The Walking Dead delivers its best episode of the season, and perhaps since the pilot.

Title: “Clear”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Tricia Brock
Written by Scott M. Gimple

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Lennie James as Morgan Jones
Russell Durham Comegys as the unfortunate soul who demonstrates how much Rick has changed

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Rick, Michonne, and Carl take a trip to Rick’s home town in the hopes of raiding the police station armory. The town still has one human inhabitant, however, and he’s not welcoming visitors.

High Point

You know what this show needs? It needs more episodes where we can focus on the conflicts faced by a few characters at a time. While still part of the larger story, “Clear” delivered a taut tale worthy of The Outer Limits—though with more death, zombie mayhem, and cryptic graffiti.

Low Point

The first episode suggests Rick’s hometown should be farther away. Given that Woodbury could shaft the survivors at anytime, isn’t this a bit far for Rick to go searching? And would he really bring Carl?

The Scores

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 6/6

Story: 6/6 I like the way this episode returned to some old plot threads while demonstrating just how disconnected from basic humanity Rick and his group are becoming. I’d love it if that backpack contained evidence our late hiker was a medic or sharpshooter or otherwise useful to the survivors.

Acting: 5/6 Rick looks at Morgan and sees a mirror. Gurira and Riggs have some chemistry, but could have been stronger.

Emotional Response: 6/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 6/6 “Clear” gives us one of The Walking Dead‘s strongest episodes.

In total, “Clear” receives 38/42