The Walking Dead Review: “Hounded” (Season 3, Episode 6)

As for the Woodbury sign of things, as has been readily hinted at, Andrea finally falls into the bed of Phillip “The Governor” Whatever having brazenly failed (by the standards of zombie-surrounded Pleasantville) at guarding the gate. A poorly handled crossbow is no match for a knife to the eye, folks. It’s also oddly explained that Andrea secretly loved the Walker-fuelled boxing match from last episode and that it was just that she “hated that she loved it” rather than genuinely sticking to her prior claim that she was worried about the inappropriate complacency of Woodbury’s citizens.

Andrea as a whole seems to be the lost character this season, being written as the type of individual who not only pulls off contradictory actions, but is presented in a twisted way that her actions are justified from her perspective alone. It makes sense upon analysis and there is no clear reason why we should be waving our hands at her and her continued acceptance of Woodbury, but it’s ultimately infuriating from the angle of the viewer.

On that same note, it is refreshing to see the show is angling to touch on some of the supporting character and their motivations, chiefly in “Hounded,” it is Daryl who takes a moment to justify why he’s become such a softy this season. Needless the say, the death of both his and Carl’s mother at a young age can have a humbling effect. And though I spoke of the inconsequential nature of Merle’s role, more Michael Rooker is never close to a bad thing.

The one thing this episode made more apparent than ever before is that this season needs to bridge the prison and Woodbury storylines soon, or risk a full-on mess of colliding plots. The prison has now lost its haunted house vibe and with it its fascinating dynamic (at least for now), but this episode, thankfully, we have the first hint at a convergence.

With Glenn and Maggie off on a supply run to secure some more formula and much needed ammunition, the clash finally occurs in suitably entertaining fashion. With Michonne bunkered down behind a car in the small town the duo arrives at, so does Merle, and though initially friendly (by his standards) proves to be a quick draw when Glenn fails to divulge his brother’s whereabouts. As such, the lovers are taken by Merle back to Woodbury, while unbeknownst to everyone else, Michonne heard the mutterings of the group’s location and struck out to find this facility – actions fuelled both for her own survival and to stick a proverbial knife in Merle’s side.

Stumbling like a Walker herself, Michonne was saved by the same stinking grace as Glenn and Rick in season one, whereby smearing yourself in zombie corpse makes you somewhat immune and revealing (on a basic level) that the formerly-living loved ones Michonne chained around where more cumbersome than needed.

Though – side note – if bites kill due to the general infection, what about emptying a zombie’s bowels onto your open wound?

The former reminds me of a moment earlier this season when it was revealed that Michonne and Andrea did not know everyone was infected and in that instance I applaud the show for taking the organic route, even if it’s not the most readily apparent.

In a way – in a sense – it seems like we’ve simply traded characters between plotlines with Michonne now at the prison and Glenn and Maggie the way of twisted bliss. Though things are poised, it feels like a significant confrontation is still a ways off. That being said, anything and everything is now set to explode and even though I didn’t come away from the episode as awed as the others, I hope “Hounded” is the setup episode needed to fuel what is one of the best seasons of TV this year.