Ater last week's episode of The Walking Dead I was really jazzed for last night, hoping they would be able to retain some of the same energy and excitement they managed to build. While I can appreciate many aspects of last night's episodes as it planted many seeds for what is coming, it all felt very drawn out, and downright boring. The entire happenings of the hour could have been condensed into about a 10-minute conversation and that felt obvious. However, there was some good tension at the end, which I will say again, hopefully will lead to the main resolution of the fight between Woodbury and the prison. It's been necessary for some time and I just want to move on.
The episode starts out with a sit down meeting between Rick and the Governor that was arranged by peacemaker Andrea. The interaction between Rick and the Governor gave us some insight into the Governor's character as he told Rick about the death of his wife in a car accident. It was an interesting turn that her death actually had nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse. She was killed in a tragic accident that she was here one moment, then gone the next. I'm not sure that this fully explains why the Governor turned into the monster that he is, but it at least shows that bad things have happened to him and why he was so hesitant to let go of his zombie daughter, Penny. I'm sure it was also his way of trying to screw with Rick's head and throw him off by bringing up a very touchy subject that Rick is not too stable dealing with. Luckily, Rick kept himself together.
So, we get down to the nitty gritty of the conversation we find out that Rick is willing to just divide the land and live side by side without any conflict in their own respective lands. The Governor claims he will, but he wants something in return. He has it out for Michonne after she killed his precious half-dead daughter and poked his eye out – which he had to dramatically make Rick remember by pulling off his patch. The Governor claims that he is willing to live in peace, if only Rick were to give up Michonne so he can get his own special kind of retribution. As I mentioned last week, we saw the relationship between Michonne, Rick and Carl grow and develop and now we know why. Without that bonding and Rick's distrust of her, it is possible that Rick would have thrown simply thrown Michonne to the Governor in order to save the group. Now, he is in a strict moral quandary in which he must figure out what to do. There is no guarantee that he and his group will survive either way, so he must weigh his options and make a decision on the best scenario. He seems to be doing so logically, and this definitely is a development for Rick as he is back in power as a leader making decisions and back from the complete loony bin.
We also saw quite a bit of Andrea who just, finally figured out that the Governor is a terrible, awful, no good person. She has resisted this notion for weeks, even though he has threatened to kill her former family on a regular basis. Carol even implored her to take the power that she has and help them by offing the Governor in his sleep. Naïve Andrea thought he was a good enough person that he didn't deserve that until she now finally figures out that he is a rapist murderer that should have no power at all. I guess I am happy that she finally had this light bulb moment (although confused why it took so long) and in the preview for next week looks like she might actually do something about it, but wow, has it taken a long time to get there, making her extremely annoying the whole time.
To ensure that there were at least some zombies present in the episode, Daryl goes off on a manly killing spree with one of the Woodbury citizens. The baseball bat to the head was pretty intense, but I miss the moments that the zombies are actually threatening. Now, they are just decapitated or killed as if it was a walk n the park, so there is no real tension as to if they are actually going to reach out and bite someone. On the other hand, the bonding between the two men was important and once again showed a coming together of enemies. While they thought they were at odds, they really took a moment to realize that there is no purpose in fighting against each other and the Governor manufactures it all.
Glenn was the biggest character focused of those left at the prison. He stood up to Merle and finally reconnected with Maggie. It was nice to see the lovebirds back together again; even it was a little creepy that they almost put on a show for the zombies. I also can’t help but wonder if there will be another baby storyline coming soon as they start to repopulate the dying world? Their “relations” seemed to be so poignant and about even more than just their relationship being rekindled, so it makes me wonder.
The best tension and build up in the episode came in the end when the music swells and both men go off to their respective camps and reveal their own plans. The Governor reveals to Milton that he will just take Michonne deal with her in his "special way" and then will ambush the rest of the group and kill them anyways. Rick talks to the prison and has a battle cry to explain that they are going to have to go to ward to protect themselves. It was an awesome moment to realize that Rick was able to see the Governor’s plan all along. Rick later reveals to Hershel the Governor’s offer to live in peace that he knows that the Governor will take Michonne and then kill them anyways, he still has a question if it is worth calling his bluff. Rick has a tough decision coming and I’m curious where this goes.
The show has solidified its change in the last few episodes from the war on zombies to the war on humans, and while I understand the background of all this, I just wish they would all just get along and get back to the business of fighting zombies. The most interesting material comes when it is that war that is focused upon and I really hope we can close out all that nonsense soon and get back to the real threat.