The Walking Dead: Made to Suffer

Maggie: “All this time running from walkers, you forget what people do, what they’ve always done.”

Well, we have a whole new ballgame, and nobody had to die to shake things up. Well, nobody we cared about, well, not yet anyway. The mid-season finale has left us with the required cliffhanger, but it wasn’t what I expected and it’s more like the top of a rollercoaster. You can see that all kinds of things are about to unfold, but you’re not sure how they will fall out.

Woodbury has been a sanctuary, a creepy sanctuary run by a manipulative fascist, but a sanctuary none the less. I can’t imagine that it will last long if the Governor goes up against Rick’s group and/or loses it which appears he is about to do. And we have a new group of people. They seem like a decent group, but it looks like all they have are shovels and knives and a girl who screams a lot. They can’t have been out and on the run for long, or they would have figured out that screaming is a really bad thing. I wonder where they came from and how they will mesh with what’s left of our group.

Andrea is starting to figure out that the Governor is maybe not the best date. He tried to explain away the heads and she must have seen his zombie daughter. She seems to have tried to accept that he is obviously a little off and didn’t even balk at Michonne coming to kill him, but how exactly is she going to deal with him trying to kill Daryl? And speaking of Daryl, there he is, one of my favourite characters surrounded by the gentle townsfolk screaming “kill them”. I was particularly disturbed by the young boy who was joining in. I will be severely displeased if they kill off Daryl. Not that the writing gods particularly care about my displeasure, but I’m just putting it out there anyway. My prediction (and I have absolutely no basis for this) is that Andrea jumps in to help them and all three escape, although I would be okay with Merle sacrificing himself for his brother. Maybe even Milton will join in. The last shot where they panned the crowd, focusing on the Governor, ended with Milton in the background. I guess we have a bit of a wait to find out if I’m right.

I was pleased that Maggie and Glenn managed to escape. Glenn is so smart and has really proven how tough he is in the last two episodes. Maggie was no slouch, either. I was worried when they were kneeling execution style with bags over their heads. They fought so hard to stay alive.

I really warmed to Michonne in this episode. We got to see her pre-apocalypse personality when she thought Penny was a little girl that the Governor was keeping captive. It says a lot about her opinion of the Governor that she thought he could do such a thing, but she was actually wrong about that. He may be evil but he is also human. I actually felt sorry for him when Michonne “killed” Penny. He was absolutely heartbroken. Michonne was also rocked by what happened. She didn’t just go back to kill the Governor. She went to rescue Andrea and instead, Andrea held a gun on her. She looked really vulnerable when Rick was threatening her but she is right, he needs her if they are going to get out of this.

Carl showed his stuff. He insisted on going to investigate when they heard screams and knew he was the only one who could really be trusted to/capable of doing it. He led Tyreese and his group back and was smart enough to lock them in until they could determine if they were safe. He is trying to be his dad and he isn’t doing a bad job.

Bits and Pieces

It was interesting to enter the episode from the viewpoint of the zombie.

Andrea looks like the Governor’s dead wife.

Gross thing I could live without -- Glenn yanking the bones out of the zombie to use as weapons.

The Governor, master manipulator that he is, called our group "terrorists".

I can tell already that I am going to like Tyreese, but I’m starting to wonder if there is a limit on how many black men they are allowed to have on the show. T-Dog was killed and we got Oscar. Now we get Tyreese and Oscar is killed (I wasn’t happy about that, either).

Rick has still not dealt with his guilt about Shane. If he hadn’t hesitated, he might have saved Oscar.

Quotes

Tyreese: “Sasha, we can’t do this.”
Sasha: "You want to drag her around. She’s suffering and when she finally turns..."
Tyreese: "Ben’s not ready."

Andrea: “All these people you’ve brought together, they’re here for more than just protection. They’re helping each other through this mess.”

Carol: “Is this about you trying to repopulate the earth?”

Axel: “You’re not a lesbian? My, my, this is interesting.”
Carol: “No, it’s not.”

The Governor: “There’s no need for her to suffer.”
Michonne: “She doesn’t have needs.”

Tyreese: “Sasha, back away from that door and let the man go.”

The Governor: “I’m afraid of terrorists who want what we have, who want to destroy us or worse, 'cause one of those terrorists is one of our own.”

8 comments:

Gus Brunetti said...

I liked most of the episode, but I have to go on a rant. If you think that the show is painful, I don't recommend the comics (which are not comic at all.) My rant will contain some spoilers for the comics, but it's safe for those only interested in the show and won't read the comic. (Billie, for example. That's one comic I don't recommend her.) I'll return to safe comments after that. Ok, here I go...


*** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC *** HERE BE SPOILERS FOR THE COMIC ***

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

The Governor is much more of a bastard in the comic. He keeps Rick and Michonne prisoners for quite some time, and during this period he kills another very likeable character that hasn't made it to the series; he chops off Rick's forearm; and, for me, the worst, he constantly rapes Michonne, humiliates her, spits on her and so on. He's disgusting.

*** SPOILERS' END *** SPOILERS' END *** SPOILERS' END ***



So, for those who skipped it, the Governor is not a bit likeable in the comics. When Michonne goes to his room to get her katana back, he waits for him because she wants to kill him for all he did, and SHE HAS EVERY REASON TO WANT IT. And for every blow she delivers, you root for her because you have suffered with her. The catarsis is unmatched. You want that bastard killed. And she doesn't stop at the eye, she does much more. She *is* vengeance at the scene.

In the show, the Governor himself hasn't done much, if anything, against her. If we hadn't seen the Governor being a dick to other people, if we'd only seen what she's seen, we'd still be on the fence about the guy. Live action Michonne overreacted. Instead of a vengeful force of nature, she comes across as hysterical here. I don't like her much.

As for the rest of the ep, I likes it a lot, specially now that Tyreese has come. I heard of his casting (and it's a The Wire actor!), but I thoght he'd show up only on the next half of the season.

And Alex's conversation with Carol was hilarious.

The actress that portrays Beth is not 17; she's actually 27!!!

I'll be pissed if Daryl dies, and wouldn't like Merle to either. I'm a sucker for a redemption story, and would like to see him as a valued member of our little group.

drnanamom said...

Thanks for the comment Gus. I'm really glad that they are doing the TV different than the comic. I agree that it is less violent and for the most part it really doesn't need to be as gruesome. I also like that I get a completely different experience with the TV show. I didn't see Michonne as hysterical. I saw her as seeing through the governor and seeing him the way everyone else will - shortly.

Josie Kafka said...

I think my understanding of Michonne and the Governor has been filtered through the fandom. I seem to have picked up by osmosis the idea that Michonne is an awesome bad-ass, and the Governor a bad guy.

If I didn't go into this season with those preconceptions, what would I think of the Governor? Shooting the National Guard would have been a surprise rather than a confirmation. And him staring at zombies would have been interesting rather than creepy.

I really want to like Michonne, but I feel like I'm forcing myself to defend her (to myself, in my head) based on what little I know of her character from the comic books. Because in the show, we just don't have much to go on.

I know I've brought this up in regards to Lost before, but this seems to me another instance of the "paratext" influencing our understanding of the "text." Beyond just source material, too--reviews and spoilers and random headlines we don't click on all seem to have skewed the way I've watched this season.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, either. Just interesting.

Gus Brunetti said...

I should thank you for the review, Doc!

I also like most of the changes they made in relation to the comic. I'm also glad that you didn't see Michonne as hysterical.

But the one thing I thought was badly adapted was the character of the Governor. He's not as much of an immediate menace. In the comics, we really do feel that things could end because of him. Here, he's just an enemy. And they weakened Michonne with this, because her great character leap was her confrontation with the Governor.

Like Josie said, their fame from the comics acted as a substitute for real development. And, contrary to LOST (I liked the allusions, but never got carried away with it), the characters are based in a source material, and have some duty to live up to the original. In this show, they didn't.

And I think it's funny that they often go overboard with the violence against zombies (it's more violent than in the comics. Actually, in the comics, zombie killing doesn't usually take many pages), but they restrain themselves about human on human violence. It goes against the idea that the real threat is and will always be humans.


Anyway, I can't wait until February to watch the rest of the season and read Doc's reviews.

Anonymous said...

Black male protagonists in this show are like highlander....there can be only one!

Jess Lynde said...

Man, that was an intense ride. The rescue mission and partial escape had me curled into the back of my couch in a ball, pulse pounding! I was so nervous for our little band of protagonists. Especially Maggie and Glenn. And I'm hoping like hell that Daryl makes it out of this mess!

Gus, I suspect that reading about human on human violence (even in a graphic medium) is a lot easier to stomach than watching it play out with "real" people. So, I'm sure it was a very conscious decision to shift the balance of the show's graphic kills and thrills to human-on-walker violence. I can't imagine that anyone really wanted to watch Maggie suffer the same fate as Comics Michonne last week. I know I was intensely relieved when the Governor just threatened her with sexual violence.

And, overall, I'm glad that they've taken the Governor in a much more subtle direction. I haven't read the comics (though I did read a basic summary of what's happened in them thus far), but for me a straight-up "this guy is eeeevil" antagonist wouldn't be as interesting as one who isn't so much different than Rick. It gives you more to ponder as a viewer. Although it does tend to undercut Michonne a good bit. You can hunt around and build a case for the intensity of her anger and hatred toward the Governor, but it doesn't seem to flow easily or intuitively from the bits and pieces we've gotten.

I wish they'd given Michonne more dialogue and that we had gotten a bit more on her relationship with Andrea. It would have made that moment when Andrea took the Governor's side against Michonne much more powerful. I can infer from what we've seen that she cared about Andrea a great deal, and very much wanted her to "see the light" on the Governor and Woodbury. And it makes sense that she'd lay in wait to kill the man after he sent Merle and his goons to take her out. Then she saw his secret room and just how damaged he was ... so Andrea pulling and holding the gun on her was truly devastating. You could tell from her "you need me" pleas with Rick at the end that she feels like she's lost everything and is desperate to not be on her own again.

So the seeds of a character arc are there for her, but I feel like I had to think a whole lot about why it all fits and makes sense. It just didn't flow as effectively as it could have if they hadn't made her so damn reticent.

Panda said...

Just based on what Gus said, I think Michonne was just going on her gut. Sure, it was a little extreme, but she obviously has enough faith in it to go ahead and kill the governor, more so to protect Andrea that for vengeance.

Anonymous said...

I just finished my TWD marathon after a friend of mine recommended the series to me and I read all the reviews and comments here. It was a fun and very worthy read.

I think I have never watched a series where I didn´t care for most of the characters for such a long time. In season one I instantly liked Daryl and Glenn and by season three I liked Maggie and Hershel,too. But I don´t care much for the rest.

At times the dialogue and actions make me roll my eyes and the characters go on my nerves. This show really includes so much (here already mentioned) clich├ęs and stereotypes that you can´t overlook them and they really start to bother you. And Carl is the most annoying kid on TV ever (at least in the first two seasons). And I don´t now why shows like this always have to bring a baby into the mix.

At least I can say that season three really improved compared to the previous seasons because it is no longer so extremely slow paced. I´m not sure if I like the constant killing and adding of new people. It really makes me think of Lost´s Tallies and Others. Some work, others not.

I hope that the trouble this show has behind the scenes won´t affect the quality. But some of the stuff I read on the internet makes me fear for the series because the suits at AMC have really terrible ideas if the reports are true.