Just when I think this show couldn’t get any dumber. It runs an episode like this…
AND KIND OF REDEEMS ITSELF!
By and large this episode of the Walking Dead did what I’d hoped much of the third season would do: revealing Woodbury to be the complex, brutal, fascinating entity in a world otherwise comprised of mindless, plodding death.
Hop in the Hyundai, it’s as big as a whale and it’s about to set sail… AFTER THE JUMP.
- Governor, Revealed
Finally! A little real-time decision making reveals more about how our otherwise milquetoast Big Bad behaves under pressure. We will get to his heavy-headed hostage treatment in a minute but let’s focus on the little things. First, by way of the Andrea subplot we understand that he is condoning and interested in real-world scientific understanding of the apocalypse which has consumed him.
Second, we get a little bit more into his relationship with Merle. Three times he questions his loyalty or competence: taking over the interrogation with Maggie, sneering that Merle said clearing out the prison couldn’t be done and by outright asking if he could trust him to fight against his brother.
This gives us a little insight into why the Merle we once knew is now an eager lapdog. Specifically potent since…
- Merle, Regressed
We get the old Merle back for an episode! He’s mean! He’s racist! He’s monologuing! This is TWD giving one of it’s most fascinating characters the chance to throw it’s best pitch over and over again. By the time Merle releases the walker into the holding cell armed with the Chinese food taunt, you can’t help but wonder why the writers don’t find reasons to put him in these positions every episode. So loathsome.
- Old Guy, Reanimated
Rarely can TWD string together a strong C plot but this was a rare exception.
Andrea and Milton provide clashing world views that don’t devolve into a shouting match or a gun fight. It also recalls one of my favorite moments in the series, the “birth of zombie Amy” scene from season one. Eschewing an easy jump scare for a soft, infant-like murmur is so much more powerful and among my favorite additions this show has made to the greater genre cannon.
Did anyone else think Andrea was walking in on a sham demonstration on how they’d made progress in “curing” the zombie disease? Just asking.
- Michonne, Still An Emotionless Plot Catalyst
She walks! She talks! She moves characters from one location to another when they would otherwise have no reason to! What’s Michonne’s motivation? Why advancing the plot along for the benefit of you the viewer, of course!
- This Week in BUT IN THE COMIC!
If you only watch the show and care not to hear it compared to the source material comic book series than please stop reading.
I have yet to see what the carp level is about the Governor only feigning getting his rape on, but I assume some are miffed. Let’s forget for a second that there is plenty of time for the Gov to actually rape plenty of other characters (including Michonne who is the unlucky recipient IN THE COMICS) instead we can focus on why the change was made.
The show and this series seems pretty bent on keeping The Governor a “complicated” character. Now, you might say that he’s already murdered a group of infantry men in cold blood and keeps a creepy wall of zombie faces. To you I would say look at the poor hillbilly cabin dweller who got knifed in chest and tossed to his death by our heroes Rick and Michonne all for the crime of trying to defend his meager dwelling.
If the Gov raped Maggie it would have relegated him to permanent black hat territory. Or at least that’s what I would guess the writer’s room thought. Now you might say that IN THE COMICS the Governor was still a complicated character even after the raping. To which, I’d say you’re right.
I don’t know, maybe Hyundai said they didn’t want to be associated with a show that raped a main character while her battered boyfriend and one-armed assailant listened through thin sheet metal walls. Who knows…