As we walk into a new environment, being introduced to new characters and possibly new threats, one is sure to remember that the biggest threat to our survivors are not the Walkers themselves…
It’s been apparent since the very first season of The Walking Dead that more often than not, a survivor’s biggest worry in this post-apocalyptic zombie world is his or her fellow man. Where Andrea sees hope, Michonne sees deception. The two ladies have bonded over the long months they’ve shared surviving the new harsh world together, and now they find themselves taken in by a group of men that seem civilized. But then again, people always seems so nice from far away. That is until they cut your head off and stick it into a fish tank. It’s surprising and bewildering that Andrea and Michonne have found themselves in a new situation that is just as compelling in its contrast to the circumstances Rick and the others find themselves in at the prison. In the third hour of the thrilling drama things turn darkly ominous and intriguing as we watch our two surviving heroines decipher this new setting and these new characters. Warning: Things may be more psychotic than they appear at first glance.
It’s funny that the people in the prison may arguably be more civilized than the people in aforementioned reestablished civilization. Last week, we saw Rick and his gang tend to their new environment, doing what they have to do to thrive and survive as a group, in a more direct way. This week, we witness Andrea and Michonne attempting to do the same, but through twisted games of complex deception and false trust. The two stumble across a crashed helicopter hoping to find human company. Michonne quickly spots humans, but rather than feeling a relief, she is on guard. These men are big and threatening. Possible challengers to her and Andrea’s own survival. Michonne immediately has an instinct that tells her not to trust them, and she goes to great lengths to make sure they do not spot them, by killing her zombie pets in true pragmatic fashion. However, to our surprise, Merle spots them and takes them both in. But to where?
Civilization, reincarnated: Woodbury. A façade of western society as it was before the zombie outbreak and a trap house in disguise if there ever was one. There we meet the Governor (David Morrisey, who sounds a bit like Liam Neeson), the Rick of this larger group of people and supposed proprietor of this town that is so pretty on the outside, but harbors evil truths under its surface. The presence of Merle in this place just further exacts an uneasiness that is already lingering over Andrea and especially Michonne. Michonne is left on guard, defensive, and uncomfortable as Andrea and Merle discuss matters of the past. Everything is nice and calm on the outside, but the inner workings of this quaint little town are very sinister. Tea and breakfast with the Governor never seemed so tense.
It seems the Governor has himself a little science shop that explores the deeper recesses of the Walkers, or in what the Governor and his people call them, Biters. It was interesting to discover Michonne’s use of the pet zombies she had with her. The zombies can become repellant if subdued in a rather grotesque, but effective manner. Andrea and Michonne finally get the news that they are all infected with the zombiefied virus and will eventually turn when death hits. It’s surprising that Andrea slowly, but surely finds this new safe haven comfortable, mostly because she is trying to convince herself that this civilization the Governor talks of could be true. Hoping and dreaming for something better is something Andrea has given up on a while ago, but now it’s right in front of her. She feels like she can’t deny it anymore. It’s too good to be true, but it is. However, it really isn’t.
Andrea believes Woodbury could be the one hope for everyone, when it is truthfully one of the ugliest places to be during this zombie apocalypse. But Andrea is hoping, foolishly, whilst her fellow surviving new bestie sulks in disapprovement and worry. Michonne, just in this one episode has grown on me as a tough, pragmatic yet surprisingly vulnerable woman who has mostly hardened herself to the harsh post-apocalyptic world around her. However, there are still some aspects of it that nerve her, as seen when the Governor’s scientist asks a rather striking and personal question. Andrea has spent about seven months with Michonne and she doesn’t know much about her at all. They’re like sisters yet oddly estranged, in a sense. This installment surely sets Michonne up to be quite a compelling and complex character that I cannot wait to see more of!
I didn’t think it was possible, but it seems the Governor has one-upped Merle in the psychopath department. The Governor is more dangerous than Merle could ever be. He is the leader of this town of people who trust him, follow his guide and believe him to be a symbol of hope and great leadership. He’s charismatic, charming and friendly, even winning over Andrea. The Governor can get people on his side by providing shelter, food, personal safety and other necessities for living while poking and prodding them, and possibly taking them out back and killing them altogether if he has to, just like he does with the solider he later mutilates and then goes about killing his military buddies simply for supplies. The Governor also has a certain aura about him that is alluring, he has command, he has created security in a very insecure world full of many dangers, other humans being at the top of the list. He may be sort of a genius that is shockingly disturbed. Starring into a bunch of fish tanks full of heads, all for the entertainment of it. I’ve never been a fan of the term “normal”, but there is something more sinister at hand, that’s for sure.
I cannot wait to see the Governor face off with Rick, who has also gone down some particularly dark paths in leading his group, but none as dark as the Governor who isn’t even keen on revealing his real name. The Governor must have had a family in the past of which he may have lost and due to that and other tough circumstances in this new world, we see him taking on a more shocking role of ruler in a town mostly unaware of the dark corruptions within. The Governor could have killed Andrea and Michonne just as easily as he killed the group of military men. But it seems their prowess in the zombiefied world has his curiosity and he’s interested in them for just that reason. However, when he’s done admiring them for their long-time survival, will it still be so easy for him to take our two heroines out just as well?
It’s not the crazy, intense, bloody prison action that we’ve seen in the first few episodes of the third season, but it is just as compelling, if not more to witness Andrea and Michonne walk together into this new setting, this new group of characters, this new danger in disguise. Surely it won’t be long before things are found out and the you-know-what hits the fan. Even with this more quiet and stoic episode, The Walking Dead remains thrilling, tense and above all else captivating, as it explores new territory and characters, opening new possibilities for creative and enthralling storytelling. Now that’s a walk we can all enjoy! “Walk With Me” gets 5 out of 5 stars!
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