Confrontation comes a’knocking on The Walking Dead
The penultimate episode of the first half of the season sets a terrific stage for the mid-season finale.
Now … that’s what I’m talking about.
An episode that’s got it all, soup to nuts. Merle back to his old asshat self. (“I’ll bake a cake … with pink frosting. Would they like that?”) Rick out of his funk. The group on high alert. The knowing music as it builds toward the end of the episode.
And, of course, my favorite part of the show: the character interaction. If you don’t know I harp on this week after week after week, you’re pretty much glossing over what I write about The Walking Dead. This time it was the reveal Carol was still with them, followed by Rick and her knowing and sudden tears at the fact Lori was gone, Carol empathizing with him silently. It doesn’t get much better than that for me. No words need be spoken and yet volumes are exchanged. When the writers can do this and evoke tears — from me! — it trips my trigger. (Second favorite moment? Wondering if there was going to be anything different at Mr. Coleman’s resurrection. I loved that suspense, even when the expected result reared its head.)
But … I do have a squibble about the episode. Didn’t it appear Michonne was brought into the group fold a little too quickly? Cautious as they — and especially Rick — are about new blood, you’d think there should have been not only more interplay with her, but more than an arm’s length of respect for who she is. Not because she had a basket-full of baby formula but because she was foreign to everyone. An unknown. The “presents” she brought could have been part of an elaborate ruse, her silence telling … but she did reveal enough information to calm any fears Rick might have about her. Still, her impaling of the hyper dude in the house the rescue effort stumbled upon would have given me cause to step back and keep her in my sights all the more. All new-comers have the potential to be dangerous. One with a kitana? Even moreso.
But that was just a blip in the overall niftiness of the hour. With last week’s “Hounded” setting the stage for shaking off the bad taste in my mouth of “Say The Word” before it, “When The Dead Come Knocking” thoroughly cleansed my palate.
Let’s talk the deviousness of The Governor for a minute. I told you some time ago he’s got a twisted smarminess that always has an ulterior motive. To witness him in action is rather cool, however. (In a creepy and sordid kind of way, that is.) Just as with the reveal of his “viewing wall” of living undead heads (even though I knew that was coming), I was rapt with concentration at what he could or might do with Maggie during her interrogation. And with the scene of him standing at her rear with his hand on the small of her back, he knows the psychological damage he embeds in someone’s mind is just as effective as any degenerate or debaucherous act he could commit. There’s familiarity from what we’ve seen of him thus far, but I’m willing to bet were still going to get a surprise or several from him down the line. And not the ones I know are coming from the comic series. The writers have plans most vile for our “good” Governor, rest assured. Plans we have no clue as to their reach or revelation. (Much to my chagrin, we’re not going to see those things manifest themselves until February, after the mid-season break that comes at us oh, too early with next week’s “Made To Suffer.” But … maybe we’ll get a taste next week.)
Speaking of revelations, you know what I would like to see happen? The unlikely scenario of Andrea fully lapsed on over to “the dark side,” completely seduced by The Governor and going up against the rescue group that’s at Woodbury’s door … or tire wall as the case may be. Wouldn’t that be some fun interplay and conflict-a-go-go?
Lastly, we have the inevitable set up of the Daryl / Merle family reunion. I’m champing at the bit for that one. That little event is going to be a feast for the eyes and ears.
One more thing: Remember that “watcher in the woods” who was spying on Carol as she experimented on that walker at the fence in the second episode of the season? I have a theory … and for those who have read the comics you may find this intriguing. (Those who haven’t won’t know who I’m talking about, so it technically isn’t any kind of spoiler.)
The “watcher” is Tyreese …