Taking a cue from LOST (if you chose to ignore The Walking Dead graphic novel), The Walking Dead has temporarily abandoned the lead cast in order to introduce us to a new set of characters. The most important introduction being the Governor, and the power he wields.
What the Governor has done is build a walled city/community that serves to protect its inhabitants while carrying an air of The Stepford Wives. Yes, inside Woodbury it feels a little too much like an episode of The Twilight Zone. If you didn’t expect to see Rod Serling step out from around a building’s corner, maybe you weren’t watching.
What adds to the sinister feeling of the “Walk with Me” episode is the Devil in Sheep’s Clothing that the Governor wears. Yes, he’s generous and says things like, “you have nothing to fear here,” but you can’t watch him and his Southern-Baptist-like demeanor without becoming suspicious. Michonne has it right from the get-go. Andrea had it right at the start too, when she said, “Buzz is a nickname, Governor is a title.” But Andrea was quickly seduced by the cultish environment (where Mexicans still do the gardening/landscaping, Martha Stewart walks up and down the street, and leaders are white men) and the promise of safety.
And that’s all anyone in Woodbury, or anywhere else in the world of, really wants – safety. The majority of people are willing to turn a blind eye to the things evil men do and to be sheep in a flock as long as they are protected and provided for. This world isn’t far removed from our own: Nazi Germany, anyone? President Bush? Pappa Smurf?
At one point, the Governor gives what can be surmised as a recruitment speech to Andrea and Michonne. In it he outlines his goal of “getting back to what we were, who we really are, not just waiting to be saved… We’re going out there and taking back what’s ours — civilization. We will rise again — only this time we won’t be eating each other.” Granted, there are some contradictions there (by the end of the episode you can be sure that the Governor has no intention of returning to who he was prior to the walker outbreak) and his methods are brutal and Machiavellian, but it’s believable. And he’s done more than our tribe has accomplished thus far.
Let’s look at what the Governor has done. So far he’s established a fortified community that’s safe. He’s established rules (such as a curfew with light and noise discipline) that help ensure safety and survival. He’s provided a place where women can be pregnant and deliver children. He’s provided medical care. And, last but not least, with the help of a scientist/doctor (or something) he has established a lab where theare studied. On his own he’s learned that you don’t have to be bit to be turned, and now, with the aid of Michonne’s slaves, he’s learned that if you walk with the dead, the dead think you’re one of them. However, that would seem to contradict the entire “Guts” episode in Season 1.
If Rick were given the means, the Governor is who he would aspire to be. In the Governor’s civilization, it seems he never even let a democracy get started. In contrast, our Rick and our tribe look like a bunch of nomadic savages.
As varying civilizations are bound to do, Woodbury has its own terminology, which we learned as well. Breathers are the living. Biters are the walkers. And lurkers are Michonne-designed zombie slaves.
And before closing, let’s just say, Merle! We missed you. Dude, what’s up with your hand?
Check back next week for some more of our The Walking Dead, Season 3 coverage.
Rock Hard \m/