We’re now three episodes in to the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead and it is time to meet the man who will undoubtedly serve as this years main protagonist. Spoiler alert!, he’s not a zombie. One of the most anticipated events of this season has to be the introduction of David Morrissey‘s character ‘The Governor’, combined with the return of Merle (Michael Rooker) and more Michonne (Danai Gurira.) Well, good news everyone! This episode has all 3 mixed in with a few surprises. We’ll dig deeper (and supply heavy spoilers) for ‘Walk With Me‘ after the jump.
When I said we get more Michonne this week, I meant it. She paces through 90% of the episode like a caged tiger, making a wonderful transition from the comic book to the small screen. Fans of the comic book will find Gurira’s portrayal of the character comfortable and faithful. We join Michonne and a still rather ill Andrea as they witness a helicopter crash. Yes, that is right, months (over a year?) since the rise of the undead, someone still has a bird in the air (well, had), and it is not a flashback like so many had suspected in last weeks teaser clip. Before the pair can investigate the choppers wreckage, a heavily armed team that are clearly no strangers to dealing with soon-to-be-walkers, arrive. Yes, this is where we are treated to our first taste of Morrissey’s ‘Governor’.
Wisely, Andrea and Michonne take cover and observe. Cover that is almost blown when Michonne’s walker/pack mules start to get restless, she quickly relieves them of their heads which seems to settle them down. As the Governor and his team recover the one survivor and quickly dispose of the two less lucky helicopter occupants and get ready to leave, we see both Andrea and Michonne breath a sigh of relief. Relief that is quickly broken by… drum role please… Merle!
A post apocalyptic poster boy for life handing you lemons, Merle’s lemonade is a bayonet fixed to his stump. He’s a little bit lighter it seems, but twice as unsettling. I am completely willing to ignore the logistical nightmare it would be for a one handed Merle to be picked up and saved by the Governor and his men. One thing is clear, Merle has found himself a new home in Woodbury.
Blindfolded, Andrea and Michonne are taken to the sleepy and peaceful little community (due to a lot of guns and a mandatory curfew) that the Governor and his people have carved out of this undead apocalypse. Fans of the comic book will notice (and probably complain) about how different the TV show is here. The Governor that greets and speaks to Michonne and Andrea seems amiable and accommodating, even helpful when he offers them supplies and a vehicle should they choose to leave the peaceful community. It’s less of a fear controlled compound straight out of Mad Max, and more of a quiet and well running suburb that just happens to have a tire wall to keep the cannibal corpses out. This new TV version the Governor and his anti-zombie hold out seems nice. Too nice (sorry, I just wanted to say that.)
We start to see that everything is not as it seems in Woodbury when we are introduced to Milton (Dallas Roberts) and his macabre zombie research. When Milton interacts with Andrea and Michonne his questions are pointed and direct giving him an almost mad scientist vibe (not mention one question that Michonne answered with a nasty sideways stink eye.) As Andrea seems comfortable in the small town setting, Michonne seems poised to strike and rip out throats, zombie or human. I am really liking Michonne.
Remember the one surviving National Guardsmen from the helicopter crash? Well he tells the Governor where his group of survivors are hold up, sending The Governor and his men on a rescue mission. That is, rescuing all the guns and supplies from the few remaining soldiers. After a quick devilish grin, The Governor and his men proceed to gun down the National Guardsmen. When they return to Woodbury, the Governor tells the townsfolk a rather embellished version of how the guardsmen met their end, saying they will honor the soldiers sacrifice. After a long day, The Governor retires to a peaceful night of scotch and watching his zombiquarium. In case you missed it, he is evil. Very evil.
Season 3 of The Walking Dead is really firing on all cylinders now. While this episode wasn’t as action packed as the first two, it did have an unsettling quality that we haven’t really experienced since the early days of the first season.
I know that there has been some early critics of how the Governors portrayal has changed from comics to small screen, personally I love the direction they are taking the character. Rather than being the vicious psychopath that controls his people with fear and whip we see a different villain. Morrissey plays a sociopath, hiding his darkness behind a smile and working very hard to appear like a good guy.
Now that is villain to fear.