Hey it’s time for Chapter 3 of The Walking Dead!!! Wooo! I was genuinely excited to read this chapter, as it is the first one that goes on past the TV show…and now that i’ve read it…i’m even more excited to watch the new episodes. I was worried that I would feel that reading the comics completely ruined the show for me, as I’ve spoken with other readers who aren’t pleased with the way the show is going. However I feel that both the TV show and the comics are a delightful look at the logistics of post-zombieapocalyptic survival and that similarly to Fight Club they compliment each other well. The dramatic elements of a TV show are somewhat different than those utilized in a comic book, and so the big differences in storytelling are, I feel, overall justified for a TV audience. Anyway, back to the comic!
When we last left our…heroes? Are they really heroes? They’re really a bit more like victims playing desperately at being heroes…anyway. The last time we were with Rick and the gang they had just found the prison. Some important things I neglected to mention last time are that Glenn stayed behind on the farm with Maggie because they were “in love”, and that Dale and Andrea are both alive and with the group (respectively). This chapter gets pretty though so who knows how long Dale will last!
When they approach the prison they see that they will have to clear out the prison yard, as it is full of zombies. I never say walkers, because in the comic they call them “roamers”…which makes sense but….i’ll just stick to zombies. Rick gives everyone jobs and they set to work securing the area and taking out the zombies. The door to the prison block nearest them is now packed with dead bodies so they wait out the night and burn them all the next day. Lori is now roughly 3 months pregnant, though a brief conversation with Rick reveals that she feels much further along in her pregnancy and that this baby is having different effects on her mood overall than her pregnancy with Carl. If it isn’t Shane’s baby…I would be shocked. Everyone looks forward to all the canned goods they’ll soon have to eat and falls asleep.
The next morning Rick and Tyrese make their way inside the prison and find a few more zombies that were too lazy to make it out the door. They kill them off and find that the doors to the cafeteria have been sealed shut with a beam through the door handles. Assuming the worst the two prepare themselves for an onslaught of EPIC PROPORTIONS. They open the doors and find!…4 prison inmates, completely alive and well fed…they offer them meatloaf. The mens names are Dexter, Andrew, Thomas, and Axel. Only Dexter confesses to being a murderer, while the others say they were jailed for less horrific crimes. Rick and Tyrese bring the rest of the group inside to get settled in prison cells and they continue scoping out the prison. The gym is full of zombies, but they just keep the doors locked as the zombies are slow and too stupid to bang the doors down. The clean out the laundry room, find some buses, and Rick decides to go back to Herschel’s farm and invite them to live in the prison with them. Lori objects, claiming that Herschel was a crazy man who would have killed Rick if he had to. He did point a gun at him, but we know that Herschel regrets his actions based on a scene late in chapter 2.
Despite his wife’s protest, Rick goes back and brings everyone on the farm except Otis to the prison. Otis stays behind to pack up the rest of the things they need and look after the livestock. After the weather warmed up, the zombies became more active and more of them have been attacking the farm. The gang doesn’t exactly trust the group of inmates, and the inmates don’t trust them either. Dexter thinks they’re basically a bunch of crazy people after surviving in the mess outside the prison for months.
Now we see Julie and Chris…about to do that stupid thing they were planning after acquiring guns. Presumably the pair just engaged in intercourse for the first time, and sit near each other with guns pointed at each others heads. When Tyrese hears the gunshot, he runs in to find Julie dead and Chris sitting curled up against the wall still very much alive. He shot too soon, and Julie was dead before she pulled her trigger. Julie turns into a zombie and Tyrese tries to reason with her. In the end Chris shoots her again to protect Tyrese who then advances on Chris. He intends to kill Chris and strangles him to death. How no one else in the prison block heard this commotion is beyond me, though Rick observes the entire ordeal no one else shows up despite the gunshots and the screaming. Rick leaves after Tyrese says he wants to wait for Chris to return as a zombie…and kill him again. Rick lies to everyone and tells them Julie and Chris committed suicide together. Tyrese burns the bodies the next morning before anyone can see them.
Armed with the knowledge that people turn into zombies even if they haven’t been bitten, Rick leaves on a personal mission. Though he doesn’t tell anyone what he’s doing, I think it’s pretty clear that he was off to kill Shane properly. Patricia starts to buddy up with Thomas, one of the inmates, and we learn that she is no longer with Otis. Glenn and Maggie find a barber’s room (don’t know what it’s proper name is…) in the prison and…enjoy themselves. Rick finds more zombies than he anticipated on the road, Herschel’s youngest two girls want to cut their hair in the barber’s room after seeing Maggie’s new pixie cut, and Tyrese asks Glenn to help him clean out the gym. Whilst clearing the gym with Andrea and Glenn, Tyrese plays hero and runs out into the middle of the zombies and they have to leave him or risk getting surrounded.
Rick returns after all hell breaks loose at the prison. Tyrese has presumably been killed, and tension mounts between the group and the inmates after Herschel found his two girls beheaded in the barber’s room. Lori assumes that Dexter killed them, as he is already guilty of murder. Rick heads to the gym to find Tyrese, alive and well, sitting against the wall of the gym. Some how he survived…sure. Rick them locks Dexter up in a cell, apparently siding with Lori on the fact that NO ONE ELSE could possibly be guilty. They don’t even really talk to anyone else about it. Soon however, Thomas shows up in the laundry room with Andrea and says he wants to cut her head off…how nice. Dexter tells Andrew to break into A-block and gets some ammunition to break him out and take the prison back from Rick.
Carl and Shophia are now boyfriend and girlfriend…say it with me…awwwwww.
Andrea manages to take the fight with Thomas outside and Rick pounds the dudes face in and in the process royally messes up his hand. He then makes a big speech witch essentially boils down to a new philosophy, “You kill, you die”. Ignoring the fact that his own son killed Shane, but it can be argued that that was purely to defend his father. However Rick did watch Tyrese kill Chris, a fact that has still not been revealed to the group…oh well.
Dale cleans up a large slash on Andrea’s face from Thomas, and Rick lets Dexter out of his cell. Herschel’s been dealing with crap from his last remaining son Billy, and hits him a few times in retaliation. He then looks forward to watching Thomas swing from a rope, as the group has decided to kill him for the murder of the two girls. This…is when things get crazy….er.
Patricia tries to set Thomas free before they can hang him, saying that he is mentally ill and essentially doesn’t know any better. He then tries to kill her and Maggie ends up shooting Thomas a few times. They throw what’s left of Thomas to the zombies outside the prison and Herschel watches him get eaten. Dexter then pulls a shotgun on Rick and tells him to “get out of [his] house”.
Chapter three ends on this cliffhanger of a moment, and it looks like the gang is going to get evicted from the prison they just cleaned up. I found chapter three very enjoyable for a lot of reasons. We got to see the divide between Rick and Lori growing substantially as Rick begins to exert some kind of superiority over the rest of the group. Either the inmates are all going to be killed, or some kind of deal is going to be made with them…There’s just too much distrust between them and the bigger group. If they can make a foothold here, the prison could be a real nice place for them. They have months worth of food, and plenty of space. In addition Herschel can farm in the yard to have an even greater food supply.
My only real gripe about this chapter was Rick’s inconsistent feelings on murder. He knows that Tyrese killed Chris, but seems to want to let it slide based on some kind of need to have him around for extra muscle. while this is a bit aggravating from a continuity perspective, I think it enforces the idea that Rick is changing and even he himself isn’t entirely sure of who he is yet or what he really feels. He’s trying to create a new set of morality guidelines in a world that is quickly becoming amoral.
The characterization of Carol is also intriguing as she is increasingly seen as a sex figure, making advances on Lori during a moment of weakness (when everyone thought Tyrese was dead), and almost constantly desiring intimacy from Tyrese. A far cry from the desperate mother figure in the TV show, Carol is almost hyper sexualized. I am glad Sophia is still around though, and I’m eager to watch her and Carl grow up.
The relationship between Andrea and Dale is still…really gross…but her justification for being with him seems reasonable enough. In a world where the average life expectancy is about a year, does age really even matter? It’s plain that Andrea doesn’t much care if she lives or dies anymore, but at least she has something to live for…it’s still gross though.
Who will live? Who will die? What crazy shenanigans will happen next time? Will we see Michonne? *turns page* oh…yeah…we will…cool.