The Walking Dead: Michonne’s third and final episode over-explains itself, losing its impact along the way.
Up until this third and final episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne, the connection I felt to the main character was strong — almost everything in the first two episodes served to explore her pain and guilt. Episode 3 succeeds in adding more context and meaning to Michonne and her emotions, but its slow beginning and heavy-handed approach to its themes left me feeling distant from her and disengaged with her story.
Michonne’s best moments are with her companion Sam’s two younger brothers, James and Alex. I watched her solemnly teach the older one how to load a gun and tell him it was okay to be scared, while I had her avoid telling the youngest about a devastating death. In both of her short talks with them, the same dialogue option pops up: “I’ll protect you.” It’s clear that the boys are stand-ins for her lost daughters — the children she can protect this time — and her scenes with them were poignant without feeling forced or overdone.
Unfortunately, those scenes are bookended by slow, overly dialogue-heavy exposition. As is the case with all of The Walking Dead: Michonne, Episode 3 still gives me no reason to care about any of the other characters. Sure, the situation isn’t ideal, and lots of people keep dying in vain, but watching a funeral unfold is just not that effective at inspiring sadness when I didn’t feel I knew the person who died or their loved ones. Likewise, a woman I know almost nothing about telling Michonne that they’re a lot alike means very little, which renders the first half of the episode mostly moot.
Once the action unfolds, it’s definitely exciting; without spoiling anything, there’s heavy tension and ridiculous carnage, complete with an important and emotional reveal. However, its main fight lacks the excellent fight choreography that made the first two episodes especially engaging. Instead, one of the most intense scenes echoes the first episode’s opening, but it’s almost a little too direct. It feels like the episode is working incredibly hard to drive the series’ themes home, when a lot of it would probably have been better left unsaid.