Congratulations to The Walking Dead! This episode was the most-watched show on TV this past Sunday night with 11.5 million viewers. An impressive rating, but that's not even a record. The show drew in 12.5 million for the mid season premiere back on February 10! Who'd have thought our little cable TV zombie show would ever outperform the regular network offerings?
• This was another filler episode to kill time until the big showdown in the season finale, but that's OK. It was a good filler episode, full of welcome and necessary character building moments.
• I wonder if Herschel had a rough time learning to drive with his left foot? Hopefully he wasn't trying to drive a stick! I imagine there was lots of fitful lurching forward and slamming on of brakes during the group's trip to the feed store.
• David Morrissey was absolutely riveting in this episode. That "smile without using his eyes" expression of his was chilling and effective.
• Rick seemed to be channeling his old pal Shane all through the episode as he kept doing that "turn your head sideways and speak in one syllable words" thing.
• The Governor used every psychological trick in the book on Rick; denying responsibility for Maggie's almost-rape, bringing up Shane and the possibility that Lil' Ass Kicker may not be Rick's, telling him that he'd look weak in the eyes of the Woodburyians if he let them be and even implying that he has the prison under constant surveillance. He's good, I'll give him that.
• David Morrissey also does a very subtle bit of business during the conversation. After the Governor tells the story about his wife dying (of which I don't believe a word), a shaken Rick reaches for his glass of whiskey and takes a swig. The Governor flashes this blink-and-you'll-miss-it look at Rick that indicates he knows he's gotten under his skin. Brilliant.
• So now we know the Governor's full name: Phillip Blake. Unless he's lying about even that, which is quite possible.
• That gun the Gov had taped under the table was worrying me throughout the whole episode.
• I enjoyed the bonding moments between Daryl & Martinez and Herschel & Milton. Stripped of the Governor, the two groups could no doubt coexist peacefully.
• Back at the prison the writers felt the need to let us know they haven't neutered Merle completely. Glenn showed a remarkable level of self-restraint when dealing with the elder Dixon brother. If Merle beat me to within an inch of my life and then loosed a walker on me (as he did to Glenn not that long ago) I think I'd be a tad less understanding.
• I really am at a loss to understand the character of TV Andrea. At first I thought she was staying in Woodbury because the Governor wouldn't let her leave. Obviously that's not true because she's left at least twice now. Then I thought she was staying because she'd fallen for the Governor. That's not completely true either.
So I thought maybe she was staying because she didn't know the truth about him-- you know, about the heads in the tanks, the chained-up walker daughter, ordering a hit on Michonne and almost raping Maggie. But now she knows ALL that stuff. She knows he's an evil, manipulative psychotic and she STILL goes back to Woodbury! What reason could she possibly have for going back? I just don't get it.
I suppose the writers are keeping her in Woodbury so she can finally (and dramatically) change sides in the finale, but the way they're going about it is very poorly done and extremely frustrating.
• Apparently I'm not the only one who can't stand TV Andrea. Actress Laurie Holden (who portrays TV Andrea) is the only member of the cast to receive death threats! It wasn't for any of the boneheaded moves she's made this season, but still...
• Milton's horrified reaction when he finds out the Governor's true plan makes me think he'll rise up against him before TV Andrea will.
Glenn and Maggie's impromptu romp in the cell block got me to
wondering: I hope they're using some form of protection. We've seen
firsthand that pregnancy can be a death sentence in this world. This scene made me a bit uneasy because as we've seen over and over on this show: Happy Time = Horrible Death Immediately Afterward.
• Now we know why we got the "Michonne character-building and bonding" episode last week-- so Rick will have to think twice about throwing her under the bus.
I really don't think Rick will hand her over to the Governor. For one thing, how would he? She'd slice his head off before he or anyone else got within five feet of her. I could see him using her as bait to ambush the Gov though...