Written by John Edward Betancourt
The day has come at last and The Walking Dead is back on the air! We've all been waiting with baited breath to know what happens to Merle and Daryl Dixon, if Rick's sanity is slowly slipping away and of course, what the Governor will do now that his precious little empire has been directly attacked. Most of those questions have been answered, and a few new ones arose over the course of last night's mid season premiere; "The Suicide King".
The Good: I have to admit that I spent a lot of time pondering on this episode while Talking Dead was on before I put pen to paper. Simply because at first, I wasn't sure if I actually liked this one. I'm glad I took a little time to think because my own mind built up an expectation that the show would never live up to. In the back of my mind I think I expected some kind of war between Woodbury and the prison and truth is, what happened last night was necessary. We haven't had a breather in this show for some time, with the breakneck pace it has kept since Lori and T-Dog died in "Killer Within" and this episode was the chance for the audience to do what the characters did last night, lick our wounds and take a moment.
We saw the Governor lost for the first time since he realized, in his own mind at least, his true calling as a leader. We saw that Rick is still having major issues with the death of his wife and out of left field, we saw that Glenn has a nasty streak in him and anyone who messes with his lady better watch out.
But I always love how this show comes back around to family, a theme we have discussed on the weekly recap before but only to point out how subtle it was in a particular episode. Subtlety was not the case last night. With Daryl leaving the group to hang with his loser brother Merle; Rick's terror at the thought of losing any one else under his watch and the touching moment between Hershel and Glenn, it's a nice thing to see that amongst the intestines and walking corpses these people are slowly rebuilding the best parts of our society.
The Bad: The most glaring issue from this episode for me is Andrea's heroic speech in Woodbury. It wasn't that the speech was bad or unnecessary, just that it seemed ill timed and rushed. I am fine with the poor people of Woodbury being terrified, and I'm fine with the Governor mourning his zombified daughter. But I am not fine with this same group of people going from utter panic to "oh wow, this girl who just moved in recently is right, we need to suck it up." There was a grand opportunity here to see Philip further tighten his grip on this town and let the evil we saw beginning to unleash at the end of the midseason finale continue to grow.
The Verdict: A solid return for the best show on television. If history teaches us anything, this is likely another calm before the storm and the heartfelt moments will turn to tears once again when the Governor does indeed let loose. Hopefully Daryl wises up and gets his butt back to the prison because let's face it, Merle is a scumbag and Daryl is way too good a man and too great a leader to be hanging around that bum. It should also be interesting to see if our rushed speech from Andrea will lead to a power struggle in Woodbury. But the biggest question now is if Rick's pending insanity will begin to completely takeover. I guess we find out next week, and while the wait will suck, at least The Walking Dead is back!