Michonne 1, Merle -3 TWD S3e6

So the episode opens  with 2 characters, making what are lousy choices, in my opinion. There’s Michonne, who left Woodbury, but didn’t go far, and Merle (sent by the Governor) with 3 guys out hunting her. Personally I think each party should have cut their losses and moved on. The only cuts made were Michonne’s and the losses Merle’s when she killed two of his guys and a couple of zombies. The surviving guy went on with Merle with a mere scratch. Everyone in the room was like: “Yay, he made it!”, and I was like “Seriously?!?! It doesn’t take the zombie guts and blood to make him a Red Shirt”. So it

Jim, I’m a dead man…not a magician!

came as no surprise when Merle shot him, for wanting to tell the Governor that Michonne was still alive. Merle thinks that “as good as dead” (because Michonne was running away from them into a zombie filled area) actually means you can say someone is “dead”. Yeah because that worked SO well for Shane, so I’m sure it’ll work well for Merle who lost any cool points he may have acquired. I was right about “Red Shirt”, I assume I’ll be right about the Governor being not so pleased when he finds out she’s still kicking.

Speaking of dead and right, I was dead right about there not being anyone living on the other end of Rick’s #BadConnection (thanks again #TalkingDead). And yes I know that was more punny than funny, but my editor made me put that in there, and by editor, I mean Martin, the guy who made my blog look like a blog, rather than a page of essays, muchas gracias!

I loved that Hershel could spot it too (the likelihood that there wasn’t really anyone on the other end), and I loved that he could also spot that like a sleepwalker, it would be best to hope that Rick would wake up on his own, rather than jerking him out of his dreams. Either way Rick spent some time walking around, not talking to anyone, not eating, and then sitting by the phone like a teenager who’d just been dumped for the first time (yes I’ll get to the important psycho-emotional stuff, no worries). The phone finally rang, and there was a man on the other end asking if he’s killed anyone, which he confesses to, including Shane. He doesn’t want to talk about how his wife died (an intuitive factoid for a random survivor to pull out of thin air), and the call ends.

Meanwhile, back in the sort-of real world, Andrea wants to contribute, and help protect the town, something the Governor is fine to let her do. That is until she’s paired with a newbie, who brags about her bow, that she apparently can’t actually aim with. Andrea hops off the wall and gets the job done, only to be scolded by the chick who probably hasn’t spent a day out of a community-ish setting. When she’s back in the Governor’s office, she admits to the Governor that she actually liked the staged fights, and it’s getting more and more obvious that she likes him too (in case he and the audience hadn’t gotten the hint yet).

Right about now Daryl, Carl and one of the prisoners (is it inconsiderate of me that I don’t care to get to know the prisoners? after all it’s a 3rd season of a drama, and they’re kind of the oft mentioned “Nikki and Paulo”.) are sweeping some area of the prison and Daryl and Carl connect when Carl confesses to shooting his mom before she turned, and Daryl is able to be somewhat relatable by explaining how he lost his mother (who liked to smoke in bed) to a house fire, and they were both with dead mothers with nothing left to bury or say goodbye to.

Somewhere nearby in the prison Rick’s getting another phone call, where he asks the voice on the other end how they knew he had a wife, and the conversation only goes on long enough for Rick to catch his name being used, and ask about that before the line going dead again.

Somewhere nearby in the great outdoors a zombie covered Michonne resurrects an age old debate from season one, can being covered in zombie guts keep you from being acknowledged as a human by zombies. I’m going to put in my two cents, then beg my readers for comments so we can argue…err discuss this disgusting tactic, that if viable, I’d use. So lets put together some zombie lore, specific to what’s been established in The Walking Dead. I am generally of the opinion that even though specific genre usually has rules (see Scream) that if a “universe” within that genre has modifications to those rule, and we are discussing just that “universe” that we stick to that universe. For example, Star Wars and Star Trek are both SciFi, but they don’t all follow the same rules. With those disclaimers out of the way, The Walking Dead has established in my opinion 2 concrete rules, and a possible inference. One, is that zombie goo can make you seem less human (don’t believe me re watch season 1). Two, is that zombies that have gone longer without eating humans are less crazed for it. Now we don’t know for sure, but the walkers Michonne encountered were not in a once people filled city, and it had been almost a year, rather than a couple of months-ish since they’d possibly turned. Now as several may point out, that Michonne was not as covered in guts as Rick and Glenn had been, she’s also the least human of any survivors we’ve met. Now that’s not to say that I dislike Michonne, far from it, in her own way she’s quite entertaining. However, she almost never speaks, and moves differently that most people, there’s nothing relaxed about her at all. Anyway, in my opinion, when required, use zombie guts to their full potential.

Sometime and somewhere about when and where this is all going on Glenn and Maggie have gone out for a formula run, when they run into Merle. Merle is seemingly happy to see Glenn and ask about his brother. Glenn, wisely does not trust Merle, which makes sense, considering Merle momentarily takes Maggie hostage and forces the two of them to drive to Woodbury. All the while being watched by Michonne, who spotted the basket full of formula that had just been retrieved. To bring up another debate (comments please) several folks seem to think that Glenn should have taken the shot when Merle had Maggie, because of how close he was, would you?

Remember when I said that Glenn WISELY did not trust Merle? Remember that? Just a paragraph ago? Well be prepared to be shocked my 4 readers (that’s right, there’s 4 of you now?)! Because I am finally going to criticize the Governor, and no it’s not for sleeping with Andrea (and no I’m not going to criticize Andrea either, she’s been duped and he’s the one that duped her into believing he was a normal guy and not the type that would keep dead family members around, it’s unfortunate but not that shocking folks). I think he was an idiot for trusting Merle, though his continued questions about Michonne’s head and sword, were along the same lines as Hershel’s phone questions, so maybe he’s smarter than I’m giving him credit for. I think trusting Merle is like trusting a stray dog, that isn’t house-broken, with a bayonet for a paw! But that’s just me. Either way, as I said above, things will not go well when the Governor finds out about Michonne.

Back at the prison, we have some nice moments before the credits roll. First, there’s a bitter Daryl, who found Carol’s knife in a walker’s neck. He sits brooding in front of a door someone/thing is trying to open, until he opens it in frustration ready to shoot a walker, and he sees a half-starved and dehydrated, but alive Carol. In another part of the prison, Rick gets one last phone call. This time it’s Lori. She tells him she loves him, he gets a chance to say he was sorry and that he always wanted to get them to a safe place and that he loved her. She tells him to take care of Carl and their baby. It was closure, both for Rick and Lori fans, and whether it was all in his head, or the whispers from LOST it was a necessary catharsis, and it was wrapped up in one ep which was nice. Who really wanted to see Rick be crazy for a while?
Stepping back out into the light Rick actually interacts with the others and holds the still unnamed “little asskicker” and sees Michonne with the basket of formula.

**Read no further if you avoid spoilers as one avoids a walker**
I’m glad we got happy moments this episode, because based on the previews, next week looks like it won’t be so happy for Glenn and Maggie in Woodbury.

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4 thoughts on “Michonne 1, Merle -3 TWD S3e6

  1. Soooo…this is your best blog entry yet (and not because it hinges – at least in my mind – upon the little known but still fabulous Martin you speak of. And also not because I’ll respond in my most rambling reply yet.) Mainly, it has to do with your piercing insight and accompanying ability to write about it. Sometimes, believe it or not – mortal minds are less capable of having the insight and then accurately talking about it (Sorry, Alec Baldwin, circa Malice; “writing” about it). Enough pomp…onto the meat of my response.

    1. Re: “Sometime and somewhere about when and where this is all going on Glenn and Maggie have gone out for a formula run, when they run into…”

    Like fearing that someone won’t enjoy the gift you’ve shopped countless hours for, I’d imagine that the writers of The Walking Dead (is “the” really part of the title?) are a little fearful that the followers would suspect rote tendencies coming out. That is to say, more conventional story movements. This fear has become more of a focus over these last few episodes because as television sportscasters are fond of saying “it may have come to fruition”. You see, I think this particular phrase about going on a formulas run is a microcosm of the larger plot devices moving the episodes along these days. What I mean to say is if there was a drinking game about the walking dead it would now sadly and likely be called “spot the plot device” “spot the deus ex machina” or “spot the formulatic television”. Drink!

    The dependence on the “red shirt” is as old as yes, Star Trek, and the Govenor is a bad man, but will meet his hubris soon is as well-trodden as any script. More and more I see cracks in The Walking Dead armor. Hopefully this isn’t a long-term revealing of the writers’ ability but just a few episodes worth of transgression. Otherwise it will just become too obvious and therefore as valuable watching as an episode of iCarly, which not too incidentally is being cancelled after 6 seasons. Hear my words, The Walking Dead, hear my words…

    2. Re: “It was closure, both for Rick and Lori fans, and whether it was all in his head, or the whispers from LOST it was a necessary catharsis”.

    I found this insight to be particularly appealing even though, when you get down to it, it speaks to my first point. I never said I wasn’t inconsistent. At any rate, the beauty of this was the rapidity and emotional tug that was there EVEN THOUGH YOU KNEW IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. I guess that ultimately is the gall of the whole “universe” of The Walking Dead (more on that later); that they would do something knowing full well their audience is fairly intelligent and insightful, yet do it anyway because they do it well enough to make it work! What guts! (You can use that is you want)

    3. Speaking of guts. About the Universe concept. Like any writing, the universe in which a story lives has to be consistent in it’s own context. Otherwise it falls apart. For instance if the story takes place on Mars then that’s fine. But if at the end you find it was not really mars but some duplicate planet named “bars”…the reader/watcher would be disappointed because it was “made up” and plot-device ish. I think that The Walking Dead is fairly consistent in the application of the Universe it’s made up regarding guts and “invisibility”. (What…is that like 10 quotation marks and parenthetical statements so far?) So I guess I don’t have too much of a problem.

    4. But I do have a problem with the whole Maggie and Glenn thing. First – if anything bad actually happens to Glenn I think TWD loses half it’s audience. I mean, really…no Asian man has been rooted for this much since Ultraman. He’s the glue to an otherwise insane world. Especially in light of Rick’s absence these last few episodes. Same thing with Maggie. Never touch the merchandise, because if you break it you buy it. That’s all I’ll say on that end.

    5. Finally – more on Rick. The destined final episode this season with meeting the Governor should restore Rick’s hero status I’d imagine. But it’s interesting to me just how Matthew Fox/Jack the Rick lead is. The “in my weakness I am strong” angle is a significant one for the propitiation of the storyline and all involved characters. It’s all we as human desire to be, right? Perfectly imperfect.

    His will to survive without a woman to counter me bravado is also reminiscent of LOST’s leading character as well. But I’m going to warn you now…because horribly enough I can see a future where a Governor/Andrea/Rick triangle happens (even if it’s like the Lake House in terms of timing) if Rick somehow ends up in a relationship with her, I will have to disavow the show. I’m not certain I can voice this more strongly. Worse yet, if we some day find out they are all already dead…well…

    He’s my hope for Rick – Should his imperfect perfection dismiss the “universe” for ratings – that the writers are savvy enough to end the show instead. It would be a better ending than Jack got. The clock has begun as far as I can tell, here barely halfway through season 3. Tick tock tick tock. There are only 7 stories in the world. How many are left for TWD to tell? I guess we’ll see. But I’d imagine the folks over at iCarly has some insight to that end…

    • I have faith that they can do good job telling those “7 stories”. AMC has some stellar writers, AMC has owned the drama slot at the Emmys for years now. Plus, they already have a good amount of the stories written for them in the Graphic Novels.

  2. I personally think that there is much to criticize the Governor over (aquariums with heads, killing valuable military personnel, trusting scum bags over a group of military guys whom have proved that they can work together without killing each other, the aforementioned “walking daughter”, the journal of a mad man, and the overall fact that he’s just not a good guy) and I would definitely still be questioning some things,even if I were a resident not knowing what I know. I do agree that Rick needed the closure he got from the phone calls in his head (he…he…helllooo?). I’m also glad that we only had to go through two episodes of him losing it and going crazy. It would have felt drawn out to go through more than that. Way to step up Daryll (he has been my favorite character since early in the second season), btw, he provided Carl with just what he needed at the time, healthy interaction with a mentor. Oh yeah! And yay Carol! I knew she was still alive and was waiting for Daryll to find her.

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