The Walking Dead delivered a captivating mid-season finale with a cliffhanger ending guaranteed to have fans eagerly awaiting the show's return. Last week the stage was set for a thrilling conclusion to the first half of Season 3, and last night AMC delivered another gem. We saw a major character from the comics introduced and we witnessed a fantastic fight scene that will have major ramifications on some of our primary characters. "Made to Suffer" concluded with the reunion we were all clamoring for, but I don't think any of us were expecting it to happen like that, and now we're left to fret over the pending outcome until The Walking Dead returns. All told, the first half of this season was a success, and should the show progress and offer up a fitting finale, Season 3 will emerge as the best season yet.
As promised, Rick and company took Woodbury by storm, and the highlight of the season thus far was the big fight pitting fan favorites Michonne and The Governor against one another. This was yet another example of the show favoring the basic framework of Robert Kirkman's comic without rigidly adhering to the material. While I have been at odds with the some of the choices they've made in this regard as of late, I really enjoyed the direction they took with this battle. The show has delivered at least one sound fight to date (Rick vs. Shane with a zombie horde in the mix for good measure) and I had high hopes for this scene. AMC nailed it with a vicious brawl that may indeed be the highlight of the series to date and not just the current season.
We closed out with the Dixon brothers meeting up again in one hell of a jam, an event that will definitely generate a lot of water-cooler chatter today. It was a great decision and I know people are going to be dying for the show to come back so they can see how this plays out. I'm there with them, but I have a hard time believing that both of the brothers are getting out alive and I'm reluctant to bid either of them farewell. I would say "Surely they won't kill both of them" but this is The Walking Dead we're talking about, and anything is fair game.
I think The Governor may finally be on the cusp of morphing into the wretched vessel of hate he should be. Yes, this could signal the beginning of a major uptick for David Morrissey's deceptively charming villain. Whether or not the show succeeds in establishing The Governor as the ultimate menace that he became in the comics will play a critical role in determining just how high the ceiling is for Season 3.
This was another rock-solid episode where the tension ran high and the thrills were frequent and rewarding. There's no doubt that The Walking Dead is the best show on television in 2012, and if the second act of Season 3 can provide a worthy conclusion then I think I'll be saying the same thing in 2013. I think AMC is game, and I'm certainly looking forward to it.