Welcome to Woodbury. I don’t like small towns for the same reason Michonne is antsy in this one. There is always a dark underbelly. In small towns everyone seems polite and kind but that’s just because they are very good at hiding the nasty side of human nature. At least cities are honest in their mix of good and bad.
For the same reason, I am also nervous around very polite people, like the Governor. He is just too reasonable for the messed up world that now exists. I am particularly creeped out by Milton, the scientist who is too mild mannered to be real. I appreciate Merle in that he is openly a red-necked jerk. At least you know what to expect.
And that leads to the big news for this episode -- Merle is back. The lead in was a great fake-out. You think that there must be civilization somewhere if there are soldiers flying around in helicopters, but that isn’t the case. Andrea and Michonne might have thought the same thing. I was holding my breath while they watched the Governor’s crew check out the helicopter. First I thought that Andrea’s coughing would give them away. Then I thought it would be Michonne’s zombies. But just when you think they have made it through, up pops Merle. Merle is still pissed that he got left on the roof but he seems happy to see Andrea alive and genuinely sorry that she lost her sister. As I said above, at least he seems human, even if he’s a mad dog human.
It is a good thing that Andrea and Michonne were found. Andrea needed the rest and the medicine that Woodbury can provide but I am with Michonne -- it probably isn’t a good idea to get comfortable here. The Governor who runs the place seems like a reasonable man who has accomplished miracles, until you see him take a group of his men and use the ruse of a parlay and an invitation to their settlement to cut the men down in cold blood. It was interesting that they chose them to be National Guard -- people who are trained but not hardened soldiers. These men hadn’t been out in the world as it changed and they certainly weren’t great strategists. Rick’s group, for example, would have never fallen for that ruse. And I wondered at the soldier who ran away. Why didn’t anybody start shooting at the Governor’s group? Did they still see them as civilians?
I was also interested in trying to figure out how the Governor decides who gets into his town and who doesn’t. You might think that it would be a good idea to have trained soldiers with you, but they might also be a threat. They might want to take over. So you would only allow men who were willing to follow your lead. Some of the Governor’s men looked uncomfortable at the slaughter, but you might follow orders if it meant your life.
Of course the community wants more women. You can’t build a society without breeders. I think I’ve mentioned before how much the inherent chauvinism in this show bugs me. I searched all over the internet to find out the name of the woman who is the assistant/mistress of the Governor. It isn’t anywhere I could find, and you might think she could have some importance in the future. The helicopter pilot’s name was Wells. The whole return to old style values is annoying. In actual olden times -- pioneers, hunters and gathers, etc., women had to pull their own weight and be ready to defend themselves. Might not be a bad plan for the apocalypse boys.
Bits and Pieces
Michonne’s zombies are for protection and to carry things (Sebastian pointed this out in a comment on the first episode -- thanks, Sebastian). She cut off their arms and jaws so they can’t bite. Very smart.
Gooey bits I could live without -- the soldier cut in half and the heads in the tanks. Why do the tanks need to have air pumps in them? To stop rot? The Governor is one sick puppy.
The Governor has a good shot with an arrow too. I think I should take up archery.
Some new terms. Live people are breathers. Zombies who don’t have any desire to eat anymore are lurkers.
I love that the town still has those little signs that small towns like to have.
Michonne is angry, moody and doesn't trust anyone (except Andrea). I like her.
Quotes (many thanks to Merle)
Merle: “Mine’s a whole lot bigger than yours.”
Merle: “I guess this old world gets a lot smaller toward the end. Ain’t so many of us left to share the air.”
Merle: “Hell, I think I’d piss my pants if some stranger came walking up with his mitts in his pockets. That’d be the son of a bitch you’d really want to be scared ...”
Andrea: “Buzz is a nickname. Governor is a title. There’s a difference.”
No Name woman: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Andrea: “That’s a bold comparison.”
Helicopter pilot: “The whole place went to hell in a couple of hours.”
Governor: “Keep poking the bear and you’re bound to get mauled.”
Milton: “Every tool kit needs a hammer, but do you really feel a hammer is the right tool for that job?”
Andrea: “Have you ever trusted anybody?"
Andrea: “Then give this a day or two, that’s all I’m asking. Some time to get our shit together.”
Michonne: “My shit never stopped being together.”
Governor: “Go put a merciful end to that young man’s days.”
Andrea: “Never say never.”