It’s hard to have a discussion about Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics without throwing around phrases like “the prison,” “Michonne,” and “The Governor.” Thus far in season three viewers have been introduced both to the prison and Michonne, but in the most recent episode, “Walk with Me,” both of these newer aspects of the show took a back seat to the introduction of the infamous Governor and his settlement Woodbury.
Fans and viewers can and will begin concocting comparisons between the Governor of the show and the Governor of the comics until they’re blue in the face but at the end of the day The Walking Dead is an adaptation and complaining about adaptive liberties isn’t going to change anything.
David Morrissey’s inaugural performance as the Governor was solidly enthralling and in the course of 44 minutes displayed a character with enough complexity and intrigue to push him to instantly push him to the forefront of the seasons old series. On the surface he seemed to be cut from the same southern gentleman mold as Herschel but as the episode progressed viewers learned there was much more – and much less – to the new character.
While this episode was rather slow, its conclusion will surely stick in everyone’s mind. Praise must be given to series composer Bear McCreary, who also provided the phenomenal score to Battlestar Galactic. The pounding crescendo that ended “Walk with Me” really drove home the violent potential of the Governor.
Of course the debut of the Governor wasn’t the only exciting aspect of this week’s episode as it also saw the long-awaited return of Merle, sans-hand, and his new buddy knife-hand. Michael Rooker is fantastic as the frightening, somehow-loveable, racist redneck and having him back on the show in the flesh is sure to present a number of tense moments in the future as he has reunions with various survivors.
It’s incredibly impressive that, at three episodes in, the third season of The Walking Dead has been able to move the story forward in such interesting ways. When the end of the second season conclusively wrapped up the Rick v. Shane conflict it was easy to suspect the show would lose a lot of its forward momentum but thus far season three has charged forward full throttle and presented some of its best episodes yet.
“Walk with Me” may have been a slow episode of set-ups and introductions but it was a necessary episode that presented a lot of characters and narrative threads that are undoubtedly going to reap exciting consequences later this season.
And seriously, man was that ending crazy.