In one of the most riveting episodes of The Walking Dead, Rick finds an old friend and finally gets “clear” about his mission. Oh, and Michonne actually smiles!

The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 12, “Clear”—With everything that’s been going on with the threat of the Governor and his cronies at Woodbury, it appeared within that last few episodes that the chances of surviving the Governor’s oncoming attack were slim. After all, when you put stock in a leader who’s suddenly become unhinged, how can your chances of winning a war with no weapons fare well? The latest episode only featured Rick, Michonne and Carl, and a surprise guest comeback from an old friend of Rick’s: Morgan. Even though most of the gang wasn’t featured, it was a mesmerizing episode that was necessary in telling the future for Rick and his leadership moving forward. Also, it offered us a much-needed break from Woodbury and shots of Andrea stunned that the Governor could actually be a sadistic SOB.

If anything could snap Rick back to reality, it’s Morgan, the man who saved his life when he woke up from his coma. On a mission to find an old stash of guns in his old neighbourhood, Rick, Michonne and Carl drive off and encounter a few walkers and a hitchhiker with a backpack, while stopping for supplies, who begs for their help. They barely blink an eye as they look at the guy running on the road desperate for help. Needless to say, they pass him by with no remorse.

As they reach their old town, they find a street filled with booby traps. Suddenly, a man on a roof with a rifle attacks them and a gunfight ensues. As the man approaches Rick on the street, Carl pops out and shoots him. The man, wearing body armor, falls unconscious. When Rick lifts his mask, he sees that it’s Morgan.

Rick and Michonne carry Morgan into his apartment, lay him down and tie his hands. The room is stocked with the weapons Rick was looking for. Michonne and Carl begin packing up the guns, but Rick refuses to leave until Morgan wakes up. Michonne tells Rick that she doesn’t think it’s a good idea since the guy is completely mad and tried to kill them. The writing on the wall is a “clear” indication. It seems Morgan has scribbled writing all over the walls of his apartment, which has an effect on Rick, especially the word “clear” in red that’s repeated. He sees his old friend is not all there and it brings to mind his own fragile mental state and the importance being with people physically and emotionally.

While they wait for Morgan to regain consciousness, Carl sees a map of the town on the wall and tells his dad he needs to go out and get something for his sister Judith, a crib. Rick tells Carl he can go only if Michonne goes with him. Carl leads Michonne to an old café and as they enter, they encounter a group of walkers who attack. Thank goodness for Michonne and her handy sword skills. Carl finds what he’s looking for, an old picture on the wall of himself, with his mom and dad.  But when walkers suddenly overrun them, Carl loses the picture inside. Michonne goes back in a gets it for him. They bond and Michonne actually smiles!

Not only is this great for Michonne, gaining the trust of Carl and Rick, but for her character as well. She actually got to talk! She actually got to show some emotion.

Meanwhile, Morgan wakes up and attacks Rick. Rick is stabbed in the shoulder but is hell bent on snapping Morgan out of his lone state. When Morgan finally realizes that it’s Rick, things don’t get any better. Seeing the Walkie Talkie that Rick left him, he apologizes that he didn’t go back for Morgan. Morgan, after telling Rick that he finally killed his walker wife when she attacked and killed his son, said he turned it on day after day, hearing nothing but static. Feeling guilty, Rick tells Morgan, “We kept getting pushed back deeper into the country,” Rick explains. “I swear to God I didn’t have a choice.” He tries to convince Morgan to go back with them, but he refuses.

Later, they pack up the guns and supplies at the car and Rick’s demeanor changes. He asks Carl what he thinks of Michonne now, and significantly, Carl responds, “I think she might be one of us.” Michonne then has a moment with Rick. She tells Rick she knows he sees dead people. She tells him, “I used to talk to my dead boyfriend. It happens.” And, she’s made her way in.

As they drive back to the prison, they pass the torn apart corpse of the hitchhiker they wouldn’t help earlier. They then drive back in order to pull over and pick up his backpack. He wasn’t good enough to make the journey, but his backpack was.



—Toni-Marie Ippolito


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