Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Walking Dead: Made to Suffer

Whew. Where last week’s episode felt like the first of a two-parter, this was definitely the second-part-of-a-two-parter-perfect-cliffhanger-for-a-mid-season-finale episode. A child lost his mother, a father lost his daughter, a wayward group entered the scene, a man lost an eye… AND we got a humorous case of mistaken lesbianism. All the elements I look for in a show. ;)

For a few weeks now we’ve been speculating on the awesomeness of the impending meeting between Daryl and Merle. On opposite sides, who would sway the other to his cause? Would they run into each other unwittingly? Would Daryl find out ahead of time?

And yet, for all the build-up to that meeting, for me the highlight of the episode wasn’t their meeting at all, but the brutal showdown between Michonne and the Governor. We are reminded again at the beginning of the episode that he’s keeping his zombie daughter in a cage, and despite her being a mindless walker acting on instinct alone, he loves her so much he truly believes there’s something of his daughter still trapped in there, and that he can bring that little bit of her out. That scene between the two of them was heartbreaking once again. (Incidentally, a friend of mine was over on the weekend and was telling me all about the graphic novel portrayal of the Governor. He said he’s far more brutal, more sadistic, and yes he has the walker daughter still, but he’s much less likable than this guy… and he wears an eyepatch, she added. I guess we know where that’ll come in now.) But for all the bad the Governor has done — last week’s scene with Maggie was a pretty solid indication that he’s a sadist — I just keep remembering he has this daughter of his. Somewhere deep in that deranged shell of a man that used to be a loving father and husband is a heart that’s entirely devoted to that daughter. Or, at least, the memory or who she once was.

And so, when he begins singing to her and she instantly calms down, there’s this look of excitement, of a slight eureka moment, a “YES I KNEW IT SHE’S STILL IN THERE SOMEWHERE” glance across his face… that’s instantly erased the moment he realizes she’s looking at a bowl of raw meat (or whatever that was…) His faith shattered, he orders that she look at him, and then chucks her back in his prison, devastated that he’s failed her once again.

Enter Michonne. Hellbent on revenge, she enters his apartment and lies in wait, before hearing a noise in the other room. And there she finds his various aquariums (aquaria?) of zombie heads, and a cage. She hears a noise, and opens the cage, only to spot a little girl inside. Michonne immediately leaps into action, saying soothing words and trying to calm the little girl. She’s horrified, and thinks she’s finally discovered just how depraved the Governor is. As the audience gasps at the dramatic irony of what’s about to happen, she unhooks the girl’s chain. And then… she pulls off the hood, revealing a tiny walker. Her sympathy goes away (unlike the Governor, she can separate the living from the undead) and she stands up, turns the creature around, draws her sword…

And he’s there, yelling at her to leave his daughter alone. We see the Governor at his most vulnerable yet. That creature standing in front of Michonne isn’t a walker to him: it’s his little girl, and Michonne is the bad guy threatening her. She’s not undead, it’s just a… a momentary infection, yes, that’s it, and she’ll be OK just as soon as he finds that cure that he knows is out there, so please please please back away from her, because she’s innocent. “Please don’t hurt my little girl. She doesn’t need to suffer,” he pleads with Michonne. But his daughter is gone. And the creature before him is suffering. Suffering from endless hunger, and if there is a part of his daughter stuck in there, that would be even worse. For she might have some knowledge of what she’s become, and be horrified by it.

But we know there’s no remnant of her left, and so does Michonne, and with a hard look at the Governor, she swiftly impales the little girl’s head on her sword, ending all of the Governor’s hopes in one quick movement. And he goes apeshit.

The battle that follows, and the subsequent losing of an eye, are all just the fallout of that brutal scene, which to me was sad beyond words. My husband and I just sat there, gasping over and over, as my hand kept slapping itself over my mouth in shock. At one point I felt my own motherly tendencies kick in, and saw Michonne the same way the Governor regarded her: as a cold-blooded killer. But she’s not. She was doing what she had to do, just as Carl did to Lori. It’s the humane thing to let them go.

But if that happened to your child, wouldn’t something inside you snap, too? And wouldn’t you do anything — anything — to convince yourself that you could save her? I don't know about you, but seeing that little white bow in the girl's hair breaks my heart every time. 

What a scene.

Josh: No kidding. It's testament to how well-written and well-acted the whole sequence was that neither of us could help but empathize with the guy, the same beast who only a short while earlier had condemned Glenn and Maggie to death via 'The Screaming Pits,' whatever the awful hell that might be. I particularly loved that welcome-to-the-sideshow look on Michonne's face as she realized just how far around the bend he'd gone. Still, I thought it was a huge tactical error on her part choosing to enrage the guy before their fight, as opposed to doing something sensible like shoving Penny toward him and then handily decapitating the both of them as soon as he caught her.

But then the back half of the season would have no nemesis, I suppose. Unless Andrea decided to step up and avenge her lover. Because somehow, even with all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary – like, you know, the hidden undead aquatic pet shop den with the zombie daughter closet – Andrea still hasn't realized that she's been humping the mayor of crazytown. I mean, even I felt sympathetic for a moment, and I know a lot more details of his brutality than Andrea. But c'mon, man. I really think her obtuseness has reached beyond reasonable proportions now.

That might all be about to change, however. Because the Governor, as it turns out, isn't as smart as he thought he was. He's taken Daryl captive, and he's doublecrossed Merle(who logically appears a turncoat, with both Michonne and his brother turning up as part of the same attack at the same time). If both of them somehow survive the lynch mob, then it's inevitable Andrea will get the full story from Daryl, learn of Glenn and Maggie's incarceration and torture, and undoubtedly put two and two together on why the Governor tried to keep her off the streets during the attack... No, wait; sorry. I forgot I was talking about Andrea for a second there. And if there's one thing I've learned about this show, it's never to assume that Andrea will put two and two together.

Regardless of what part Andrea plays in the ensuing clash, it is without question that there will be a reckoning. The Governor was already nuts, but Michonne has pushed him past the far edge of humanity now. You could see it in his eyes (sorry – 'eye') in that last scene, glowing brighter than the firelight. He has officially evolved into a full-blown maniac. And there will be no hiding from his vengeance.

Luckily for Rick and his ever-shrinking band of merry misfits, a new group of fighters has arrived. Tyreese is another character import from the comics, and I really liked the way his cluster of survivors was introduced, giving Carl a chance to shine in his father's absence. What did you think?

Nikki: First, Andrea (your comments just made me laugh out loud!) Oh, poor Andrea. I tried to stick up for you earlier this season, I really did. I tried to stick up for you last season, even after you were saying and doing dumbass things then (but see, you redeemed yourself when you stood up to Lori and reminded the ladies that they don’t have to act like they’re living in the 19th century, for god’s sakes). But now? Ugh. When she showed up with the gun on Michonne, she’s already walked into a terribly complicated situation, and she doesn’t immediately see the child on the floor or the smashed glass or the floating moving heads. All she sees is her lover, wounded, and the woman she thought she could trust holding the weapon that inflicted the damage. “What have you done?!” she hisses at her. There’s a standoff (where, for a moment, I thought Michonne was history) and then Michonne slips away.

If you watch this scene from Andrea’s point of view, you can see her focus, her mixed emotions (she’s spent a year with Michonne, but Michonne can be really intense and I could see anyone wanting a break from that), and she’s still in the wildly passionate honeymoon phase of her relationship with the Governor — that phase where you throw all common sense out the window and just see everything good about him.

But if you watch this scene from Michonne’s point of view, it’s very different. Andrea points a gun at her, and she looks at her as if to say, “Et tu, Andrea??” She’s thinking, what about all the times I’ve saved your ass over the last year? What of all the times we spent together? I know everything about you, and you know everything about me. And… dude… will you LOOK AT THE FISHTANKS OF PEOPLE??!! (Speaking of which, when the Governor put Michonne’s head through the one tank, it had her zombie pets in it… for a moment I thought we would finally find out who they were to her. But instead, it’s a potent moment where she remembers that SHE took these people who I’m presuming meant something to her, and shut down her emotions and just saw them as animals, in a way the Governor seems to be incapable of doing.)

Anyway, Andrea lets her slink out of the room and away from them, and then she notices the aquarium. And there’s this “W… T… F??!!” look on her face that goes away pretty quickly when she rushes to Philip’s aid. As you say, the wheels start turning, and then immediately stop. Oh, Andrea, you crazy gal, you! [Insert noogie to her curly hair.]

No, over to Tyreese… Without starting one of those “token character” wars in the comments section of this post, I do want to point out that while I loved seeing Tyreese — Cutty from The Wire! — I felt like this show, like far too many other shows on television, had to kill the other black man on the show (Oscar) in order to let Tyreese stay. It’s like they have a quota, and they are only allowed one black man at a time. When they introduced Oscar, they offed T-Dog. Now they introduce Tyreese, they off Oscar. It just seemed so specific. Tyreese has a partner, so… does that mean Michonne needs to watch her back, too? It’s just so ridiculous sometimes. They couldn’t have waited just one more episode to make it less obvious? Sheesh.

But anyway, yes, I loved this new band of misfits and the fact that they’re a bit of a mirror of the group we’re already invested in. You have the leader (Tyreese/Rick) and his partner, who, unlike Lori and Rick, their partnership still seems to be intact. You have the family off to the side, and way back in season 1 we watched Andrea watch her sister die, despite so many people saying it would be best to just knife her in the head right then and there. But she needed to watch her die, and then have her come back, before she could do the deed. Fastforward to now, where Carl doesn’t even wait for his mom’s body to cool before he puts a bullet in her head. Because he’s experienced, and he knows what’s coming next and that it might overpower him.

These people are in that situation now. They’ve clearly seen enough to know that if you die, you come back as a walker, so they know something has to be done to the deceased’s head. However, where Carl steps up and offers to do it for them, they stop him and say no, they have to do it themselves. They’ve gotten to the point where Carl was. No one else was going to shoot his mother: he was going to do it himself. And they had to do the same. Although, as my husband and I said, in a way wouldn’t you rather a single bullet in her forehead rather than bashing her brains in?? BUT… the conundrum even there is that Carl is being super cautious, and he’s not about to hand over that gun to them. And all they have are farm implements that are doubling as weapons: shovels, spades, and hammers.  You do what you have to do.

Carl is really quite amazing in this scene, and where my first reaction was, “why is he shutting them in there?!” that lasted about half a second before I realized he’s just doing what his dad would have done. What his dad did do with the other inmates before he could trust them. If Rick doesn’t come back, Carl’s learning how to take care of them.

Because it certainly won’t be Axel doing it. That scene of him thinking Carol was a lesbian was laugh-out-loud hilarious. The woman cuts her hair because it’s easier to maintain and he immediately assumes she’s not interested in men. The perfect way to illustrate he’s a complete jackass. “My my, this is interesting,” he says, just short of twirling his moustache, as he realizes she’s another prospect. “No, it’s not,” she answers, letting him know she is very much NOT a prospect.

Speaking of Rick possibly not coming back (which ain’t gonna happen… I don’t see this as being the sort of show that Game-of-Throneses its main character here. But what did you make of the fight scene in the houses and out in the streets?

Josh: I'm glad you brought that up, because the interaction between Rick and the unlucky sentry that sees them through the windows of the infirmary and comes to investigate was what spawned the most interesting thoughts about this episode for me. On the surface, it's a relatively pedestrian exchange, with Rick questioning the guy at gunpoint, getting nowhere, and then tying him up and knocking him out. But what that simple intercommunication brought into stark relief for me – partly because of an excellent delivery of very few lines from the actor who played the guard – is the true heart of the problem with going up against Woodbury as a whole: namely, that the population is, by and large, completely in the dark about the Governor's iniquities. They are a town of innocents run by a twisted few.

How does one even begin to approach a problem like that? If memory serves, the Governor told Andrea that there were more than ninety people living within those walls, of whom there might be a dozen that have a real idea what kind of leader they've been following, the mercenary methods that have been used to secure their supplies and sustain their lives. I'm sure there's at least a bit of willful denial going on amongst the populace, but I can't help thinking most of them are just incredibly grateful to have a safe place to walk around. Is simple guilt by association enough to justify condemning them en masse?

Overall, I think it's the most stark moral dilemma that the show has faced, and I hope the writers intend to explore it more fully in the coming episodes. It's similar to the discussion we've touched on in recent weeks, comparing Michonne's treatment in Woodbury versus her treatment by Rick and Co. but much more poignant, in my opinion, simply by virtue of the fact that so many are involved. Even if our heroes only take out the 'soldiers' in this coming war, don't they also indirectly sentence every other resident who lives there to death, or at least abandon them there, defenseless, in essence throwing them back to the innumerable wolves who now plague the earth from end to end? It's true that those are basically the same circumstances in which our heroes have always found themselves; however, in the absence of anyone to take care of them, Rick and the others have adapted to all the harsh realities of the new world. These poor souls have been insulated from all that. They've even been brainwashed not to fear the walkers through the Governor's rigged gladiatorial circus acts. How can they be expected to survive on their own?

During their conversation in the holding cell, Maggie says to Glenn, “All this time, running from walkers, you forget what people do.” There were lots of reminders of that in the events of this week, but this is the one that has stuck with me. I do understand the reality, harsh though it may be, that in the end, everyone has to look out for themselves. I just hope our group remembers what it was like to be alone. There are only so many people left out there.

Nikki: Great observations. And funny: I wrote out that same quote from Maggie. Great minds… ;)

From a purely production standpoint, I thought the teargas was genius, in that it obscured from Andrea the fact that it was actually Rick et al who were the “terrorists” of the group, and Daryl doesn’t see that it’s Merle holding onto Maggie and Glenn (nor does Merle see it’s his brother who’s part of the vigilante team). I loved the look on the Governor’s face when Andrea says, “I saw the terrorists.” His face instantly goes white, which was amazing. She, of course, was referring to Oscar (the only person on the rescue team she wouldn’t have known), but Guv’nah thought she meant she’d seen that it was Rick and that she’d be really angry.

Further to your point, what this episode was all about is the turning point in this ongoing war for everyone. The walkers have become the least of their worries; they’re like mosquitoes they bat out of the way on their path to fighting the true enemy: other human beings. As I mentioned in last week’s episode, Rick and Daryl completely ignore a female walker coming up the road towards them as they unload their trunk. They’re off to find Woodbury, and she’s nothing to them. Interesting: did you notice the walker they ignored is the same one lumbering through the woods who stumbles upon Tyrese and his crew? That scene is the only reminder of the episode that they’re still fighting these creatures, and when one of them bites the woman, it becomes a real danger again. But once you find shelter, and once you get away from these undead things… you go back to fighting each other once again.

In the final scene, ol’ One Eye strides out into what we’d originally seen was the battleground for the zombie cage matches, but he uses the same setting for his town hall meeting. He’s just lost his daughter for good, and he’s just lost the use of his right eye, and he’s just had a piece of glass ripped out of it (yeeeowch!!). It’s significant that it’s his right eye; biblically, the right is seen as good, and the left as evil. By his right eye being blinded, he can now only see out of the evil side. In the Book of Zechariah, God says to Zechariah, "Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!" While so far the Governor’s arm is OK, it was a sword-like piece of glass (used because Michonne couldn’t reach the sword) that took out his eye. He’s the shepherd who has abandoned his flock, and as such, he pays the price.

Now with a bloody hunk of gauze over that fateful eyeball, he stands before his people and apologizes to them for failing them. He admits he didn’t do his best, and that he’s lost his confidence. “I’m afraid of the terrorists who want what we have,” he says to all of them. And then… he points to Merle as the mastermind behind the siege (the look on Merle’s face speaks volumes) and then throws Daryl into the ring, revealing to Andrea once and for all who the “terrorists” really were. Her earlier, “What have you done?” condemnation of Michonne comes ringing back in our ears: “What have YOU done, Andrea? Who have you aligned yourself with?”

And just as Maggie tells Glenn that in the midst of this you forget what people are capable of, you see Merle and Daryl (or “Durl” as Merle calls him) standing in the arena, with the people in the stands shouting for their heads. This is the place where the people come to blow off steam, to watch the zombies standing on the edges of the stage as Merle and some poor schmuck stage-fight for them week after week. The Governor knows the zombies are harmless because of the length of the chain.

But there’s no chain holding these people back. The scariest thing that Daryl and Merle are about to come up against is their fellow human beings, who all want them dead. We’ve been speculating for weeks on what side Merle and Daryl will fall on: will they keep to their respective corners, or will Daryl be drawn into Merle’s side? Earlier in the episode, when Rick wouldn’t let Daryl go talk to Merle, I thought there was a moment where Daryl would give up on Rick’s team and join his brother, simply because he’s sick of being dictated to. But Rick saves the moment by saying, “I need you.” Now, standing in the arena with Merle, they’re not on opposite sides: they’re on the same team. And if they somehow manage to survive this public lynch mob, it’s more likely Merle’s coming with Daryl, because Daryl sure as hell ain’t coming with him.

Any final thoughts on this amazing episode, Josh?

Josh: The first half of this season has been a wild ride, and I really feel like the show has found its stride here, doing a much better job of balancing the various elements they deliver so well. It still struggles with characterization in some cases, but overall  this year has been a huge leap forward. This last episode before February was a near-perfect representation of that newfound equilibrium, even though its tenderest moments were between a bloodthirsty madman and his zombified daughter. Which, now that I think about it, sort of typifies everything I love most about this show.

Bits & Bobs:

– Somehow it had escaped my attention until his delivery of the line, “You shoot to kill, uh-huh,” to his gathered troops that David Morrissey's Southern accent as the Governor is him doing Elvis Presley. But it totally is.

– Speaking of wicked impersonations, did anyone else think Jon Bernthal's cameo as Hallucination Shane during the shootout was a dead ringer for Wolverine? All that was missing was a stub of cigar clenched in his teeth.

– Remind me not to sign up for Glenn's Improvisational Weaponry class. Because holy gross, dude.

– As Tyreese and his group entered the prison at the end of the teaser, I couldn't help but wonder how it has escaped Rick and Co.'s attention that THERE IS A GIANT FRICKIN' HOLE IN THE OUTER WALL? I know we're pretty far from grounded in reality on this show and all, but are we seriously expected to believe they have been at the prison for as long as they have and yet no one has done a full reconnoiter around the structure? Or did they know about the breach and just figured that there wasn't much that could be done about it save to block any access points in the interior via bars or whatever and hope for the best? I can't help but wonder if it will come into play once their stronghold is under attack from the Woodbury army. [Nikki here: I said EXACTLY the same thing to my husband... I thought they'd picked over every inch of this place by this point...]

Have a lovely holiday season, everybody. We'll see you all next year.

Nikki: And thanks to all of you for reading these recaps and chiming in with your thoughts! 


Efthymia said...

There was no doubt that Merle's lie was going to come back to bite him in the ass, and I had hoped that it would be the thing to get him to Daryl's side instead of the other way round (which is what seems to be happening) but I wasn't expecting an "IF they survive the Colosseum"... I spent two weeks worrying about Glenn and it never crossed my mind that Daryl might be in danger (other than his brother's negative influence, that is). I mean, it's Daryl; he's a bad-ass; he can't die! (Right? Right? Someone reassure me, please!)
Note to self: I should stop watching this show while wearing my rose-coloured glasses.

Even though the logical part of me was sure that Michonne was safe because they wouldn't have introduced one of the awesomest characters ever only to kill her off so soon, I couldn't help being in absolute agony both when she was fighting the governor and when Andrea had the gun pointed at her.
Ah, Andrea... the only excuse I accept now is that she is being drugged during all her time in Woodbury (but, sadly, I doubt that).

No, I don't feel sorry about the "poor, defenseless" people of Woodbury: they're the same people who enjoy zombie fights and are going all "off with their heads" with Daryl and Merle -they're the Colosseum attendees, satisfied with bread and spectacle. If this is the humankind they're trying to protect and save, it's not worth it.

And of course the living are worse than the living dead -when haven't they been in zombie lore? And aren't we human beings worse than any animal?

Anonymous said...

First of all - DENNIS CUTTY!!!! He was a favorite of mine on The Wire and it's great to see him here. He doesn't need a weapon - he could just punch the zombie's heads off!

TWD with African-Americans is like the Highlander - There can only be one! I thought the same as you immediately Nikki.

Why didn't Michonne just tell Andrea that the Governor has two of her friends locked up and she's here with Rick and the others? I felt like I was watching Lost for a minute - why don't they communicate?

So Lori and Axel were off "keeping guard" together? Uh-huh - sure they were. I was worried for uh...Kelly(?) during Axel's talk as I've now read the books and the prisoners were A LOT more sinister there than in the show.

All in all a great episode and a great half-season. Thanks so much for the recaps - you always point out at least one thing I didn't catch (this week the thing about the girl and the raw meat).

Happy holidays to all!

-Tim Alan

Page48 said...

Is this a great show or what?

I loved the Governator's first moment with Merle after the Michonne incident. With Andrea also present, he could hardly tear into Merle without admitting to his previously sanctioned (but failed) hit on Michonne in front of Andrea. Awkward!

On the subject of only one black man per show, I often took note that Dixon was the 'token' on "Alias" for "five incredible years". Currently, Neville holds that distinction on "Revolution". A lot of shows take that route.

Phillip Broyles occupies a similar role in "Fringe", although briefly there was Henry the Cabby from Over There and that one shape shifter (the guy from "24").

Maggie killed a guy. Note to self: don't piss Maggie off.

Note to Maggie: Kill Andrea.

Note to Michonne: check to see if the child in the cage, on a chain, with a sack over her head is alive before setting it free in an enclosed area.

Note to the Guv: you ordered a hit on Michonne and now she came back and whacked your dead zombified, starving child. You had that (and the eye thing) coming. Suck it up, princess.

This was an amazing episode. I watched it at work. It was like getting paid to watch "The Walking Dead".

Blam said...

I saw the ep on Sunday and I'm almost through your Walking Dead posts to date, Nikki. Hopefully I'll get to comment tomorrow. For now: This was a good episode in almost certainly the best season to date (to date), and based on your past writeups I'm sure that the analysis is tops as well.

Blam said...

This is the braaawling over
Heads in aquariums
Heads in aquariums
Aquariiiiiuuuuums ...

Great post, guys! I'm sorry that my reply's so belated. The past week was not a kind one.

Don't let the fact that I mostly quote back Nikki make you think that you're in my, um, blind spot, Josh.

@Josh: even though its tenderest moments were between a bloodthirsty madman and his zombified daughter. Which, now that I think about it, sort of typifies everything I love most about this show.


I'm not sure that I wouldn't hold on to the irrational hope or desire, if not the actual belief, that there was something of my loved one left in a walker, were this show to be my reality. Yet it's hard to see how there's any going back just based on what these bodies have been through after death. It's sad, in more than one sense of the word, that the Governor – like perhaps his pet scientist Milton and like Herschel in Season Two and, doubtless, like many others — doesn't get that walkers are not the people that used to live in those bodies but are something that happened to those bodies.

@Nikki: Michonne immediately leaps into action, saying soothing words and trying to calm the little girl.

Unless you're on a TV show, by the way, I think that taking off the hood is pretty much the first thing you do there. And unless the Guv perfumes her while he brushes her hair, wouldn't (ex-)Penny* have a telltale smell in addition to a hiss that Michonne should recognize? [*Oh, Monty Python would have a field day with zombies. "This is a dead child."]

@Nikki: unlike the Governor, she can separate the living from the undead

Michonne excels at separating things, that's for sure.

@Nikki: She was doing what she had to do, just as Carl did to Lori. It’s the humane thing to let them go.

I don't disagree — but something tells me that Michonne wasn't just honoring Penny's memory or the dignity of her former life here. There may well have been lingering resentment over the fact that she had to behead her two pet walkers when she and Andrea were on the verge of discovery by the Woodbury scout team.

Of course it could just also be Michonne being pissy or getting revenge for the Governor taking her sword (and "taking" Andrea) or even, like you say, doing him a favor. I get the feeling that in addition to her sensing that Woodbury had a creepy underbelly she's just not into pretending that civilization matters anymore. The walkers aren't gonna revert to their old human selves and him keeping Penny is purely a nostalgic attachment; getting back to your point, it's not really his decision to make and only arguably his delusion to have, one that she took out of his hands.

Blam said...

@Nikki: I felt like this show, like far too many other shows on television, had to kill the other black man on the show (Oscar) in order to let Tyreese stay. It’s like they have a quota, and they are only allowed one black man at a time.

Yeah. Over at Teebore's blog I referred to him as Black Man Standing. If he knew what had happened to T-Dog and New T-Do... um, Oscar, he might not be so quick to hang out near our gang.

@Nikki: From a purely production standpoint, I thought the teargas was genius

I frankly thought that it was half-genius and half-"Seriously?!?" The fact that Glen mentioned that Merle was there almost right away after the melee lessened the eye-roll for me, but it's still such a tired tactic to keep everybody metaphorically and somewhat literally in the dark.

@Nikki: [D]id you notice the walker they ignored is the same one lumbering through the woods who stumbles upon Tyrese and his crew?

I did not. That was a nice touch.

@Josh: The first half of this season has been a wild ride, and I really feel like the show has found its stride here, doing a much better job of balancing the various elements they deliver so well.

I agree.

@Josh: Speaking of wicked impersonations

Wolverine didn't come to mind for me, somehow, but according to friends' reactions you're not alone.

The Governor might be David Morrissey doing Elvis, but the net result comes across for all the world like Liam Neeson doing a Southern accent (not 100% successfully, of course). And that kind of quirky, soothing resonance gets me a long way towards seeing how Andrea could fall for him. Not all the way, mind you; I still think that she's been way too taken in by having a big hunk of man around.

Melissa McBride's Carol, as always, is the answer to what Jamie Lee Curtis would look like shooting a commercial for Activia during a rustic zombie apocalypse.

On the point of Rick's hallucinations, plural, this visual one and earlier the one with the phone in the prison, I've noticed that nobody here in previous posts brought up that Shane was hallucinating before he died. At the time I remember thinking, and I also remember not being alone in thinking, that it seemed as though — despite the fact that the virus was revealed to already be in just about everybody — the virus could get living people agitated, delusional, and violent either as a result of a walker scratch transmitting or accelerating some heightened form of the virus or simply due to stressful situations accelerating it. Shane's increasingly psychotic behavior was evidence of this as was, I think, that of the kid they'd been keeping captive. Whether Rick is generally more stable than Shane and thus can keep a lid on things rather than heading down a slippery slope remains to be seen, but I feel like the show is pointing us in at least the direction of asking that question.

Blam said...

@Efthymia: Note to self: I should stop watching this show while wearing my rose-coloured glasses.

Are... Are you Cyclops?

Seriously, though: I'm sorry; I pasted your comment above into a TextEdit file for a reply a week ago, only to find that now I have idea what I wanted to say in response to it.

@AnonymousTim: There can only be one!

Ha. Sad, rueful ha.

@Page48: Note to Michonne: check to see if the child in the cage, on a chain, with a sack over her head is alive before setting it free in an enclosed area.


A bunch of Walking Dead "Pictogags" went up last week over at my blog, in case y'all are interested.

Rebecca T. said...

I FINAAALLY caught up on this show! Thanks to the miracle of DVR (newly introduced to our house) and the New Year's Day marathon.

Oh my, but it is so good and I'm glad I can finally join in over here.

I really only have one comment to add at the moment - in regards to the giant hole in the wall.

I was under the impression that they had mostly stayed in C-Block. The prison is huge from the aerial shots they've shown and there have been a few times they've mentioned that there are walkers in parts of the prison they haven't gotten near. I think it's just the C-Block and the fenced in yard right outside there that they have cleared out and secured. It makes sense that there could be other areas not nearly as secure. They haven't been in the prison for long and were mostly trying to just deal with the convicts and find the kitchen and infirmary.

Oh, and I too loved Carl and the way his locking in of the new group perfectly imitated Rick's locking in of Michonne from the previous episode.