All right, ignore what I said last week, it looks like we’re sticking around the prison for a bit. I suppose I should have guessed that, the building is in the opening credits and was probably a pretty big budget sink.
On the prison side of things, Rick has gone completely loco. It’s almost convenient that he was next to a building full of zombies, because it gave him things to go and kill. I don’t think he said a single word the entire time he was in there either. This looks like the peak (or low point, I suppose) of his path from moral, optimistic leader to Gollum with an axe. So where are they going to go with the character from here? Having him just get over it and be in charge again would be a regression, having him stay crazy and live in the prison alone forever is a bit unlikely. I guess, having been broken down, he’ll grow into something different. Nobody remind him that the baby is Shane’s.
Everyone else over there was concerned about feeding the baby, as they’re going to have to be every single day for the next decade or so. Daryl and Maggie raided a pre-school to find some baby formula and didn’t actually run into any zombies or trouble of any kind, now that I think of it. Other than a delicious possum. It was tense scene, regardless, and it’s for the best that they don’t get attacked every time they try go somewhere because a) it would get dull and b) they’d really have to reconsider doing things, ever.
Nobody seemed too bothered by Rick though. Glenn went in to try and get him out but got pushed around a bit and bailed out. But by the end of the episode, everyone was smiling cooing over the baby (particularly Daryl), while Schrödinger’s Rick may or may not have been alive in the same zombie-infested dark building where several of their closest friends died earlier that very same day. It just indicates that we, the audience, know that he won’t die, so there’s no point in writing the cast being concerned about him, since it’ll waste time. Even if it’s what people would do. He could have been going in there to cut his own wrists for all they knew.
Meanwhile, in Woodbury, Michonne gets her sword back, cuts off some heads and looks angry most of the time. That was pretty good. She got a chance to look around Governor Philip’s office too, and find his book of girls’ names with hundreds of forward slashes. Anyone know what that’s about? We know he lost a daughter, but it’s not clear if the zombie girl he has hanging around is actually her, or if he’s trying to replace her each time she gets bitey and has to be shot in the brain. That’s what I’ve come up with for the names, as for the slashes, it looks like a count of something, but there’s far too many to be days since the dead rose, which in-show has only been about eight months.
The zombie-daughter humanises the Governor a bit, though room full of heads notwithstanding, I’m not ready to pronounce him evil just yet. What’s his plan? Most evil plans are for power or money, but he’s already in charge of everyone and money is useless. He’s doing some kind of experimentation with zombies, what’s the goal? To bring them back to life? Everyone wins, no more zombies and people get their loved ones back. To kill them? Hooray, no more zombies? To make more of them? That’s a stupid suggestion and you’re an idiot for coming up with it. There’s a lot of uncertainty about that guy, and while the show is trying to present Michonne’s paranoia as justified, I’m not completely buying it just yet. That said, I’m not sure the show is that subtle, and I’ll look like an idiot in a week’s time when the Governor starts eating faces like there’s no tomorrow.
As for the zombie cage fight at the end, I can’t believe that anyone thought Andrea would see that, completely out of the blue and think, yeah, this is appropriate and entertaining. Everyone in Woodbury must know about this practice and be reasonably OK with it. I suppose it’s there to indicate how insular and removed from reality the community has become, but it’s been less than a year and they must have been set up in the civilisation of Woodbury for at least a few months. You shouldn’t go Mad Max when you have a hot water shower and street parties. If I want to find out about how the most perfect-seeming communities have a seamy underbelly, I’ve got David Lynch to turn to.
Michonne has successfully left, though, and won’t become a Movementarian. Is this going to branch out into a third story, or will she appear at the prison next week? This week’s episode had a bit of a spinning-the-wheels feel to it, which is expected, I suppose, after all the mayhem and death of the last few weeks. The only problem is that they didn’t replace the mayhem and death with anything as interesting, just another fetch mission and the same “Michonne wants to leave Woodbury” plot as the last two weeks.