The Walking Dead Episode 3.12 'Clear' Review

Posted by k4tzm4n (36126 posts) - - Show Bio

Spoilers below!

Isn't the show so much better without Andrea?! Seriously, though, this was without question one of the most powerful episodes we've seen since 'Days Gone Bye.' We get the long overdue return of Morgan (Lennie James) and this chapter provides a terrific insight into how this horrible world has impacted everyone.

This episode focuses solely on a trio from the main group: Rick, Michonne and Carl. The three go on a supply run and we never get a look back at the prison or Woodbury. Seeing as the writing is so sharp and the performances are so solid, not once did I care about what was going on elsewhere. While on the run they bump into Morgan -- the man we haven't seen since the beginning of the first season. Suffering tragedy after tragedy, this horrific world has driven him mad and you absolutely cannot blame him. Lennie gives a brilliant performance and delivers one of the most emotionally wrenching moments since his sniping conflict back in the very first episode. His delivery while telling the story about his son and his "wife" tore me up inside. That's what this show is all about. Sure, I love seeing Michonne slice and dice, but at the end of the day, this is about the survivors and how they're coping... and this episode goes above and beyond in that regard.

But he's not the only one who's undergone drastic changes from the zombie apocalypse. On their way to the town, the group drives past a survivor. The man desperately screams for their help, but Rick and Michonne don't even debate the decision for a second... it's clear: they're not helping that man. A season ago, Rick would have done everything possible to help this stranded fellow. Now? It doesn't even faze him. He has enough problems on his plate and has encountered too many people who just aren't worth the trouble. He fights to keep humans alive, but through the months it has clearly cost him a good chunk of his humanity as well.

Holy dialogue, Michonne! For once we get more from Michonne than cold stares and a few lines! She finally lets her guard down as she teams-up with Carl and, as someone who's often annoyed by her, it really won me over. How she grabbed that photo so quickly made me scratch my head, but whatever, the logic behind that doesn't matter when weighed next to how strong of a moment it was for her. Not only did she risk her safety to help someone else, she also showed a bit of her own personality by taking a piece of decoration for herself... one that you'd probably never guess she'd like. Additionally, she has a nice heart-to-heart with Rick at the end and finally made me feel some empathy for her.

There's a moment where their car is stuck in the mud and a swarm of zombies began to bash on the widows. Such a sight would likely make me wet my pants, but they don't even show the slightest bit of fear. In fact, they were calm and collected. I love how they've grown callous to this hostile environment over the past months. Not even Carl showed the slightest bit of fear.

Speaking of Carl, how touching was his side mission? He's become pretty cold, and you can't blame him at all after what he's been through. Risking everything for a picture of his mom made perfect sense. His main memory of her must be him pulling the trigger as she turned. Desperately trying to get a happy memory of what their family life was once like was a nice reminder of his age and how much this scenario has really taken a toll on him.

We all knew there wasn't going to be a happy ending for that lone survivor. Deep down we knew that the final scene would show him as a walker or screaming for help as they zoomed past him yet again. However, the show took a darker turn and it was the perfect way to end this episode. Seeing this man ripped apart -- a man they could have saved -- was tough, but then they stop and pick up his supplies like it's nothing. Wow, talk about one helluva way to conclude this character driven and emotionally powerful episode. Well played, The Walking Dead.

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

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#1 Posted by TheMatch328 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the last words Morgan said were so dumb he should have said something alittle better

#2 Edited by fullmetaladam (39 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't believe I have to wait until Friday to watch this episode. :(

#3 Posted by Fenderxx (356 posts) - - Show Bio

I really enjoyed this episode , It had a real "I am Legend feel" with one man trying to survive alone,

#4 Posted by MrShway88 (655 posts) - - Show Bio

Apparently Michonne has super speed in this episode.

#5 Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Alright, seen it now, and as far as I'm concerned, Rick can go to hell. His humanity has taken leave of him. He really has become far too gone, just like Morgan. What he did on that highway ignoring that poor straggler completely disgusted me. At this point he's no better than the Governor.

#6 Edited by The_Tree (7075 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved seeing Morgan return. This is easily one of the series' best episodes.

I'm hoping that Morgan eventually comes back and changes his mind. I liked having him in the group in the comics.

#7 Edited by The Stegman (22762 posts) - - Show Bio


How she grabbed that photo so quickly made me scratch my head

@MrShway88 said:

Apparently Michonne has super speed in this episode.

Either she has super speed, or her ninja skills have improved greatly.  
 
Getting the picture in under ten seconds, making it to the roof Morgan was on in about five seconds...geez.
#8 Posted by JamesKM716 (1992 posts) - - Show Bio

Morgan's actor did an EXCELLENT job today. One of the best in the series.

#9 Posted by Bestostero (5616 posts) - - Show Bio

I was glad to see Morgan return, but it sucks that it was shortlived... im glad they reunited though and im happy Michonne is finding a place with the group.

#10 Posted by frozenedge (1122 posts) - - Show Bio

Morgan's tale was definitely pretty tough to hear, The guy seemed to have fallen pretty far from when we last saw him and I don't blame him. Maybe after hearing Morgan's own tragic tale, Rick'll snap out of his "Lori's dead and I'm seeing her ghost" phase he's been in and get back to be clear-headed.

#11 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

Such a powerful episode. Easily one of the best yet.

But how the hell does that Hyundai stay so clean?

#12 Posted by SexualLobster (995 posts) - - Show Bio

Morgan and Tyreese are going to have their roles switched in the show as apposed to the comics.

#13 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (8844 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is my review for the episode:

#14 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio

Really one of the best episodes of the series. Finally we get something from Michonne, and I loved her character development in this one. Clever the foil between Rick and Morgan. Morgan is exactly what Rick would become if he kept pushing people away. I hope that's not the last we see of Morgan. Perhaps he'll have a run-in with the Governor?

#15 Posted by viin (534 posts) - - Show Bio

i feel like with this episode there were some deleted scenes with Michonne and Carl. Morgan was great. I was expecting either him or Abraham during the street scene. Good and well written episode but you cant help wonder whats going on at the prison or woodbury.

#16 Posted by ARMIV2 (8271 posts) - - Show Bio

The dialogue between Rick and Morgan here...damn...

#17 Posted by skyjumpermike (145 posts) - - Show Bio

Absolutely one of the best episodes in a long time. I loved the fact that the focus was on a small group and had very little to do with all the other stuff going on. It was nice to see scenes outside the prison and the governors town. The episode made me like Rick, Carl, and Michone all so much more. Morgan was fantastic and I hope we see him again. My only complaint is this thread actually... Leave it up to comic vine users to have the first comment be a nit picky complaint. It so tiresome tryin to look past all the negativity you find in the threads here. Anyway, truly a great episode.

#18 Posted by weaponx (1566 posts) - - Show Bio

A much much much better episode than we've been getting for a long time now.

#19 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

it was very good.

#20 Posted by stumpy49er (609 posts) - - Show Bio

Great episode. I have to admit it disturbed me that they left that hitchhiker to die. Kind of makes me less sympathetic to whatever their fate brings them.

#21 Posted by Drewyetti (66 posts) - - Show Bio

Did anyone notice that the song played at the end was the same song that played in the first episode of the walking dead series?

#22 Posted by New_World_Order (12361 posts) - - Show Bio

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Alright, seen it now, and as far as I'm concerned, Rick can go to hell. His humanity has taken leave of him. He really has become far too gone, just like Morgan. What he did on that highway ignoring that poor straggler completely disgusted me. At this point he's no better than the Governor.

I agree

#23 Posted by frozenedge (1122 posts) - - Show Bio

@stumpy49er: they probably didn't wanna take the risk and him turning out to be another crazy like Merle or something

#24 Posted by The Average Bear (2059 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheMatch328 said:

I think the last words Morgan said were so dumb he should have said something alittle better

I think what he was saying was never regret because it had torn Morgan apart to regret that he didn't do what he should've done with his wife

#25 Posted by fodigg (6130 posts) - - Show Bio

Good episode. I actually missed the first ten minutes so I didn't even see the ignored survivor part. I wondered what they were bookending during the drive back!

One thing that annoyed me was that, here's a character (Morgan) who has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are reasonable and practical methods of totally clearing areas of zombies using simple traps and patience, and yet there go Carl and Michonne with the typical half-baked plans and lack of patience when they raid the diner All they'd have to do is knock out the front window and stab the walkers through it one by one but no.

Oh well. I guess if practical fortifications worked it wouldn't be much of a zombie show.

#26 Posted by Mr. Kamikaze (517 posts) - - Show Bio

Seeing Morgan back on reminded me of the deeply emotional, character driven story that The Walking Dead started out to be and reminded me of just how damn good it was. So glad he came back and brought that back with him. I really enjoyed this episode.

But those poor chicken and mice :(

And that poor hitchhiker XD

#27 Posted by Mutant God (3011 posts) - - Show Bio

I was dissapointed when the hitch hiker died it would have been funny to see him still trying to get people gave him a ride plus all that time he could have stories of his own.

#28 Posted by YoungJustice (6648 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved Morgan in this episode. The writings on the wall where heartbreaking. Along with his message to Carl.

#29 Edited by DeathstrokeMerc (80 posts) - - Show Bio

What was great about it? Nothing. Why suddenly are Rick and his crew unable to kill a few dozen walkers outside prison? They can poke half of them through the fence. All the stuff they did originally to take the prison.

#30 Posted by Dabee (2375 posts) - - Show Bio

Really hope Morgan joins their group like he did in the comic. I'm thinking that's why they didn't kill him, I'm hopefully not being too optimistic. Maybe he'll end up saving the day?

#31 Posted by TheHeat (448 posts) - - Show Bio
@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Alright, seen it now, and as far as I'm concerned, Rick can go to hell. His humanity has taken leave of him. He really has become far too gone, just like Morgan. What he did on that highway ignoring that poor straggler completely disgusted me. At this point he's no better than the Governor.

What if the straggler was a rapist, pedo, or a murderer? Or what if he was a member of some crew that would have killed Rick, Carl, and Michionne? Rick did the right thing. In a zombie apocalypse, trust no one.
#32 Posted by TheHeat (448 posts) - - Show Bio

Really great episode. Very emotional. One of my favorites.

#33 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheHeat said:

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Alright, seen it now, and as far as I'm concerned, Rick can go to hell. His humanity has taken leave of him. He really has become far too gone, just like Morgan. What he did on that highway ignoring that poor straggler completely disgusted me. At this point he's no better than the Governor.

What if the straggler was a rapist, pedo, or a murderer? Or what if he was a member of some crew that would have killed Rick, Carl, and Michionne? Rick did the right thing. In a zombie apocalypse, trust no one.

True, but by the same logic the said straggler could possibly have had the answer to why the dead were rising or perhaps even surmised a way to turn the zombie contagion backward and give mankind a chance to end the madness. Either/or my friend, but yes, true that in what you say.

#34 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (5870 posts) - - Show Bio

One of the best episodes. Lennie James, the guy that plays Morgan is phenomenal

#35 Edited by SpidermanWins (3975 posts) - - Show Bio

Morgan went CRAAAZAY in this episode

I absolutely LOVED the dialogue and the episode

#36 Posted by Nicodemus (65 posts) - - Show Bio

Good filler episode and we get an awkward closure with Mogan. I like the mission that Morgan thinks he's on. I'd say he's someone who still holds on to faith and a higher power in the face of Hell. Like this was planned for him and his mission.

#37 Posted by SavageDragon (2248 posts) - - Show Bio

I really liked this episode. 8.5 out of 10 for me.

#38 Posted by MSzekeresh (94 posts) - - Show Bio

Loved the hitchhiker. One thing I have really enjoyed about this season is the use of words over actions. Earlier in the season when the leader of the prisoners didn't do what Rick said and tried to hurt him, Rick responded with a machete to the guys head. In this episode they purposefully don't stop to help someone. I know it's cruel it it shows how far the characters have come and what they have lost.

#39 Posted by dondasch (926 posts) - - Show Bio

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Alright, seen it now, and as far as I'm concerned, Rick can go to hell. His humanity has taken leave of him. He really has become far too gone, just like Morgan. What he did on that highway ignoring that poor straggler completely disgusted me. At this point he's no better than the Governor.

As I recall, Carl, Michonne and Rick had the opportunity to say something, but none did. If there is blame to be passed, it's for all three, not just Rick

#40 Posted by lrtaylor02 (28 posts) - - Show Bio

@RedheadedAtrocitus: I wouldn't say his humanity has left him. But the experiences have hardened them. They have had experiences when they brought people in and were betrayed. They have to have their guard up. The people from Philadelphia tried to find out where the farm was and tried to kill them. Two of the prisoners tried to kill them. And Shane (who had been part of the group) went crazy and tried to kill Rick. They don't know who they can trust. So, it makes sense that they wouldn't just pick up a random person because there's no way of knowing who that person is. I thought the ending was appropriate because it shows how far society has really come. Earlier, I think they would have picked them up. Even now, we wouldn't dream of leaving someone in such a predicament. But times have changed. People have been burned by their attempts to save others. Now they have to do what they can to protect their group. But indications that their humanity remains: They are protecting each other. They did not leave Morgan outside (they took him inside where he'd be safe). They left him alive and didn't rob him. And they didn't steal the weapons from Tyrese and his group. You can still see that they are not like the Governor and his people. Yes, they left the hitchhiker. But the Governor would have outright killed him and took his supplies. They left that guy to his fate. I still think there's a difference and there is still humanity left in Rick and his group.

#41 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

@dondasch: Granted, though I am almost certain I heard Carl say something to his dad about waiting for the straggler when he was screaming at them to stop and they were trying to move the car out of the mud. Could be wrong but yes, you're right. They all share the blame in not stopping since silence on Michonne's part is just as bad as Rick passing the guy by. I'm just merely pointing out that at this point we have seen a clear difference between Rick of old and Rick of now, with the current one obviously caring less and less about doing a noble act and more about actual survival.

@lrtaylor02: Sure, I see that all as true. But he's slowly becoming too far gone no matter how one looks at it. Just the fact that he didn't order Michonne to stop the car and get that straggler, and even taking his belongings later on by the side of the road, shows that he is adapting his senses to a world where morality really doesn't account for much anymore and survival is the only issue. Its kinda what Kirkman's central message of the entire story behind Walking Dead is all about: when humanity has become as civilized and advanced as ours has, in the case of an apocalyptic event, humans will revert back to their animal instincts. And that's just what the comic and show are all about...how people handle themselves and others in the event and aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.

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