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.
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
- David Morrissey, the actor who portrays the Governor, is British and was also in Doctor Who and Basic Instinct 2
- Dallas Roberts, who plays the Governor's scientist, Milton, is from Houston. He was recently in The Grey, 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line
- The helicopter was provided by the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation in Hampton, GA
- 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