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The Walking Dead Recap: When the Dead Come Chomping


I was frustrated by the behavior of several characters on last week’s The Walking Dead and while some of them are still acting odd, this week pulled out several powerful scenes. Just one more episode until the mid-season finale! 

[Spoilers!]

We start pretty much where we left off last week. Michonne is at the gates of the prison (with baby formula!) surrounded by walkers. And Rick just stares at her. It’s clear she’s human but neither one of them says a word. It’s actually Carl who gets things moving in order to get her inside the fence. But instead of luring the walkers to another part of the border first, like they usually do, they let her fight a few walkers and then pass out. Look, I understand these people have been through a lot but there comes a point where your xenophobia is just unhelpful to the human race.

In the prison, Michonne acts pretty terrible too. Sure, Rick was about to leave you to the walkers and you did just get out of a really bad situation, but they did save you and now you’re going to go into your quiet act again? It’s no wonder they take away your sword and lock you up. I understand the need for things to unfold slowly but a little quicker exposition here of where she was, why she ran, and who exactly took Glenn and Maggie would have been great.

Oh, and surprise everyone else in our group, Carol is alive! Yah! But she finds out Lori is dead. Boo!

Daryl volunteers to go find Glenn and Maggie, as do Beth and the two prisoners, but they leave Beth and the older guy behind and Rick and Michonne go along for the ride. Carl names his baby sister Judith, after one of his old teachers, and Rick basically puts him in charge. I don’t even.

Weird things are happening in Woodbury. The Governor asks Andrea to help creepy scientist Milton. Turns out, they’ve got a dying old man to volunteer for an experiment to test whether or not the walkers minds are in any way intact after they change. It seems like an interesting idea but Milton’s naivety when it comes to the change cause Andrea to abort the whole thing with a knife to the newly-born walker’s head. Milton goes to throw up  and Andrea goes in search of more Governor sex or something.

Meanwhile, Merle has Glenn and Maggie tied up within screaming distance of each other and goes to work on Glenn first.

And then Glenn becomes a superhero. In my eyes, anyway.

We already knew Glenn had some skills but after being beat to hell by Merle, a walker is unleashed on him and even though his arms were bound with duct tape, he breaks the chair he was in and stabs it in the head with part of the wood. I’m not doing this scene justice. Glenn used what was available to him to survive and it was freaking awesome.

What wasn’t awesome was what was about to take place next door. The Governor decided he would interrogate Maggie in order to find out where their group was. It was tense from the moment he walked in the door. Was he going to pull his sweet talk routine on her or were we going to see his true nature come out? This scene was rough to watch. [Trigger warning.] The Governor untied Maggie, only to force her to strip from the waist up. She stood there shaking as he stood up, took off his belt holster, walked around behind her, and slammed her down on the table. She defiantly tells him to get on with whatever he’s going to do, she won’t talk, but he does not rape her. It’s seems a cop out on behalf of the show (similar scenes from the comic book are brutal) but one I’m particularly glad of because I did not want to witness that act. [Trigger warning end.]

The Governor has a different tactic in mind, he brings Maggie to Glenn (in the state he left her) and points a gun at both of them until Maggie finally caves and gives up the prison location. The performances by Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohen were remarkable here, even without many words.

Of course this is bad news for our survivors, many who are currently on the road to Woodbury, which is a rocky one. The group gets swarmed by walkers and take refuge in a borded up cabin. Inside, there’s a dead dog and a human being! Turns out, he’s mentally unstable and, the situation being what it was, Michonne stabs him and the rest throw him outside as bait for the others to survive.

They eventually make it to the gates of Woodbury but The Governor has sent a group out to inspect the prison so there’s no telling what will happen next week. My guess is lots of deaths, lots of hostages, and perhaps the arrival of a new cast member? All in all, a strong episode with several strong performances and I am frightened to death of next week.

Let us know what you thought of the new episode in the comments and we’ll see you back here next Monday for another recap!

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  • http://twitter.com/PattyMarvel Patty Marvel

    Has AMC announced when The Walking Dead will be back?

  • John Wao

    This season has been way, way better than last season. Although I prefer the comic book version of the Governor (I would have cast Lost’s Josh Holloway) , I still like what they’ve done.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    I don’t believe so, but last time it came back in February.

  • http://twitter.com/dreamsoffire K Kern

    I either read or heard it on Talking Dead…they will return in feb.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    You pointed out fairly that the scenes in the comic book are much more brutal, but too much of what we saw in this episode felt like audience titillation The scene as done in the book was much less glamorized. Leaving her without her shirt fit the titillation bill, as well.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Oh, god, Holloway would have been a knockout if this were a live-action version of the comic book, ala Sin City, but I think he would have been too cartoonish for this reimagining…

  • Anonymous

    The Maggie scene was the closest I’ve come to quitting the show. I mean I called if for the most part last week (except I wagered they’d go all the way). It was just uncomfortable and I don’t know it just made me mad because of that thing I keep mentioning where the creators seem so proud of themselves for doing comic things but to different characters.
    I will agree that the scene between Glen & Maggie at the end was very powerful.
    We’ll see how next week goes. I honestly think I only watch this show anymore out of morbid curiosity and the fact that I work in a comic shop and the whole thing would be ruined for me every week if I didn’t watch it myself on Sundays

  • Anonymous

    Mkay…I’m sorry, but I’m not sure how rape=sexy times. Can you explain?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    No, because it’s not to me…but I’m sure someone could.

  • Anonymous

    Good to know there’s another rapey scene (like we needed more…).

  • http://www.facebook.com/lianne.mcdonnellkruger Lianne Mcdonnell-Kruger

    The end scene was very powerful, however it would have been more powerful if Glenn had cracked rather than Maggie. It would have been fantastic to see how Glenn is a total badass in resisting torture and beating the zombie, but seeing the the thing that *does* make him crack is the fact he can’t stand to see someone he loves degraded that way. As it stand, it once again goes back to the notion that men are strong on women are weak/foolish/prone to sacrifice. Yes Michonne seems to be an exception to this at the moment, but she is quickly falling into a combo of the “magical negro” and the “noble savage” tropes,

    I feel as though Walking dead is my personal lesson in “liking problematic fiction.”

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but I really hope that Maggie gets to kill the Governor if anyone is going to get to kill him.

  • http://twitter.com/bwelty1 brooke welty

    I think leaving her topless was less about audience titillation and more about the Governor using that to further humiliate her as well as illustrate to Glen just how bad the situation is.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not to you, yet you posted it. I was asking for a clarification on what you wrote. I find it a little appauling, to say the least, that a rape scene is in anyway “titilation”. It’s a rape scene, where a human being is taking away another human being’s agency. Whether or not “the act went through” doesn’t matter; it’s about power, control, and degrading someone. It’s the worst thing you can do to another person, in my opinion. Now how does consenual, happy, fun, and/or loving sex come into that? They are black and white; rape is not sex. I worry about lumping those two things together; they are nothing alike.

  • Anonymous

    While that’s all well and good, it gets old (very quickly) the way media uses “lookit, zie’s a rapist!!” to illistrate how “bad” a person is.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Not sure if you watched the episode but if I may intercede here, I believe what he’s referring to was the way the scene took place. It had the Governor asking her to remove her shirt, then her bra as if it were a strip tease. It’s not titillating to us, or should I say most people, but it was done in such a way that certain creeps could have taken pleasure out of it. Nothing happy or fun about it, just how it can be viewed by some.

  • http://twitter.com/bwelty1 brooke welty

    I agree with you on that. I do! But it isn’t like they just made it up. It’s in the source material, after all. Though I was relieved that they toned it way down.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    That is exactly what I was trying to say, thank you, but I suddenly found myself having to seemingly defend the position as if it were my own. For the record, I do not typically think, “Why aren’t more of these women topless?” when watching The Walking Dead. I usually wonder, “How does Rick manage to keep a two-day growth without an electric razor?”

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I replied to Jill down below, but I thought I should also add that what I, you, and anyone else may find titillating is not always the same thing, and sometimes one symbol can mean many things to different people…I don’t think it’s usually artistic credibility that results in a woman losing her top in an American television show.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, I can see that.

  • Anonymous

    I apologize for making you feel defensive. I tend to react instead of reply when it comes to these subjects. Might’ve been better if I’d continued questioning instead of assuming. I question Rick’s shaving abilities as well. Where’s the time?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    No problem…it’s very, very easy for me to steam-roll through dissension with sarcasm and outrage, so I was trying to ease back and probably could have explained myself a little better.

    For the record, I am way tired of rape being the end all, be all of human scumbags, and it felt out of character for the governor to do as much. Torture, as in physical pain, would have felt more like an option he would have chosen for Maggie. So, I suspected another motivation for the act. I think, and I could be wrong, the idea here is to turn the audience into white knights that want to save Maggie and Glenn, yet still allowing them to see them shirtless (Glenn’s up in the next episode…Glen? Glenn? Whatever). I, for one, thought Glenn’s panic and terror while he was tied to the chair was a much more powerful motivator than the Governor’s good ole boy physical assault.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tory.sights Tory Sights

    I’m very much looking forward to this weeks episode, even if I’m confused by or frustrated with the actions of some of the characters. I was particularly annoyed with Michonne after they brought her into the prison. Really, you’re going to “I didn’t ask for your help” them & not even say thank you until Hershel is done stitching up your leg? Damn. I was also a little confused by them not considering she could be withholding information until they got to Woodbury. Maybe it was smart of her not to mention Merle, but it just seems like she should have said something about him, or Andrea, or something.

    The interrogation/intimidation/torture/rape scenes were personally hard to watch, but they did get me angry enough at the governor (he hasn’t really shown me any reason to like him at this point, but now I straight up hate the guy) that I am looking forward to the protagonists putting him in his place. Glenn was my favorite character anyway, but him killing a walker while bloody, beat up, and duct taped to a chair was one of the most badass scenes I have seen in television. I also think it would have been better if he were the one to crack and give away the group’s location, though, especially since he has already admitted in the show that Maggie was the thing that caused him to freeze up and fear death, whereas before he always put the groups interests first.

    Even with all of the issues people seem to have with the show, I’m enjoying it immensely. Also, has anyone played The Walking Dead: The Game? I played through all 5 chapters over Thanksgiving & even through I finished the game in tears, I was extremely satisfied with it.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

    “As it stand, it once again goes back to the notion that men are strong on women are weak/foolish/prone to sacrifice”

    The writers do still seem to have a problem writing the women in this show and I like your analysis. Any thoughts on how Rick would fit into that idea though? He seems to be the male character who is allowed to react the hardest to events and actually break down the most so far. To me he seems like he lives in such extremes lately. He is either the hero charater and the leader or he is completely going crazy or raging around.