contract is completed, perhaps he’ll talk more freely about the subject then.
The AMC press release says:
“AMC also jointly announces with Glen Mazzara today that for future seasons, the two parties have mutually decided to part ways. Glen guided the series creatively for seasons 2 and 3. AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.
Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways. This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer.”
There are also individual statements from Mazzara and The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd:
My time as show-runner on The Walking Dead has been an amazing experience, but after I finish season 3, it’s time to move on. I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey.
I am in full support of both AMC and Glen Mazzara in the decision they have come to and believe the parties came to this decision in the best interest of the future of the show. I thank Glen for his hard work and appreciate his many contributions to The Walking Dead and look forward to working with him as we complete post production on Season 3. I am also excited to begin work on another spectacular season of this show that I know means so much to so many people. This show has always been the result of a wide range of extremely talented men and women working tirelessly to produce their best work collectively. I believe the future is bright for The Walking Dead. Thank you to the fans for your continued support.
Gale Anne Hurd:
I am appreciative and grateful to Glen for his hard work on ‘The Walking Dead.’ I am supportive of AMC and Glen’s decision and know that the series is in great hands with one of the most talented and dedicated casts and crews in the business. I look forward to the show’s continued success.
The mid-season finale of ‘The Walking Dead’ did not feel much like a finale. Perhaps that is because every episode this season has run at such a high velocity that they all packed the finale punch. This episode, penned by Robert Kirkman himself, moved fast, showed growth, introduced new characters and hinted at the terror that will come in the second half of the season.
“When The Dead Come Knocking” opens with the torture of Glenn by Merle. Merle needs information about the rest of the group but this interrogation is really about revenge. Merle will never forgive the group for leaving him handcuffed to that roof in season one. He will never understand why they made that choice or that it was all his fault. They didn’t leave him for dead because they didn’t like him. They left him for dead because he was a danger to the group. They did what was best for the group as a whole.
This show is all about death and the two ways in which we cope with it. Accept the weight of it or pretend it did not happen. “Hounded” focuses on how Rick denies Lori’s death so much that it breaks him. We also see how Andrea denies all that has and is happening. Michonne continues to accept reality but her ‘out for number one’ philosophy costs others their safety.
There is no denying that Michonne is in tune with what is really going on but she only copes through violence and solitude. She is not flawless, however and she fails to see that her intimidation tactics don’t work on Merle. He and others from Woodbury have been sent to catch her. She is awesome and therefore kills everyone but Merle and a poor redshirt. Merle is too much of a sociopath to be intimidated by Michonne and after she is wounded in the leg, she does the only thing she can do against a sociopath – run.
The core drama of “Hounded” comes from the hallucinatory phone calls Rick receives in the prison. Rick is desperate. He’s never let his desperation show as sadness. It’s always been through determination and alpha male posturing. Losing Lori has broken him, a break that started when he killed Shane last season. Crying scenes aren’t easy for actors to pull off. They frequently look melodramatic but Andrew Lincoln’s tears resonate as much as Hershel losing his leg or Carl shooting Lori. Every scene with him on the phone is as tragic as it gets. These scenes are a window into the psychotic war in his mind – the decision to cope or to deny all of this death. The first phone call is denial and wishful fulfillment. He is told of a safe place. A place where everyone is careful and “away” from the devastation. There is a dreamland where there is no death.
Each phone call Rick receives is his mind leading him to reality. The callers ask him about his wife and how she died, forcing him to confront the truth he is desperate to avoid. The last phone call is from Lori and he finally faces everything that hounds him. He finds his sanity through this rabbit hole of insanity. He has done what many people on this show need to do – feel their despair and internalize it, in order to let it go. Now that he’s done that, he can hold his daughter and even find joy in her existence.
It cannot be stressed enough how brilliant Andrew Lincoln is in this episode.
Andrea is less than brilliant and her denial does not break your heart. It makes you want to shake her and say “Why are you making such horrible choices, you idiot!?” Her desperation causes her to sleep with the enemy, literally. She behaves like a teenage girl who has a crush on the high school quarterback. She trades her morals for false security.
The Governor is a master manipulator and understands that if the apocalypse hadn’t happened, Andrea would have been reading 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight in her pajamas drinking white wine on a Saturday night. He plays her perfectly. He tells her she’s dark. She’s complicated. He woos her in a way that’s more effective than offering security. He makes her feel like she is more than she is. And she is more than happy to give in.
‘Hounded’ gives us some backstory on Merle and Daryl, as well. In an attempt to bond with Carl, Daryl tells him how his mother died. She was a horrible drunk who fell asleep while smoking in bed. Daryl says that she was burned beyond recognition so it was like her death never happened. It was never real to him. Carl then says one of the most poignant lines of the episode:
“I shot my mom. It was real.”
Unlike his father, Carl immediately accepts the tragedy of this world and his place in it.
While hunting Michonne, Merle finds Glenn and Maggie, who are out getting provisions.. After a few trust games, Merle takes Maggie by gunpoint and forces Glenn to drive them to Woodbury. Michonne witnesses the whole thing but does nothing. She can’t be faulted for that. She doesn’t know Maggie and Glenn and Michonne is not one to adopt the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ attitude.
Two other pivotal events happen at the end of this episode. Daryl finds Carol alive! She looks near death but like the white knight he is, Daryl carries her to safety. The episode concludes with Rick seeing a horde of walkers descend upon the prison fence but they aren’t alone. Michonne is with them, walking as though she is undead. The episode closes with her wordlessly asking Rick to let her into the prison.
Rick may be out of his psychosis but things are not going to get better for the gang. One can only imagine what kind of torture Maggie and Glenn are going to face at the hands of Merle. Actually, I’d rather not imagine, but we’ll find out in the next episode.
We’re now three episodes in to the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead and it is time to meet the man who will undoubtedly serve as this years main protagonist. Spoiler alert!, he’s not a zombie. One of the most anticipated events of this season has to be the introduction of David Morrissey‘s character ‘The Governor’, combined with the return of Merle (Michael Rooker) and more Michonne (Danai Gurira.) Well, good news everyone! This episode has all 3 mixed in with a few surprises. We’ll dig deeper (and supply heavy spoilers) for ‘Walk With Me‘ after the jump.
Any fear we had that season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead would be a redux of the slow moving character studies of season 2 is completely put to rest with this season’s premiere episode ‘Seed.’
Directed by Ernest Dickerson and penned by Glen Mazzara, this episode has something the previous season lacked – PACING. This show is about humanity but it thrives on tension and dread. In season 2, all of that tension fizzled whenever a character lamented their internal struggle. While that might be what real people would do in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world, it doesn’t make for good television. The audience needs to feel every part of the terror this world brings. Too much conversation takes us out of that experience and we end up finding the character self-obsessed rather than tortured.
Season 3 starts off as it should, with some zombie slayage. We’re shown, not told, that Carl is no longer that little boy who is always going to get lost. He is a full fledged zombie killer, now. Everyone, with the exception of pregnant Lori, gets in on the killing as the survivors clear the infestation out of their new home, a prison. The zombies do more than provide gore and action, they remind the viewers why these characters make the decisions they make. The zombies remind us why these characters have skewed morals. And as the end of the episode reveals, the prison holds more than just walkers and sets the tone and the drama for the rest of the season.
What this episode did not have was enough Michonne but for those unfamiliar with the comics, too much of her in the premiere would have been confusing. What we do see of her character enforces the promise that this season will be more intense than season 2.
Rick, who usually spends every episode weighing the ethical costs of even the smallest decision (“If I step on this grass what effect will that have on the other grass? What will Hershel think of my stepping on his grass? Let’s spend 40 minutes talking about this until someone gets their brains eaten.”), is the character most changed this season. He has finally taken the advice of the best friend he murdered – sometimes to do what is right you have to do bad things. There is no point blubbering about it. Just do the bad thing and get it over with.
Rick’s final scene in the episode is brilliant. I’m not going to tell you why, just in case you have yet to see the episode (what is the matter with you?), but he does something incredibly brave. The acting was on point. The way Andrew Lincoln shakes, yet does not hesitate was perfectly layered. He does what had to be done and while I doubt his actions will make a bit of difference it was beautifully tragic and beautifully gruesome. It was the kind of scene that as an audience member you feel in your bones and still haunts you the next day.
If the show continues to show us the horror and sorrow of these characters rather than spoon feed it to us in drawn out monologues, season 3 of The Walking Dead will be one of the most intense seasons of television we’ve ever experienced.
Even as we watched the season three opening episode of Robert Kirkman‘s The Walking Deadlast night, the shakers and movers behind the scenes continued making plans to further the series. Show producer Gale Hurd chatted with Daily Deadthe other day and said:
“There is so much rich material to draw from and so many fantastic characters. There are so many different situations and characters to join our survivors, as well as [characters] to be pitted against them… I think there is no limit. There is certainly no limit to the comic book series and Robert has probably 250 [issues] figured out.
I think much bigger and maybe it’s my feature film background. Seven isn’t nearly enough…”
The real question still remains, will fans still tune in after seven years worth of zombie killing, survival action? What actors would remain? One only has to look at other shows that have run that long to see actors moving on with their careers, new additions to the cast of popular characters, (Woody in Cheers) and characters that flopped (Cousin Oliver – The Brady Bunch).
What do you think? Can The Walking Dead last that long? Could the show survive the loss of Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) if the actor decided to move on? More importantly, could the show make the transition from television to the big screen ala Star Trek?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The latest trailer for Robert Kirkman and AMC‘s The Walking Dead has hit the Internet in all it’s screaming glory. Fans that complained about the slow pace and lack of action in season two had better find something to hold onto because, if season three is anything like this trailer, there’s gonna be all the screaming, gloriously gory, action we can stand.
***INSERT GENERIC SPOILER ALERT FOR ARTICLE THAT SPOILS NOTHING, BUT MIGHT GET SOME OVER STRESSED, TOO BUSY TO KEEP UP WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD, “OH NO, I WAS GOING TO WAIT AND WATCH ALL 5 SEASONS AT ONCE AND NOW YOU’VE SPOILED IT ALL FOR ME,” INTERNET CRY BABY.***
Television and film critic Hercules over at Ain’t It Cool News was lucky enough to screen the first two episodes of the new season for review. He describes the two episodes as “a mammoth improvement” over the episodes in season II.
Were new writers hired over the hiatus? Did AMC approve a bigger budget? Because suddenly all the dialogue telling us what we already know about everybody’s feelings is gone.
All the storytelling is moving a lot faster, there are some major plot turns in the next two episodes and there’s plenty of zombie mayhem.
(The series did put at least one new writer in its writers’ room. Episode two is credited to Nichole Beattie, a veteran of “John From Cincinnati,” “Prime Suspect” and “Sons of Anarchy.”)
I’m not permitted to get into the plot at this point, but I can tell you we’re getting an all-new title sequence from which Frank Darabont’s executive producer credit has been scrubbed away.
Here’s AMC’s synopses for 3.1 and 3.2:
Episode 301 – “SEED”
With the world growing increasingly more dangerous and Lori’s pregnancy advancing, Rick discovers a potentially safe haven. But first he must secure the premises, pushing his group to its limit.
Episode 302 – “SICK” After a traumatic event, a life hangs in the balance. Complicating matters, the group must also deal with a potential threat to their new surroundings.
Let your fellow NerdBastards know what you think about The Walking Dead Season Three in the comments section below.
Still a month to go before the Season 3 premiere of Robert Kirkman and AMC‘s The Walking Dead. Don’t worry though, anxious fans can cure that uncomfortable itch brought on by The Walking Dead hiatus and feed their zombie habit with four five-minute episodes of the new web-series Cold Storage. The series debuts on AMC October 1st.
The series is directed by The Walking Dead‘s special effects wizard Greg Nicotero and features several recognizable faces including Daniel Roebuck (Lost – Dr. Leslie Arzt) and Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever).
Cold Storage tells the story of a young man, Chase (played by Josh Stewart), trying to reach his sister in the early days of the zombie apocalypse. He finds temporary shelter in a storage facility run by a former employee named B.J. (Roebuck); however, things are not what they appear.
Don’t get your hopes up though, the word is that the webisodes will feature all new characters and will not have any surprise appearances from the regular Walking Dead cast. That aside, these webisodes should help make the wait for the series’ return a little more bearable.
The Walking Dead shambles back onto television screens on Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.