Breaking out of prison, this week’s Walking Dead focuses on Andrea and Michonne’s adventures. Merle’s reintroduced into the story and we meet handsome psychopath The Governor, leader of a quaint town named Woodbury. It’s slower paced than previous episodes this season with Walker dismemberment at minimum levels, but injecting new blood into the show’s cast keeps it from slipping into the boring doldrums felt on Herschel’s farm.
Its opening sequence showing an airborne army helicopter turns the show’s overworked flashback introduction on its head. It’s all “Oh great, a bunch of burly military men choppering around. What, did they get lost on their way to Apocalypse Now’s set. Hello pre – zombie outbreak days.” Before you can say “Ride of the Valkyries”, the bird crashes as power couple Andronne watch with disbelief. It’s a nice inversion of expectations.
Andrea can’t believe that didn’t happen ten months ago.
While investigating the wreckage, the stealthy duo witness an unknown group arrive and efficiently dispatch Walkers who showed up to rubberneck at the accident. A rugged looking individual later revealed as The Governor orders these militiamen about. When Andronne’s hiding spot’s almost is given away by Michonne’s pet mobile carcasses, she quickly decapitates her zombie buddies. Cold as ice man. Plague bearer Andrea’s coughing also puts their position at risk, but strangely Michonne doesn’t use the same solution.
If she had then it would’ve totally ruined Andrea’s reunion with Merle, who stops by and says hi, holding the two at gunpoint. He’s apparently become a handy member of this new crew, not slowed down a bit despite losing his appendage in season one when Rick left him handcuffed on a roof. Rather than going the Bruce Campbell route and strapping a chainsaw to the stump, he’s attached a switchblade. Not sure if The Walking Dead’s creators watch a lot of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but this really makes him resemble Meatwad’s doll Happy Time Harry.
The resemblance is uncanny
(source for HTH)
Andronne is carted off to an unknown slice of civilization and given medical treatment. Their surroundings are a far cry from Rick’s prison digs, with electricity and precious medicine in no short supply. Merle checks in, his new borderline pleasant personality a big change from his previous coked–up David Duke shtick.
After making nice and assuring Michonne he can’t be racist as he has black friends, Merle checks with Andrea about his bruh bruh Daryl. She informs him that since since they got separated during the zombie party at Herschel’s farm, Merle’s probably dead. Could someone please give her a lesson on object permanence? I don’t think Andrea fully grasps that concept.
Cue The Governor showing up. The until – now mute Michonne finally speaks, thanking him for the great care he’s provided by demanding her katana back. He lets her know their new home of Woodbury is big on sword control but and takes them on a nice tour.
Hey girl, it’s The Governor!
O little town of Woodbury comes off like if a Norman Rockwell painting got placed under martial law. Yeah, there’s running water, no threat of Walkers and food aplenty. But that comes with a strict curfew. No one’s allowed outside after dark, and there’s creepy undertones straight out of everyone’s favorite 8th grade reading assignment The Lottery. It’s an interesting setting and look at how society could function under the specter of impending death.
Following their nice little walk, The Governor shares a meal with Andrea, Michonne and his resident scientist. He cooks it himself! Surely a man who domestically gets down in the kitchen like that can’t be harboring deep dark secrets. They talk about Andronne’s adventures and philosophize about whether Walkers have remnants of their old personality. No answer’s provided whether zombies dream of decomposing sheep though. Oh, and he keeps talking about his humongous, veined … walls keeping Woodbury safe.
Then Mr. Governor’s off ostensibly saving the lone chopper crash survivor’s friends. Our man in uniform provides him their location, and the Dear Leader heads there white flag flying. He makes a quick speech to the platoon about how much they’ll love Woodbury. Afterwards he says “LOL JK JK” by way of an ambush, slaughtering everyone. It’s definitely not a surprising move. What is surprising is how cute he looks even while covered in the blood of innocents.
’Scuse me while I whip this out.
Scavenging the troops’ supplies, he returns a conquering hero to his hometown. Apparently The Governor’s leadership style is murdering outsiders, blaming it on Walkers and trumpeting about how dangerous it is outside Woodbury and townsfolk should feel ever so glad they’re protected by his big dangling … walls. This is a big turn – on to Andrea, who asks The Governor what his real name is in a voice veritably dripping with sexual tension. He refuses revealing it to her or anyone else. This could be for several reasons:
A. He was famous in some way before Walkers roamed the earth, perhaps a politician.
B. He was infamous in some way, perhaps a serial killer.
C. It’s something really embarrassing, like “Tulips McGee” or “Leopold”.
Finally, Herr Governor retires after a long day for some neat whiskey and relaxing in his favorite chair. Said chair just happens to be located in front of a tower of aquariums. Filled with human heads. Human heads he looks at with an expression similar to Hannibal Lecter while inviting someone over to enjoy some fava beans and a nice Chianti. It’s a beautifully unnerving scene.
A lesser man would make jokes about “getting head” or something here.
I’m pretty stoked to see how the Woodbury storyline will progress. The Governor provides an interesting contrast to Rick’s leadership style. While Rick’s losing his sanity navigating the gray areas of morality versus survival, The Governor seems incredibly comfortable putting on a pleasant face for his constituents and thoughtlessly massacring everyone else. In a post – apocalyptic world, would you rather have Rick’s all too human troubled mind providing guidance, or The Governor’s deftly murderous efficiency? It’s a complex question that should be really entertaining if properly explored.