Friday, November 16, 2012

'The Walking Dead' Episode 303 'Walk with Me'

In this episode of "The Walking Dead" we have the return of Merle Dixon, we learn more about Michonne, and see that Andrea has not grown as a character in the slightest since last season. Sigh.

Andrea and Michonne are out walking her pet walkers when they spot a helicopter crash. Curious, they go to investigate the plume of smoke. Upon their arrival, Michonne ties her walkers to a tree. Just when she's about to go and see if there are any survivors, several vehicles pull up, forcing the two women to hide behind some bushes.

The Governor, his right hand man Merle, and some of his men investigate the crash site. The Governor makes a point to stab the dead soldiers in the head, which shocks both Andrea and Michonne. They don't know that everyone who dies, no matter the cause, turns into a walker. The Governor finds that the pilot is still alive and they remove him from the helicopter and put him in one of the vehicles.

The pet walkers become agitated at the sounds of the men and their chains rattle. Michonne panics and cuts off their heads, hoping that they weren't heard, but they've already been spotted.

Merle Dixon tells them not to do anything stupid and when Andrea turns around and sees him, she faints.

Andrea comes to in the backseat of a moving vehicle. She is blindfolded. She calls out for Michonne, who tells her that she is there. Merle shushes them and soon they find themselves being driven to a wooden gate.

Hours later, Andrea awakens. She has received an IV treatment, probably because she was dehydrated and most likely has gotten some antibiotics. The doctor that is helping her won't tell her where she is, and informs her that she'll have to talk to the Governor about that.

Merle enters the room and talks to her. We learn that he almost bled to death after he cut off his hand and that if it weren't for the Governor finding him and taking care of him, he would've died. Andrea tells him that Daryl went to look for him in Atlanta, but he was already gone. Merle wants to know if he's still alive, and Andrea tells him that the last time she saw him was last summer.

Merle acknowledges that he was quite the jerk the last time they spoke, and thanks her for telling him about his baby brother. It's important to him that he gets out there and finds him. After all he's done to Daryl, Merle still feels a sense of filial loyalty to him.

When the Governor enters the room, Michonne pounces on him and demands to get her weapons back. He calmly tells her that they are free to leave in the morning, and that they'll get them back then. She's not happy with this and immediately doesn't trust the Governor. Unfortunately, her instincts about the man are soon proven right.

Andrea asks him why he shoved a knife into the skulls of dead men, and he informs her that he put them out of their misery and that anyone who dies becomes a "biter" aka walker. They didn't know, and the revelation is shocking to both her and Michonne.

The Governor gives Andrea and Michonne a quick tour of Woodbury- the fortified town that he runs with an iron fist- and escorts them to a room where clean clothes are ready for them. He leaves a man to guard their door "for their safety" and then goes on his merry way.  Michonne tells her that they need to get their weapons and get the heck out of Dodge as soon as possible. Andrea, visibly worn, tells her that they need to rest. Michonne acquiesces, but is visibly tense, watching everyone like a cat ready to strike.

The next day, the Governor walks them around the town and tells them that there are 73 people living there, and there has been no casualties since winter thanks to his strict nightly curfew. (Yeah, right.)
He leaves Andrea and MIchonne to wander the town and bask in the sunshine while talking with the locals.

The Governor visits the helicopter pilot, Welles, and asks him what happened. Welles tells him that he is working with a group of 10 men from the national guard and that he went ahead to scout for them. The place that they were camped at became over-run with walkers and they had to make a quick getaway. The Governor fishes for more information and finds out where he left the group and promises that he'll bring them back to Woodbury if he finds them alive.

At Milton's lab, Merle and Milton are arguing about something. The Governor interrupts and tells them to knock it off. He sends Merle to speak with Andrea to see if he can't get any more information about the group that she was traveling with.

Milton shows the Governor his latest research project, the corpses of Michonne's pet walkers. The heads are still alive. He notes that once the means to eat is removed, the walkers lose interest in attacking people. Michonne is smart, as she learned this and used them as repellent to ward off the roaming herds of walkers.

Andrea and Michonne are invited to breakfast with Milton and the Governor. They are visibly appreciative of the meal and Andrea engages in small talk while Michonne sits there, ready to bolt out the door at a moment's notice.

Milton asks them if they think that the walkers keep a trace of the person they once were, and asks if Michonne knew the men that became her walker pets. Ignores the question and asks for her weapons back. Of course, the Big G tells her to just take her time and rest while she can. She doesn't need to be in such a hurry to leave, right?

Once out of earshot, Michonne tells Andrea that she doesn't trust the Governor. Stupid Andrea, being the idiot that she is, wants to stay in Woodbury. She wants to enjoy the peace while she can. Michonne tells her that it's a bad idea. Andrea changes the subject by asking her about how she felt about killing the walkers that had protected them all winter. She retorts that it was easy and leaves her standing there, speechless.

The Governor, Merle, and some guys find the squad that the pilot Welles had left. The Governor drives up waving a white flag and steps out of his car with his hands in the air, urging them not to shoot, and telling them that they found Welles, that he was injured and that they're there to take them to him. When the captain puts his guard down and walks forward to speak with him, the Governor pulls out a gun and shoots him. His men pop up behind the squad members and kills them in cold blood. They take all of the weapons and their vehicles.

This scene is just ridiculous  How could trained military men, soldiers who have survived so long after the world fell to the walkers, be ambushed so easily and taken out without being able to return fire and shoot the Woodbury men dead? Seriously? And why bother with this sequence? It's already clear that the Governor isn't someone to trust, but instead of being subtle about it by keeping things ambiguous, they outright have him become a cardboard cut-out villain who murders people in cold blood. The men he killed were strong soldiers that he could've used to protect his town, but instead of recruiting them, he decides to just kill them and take their stuff. It just doesn't make any sense.

Soon after the execution of the soldiers, the Governor returns to Woodbury and puts their new vehicles and weapons on display, making a speech to the crowd about how it was unfortunate that the men didn't survive, but their weapons and ammo will make a good contribution to the town. Andrea watches this with a dreamy look in her eye, and it's clear that she's been tricked once again into believing that the bad guy is a totally cool dude that she so needs to get with, like now.

Andrea asks the Governor what his real name is and he smiles and says that he never tells.

After curfew at nightfall, we see the Governor watching pensively out of his apartment window and drinking whiskey. He enters a private room and sits in a big comfy chair and stares straight ahead, at the rows of stacked aquariums with live walker heads in water. The newest additions to his entertainment system are Welles and Michonne's pets.

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