The Walking Dead: 3.09 - The Suicide King

After a short mid-season break, The Walking Dead returns to the UK's FOX Channel tonight, a mere few days after it came back to AMC in the US. Since last we left our zombie-maiming heroes, though, there has been a behind-the-scenes change as showrunner Glen Mazzara was let go.

Ours is not to reason why - all we've got is the usual "creative differences" spiel - but it's a shame just because the show was going pretty well. We've taken a look at the first new episode anyway though, so let's see how it's progressed since our in-depth mid-way review. Slight spoilers may lurk.

As the mid-way review said, I was getting pretty happy with The Walking Dead last year. Yes, it was mindless pulpy fun, but it was running with that rather than trying to pull off depth and ending up being dreary, and that's fine. For now, you can keep the constant yelling entertaining, and when it gets too much, I guess that's when we do another complete change of setting.

After watching The Suicide King, though, I'm starting to feel worn down by it. This is mostly a collecting-the-pieces episode following the events of last week, and everyone is unhappy. I'm still down with the prison drama, but a little pause and reflection wouldn't kill them. This was a very plot-functional episode, which is often necessary after a semi-finale-battle, but every episode like this and you start to want a nap.

And Woodbury, oh Woodbury. You don't seem like a real town, and Andrea keeps hanging around in you, even though your leader has become an authoritarian supervillain lunatic. I love David Morrissey, but the scripts can't make The Governor believable. I know this is a comic book adaptation and there's a bit of latitude there, but when you're trying at every other opportunity to play the SERIOUS ADULT DRAMA card, it stands out when your baddie has been borrowed from Thundercats.

In short, a decent restart, but I'm a lot more interested in future events than the ongoing soap check-in here. There have been a few The Walking Dead episodes which have a beginning, middle and end, rather than simply advancing the arc plots a few more inches, and this ain't one of them. Still good to see them back pulping it up, though - I remain intruiged by where they're planning to go, especially with the Dixon brothers and Rick/Tyreese.

The Walking Dead airs at 10PM Fridays on FOX UK, or on Sunday nights on AMC in the US. More references to "Li'l Asskicker" please.

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