The Walking Dead S03E12 Recap: "Clear"


It was a different episode. Some may even say it was a boring episode. But for me, it was one of the best of this season. It felt like we were back in season one and not just because Morgan was back. And yes, surprise, Morgan is back. Well it wasn’t much of a surprise given the random recapping of a scene from the season two premiere with Rick speaking to Morgan over the radio before the episode began.

It was back to the basics for The Walking Dead with an episode that only featured five living characters. Our first three characters; Rick, Carl, and Michonne are headed on a mission to retrieve weapons from Rick’s old police station. Along the way they encounter character four, a hitchhiker who begs for help. The three of them drive on by as if he was just a ghost. A new Rick for sure, not interested in saving a life.

Michonne is better suited on foot though as she soon gets the three of them stuck in mud. As the tires spin, going nowhere, walkers overtake the vehicle. None of the three even flinch. Rick rolls down his window just enough to get his gun out and puts an end to that. Rick and Carl manage to get the car free from the mud and the three of them are on their way again, with the hitchhiker on foot close behind, screaming for help. But they just drive off.

After finding that the weapons at the police station have been taken, the group’s travels take them outside a town that looks very similar to Woodbury after Rick remembers that there were a couple of bar owners there that owned guns. The small town doesn’t have quite the same guarded entry as Woodbury, but it does have booby traps set up. As the three of them begin to navigate the traps, Michonne is quick to point out to Rick that the place is clearly inhabited and that they should just go.

Before they can make another move, there’s a sniper on the roof of one of the buildings. Refusing to heed the sniper’s warnings to leave, Rick fires back and Michonne heads up to the roof. The sniper makes his way down, but before he can take out Rick, Carl is there and puts a bullet in his side, dropping him. Rick scolds his son for saving his life. Rick discovers that the sniper isn’t dead, noticing the body armour. He pulls back the helmet to uncover his old friend Morgan.

Despite Michonne’s urging for them to leave, Rick is set on bringing Morgan to safety and waiting for him to wake up. In Morgan’s bunker, they find basically an armoury. Conveniently just the right amount of guns to win a war against The Governor. There’s a bunch of crazy nonsense written on the walls, but among it all, Rick notices a heartbreaking line, “Duane has turned.” The last time they had met, all Morgan had left was his son Duane.

Among the lunacy, Carl spots a written map of the neighbourhood. He notices that his childhood house, which Morgan has actually circled as “Rick’s house” has been marked as burned. Suddenly, Carl wants to go out on his own for a little while to look for a crib for his sister. Michonne insists on going with him. Despite his attempts to lose her along the way, Carl and Michonne find themselves at a cafe, not a baby store. The place is overrun with walkers, but Carl insists on going in anyways. They manage to sneak around the walkers. Carl finds what he was looking for, a picture of Rick, Lori, and himself on the wall. He takes it, but they catch the attention of the walkers. Before they get outside to safety, Carl drops the picture inside. He insists on going back in to get it. Michonne urges him to wait where he is. She magically goes around the back and comes back seconds later with the picture. Wow.

Back at Morgan’s bunker, Rick has tied Morgan’s hands together and has him on the bed. Get your mind out of the gutter. Morgan starts to wake silently and reaches for a knife to cut his hands loose. He does so, but drops the knife. Rick notices just as Morgan jumps him. He stabs Rick in the shoulder before Rick jumps him back and puts a gun to his head. Morgan begs Rick to kill him.

For a while, Morgan denies knowing Rick. It’s not that he doesn’t recognize Rick, he just claims that the person he’s seeing is wearing a dead man’s face. He’s clearly gone insane. But who hasn’t? Rick is able to bring him to his senses after bringing up how he gave him the radio so that they could talk to each other. This enrages Morgan as Rick never lived up to his promise that he would check in on the radio every day.

After calming down, Morgan tells Rick the story of how he lost Duane. It was really a great performance by Lennie James. He tells Rick how he was never able to put his wife down like Rick told him to. As a result, Duane was killed at the hands of his mother. He had to witness both of them turn and envies Rick for not having to watch his wife do the same.

Rick demands that he join them at the prison. Morgan refuses. He sees through Rick telling him how great the prison is. He questions Rick needing all these weapons if the prison is such a safe haven. Morgan opts to stay behind as Rick, Michonne, and Carl head back to the prison. It’s another chapter closed in this story and likely the last we’ll see of Morgan.

Along the way back to the prison, they drive by a bloody mess of a body. It was the hitchhiker who begged them for help. Now dead. They take his backpack and carry on. War is waiting.

The Walking Dead Survival Index:

1. Rick Grimes - no change
Current: 95%
Note: Beside Morgan, he looks sane as can be.

2. Daryl Dixon - no change
Current: 90%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

3. Carl Grimes - no change
Current: 90%
Note: He balances out in this episode. His taking out Morgan to save his Dad's life was a step up. But his foolishness in wanting to enter a cafe full of walkers to get a picture takes him back down.

4. Michonne - no change
Current: 85%
Note: She's gained the trust of Rick it seems.

5. Maggie Greene - no change.
Current: 70%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

6. Glenn - no change
Current: 70%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

7. Tyreese - no change
Current: 65%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

8. Merle Dixon - no change
Current: 65%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

9. The Governor - no change
Current: 65%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

10. Andrea - no change
Current: 60%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

11. Hershel Greene - no change.
Current: 60%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

12 Judith Grimes - no change
Current: 55%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

13. Sasha - no change
Current: 40%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

14. Carol Peletier - no change
Current: 40%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

15. Milton - no change
Current: 30%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

16. Beth Greene - no change
Current:15%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

17. Ben - no change
Current: 10%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

18. Allen - no change
Current: 10%
Note: Did not appear in this episode.

Comment 1
George Prax's picture

Backpack Guy: 0%

Goodnight Sweet Prince.