For the graphic novel fans, this week’s Walking Dead was chock full of nods to the source material. It’s odd to be happy to see a man brushing the hair of his walker daughter, but the opening sequence where we finally get to see Penny was a fantastic tone setter for this week. The undercurrent of unease in Woodbury begins to surface, Daryl takes on the leadership role with ease, and Rick loses his shit. Then there’s
”Daddy still loves you.” – The Governor
The opening moments of an idyllic barbecue brought to my mind the season opener of Lost where we watched Ben and The Others living life. It was a jarring juxtaposition to the reality outside of Woodbury’s walls. Then we move to the Governor with his zombie daughter, and as she gets riled up he does what experienced parents know to work best. He puts a hood over her head to calm her down. Little known fact: children are like parrots.
As if nothing untoward is going on at all in his home, the Governor gives a little speech during the picnic about how great there’ll all doing. Andrea thinks this is all just swell, and fans begin to wonder why this woman who was on the road to be a badass last season is being so easily duped. How tumultuous has life been on the road with Michonne that Andrea is ready to accept what is clearly too good to be true?
This place is not what they say it is.” – Michonne
Speaking of Michonne, she spends her time snooping about the Governor’s house and gets her katana back (yes!). She’s only able to find a list of names, with the last being Penny, before the Governor returns home. Milton argues with him that he wants to finish some experiment and the night’s festivities should be postponed. I know that the Governor is an evil sumbitch, but Milton is the king of Creepsville sitting on his Creep Throne.
Michonne wanders about and finds Milton’s lab, where there’s a cage full of walkers. What follows is a lesson in “Why you don’t fuck with Michonne.” She slices and dices through the walkers after setting them free. She doesn’t know what Milton has planned, nor what the Governor’s interest in the zombies might be. But they’re walkers, she slices walkers, and so she does her job.
The Governor makes a last attempt to incorporate Michonne, but is rebuffed when she confronts him with her knowledge of Penny. She had no proof, just a hunch, but he confirms her thoughts when he acknowledges his daughter. The Governor tries to convince Michonne to join the Research Team. Her response is to point her blade at his neck, and then walk away.
“She’s all personality, that one.” – The Governor
So the Governor sets up a plan to get rid of Michonne while still keeping Andrea’s trust. Michonne is convinced they won’t be allowed to leave, and when she finally gets Andrea to come with her they run into Merle. He gives them the run around, Michonne sees it as proof she was right. Then Merle lets them go. Andrea decides to stay, and Michonne walks out of the prison, I mean town. Yeah, Woodbury is most definitely a cozy town.
We then move to the evening’s festivities, a Lumberjack boxing match where walkers are the Lumberjacks. Every now and then the fine folks of Woodbury blow off steam by watching men fight it out surrounded by zombies. While Michonne’s slaying of walkers earlier was cool, I wish she was still in town to put on a great show for the people.
Daryl wins this week’s award for making the most amount of women say “Awwww” as he held baby Grimes and fed her a bottle of formula. With Rick indisposed with grief, Daryl immediately stood up as the leader. Taking control of the situation, and taking Maggie on a scavenging trip.
“Hello dinner.” – Daryl
The prison aspect of the story this week was focused mainly on wonderful character moments. Axel and Oscar offering to help dig the three graves; Glen admitting to Hershel that he’d trade any number of people for one their own; Hershel’s understanding of what Glen says, and his continued acceptance of this young man as the protector of his daughter.
Rick didn’t have a single intelligible conversation this week. He grunted some words in pain and grief at times, but there was no meaningful conversations happening in the cell block. But we did get to see Rick go on a zombie killing rampage that would have put Michonne in awe. His pain and rage is so bare it’s almost hard to watch. Nothing at all like the calm and cool Governor, who keeps his daughter locked away so he can coddle her when he needs.
The episode ends with a phone ringing near Rick, he answers, and utters his one line. “Hello?” And now we have more questions, with that phon ecall being towards the bottom of my own list. Is Carol dead? We never saw her, but there’s a grave that Daryl placed a Cherokee Rose on. She’s certainly not around. Will Andrea finally wise up and tap back into her inner ass kicking nature? I’m wondering if Andrea will take Michonne’s place story wise from the graphic novel. It’d be an interesting take on the situation. There aren’t many episodes left in the first half of the season, and it feels like the clash that’s coming will be monumental.