Last week's episode of The Walking Dead saw team leader Rick Grimes rely on some particularly extreme measures. And Sunday's episode,"Walk With Me," focused solely on the adventures of Andrea and her taciturn samurai traveling companion, Michonne. But the women aren't alone on their journey across post-apocalyptic Georgia. No, they made some tremendously dangerous new friends and reacquainted themselves with familiar mugs. Spoilers ahead.
NOTE: This recap is later and shorter than usual because of all things Sandy-related, but we're posting it for posterity.
In "Sick," audiences saw erstwhile moral templar Rick Grimes murder one prisoner and consign another to a zombie-groped demise, all in an attempt to establish order. This was completely shocking, and this week we saw where such unilateral decision-making can lead. Cue "The Governor" (actor David Morrissey) another charismatic leader who's carved out a comfortable existence for seventy-odd survivors in his (extremely) gated community of Woodbury.
And guess what? In many ways, he's the Bizarro Rick Grimes. Whereas Rick sweats for justice and has a crap relationship with his wife, the Governor maintains a maniac cool and beds his post-apocalyptic commune's PR director. Rick has Daryl Dixon as his right-hand man, The Governor has Merle Dixon as his right-hand man. Or his left-hand man, as Merle's currently sporting a metal stump (with a removable blade) after he was marooned on that Atlanta rooftop way back in the show's second episode.
The inverse doppelgänger syndrome doesn't end there. Rick's hanging out hardscrabble in a dirty prison with the best intentions. The Governor's living large in suburbia behind fences and guns. Sure, The Governor's also off his fucking rocker and likes to kick back in his private zombie head aquarium room, but nobody seems to know that, save the Woodbury militia. And hey, they're not entirely comfortable with his violent edicts either!
After The Governor and his gun-toting gang slaughter a National Guard outpost, there are many an awkward glance shared between his troops. The Governor may be trying to carve out a new world in his own unstable image, but at least he gives the remaining 11 senior citizens a Main Street to roam free. At the end of the world, people are willing to accept an unhinged megalomaniac for a modicum of order.
The Governor is a man divested of family, a respect for the now-archaic rule of law, and even a real name. He's Rick Grimes without Carl, Lori, and his hometown sheriff morals. In other words, he's Rick's very own living, breathing, after-school special about the temptations of power and swinging machetes.
How will Andrea and Michonne extricate themselves from this tenuous safe haven? Will Andrea even want to leave? Will she be forced to compromise her human decency to stick around? How many episodes until Michonne breaks into the Woodbury armory, retrieves her katana, and gets into a Zatoichi-style duel with Merle and his knife-stump? It's all up in the air, but we know this much - The Walking Dead has been on a golden tear lately, and we can't wait to see what happens next.