That’s the link of my article on our university press.
This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” seems to be the last calm before the storm. The episode opens with Rick, Daryl and Hershel at an abandoned warehouse waiting for the Governor to show up for their scheduled meeting. Rick and Daryl make sure the place is clear while Hershel keeps the car running in case of an emergency. As Rick slowly makes his way inside, the Governor walks out from behind the shadows to greet him. Why Rick’s group would trust naive Andrea and her disillusioned attempt at making peace is beyond me. The Governor, of course, even after claiming to have taken off the only gun on him, has a spare one taped on his side of the table. Just like a scene from “The Godfather,” the Governor has set up this meeting with exact precision, leaving nothing to chance.
Rick doesn’t buy his act for a second and even goes so far as to say, “You’re the town drunk, nothing more,” to which the Governor responds by asking if he has misjudged him and the situation. Rick wants to believe that they can work things out, but deep down he knows this man is incapable of coming to a rational compromise.
Because of what Andrea had told him earlier, Rick thought this meeting was arranged so they could discuss which territories each group would take, but it wasn’t at all. Instead, the Governor gives Rick something to think about: He promises that the prison and his group will be left alone if they surrender Michonne to him. But how can you trust a man who is ruthless beyond repair? And after the last episode where Rick and Carl finally started to bond with Michonne, how could Rick give up one of his own for the good of the group?
He has no absolute guarantee that the Governor will keep his word once Michonne is in his hands. The Governor even said that he would prefer the group to stay in the prison rather than leave so that he could keep his one good eye on their group, which comes off as more threatening than comforting.
The one reassuring part of this episode has to be the bond developed between Daryl and Martinez. Like a lot of frontier adventure stories, when men are left with no source of entertainment they resort to hunting as a way of testing strengths as well as making a fun challenge. Although zombie killing may not be the traditional element in which men bond, Daryl and Martinez are able to make a game out of the situation, which in turn lightens the mood and allows everyone to be human for a while. This battle of strength not only lets the two of them relax but also form connections with each other that will possibly come in handy if they meet again.
Hershel, too, is seen having a moment with Milton when they talk about their specific situations in the zombie apocalypse. Milton is a bit too inquisitive, saying that this information is for science and record-keeping, but Hershel starts to open up a little by joking with him to lighten the mood. When Milton asks to see the leg, Hershel responds by saying that he barely knows the guy, but by the end he is laughing and saying, “At least buy me a drink first.”
MERLE AND MICHONNE
Right after the Governor asks Rick to hand over Michonne, it cuts to Merle asking Michonne to come with him to save the group from the Governor. Is Merle part of the group, or is he still working for the Governor? Was he trying to convince Michonne to come with him for revenge as a decoy? No one can be sure.
Because Rick knows that surrendering Michonne would not save his group, he doesn’t inform the group about this counteroffer. He even asks Hershel to talk him out of it because he knows that she has earned her place by saving multiple people in their group. The Governor keeps mentioning the word “choice,” but does Rick’s group really have a choice? Hershel suggests that they could do well on the road, but Rick is not one to give up. If Rick thinks that the Governor killing Michonne is beneath him, he has another thing coming.