The Walking Dead Clear Review. The Walking Dead: Season 3, Episode 12: Clear was probably the best episode of the series since season 2’s mid-season break (TV Review: The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 7: Pretty Much Dead Already).
Clear, on the outside, was a mere ammo and gun run episode for vital supplies Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln)’ group needed for the escalating conflict with The Governor (David Morrissey) and Woodbury.
Like the old saying: “Its not the destination, its the journey”, the viewer was shown first-hand just how much the group has changed from the first season of the show. The group in the first season would have stopped for the man on the side of the road begging for help. Rick’s group is now desensitized to other people’s suffering and they are risk-adverse.
It was an illustration of the mental state of everyone in the car, especially Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). He did not even speak up or object when they drove past the back-packer. Michonne (Danai Gurira) has been cold since she appeared on the show. Rick has grown that way over two seasons as has Carl. The back-packer and the ride were the perfect instruments to show their personality degradation.
When a discovery is made in Rick’s old town, it was something Rick never thought he would find and had given up hope of ever seeing again. This character, Morgan Jones (Lennie James), felt the same and caused an altercation between both characters that showed them evenly matched.
Mental illness and grief, what that does to your mind, how it can break even a strong individual, began to show itself more and more as the walls of Jones’ apartment were explored and as he spoke about what happened to his son after Rick left.
“Clear” was initially just a scribbled phrase on the walls but the viewer soon saw that it had come to define Morgan Jones. It is what he clung to, what drove, and sustained him: a singular mission and goal.
Rick, with everything he has been through, saw himself in Morgan instantly. He also saw what could happen to himself if he did not step back from the precipice, if he did not see this moment for what it was: a glimpse into the future for himself. If this could happen to Morgan, it could happen to him. That is why Rick tried so hard to reach Morgan and rescue him as Morgan had rescued him so many months ago. I wish he had been successful. Rick wished he had been successful.
I was surprised Rick did not try to change Morgan’s mind before leaving but then again, Morgan saw right through Rick to one of the reasons why he wanted him to come to the prison. He might have been unhinged but he was also perceptive and sharp.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick’s decision to leave Morgan does not eat away at him, so much so that he goes back to help Morgan “clear” for a little while, just so he is not alone. If he helps and they actual clear the town, maybe Rick could convince him to help him clear the prison. This is far fetched but Rick is compassionate in that way or he used to be. Morgan reawakened some of that in him during his berating, accusing Rick of not being there on the radio like he promised he would be.
There was great acting in that moment: the viewer felt the accusation from one, the shame and remorse in the other.
On the trip back I knew what the group would find and they did: the back-packer ripped apart. The group didn’t even blink as they robbed what was felt of his corpse for the backpack. Like I said earlier, they are desensitized.