I watched Facebook blow up with “HOLY WHOA WALKING DEAD” exclamations on Sunday night, all the while lounging around with the dude and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix instead. Frankly, The Walking Dead has disappointed me repeatedly, and at least I know what I’m getting into with Buffy and Riley (ugh, season four – and it was the episode where they can’t stop doing it, and it is so ridiculous). But I digress. When I sat down to watch The Walking Dead in my empty house last night, I was expecting some folks to bite the dust, some to make good decisions (I was giving too much credit), and some to pop back out of the woodwork (Carol, where are you when we need you?).
Well, some of that stuff happened. The only way I can describe the events of Sunday’s mid-season finale is “total shitshow.”
In the opening scenes, the Governor calmly tells his own crew of naive, kindly folk that they’ve gotta take the prison. He manipulates them by mentioning Martinez’s name (boo hiss! I liked Martinez), asserts to them that the prison people are murderers and thieves (though of course they’re “not all bad”), and tells them the prison people killed his daughter. He doesn’t, of course, mention that she was already dead at the time. As his disingenuous, infuriating speech to the trailer posse continues in voiceover, we watch him capturing Michonne and Hershel. “They’re the key,” he says, to taking the prison. Tara and Alicia are the first to say they’re down to attack the other group. Gentle Lily wants nothing to do with it, and asks if it’s really necessary to kill them, if they’re not all bad people. “Well, they’re with bad people,” says Philip/Brian/The Governor. “Am I?” Lily asks him, and suddenly we get the feeling she’s sharper than we gave her credit for. Oh yes, that is the question. When One-Eyed Bri says he loves her, she responds, “I don’t know who you are.”
Inside his trailer, Hershel and Michonne are trussed up, but not gagged. The Governor tells them his master plan, asks for their help in conquering the prison. Hershel rightfully asks how, if the Governor (who really, really doesn’t want to be called that anymore) had/has a daughter, he can kill somebody else’s kid. “Because they aren’t mine.” The Governor’s skinnier and stranger-looking than he used to be. Lanky in a slightly embellished cowboy jacket, sidling along as though his hips and legs are sore. He agrees to let Lily and Meghan stay by the river, where the walkers surely can’t get them. Surely. When he hugs Meghan goodbye, he lets her put muddy hands all over his jacket, telling her she made it better. Nothing in this world goes untarnished, he seems to be saying, and sometimes the key is getting down and dirty, sometimes the answer is to play in the metaphorical mud. Read more