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The Walking Dead: Hounded

Rick: “I couldn’t put it back together. I couldn’t put it back together.”

Rick is in trouble and the Governor is doing just fine, maybe better than fine. This episode really contrasted the ways that people might respond to the horrors of a zombie apocalypse.

Rick is in the middle of a psychotic break. He is a good man trying to come to terms with the things that he has had to do and his failures which were, for the most part, inevitable. On the other hand we have the Governor, who seems to have flourished in the new world order. He’s had his own break with reality, but he isn’t fighting the breakdown of society, he’s enjoying it. Make no mistake, Woodbury looks more like the old world than the prison, but it is much less about the real things that make us human and our better selves. Which is, of course, a comment on our lives today (as most zombie shows/films are apparently –- just ask my film studies friends).

The phone was a brilliant instrument to both illustrate how broken Rick has become and give him an opportunity to work out some of the things that are keeping him broken. He has killed when he had to but it has weighed on him, and being able to justify it to someone else, even if they are imaginary, is important. The huge guilt, which is almost crushing him, is that he was unable to save Lori, to keep his whole family safe. It doesn’t help that he had shut her out and couldn't tell her he loved her. He couldn't open that door, feel those feelings and continue to go on. Being able to talk to Lori on that phone has given him the chance to tell her he loved her and to apologize for her death. It is her voice that tells him he must go on so that he can care for their children.

The phone also brought up the other issue that threads through this series. Is it better to keep fighting, to feel the pain and the suffering, or is it easier to just lay down and die? Rick is close to being ready to give up. He just wants what is left of his family to be safe and as the people on the phone indicate, they are away from all the death and destruction. Unfortunately, they died to get there. It feels like everyone at the prison has to consciously choose to live each day.

The Governor, on the other hand, is determined to live and has no qualms about killing to do what he needs. It could be argued that he is killing to protect the people around him, but his little speech about his previous life seems to indicate otherwise. He is enjoying the power and "fight" that comes with his position. He doesn’t care about how things were or even who he was. He revels in the brutality of it all. I have always hated especially nice people like the Governor. You know, those people who are too good to be true? Like the Governor, they often turn out to be the nastiest people around. He seems to know the weak points of all those around him and is talented at manipulation. I wondered if he deliberately set Andrea up with an incompetent person (well, according to Andrea –- shooting a bow is extraordinarily difficult –- just not for people like Daryl) so she would go over the wall and reconnect with her own inner fighter? He has carefully seduced her.

Merle is turning out to be an interesting character. He isn't hemming and hawing about life and death. His prime directive is to stay alive at all costs, but that was probably what life was like for him before the apocalypse. He seems to have loyalty to the Governor, but I think that Daryl is actually the only one in the world he cares about. I guess I was supposed to be surprised when he shot Gargulio, but I wasn't. Merle isn't stupid. He knew that Michonne was likely to best the two of them and he wasn't going to go into the red zone. If Gargulio wasn't going to lie to the Governor, then he had to die. Pure self-preservation. I also wondered if Merle would have gone quietly to the prison with Maggie and Glenn and just left Woodbury.

In the prison, it was interesting to watch Daryl try to comfort Carl with the story of his own mom’s death. It was very kind of him. Daryl's reaction to finding Carol's knife was also quite poignant. I’m glad that I was right and that Carol wasn’t dead. It did drive me crazy that they kept walking past that door. It was obvious that Carol was there.

Next week should be interesting. Merle didn't tell the Governor that his brother was alive, but I’m sure that he is going to torture Glenn and Maggie to get the location of the prison. Will he risk his brother's life by telling the Governor where the prison is, once he finds out? How will Rick and the group react to Michonne? At least she came bearing baby formula.

Bits and Pieces

The Governor did send out a hunting party after Michonne. She was kick-ass as usual.

Gross bit I could live without -- Andrea sleeping with the Governor. What is she thinking? She's going to be upset when she figures out who he really is.

I liked the way Rick described what happened to Shane. Is he worried about losing himself? Is that why the phone calls happened?

Daryl mentioned that he could hang out with the kids on the block because Merle was gone. I wonder what will happen when they come face to face. I'm not sure Daryl is going to be happy.


Merle: “Look at this, she sent us a biter gram.”

Rick: “Please, you don’t understand. You don’t know. We’re dying, we’re dying here.”

Governor: “You know you can join in, they don’t bite. Kind of the whole idea of the place.”

Carl: “I shot my mom. She was out. Hadn’t turned yet. I ended it. It was real.”

Maggie: “A kid growing up in a prison could use some toys.”

Governor: “You don’t have to be ashamed about liking the fight or fighting the fight. I love it. It’s not the only thing, but nowadays it’s part of being alive, really alive. Most people don’t have it. What it takes to see the whole story, being able to live with it, to use it. That’s why there’s a hell of a lot more of them than there are of us.”

Daryl: “What the hell do you need slippers for?”
Oscar: “You know, at the end of the day, relaxing.”

Andrea: “I’m not planning on dying.”
Governor: “Neither am I. It just happens.”


  1. Yeah, Andrea and the Governor, gagworthy. I bet it won't take long for her to see him as he is. And I desperately didn't want Glenn and Maggie captured.

    Knew Carol wasn't dead! Can't they not kill anyone else for awhile? :)

    Terrific review, Doc.

  2. Thanks to Merle, we now know the sound of one hand clapping. I loved that.

  3. Andrea really has a thing for the psychos, huh? It's a shame. I hope she snaps out of this soon and realizes what he's all about. I liked book Andrea more.

    Speaking of the books, no spoilers but I'm worried for Maggie.

    The biter-gram was awesome.

  4. I feel like Merle is going to make a move against the baby or Carol and Daryl will have to take him out. I was afraid for a minute that Daryl would have to kill zombie Carol. I'm glad he didn't. Also, just curious. I missed a lot of season 1. Did Carol have cancer or something? She always had the weak/sickly look of someone who had gone through chemo and I was just wondering. Would also explain her hairdo.

  5. I had to chuckle at your "gross thing I could live without," Doc. I was just telling a friend the other day that the grossest thing in this episode was Andrea sleeping with the Governor! And that's in an episode with zombie guts spilling all over Michonne! :)

    I'm terrified for Glenn and Maggie. I love both those characters! I haven't been overly affected by most of the deaths on this show, other than what they mean for the surviving characters. But if something horrible happens to Glenn and Maggie, I'm going to be so upset!

  6. Nice review. Thanks.

    Really liked the scene where Daryl was working his way up to opening the cell door and having to deal with zombie-Carol, and the sweet payoff when he finds her alive.

    Also appreciated the nice segue of imagery from Daryl carrying Carol to Rick carrying the baby.

  7. I didn't think Andrea sleeping with the Governor was gross, just stupid. And, as topher darling pointed out, does she have to sleep with every villain? Would she have slept with the long-haired prisoner if she'd been at the prison in episode 2? Will she eventually sleep with Merle?

    You know what I would actually love? If Merle, out of love for his brother, came back to the group and proved to be a good ally. He could be like the Jayne of the group.

  8. I can't see that happening, Gus. I'm pretty sure Merle wants to kill his brother, right?

    Merle makes me shudder. I still don't understand why Andrea gave him the map. He's horrible.

  9. Interesting, Josie. I never even considered that Merle wants to kill his brother. After all, Daryl was never involved in the "let's leave Merle here" business. I think he wants to kill Rick. Badly. But we haven't even seen Merle and Daryl together yet.

    And to answer your question: it's because Andrea, in the show, is the Queen of Bad Decisions.

  10. I couldn't remember if Daryl was involved in that decision. Maybe Merle doesn't want to kill him, but he must at least want to continue the emotional and physical abuse. "He's my little brother; I know how to find him" is so creepy--it's like something a stalker would say.

    Andrea is the Queen of Bad Decisions. 'Tis a pity, since I actually really like her character: she seems like an intelligent, thoughtful woman who is conflicted about her place in this new world.

  11. Wow, it IS creepy. It never occurred to me that they had an abusive relationship. It looks like that.

    I never know if I like Andrea because she's a cool character or because I like her in the comics. But your description was dead on.

    By the way, I was at a bar today with a friend who said that she would like to live in Woodbury, considering the situation. She wouldn't care if the generator were fueled by babies; she'd have warm running water and clean clothes.

    So I get that Andrea is in deep denial about the place. I don't know if I'd be as suspicious as Michonne. But then again, I'd never be as awesome as Michonee.

  12. If Michonne had just explained herself, she probably could have convinced Andrea to go with her. But then there'd be no drama...

    Daryl's mentioned Merle's abuse a few times: in this episode, there was the story about how he would play with the other neighborhood kids "when Merle wasn't there."

  13. I didn't get that, but it makes total sense.

    Michonne's forte is not explaining. Even in the comics.

  14. She does look awfully cool just standing around, and occasionally stomping away.

    Does anyone ever wonder what all these people did (professionally) before the end of the world? Michonne, for example: kindergarten teacher? Florist? Neurosurgeon?

    And the Governor: dog-walker?

  15. Josie: In the comics I think Michonne was a lawyer. Glenn was a pizza-delivery-guy. Again - I think. Don't know about the rest but on the other hand the "cast" differs substantially from the comic book.

  16. Glenn mentioned being a pizza-delivery guy in the TV series (one of the early Atlanta scenes), so that's still true.

    Michonne is a lawyer? So she and Andrea were two female lawyers kicking ass and taking names for an entire winter of the zombie apocalypse in the Georgia backwoods? That's awesome.

  17. Great comment everyone. I really enjoyed reading them. Andrea is the Queen of Bad Decisions. At least we have Michonne who is kick ass and not stupid about men. I really like Glenn and Maggie as well and will lose it if they or the baby get hurt, so they probably will. Carol has always been a little bit pale and such but seemed to toughen up a bit just before this most current episode with zombies.


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