[Note: Post-Sandy Walking Dead will resume its normal schedule next week, with posts going up within 24 hours after episodes air. --Deborah]
AMC’s been showing a lot of ads for their Halloween horror movie marathons. A lot of Jason, some Chuckie, this and that… It strikes me that in your standard horror film, you’re scared of the monster. Oh, it might not be a “monster.” It might be a serial killer, or a living doll, or an alien, something other. The thing you put on the box, maybe name the story after. This sounds so obvious, doesn’t it?
But the only horror I really watch is Walking Dead, and the occasional zombie film for my own edification regarding the genre. You’re not scared of the walkers. They’re a threat, but a known one. Not the real threat.
The real threat is the other survivors.
This is something I’ve probably said before, because the show deals with it again and again. With Walk With Me, we meet the Governor, who is probably the epitome of this. Here he is, setting up a little piece of formerly-known-as-normal in the post-apocalypse, giving people a reason to keep living, providing hope… And he kills people and puts their heads in jars. I wasn’t sure until I watched it a second time, but the head we focused on at the end was the soldier from the helicopter. I know some of you are going “Duh,” but we saw him for about a second, not long enough to really recognize him in that state. I also didn’t notice until the second view that the tour guide was the naked woman in Gov’nuh’s bed. I thought she was some random.
The helicopter makes me think of the one Rick saw flying over Atlanta early in season one. Talk about an unsatisfying solution to that mystery. “The army didn’t fall apart 100% right away, and some of them had ‘copters for a while.” I was hoping, I dunno, we’d learn that there was some group of people with enough civilization to fly ‘copters over Atlanta for some reason which they’d explain when we met them. This as the answer to that long-standing mystery is a bummer.
Anyway, wall full of heads. Some of them are clearly undead, but it looks like not all of them are. Maybe he started taking trophies from kills and decided at some point that he’d do the same for the living. Either way, he’s probably the only one who knows about that room.
But his whole crew knows about his methods. Merle and the squad took out the army guys like a well-oiled machine. They knew exactly what they were doing. Makes me wonder exactly how many other survivors got killed so the Gov’nuh could raid their supplies. Some of the townspeople probably suspect a few things, but I doubt anyone knows what goes on except the people doing it.
See, Merle said something interesting: “Hell, I think I’d piss my pants if some stranger come walking up with his mitts in his pockets. That’d be the son of a bitch you’d really want to be scared of.” He was describing the Gov’nuh. Governor Mitts-in-His-Pockets. Merle didn’t mean it that way, but the writers did. Speaking of Merle, his entrance would have been awesome and dramatic and quite the surprise if it wasn’t in the Previously On. It’s interesting to me that Merle fears and respects the Gov’nuh, in fact he seems generally calmer. Maybe now that he isn’t hopped up on drugs all the time, he can be. His love for Daryl is also clearly there, abusive and violent though he is.
Woodbury isn’t the only settlement around. We heard about army guy’s group, how their camp went to hell. There are a whole bunch of survivors out there. All over the place. It seems like the world is ended, and it mostly is, but we’ve encountered a whole lot of survivors. It makes sense. You’re gonna have solos or pairs like Michonne/Andrea, groups like Rick’s, each kind can be nomadic or stationary. Around the world you’ll also have small settlements like Woodbury. There are many ways people can survive. Groups usually come in two forms: Led by people like Rick, and led by people like Governor Prettyboy.
We know from her romp with Shane that Andrea is attracted to power. She really seems to be buying this guy’s line, and her attraction to him is likely influencing her decision-making. Neither she nor Michonne have any subtlety, but Michonne is a combat-oriented character in a situation that requires social skills, not combat skills. Subtlety. Indirectness. None of the things she’s such a badass at. Michonne is hard all around, a thick protective outer shell and no trust for anyone.
Especially not Mr. Creepy Scientist Guy, with his talk of Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? If Andrea was following the science that the guy in the CDC gave her at the end of season one, she’d know that no, they don’t, because it’s only the reptile brain that’s still functioning. Creepy Scientist Guy’s mention of a tool kit was reflected in Gov’nuh’s reliance on him to be smart and question him… Except not really question him, or I’m sure it would be a death sentence. But he wasn’t the right tool for the job either, although there’s no doubt that he’s a tool.
The question I keep coming back to is: Why shoot the soldiers? Why not bring them in, have them be part of the town? Let’s speculate. Maybe Gov’nuh is cautious not to let anyone in who’ll question him if he can avoid it. Maybe he doesn’t want to risk them not giving over their supplies and weapons. Maybe he thinks they might be a threat, and decided on a pre-emptive strike. Maybe he just likes killing people and taking their stuff. Yeah, that sounds about right.
A couple of final thoughts: Nice job with the exposition of Michonne’s pet walkers, whose use as pack mules I found hilarious. The guy who took out the zombies with the aluminum baseball bat realized that the walking dead aren’t so scary in an open space if they can’t walk. Kneecaps are a good target.
That’s about all I’ve got to say this week. Apologies for the late post. See you next week, brain trust.