Season 3 of The Walking Dead resumed last night, and in “Walk With Me,” it was all about Andrea, Michonne, and the Governor. Ohh, and Merle. Did I mention that he’s back as well, sporting a sword hand? Featuring the Governor’s self-contained community Woodbury, the third episode of season 3 focused entirely on introducing new characters, with Rick’s group at the prison not even being shown at all.
The episode opened with a wayward helicopter crashing near Andrea and Michonne’s location. The fact that there was still a military presence was a bit surprising, considering how long it’s been since the zombie uprising. Seeing the crash and the smoldering wreckage, Andrea and Michonne head over to investigate. Upon reaching the plane, Michonne instructs a still very sick Andrea to stay back as she checks on the aftermath of the crash. Before she is able to determine if there are any survivors, an unknown group arrives on the scene. The Governor’s crew shows up and begins to salvage the helicopter, dispatching of walkers and rescuing the crashes sole survivor.
Just when it appears that Andrea and Michonne will be past by unnoticed, a familiar face sneaks up behind them. Merle! Last seen cutting off his own hand and long thought dead, Merle is alive and well, and has even replaced his lost hand with a sword-like instrument. Merle blindfolds Andrea and Michonne and the Governor’s group takes them back to their safe haven, Woodbury. At first, both Andrea and Michonne are leery and want to leave their confinement. Not only have their weapons been confiscated, but they’ve been detained in an unknown place by unknown captors. The Governor appears, and informs them they’re free to go the following morning, but should stay and give Andrea time to recover. Afterwards, he leads them to their quarters, giving them a glimpse of Woodbury.
Woodbury, it would seem, is one of the safest places to be and has a long-since lost sense of community. There are families, schools, medical care, and most importantly, protection from walkers. While Michonne isn’t at all sold on the community and its leader, Andrea grows to enjoy the safety throughout the episode, and to a certain degree even displays admiration for the Governor. Here is a place where people have not only been able to etch out an existence, but also preserve humanity and instill purpose in a world wrought with uncertainty.
Any thoughts of the Governor being the benevolent ruler he depicts himself to be are immediately erased by the way he handles the surviving soldier and his comrades. Bedridden and injured, the sole survivor of the helicopter crash reveals his teams location to the Governor, who promises his men will find them and bring them safely to Woodbury. The military convoy has a number of vehicles, weapons, and consists of roughly 8-10 soldiers. The Governor approaches them, and gains their trust by saying he’s found their lost team. In the blink of an eye, the Governor shoots the commanding officer, and the Governor’s men who are hidden and have surrounded the convoy, open fire and kill all the soldiers. Perhaps it was the element of surprise, but it’s surprising that trained military personnel didn’t at least put up a fight or fire a single shot, but nonetheless they were overwhelmed and butchered. Clearly the Governor isn’t willing to compromise Woodbury by bringing in a potentially dangerous faction, and is extremely opportunistic when it comes to supplies and weaponry.
In “Walk With Me,” it’s just as much about what is unsaid as is what is spoken. The distrusting looks from Michonne. The Governor’s callous expressions. Andreas wonder. The facial expressions throughout “Walk With Me,” are priceless and revealing of the characters innermost thoughts. A number of questions emerged from this episode. Will Andrea be able to convince Michonne to stay at Woodbury, or will they both see the Governor’s true personality and realize the danger they’re in? How will Merle react to finding Andrea alive and the possibility that his brother might still be alive as well? What have the Governor’s men learned about the walkers, or biters as they call them, might there be a cure? How close is Woodbury to the prison?
It’s safe to say business is about to pick up.
Review – 8.5 / 10
Robert Birmingham is Editor-in-chief at flydrs.com.