The Walking Dead "Walk With Me" Review: The Happiest Place on Earth

By Tim Surette

Oct 29, 2012

The Walking Dead S03E03: "Walk With Me"

Oh sure, you can look at a zombie apocalypse as a BAD thing while you're drinking your half-empty glass of toilet wine and watching the doors rattle as a zombie herd tries to break in to your rickety shelter. Or you can turn that frown upside-down and look at the positive things while drinking your half-full glass of American Standard Vintage Toilet Red while your dead grandmother patiently waits for you to open the door! The rise of the undead is all about perspective. While Rick and his survivor friends bitch and moan, there's a man out there who is making it work!

After last week's episode was exclusively prison set, "Walk With Me" stayed with Andrea and Michonne as they picked up and looked for a new place to live. This kind of dual storytelling is working incredibly well for the series as The Walking Dead goes further into its comic-book roots. The episodes in Season 3 so far almost feel like "issues" in this way, with a long-running drama chopped up into individual stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Imagine how less potent "Sick" and "Walk With Me" would have been had they gone the traditional route and checked in with all the characters in each episode. No, this was the right way to do it.

"Walk With Me" was the big coming-out party for The Governor, a character from the comics made infamous for doing absolutely wretched things. But this Governor is a kinder, gentler Governor than the one that made out with his [comic spoiler] and [comic spoiler]'d Michonne, at least for now. While Rick was begging for camping space outside a farm or bouncing around from abandoned building to abandoned buildings, this Governor was building a small-town oasis straight out of Leave it to Beaver called Woodbury and rebuilding society. And he anointed himself supreme ruler of the town, probably because the apocalypse has afforded him the opportunity to rise to power.

Glenn Mazzara took some early flak for casting David Morrissey (State of Play) as The Governor instead of The Governor's comic doppleganger Danny Trejo, but let's give credit where credit's due: Morrissey is a better fit for this more quietly menacing version. Trejo would have looked the part, but Morrissey IS the part. The man has presence like J-Lo has booty, and that's so incredibly critical to make his character come alive as this Governor is followed by others on account of his commanding stature rather than the fear on which his comic counterpart used. (Fear and iron fisting to come later, I presume.)

But who is this man? The Governor is just a slightly skewed, more well-established version of the new Rick. He's willing to do what it takes to keep his people safe, and sometimes that means making sure that the guns and the resources in the nearby vicinity are in his hands. Sorry military dudes, but in The Governor's eyes, firearms are a lot safer in his hands than they are in theirs. And did you see how he scoffed when Andrea asked him if he was military? This guy has something against men in uniform, methinks. It's a shame, because the military really could have taught him some better tactics than to just drive up to a bunch of armed men and start shooting. For dramatic purposes, it worked. But common sense says one of those army guys would have put half a round in The Governor before his support opened fire.

"Walk With Me" also reunited us with Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), Daryl's bro who is now one of those terrible "give this man a hand" punch lines. Though the episode was the introduction of The Governor and the reintroduction of Merle, the award for best new debut in the hour has to go to Merle's hand bayonet, which was cleverly held out of frame until Merle thrust it through the lower jaw of a walker like it was no big deal. I can't wait to see what other attachments he has for that thing. Salad fork? Egg beater? Toilet paper? The possibilities are endless! See, this zombie apocalypse ain't so bad!

That's the attitude The Governor is trying to foster inside of Woodbury, and while Andrea is fine as long as there are hot showers and scrambled eggs and tea, Michonne the cynic is ready to pack. Obviously Michonne is right, but in this situation wouldn't you welcome a safe place to rest your head after 10 months of running screaming from undead freaks? Andrea has little experience with what the apocalypse can turn people into, but I suspect something happened to Michonne that has made her an old pro at knowing a bad situation when she sees one.

"Walk With Me" was just a peek at the season's new villain and his version of an idyllic domain. There's a whole lot more behind the curtain than just fish tanks full of severed heads. And if The Governor sees a group of military men as a threat, what's he going to do when he finds out Rick has a well-stocked fortress a few clicks away? "Walk With Me" toned down on the zombie threat, but introduced something much greater.



NOTES

– Apologies if I didn't make sense in this article. I'm writing through a head cold and the keys on my keyboard are dancing around like ants due to hallucinations.

– Having Rooker and Morrissey on board doesn't just make things more creepy, it makes them a whole lot better. I praise the Mazzara-era The Walking Dead for its improved pacing, more tangible threats, and the occasional zombie face getting peeled off, but I don't often applaud the strength of the characters or the actors because, well, most of the characters in the show are weak. Sorry, The Walking Dead, but it's true! But with Merle and The Governor, suddenly there's more than gore and suspense to look forward to.

– Goodbye Michonne's pets! It was sad to see them go without any ceremonial sendoff, but Michonne doesn't have time for sentimentality. She's a survivor.

– So there was the explanation of her pets, given out by The Governor's resident science nerd. Without arms and jaws, zombies become docile and lose the urge to try to snack on people. And they also "camouflage" their owners from other walkers. That's consistent with the comics, and I had a problem with it then and I have a problem with it now. Even if I had no arms or mouth, I'd still bury my face in a plate of mashed potatoes because food is yum!

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  • emeraldtree Nov 02, 2012

    IMO the helicopter crash was certainly caused by the Woodberry gang, since they were very quick on the crash scene...



    And what about the creepy "special" tea? any ideas? First I thought it was brewed with water from those charming aquariums, but why would the governor himself drink it?

  • MirelaPilipo Sep 07, 2013

    Yes...The Tea!?! Wtf? I am currently re-watching TWD and reading reviews as I go and for me, the "special" tea was the first "What the f*** happened to this idea TWD writers??" moment during my re-watch. The Walking Dead doesn't really have many plot holes but this has to be the biggest plot hole on television in 2012!
    I remember the first time I saw this episode, actually throughout most S3, I was wondering/guessing and debating just what the hell the Governor and Milton are up to with that tea!? I had all sorts of theories and yes one of them was that its the "head-fish-tank" water that's in the tea. Maybe as some sort of "experiment" that Milton was conducting to see if people can build up an immunity to the zombie-virus if they drink "dead-head-water"?! Lol
    Another theory I had was that like Hitler, the Governor is putting methadone or some other addictive drug in the towns tea supply so that everyone's docile and compliant and nobody ever wants to leave. That totally would've explained Andrea's actions & attitude throughout the whole season: She was "under the Governors spell" from that first meal (in which she drank the tea and Michonne didn't) and she pretty much turned into a total airhead. But they NEVER explained the tea situation and in the end it seems like it was just good old regular tea! WTF TWD? I'm still REALLY pissed off about that! Andrea's whole s3 arc would've been a lot easier to comprehend as a viewer had we found out that the Governor was "drugging" her and the other Woodbury dummies. Ugh! PLOT HOLE!

  • bluemorphotat Nov 01, 2012

    "The episodes in Season 3 so far almost feel like "issues" in this way, with a long-running drama chopped up into individual stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. Imagine how less potent "Sick" and "Walk With Me" would have been had they gone the traditional route and checked in with all the characters in each episode"

    I totally agree!

    That is why I had such a hard time watching Heroes and didn't go past season 1 --> it was excruciating how slow the action was... had the same issue with LOST but at least that was much better written...

    I can't wait for the "oher shoe to drop" with the Gov'nor... now his "resident nerd" was plenty scary if you ask me...

  • GirishStewart Oct 31, 2012

    This episode wasn't good enough. The National Guard being taken out by the Governor's merry men was very contrived. Andrea didn't have her guard up against the Governor which is pretty ridiculous considering he had her under surveillance. None of the people questioned him when he stated that every one from the Guard had died in a zombie attack and he took their food and supplies. The Governor wasn't menacing at all even with his actions. Seriously, I wished we were back in the prison. The only good thing in the episode was the Zombie tank.

  • snl_fan Oct 31, 2012

    It worries me a little that its now Tuesday, and we are still talking about a show that aired on Sunday. I guess that's a testament to the quality of this show.

    As I said, I foresee the Gov. attacking Rick. The Gov will have several advantages: the element of surprise, the Intel from Andrea and Merle, expeience in killing humans with savage brutality and swiftness, and superior numbers. I like Rick, and do not look forward to having him seeing his world fall apart. So I think this TV show and I will part ways. To those who feel differently, enjoy the ride in my absence.

  • Grazzy Nov 02, 2012

    Oh, you shouldn't give up that easily. Rick and his group won't go down without a fight - I actually think the Governor will finally meet someone who can stand up to him. Rick's group is the center of the narrative, they won't be crushed and disappear out of the blue. That's the way it is with every piece of writing. The audience needs someone to cheer for. Don' t lose heart.

  • Big_Pecks Oct 31, 2012

    The Walking Dead is unstoppably good this season.

  • pretzilm Oct 30, 2012

    Okay, "Lurkers", a new term for today, thrown out off hand by the guvna while discussing michonne's pets.

    Is that what was watching the attempted practice C-section last week? - Walkers who are smart, and hang back until their chance arises?

  • Kaylin21 Oct 30, 2012

    Was it just me who didnt like this episode? I needed to see more rick and gang. Not sure if I like this going back and forth. Also I thought last episode was disappointing too! I for sure thought that the people in the prison cell were going to have more of an impact than they did!

  • GirishStewart Oct 31, 2012

    Agreed. Hey there are still a couple of prisoners left. Maybe things will start to get interesting later on.

  • DinChild Oct 30, 2012

    Science guy reminded me of AMC's silent hard-on for Gale Boetticher. Yes...no one does awesome better than BB.

  • Devon39219 Oct 30, 2012

    enough with the comic book spoilers in the commenting section T_T.. I want to read the comments but dang u guys are making it hard :D

  • suburbansadness Oct 30, 2012

    I had so much fun watching this episode because I kept thinking that Andrea and Michonne are together - as in sleeping together. That would be so understandable! And they have a lot of chemistry! Too bad it's just my imagination (because I know what happened to Michonne in the comics).

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