Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Walk With Me,” was different from any that have come before. Instead of focusing on Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the band of survivors, we took a detour and spent an hour hanging out with Andrea (Laurie Holden) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), catching up with them. We also, at long last, received an official introduction to The Governor (David Morrissey), season three’s other big addition to the cast, a character that fans of Robert Kirkman’s comics expect to leave permanent marks on our crew of survivors.
In the wake of “Walk With Me,” AMC has released their Monday morning sneak peek at next week’s episode, “Killer Within.”
There’s still a ton of work for the survivors to do, clearing out the prison, getting the field ready for farming, and securing the facility from the walkers. Still, in this clip Glenn and Maggie are able to find something that has been a rare commodity for the group over the past year: a moment of joy, one that manifests itself as a quickie in an unoccupied guard tower.
Surrounded by seemingly impenetrable barriers, snuggled safely in the welcoming embrace of the prison, opportunities for incidents like this, where life is almost normal again, if only for a second, should be more plentiful. But we all know this idyllic calm won’t last, that it is really the eye of a brutal storm that will only get worse. Especially now that The Governor is in play. We’ve seen how he handles his business, and that inevitable conflict is set in motion.
Sure, taking out a group of National Guardsman makes a certain amount of sense for him—they may have been useful, but where would their loyalties lie, and would he be able to control them like the citizens of Woodbury? Probably not. Rick’s group presents a similar threat. They’re heavily armed, loyal to each other, and they’ve been battle-tested. You can bet that the Governor isn’t going to welcome them with open arms.
As a fan of the comics, I have some fears about how the show is handling The Governor. The departure with his introduction makes sense. In the comics Rick, Michonne, and Glenn follow the downed helicopter from “Walk With Me,” and are taken in by Woodbury, only to be imprisoned and tortured. With Andrea and Michonne showing up first it gives the series a chance to introduce him and set up the situation before diving in headfirst. That’s a big reason why the episode feels like such an information dump, because it is, you pick up a lot of details.
Part of my concern revolves around Merle’s (Michael Rooker) return. What makes the Governor so terrifying is his calm, rational demeanor, which covers an underlying sadism and viciousness. I worry that the show is going to rein his character in and hand some of the brutal moments over to Merle. It would be a shame to have him watered down.
I’m also concerned about the Governor’s wall of severed heads floating in fish tanks. In the comics the big reveal at this juncture is that he keeps his zombified daughter, Penny, chained up in that back room. This is so much more unique, and says so much more about his character and personality, than a collection of heads. That’s just what psychopaths and serial killers do in movies and TV, they keep heads, and that makes the Governor a more generic villain.
I don’t like that they’re trying to portray him as insane. Aside from Penny, he’s not crazy, just a father distraught by loss (okay, that’s not the entire story, but the comic never gets into that, you have to read Rise of the Governor for the full story). His rationality is what makes him truly formidable. Each move is calculated, and you see very clearly how he was driven to this point. My worry is that the show is going to brush him off as a lunatic and ruin the best antagonist the series has.
As critical as all of this sounds, it’s just me nitpicking. “Walk With Me” is another solid episode in season three, which has, thus far, been the strongest yet. What did you think about the episode? About season three so far?