RIP the helicopter. If you don’t remember, we’ve (probably) seen the helicopter that crashed in the first scene of last night’s Walking Dead before. As Entertainment Weekly notes, the helicopter offered a sliver of hope for survivors and viewers alike. But it’s also been a purveyor of bad luck, first leading Rick to zombies and then leading zombies to Hershel’s farm.
Now, the helicopter has led Andrea and Michonne to its pluming wreckage, and thus begins their new adventure. “The Governor,” which, as Andrea finds out, is short for “the Governor,” commands the stage for the rest of the episode. He’s played wonderfully by English actor David Morrissey, who, in the words of Zap2It’s Geoff Berkshire, “wastes no time in firmly establishing he’ll be a valuable addition to the show.” Morrissey has the daunting task of pretending he’s an utter madman pretending to be Good Guy Governor. He plays the part well, letting just the right hint of insanity slip through his nice-guy veneer. Of course, the creepy score and Michonne’s continuous glaring may have biased me.
When Michonne is emoting, she’s angry. Slate commenter It’sme,MaryAnn is right: The over-the-top aggressive black woman is such a cliché. But even worse, Michonne is a magical black friend: She has no history, she harbors magical knowledge of zombies and samurai swords, and she appears out of nowhere to save Andrea.
As lame as her character is, she happens to be right to be suspicious of the Governor. Turns out he’s not just a friendly guy; he’s also a cold-blooded, neo-Shane who kills a crew of able-bodied, stranded soldiers “for their supplies.” In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Robert Kirkman confirms my theory that the governor killed these men to retain his power. “One of the things that the Governor does in order to maintain his leadership is to eliminate any kind of threat to his hold over those people,” Kirkman says.
This episode’s focus on the Governor’s community instead of the Grimes group reminded me, as it did Rolling Stone’s Bex Schwartz, of an episode in the second season of Lost that was devoted entirely to an entirely new group of survivors. That episode, too, began with a crash, and it too involved a pugnacious minority woman, Ana Lucia.
And, of course, the Governor is The Walking Dead’s version of Lost’s Ben Linus—good, bad, and crazy, all in one. If Morrissey is half as good as the Governor as Michael Emerson was as Ben Linus, it’ll make for good drama.
Finally, like a good Lost episode, “Walk With Me” divulged a wealth of new lore, courtesy of the Governor’s scientist, who learns a few things after dissecting Michonne’s pets in the lab. Add these now confirmed factoids to your zombie survival guide:
- To render a zombie as docile as a greyhound, amputate its arms and mouth.
- Hanging out with disabled zombies camouflages you from other zombies. Long gone are the days of survivors cloaking themselves in zombie guts to tiptoe past a zombie herd. A bone saw and a leash will do the trick.
- Chomping on Otises and Dales and Hershel-legs isn’t just a pastime for zombies but also a source of sustenance. Zombies aren’t powered by sunshine and rainbows after all, and if they run out of people to eat, they will starve, although they starve more slowly than humans.
Now The Walking Dead just needs to add 20 more characters, 100 more mysteries, a zombie Hurley, and BAM! Lost 2!
TODAY IN SLATE
The End of Pregnancy
And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.
Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City
How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry
The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats
Blame China for everything.
The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer
Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place
Now it’s descending into madness.
Don’t Just Sit There
How to be more productive during your commute.