It’s back. The Walking Dead “Suicide King” aired last night after much hype. It did not live up to it.
Here’s the thing: I love The Walking Dead. I love the comic book, and I love the TV show. But it’s a TV show. As a result, it’s hampered by the age-old timing of the medium. But that’s a crutch. Producers and writers feel the need to limit episodes to one big event per week.
The comic contains five big events every issue, it seems. The action moves forward with lightning speed. Meanwhile, we see a show where the only major action is the conclusion of the mid-season finale. That’s it. Everything else was just whining and in-fighting. It was melodrama. To me, it was boring.
Now, we here at fictionphile take fiction seriously. Maybe a little too seriously. It’s not all about action. There can be great drama and great emotion. Still, this was pretty limp on all fronts.
First, let’s consider The Governor. When they first made it clear that this was not the comic book’s Governor, I had my grievances. In the comic he has no good qualities. Sure, he pretends, but it’s always pretty damn clear how evil he is. They did this with the way he treated Maggie, mind you, but in the comic they took it so much further. The man was pure evil, and more so, he was pure CRAZY.
This time, Rick’s the crazy one. This also can be attributed to the changes with the Governor, in a roundabout way. In the comics Lori dies during a confrontation with the Governor. Rick’s subsequent meltdown is almost, on a thematic level, a transference of the Governor’s mental state to Rick. Here, they’re muddying the water. Is one really worse than the other? They both have their people, and they’re both snapping. I don’t like that. Call me an absolutist, but I like a little more division between my good guys and my bad guys. Even if the good guy starts blurring the line later, it shouldn’t be midstream with the villain if you want my buy-in.
Also, I sincerely hope Daryl is not leaving the show. Hopefully this is just an opportunity for him and brother Merle to save the day amid a Governor vs. Rick showdown. That would cement Merle as a good guy in the group’s mind and somewhat wipe the slate clean for BOTH of them to return… but this might be wishful thinking. Another character I hope isn’t gone for good is Tyrese. Listen, I understand you all loved T-Dog, but Tyrese is 100 million times better than T-Dog. If you haven’t read the comics, trust me. He’s possibly even more of a badass than Daryl.
This wasn’t a horrible episode, but it certainly wasn’t a big premiere. It might just be setting the scene for the overall season finale, but now that episode better be tremendous. Somehow, I’m uneasy putting my faith in that. It would have to be on the scale from the comics, and they’ve shown they don’t like sticking too close to the source. We’ll see.