Zombies are “in” right now. They’re all the rage. However, the threat of zombies only goes so far. Once the survivors learn how to effectively deal with the living dead, there’s little dread left in the story. That’s why ‘The Walking Dead’ is beginning to introduce all sorts of ‘Lost’-esque mysteries.
Just think of Woodbury as New Otherton (as Sawyer would’ve affectionately referred to it). The Governor is Ben Linus. His minions are the Others. See how it all starts to fit together? It’s essential that the Governor and his band have a few secrets. An idyllic post-apocalyptic town is rarely as idyllic as it seems. Like every other town before the spread of the Walker disease, Woodbury has a seedy underbelly – a putrefied underbelly full of gladiator-style Walker games, clandestine science experiments, and best of all a Governor who creepily brushes his zombified daughter’s hair. If Ben Linus were alive in this time, I have no doubt that he’d run Woodbury almost identically to the way the Governor runs things.
Rick has gone off the deep end. Not even acknowledging his newly born daughter, he scoops up an axe and goes all skull-crusher on any and every Walker he can find. After finding out about Lori’s demise, I fear that Rick has turned a corner he can’t come back from. I fear for him, although I think it’s great for the show. We need a person who’s hell-bent on delivering zombie carnage.
One other person also fits that bill: Michonne. While Rick kills because he seemingly has nothing else to live for (in his rage-fueled frenzy of death, I think he completely forgot that he has two kids), Michonne kills for the sheer joy of it. It’s an addiction and she finally gets to let loose on a group of captive Walkers that the Governor was storing away.
The most intriguing aspect of this new episode isn’t the mysterious ringing phone that Rick picks up at the end. (How much more like ‘Lost’ could this show get?) No, it’s the dynamic the show is setting up with Merle and Daryl. Here are two rough rednecks who have become products of their respective environments. Merle has become even more of a hard-ass (who knew that was possible?) because of the little bit of power he’s been granted by the Governor. Also, Merle has retrofitted his stump with a zombie-killing bayonet. In his world, life is good. On the other hand, Daryl has morphed into a courteous, caring protector. He genuinely cares about the group and has enormous guilt about what happened to Sophia. Watching Daryl hold Rick’s new baby is really touching.
The show seems to be setting up a major showdown between the two brothers. Merle is as bad as they come, and because he’s been surrounded by the Governor’s shadiness, he’ll stay that way. Daryl has been greatly influenced by the people around him, so he’s turned into a good guy. This has to be leading to something big, right? Like Daryl shooting Merle right between the eyes with his crossbow if he threaten the group. I’m calling it now. That’s going to happen.