What more could one ask from a midseason finale? This episode boasted a daring rescue, deaths, disfigurement, walker slaughter, startling revelations, violence, gore, a shocking return and a reunion of long-lost brothers. About the only thing missing was a really, really BIG explosion, but I’m glad the budget was spent on more amazing zombie prosthetic effects.
One of the problems TWD has (happily) created for itself was how to come up with something to top previous episodes, many of which have felt like final episodes themselves. But this installment had action and emotion, and when it was all over, Andrea had the entire mad tableau of Woodbury lying at her feet: In a room covered with snapping walker heads, the Governor, with a shard of glass in right eye, sat weeping over the corpse of a little girl biter.
Imagine you’re Rick and you’d previously sent ace scavengers Glenn and Maggie to find formula for your newborn daughter, but hours later a living woman with a grimace that can kill at 50 yards arrives at the gates of your prison home carrying a katana and the mother lode of infant formula; you might justifiably have a few questions. Questions such as, What happened to Glenn? What happened to Maggie? Were all those phone calls from the Great Beyond covered by my calling plan?
Glenn (Steven Yeun) was at moment, duct-taped to a chair in Woodbury while being tortured/interrogated by Merle (Michael Rooker) the Backwoods Pirate with Knife Attachment. But no matter how much Merle beat and cut him, Glenn would not reveal the location of his camp. So Merle tosses a biter into the room to deal with Glenn. Except the tied-up Glenn fights back and brains the biter. Then the Governor (David Morrissey) goes to work on Maggie (Lauren Cohan), turning on the charm by forcing her to strip and then pretending he’s going to rape her. But she won’t crack either. It’s only when the Guv threatens to gut Glenn that Maggie gives up the prison.
This week Rick was hounded by phone calls from beyond the grave, and Michonne was hounded by Merle; in other words, both of them were trying to escape from their pasts. But ultimately they both had to turn and fight, Rick with words and Michonne with her katana.
Although the episode was divided, this was Andrew Lincoln’s Emmy reel. This is doubtless the episode he will submit in the academy. Rick went bye-bye, and Lincoln said hello to a meaty script that gave him a chance to demonstrate that he can play more than the stoic leader burdened by command.
In the comics, the phone conversations were how Rick worked through his grief over the death of Lori and their baby, and while the circumstances are quite different on the TV show, the calls served the same purpose here: Rick has a conversation with his conscience, and tries to figure out how to carry on in the face of his failure to protect everyone all the time.
I don’t think anyone ever doubted that Lori was going to go into labor at the worst possible moment, and it doesn’t get any worse than a walker invasion of the prison. So viewers were subjected to a soap opera and sitcom staple, the “wacky birth,” but because there are no taxis or elevators available, Lori had to deliver in a prison’s boiler room.
Another thing viewers have been anticipating with almost equal dread was the moment when Rick would reach his breaking point. How bad would things have to get to break this camel’s back? It was almost scary to contemplate, considering all he has endured up to now.
And not only Rick, but T-Dog reached the end of the road.
Hey, kids, it’s almost Halloween (not really, but just work with me), and that means it’s almost time for AMC to bring back to life one of its signature series, THE WALKING DEAD.
When the show rises again, it will be with an expanded cast. Joining Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) merry band of survivors will be the mysterious, katana-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira) — just in time to go up against new villain the Governor (David Morrisey). But is the Governor really a bad guy? Is his walker-free settlement, Woodbury, a paradise or something else entirely? (If you’ve read the comics, keep quiet!) Check out these cool new photos!
THE WALKING DEAD returns with the first of 16 new episodes — that’s right, 16, the longest season yet — Oct. 14 on AMC.
Here’s the first image from the set of THE WALKING DEAD season three depicting Englishman David Morrissey as the Governor, the season’s Big Bad. He looks pretty serious — and very unhappy about something — but he is a long way from the look of the Guv in the original comic books. And that’s OK with me! I prefer this to the battle-scarred, sloppy-looking monster in the comics.
Morrissey first made an impression on me when he played Jackson Lake in the 2008 DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special. I look forward to his portrayal, because I know it’s gonna be great!
A new location, a new friend and an old antagonist are on tap for season three of THE WALKING DEAD — but that’s about all we know so far. Oh, and there will be a new Big Bad. A beloved fan favorite from the comics: The Governor.
David Morrissey, a British actor who was so remarkable as Jackson Lake in the 2008 DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special, “The Next Doctor,” has taken on the decidedly sinister role of the Governor. I won’t spoil things for TV fans who haven’t read the comics, but I will say that the Guv is a mondo important character.