TV Recap: 'The Walking Dead' Episode 312 - 'Clear'



the walking deadThe Walking Dead Episode 312
Written By: Scott M Gimple
Directed By: Tricia Brock
Original Airdate: 3 March 2013

In This Episode...

Michonne, Carl, and Rick are on a run. On their way into Rick’s old hometown, the car gets stuck in the mud. As they work to get it out, a survivor sees them from a mile away and races towards them, begging for help. Rick pointedly ignores him and the trio drive off.

Once in town, they hit up the police station. The weapons closet has been picked clean. Rick knows which business owners kept guns in their shops because Rick signed their permits, so they start hitting up shops one by one. Continuing across town, they stumble upon what can only be described as a booby-trapped barricade. A lone figure appears on the rooftop wearing homemade armor and brandishing a big-ass gun. He shouts warnings at them, and Rick puts his hands up - then he fires. The sniper opens up a barrage of bullets on them, and Michonne races inside. She misses the shooter, who is now on the ground and has Rick at gunpoint. Rick starts to surrender, and Carl comes out of nowhere and shoots the attacker. His armor leaves him injured but alive. Rick removes the shooter’s mask and discovers he knows him. This is Morgan, the guy with the kid in episode one, who saved Rick when he first woke from his coma.

Rick and Michonne bring Morgan inside his makeshift bunker, careful to avoid deadly booby traps. Rick insists that they wait there for Morgan to wake. He may be crazy (the walls are covered with crazy text which is both a journal of what has happened, and the ravings of a mad man) but Rick feels a loyalty to him - especially when he sees one line of graffiti which says “Duane turned.” Carl wants to go on a run and get some stuff for the baby. Michonne insists on going with him. Carl doesn’t trust her, but Rick urges him to try.

Carl doesn’t make his dislike of Michonne secret, least of all to her. The focus of his mission is not really to get a crib from the local baby store; he wants to get a special memento from a nearby cafe (after discovering that his house was “burnt out,” according to Morgan’s map). He is young and foolhardy, and Michonne has to physically stop him from barging into the cafe without a plan, even though it is clearly overrun by walkers. Carl finally accepts her help. Michonne drags over some rats in cages and uses those to distract the zombies while the two sneak inside. Carl is there for a framed photo of he, his mom, and his dad, in what may be the last remaining photo of the Grimes family. On their way out, the zombies wizen up to the fact that there are bigger, juicier brains in the area and go after Carl and Michonne. They make it outside, but Carl (naturally) drops the photo. Michonne will not let him go back inside - she goes instead.

Back at the bunker, Morgan wakes suddenly and attacks Rick. The two fight, and it ends up with Morgan stabbing Rick in the shoulder, but Rick getting the upper hand and putting his gun to Morgan’s head. Morgan begs Rick to kill him. He doesn’t recognize Rick until Rick reminds him of the walkie-talkies. This opens up fresh hell for Morgan, who blames Rick for not answering the walkie. His son, Duane, was turned into a zombie by his zombie-mother - the one who Rick gave Morgan a chance to kill but couldn’t. Rick is adamant that Morgan come with them to the prison, but he refuses. He has to “clear.” Rick takes a couple sacks of guns and ammo and meets Carl and Michonne downstairs.

As they pack up the car, Carl tells Rick that Michonne is “one of them.” The two bonded. They drive back to the prison and pass the area where their car got stuck. That man calling for help is there, torn to pieces and left as an almost indistinguishable smear of blood and brains on the cement. The car drives past. Then stops. Backs up. Scoops up the guy’s backpack, and continues on.

Dig It or Bury It?

This was a great episode - the kind of episode you submit for Emmy consideration. It was simple, serious, intense, and propelled the characters forward. I think it was a great choice not to cut back to anything at the prison or in Woodbury. It would have disrupted the flow that this episode had. The survivor on the side of the road added a nice bookend to the episode.

Kill o’ the Week

You’ve got to love the utter stupidity of zombies. One of the barriers Morgan put up around his bunker was a sculpture of spiked wood and metal that the zombies would just wander in to and get stuck. So at any given time there were several shish kabob’d zombies flailing around hopelessly. Morgan would later come out, scrape them off the stakes and onto a gurney, where he would roll them out to burn the bodies on a heaping pile of charred corpses.


We are back to the normal next week, when shit gets violent.