Ups and Downs

Season 3 Episode 6 “Hounded”

The Episode

A lot of characters get attention this episode with a variety of experiences. Rick is still losing his mind, Daryl faces a big fear, Glenn and Maggie run into trouble, Andrea gets laid and Michonne and Merle tangle as we watch our two groups intertwine together. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions this week.

Starting out with poor Rick. He spends most of the episode talking to people on a phone that isn’t really working. He can’t recognize the voices, well, neither could I first time listening to it, but he’s actually talking to the departed Amy, Jim, Jackie and Lori. One key piece of information that comes during this is the question, “How many people have you killed?” It’s the first time on the show that this question gets asked, but it becomes quite common as we go along. Rick doesn’t pick up on who he is talking to until Lori tells him. Then we all get to realize he’s out of his mind. But the moment where he explains himself to Lori and apologizes is touching. He thought he had more time to fix things with her. And don’t we all run into that in life? We think we have time to do all the things we mean well enough to do, but then that time gets abruptly taken away and we are left with nothing but regret. After this moment Rick rejoins the others but his face has “powder keg” written all over it.

Daryl continues to help the group keep going. He’s determined to keep the remaining people alive. He tries consoling Carl by telling him about how his mother died smoking in bed. Again, what a horrible childhood Daryl had! It’s touching to see him try to reach out to Carl and help him. But then he goes walker hunting through the prison and has an experience that might bring him to his end. He finds Carol’s knife stuck in a walker’s face. He realizes that the room he thought a walker was trapped in might be the missing Carol. He can’t even bring himself to open the door to the room to find out if it’s her or not. Daryl has so little family connection with most of the group that when he looks like he might turn into another crazy Rick over this that it really means something special. Right now Carol is the most important person to him and losing her is more than he can bear. But luckily, when he does open the door he finds Carol alive and not bitten. She’s just weak and dehydrated. Then he so lovingly carries her back to the group. It’s swoon-worthy.

Glenn and Maggie go off to get more baby food. But that trip doesn’t end well. They run into Merle out there who’s hunting Michonne. When Merle finds them instead, and that they seem unwilling to take him to Daryl, Merle pulls a fast one on them instead and kidnaps them and brings them back to The Governor. At first I think it’s a little mean of Glenn to not want to take Merle straight away to Daryl. But when you think about it’s very smart. Merle has been away for quite some time and just appears out of nowhere with a knife for an arm. There was bad blood before he disappeared and he doesn’t look like much of a better person now. So Glenn plays it safe by offering to bring Daryl to him. But we all know Merle and he’s not known to be a man to compromise.

Our groups start to crossover to each other at this point. Merle brings Glenn and Maggie to Woodbury, and Michonne winds up at the prison. After she slaughters several Woodbury defenders and fights with Merle, she runs away injured. She winds up at the same store as Glenn and Maggie and watches them get taken away.

Man in hooded sweatshirt facing away from camera in woods

Again, my instinct is that she should jump in and help them but another character making better decisions than mine. She’s hurt and may not be much help to Glenn and Maggie. She knows from overhearing them that there’s a baby at a prison that needs the stuff they are getting. She plays it smart and hangs back and when Merle drives them all away, she grabs that stuff and finds the prison. I love that scene of Rick walking to the fence because he sees someone amongst the walkers and then they just stare at each other. Michonne hurt and doesn’t know what she’s heading into and Rick probably wondering if he is seeing things.

And then there’s Andrea. Her life seems charmed at this point. Safely inside Woodbury, her biggest problems now are how is she going to contribute to the community. That seems to get cleared up as we watch her and The Governor have their first date and afternoon delight. Andrea’s new job seems to be finding a boyfriend. She really knows how to pick ‘em. It doesn’t seem likely that things will stay so comfy cozy when she finds out her old pal Glenn is being held captive.

With our groups now overlapping with so many characters, you can practically taste the confrontation lying ahead. Michonne is obviously going to tell Rick all the not so positive stuff about Woodbury. Merle and Daryl will meet, but with Daryl having evolved so much, can Merle handle that? Andrea is now side by side with The Governor but also respected her old group so much, can she do anything to avoid a conflict? They’ve mentioned a few times how they abandoned her but is she really holding a grudge, I don’t see it. Gah! So much to think about!

Best of the Episode

Michonne’s bloody trek. She is no regular female and won’t put up with being hunted. She sends a gruesome message to her hunters by spelling out “Go Back” in walker parts, then jumps her attackers. Even wounded she still battles it out with Merle pretty darn well. And then there’s her gentle side, taking the baby food to the prison. People are always saving those darn babies.

Babies feet in black and white

Rick holding Little Asskicker. More darn baby stuff! But Rick looks at his most normal holding that baby. Fatherly instinct prevails over his psychotic break and it puts us all at ease…for a moment.

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