The Walking Dead season 3 episode 8 review: Made To Suffer

Review Ron Hogan 3 Dec 2012 - 08:44

The Walking Dead's cracking third series reaches its mid-season finale. Here's Ron's review of Made To Suffer...

This review contains spoilers.

3.8 Made To Suffer

The dichotomy between Rick and the Governor has been one the show has played with all season. But within each man, there's another pair of warring urges. With Rick, it's the desire to keep his group safe versus his growing madness. With the Governor, it's his urge to keep his group safe versus, well, his growing madness. With the Governor, we've seen multiple aspects of his personality, from the willing-to-do-anything side that threatens Maggie and holds zombie Thunderdomes, to the side that obviously cares for his people, who loves his daughter (and maybe Andrea), and who wants to cure the zombie apocalypse. 

However, after the events of this week, I have a feeling we are going to see the two men pick a side in their internal conflicts, and the Governor won't go back to being the cuddly, loving father and Andrea's latest terrible love interest. The tipping point was Michonne, who is still very much a woman without a home on either side, as we've seen by Rick's handling of her since she appeared at the Prison (and she's definitely not going back to Woodbury after what happens this week). 

I like how the show has handled The Governor during his run on the series. He shifts pretty easily from despicable (last week) to pitiable (this week) thanks in no small part to David Morrissey's performance (and Robert Kirkman's writing). I'd have to imagine that, after what happens to him this week, all of his pity and goodwill towards others will have been extinguished, marked by a fittingly epic political speech to the spooked Woodbury folks to close out this half of the season. Great work as always by him. 

Given that this is the mid-season finale, there's no doubt that The Walking Dead wanted to leave viewers something to think about between now and February. From the introduction of a very popular character from the comics (first Michonne, and now Tyreese as played by Chad Coleman from The Wire) to one of the most brutal fights I've ever seen on television, The Walking Dead has put the shadow of season two in its rear-view mirror. Kudos to director Billy Gierhart, because the shaky camera rarely works, but Gierhart actually made it work during the brawl between Michonne and the Governor. It was gritty, claustrophobic, and thrilling in an episode full of such moments.

I do have to wonder if the show is going to get more flack for the way it handles black characters. I'm generally not one to see racism around every corner, especially in a show that has cycled through dozens of white male characters in three seasons, but there had to have been a better time to introduce Tyreese. If you discard one black character and immediately introduce another black male character to replace him, it starts to look suspicious when you're on your fourth iteration of that (Morgan, T-Dog, Oscar, and now Tyreese). I'm well aware that Oscar is far from a major character, but that may not have been the best timing on their part.

One of the big themes of the show seems to be that selfishness will end up getting you killed. Think about it. Whenever someone goes off the reservation to do something the opposite of good for the group, from Carl's walk through the woods ending the farm storyline to Merle's fictional account of the death of Michonne (randomly shooting that guy with the difficult name). That happens multiple times this week, and it never seems to end well. Not immediately in some cases, but it certainly doesn't engender the selfish party to the group he or she is trying to be friendly with. 

There are so many potential flashpoints for the rest of this season once the show starts back up on February 10th (here in the US). Tyreese, Michonne, Daryl and Merle, The Governor, Andrea... anywhere you turn, there's someone that's in conflict with someone else about something, there are zombies everywhere, and Rick and the Governor are on the road to a full-fledged war between the prison survivors and the Woodbury survivors. And, perhaps, the prison survivors and Tyreese's group, if some of his more hotheaded membership get their way. 

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, When The Dead Come Knocking, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan thinks that The Walking Dead should surprise him and have more than one black person on the show at a time. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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I've seen the "one in, one out" racism talk here and on other forums. Are we forgetting that Michonne is black? Or the fact that we're ignoring that , does it make it a sexist agenda by the writers? Let it go,please.

REally... Racism... someone need to do some therapy if you see racism in this show! I've seen every culture get shot or cut in this show. You really need some help mentally!

The show's strongest characters are a white man, a Korean man, and a black woman. The Walking Dead is in no way racist. I was sad to see Oscar die, but he died saving Maggie and Glenn from a hail of bullets. Axel would have run or surrendered at that point; Oscar didn't.

Well said.

I'm reluctant to accuse the show of racism, because I really think that any show with such a multi-ethnic cast is probably not. Still it does seem that they have a quota for black male characters. If nothing else it makes the show predictable. The first thing I thought when they introduced Tyrese was poor Oscar.

That's the crux of the problem, I think. When Oscar came on the scene, it was poor T-Dog. When Tyreese came out, we all KNEW Oscar was going to die.

Michonne isn't a black man. She's the ONLY woman of color AND the most popular character from the comic book; she's too important to kill. The new black woman in Tyreese's group whose name they never said is sure thing to die during the next big cast purge.

The black man Highlander strikes again. It would appear there can be only one. If the rumours are true and they're looking to bring Morgan back things look bad for Tyreese. I don't think the show is racist. No one has a good time in this show and it's unlikely any of them will survive the whole show. Hopefully Tyreese will get a decent run and survive the inclusion of another gentleman of the same ethnicity.

I don't think they'd kill off Tyreese just to have Morgan back, but I also don't think Morgan would be around very long. I think Lennie James is pretty busy.

As I mentioned before, "There can only be one minority!"

All this talk about racism within this show is balls. The whole of the first season we had T-Dog and Jackie (both black). yeah ok they haven't seemed to keep more than two black people at a time in the rota but thats just how it is. Obviously a good number of you have never read the original material because you would know more about the characters and which ones are important to keep around and which ones aren't, saying that half of the people that have had it haven't even been in the comic. The chances of Morgan coming back are quite good if they stay within the same sort of original story bounderies they have done since season 1

a great episode in a great season - the series gets better and better. Edge of teh seat stuff this week

Her name is Sasha; Tyrese says it twice.

At least they didn't give Oscar too much characterization before killing him off. I would have really liked to see him survive until the final showdown with Woodbury vs the prison because he would have been good muscle. But if they needed to kill someone this episode Oscar would have been my pick.

Is Tyreese "Made to Suffer"? In The Walking Dead TV Show There Can Be Only One Black Male Character

http://wearerespectablenegroes...

Could be of interest. Obviously, I agree with your sharp points here.

Zombies care not for your skin colour.

The Governor instructed "shoot to kill" why capture Daryl? How were they sure that Daryl was Merle's brother, they don't even have an idea what Daryl looks like, yet at the end, they introduced him as Merle's brother...... A lot of holes in the storyline AMC....

There is only white meat, or dark meat.

I don't think the show's being racist, but it just happens to have fallen into a noticeable pattern of the one in, one out. And it does look bad. I'm sure, since they've been roundly criticised with it, the showrunners will avoid it in the future.

You admit that they don't seem to keep more than 2 black people at a time and you don't see a problem with this? T-Dog was the only character in the group who received NO character development. We knew NOTHING about him. He gets killed off and right on cue there's the next token black guy to replace him. HE then gets killed off and, lo and behold, another token black guy. Given how little representation minorities receive in TV shows, this is completely racist and unacceptable.

They got the wrong freaking eye!

Also, Tyreese is just a male version of Michonne in this Tv series and seeing him join the group just means they are drawing this series out even further, considering the Governor still has to loose an arm to look like his comic version.

Haha, the racism thing is a complete joke, anyone who suspects the show of white favouritism is either very uninformed, or an actual retard. Try to see it as another character being killed, rather than a black or a white character, it is you who are looking for and seeing race.

On another note, Rick's kid is becoming more annoying.

How did they get the wrong eye? The show is based on the comic not an actual adaptation of it.

If anything, I think they would be guilty it is because they are trying to maintain some sort of balance with white and black. Everything is so analyzed down to the smallest details so often now, anything can be picked apart. Everyone is so worried about being PC now, it's is a backwards spiral that makes it almost impossible.

Could be that Daryl gave up willingly after he ran out of ammunition. Once he surrendered it's very possible that he told then that he was Merle's brother.

If you're going to accuse the show of racism, accuse it of sexism as well. I can't count how many times the "woman falls behind the rest of the group and gets bitten by a zombie from the side" trope has been played.

Or you could, y'know, not, since it's neither. Also, there are three black people on right now: Tyreese, Michonne, and Sasha; not counting all the unnamed background characters. Please stop.

Three black people, you're forgetting Tyreese. You're also forgetting all the black dudes in the background, especially in Woodbury. Next you'll be saying 'lo and behold, there's the next three token black people.' Stop grasping at straws and take a good long look at yourself.

I tell you what, why don't you get Tyler Perry to do the spin off, and in his version, PREDOMINTLY the black man (or woman) will be the "savior to all mankind), and they can take "pity" on the "poor souls (white men and women)" they come across. Then we're even, k?

I'm so sick and tired of this PCBS!!! What YOU are failing to understand from this show, is that IF this really occurred, ALL the PCBS, would go out the window INSTANTLY. I don't care if your black, brown, yellow or purple, you WILL learn to rely on ANYONE who gives a damn, or you will perish. You have to look at the show from a real world perspective and realize that ALL the freedoms you have enjoyed (like EQUALITY) are man made fabrications, and that when your inner animal comes out, you will either be predator or prey, and your color or gender (or whatever other PC complaint you come up with), will be MUTE.

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