The Governor Warmly Welcomes Its Newest Residents to Woodbury
The first two episodes of this season of The Walking Dead rank amongst the best of the series. They provided some great sequences, some intriguing character moments and above all else it felt like a bold step in the right direction for the series. “Walk With Me” had its finer moments, however it overall felt like but a taste as to what viewers will get from the residents of Woodbury. This is not to say that this week’s episode was terrible. Rather, it felt like half of a larger and more intriguing whole.
Starting off with the helicopter crash was a great choice. A large moment in the comics, it was interesting how the writers instead choose to have Andrea and Michonne witness it, rather than it have it occur closer to the prison. That being said, I wonder if Rick and his group did happen to see it, which may lead them to coming into contact with the residents of Woodbury. Never the less, it was nice to see more of these two characters, as both Andrea and Michonne are some of my favorite characters in the comics, and having them together is just all kinds of awesome. More interestingly though, this sequence introduced viewers to the Governor, and what a first impression it was. How awesome was it to see someone else hunting with a bow and arrow, or how casually the Governor walked up to the walker and shoved a knife into its skull. It was quick and to the point and gave viewers the perfect impression of the Governor and how he takes sh!t from no one.
Not only did this scene wonderfully introduce the Governor, but also a long forgotten character-Merle. The last time viewers saw Merle, or rather the remainder of his hand, was early in the first season. I was quite alright with this as Merle was quite the racist and overall a very unlikeable character. He was an alpha male who came to clash with the other alpha male- Rick. That being said, it was somewhat odd to see how content Merle was with being a second hand man to the Governor. I understand why he respects the man, for they both have very similar personalities in which the Governor is able to mask better; and why they choose to make the Governor more of an alpha character in order to provide a clear antagonist for Rick. However, I hope the writers come to delve into what happened to Merle over the course of the last year, and hopefully why he comes to serve the Governor so loyally.
Many people were worried about having English actor David Morrisey play the infamous role of the Governor. I was one of those people, but as per usual I should not have worried, because Morrisey does a hell of a job. First off I love the subtle charm he gives to the character. Much like in the comics, there is a rejected sense of pride in what he has accomplished with Woodbury. As he tells Andrea when he shows her and Michonne about town, he was simply given the title and never asked for it. Much like Rick, people put him in charge and he humbly accepted. And so it was slightly shocking, but ultimately not surprising to see Andrea become infatuated with the character. Laurie Holden did a wonderful job in these scenes, just showing how much she admires the Governor and what he has done for these people. However, it will be interesting to see how close she gets to the Governor, and how long it will be until she realises what kind of monster he truly is.
As previously mentioned there is a subtle charm to the Governor, so much so that you can’t tell what type of man he is. Unfortunately, the soldier outposts, whose plane crashed at the beginning, certainly found out the hard way. Once again it was nice to see the Governor’s charm come out in this scene. I mean how friendly and calm was the Governor as he pulled up in his car, peacefully waving a white flag, only the next minute to pull out a gun and shoot that solider point blank, as his other comrades get mauled down by the encircling men. It was quite the menacing scene, as you clearly see a mental switch in character between what I shall call smooth Governor, and batsh!t insane Governor. It was the perfect scene in which encapsulated the essence of his character. What made the situation so much worse though was how he came back to Woodbury bearing gifts, whilst lying to all those families about how he got them. Michonne didn’t believe his story that’s for sure, but Andrea just ate it right up.
One final note must be made on a few sequences. For one it was a nice detail for the Governor to have to explain to both Michonne and Andrea that they are all infected, after he killed the walkers in the helicopter crash. I completely forgot they were not there when Rick figured it out, and so it was a nice moment to get both groups up to speed.
Secondly is the character of Doctor Milton and the fact that he comes off as slightly cartoony. I mean that scene in his laboratory made him look like a regular old Dr. Frankenstein, and the way he interacted with Andrea, Michonne and the Governor just made him look like a creepy isolate in which the Governor keeps around for his credentials (and pity). Hopefully, they come to flush out this character some more, and not leave him by the wayside via all the secondary characters in this show.
Lastly, is the final scene of the episode. After getting both the lighter and darker sides of the Governor, the show just decides to pull the carpet from under our feet and show how bizarre and twisted he actually is. The jar of walker heads was exactly as twisted and awful as when I first saw it in the comics, if not more so. The way he just sits in his leather chair and stairs at them, like a kid strapped to the television, was so eerie. It was the perfect way to end the episode, and leave people wondering who exactly this man is.
After three episodes, season three of The Walking Dead is shaping out to be one hell of a season. With a few hiccups throughout the episode, “Walk With Me” provided a spectacular look at Woodbury and its more menacing civilians. Hopefully in the coming weeks they come to focus on both parties equally, and how walkers are no longer the only thing they must fear.