Monday, October 29, 2012

The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 3: Walk With Me

A little less action this week as we take a detour from Team Rick & the prison and see what's up with Andrea, Michonne and Woodbury.


• Once again a dead person becomes a walker and their face transforms into zombie mode almost instantly (see Shane's transformation last season). One minute the chopper soldier who's er, "chopped" in half looks normal, the next he's got sharp, pointy, dirty zombie teeth. How does that happen so quickly? I could maybe see the zombification pulling his facial skin taut and changing his complexion to a pallid gray, but... how could it possibly affect the shape of his teeth?

• It's the long awaited return of Merle! Everyone's favorite one-handed redneck meth-head. He seems to have calmed down quite a bit since we last saw him. I guess the Governor's figured out how to tame him. For now.

Merle continues the time-honored Hollywood tradition of wearing a prosthetic that's a good 10 inches longer than his missing hand (Har!). Although to be fair, they did spring for a nicely done CGI shot of him displaying his nasty stump. 

• The TV version of the Governor seems much more believable than his comic counterpart. In the comic he was a one-dimensional psychotic dictator whose manner made you wonder why anyone would choose to follow him or live in Woodbury in the first place. He even looked cartoonish, what with his limp greasy hair and droopy handlebar mustache. 

TV Governor looks normal and is much more subtle. He can definitely be ruthless, but he knows sometimes a gentler approach works better. Why, he even drinks tea!

• This whole Woodbury story arc makes me very uneasy and nervous, most likely because I've read the comic and know what's coming (unless they change things around for TV). The whole time Andrea was taking her time strolling around the town I kept wanting to scream, "Get the hell out of there! Listen to Michonne! Get out NOW!"

• At one point Andrea and Michonne are walking around the streets of Woodbury with the Welcome Wagon Lady. Andrea asks Welcome Lady about the bodies she saw hanging from trees on the way to the town. Welcome Lady says, "I won't make excuses for the men" or something like that. What she should have said was, "What? How do you know about those bodies? You were supposed to have been blindfolded!" Whoever blindfolded Andrea (Merle?) deserves a time out, as she seemed able to see pretty well underneath the blindfold that barely covered her eyes.

• Milton (the tea-brewing science guy) is a brand new character who's never appeared in the comic. He has more than an academic reason as to why he's so interested in whether the walkers retain any memory or sense of self.

• Farewell to Mike and Terry, Michonne's walker bodyguards. Yep, they have names-- at least in the comic. We finally get an explanation as to why she had them tagging along (something comic fans already knew). For some reason though she's playing coy as to who they are/were (something comic fans also already know).

• So who gets to live in Woodbury? The Governor says there are 70 residents. It goes without saying that none of them were in the military. Can anyone who walks up to the fence come in? Does the Woodbury gang go around the area and shanghai people? I guess we'll eventually find out.

• I think I might have waited another episode before I revealed the Governor's secret aquarium collection. It would have been better pacing-wise to make him seem normal but menacing in the first episode and then reveal that he's bug nuts next week. It would have had even more impact that way, but I realize they've only got 16 episodes per season, so they have to hurry things along when they can. 

Don't worry, the Governor still has another shocking secret up his sleeve (if he's anything like his comic counterpart).

• I was a little disappointed with the Governor's "collection." The walker heads are all supposed to still be "alive" if you will, blinking their eyes and gnashing their teeth as they bob about in the water. I mean as long as the brain isn't destroyed, a decapitated zombie head is still functional, right? For the life of me I couldn't detect any movement among them-- it looked to me like they were just sitting motionless in their tanks.

I'm also a bit fuzzy as to why he's collecting heads in the first place? Trophies? Reminders of the terrible things he's done for his little kingdom? A replacement for television?

• It occurred to me that The Walking Dead's "everybody's already infected" theory neatly explains a question I've always had about zombie movies-- namely where the heck do all the zombies come from? OK, bear with me here. In most films people become zombies when they're bitten. So how are there always thousands of intact zombies shambling around? Do the zombies just take a small bite out of a person and then politely wander off, allowing them time to die and turn? Doubtful. A few people might escape with just one bite and then change, but it seems like the majority would be completely consumed.

In the Walking Dead universe, ANYONE who dies turns, even if they weren't bitten. So that explains why there are tons of ambulatory zombies wondering the landscape. A neat solution to the problem.

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