I haven’t been out of bed much in the last few days and can’t guarantee the most incisive look at this week’s The Walking Dead. I can report that this episode was another goodie in a rather long string of them.
In the opening of the episode, Merle, some young kid, and two others are out hunting. Not for food or supplies, of course; no, they’re hunting Michonne. What they don’t realize is just how formidable an enemy she is. Unfortunately, nor does the new kid with the Italian surname recognize Merle for what he is. Michonne knows exactly what she got herself into by walking through those gates, and left a gruesome “walker-gram” for the hunters: GO BACK. If only they’d listened, all four of them would still be alive. Tsk tsk.
After killing two of her hunters, Michonne sustains a gunshot wound and totters off “into the red zone,” as Merle says. When the new kid, traumatized and anxious, refuses to lie about her to The Governor, Merle shoots him in the face. Yep. That’s the person we grew to hate in season one.
Recently, a friend and I were arguing (good-naturedly) about why I find Andrea to be the most frustrating character this season. Why is she completely unable to see what’s in front of her? Why can’t she trust the woman who’s helped keep her alive through thick and thin for the last eight months? Laurie Holden apparently has said she thinks Andrea has trust issues, and she’s been abandoned, blah blah – but don’t we all, and who hasn’t felt abandoned in the show’s universe? Now Andrea’s abandoned her closest ally and jumped into bed with The Governor. I have a major problem with this – and while I understand that things may not be clear for her from under the dragon’s wing (so to speak), she ought to have figured out Woodbury from the very beginning for one reason. She knows Merle is a petty, racist, exemplar of the banality of evil. Merle is thriving in Woodbury. Shouldn’t this set off alarm bells?
Alas, this knowledge doesn’t appear to faze Andrea, as she hops into a relationship with The Governor even after he chastises her (like you would a little girl – it seems that’s the treatment Andrea responds to) when she jumps over the wall to kill a walker. Seriously, I’d like to throttle the character at this point.
As he’s making his way to a car in order to go back to Woodbury, he comes upon Maggie and Glenn, who’ve searched a phone book for places to find baby formula. Glenn recognizes Merle and indeed, treats him with exactly the kind of trepidation he should. Unfortunately, Merle gets the better of the two, and they set off to find Daryl, leaving the formula behind on the ground. Michonne, hiding in the shadows, witnesses the confrontation.
Meanwhile, at the prison, Rick’s been chatting on the phone with his dead compatriots; first Amy, then Jackie, then Dale, and finally, Lori. I wondered how they would play this in the show – it worked like a charm in the books, but only, I think, because you couldn’t hear the voices. Rick has more or less lost his mind. He’s sick, tired, and riddled with guilt. His subconscious is playing tricks on him. It’s a good ploy, but didn’t pan out as well in the show as in the books.
Daryl, helping Rick to clean out cell blocks, hears a noise and tracks it (much like last episode’s possum), to discover Carole, starving and panicked. How did they not realize she was alive? It’s been how long?
Poor Daryl. It’s becoming more and more obvious that beneath his hardened exterior, he has a soft, smooshy heart. He’s got a serious soft spot for the baby and for Carole. His number one priority is making sure everyone in the group stays alive and safe. He’s perhaps their most valuable asset at this point. Unfortunately, Merle is on his way. It’ll be an exciting confrontation, but what will come of it?
When Rick finally climbs out into the sunshine, he goes out to the yard and creeps over to the fence. What should he find among the hissing, moaning walkers, but a wounded, pale Michonne, staring avidly through the chain link at him. On her back is the baby formula Maggie and Glenn left behind. Please, she’s begging without saying a word, please let me in.
I’m thrilled at how well this season is going. I’m looking forward to the next episode. I’m anxious for Michonne to become part of the group at the prison. I’m excited for and wary of the inevitable Daryl/Merle confrontation. I’m psyched to see how Andrea will respond when her old fam clashes with her spankin’ new Woodbury one. I’m really looking forward to seeing Merle get his due. I’m far more trepidatious about Michonne’s upcoming plotline with the Governor – her part in the books made me physically queasy.
How do you feel? Who’s your favorite and least favorite character? Do you feel Andrea is justified in her relationship with the Governor? How do you predict Merle and Daryl will reunite? Share in the comments!