The Walking Dead Episode 12 review: Clear showed last night on AMC. It was… Well, it was very good. Maybe not as amazing as everyone says. But good.
First, what was great about the episode.
Morgan Jones returned. I loved the character, and it shows a departure from the comic book that both makes sense and is satisfying. His descent into madness echoes the journey Rick has begun, and the show as a whole had a handling of theme and character. It makes me glad to know that Scott Gimple, who will be next season’s showrunner, wrote it. That bodes well for the series.
But, well, that’s about all I have to say about its pros. Sure, I was as happy as anyone to get something different. I’m tired of the prison plot — I’ve said before I wish they’d speed that along. So getting a break wasn’t horrible.
Yet, the cons of Clear, for me, is really every other episode’s fault. I feel like everything has been built up. Everything has been slow and plodding. Episode 11 was boring as hell. So, I was waiting for Episode 12 to push that plot along more. Get it over with. Instead, they go on a side quest.
Now, that quest was great. It was more enjoyable than most of this season’s episodes. But it was too little too late, in my opinion. If the rest of the season had been fast and furious, a slower more tangential episode would have been a respite. As it was, to me it seemed like an unemployed dude taking a vacation — a vacation from what?
Sure, they did one thing to push the plot along: they got guns. That’s important. But it was one show devoted JUST to getting guns, from an overall plot standpoint. If you were to put a bunch of notecards on a board, with each on representing an episode, in order to establish the season’s plot… Episode 12’s notecard would have “get guns” written on it and nothing else.
In fiction, there’s three things you must account for at all times. And the best fiction accomplishes all three at once. You have theme, character, and plot. To me, this episode was an unbalanced equation. Again, if the reason of the season had an abundance of fast-paced plot, I’d be able to sit back and enjoy.
I did enjoy Clear. Just not as much as I wish I could have.