The Boob Tube Review: The Walking Dead Finally Has a Big Bad by Alex Snider

Wow, that was pretty eventful. There was a lot of action, especially by TWD standards and while most of it did little to create tension (did anyone think Daryl and Merle wouldn't walk away from that bridge?) the sneak attack from the Governor had me from the first gunshot. We got to see (again) just how vulnerable the prison group is when they're ambushed and how they cannot stand to lose anyone, least of all Daryl or Glenn.

This scene went a long way to firmly establish the Governor as the Big Bad of season three (usual caveats about how it took over half the season to get there), David Morrissey has done a great job of portraying the Governor's squirreliness but I'd never really felt that he terribly threatening. Watching him blast rounds into the air with unmitigated glee was the most villain-y he's been thus far. The attack on the prison seemed to be more of a scouting/scaring mission, a lead up to an inevitable showdown. For the first time the lines between Rick and the Governor were clear.
Fucking 'eh.
I've mentioned before that in earlier episodes, the Governor seemed to be a darker-timeline Rick; not evil but definitely struggling to maintain pre-apocalypse ethics. In a season that has seen Rick reject his pregnant wife, neglect his son, refuse to help many newcomers, attempt to cold-blood murder-by-zombie Andrew, hallucinate the dead and take calls from the beyond, it hasn't always been clear how the Governor is that much worse than Rick. After this week's frenching session with Lori, would it be all that surprising if Rick began to hold out hope for a cure (assuming that's why the Governor kept Penny and had Milton doing experiments) and began 'keeping' the turned dead?
"Mmmm, baby, you taste good."
The parallels between Rick and the Governor have long been evident: Both lead with an iron fist although the Governor covers his with a velvet glove while Rick just smashes the shit of everything and his group is too exhausted from their life on the run to raise any concerns. Both are epically distrustful of outsiders with seemingly little to back up their paranoia. And both seem to hold themselves responsible for the death that has fallen upon their loved ones. Before I thought that if Rick hadn't been slowed down by the coma and the search for Sophia, he may already be a Governor-like character – that is, himself but more militarized and decked out with a 'trophy' room. Until this episode the distinctions between the two men and what they represented (good vs evil) were murky and both seemed mired in a moral grey area. That murkiness has now receded and through the Governor's villainy, Rick's goodness is shown in relief.
Dude, Star Wars cosplay is next week.
Rick would never ambush an unsuspecting camp for no reason (when he attacked Woodbury, it was to rescue his people, not to terrorize innocents). For all his waffling when making decisions, Rick has never been vicious. He may have a real pathology about strangers but he doesn't kill for fun. The reasons behind the prison ambush have thrown much needed light on the Governor's rottenness. The attack was revenge for making the Governor appear weak and ineffectual in front of his followers. The Governor seemed to be sending a very clear message to the prison group: fighting me is futile; destruction, inevitable. I am really excited to see the follow up because there is no way the Governor is finished. Will Rick make the first move or will the Governor strike again immediately?

Other thoughts:

The zombie-truck scene was great. The tension that mounted in the stillness while everyone waited was very well done. Obviously I've been watching too much Homeland because I went full on Carrie Matheson and screamed, "there's a fucking bomb in the truck"! *cry face*
Next week I hope to see Tyrese and his people again; either they are still locked up (for apparently a long time considering Michonne is up and about) or they have been run off only to come back and help in the next instalment of Prison vs Woodbury. We all know Cutty is one heck of a fighter.

Although, I felt it was too soon to begin showing the obvious cracks in Daryl and Merle's relationship, the dialogue between them did a lot to further humanize Daryl (the one character who probably needs it the less). Norman Reedus is gem.

Two seconds before Axel bit it, I scoffed and pleaded with the show to "stop trying to make Axel happen". Shame on me. By now I should recognize when an ignored character begins to give hir story, they're moments away from annihilation. Keep quiet, Michonne!
Not a care in the fucking world.
Can't wait for next episode when baby Judith takes her first steps. Gotta love casting for new borns.

Seriously, where is the munitions factory? In the mall next door to the baby food shop? Why does everyone insist on wasting bullets??

Hershel: Glenn is too "reckless" to be leader. Even Ghost Lori was like "lol wut".

More Milton please. If only because he reminds me of the end of this song. Millll-ton!

I forgot to mention in last week's recap the creepiness between Beth and Rick. We're so not shipping that, right?

Ghost Lori? No comment. Sucky Andrea? UGH no comment.

Forgot to keep track of Michonne's lines. Did she have any? Can't think of any.

Previous The Walking Dead recap: What The Walking Dead Could Learn From BSG

Alex Snider spent all week watching Homeland; it was difficult for her to write of anything else. Her website is What Fresh Hell is This and her Twitter handle is @what_freshhell.


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