Walking Dead: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

walkingdead2_300In Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, Rick gets reacquainted with — and stabbed by! — a character we haven’t seen since Season 1. But that’s not the most shocking plot twist in “Clear.”

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ROAD TRIP | While on their run to pick up baby formula and firearms — you know, the standard post-zombpocalypse grocery list — Michonne, Rick and Carl leave behind a hitchhiker not once but twice. (Da-amn!) As if that isn’t cold enough, Rick assures Carl that Michonne is only being allowed to stick around “just for right now,” while they have “common interests.” (Brr!)

THIS USED TO BE MY PLAYGROUND | In the Grimes family’s old hometown, the trio ignore “AWAY WITH YOU” and “TURN AROUND AND LIVE” signs to enter a maze booby-trapped to dispatch walkers. Natch, before we can say, “Seriously? You’re going in there?” they’re engaged in a shootout with a masked attacker. After Carl drops the mystery man to save his dad, they discover that (a) he’s wearing body armor, and (b) holy crap! It’s Morgan from the series’ very first episode!

THE ODD COUPLE | While Rick waits for Morgan to come to, Carl sets off to pick up a crib for Judith — with Michonne along as the world’s most badass baby-sitter. After he tries (and fails) to get away from her, he admits that there’s an errand he wants to run — alone! — before crib-shopping. “No can do,” she (basically) says. So, together, they sneak into a diner full of walkers so that he can grab a framed photo of himself with his folks from off the wall. Then, after Michonne not only goes back in to retrieve the picture when he drops it during their escape but also grabs a ceramic (papier-mâché?) cat for the baby, Carl is forced to concede that she “might be one of us” after all.

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DEAD MAN TALKING | As soon as Morgan awakes, he starts ranting like a madman, stabs Rick in the chest and begs the sheriff to kill him. (Gee, nice to see you, too!) By the hardest, Rick is able to snap Morgan out of it and get him to remember that they know each other. However, this is only a marginal improvement. Morgan is bitter about the fact that he could never reach Rick on the walkie-talkie they were supposed to use to communicate, he’s bitter about the fact that, because he couldn’t put down his zombified wife, she was able to nosh on their son, and he’s bitter about the fact that both the good and the bad die, but “the weak, the people like me… we have inherited the earth.” Perhaps it won’t come as a surprise to you that Morgan does not go along with Rick when he, Michonne and Carl head back out of town.

ONE MORE THING | Besides winning over Carl, Michonne finally seems to make headway with Rick by putting him at ease over his visions. “I used to talk to my dead boyfriend,” she confesses. (It’s a really lovely, human moment, by the way.) Then, as if to underscore what a miracle it is that Michonne — heck, anyone! — is being accepted by Team Rick, on their way home to jail, the threesome drive by the remains of that poor hitchhiker. And steal his backpack. Cold, cold, cold.

Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you sorry that Morgan didn’t join the group? And how cool was it, after all these weeks, to see this softer side of Michonne? Sound off below!

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48 Comments
  1. Mike says:

    Didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be crazier than Rick, but Morgan did it. Loved Michonnes scenes with Carl, I loved her scenes in this episode, and I think she will become more likeable ere on out since she’s actually talking. Good episode, still a bit slow, but hopefully thinks start picking up for the rest of the season.

    • Alan says:

      it really was a perfect contrast with the ongoing story of rick’s slipping sanity, i hope we see him again.

  2. Ari says:

    I have to admit I was kind of surprised to see Morgan but not surprised that he stayed behind. He’ll live there til he’s dead. Crazy and dead. I am glad Michonne is finally doing something other than being surly. I like her exponentially more when she talks to people.

  3. Ash says:

    I loved the whole feel of the episode and the character development and actors were great, as usual. I’m glad writers used an episode to focus on 4 single characters and one general theme. I’m sure lots of people are going to b**** and moan about the pace. I thought it was a good pace and the timing was strategic. I didn’t feel like it was dragging and actually felt a little refreshed from it. As much as I love the intensity of the Woodbury vs. prison arc, it was nice to have a solid episode to give us and the characters a little break from it.

    • A says:

      this was a really good episode who ever wrote this strong storyline did one hell of a job! Morgan is sooo broken he couldn’t go w/ rick and comp. back to the prison he’s really out of it. i feel real bad about that and losing his son in the hands of his wife yeah should’ve could’ve would’ve KILLED HER but didn’t have the balls to do so. the bond btw rick, carl, and michonne was awesome. especailly the one with mich. and carl. and the part when carl tells rick that she can be one of them was BOLD cuz they didn’t know her that well until now. so they can deffantly trust her and be part of the group. THIS IS A COLD AND CRUEL WORLD THAT THEY’RE LIVING IN AND LAST PART OF THE EPISODE W/ THE HICHTHIKER DEAD AND PICKING UP THE BACKPACK PRETTY MUCH TELLS THEY DON’T ANYBODY ANYMORE. FEAR THE LIVING AND KILL THE DEAD.

      • Jen says:

        BTW Scott Gimble wrote the episode, since he’s the new showrunner there is hope that he will continue to drive the show in a positive way cause this episode was great.

    • Alan says:

      i cant understand why anyone would complain about the slower pace of the episode; it was quite clear that this was intended to be more character centric, allowing them to display the mindsets of the characters leading into the last few episodes. it was also a nice breather between all the madness thats going on.

      • Ash says:

        I agree! I’ve just read on here and other sites that quite a few fans complain if the episode isn’t constant action and/or zombie killing, so I thought more people would be upset about this episode because there was, “too much talking” and time spent on character development. This episode was so beautifully crafted and needed that I haven’t seen the backlash I was expecting, though.

        • KevyB says:

          People usually complain about the lack of zombie-killing because those episodes then focused on the characters, BUT POORLY. This episode did it right.

  4. Jake says:

    I personally think this was the best episode of the season. Mishonne becoming a more accepted part of the team – admitting to seeing her dead boyfriend – is all stuff I’ve been waiting for, and the return of Morgan made it all the better.
    Finally started making my interest return to the show.

  5. There was a lot of coldness in the episode, true, and I think seeing again the guy who saves Rick’s life wasn’t a coincidence. But picking up the backpack at the end wasn’t cold. The hiker was beyond caring.

    I want to see Rick trust people more. As much as there is danger in that, the dwindling numbers are what puts them at real risk.

  6. Carter says:

    I also agree that this might of been the best episode of the season. People tend to forget it’s not an action show. It’s a drama with a little horror and action thrown in. It was IMO, important for this episode to happen. It was a wake up call to Rick. It helped bond Michonne a little further into the group. It showed just how cautious Rick has become since that first episode. First season Rick would of helped that hitchhiker. Third season Rick trusts very few. I know we’ll more than likely come across Morgan again and I’m glad we got a little closure on his well being tonight. Wonderful episode.

  7. WW says:

    This has been the best acted episode of the series so far, Lenny James did an excellent job showing a man whose world has collapsed but he hasn’t so instead of being punished by the gods to roll the stone up the hill every day, he punishes himself by clearing the dead.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      100% Agree.

      Some thoughts of mine: I knew the second they panned to the shooter that it was him. In real life you would be super picky about what guns to take and what ones not too, and you wouldnt just be picking up random boxes of ammo…gotta make sure your not carrying around a box of a caliber you dont need (which=weight)

      Did any of you notice what Michonne put in the trunk at the end of the episode? ANOTHER CROSSBOW!!! YEEEEAAAA SON! lol. SWEET. Now Daryl can duel wield (lol jk). Ironically a crossbow is the last of the bows id want in a zombie apocalypse, id say first is Compound, and then Recruve then crossbow. The rate of fire is just to damn slow.

      • PsiHawk says:

        I just feel the need to say this.. (I have no idea why…)
        While I am no expert Archer… I’ll leave that to Green Arrow and Robin Hood….
        A Compound bow and a re-curved bow might be better choices for an archer on the hunt with better speed and accuracy…. But a crossbow once loaded can be fired one handed… can be rigged better for booby traps… and is easier for someone who has very little archery training to shoot. It is also easier for a weaker person or a small child, to shoot, especially one who doesn’t have the strength to pull back on a standard bow….And for a more practical reason… you can shoot a crossbow at someone less then a foot in front of you with impact… try pulling the bow back with someone that close you’ll get shot bit or chopped before you get the bowstring back and aim …

        • M3rc Nate says:

          Your both somewhat on the right track and yet…not. I have experience with all 3 in real life. A crossbow of that size (full size) like Daryl uses can only be shot one handed accurately maybe once…if that. Your holding many lbs up with one hand and archery (like shooting guns) needs to be very precise. Your arm moves just a bit and you miss your target by a distance of feet.

          A compound (with its pulley system) is MUCH easier to draw. Thats the point of it. Have you tried loading a crossbow? Theres a reason why it looks hard even when Daryl is doing it. He has to put it down to his foot and pull the bow with most of his strength…that is NOT child friendly.

          I could care less about booby traps in the zombie apocalypse, i could care less about one handed (because the odds of being accurate one handed are always too low), easy to shoot with little training? I guess…but its not like you’d find a big Archery Warehouse so everyone in your group had bows and you had to train them ALL to shoot them. More than likely you’d only ever have one or two.

          If you can shoot a crossbow effectively when they are less than a foot infront of you…why does Daryl always just take out a arrow and stab them when they are that close? Cause it doesnt make sense when they are that close…you switch to hand-to-hand and use a knife/arrow. You dont waste your crossbow shot or bullets. And i dont fully get your point, with zombies walking up real close to me i can still draw and let go and the arrow go through their head.

          Overall, for every one shot of crossbow, you can get off 3 with a compound and 2 with a recurve. Thats just something i couldnt ignore. Its not like id throw away the crossbows. But if all 3 were at Morgans and i could only take one…compound for sure. If i needed to be silent up close id either use a Gurkha Kukri, a suppressed glock 9mm with at least one extended mag or the most silent: a .22 pistol suppressed.

        • Alan says:

          sure the rate of fire is slow but it does allow you to load beforehand, allowing you to shoot an arrow much quicker than having to get one from your quiver then draw. given that daryl probably had little or no experience with bows before things went to hell i think it would be the logical choice in his situation.

          • M3rc Nate says:

            Youtube “Drawing a recurve bow” and click on the first video (by Livestrong) and skip to 3:45. It literally takes him 3 seconds to go from ready with a arrow in the bow, to it being shot. It would take 2 seconds for Daryl to go from holding the crossbow at his side, to lifting it up, getting it aimed, and shooting. So your load before hand isnt a good enough reason. Also if you are actively carrying the bow (as you should be to be prepared) the recurve/compound is already loaded, you put a arrow in it against the string. And a compound/recurve are also much easier to carry, as you can put them on your back (the string across your chest) if you need to run or be on the move. Also the crossbow weighs considerably more than a recurve. As for experience..Daryl could easily learn. There are trees everywhere..you just go out every day and aim for a tree and shoot at it at 10 yards..then 20..then 30…then 40…by now he would be a killshot with a recurve on slow moving zombies.

            Basically the entire group including Rick have NO experience with assault rifles, yet they shoot and kill people and zombies with them. Remember how no one could even shoot a pistol except Shane and Rick? they went out, taught them, had them practice, and now Carl (let alone everyone else) can shoot with pistols real well, and Andrea is a natural with them and long shooting (sniping). I think Daryl is a natural with the crossbow and would be with a regular bow, also i dont think its confirmed that he didnt have experience before hand. Him and his brother are MAJOR red necks, i would assume he HAS had experience with bows/crossbows/guns more than i would assume he doesnt.

  8. JJ says:

    That episode was amazing. It was a nice change of pace, beautifully acted, extremely well crafted.

  9. Joe says:

    Part of me hopes that Morgan is back in play and maybe, just maybe, when it hits the fan he comes in to help them. He knows that they’re at the prison. He’s clearly w/in driving distance now. He’s such a talented actor and a really wonderful character who grounds the show in believability. You believe that man has gone through what he’s gone through. That’s no small feat. I’m thrilled we caught up with him, but all it left me was wanting more. He’d be fantastic as part of our main group.

    Great episode. If anyone complains about it, they’re just trolling.

  10. Joe says:

    Best episode of the season. This is like GIRLS’ Patrick Wilson episode. It was different. It was bleak, it was self-conscious, but it was excellent.

  11. Colin says:

    Call me crazy, but I think there’s a budding romance between Rick, and Michonne. 1 In the mud she waits for Rick to kill first, like a husband killing a mouse. 2 Rick, his son, and a woman go on a field trip. 3 When she hands him the bullet, and smiles. 4 Crib shopping 5 Watching Rick hallucinate, not because she worried for a group that made her feel unwelcome, but because Rick is a single dad w/ newborn, lost his wife, and losing his marbles. Chicks eat that up. 6 She cedes to Rick’s primacy, not because she’s afraid of him, or anyone for that matter. I think she’s a tough chick, but maybe she needs to feel like a woman again. 7 Lastly, Rick’s the head honcho, and who would make a better lioness tha n Michonne?

  12. James says:

    great episode as always. boy that Lenny James sure can act, he was fantastic. i kind of wish he went with rick just because he’s so good him and AL have a great dynamic on screen. really liked the Michonne character development it was nice to see a softer side to her. carl is a thousand times better this season than last. this show continues to get better and judging by the promo next week is going to be seriously intense.

  13. Gringott says:

    Good character episode. I nearly called it a bottle episode but despite everything dunno if that’s quite fitting. Still we got some nice moments from pretty much everyone, and it was nice to finally see Morgan again. I am kind of sad they kept the part about his son getting bit from the comics, but hey, it can be a pain to keep child actors around and Chandler Riggs is probably enough for them.

  14. Dee says:

    Excellent episode. So nice to get a break from Woodbury, Andrea and the Gov. The character development for the Rick, Michonne and Carl was excellent. Finally we see that Michonne isn’t just an angry, sword wielding survivor, but someone who has thoughts and feelings. I’m kind of starting to wish for a kick-ass power couple to develop. So great to see Morgan swing back around. Often wondered what happened to him. It feels like we’ve come full circle for RIck in a way. Hopefully seeing how far Morgan has slipped down the slope will help Rick reign it in a bit and realize he can still get off the crazy train.

  15. Ken says:

    I usually hate these “sidebar” episodes where the focus is only on one or two characters….but this episode was phenomenal. I kinda had a feeling Carl was going after some kind of personal item…..and so good to see Michonne being accepted (while still being a total badass). There were a couple subtle smiles between her and Rick during this episode that (to me) show that they understand each other now. The pain and insanity of poor Morgan over his son’s death at his wife’s hands (or mouth more accurately), were gutwrenching. I don’t have much hope for Lennie James lasting too much longer on the show…..but it would be nice to see him join the gang. Being crazy isn’t such a bad thing….even if they already are over their quota at the prison with Rick and Merle. LOL But I think seeing Morgan and Michonne’s words to him…. have snapped Rick out of his funk. That’s BAD NEWS for the Governor !!

  16. Jamie says:

    Like quite a few people here, I really liked this episode. This and “Hounded” are probably my favorite two of Season 3. And guess what…both were written by Scott Gimple. Maybe it’s a good thing that he’s taking over the show next year, because he’s put out some of the best work of the show since he’s started (he also wrote “Pretty Much Dead Already” – one of my faves from S2).

    I have been dying to see Morgan/Lennie James again, so I think that it was a fantastic idea to have an episode set aside to spend so much time on the character. It served as a grounding for Rick, and Lennie James and Andrew Lincoln, both of whom are amazing actors as individuals, are a great acting duo. Lennie gave a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking performance. I’m also enjoying Carl’s growth, and loved seeing the softer side of Michonne – having both Carl’s back and Rick’s back.

    Best line of the episode – “…“the weak, the people like me… we have inherited the earth.”

    A very close 2nd – Rick to Michonne: “We’re eating his food now?” Michonne: “The mat said ‘Welcome.'” LOL!

    • Jamie says:

      Oh, I forgot another really meaningful moment. It was beautiful in it’s simplicity. It was when Carol apologized to Morgan for shooting him, and as Carl was walking off, Morgan said, “Hey…son. Don’t ever say you’re sorry.” It was just reinforcing the message that in that world, you have to do anything and everything to save the people that you love, and don’t ever look back and regret it – if you don’t do that, you’ll fail the ones you love and it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

    • Alan says:

      he also co-wrote “18 miles out” from last season which for me was the best episode since the pilot until now. he really has written some good stuff for the show so im hopeful for the ongoing story with him in charge.

      • Jamie says:

        I’m noticing a theme. Gimple seems to have a knack/gift for character development. With “Save the Last One” and “Pretty Much Dead Already,” we started to get a fuller picture of just how far Shane had fallen into surviving-at-all-costs-screw-everyone-else mode. With “18 Miles Out,” we got to see just how much hate Shane had developed for Rick, and we could see how desperately Rick wanted to continue to give everyone the benefit of the doubt (most of all, Shane) and do the right thing. With “Hounded,” we could see all of the pain and guilt that Rick had about his relationship with Lori and her death. And with “Clear,” Rick could recognize the reflection of himself in Morgan – it was a very grounding episode. We also saw Carl continuing to grow up, and we saw Michonne’s protective/softer side coming back out after she had gone into self-protect mode over the Andrea ordeal. Gimple writes particularly well for the character of Rick – which is crucial, considering he’s the main character of the series.

  17. Jamie says:

    Crap – typo. I meant when *Carl apologized. Clearly I didn’t mean *Carol.

  18. Lori says:

    Loved this episode, but I felt really bad for the hitchhiker.

  19. Morgan will go to the Prison by the end of the season. That’s why Rick mentioned it. He’ll go when he’s sane and ready lol. Rick should just move the group to where Morgan is… The Governor doesn’t know where it is, it’s safer and there’s more food and ammo. There are even booby traps everywhere & it’s isolated.

  20. ggny says:

    I really dont see how Lennie James doesnt end up with Emmy after last night episode. Such powerful amazing acting that you just dont see on The Walking Dead. Last night episode was just different from anything else the TWD has put out.

    • Wow says:

      Exactly what I was thinking! This episode is Emmy gold! If TWD doesn’t get any recognition for their performance, there is something wrong with the Emmy ppl! Such a great episode, this is becoming my favorite season so far! It also great to see a different side to Michonne, she knows how to smile!

  21. This was a clear “Michonne is Awesome” episode to me.

  22. R.O.B. says:

    Lenny James seems to always be used as a supporting actor or a one-off part. If I have ever seen a performance that not only deserves an emmy but solidifies this man as A list material, this is it. Dude, you owned this episode. Excellent, excellent.

  23. Joclyn Wehnau says:

    I loved this episode :) I was sad to find out that Morgans son turned by the hands of his mother. This was an excellent character builder episode! Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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