Written By: Scott M. Gimple
Directed By: Dan Attias
The Story: Michonne goes on the run, with a bloodthirsty Merle in hot pursuit, leading to an encounter with Glenn and Maggie. Meanwhile, Andrea hops into bed with the Governor, and Rick starts receiving phone calls from the dead…!
The Verdict: A major improvement on last week’s episode, ‘Hounded’ is another character driven episode that is light on revelations or major shake-ups, but big on build-up.
Following on from last week’s final moments (Rick answering a ringing phone), the episode cleverly throws us a curveball, leading us fanboys to believe that this story isn’t the one we thought we were going to see (the one from the comics where Rick starts talking to his dead wife on the phone). Writer Scott M. Gimple cleverly subverts the audience’s expectations, before hitting us with the big reveal. Fans of the comic will have seen it coming, but the shocking realisation that the main hero of the show is slowly losing his marbles is still a startling and intriguing little twist.
Elsewhere there’s much more to enjoy – Merle’s pursuit of Michonne through the woods keeps the tension high, whilst the merging of the Prison and Woodbury storylines is a welcome development after five weeks of intercutting between the two. Merle’s kidnapping of Glenn and Maggie raises the stakes higher then ever, whilst the cliffhanger ending of Michonne coming face to face with Rick is so good we wish we could watch the next episode now!
It’s sadly lacking in some areas – Daryl finding Carol is a tad too easy and lacking in drama (we all guessed she was going to turn up alive), whilst the Governor and Andrea getting it on reeks of unnecessary soapy plot twist – sure, it’ll lead to some interesting drama in the long run, but it feels a tad too forced here for my liking.
Still, ‘Hounded’ is a decent enough episode, with plenty of food-for-thought, along with some tasty little plot developments that will no doubt lead to some great stuff in the next couple of episodes.
Best Bit (s): Michonne taking out Merle’s ragtag group with her sword is great, but it’s Rick’s increasingly desperate phone conversations that steal the show this week.
Trivia: The voices on the phone are played by Andrew Rothenberg (Jim), Emma Bell (Amy), and Jeryl Prescott (Jacqui), all of whom we’ve seen playing those characters in Season One. Nice attention to detail there.
Great Gore: Michonne cuts a Walker’s gut open as it bears down upon her – only for the contents of his belly to spill out over her – intestines and all! Pass the sick bag! And the remote! I want to see that again!!
Join us next week for part seven of THN’s The Walking Dead Blog.