Michonne’s arrival at the prison compound sees Rick launch a rescue mission to retrieve Maggie and Glenn from Woodbury.
This show really is firing on all cylinders. Recent episodes have ended on great cliffhangers, just when viewers no doubt wanted more. That’s a sign of confidence, a show that’s recovered its mojo after a rather lackluster second season, and a great promise for a rocking mid-season finale this coming weekend.
After a couple of episodes in the mental wilderness, Rick is back as a man of action, rounding up his gang to set out and rescue Glenn and Maggie from Woodbury. They don’t know Andrea is there, and they’ve no clue what’s waiting for them in the charming and menacing shape of the Governor (David Morrissey).
This episode went places The Walking Dead hasn’t ventured to before, including unarmed zombie fights and threats of sexual violence. Glenn proves himself a resourceful hero, not only standing up to torture at the hands of Merle, but also taking down a hungry walker while tied to a chair (a brilliant, bravura sequence). More disturbing, though, is the scene in which the Governor threatens Maggie with rape. That he doesn’t follow through on his threat (it eventually has the desired effect anyway, when he threatens to kill Glenn instead) may be a relief, but it reveals a new, even more shocking side to this ambivalent character.
Elsewhere, scientist Milton involves Andrea in his attempts to understand the process of transformation into a zombie, using a volunteer dying elderly man in the hope of proving consciousness survives the change. Andrea is not convinced, thanks to her field experience, and it seems she’s proved correct.
The ending, and the next episode trailer, promise a fantastic mid-season finale. If the writers pull off the promise of both the end of this episode and the trailer, then it’ll be a long, cold wait until the new episodes next February.
Verdict: No lack of zombie action, ethical dilemmas or thrills here—this show’s alive, kicking and biting!
Episode 7 ‘When the Dead Come Knocking’: 9/10
Brian J. Robb