Damn. It’s hard out here for a villain. Where’s the trust? Where’s the love? His minions turn on him, his girlfriend runs away and tries to kill him. It is enough to make a man just get lost in his torture chamber. Fans of the comic will recognize the set up, especially the scene where the Governor was testing the strength of the two chains, kneeling between them. The question is: will he actually get Michonne in them?
Tonight’s story starts with a sweet little flash back of Michonne and Andrea in happier times, back when they were alone in the woods. As they sit around what I would consider to be an ill advised camp fire, Andrea asks Michonne about the two zombies that she keeps as pets. It is pretty clear that Michonne knew them in life, but she doesn’t want to talk about where they came from. Probably because the character is embarrassed by the lame back story Robert Kirkman gave her. Judging by her response, it looks like the writers are going to veer away from using that back story too. Clearly the two zombie pets did something terrible when they were men; Michonne was able to convey that with relative ease. Perfect. You don’t need to beat the viewer about the head and neck with exposition to convey depth of emotion. Plus, sometimes when you spell out a back story, it dilutes the terrible thing the viewer had pictured for themselves. I am curious to see what is revealed and what is held back over the next two episodes.
Despite my love of subtlety, I am starting to get the feeling that The Walking Dead is teasing us with Michonne. They know she is a fan favorite, so they are parsing out her character development and screen time. You can stop parsing now, we would like a full serving of hot katana action; these little appetizers are only making us ravenous!
After the flashback, this episode focused mainly on Andrea and the Governor over at Woodbury, where we see that he plans to take up amateur gynecology. You saw the implements for his torture chamber as he was laying them out right? There was a saw, a dental pick, a funnel and plastic tubing, a speculum. What, you thought that was a dental kit (whenever I see the interrogation room and its old timey dental chair I picture Steve Martin bursting in, singing Dentist! ala Little Shop of Horrors)? Google “speculum” and see what comes up. Trust me, the ladies reading this are already crossing their legs. If you watched Talking Dead, you might have noticed that while the camera panned over the speculum, the prop master neglected to pick it up and tell the audience what it is used for. Heh heh heh, ugh.
Anywho. The Governor’s pet nerd, a little distraught about the whole torture chamber thing, clues Andrea in to Michonne’s … let’s call it her annual check up. This is no bueno. No bueno indeed! Andrea finally gets her stuff together and puts her game face on. She leaves, but not before being cornered by the Governor who tells her that he needs her for the meet up with Rick. I’m pretty sure she was going to be used as some sort of human shield or hostage, but instead of sticking around, Andrea takes her tiny pen knife and runs.
At first it might seem shocking that the Governor is actually broken up when she leaves. If you think about it though, it may seem weird, but it’s really not that far outside his character. His management of Woodbury may not be indicative of his need to control his environment (especially when his attention often seems to be elsewhere), but keeping his little zombie daughter around was. He doesn’t just have a hard time letting go, he’s almost like a hoarder. Look at the zombie heads he was keeping in tanks. Andrea isn’t just a girlfriend, she is something to be possessed; one way or the other.
But this episode is not just about Andrea and the Governor’s exceedingly dysfunctional breakup. There was some excellent screen time for Tyreese and his sister, and that other dude they were traveling with and the other dude’s son. Call me critical, but I am not so sure other dude is going to survive the season. Drama between Tyreese and other dude carried over to the zombie pits where there was some kerfuffle about the questionable ethics of feeding women and children to walkers. Apparently someone agrees with Tyreese because the corralled walkers did not make it to the end of the episode before being barbequed. I suspect the pet nerd finally sacked up and took a stand. I wonder if an angry Governor will introduce him to the speculum later. Hey, just throwing it out there.
So off Andrea goes to warn the prison, running through the woods with nothing but her pen knife and her good intentions. Why the hell doesn’t she have a machete? It is the zombie apocalypse; I would have two machetes. Unfortunately two machetes would not have served Andrea when the Governor tried to run her down with his truck as he chased her through the woods to an abandoned factory, where there was a ridiculously excellent buildup of tension. More tension then this show gets from zombies anymore. Zombies are kind of common place at this point, while the Governor is one scary mother fucker. Damn you Morrissey and your creepy killer dad vibe! I was seriously getting the cold sweats when he was stalking Andrea in the dark. For the first time, Andrea came off as a cool customer, and managed to keep control of the situation and herself.
It was a beautiful moment, very nicely kick ass.
She escapes the factory and makes it to the prison just in time for the Governor to literally jump out of the bushes and drag her ass back to Woodbury. Poor Andrea; and right when I had decided that her character did not need to be beaten to death with a stick. Will she survive the season? Hey, who knows? But with her and Lori gone, who is left for me to take my frustration out on?
Although, to be honest, I get that Andrea was completely dead on her feet (heh) when the Governor got her, but it did not need to go down that way. Which is why I am going to close this review with the fun self defense fact of the day: Girlfriend, if you can reach his hand you can reach his remaining eye. Meaning, do not waste your time trying to pry your attacker’s hand away from your mouth, instead jab your finger in that jerk’s eye. Trust me that will get his hand away from your face pretty quickly.
Favorite zombie of the episode:
The burnt up crispy zombies in the pit, who were still gnashing.
Zombie kill of the week:
Shovel to the head zombie. The Governor just kept going with that one, didn’t he? The zombie was dead, dude. Everything else is just gravy (literally).