‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 shambles out its twelfth entry with Sunday’s “Clear,” but how does it hold up to the comic book continuity? The conflict between Woodbury and the prison sits in the background as Rick, Michonne and Carl take a road trip in search of supplies, returning to Rick’s hometown and encountering a deranged Morgan lording over the streets, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the season continues?
As AMC's incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we've compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comic as well as AMC's ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check it all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 12 “Clear" in the comments below!
Rick, Carl, Michonne and the Open Road
AMC: Having decided upon it earlier, Rick recruits Michonne and his young son Carl to hit the road in search of supplies, guns and ammo for their inevitable battle with Woodbury and its Governor. Though other options may have first been explored, the three head toward the Grimes’ former hometown of King County, Georgia to check Rick’s old police station for the guns.
THE COMICS: Rick, Carl and Michonne indeed once shared a car, though this event took place shortly after the fall of the prison. Rick and Carl had taken refuge on their own for a bit, before finally reuniting with Michonne, and eventually the other survivors at Hershel’s farm.
Carl Doesn't Trust Michonne
AMC: In addition to the woman having earlier abandoned Rick in the battle that got Oscar killed, Carl protests Michonne’s continued involvement with the group, and later coldly refuses her help in his mission to retrieve a family photo from the crowded café.
THE COMICS: Prior to the three setting out on the road, a slightly-younger Carl was overjoyed to see Michonne, or perhaps any other survivors of the prison massacre in general. Comic Carl never held a specific dislike or distrust of Michonne, but didn’t warm to her until after the prison.
The Police Station Armory Picked Clean
AMC: Upon arriving at Rick’s old police station in King County, the three find the armory almost completely emptied of its weapon stores, whether by Morgan or others looting the town for supplies.
THE COMICS: It wasn’t until far after the prison had fallen that Rick had the idea to return to his hometown and raid the police station for his guns, taking Carl, Abraham, and running into Morgan along the way. There, Morgan made a point of mentioning that no one had been in the police station armory the whole year he’d been there, leaving the supplies mostly intact.
A Walking Dead Obstacle Course?
AMC: Upon entering the town, Rick, Michonne and Carl see a number of ominous warnings spray-painted everywhere, and have to navigate a number of Morgan’s traps and walker articles in order to get any supplies for the town. Good thing we have ‘The Walking Dead’ obstacle courses in real life at San Diego Comic-Con, and not quite so deadly.
THE COMICS: Rick and his group never encountered a setup of traps or walker obstacles quite so elaborate, but more interesting to note is that the entire return to Rick’s hometown occurred much later in the books, after the struggles with the Governor. Back when Rick’s group sought fortifications for their battle against the Governor, Tyreese led an expedition to raid a National Guard station Woodbury had been using. On the way back, the group stopped in an abandoned Wal-Mart for supplies, where Maggie fetched a crib for Judith.
AMC: At long last, ‘The Walking Dead fans got their wish to see Morgan (Lennie James) again, who in the time since Rick saw him last had lost his son and set up an elaborate series of traps in the down to kill walkers. After attempting to kill Rick in a violent craze, Morgan regains his faculties and explains that he and Duane eventually did try to follow Rick, but were unable to find him on the radio.
THE COMICS: Comic Morgan was indeed in a troubled mental state when Rick finally returned, having similarly lost his son to a zombie bite. Unlike on AMC however, he and Duane never attempted to leave the security of Rick’s neighbor’s house. Comic Morgan was far less violent toward Rick initially, only hitting him over the head with a shovel as Duane once had, before somewhat regaining his composure.
AMC: Morgan explains that Duane’s death came from his own zombified mother, who Morgan had earlier been unable to put down, and Duane froze in front of as well. It isn’t specifically stated if Morgan put down his walker son, but the writing “DUANE TURNED” would suggest Morgan didn’t immediately attempt to prevent his son from reviving.
THE COMICS: Little to no mention was ever made of Morgan’s wife within the books, or of her lurking about as a walker. Young Duane similarly fell to a walker bite, but rather than kill his undead son Morgan chained him up, and began feeding him body parts of passing looters. Rick urged Morgan to finally put his son down, which he claimed to do before leaving with Rick, but we saw that he actually shot through the chain to let his son roam free.
AMC: Observing on Morgan’s map of the town that the Grimes home had burned to the ground, Carl resolves to find the last known photo of his family at a nearby diner, covering to his father by saying he wishes to find a crib for Judith. It isn’t known what became of the photos that he and his mother Lori originally took from the house, but they may have been lost at the Atlanta Campsite, Hershel’s farm, or the time in between.
THE COMICS: The Grimes home was still standing by the time Carl and Rick returned for Morgan, though Carl had no desire to revisit it, nor did Rick. Judith and Lori had already died by that time anyway, leaving no need for the photo. As listed above, Judith’s crib originally came from Maggie’s trip to a nearby Wal-Mart, also taking one for her own potential pregnancy.
AMC: Perhaps too far gone, and believing his earthly duty to “clear” any remaining walkers or even his own conscience, Morgan declines Rick’s offer to return to the prison and join their group. Additionally, Morgan points out that Rick needs the guns to defend the prison from external forces, which would only end in more bloodshed.
Of course, Morgan lived through the episode and could return down the line, but we also know that Lennie James’ limited appearance will depend on his role in AMC’s upcoming pilot ‘Low Winter Sun.’
THE COMICS: “Releasing” Duane, Morgan indeed joined Rick’s group for a time and followed as far as the Alexandria safe zone, forming a relationship with Michonne. Morgan suffered a bite during a particularly chaotic zombie attack on the town, having his arm severed by Michonne, but ultimately dying from the blood loss.
AMC: Having never officially met the man, Carl takes a moment to apologize to Morgan for shooting him, though Morgan tersely replies that the boy shouldn’t feel sorry for anything, before returning to his work.
THE COMICS: Morgan was at first overjoyed to meet Carl, having heard about him from Rick previously, and for some time thereafter Morgan’s fixation on Carl made the boy rather uncomfortable. Morgan saw Carl as something of a surrogate for his own son Duane, and on his deathbed actually mistook Carl for Duane.
Rick and Michonne's Ghosts
AMC: Packing up the car to leave, Michonne notices Rick staring off into the distance, and asks if he sees anything like the ghosts he’d been seeing recently. To make things easier, Michonne admits that she used to talk to her dead boyfriend, though doesn’t specifically identify him as one of the walkers she formerly traveled with.
THE COMICS: Rick and Michonne shared a similar conversation on Hershel’s farm after the prison, when Rick stumbled upon Michonne talking to an invisible figure. There, it was Rick who made the concession that he too talks to dead people, showing Michonne the phone he carried to imagine conversations with Lori.