On tonight’s “The Walking Dead,” we finally got our first look at Woodbury and its tyrannical, manipulative leader, the Governor. It was an episode for “finally!” moments, since we also finally got to see the return of Merle Dixon and get a prolonged look at Michonne and Andrea’s interaction. In short, this is the episode AMC has been teasing us with since the season two finale.
While relatively low on walker violence in comparison with the last two episodes, “Walk With Me” was still a compelling, tense, and creepy episode. Intrigued? Then read on for the low-down on the third episode of “The Walking Dead” season three…
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
“Walk With Me” focuses entirely on Andrea and Michonne instead of Rick and the gang back at the prison. But the episode is less about the dynamic duo than it is about the town of Woodbury and the very colorful characters who live there.
I watched this episode with a TWD newbie, who kept asking “Why did he do that?” every time the Governor did something despicable. The answer to that question is quite simple: Because he’s an evil bastard. This fact is made very clear almost immediately when we learn that the Governor is tight with our old pal Merle, and then again when he kills a bunch of National Guardsmen in cold blood. If you didn’t get the hint by then, the episode closes with the Governor relaxing in his big easy chair, bathed in the glow of his aquarium tanks full of human heads(and yes, the freshest one is the helicopter pilot).
Let me make this abundantly clear: The Governor is not a nice guy.
And Michonne at least seems to know it. Robbed of her katana and her walker camouflage, Michonne is hardly defenseless. In a world filled with the walking dead, she has developed a finely tuned sense for treachery. Or, y’know, trust issues. She doesn’t for a minute consider herself safe in Woodbury.
Andrea, meanwhile, seems to be giving their newfound friends the benefit of the doubt. She doesn’t have any fondness left over for Merle, but their shared history at least makes her open up to him. As far as the Governor is concerned, she’s not nearly as cautious as she should be. And am I wrong or was Andrea actually flirting with said evil post-zombiepocalyptic dictator?
Parts of this episode were a bit surreal. After the desolate wasteland we saw in the season premiere, the idyllic, people-filled streets of Woodbury are a little unnerving. In this small pocket of humanity, it’s like the end of the world never happened… except for the armed guards up on the walls and the vegetable gardens everywhere. The bleakness of the prison is nowhere to be found in Woodbury, and it’s easy to see why everyone but Michonne is comfortable there.
We’re introduced to a host of new characters in this episode, most of whom don’t last very long. The National Guardsmen go quick, which is a shame given that they might have come in handy. In addition we get Milton, the Governor’s scientific researcher. Dr. Stevens, a character from the comic books, briefly appears as a gender and race-swapped version in the show, but she will probably play a larger role later on.
And then of course there’s Merle, who is quite comfortable as the Governor’s mad dog with his knife attachment in place of a prosthetic hand and the bad attitude we’ve come to know him for. Merle’s motivation seems to be to find his brother Daryl and bring him in to the safety of Woodbury.
Ten months have passed since zombies became the dominant species on Earth, and if this episode is any indication, then there are a lot more protected groups of the living left than we previously thought. Besides the prison and Woodbury, there was the settlement the National Guardsmen came from. And there’s no indication that the helicopter that crashed at the beginning of the episode was the one Rick saw in the series premiere. Could that chopper’s pilot still be alive and living with another protected group?
Weaponless, alone, and in the lion’s den, Andrea and Michonne are going to need to make a decision very quickly about whether to go or stay. And if they’re going to go, something tells me leaving won’t be easy.