“The Walking Dead” Season 3, Episode 6 ‘Hounded’ Recap

Walking Dead, Episode Six

Walking Dead, Episode Six

Bobby Rabaioli

Walking Dead, Episode Six

Season 3 of the Walking Dead has been the best season thus far and is still only starting to pick up.

In the opening of Episode 6 “Hounded,” Merle leads a group of men from Woodbury to hunt down Michonne who they consider a threat to their society.  Michonne launches a surprise attack and ends up killing two, but as she flees, Merle manages to shoot her in the leg.  Despite the injury, Michonne launches another attack but is unable to kill Merle and the other man, for the whole group is overrun by a horde of walkers.  In the ensuing battle, she gets covered by walker blood and recognizes what Rick recognized back in Atlanta in Season 1: humans can blend in with zombies if covered in zombie blood.  Michonne — who previously had 3 walkers chained to her in order to blend in — unsurprisingly spends the rest of the episode (and possibly the season?) covered in walker blood.  Although she does not say much, Michonne is quickly becoming a personal favorite of viewers and seems destined to be an integral protagonist in this season.

Then there is Rick.

Throughout the whole episode, he stays in the room where a zombie ate his wife and receives phone calls from an unknown source.  The anonymous source and then that person’s leader essentially interviews Rick about the possibility of Rick’s group joining this other, safer group.  Interestingly, while the anonymous source questions Rick about how many people he has killed and about what happened to his wife, we recognize that Rick is not a great interviewee. He is a liability.

During the last phone call though, we realize that these phone calls are all in Rick’s imagination.

Instead of an unknown person, the caller is now Lori, presumably calling from Heaven or Rick’s subconscious.  Still unable to cope with his wifes death, Rick feels he let her down on the promise he made to protect her.  Lori tells him that he loves him and forgives Rick; but Rick who finally sees it is all in his head, hangs up ending all connection with her.  Although Rick is clearly a liability, Rick appears to have turned a corner.

As Carl continues to overcome his mothers death, Daryl tells hims a story of his own childhood.  The two of them have a great connection because Carl is a man- like child, while Daryl is a child-like man.  The story of Daryl’s mother burning alive and the humility that Daryl faced somewhat helps Carl overcome his mothers sudden death.  However, Carl shot his mother and didn’t just witness her tragedy.

Daryl who still misses Carol (who is missing) after the two had grown a close relationship over three seasons.  After clearing out a part of the prison only to find one zombie who had Carol’s knife stuck in its neck, Daryl suspects that zombie-Carol is stuck in a closet.  Filled with rage, Daryl waits outside the closet and builds confidence to kill his closet friend in the group.  When he finally opens the door to kill zombie-Carol, he realizes that its just stupid Carol.  Presumably starving and dehydrated, she lies emaciated but alive.

While that was going on, Glenn and Maggie take a run to get baby formula for Rick’s new born Daughter.  But incidentally  runs into Merle who is now just trying to survive from the wounded Michonne.  Merle first asks about his brother in order to see if he can get information of his location.  Merle would eventually overrun  Glenn and Maggie and take them back to Woodbury to hold hostage.  While it is strange how Merle quickly overruns them, this episode clearly shows that Merle’s character — in addition to Michonne — has significantly added to the tension of the show’s conflict.  His southern dialect, hand-weaponry, and physical brutality — all of these have really made him an effective villain to Michonne.  And, their conflict provides a vital escape from the heady, intellectual Woodberry conversations or the hyperemotional prison scenes.

Mazzarra might get a lot of credit for his genius in ending episodes.  Once again, he leaves the audience asking questions when Rick spots a walker carrying something unusual: a pharmacy shopping basket.  As he investigates the basket carrier, Mazzarra pans up to reveal a blood covered Michonne, coolly blending in with zombie horde outside the prison.

The meeting of these two different worlds meeting will ultimately make this show better.  Instead of Rick and the group just doing housework in the prison, they will now inevitably have to fight the most significant villain in this show’s history: The Governor.  My Prediction: Rick and Survivors lose a couple rounds but should win with a late rally.