Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 7, “Dead Weight”

“Dead Weight”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

Ahhh, that Governor…that wiley, crafty, dashing, dirty Governor.

All this past week, I was thinking about that man. Even though I have about a million things to think about at any given moment (kids, work, husband, notes from the teacher, impending holidays), I just couldn’t stop thinking about the Gov. He was haunting me. I found myself texting my best WD buddy: I love the Gov…I cannot lie.   

Me too,  she texted back. Totally. But can’t really admit it.   I replied, I’m owning it…GAC…guilty as charged.

The Gov has a way of getting in our heads, and our hearts, and if we are a hot woman in the post-zombie apocalypse, he’s probably gotten in our pants.  But, word to the women out there in the PZA:  hit that shit, then quit that shit.  You do not want that man to be your boyfriend.

Unless you are willing to drink the Gov’s koolaid, the “I’m-with-the-guy-with-the-eyepatch” scenario never ends well. And even if you do drink the koolaid, it still ends badly. Just ask Andreaoh, wait. You can’t.  Andrea’s dead, along with Merle, Milton, a contingent of the National Guard, and half the population of Woodbury.  All dead, thanks to the Governor.

And I know this.  I, like you all, have seen all the horrifying acts the Gov is capable of…but after last week’s episode, when we saw a softer, more sympathetic side of the Governor, I found myself holding out my glass for another big helping of the Governor’s koolaid...please and thank you, Governor!  Mmmmsooo delicious.

I’m telling you, I am going to need a 12-step program to get over this guy.

WD’s Episode 7, “Dead Weight,” was, perhaps, the first step in my recovery process. The Governor is a multifaceted, crazy diamond, and last night, we saw a different shine of this complex, confusing, and controversial character. Has the Governor changed? Yes, he has…he’s gotten better…and he’s gotten worse.

As the episode begins, we see two scenes interposed.  In one scene, we see the chess set, miraculously saved from the Lilly/Megan/Tara/Terminal Don apartment.  Megan is sitting at the chessboard, set outside on a tree stump, contemplating her next move while the Governor wrings out and pins up the family’s laundry.

“Your move, pumpkin,” he prompts her.  “I’m thinking,” she replies.

“You can’t think forever, “ he tells her. “Sooner or later, you gotta make a move.”

Megan replies that he never lets her win, anyway.  He tells her that letting her win would not be winning…he then shares that his father never let him win, either, that he beat him at everything.

Megan asks him if his father was mean…he answers her, “Sometimes.”  She then asks if he, “Brian,” was bad when he was a boy, and he answers, again, “Sometimes.”

When the Gov sees Megan’s face, troubled, he immediately puts down the laundry he is folding and asks, “What is it, pumpkin?”

Megan hesitates a moment before looking up at the Gov and asking, “Am I bad? Because my dad was mean to me all the time.”

As the Governor approaches her and kneels down to her level to reassure her that no, she is not bad, she is good, we see another glimpse of the tender, father-figure side of the Governor that we saw in depth last week. And it’s not an act…it’s real, motivated by true love and caring.

“You, me, your mom, Aunt Tara…we’re gonna be ok,”  the Gov tells Megan.  “Because we’re good? All of us? asks Megan. The Gov stands, does not answer, turns back to the clothesline.

Megan watches him.  “Your turn,”  she prompts him. “Brian? It’s your turn.”  She has made her move.  The Gov does not, however, move…he stands where he is.

“I’m thinking,” he replies.

In the other opening scene, we see the Governor, in the pit, holding little Megan tight after dispatching three walkers in inimitable, brutal, hand-to-hand fashion, prompting one of the guests on last night’s Talking Dead to call the Governor “the MacGyver of killing walkers.” (Ha!)

As he tenderly cradles little Megan, the Gov looks up to see a shocked Martinez, gun in hand, looking down at his former boss in the pit…

(Can somebody say awkward?)

After the Governor hands Megan up to Martinez, the two men regard each other for a moment. Martinez hesitates, briefly weighing his options, before reluctantly lowering a knotted rope down to the Governor and pulling him out of the pit.

“You been on the road this whole time?”  Martinez asks him.  The Gov nods. From behind Martinez, Lilly speaks up, “Is everything ok, Brian?” As he hears the fake name, Martinez looks first to Lilly, then questioningly to the Governor…the Gov’s look says it all:  Dude, just go with it…please.

And so, despite the protests from Mitch, one of Martinez’s henchmen, Martinez allows the Governor and the women to come into the camp, on two conditions:  one, accept that Martinez is in charge; and two, contribute or be cast out.  No dead weight. Martinez looks towards the women, then back at the Gov.  “You think you can live with that…Brian?

The Gov abides.  And with this decision, despite his reservations, Martinez seals his fate…his painful, horrific fate.

At the camp, the Governor bides his time.  He endures the leaky RV that he, Lilly, and Megan have been assigned to stay in.  He rolls with Mitch’s barbs and nicknames wordlessly while on a run with Mitch, Pete, and Martinez to find a nearby cabin inhabited by a rumored survivalist.

On the way, the Gov finds a headless body, tied to a tree with a sign around its neck, something the others would have missed and passed right by:


The men continue on, finding the cabin, but not before they find another headless body tied to a chair.  This time, the sign around the neck reads, “Rapist.”  On the porch lies body of the survivalist, with most of his brains blown away by a self-inflicted shotgun blast.  The sign around his neck reads, “Murderer.”  Beside the body, the Governor finds a photo of the survivalist with his wife and adolescent daughter, which he keeps.

Upon hearing noises inside the cabin, the men send the Governor in first to investigate. As they move deeper into the cabin, the survivalist’s wife, who is now a walker, attacks Pete from behind…the Governor rekills her by beating her head in with his flashlight.

As Pete catches his breath from the attack, he finds the reanimated walker heads of the “Liar” and “Rapist” snapping at him from under the bed.  (Nicotero! You twisted, awesome genius!)  Pete screams, incurring the attack of the Adolescent Walker, whom the Governor kills as well.  When the Gov realizes the walker was the reanimated body of the young girl in the picture, he gets his now-famous “Crazy Eye” look.

My WD buddy texted me in that moment, Did his flip just switch?   Yes, I think in that moment, the Gov’s flip did indeed switch.  I mean, his total craziness aside, those dudes were pretty worthless in the cabin.

Sweet Pete (who my buddy and I agreed was totally tasty, while his brother, Mitch, was more like a hard pass, due to douchey personality more than looks…Mitch actually looks like some guys I grew up with) did more stage-whispering and screaming than anything else, and it was the Governor, both times, who had the quick reflexes and the combat skills to kill the walkers and save Sweet Pete and the gang.  Dudes, get it together…you are supposed to be camp leaders, for fuck’s sake!

Later, in the cabin, Martinez and the Gov are sitting by the fire while Hard Pass Mitch and Sweet Pete are gathering whatever supplies they can find in the cabin. Martinez fesses up that if it weren’t for the women and the girl with the Governor, he would have left him in that pit.

“You seem different now,” muses Martinez, assessing the Governor closely.  “Are you?”

The Governor takes a moment, looking into the fire, then nods slightly. “I am,” he says. “Good,” replies Martinez.

Hard Pass comes with some canned food and a six pack, and the dudes enjoy a post-attack warm beer share-session.  Hard Pass Mitch sizes up the Governor:  “One-Eye-Bri...I can never tell if he’s winkin’ or blinkin’…but you sure can regulate, can’t you Bri?”  

Hard Pass turns to Martinez: “Was he always like this, Martinez?”

During the share-sesh, the men speculate on what happened with the survivalist and his family at the cabin. The Governor tells them that it’s best not to dwell on it.  He, however, looks again at the picture of the man who was not able to protect his family, the man who let the wrong people get to his wife and daughter, and who could not live with the outcome.

While the Governor plays lip service with Martinez, Sweet Pete, and Hard Pass Mitch, inwardly it seems that he is, as he told Megan before, “thinking” about his next move.

Later, Martinez and the Gov are finishing dinner outside with Lilly, Megan, Tara, and Tara’s new girlfriend, Alicia.  The adults are sitting around the picnic table, drinking “skunked” beers, laughing and talking easily…all except the Governor, who is nursing his beer and not saying much.

The women are complimenting Martinez on the camp he has made and ask about the community that Martinez and “Brian” lived in before.  “Brian never says a word about it,” remarks Lilly.  “I say let the past stay in the past,” smiles the Governor, as he begins to clear the table.

The group begins to disperse, and Megan calls out to “Brian” that the roof of their RV is leaking again. “You should fix that, man,” advises Martinez, to which the Governor smiles his enigmatic smile and assures Martinez that he’ll do just that…he’ll fix things, all right…Governor-style!

Inside the RV, the Governor regards the dripping ceiling with no small amount of disgust at his sub-par accommodations and pulls out a roll of duct tape to fix the leaky ceiling…you can practically hear him thinking, This place is no Woodbury!

There is a knock on the door. It’s Martinez, who has a full-on buzz by now. “I almost forgot, I got a surprise for ya,” Martinez tells the Gov. He holds up a bottle of liquor with a smile.

The two men end up on top of an RV (I presume it’s Martinez’s), with the bottle, a golf-bag full of clubs and a bucket of balls. Martinez takes a slug from the bottle, hands it to the Governor, who does not partake. Martinez slices a shot, grimaces. “Hand me another one.”  From the Governor’s look, it seems pretty apparent that he is not enjoying his caddy role, nor much else about Camp Martinez.

As Martinez sets up another shot, he tells the Gov that Shumbert is dead…having never really recovered from Woodbury and getting careless, Shumbert ended up getting bitten by a walker and had to be put down by Martinez himself.

The Gov expresses his condolences, to which Martinez replies, “Some things you just can’t come back from…they become a part of who you are…you either live with them or you don’t.”

The Gov quietly tells Martinez that he, Martinez, seems to be living with them pretty well.  Martinez takes another swig from the bottle, laughs, and returns the compliment, marveling how the family the Governor is with “really brought you back.”

He shakes his head, sets up a ball, continues to tell the Governor that he “couldn’t do that again…couldn’t risk it…couldn’t sleep at night, knowing I was going to lose them…”

“I’m not going to lose them,” the Governor replies.  He is getting that look, but Martinez is too drunk and careless to notice. “Um, yeah, “ he replies.  He shoots another ball, oblivious to the thin ice he is treading upon.

“What, you don’t think you can keep this place safe?” asks the Governor.  

Danger, Martinez…answer carefully…but of course, Martinez doesn’t, instead says, “I’ll try, do what I can to keep this place safe from whatever comes…maybe you and me, we can share the crown a little.”

And that is the wrong answer, and the Governor’s reply is wordless, swift, and so brutal as he takes a club and bashes Martinez in the back of the head with it, kicks him, dazed and gurgling, off the roof, and drags Martinez to the pit full of walkers, who are hungrily reaching their arms up, snarling and hissing in anticipation.

This scene is so hard to watch.  My WD buddy and I were exchanging a flurry of Holy fuck! and OMG! texts during it.  Even the Governor looked a bit sick at what he was doing, saying over and over again, “I don’t want it!  I don’t want it!”

My buddy texted me, What doesn’t he want?

I think, after watching the scene a number of times in my writing process, that the Governor was saying to Martinez that he didn’t want to be doing this, feeding Martinez to the walkers…but in the Governor’s estimation, Martinez didn’t have what it took to keep the camp safe, so the Governor was doing what the Gov always does: whatever he thinks needs to be done to keep himself, his loved ones, and the collective safe from the threat all around them.

Martinez wouldn’t have given up his leadership role without a fight, and the Gov doesn’t share, so the Governor seized the moment as it presented itself to take Martinez out of the equation:


Poor Martinez! RIP buddy...

Poor Martinez! RIP buddy…

I may need therapy to get Martinez’s death screams out of my head, but for now, there’s chardonnay…

As for the Gov, Lilly and Megan find him shaken and crying in the RV after The Martinez Incident. The Gov tells them he had a bad dream, and true to form, he recovers himself in a speedy manner.

After all, there’s work to be done.  The camp assembles, and Hard Pass Mitch and Sweet Pete inform the group that Martinez must have gotten drunk and fallen into the walker pit…Sweet Pete declares himself the new leader of the camp, inciting some mild dissent and grumblings from those assembled, but after a rallying speech (and the promise of a vote in a few days’ time) by Sweet Pete, the crowd, and the Gov, roll with the new order…for a spell.

But, it seems that Sweet Pete doesn’t have the cojones to lead…while out on a hunt, the Gov, Hard Pass and Sweet Pete spy another camp, which seems well stocked with arms and supplies.

Hard Pass is thinking hostile takeover, and take the supplies, while Sweet Pete takes the pacifist angle and urges them to leave the camp be. However, after a few hours and a dismal haul of a couple of squirrels and a couple of cans of condensed milk later, the men discover the other camp they spied earlier has been ambushed by some mysterious other group.

Dead bodies litter the ground, save one old man, who Hard Pass Mitch quickly dispatches with a knife in the head, despite Sweet Pete’s protests.

The Governor returns to the camp with the intentions of getting the women and Megan out of there before it all goes south, but a few miles down the road, their way is blocked by a huge mud-pit sinkhole situation, full of stuck and snapping walkers.  His escape plan foiled, the Governor turns back to the camp and takes the situation into his own hands.

He knocks on the door of Sweet Pete’s RV, and when Pete’s back is turned, the Gov plunges a knife into Sweet Pete’s back…it’s pretty gruesome to watch the Gov’s face as he strangles Pete while shushing his cries…it’s like, “Hush, now, while I kill your pretty ass…”

The next shot is of his bloody hand, rapping on Hard Pass Mitch’s door. The time of pretense is gone, as the Governor basically dispenses with chitchat and pleasantries and gets right to the point:  I killed your pretty brother, I’m in charge now, and if you want to be my new Martinez, you got the job…the benefits are as follows: You get to live, and you don’t have to worry about what’s right or wrong, because I’m going to do all the thinking and deciding for you…cigarette?

Hard Pass Mitch is pretty shaken by all this…it’s a lot to take in, but after a moment, he accepts both a light from the Gov and his new job as head flunkie, no doubt swayed by the moving story the Governor told him about how he had a hero brother, too, who got his eyes blackened and rib broken by their shitty father after trying to cover the young Gov’s ass when he stole a couple of Lucky Strikes his dad’s stash.  Hmmm, the Governor had a shitty dad and has a hero brother complex…it actually explains a lot!

When Hard Pass protests that nobody will believe that Pete befell some mysterious harm on a hunt and never returned, the Gov feeds him some hard truth, “People will believe what they want to believe.”

The Governor sticks it to hero brothers everywhere with a final fuck-you move for poor Sweet Walker Pete…my WD buddy texted me that she did notice that the Governor didn’t do Pete the favor of a kill to the head…it seems he had other plans for Sweet Walker Pete:

The Gov's new tech: interactive walker lake...so much more lively than mere tanks o' heads! So mean, Governor!

The Gov’s new tech: interactive walker lakeso much more lively than mere tanks o’ heads! So mean, Governor!

When little Megan almost gets chomped by a walker while playing hide-and-seek in the billowing laundry sheets, the Governor has reached his limit with the RV camp…he wants fences and walls, and he knows just where to find it: the prison.

And so, we are taken right to the moment where the Governor is lurking in the bushes, watching the prison…we see Rick and Carl in the garden, and then a noise alerts the Governor to Michonne and Hershel, outside the fence, unloading a truckload of dead walkers into the woods.  Next week, mid-season finale of Season 4, where the Governor and his camp prepare to go Battle Royale on our gang at the prison.

Time to stock up on some more chardonnay, people!

Burning Questions:

Do you think the Governor is justified in any of his actions in this episode? Does the end justify the means?

Who do you think ambushed the other camp?

Next week’s trailer says, “All will fight, some will fall…”  Any bets on who is going we are going to lose in the mid-season finale?


Queens of the Stone Age, “You Can’t Quit Me, Baby”

The White Stripes, “Why Can’t You Be Nicer to Me?”

The Black Keys, “Just a Little Heat”

Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 6, “Live Bait”

“Live Bait”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

Well. once again, the mavericks of The Walking Dead have thrown us another curve ball, turning back time and dedicating this entire episode to the Governor’s story and whereabouts from the moment he massacred his makeshift Woodbury army and squealed wheels outta there in a pickup truck with his two henchmen in tow…Martinez and the other guy.

I really liked this episode..especially since I am in no hurry to witness The Daryl Conversation, when Rick has to fess up to Daryl that he sent Carol packing.  When it comes to that conversation, I’ve got all day, every day, to find something else to divert my attention away from that dreaded and inevitable scene….in fact, when it comes to The Daryl Conversation, just call me Nefertiti, Queen of Denial. For now, I choose to pretend it doesn’t exist…la la la, la la.. Daryl Conversation?  What Daryl Conversation? Carol who?

So, what has the Gov been up to since mowing down and hauling ass?  Brooding, for starters, and lots of it.  A key opening scene shows the Gov, staring into a campfire, with three tents set up behind him.. from the darkness, a walker emerges and lurches towards him, teeth bared.  Fire Walker (Talking Dead’s name for her…ha!)  stumbles over the campfire and falls at the Gov’s feet, snarling and hissing as she claws towards him, her skirt starting to catch fire.

Through all this, Gov does not move, makes no attempt to get away or kill the walker…he is in some “shoulda-woulda-coulda” stupor and just doesn’t seem to give a crap about anything anymore.  Martinez emerges from his tent, gun in hand, and easily dispatches the Fire Walker with a single shot to the head. He looks at the Governor, who is still sitting there, motionless and brooding…Martinez rolls his eyes, shakes his head, and goes back into his tent.

The next morning, the Gov emerges from his tent to find himself alone, abandoned by his henchmen…his reaction is pure David Morrissey genius as he looks around and takes it all in…the empty campsite, the tire tracks of the pickup truck, long gone, the burnt-out remains of the campfire and dead walker…hands on hips, he bends forward slightly, like someone who had the wind knocked out of him, then tips his head back, looking towards the heavens, like, “Fuuuuck…what now?”

What now, of course, involves a big rig on the side of the road, and of course the Gov is one resourceful motherfucker…time for Plan B to go into full effect:  Destroy Woodbury.

The following montage is really amazing, set to Ben Nichols’ “The Last Pale Light in the West,” showing the Governor blasting through the gates of Woodbury in the big rig before torching the entire town, resulting in some of the most epic images of the Gov yet…

The Gov's new Instagram self-portrait...

The Gov changed his profile picture.

The Gov as Snake Plissken...

The Gov as Snake Plissken(Chris Hardwick’s joke, not mine.)

The montage continues with panoramic landscape shots, sunset, then daylight, suggesting the passage of time…We see the Governor, disheveled and bearded, walking aimlessly down the side of a road. He stops to read graffiti messages scrawled on the front side of a barn, attempts at communicating to loved ones, telling the sad stories of the fallen…one name stands out in the messages (“Brian Heriotmeet us at home we love you Brian Heriot”). We watch the Governor’s face as he reads this, and hangs his head, as the import of these writings hits him.

This scene is brilliantly done, complete with a voice-over that is layered through the filmed images and music…we hear the Gov telling someone, “I’ve been on the road for a couple of months…” “By yourself?” a woman’s voice asks. “Yeah,” he replies. “Where did you live, before that?” the woman asks. “I was in a town,” the Gov says.  “Were the monsters there?” asks the woman. “No,” he answers. “It was safe….full of good people.” “What happened?” the woman’s voice asks. “He just…lost it,” answers the Gov. “Who?” asks the woman. “The man in charge,” he whispers. “Barely got out alive.”

As the music ends, we see the Governor stumble into the small nameless town, sidestepping a walker before collapsing in the street…as he looks up, he sees a little girl looking down at him from the window of an apartment building.  When he goes to investigate, he finds a family holed up in an apartment…Don, the older father, who is on an oxygen tank; his daughters, Lilly and Tara (who is standing at the apartment doorway, pointing a handgun at the Governor as he approaches) and Lilly’s daughter, Megan, who resembles the Governor’s late daughter, Penny.

Despite the initial awkwardness and distrust of their first encounter, the family and the Governor begin to warm up to each other. It starts slowly, with the Governor supplying a fake name (Brian Heriot) when asked and dumping a bowl of Spaghettios out the window after Lily comes across the hall with the food offering (after thanking her in a whisper and gently closing the door).  Later, on Talking Dead, when pressed by Chris Hardwick as to why the Governor would dump the Spaghettios out the window, David Morrissey explained that the Governor would not want to be indebted to anyone for anything, even a bowl of Spaghettios.

But, of course, all that changes.  The Governor tries to return the bowl by leaving it at the doorstep, but Tara is having none of it (“Slow down there, buddy, this isn’t the Holiday Inn!”). Before the Gov knows what’s happening, he is invited for coffee and directed to the couch,  and then he is asked to help move the old father to his bed…it is touching and funny to watch this fearsome character be bossed around by a super sassy Tara.

The Gov scoops up the old man easily in his arms and delivers him to his bed, and before he can slip away, the old man asks the Gov if he hears the noises of the walkers moving around upstairs. The old father tells the Gov that Tara has gone upstairs and blasted them countless times, to no avail. He finally told Tara to stop trying, not to waste her bullets. It is clear that they do not know to shoot the walkers through the head.

Then old Don asks the Governor him if he’s ever had kids. “No,” the Gov lies quietly. The old man tells him that the moment he became a father, he knew what it meant to be a man, a real man. This, of course, is the last thing the Governor wants to talk about, and he tries to slip away again, but not before old Don has a request…could the Gov go upstairs and get his neighbor’s backgammon set that’s stashed under the bed? It would mean a lot to his granddaughter, Megan, and may even put a smile on her face, a rare occurrence these days.

So, despite himself, the Governor finds himself in the old neighbor’s upstairs apartment, pulling the backgammon set out from under the bed and finding a box of bullets as well. As he puts them in his pocket, he hears a noise, and upon investigation, he finds, lying in the bathtub, the fugliest walker we’ve seen since the fat bloated well walker from Season 2:


Behold “Bath Salts Walker,” as named on Talking Dead’s In Memoriam segment…super gross, Nicotero-style!

After the Governor dispatches Bath Salts Walker, he comes back downstairs,  bringing Megan the backgammon set, as well as  a smile to her face.

Then, the Gov returns to the apartment across the hall and pulls out the picture of him with his wife and daughter.  He looks at the picture a moment, then folds the corner down, obscuring his own face, leaving only the smiling faces of his wife and daughter.

Lilly comes over with a gift of thanks, tries to return the Gov’s gun to him, but he refuses it, advises her that they need to shoot the walkers in the brain to kill them. He tries to walk away, again,  but Lily has another favor to ask…if he could try to get another tank or two of oxygen from a nearby old folks’ home for her father, who is in the final stages of lung cancer? When the Governor hesitates, she tells him that her father is the only one who can bring a smile to Megan’s face.

And, so, once again, the Gov goes, and almost gets himself killed in a harrowing scene at the old folks’ home, which is now full of walkers. The Gov barely escapes with his life, but manages to bring back two full tanks of oxygen.  As Lilly comes to tend to his wounds, she sees the picture of him and his family. Later, Megan approaches him, asks what happened to his eye. He says he will tell her, but she must keep it a secret. She holds out her hand to do a “pinky swear” with him. He complies, and tells her that his eye was hurt when he was trying to save someone he cared about. When Megan asks him if he was able to save that person, he tells her no. She tells him that she is sorry for that, and he gently replies that he is sorry as well.

David Morrissey plays the Governor so well in this episode, as the Gov keeps getting disarmed by this family, by their growing trust, caring and need for him. His manner with them, from the beginning, is quiet, and courteous, and gentle, even with Tara, as she sasses and bosses him around.  He tries to keep the family at arm’s length, but he cannot continue to do so, as they keep worming their way in, especially Megan.  Lilly tells the Gov that when Megan saw him from the window that first day, she thought at first he was her father, returning home at last from a convenience store run that he never came back from.

Megan, who barely talked or smiled before, is beginning to open up to the Governor, to talk and smile with him.  And in return, the Governor is opening up to Megan and her family, and we see a side of him that we have not seen before: the father, and husband, as opposed to the liar, torturer, and murderer that we have seen in the past. While we have seen the villian side of the Governor acting the part of the courteous host, the attentive boyfriend, and the heroic leader, this is the first time we have seen him motivated by love and act selflessly, as a husband and father does for a wife and a child.

It is all very confusing for us, the viewers and the fans…aren’t we supposed to really hate this guy? Can this gentle, caring, tender guy really be the Governor? The answer is, yes, he can.  He has the capacity to be both evil and good. He was a loving father and husband at one time, but was broken by tragedy and grief, losing his humanity along the way.  But, then he found this family, and the redemption he thought was lost to him was offered up again.

But to take the chance to love again is to also chance losing again…and if the Governor lets this family in and opens his heart, which he has clearly done, and loses them, can he come back from that?  Many of my friends think not, and I agree…if the Governor loses Lily, Tara, and especially Megan, I don’t think he can come back from that.

Meanwhile, some time has passed, maybe a week or more…the Governor’s hair is neatly trimmed, and the scraggly beard is gone. A close-up shot of a chess board, as the Gov is teaching Megan how to play chess, while Tara and Lilly are tending to their dying father. Megan holds up a pawn and asks about it.  The Governor tells her it’s a pawn, a soldier. Megan asks if the soldiers die. The Governor says sometimes they do. Megan asks if you lose if the soldiers die.  “Not necessarily,” answers the Gov. “You can lose a lot of soldiers and still win the game.” Megan then holds up the white king questioningly.

“That’s the king,” says the Gov. “That’s the guy you want to capture.”

Megan takes the white king and draws an eye patch on it in black marker, hands it to the Gov. “He looks like you,” she says. The Governor looks bemused as he holds the piece. “Yes, he does,” he agrees.  They begin to play. Later,  Lilly comes into the room, gives Megan and the Gov a sad and significant nod of the head. Don has died. As the Governor realizes that it has been some time since Don’s death, the alarm shows in his face.  He tries to get the girls to leave Don’s room, but they ask for a moment…and of course, Don’s eyes open as he reanimates as a walker, and he grabs for Tara.

The ensuing scene is the beginning of a rapid downward spiral for the Governor’s happy family respite.  It is also the beginning of some truly gnarly hand-to-hand combat style walker-slaughter, courtesy of the Governor.  He quickly grabs one of the oxygen tanks and bashes Don Walker’s head in with it, pounding it bloody into the pillow as the horrified women scream and try to stop him.  Megan is traumatized, and later, when Tara acknowledges that the Governor saved her life, and that Don would be grateful for what he did, he looks towards Lilly and Megan.  Lilly shakes her head no…Megan is not ready to forgive or accept him.  The Gov returns to the apartment across the hall, retrieves his things, and sets a flame to the picture of him and his family, pushing it out the window.

When he tries to leave, Lilly insists he take them with him.  They leave in Don’s delivery truck, sleeping in the back at night.  Lilly presses up against the Governor while the others sleep.  My best WD buddy texted me, He’s totally gonna fuck that lady! I texted back, The Gov’s got mad game, even as a madman! 

Of course, the truck breaks down, and as they trudge down the country road, Tara reminisces about a mushroom-addled camping trip gone sour when an old girlfriend broke it to her that she was more into guys…this causes her to stumble and cry out as she falls, and the Governor hears the telltale sound of a herd of walkers, alerted by Tara’s cry, who are coming towards the sound.  He tells them to drop their bags, that they need to run, and after a long moment’s hesitation, Megan runs for the Governor and jumps into his arms. He tells her, “I will never let you go.”

In their running from the walkers, the Gov and Megan fall into a deep pit that is three or four walkers deep.  The Governor pulls off some serious bare-handed walker kills, punching through the first walker’s throat and pretty much tearing its head off…he takes a femur and forces another walker’s mouth open so wide its head tears open (lovingly named Pop-a-Top Walker on TD). Super gnarly and impressive. After killing the walkers, the Gov looks up to find Martinez, gun in hand, looking down at him.


How do you feel about the Governor after this episode? Do you feel more sympathetic towards him as a character?

How do you think he and the girls will be received by Martinez and his new crew?

If the Governor loses Megan and the other women, do you think he has a chance to keep his humanity, or do you think he will be pushed beyond that point?


The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”

Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire”

Alice in Chains, “Man in the Box”

Ben Nichols,Last Pale Light in the West”

The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 5, “Internment”


(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

I have had many great conversations this week with fellow WDO (Walking Dead Obsessed)  buddies about Episode 4’s cliffhanger:  Rick dumping Carol and sending her off on her own…judging from these conversations, and judging from the online chatter and social media frenzy revolving around theDid Rick do the right thing? Is Carol’s killing of Karen and David worthy of banishment from the prison community?  issue at hand, it seems that Rick’s decision is as devisive to the fans of the show as it potentially is for the prison group. 

One of the most interesting conversations I had was with a friend who has a keen interest in researching history and genealogy…she brought up points that I had not previously thought of in regards to Carol and her decision.  She pointed out that in pre-antibiotic times (before World War II), in times of plague and outbreak, that it was a more common practice for a caregiver to quickly and humanely kill a severely ill person, to both ease the person’s suffering and to attempt to staunch the spread of the disease.

The disease at hand, which I named the Explodey Flu, actually seems to be based on the ebola virus, also known as ebola hemorrhagic fever. First discovered in 1976, the ebola virus spread from animal carriers (fruit bats, primates, and pigs) to humans, resulting in a fast-acting and highly fatal disease with an up to 90% fatality rate.  In its final stages, the virus can cause an infected person to hemorrhage flood from their eyes, nose and mouth. To this day, there is no known vaccine or cure for ebola hemorrhagic fever.

Here is a link to the World Health Organization’s fact sheet on ebola:


Super scary.

At this point in the Walking Deadit is now a year and a half into the walker apocalypse, and available stores of antibiotics are dwindling fast.  While antibiotics cannot kill a virus, they can kill the secondary infections that go along with the virus, so they are an essential component to managing the outbreak and mortality rate of disease, both viral and bacterial.

However, at this stage of the game, it will be a long time before the surviving humans will be able to manufacture antibiotics, if they ever will again…it seems that the living are having a hard enough time surviving on the most basic level. In zombie apocalypse, the world is essentially returning to pre-antibiotic times, when options are narrowed considerably and the whole spectrum of morality changes. In such times, actions like Carol’s, intended to speed the dying process of someone she thought to be terminal and a threat to the others in the community, may feel more and more like a mercy killing and less like murder. When luxuries like antibiotics dwindle and eventually run out, mankind’s decisions will, out of sheer necessity, be based more and more on primal survival than lofty ideals.

A main theme that lies at the core of Walking Dead, both in the comic and television series, is the decision that each and every character must make at some point in his/her survival: Is it necessary at some point to give up our humanity to survive in postapocalyptic times, and at what point is it necessary to do so? 

At some point in each character’s story, he/she must look inward and ask him/herself this question (consciously or unconsciously) in his/her quest to survive. As we saw with Hershel, each character must become able to kill, and rekill…they must learn to kill walkers, they must be able to rekill a recently deceased human to prevent them from becoming a walker, and, at times, they may need to kill another living human in their fight for survival. We have seen key characters grapple with this decision time and time again throughout the series (Shane with Otis, Rick with Shane, Carol with Karen and David, the Governor with basically everyone around  him…).

This issue is at the heart of Rick’s three questions:

How many walkers have you killed?

How many people have you killed?


Thankfully, with Episode 5, “Internment,” antibiotics, lofty ideals, and acts of bravery and heroism are still on the table. This episode was like a balm for my hurting soul.  I, and many of my WDO buddies with me, spent many hours this past week worrying about Rick and his decision to singlehandedly banish Carol from the group. We needed an episode with unparalleled heroics (btw, Hershel gets my vote for MVP this episode, with Rick, Maggie, Sasha and Carl coming in close behind), epic zombie battles, and even a warm & fuzzy father/son shoot-em-up moment with Rick and Carl, as they battle the walkers that have breached the prison fences:


Phone was acting weird, so this is the best picture I got…I do like how their reloading stance is identical…nothing like a good walker shoot-em-up to bond a father with his son…it was a great scene, loved when Carl, in his father’s hat, tosses a magazine to his dad when he runs out of ammo.

And then, like the evil cherry on top, the RETURN OF THE GOVERNOR.

Look, I know I was pretty hard on Carol last week in my post…I am worried about her. I wanted her to be Daryl’s hot older girlfriend, as a high-five to cougars everywhere.  I was not feeling well, it was kind of a tough week, and I was cranky and doubled over with abdominal pain while watching the episode and writing about it…Carol and her crazy was annoying the shit out of me…and she was really grossing Rick out.

And I can’t have that.

If you know me, you know that I think Rick Grimes is the total tits. I am, always and unconditionally, riding in Rick’s car. In The Walking Dead, our journey started with Rick’s journey, when he was gravely wounded in a shootout and awoke from a coma into a world overrun with flesh-eating zombies. I can’t just walk away from that, people…I feel bonded with that man, from that first day when he was shuffling through the hellish hospital all wide-eyed in his hospital gown, to now… Each time he makes a key decision, I respect the heart, the wisdom, and the morality with which he makes that decision.  So, even if I don’t 100% agree with it, I respect it. Take that, Rick-Haters.

That being said, I do think that maybe it would have been better for Rick to not take the full burden of the Carol decision upon himself. I do think it would have been better to bring her back, let the group decide what must be done, and let the group decide Carol’s fate.  I was so relieved that Maggie supported Rick’s decision, and I was even more relieved that Hershel seemed to accept it…even though Hershel did look shaken, and was kind of stumbling down the hall, muttering to himself while checking on the patients, after Rick told him.

I am not looking forward to Daryl’s finding out, and I was grateful that the WD writers spared us that scene in this episode…thanks, guys. We fans appreciate the consideration for our collective psyches. I really did love that Rick put off the Daryl Conversation to enjoy a moment eating peas with his son in the garden… not realizing, of course, who was seething and lurking in the woods beyond the prison fence, watching them…Cue the Bear McCreary creepy music, pulsing and humming like black fury and the desire for vengeance, and behold, looking super pissed and very frightening…the Gov!  He’s back, and I’m sick enough to admit that I’m glad to see him. Seeing the Gov again, at that moment, was like a refreshing crazy breeze that took away some of the tension I was feeling about the dreaded Daryl Conversation.

Ok, maybe it’s time to start talking how awesome this guy is:


Hershel! I love this man, especially in this episode…he is the embodiment of bravery, compassion, humility, humor…totally MVP.  If he isn’t intubating some poor sick kid’s lungs, he’s counseling the others in his soothing voice, giving them little jobs to do (Glenn to do rounds with him, Sasha to intubate, Lizzie to go start reading Tom Sawyer)…he’s being a great dad to Maggie while covering for Glenn…he even manages a sweet joke with Glenn and Sasha about having an impromptu council meeting regarding having “Spaghetti Tuesdays” on Wednesdays. When Sasha rolls her eyes at him, at his sweet, corny joke, Hershel deadpans, “First we’ll have to find some spaghetti.”

The scene with Hershel and Caleb is powerful. Caleb speaks with the frankness of both a doctor and a man who is dying. “Not everyone gets to live, “ Caleb tells Hershel. “End stage…is a point that no one comes back from, or they can’t. That’s where I am.” Caleb has made some more IV’s, tells Hershel that, “You need to focus on the ones that can make it. If you’re not ready to lose one, you’ll lose them all…and they don’t just die.”

It’s like what my friend was talking about, when supplies are limited and the choices become more stark and brutal, based more on necessity and less on emotion and morality.

Hershel tells Caleb he is not giving up on anybody. Caleb shows him the shotgun and shells he has stashed away, and warns Hershel to make sure everyone’s doors are shut. When Hershel presses Caleb to let Hershel look at him, Caleb relents.  “Ok, Hershel,” he says, “have a look.”


(Can’t really see the blood beginning to stream from Caleb’s eyes in that one…oh well, but definitely wanted to give some props of Doc Caleb before he dies of Explodey Flu and becomes a walker.)

Hershel is adamant about protecting the sick from seeing a deceased patient be rekilled.  When a man collapses and dies in the hallway, the sick patients gather at their doorways, frightened. Hershel gently and firmly tells them to get back in their cells. Sasha, so ill herself, manages to pull a gurney over to Hershel and help him load the man’s body onto it. (Um, have I mentioned how much Sasha rules in this episode?) Hershel makes sure she can make it to her cell, then wheels the body to a private area…he must cover the man’s face before he does his first rekill, thrusting his knife through the sheet into the man’s skull and brain.

The scene between Hershel and Rick, talking through the glass, is such a classic great WD scene.  It’s beautifully shot, with the class reflecting Hershel’s face when the camera pans on Rick’s. Hershel tells Rick that the man he has rekilled is the third death, that they have resorted to having to burn the bodies behind the blocks. “That’s what we have come to,” Hershel says.  He then tells Rick about something the rekilled man said just the day before, “A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.” That is why Hershel has been so adamant about protecting those who are sick from seeing the dead be rekilled. “I know they know, ” says Hershel. “But I didn’t want them to see it right now.”

“They see you, Hershel.” Rick tells him.  “They see you keep going, even after all the choices keep getting taken away.” Hershel tells Rick that he still has faith that there is some sort of divine purpose to the apocalypse, of all that has happened.  “You think it’s all a test?” asks Rick.

“Life is all a test, Rick,” Hershel replies.

The ensuing scene is some prime walker mayhem, and Hershel shines in it, as well as Rick, Carl, and Maggie.  When Hershel rushes to tend to Sasha, who has collapsed in her cell, he leaves a cell door open, and Teen Walker comes to life.  After Hershel revives a dehydrated Sasha, and they exchange mutual admiration for each other, blood spew hits the fan.  Glenn collapses, coughing and choking, while Henry, the intubated young man, has died and reanimated into a walker.  Lizzie calls for Hershel, but he is in the process of being attacked by Teen Walker.  Hot Dad (I think it’s Mr. Decker from Hung ) comes out of his son’s cell, gun drawn and ready to shoot Teen Walker, but his walker son lurches out of the cell behind him and chomps him in the arm.  Hot Dad’s aim gets all crazy and he shoots the nice blond lady who came to Hershel’s defense by hitting and kicking at Teen Walker. Damn!

While Hot Dad is being neck-chomped by his walker son, Lizzie is being some sort of “walker whisperer”, coaxing the freshly-turned Henry out of the cell. “C’mon Henry, keep following me,” and it’s all going pretty well, until Henry attacks her, and Hershel pulls off an amazing WWF-style move, flipping Henry Walker over the railing. Lizzie seems really shocked at Henry Walker’s savage turn.  Hershel almost gets killed about three or four times by different walkers, one of them being Caleb Walker, who had died in his locked cell and who clutches at Hershel’s arm through the bars. Hershel pulls off his second rekill with a knife through Caleb Walker’s eye, then grabs the shotgun and shells and shoots the other walkers dead.  Hershel had said things wouldn’t come to this, but Caleb was right…they did. And they will again.

Maggie is amazing in this scene, as she tirelessly fights to get into the cell block where her father is under walker attack, even trying to axe her way through the cell block door. She ignores her father’s warning to hold her fire and save the bag that is hanging from Henry Walkers’ mouth, and she shoots clean and true, saving her father from the walker’s attack, and then helping him intubate Glenn, saving his life.  Her father admonishes her gently, telling her he didn’t want her to risk her life coming in there, but she is her father’s daughter, and she has put his and others’ lives before her own.

I love that the crew at the prison handled the walker attack, and the breach of the fences, without the help of some of their strongest members, namely Daryl, Michonne, Tyrese, and even Bob. While the vet school crew kicked ass getting the meds and getting them back to the prison, the at-home crew got it done containing the walker attack from inside, and outside the prison.

I also love the shift between Rick and Carl…in the beginning of the episode,  Carl tells Rick that he can’t keep trying to protect him from “what always happens” and Rick telling him he feels that “it’s my job to try”.  Later in the episode, when Rick seeks out Carl and tells him he needs his help bolstering the fence, then ends up giving his son a quick lesson in loading and firing an assault rifle on a horde of walkers, it is yet another example of ideals being trumped by sheer necessity.  It’s a sign of the times, friends, because the Gov has come a’ stalkin’, and Daryl is surely looking for Rick to have The Conversation about what happened to his special lady friend…and if my friends are right, Tyrese is not going to be happy about the Carol situation, either.

Until next week, friends. Be well, enjoy the playlist, and go Team Rick!


Zero 7, “Somersault” (for Hershel)

Social Distortion, “Bye Bye Baby” (later, Carol)

2 Chainz (feat. Drake), “No Lie” (for Rick, and Jenn & Jen, and all of us on Team Rick)

Eminem, “Without Me” (for the Govwelcome back, buddywe’ve been expecting you!) ❤

Walking Dead, Season 4, Ep.4, “Indifference”


(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

Sorry this post is late…I have been under the weather but am on the mend!

I ended last week’s post with the question:

What advice would Hershel give to Marilyn Manson, after his wasted debacle on last week’s Talking Dead ?

Here’s my entry:

“Son, after watching your guest spot last week on Talking Dead, I could only assume that you were under the influence of various intoxicants…Judging from your incoherent ramblings, your inability to modify your actions in response to the negative verbal and non-verbal cues your host and fellow guests were giving you, and the general bloatedness and puffiness of your face, I would guess that you have been self-medicating with a combination of alcohol and pills for some time now.

Now, son, we all have a job to do in this life, and it appears that your job is to clean up your act.  First, I would advise that you send Chris Hardwick, Gale Ann Hurd and Jack Osbourne each a note of apology with a dozen black roses or whatever you see fit to extend as an act of contrition…Next, I would advise you to seek out an excellent rehabilitation facility that would assist you in getting sober and book yourself an extended stay in that facility and get clean of all drugs and alcohol.

Finally, I would advise you to go on sabbatical and immerse yourself in some sort of combination of exercise and meditation, like an extended yoga retreat…you will need something that rebuilds your body, mind, and spirit while diverting your attention away from your former chemical activities.  

After you get lean and clean, focus your considerable energy, talent, and intellect on your art and music, and put out a groundbreaking comeback album. It’s not going to be easy, but just remember: you are Marilyn Manson, for God’s sakes! You were doing the casual, everyday zombie look before anyone else jumped on that bandwagon…Godspeed, son, and the best of luck to you.”

How did I do?

(For a detailed look at some of MM’s weird and irrelevant ramblings on last week’s TD, check out):


So, when we left off last week, Hershel was ministering to the sick in Cell Block Die and probably infecting himself in the process; Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyrese were making their way through 7500+ walkers to get to the vet school in a desperate search for life-saving antibiotics; Glenn and Sasha were among those infected with the explodey flu, and Carol just fessed up to Rick that she indeed was the perp who killed Karen and David, dragged their bodies outside, and burned them.

Oh, and there was a mysterious transmission on the car radio telling survivors about some “sanctuary” somewhere…but we know that the promise of “sanctuary” in post-zombie apocalyptic times seems to come with a steep price. All in all, many game-changing plot lines are in the works in Season 4.


Opening scene of Rick bandaging up his injured hand and making preparations to go on a food and medicine run with Carol, while Carol goes to the visiting area to check in with Lizzy and say her goodbyes.  There is a great shot of Carol looking down at the knife in her hand, the one that she killed Karen and David with, as Lizzy approaches the glass partition. The exchange between Carol and Lizzy is profound and rich in foreboding.

“Nobody’s died yet,” Lizzy says. “Yet?” asks Carol. “I think a lot of people are going to die,” Lizzy replies. “It’s what always happens…It makes me sad, but at least they get to come back.”  As walkers, that is.  Carol tells Lizzy that if people come back as walkers, they are not the same as they were.  “Yeah,” Lizzy agrees, “but they’re something, they’re someone.”  Lizzy continues, “I know now, if I don’t die, I’ll get big, but I’ll be different…that’s how it is….we all change…we all don’t get to stay the same as when we started.”

Carol reviews with Lizzy what to do if she runs into danger…run as fast as she can, run until she is safe, and don’t be afraid to kill. “If it’s your life, or your sister’s life, don’t be afraid to kill..understand? You, your sister, and me, we are going to survive…I know it.” Carol then asks Lizzy where her knife is, and during the knife check, Lizzy slips and calls Carol “Mom.”

Carol puts the kibosh on that right away.“Don’t call me that.”  Lizzy nods to show she understands.  She is learning fast…keep a knife on you, don’t get too chummy with anyone, and don’t be afraid to kill if needed…got it, Don’t-Call-Me-Mom-NewMom!

During Carol and Lizzy’s exchange, there is a montage of Rick going through Karen and David’s cell areas, imagining Carol killing them with her knife and dragging out their bodies. Out at the car, he checks through the wrapped knife collection and sees one missing: Carol’s knife.  Rick’s face is grim…we have seen this look before…he is mulling everything over in his mind, and deciding on a future course of action…and looking majorly hot in the process.

Back inside the visiting area, Lizzy says, “I am not afraid to kill…I am just afraid.” “You can’t be,” says Carol.  Lizzy tears up at this. “How?” she asks Carol.  Carol’s answer is simple and immediate,”You fight it…you don’t give up, and then one day, you change…we all change.” 

In the woods, Tyrese is washing the blood out of his shirt in a stream…Bob calls to him to get a move on, but Tyrese seems resistant to rejoin the others in their quest to find nearby town and a new vehicle. He seems to be giving up…”My sister, the others, they are probably dead by now.” (Yes, I know now that Sasha and Tyrese were never together…she’s his sassy little sister by the same mister.)

There is some major tension in the Rick and Carol car…Carol is trying to justify her actions...Karen and David were sick, going to choke on their own blood, she was making it quicker and easier for them, blah blah blah.  Rick’s face is stony; he doesn’t reply. Carol keeps on, “I was trying to save lives…somebody had to.” Rick sounds hoarse as he replies, “Maybe.”

It took me a few watches to catch the exchange between Daryl and Michonne on the trail, when Daryl picks up the piece of jasper.  Michonne is super cute with her smile when she tells Daryl the jasper brings out his eyes…we are seeing her softer side more and more.

Daryl tells Michonne that he is bringing the rock home for Mrs. Richards in Cell Block A, that she had asked him to keep a look out for something to mark her husband’s grave.

Michonne seems surprised that Daryl knows all of the residents at the prison. “You stick around long enough, “ Daryl replies, “you’d be surprised what you can pick up.” Oooo, a subtle dig at Michonne for going off on her solo reconnaissance missions instead of connecting with her prison community.

Rick and Carol pull up to a neighborhood.  Rick sees a station wagon in good shape, keys still inside, loaded with goods.  He checks it out…we can practically see the wheels turning inside his head.  Carol seems uneasy, like she knows something is up…

She reviews the mission with Rick…in and out, get food and medicine to buy time and get needed goods until Daryl and the rest return.

Great scene at the abandoned, overgrown gas station…the numbers displaying the price of gas on the marquee are upside down, spelling, “hell.”  Daryl spies a car beneath the underbrush of a felled tree, fails to hotwire it, and tells the rest to clear a path in the overgrowth so they can get into the station for another, usable battery. Tyrese is furiously hacking at the vines, despite Daryl’s telling him to “go easy.”

Suddenly,  a walker’s arm grabs at Daryl…Michonne hacks the walker’s arm off, then Daryl knifes the walker in the head (making the “Kill of the Week” on Talking Dead). Michonne pulls off sweet decapitation of Bob’s walker with an upswing of the sword, sending the walker’s head rolling.

Tyrese, however, will not let go of his brush walker, and it ends up on top of him.  Bob shoots it through the head. Michonne turns to Tyrese, demands, “Why the hell didn’t you let go?”

Inside one of the homes, Rick looking through a medicine cabinet…a walker in pajamas appears at the top of the stairs and topples down. (Note to self: walkers cannot seem to negotiate walking down a stairway…good to know.)

Rick calls out a warning to Carol, pulls her out of the way…Carol recovers from her “whuuh?” moment, pulls out her trusty knife and thrusts it in the walker’s skull. (Rick seems creeped out as he notes her technique…it is how he imagined her doing it when she dispatched Karen in her cell.)

A scuffle and a creak of a door upstairs startles Rick and Carol. Rick draws his gun, aims at the stairway, and two hippie kids appear at the top of the stairs, holding out fruit as a peace offering, “Apricot? Peaches?”

Sam and Anna. At first, I didn’t know if I could trust them. This show does that to us by now, doesn’t it? We don’t trust anyone from outside the prison group.

But, as the episode progresses, we see that we, like the characters, are being faced with the reality…the fences aren’t going to hold forever, and the illness inside the prison may drive the group out and into the world beyond the fences. The outside world keeps making its way in.

But, Sam and Anna are adorable.  And funny. Their story totally checks out.

They were looking for a place to “crash” after getting separated from their group. They first found a greenhouse full of fruiting trees and were there a day before the “skin-eaters” found them. (Sam actually then calls them “killjoys”… two of my new favorite names for walkers.)

Sam and Anna ended up at the house before the “deadie in the pj’s” (ha!) surprised them, forcing them to lock themselves in the bathroom until being found by Rick and Carol.  Both of them are injured, Sam’s shoulder and Anna’s leg, which was broken when she got trampled by a panicked crowd running from a fire. It has healed funny, with Anna’s foot turned inward.

Carol assesses Sam’s shoulder, tells him, “It’s dislocated.”

Carol has Sam lie on the table and puts his shoulder back into socket.  It’s actually pretty badass, the way she sets it. Even Rick looks pretty impressed.

When the kids ask Rick and Carol what their setup is like, Rick evades the question, asks in return the first of his three questions, “How many have you killed?” Poor Rick, always having to be the heavy…the man just wanted to be a farmer, people!

I got this pic of Sam and Anna with my phone…sorry so flashy, but it makes it a little dreamy, just like them:


Cute + cute = adorable! 

Back at the gas station, Michonne and Tyrese are chopping away the vines entangling the car they found. While they hack away at the vines, Michonne gives Tyrese the biz: “Anger leads to stupid, stupid gets you killed.”

Tyrese asks her if she is still angry at the Governor…she says she isn’t, but can’t seem to give a reason otherwise as to why she has been out looking for him.

Meanwhile, Bob and Daryl discover that the family inside the mom & pop gas station committed suicide, “holding hands, kumbaya-style.”

As we have seen in previous episodes, Daryl has no tolerance for those who opted for suicide as a way out of the zombie apocalypse, dismissing the family as “douchebags.” Bob wonders at this, and Daryl replies, “They could have gotten out.”

Bob replies, “Everybody makes it, until they don’t.”  He finds some pictures of the family in better times, arm in arm, drinking beers, laughing and smiling. tacked on the bulletin board. Upon leaving, Bob does Pop Walker a solid and drives a screwdriver (holding the Men’s room key) through his brain for a mercy rekill.

Back at the pajama walker’s house, Sam and Anna are wanting to know if they have passed Rick’s test and if they can come back to the prison with him and Carol. Rick and Carol tell them that the prison where they are staying is overrun with illness…people have died, including kids.

Anna asks Carol if any of the kids who have died were hers. Carol quickly says, “Nothank God, making no mention of having lost her daughter, Sophia, in the past. Rick shoots Carol a look as she continues, “One of my girls, she’s got it…but she’s strong..she’s gonna make it.”

Carol is becoming more and more adept at rewriting the past and penning a whole new life story for herself.

When Sam and Anna offer their help in any way, Rick tells them to sit tight in the house while he and Carol finish their sweep of the neighborhood, but Carol is quick to suggest that the kids help comb the neighborhood for supplies.  Rick is hesitant, as both Sam and Anna are injured, but the kids are eager to contribute.

Sam assures him if things look clear, they’ll go in, but if not, they will hang back. Rick reluctantly assents, handing Sam and Anna each a handgun and telling them, “Fire a shot, and we’ll come running.” The group agrees to meet back at the house in two hours.

Rick takes his watch off and hands it to Sam. “You’ll need this,” he tells him. Such a sweet hero.

Crazy Carol has already walked away at this point…that’s cold, Crazy Carol, real cold.

While Daryl works on the car, he asks Bob about the group he had been with before Daryl picked him up.  The guys have found some cigarettes, and they are having a smoke and a chat. In response to Daryl’s question, Bob exhales, asks dryly, “Which one?”

Bob then tells Daryl he had almost kept walking when Daryl found him on the side of the road. He didn’t want to watch another group die. Bob had been with two other groups before, always being “witness” to seeing them die, always being “the last man standing.”

Bob fesses up to Daryl that he had gone on the store run to get a “bottle of anything.” He tells Daryl he had reached for, then put back, a bottle at the store when he pulled down the entire shelf, attracting the attention of the walkers and getting Zack killed in the process.

After Bob unburdens himself and fesses up to Daryl about his cursed past, Daryl regards him for a moment before saying, ‘grette still in mouth, “Bullshit.”

Daryl then steps back from the battery he has just installed, and sends Bob to put the green and red wires together in the car, to try to start it. Bob fires up the engine, and Daryl whistles for the others to come, turns to Bob and tells him he’s not alone any more.

Daryl looks superfine in this scene, like the coolest dude in the world, smoking, working on the car, being way cool to poor, cursed Bob.


The first exchange between Carol and Rick, in another house, is an intense back and forth… Carol finally walks up to Rick and asks him why he hasn’t said anything about her killing two people.

“What do you want me to say?” he asks. Carol makes some shitty farmer digs at Rick, grudgingly gives him credit for being a “better” leader than she gave him credit for.

“At least I didn’t kill two of our own, “ Rick replies. “Just one,” counters Carol.  (Oh, no she DIDN’T!)

The group reaches the vet school, and sneaky Bob sees the top of a bottle peeking out from under some books. Oh, crap…that’s never good!  Michonne almost busts him, and Bob hurries to catch up with her.

Carol and Rick in a back yard, harvesting tomatoes, Rick asks Carol how she learned to put a shoulder back in. “The internet,” answers Carol. “It was easier than telling an ER nurse I fell down the stairs a third time.”

Rick’s face registers the sadness of this, says simply, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” says Carol. “Just fixed what needed fixing.”  That has been the reality of Carol’s life, even before the days of walker apocalypse, from her days of being worked over by Ed.  It says a lot about her motivation, why she does the things she does.

While harvesting, Rick and Carol share stories, Carol telling about her stupid life with Ed, Rick telling about Lori’s terrible Sunday pancakes…it is a really profound scene, and a really sad one.

We see all through this episode the pros and cons of Carol, and there are many pros to her.  She is one of the original crew, and she has proven herself to be a very useful, key player to the group, time and time again.  Carol, to me, is a very matriarchal figure, the eldest female who has actually been a mother. She teaches the children, she takes in the orphan girls. There is a lot I love about Carol, but she is on a one-way ticket to Crazytown, and she is exhibiting more and more signs that she is losing her humanity along the way.

Still crouched at the tomatoes, Rick turns to Carol and asks, “Why don’t you say her name? referring, of course, to Sophia, Carol’s real daughter, who got lost in the woods and eventually became a walker.

Carol sits back and regards Rick, with a look like, why don’t you get it?

“She’s dead, Rick. Sophia. Ed.” Carol pauses, then says, “It’s somebody else’s slideshow.”

Then, Rick sees the basket of fruit on the ground,  and then a flattened trail of blood on the grass, leading to a gate, which is propped a crack open by poor Anna’s disembodied gimpy foot.  Across the street, two walkers are feasting on Anna’s torn apart body.

A great shot of Rick, and Carol, as they watch and process this. Rick’s face shows sorrow, and I think, anger.  Those kids were hurt, and naive, without the basic skills to defend themselves.  They should never have left that house, and Anna’s tragic outcome is proof of that, and Rick knows it.

And, it was Carol’s idea to send them out there, hurt and unable to defend themselves or each other.

And Carol knows it too, but her face is different.  Her face, as she watches the gory scene, is like, “I knew it.”  And in that moment, Carol dismisses Anna altogether.  “We should get back,” she says, turning to go. “Sam will probably be back by now.”

And Rick’s face when she says that…I think that in that instant, he made up his mind about Carol.

As I rewatched this episode, I began to see more of Rick’s process of observation, gathering information, going with the evidence shown, and going with his gut instincts.

Rick sees everything, and he feels everything, and he’s been a cop long enough to take the time it needs to figure it out…and when he does, he knows it, right then, right there.

And in that moment, at the gate, when Carol said that cold and shitty thing, that was the moment, my friends, that Rick Grimes decided what he needed to do about Crazy Carol.

Team Rick! Team Rick! Team Rick!  Oh…sorry…got carried away there…but my best WD buddy and I def agreed that we were Team Rick all the way.

Back at the vet school, the gang has found the stash of meds, Bob instructs them to find anything that ends with “cillin” and talks about crushing the meds in iv’s to get the medicine into the sick people’s bloodstream sooner.

I was liking this side of Bob…then the gang runs into the Vet School Walkers, a portion of which seem to be exhibiting the signs of having died from the Explodey Flu.

Bob warns the gang away from trying to fight through those walkers, as getting their blood on them may infect them with the flu.  Astute, quick thinking, Bob…so the gang busts through the chainlocked double doors and takes another walker group head-on, so badass.

Back to Carol and Rick, waiting for Sam. Carol is playing the “wrap it up” music and ready to jet. She says, “He’s not here, and it’s time to go.” She looks down at Rick’s bare wrist. “It was a nice watch.”

Oh, man, the scene where Bob almost loses his bag over the ledge and endangers them all, clinging to it, not letting go of the bag even with a horde of walkers almost pulling him and his comrades down as they try desperately to pull him, and the bag, back up to safety…

They succeed, barely, and when the bag lands, the telltale clank from inside gives away Bob’s secret…he almost risked all their lives for a bottle of whiskey, not a bag full of meds. Daryl is pissed!  “Got no meds in your bag, just this? You should have kept walking that day.”


Ok, now I feel bad for Bob…I know he was just trying to sneak a secret buzz, but to almost take down the group for it is cray.  He is now on Daryl’s shit list. Daryl looks smokin’ hot bowing up on Bob like that…even Chris Hardwick got all flustered talking about that scene. I love Chris Hardwick’s man crushes…he crushes on the same dudes I do!

It is now time for Rick to dump Carol.  They are loading up the car, and Carol is ready to go in the shotgun seat.  But the door is locked.  Rick speaks up, “They might have lived. Karen and David, they might have lived…and now they’re dead. That wasn’t your decision to make.”

Rick continues to tell Carol that when Tyrese finds out what she did, he will kill her. “He damn near killed me over nothing.” Rick continues telling Carol that the others, when they find out, won’t want her there, and if it came down to just him, Carol, and his children, he wouldn’t want her there.

Crazy Carol is getting DUMPED, people, voted off the island in Walker Survivor.

Carol knows it…”Rick, it’s me…nobody has to know.”

Carol protests that she was stepping up and doing what needed to be done…she tries to work the Lizzy and Mika angle, but Rick shuts her down on that one, asking her if she really would take them away from the prison, with Lizzy being sick and Mika being only 10 years old.

Then, Rick gives Carol a consolation speech (“You are not the same woman who was too afraid to take care of herself…you can take care of yourself.”) and a car.

Carol gives Rick a watch her shitty late husband gave her, and drives away.  I do wish her well, and I do have a feeling that we will be seeing Crazy Carol again in the future.

Michonne says to Daryl that she doesn’t need to go out looking for the Governor any more.

“Good,” says Daryl. He is pissed, bangs the car ceiling to signal that it’s time to go.


Do you think Rick was right in banishing Carol from returning to the prison?

How do you think the others will react to Rick’s decision?

Who do you think is feeding rats to the walkers?

Where is Crazy Carol going to end up?


Modern Lovers, “She Cracked” (for Carol)

Kings of Leon, “Closer”

Rise Against, “Prayer of the Refugee”

Sharon Van Etten, “Serpents”