Last week on The Walking Dead, we saw Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the crew deal with a life-threatening injury to one of their own, a prison swarming with Walkers and the arrival of a group of strangers that did not have the best of intentions. We’ll have to wait at least another week to see how they’re doing because tonight’s episode is all about Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Michonne (Danai Gurira). We also get a great introduction to season three’s most anticipated new character and a warm welcome for a character from the past. Hit the jump to check out our recap of the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
“Walk with Me” opened up with a hopeful rescue scene as three National Guardsmen flew over the countryside in a helicopter, but shitty luck forced them to crash into the trees. Andrea and Michonne happened to be nearby and checked it out, but so did a caravan of militia led by the very capable Governor (David Morrissey). While Andrea and Michonne watched from the treeline, a familiar voice was heard off screen…turns out Merle (Michael Rooker) is with the Governor now! The militia round the women up with the surviving pilot and take them somewhere to get treated for their various ailments. Where you ask?
Welcome to Woodbury! The Governor has set up a town that looks too good to be true (and I’m sure it is) with a structured work force, ample guards, defensible walls and plenty of supplies. As the women are treated as guests in Woodbury, Andrea starts to warm to the idea of staying while Michonne keeps her guard up. Meanwhile, the injured pilot tells the Governor of a similar encampment they had set up: well-armed, well-provisioned and well-trained until one Walker bite sent the camp into chaos. The Governor promised to rescue the pilot’s friends and bring them home safely, but slaughtered the lot of them and took their weapons, supplies and ammunition. He spun a nice story to his townspeople about his heroic rescue attempt that was sadly too late, but if you had any reservations about the Governor, the last scene of the episode surely solidified the fact that this guy is a wacko.
So let’s talk this one out. We get a change of pace with the characters this week which is telling for future episodes. Rather than hop back and forth between Woodbury and the prison, we get to spend an entire hour in one or the other (at least for the establishing episodes). Before we get to the Governor and some of the other new characters, let’s talk about Merle! As you may know, Merle is Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) older brother who was left handcuffed to a pipe on a rooftop in season one, only to escape from being eaten by severing his own hand off. Merle seems to be doing just fine as he has a new Cap’n Hook like harpoon attached to the end of his arm now. He also seems to be cowed but the Governor’s strong presence, something that even Rick wasn’t able to do without the aid of a gun. I’m happy to see him back, but I’m also curious to see if he’s still up to his old racist and violent ways or if he’s toeing the party line of Woodbury.
Oh, Woodbury. What a quaint little utopia you are. You’ve got clean streets and safe walls with ample amenities, hot running water, even tea! There couldn’t be anything wrong here, could there? While Andrea seems to be swept up in the fairy tale land the Governor has created, Michonne seems to have the right of it. We get a glimpse that something shady is going on when Milton the scientist is seen tinkering around in his basement lab. He talks to the Governor about Michonne’s Pack-Walkers, saying that if you take away their jaw and arms, you take away their ability to harm and their desire to eat. It also allows for a sort of scent-camouflage. The Gov likes this idea very much.
Now, as I haven’t read the comics, I’m not sure how close Morrissey’s performance as the Governor is to Robert Kirkman’s ink-and-paper counterpart. This is definitely a topic for discussion in the comments, so please have at it. Morrissey recently spoke about playing the Governor as more of a politician, less outright evil up front so that he has a longer arc to develop and play out. I’m sure that this episode was just a taste of what’s to come, but he’s already shown hints of how far he’s willing to go. It’s great, as an audience member, to try to figure out whether or not to trust this guy as you follow along with Andrea and Michonne. Even the massacre of the National Guardsmen could be explained away by the Governor, who would probably say that that many new people would strain their resources, compromise their safety and introduce more dangers than are necessary. Add to that the fact that they might challenge his leadership and are already proven to be unreliable (thanks to the pilot’s story about the camp disbanding in a panic), and his decision to eliminate them is cold, but calculated. So he’s just a tough leader, right? Who just happens to be a bit of a collector…
What the fuck…the heads?! I have to assume that’s straight out of the comics. A wall of aquariums swimming with severed heads? Notably, we see Michonne’s former Pack-Walker (Lurker?) heads and the head of the poor dead pilot as well. I’m also more than a bit curious about the naked, dark-haired lady who was passed out in the Gov’s bed as he slunk away to his secret aquatic abattoir. It’s certainly not his wife, who is presumably the blonde woman in the family photo. Guess we’ll have to wait and see (shush, comics-reader spoilers!).
Now that we have two colonies set up, it’s only a matter of time before they become aware of one another. The Governor seems to have his shit on lock in Woodbury, but Rick and the gang are just getting settled in. Plus, Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) has her baby on the way and Hershel (Scott Wilson) is on the mend. Carol (Melissa McBride) is doing her best to practice c-section surgery on Walker corpses, but someone is spying on her from the treeline. I’m guessing it’s not Merle anymore since he probably would have mentioned it at some point in this episode. The plot is starting to
Rating: 8/10 – A lot less kills (and way more casualties) this week but new characters and settings with a good amount of surprises to chew on. Docking it two points since we didn’t get a glimpse of our prison-bound heroes and there weren’t any scenes of great tension.
- The Governor is a smarty-pants because he employs a scientist to figure out what the hell is going on with the undead and has an R&D department of sorts. Also good for tea (?).
- What’s the deal with Michonne’s ex-Lurkers?! I thought they’d get to that in this episode but they only danced around it. It must be something pretty rough from her past to set it up as a teaser.
- Poor chopper passenger…the guy is all happy and alive, and then crashed-up and cut in half…and then alive again, only to get knifed in the skull. Not what he signed up for, I’d imagine.
- Merle misses Daryl. It’s time for a redneck reunion!
- We’ve got confirmation that it’s been seven or eight months since Andrea split from the rest of the survivors.
- There are 73 people in Woodbury and soon to be 74 (I’m assuming that’s not counting Andrea and Michonne).
- Milton seems to have his eye on Andrea, while Andrea flirts with the Governor, while the Governor has a naked chick in one room and floating heads in another. Weirdest love triangle ever?
- One guard keeps eyeing Michonne in a way that I do not approve of…
- Looks like 11.
- About 15 total, most at the National Guard encampment, plus the two chopper passengers and, eventually, the pilot.
- Has to be Merle’s nonchalant arm-spike through the head. Classic Merle!
- You know, I do/did enjoy Michonne’s Pack-Walkers, but the floating heads in the aquarium is yet another image from this show I’ll never be able to un-see. Kudos!
Feel free to talk about your reaction to the Governor and anything else from this episode or the show so far in the comments below. Tune in next week for our recap of episode four of AMC’s The Walking Dead!