So, hands up anyone who would actually want to live in the world of The Walking Dead? A world of shambling misery where everyone you know hates you, and death is the only release? (Mostly because you would become a zombie, so might get to eat some of those people.)
Yes, the meat-grinding nature of this show is getting me down – will this episode perk me up? Will Home be… homely? Spoilers to follow.
Death Death Gloom Gloom Pain Pain
No, not really – in fact, I’m barely sure why this episode was called Home. Maybe it’s meant to reflect Daryl, Merle and Rick’s decision at the end to fight for the prison, and a similar moment from Glenn midway. I was hoping this setting would feel more homely by now, but since they’ve been in a constant state of traumatised agony since arriving there, hasn’t quite happened.
Anyway. Rick has gone off on a hallucinatory wander, the rest of the gang struggle to keep order, Merle and Daryl squabble and things are going to shit in Woodbury too. But, just as the squabbling threatens to overcome us all, the Governor turns up to give everyone something to unite against.
But not before he kills Axel, because death on this show favours the minor character. I was expecting him to be outed as a sex offender or serial killer, so his quick gunshot murder shocked me into silence. Until I sighed with disappointment afterwards.
At Least We’ll Always Have Violence
Don’t get me wrong, this episode had good moments, mostly in the Daryl/Merle scenes, as well as the action. In particular, the gun battle at the end was a fun change of pace – normally fighting in this show is squelchy, rather than bangy.
But all told, this seemed like a mid-season filler episode without much of its own to say, except some more arguing, punctuated with fights. It’s still not the worst this show has been – the Woodbury stuff gives them a sense of direction, at least – but they seem to be struggling to get the emotional impact back following their break.
Maybe it’ll get back on track next week, now that most of the main characters are back “Home”. We can only hope. In particular, Rick’s crazed instability is getting very tiring.