Each week I review the latest episode of AMC’s television series, The Walking Dead and pick three scenes or characters and breakdown the differences or similarities the show might’ve had with the comic book series. For those that are privy to the comic book and the show, this is for you. Unfortunately, if you have not seen the episode or read the comic, this will spoil everything! You’ve been warned!
Season 3 – Episode 8 – “Made To Suffer”
We have another incredible episode from this week’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead. This particular episode was written by one of the executive producers and the creator of the comic books, Robert Kirkman and the episode was actually teeming with possibilities everywhere.
First, we are brutally introduced to another fan-favorite, comic book character Tyreese, whom finally enters the realm of the television show. But he doesn’t arrive alone and there is yet more visitors that decide to check into the “fortified” prison a.k.a. “Chateau Grimes’ Zombie Apocalypse Day Spa.” Tyreese’s group consists of his lover Sasha, and another couple with their son. The woman gets bit and the husband brings her along as they struggle to find refuge. After getting rescued and locked off by Carl, Tyreese takes a glass-half-full approach, and realizes this prison is the best living arrangement they’ve had in quite some time.
We can’t be quite sure how secure this prison is, given that a lot of people are seemingly coming and going as they please. Did Rick miss seeing this entire wing of the prison when he was scouting for security? Not sure how this group of survivors missed that, but then again Rick is still losing his mind with his phone calls with dead people in the previous episodes, to seeing a rifle-wielding Shane looking like Wolverine in this episode. If the show is going to build up to a stand-off where The Governor invades the prison, then this breach in the prison, the double-agent Andrea, and the confiscated Hum-V will likely play significant roles.
We also had to bid farewell to Oscar as this show refuses to allow more than one African-American male to be a part of Rick’s group and exist on the show at the same time. Not complaining though, as this show has one of the most diverse cast of actors on TV right now.
The audience was also treated to a prolific speech by The Governor as he wordsmiths his way to get the citizens of Woodbury galvanized for his new mission. It was no mistake that The Governor chose the word “terrorists” to identify Rick and his gang as he wins the crowd over. The “coup de grace” is when The Governor labels Merle as the traitor and reveals his brother, Daryl, as they square off at each other in disbelief amongst the audible crowd.
It seems that all the characters are starting to be arranged and lined up like pins waiting for the metaphorical bowling ball to knock to them all around and bust everything up for the actual season three finale next year!
Let’s see what remained faithful to the comic books and what did not.
“Tyreese’s Pieces” or “Hammer Time!”
The arrival of Tyreese is upon us! Fans of the comic book should know that Tyreese was Rick’s (missing) right-hand man and quickly emerged as one the leading males for the group. He was introduced in the comic book series just before the gang’s brief stint at the Wiltshire Estates, then arriving to Herschel’s farm. He and Rick became great friends for quite some time before actually arriving at the prison. It was here, the two squared off in some epic fights, but both whole-heartedly trusted the other. Tyreese We’ll probably get more of a formal introduction to Tyreese during the midseason premiere in February, but there were some parallels to the comic books.
The best part of Tyreese’s introduction was the usage of his trusty hammer. The television show has some iconic zombie killing weaponry associated with it’s characters. Andrea has her rifle, Shane has his shotgun, Rick has his revolver, Michonne has her kitana, Daryl has his crossbow, and we can formally welcome Tyreese and his hammer into the fray.
Not much was said or explained as to why he was using a hammer, but in The Walking Dead comic books, Tyreese has a strong affiliation with his weapon of choice.
Unfortunately, we are missing some of the key characters that really dictated Tyreese’s personality and decisions in the comic books. So far, we have Tyreese and his lover Sasha in the TV show.
In the comic books, Tyreese was accompanied by his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris.
These two characters really drive Tyreese to the edge in prison, as they botch a suicide pact and the death of his daughter leaves him in cold, emotion-less, shambles. I doubt the show will be able to take this on directly, but I’m eager to see how they develop the same emotional arc.
“Family Matters” or “Has Anyone Seen Billy!?”
I have to admit that upon first pass of watching this episode, I didn’t even notice that the family that accompanies Tyreese had very notable names. The man was named Allen, the wife was named Donna, and their boy was named Ben.
So upon first glance, this family doesn’t look like their older, blonder, comic book counterparts. The Donna on the television show meets her demise from a walker bite on her arm and is carried into the prison.
In her comic book version, Donna meets her demise by getting feasted on as a lurking zombie bites her in the face! Although she died very early in the comic book series, she was a notable, matriarch figure in the group and her death deeply rattles her widowed husband Allen.
Fans of the comic series should quickly notice that a conspicuous twin brother seems to be missing from the equation: Billy! In the comic book version of The Walking Dead, Billy and Ben are cherub-like twins that kept Sophia and Carl company in the zombie apocalypse. Sadly, no child grows up in the zombie apocalypse mentally unscathed, and after the death of his parents, Ben has a distorted view on what death means now and ends up murdering his twin brother, Billy.
The verdict is still out on this Ben kid, but he already seems quite unstable and I’m willing to bet that the show will be having a scene or two of doing something psychologically unstable somewhere down the line. If that happens, then we all know Carl is able to do the things that the other survivors can’t…
“It’s 10pm, Do You Know Where Your Zombie Daughter Is?” or “Michonne Is Not A Red Rider BB Gun, But She’ll Stab Your Eye Out!”
So, last but not least, we have the climactic showdown between The Governor and Michonne! While waiting for The Governor to return to his home, Michonne finally encounters his beloved zombie daughter, Penny. She has a hardline stance on walkers, and after some pleading from The Governor, Michonne decides to end the charade by shoving her kitana sword right through the back of Penny’s head and through her mouth.
And as The Governor’s delusional and emotionally unstable relationship with his daughter comes crumbling down before him, he rectify the situation by smashing Michonne into his zombie entertainment center!
After some violent wrestling and some choking, Michonne stabs The Governor in the eye making his decent into evil absolute and complete. Nothing says you’ve reached villain status like losing an eye!
While the TV show did an incredible job of showing quite a bit of action and gore in the scene, it pales in comparison to what Michonne and The Governor achieved in the comic book series. Instead of waiting for The Governor to arrive home like in the television series, Michonne literally busts through the door and quickly gains the upper hand.
From there, Michonne subjects The Governor to some of the most vindictive and gruesome torture we’ve yet to see in the series. The reader is cheering her on and averting their eyes at the spine-tingling retribution that is exacted!
Needless to say, she leaves him alive to wallow in his own blood and pity. But as the saying goes, revenge begets revenge and The Governor licks his wounds to return another day.
That’s all we have until next year folks! In the meantime, I want to wish everyone happy holidays and a wonderful new year. With the holidays coming, there’s a ton of a great The Walking Dead merchandise to gift from dolls, action figures, and most importantly, comics! I just got the The Walking Dead: Assault game and it’s a blast!
Keep the comments coming and make sure to follow me on Twitter @roderickruth