Wait, I thought the Governor was supposed to be some super a-hole, like in the comic books, where he was a raping, murdering, torturing psychopath?
In Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead, we finally meet the gov', and he comes across as a stand-up dude, at first. He brings Andrea and Michonne into his charming little town of Woodbury (population 73, soon to be 74), sees to it that Andrea gets medical treatment for her persistent flu-like symptoms, sets them up in a nice little bed and breakfast room with running water, peaches, bottled water and fresh clothes, and feeds them strangled eggs and mystery tea.
He even offers them food, ammo, meds and a new car if they insist on leaving!
Seems like a pretty good guy to me.
It isn't until near the end of the episode, when we see the Governor, with drool running down his chin, angrily bash a dying man's brains in, and then unwind by sipping bourbon and staring at his collection of severed heads — some animated, some not — floating in a ghastly pyramid of stacked aquariums, that we realize there is something off about this dude.
As Hank Hill would say, that boy ain't right.
Even though we didn't get a single second of airtime checking up on Rick and his group at the prison, I was pretty happy with this episode. It was a bit dialog heavy, but we got to meet a grip of new characters — most notably the Governor and Merle — and we had some longstanding questions finally answered.
What happened to Daryl's redneck brother Merle? He became the Governor's right-hand man (pun intended).
Who was in the helicopter? Some national guardsmen. (Like three of the prisoners from last week's episode, we didn't get much time to know them.)
We kind of knew coming into this season that it was going to revolve around the prison, the Governor, and Woodbury, but I really like the way the conflict is shaping up. After seeing how territorial Rick and the Governor are, and what lengths they're willing to go to to protect this house, you can tell that it's going to be one epic throwdown when they eventually lock horns.
I also think the town of Woodbury is really neat, like even neater than the prison. There are all these farmer's markets and campfires and solar panels and coffee shops and interesting people milling about. If I lived there I would sneak out in the middle of the night to the Woodbury central park in my hoodie to sip bourbon like the Governor, looking up at the stars and thinking about how neat it was to live in Woodbury.
I wish it was next Sunday night right now!
Did you know?
- This is the first episode of the entire series without a Rick Grimes appearance
- On his days off, actor Andrew Lincoln enjoys planting trees. (OK Andrew, you arborist, I see you, doing your thing...)
- Merle's prosthetic arm is made of fiberglass with an 8-inch military stainless steel blade
- There were 24 zombie heads in those nine fish tanks
- They added coffee grounds, tea and dye to the water to make it look groady
(Thanks Talking Dead
Did you notice?
My old pal is back
- The address on the mailbox that Andrea and Michonne walk past at the beginning of the episode is 515, which is an area code in Iowa. Danai Gurira (Michonne) was raised in Iowa. 515 is also sometimes used as a distress signal, which the helicopter pilot issues when he's going down. Pretty good, huh? I should get a job with Pop Up Video.
- The helicopter passengers names, based on their uniforms, were Sean (chopped in half at the waist by the propellor) and Franklin. The pilot was a bloke called Wells. Check out this cool Georgia National Guard patch that was on their uniforms.
- Two of the henchmen are named Schupert and Robin.
- The Governor says, "come with me," not "walk with me." Was the title of this episode referring to something else? I wish the episode had been called "Stand in the Corner and Scream With Me."
- There was a fly that was buzzing around all the fish tanks at the end
All this time that Merle hasn't been on The Walking Dead,
I've felt like I've been at a party where no one gets any of my jokes and everyone takes everything too serious. I'm like, "when my friend Merle gets here you'll see." And look who just walked through the door!
A secret place...
I like how the Governor has all these secret places hidden around Woodbury: the secret zombie test labratory, his awesome drinking room. I hope in a future episiode he opens some secret door and when he goes inside it is a room with posters of Rachel Hunter
and Kathy Ireland
on the wall, a skee ball machine
, a juke box, a MegaTouch machine with adult games unlocked and set on free play, a snack bar with nachos and a hot dog roller grill
, a pony keg of Budweiser, a bean bag chair
, and a Sega
Genesis with like three shoe boxes full of cartridges
At the beginning of the episode they flashed back to season one to show the last time we saw Merle. Wasn't it funny how young Rick looked, all fresh faced and clean shaven, wearing his plain white tee shirt?
We'll make great pets
Michonne's pets were so
cool! Not only were they functional, tireless and loyal, they also looked really creepy, just standing there, lolling rhythmically, waiting for someone to yank their chain, indicating that it's time to walk again. (I bet they had wicked bad BO though. Maybe Michonne sprayed Ax body spray all over them or put incense sticks from Spencer's Gifts in their pockets.) I wish that Michonne didn't have to slaughter them. But now that they're gone, this might be the perfect opportunity to create a comedic spinoff. The two zombie pets could share an apartment and they'd run into all these hilarious predicaments. The one zombie could try to put on a shirt and it would slide off cause he has no arms, and then he'd look at the camera like "what a country!" and then the other zombie would try to eat a bowl of alphabet soup but it would keep running down his neck because he has no chin! And then he'd look at the camera like "kill me now, please." And the studio audience would laugh uproariously.
Poor choice of company car
The Governor drives up to the little army camp in a Nissan! Now, I'm the proud owner of a beautiful 2006 dark blue Sentra (with spoiler, thanks very much), so I can definitely appreciate his choice of vehicle, but Hyundai — a chief sponsor of the show — is not going to be happy!
That's a neat tea pot
The tea shoots out the bottom into your mug. I would fill it with Diet Mountain Dew.
Funny references to other TV shows
At first when the episode started with that helicopter flying, I was like, 'What show am I watching, Airwolf
?' Hah, and then when the copter crashed and dark smoke started billowing up from the woods, I was like, 'What is that, the smoke monster from Lost
My Halloween costume was so cool and obscure
I was Freddy. You're probably like "Oh come on, Freddy Cougar isn't obscure." Well I wasn't that
Freddy. I was Freddy from Return of the Living Dead
. I had the suspenders and the right shirt and everything, it was awesome! So what were you?
In case you missed it
During one of the commercial breaks, they showed "Robert Kirkman's 5 favorite changes from the comic book to the TV series"
Because I'm OCD, I went back and typed it all down here for you to read. Will this make you like me?
5. MORGAN'S WIFE. Showing her in the show was such a powerful and emotional scene that I simply never even considered! I suck!
4. HERD ATTACKING HERSHEL'S FARM. In the comic Hershel put a gun to Rick's head and said, "You guys can't live here!" and Rick gathered everyone up and they left. No barn burning, no thousands of walkers attacking, no leaving Andrea for dead.
3. SOPHIA WAS IN THE BARN! Spoiler alert ... after 103 issues of the comic book ... Sophia was alive and well! Her death in the show has affected all of the characters in meaningful ways.
2. RICK KILLS SHANE. In the comic, Shane brings Rick out to the woods to kill him — and before he can do it CARL shoots Shane in the neck. In the show, when Rick knifes him it's such a dramatic payoff, it's really the moment where Rick emerges as someone who will do whatever has to be done to survive ... even kill his best friend.
1. DARYL FRIGGIN' DIXON. He's not even in the comic, folks.
"Easy does it girl, mine's a whole lot bigger than yours. Now put down your weapons."
"Now spin around, that's it, a nice little twirl around."
"Now, how's about a big hug for your old pal Merle?"
"I guess this old world gets a little smaller toward the end, huh? There ain't so many of us left to share the air, right?"
"When they found me I was near bled out, starving, thinking to myself a bullet might make a good last meal. Take myself a nice long nap after, wait for Daryl on the other side."
"There she sits, four walls around her, roof over her head, medicine in her veins, and she wants to know what I want from her...I plucked you and your mute here out of the dirt blondie, saved your asses. How about a thank you?"
"Who aint had a gun on 'em in the past year, huh?"
"Hell, I think I'd piss my pants if some stranger come walking up with his mitts in his pockets. That'd be the sun of a bitch you'd really wanna be scared of."
"Buzz is a nickname
, Governor is a title. There's a difference."
"Keep poking the bear and you're bound to get mauled, remember that."
"Pretty impressive, really, major kudos for ingenuity. Take away their arms so they can't grab you, take away their jaws so they can't bite you, take away their ability to eat, they lose interest in doing so. They're no longer in attack mode, we can be in their presence without threat. They become docile, in a sense."
"They are starving, they just do it slower than we do."
"Survival in the wild is tough sledding. Wake up every morning on the ground wondering if today is the day. Will it be quick and final or slow and without end? Did someone have the good sense to kill my brain or will it come back as one of them?"
"Do I strike you as the kind of man who sits pretty? You reap what you sow. We're the seed, now winter has passed, it's time to harvest."
"We're going back out there and we're taking back what's ours: civilization. We will rise again, only this time we won't be eating each other."
"My sh*t never stopped being together."
"Never waste a bullet, son."
"Go put a merciful end to that young mans days."
Merle, of course!
What everyone is up to
Hanging out at the prison, waiting for the cameras to come back, I guess.Lori:
Getting Stockholm syndrome and getting a crush on her captor.Michonne:
Decapitating her pet zombies and distrusting the Governor. Acting hardened and cold.The Governor:
Brooding while sipping bourbon and peering at his madman's menagerie.Merle:
Saying lots of cool quotes.
Best zombie kill
In honor of the Fall Classic, I'm going to give the award to backwards-baseball-hat guy, who had a pretty sweet Miguel Cabrera swing when he bashed the living heck out of that one zombie's head.
I counted 12, for 102 on the season.
Nine (the guardsmen) for 12 on the season.
A look ahead to next week's episode, "Killer Within"
- Is Lori's bebo gonna turn into a zombie inside her tummy and rip her apart from the inside out?
- Why did the helicopter crash? The pilot called it "light turbulence" but could it have been gunfire?
- Who was that peeping Tom, Dick or Harry watching Carol dissect a zombie corpse?
- Where are Morgan and Duane?
- What's in Milton's special tea? Some kind of serum or opiate?
- What did the Governor whisper to Merle when he first checked on Michonne and Andrea in Woodbury?
Michonne finds blood on the army truck, arousing her suspicions, somehow the prison gates bust open, causing mayhem, the Governor talks to Andrea about becoming a resident of Woodbury, and Glen and Maggie shag in the guard tower.