February 10th is fast approaching. That date might not mean anything to some of you, but fans of AMC’s zombie drama, The Walking Dead, are well aware that it’s the date the show finally returns from its midseason hiatus. After the way the first half of season three left things dangling, there’s a fair amount of anticipation among viewers. AMC knows this, and is milking it for all its worth. Things are going to get grim, blood will be shed, people will die. This latest promo for the next episode, “The Suicide King,” teases all of that and more.
Though only 56 seconds long, the new footage contained in this clip does solid job of giving you quick hits of the action to come. One of the most intriguing moments involves Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Merle’s (Michael Rooker) face-off. At heart Daryl is a good guy, he’s proven that over and over again, and even at gunpoint he doesn’t seem likely to beat his own brother to death. Merle, on the other hand, you’re not so sure about. He likely harbors some resentment toward his brother, irrational or not, for abandoning him on that rooftop in the first season. You can imagine him murdering his own kin in cold blood.
You also see that Glenn (Steven Yeun) is ready for war, and that the Governor (David Morrissey) is coming, and things are going to get rough for our scrappy band of survivors.
Beyond all of this, three big issues stand out. First, you see Carl (Chandler Riggs) openly question the leadership of his father, Rick (Andrew Lincoln). The kid has certainly become more grizzled and outspoken over the course of season three, but he’s not the only one who has taken umbrage with the “Ricktatorship.” Hershel (Scott Wilson) also broaches the subject. He doesn’t actively call on Rick to step down; he simply points out that once Rick took control, everyone else put their fate in his hands, and he accepted responsibility for that. Hershel’s position is that Rick can’t run from this, that he has to own it.
Number two and three on my list are wild cards. Where do Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and his crew fit into the mix? You see a flash of him saying he’ll do whatever is necessary to pitch in, but what does that mean? They only arrived on the scene in the last episode. Are they going to throw themselves into a deadly conflict with Woodbury, even though they just met these people, to help a group they don’t know and have no real investment in yet? If so, that’s a big leap of faith.
At this point in the comics, Tyreese has already been a part of the group for some time. He’s their friend, he has relationships, he’s one of them, and it makes sense that he’d throw his lot in with Rick. In the comics, Tyreese fills the role that Daryl has in the show so far, that of Rick’s right-hand man. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, how they set this thread up and develop it so it makes sense.
Finally, where do Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) loyalties lie? That has been a big question all season long. Talk about abandonment issues: she was left for dead in the kerfuffle at Hershel’s farm, and left by Michonne (Danai Gurira) at Woodbury. In this promo the Governor sends her to the prison, presumably to spy, but how will that play out? I imagine a yelling match between her and Glenn and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), where they tell her what the Governor did to them and she denies it.
So far, season three of The Walking Dead has been fast paced, full of action, and fraught with intrigue, and it doesn’t look like that is going to let up any time soon. You can almost guarantee that there will be some important character deaths, and the level of brutality should continue to ramp up until the end.