With the stability of the entire group and Rick Grimes himself falling under scrutiny, what else could possibly go wrong in the next chapter of the The Walking Dead? Will Michonne go crazy and kill everyone? Will Carol and Tyrese reconcile their differences? How on earth does Lori have enough food to sustain her pregnancy? Maybe we’ll get some answers in this chapter.
The following day begins with yet more prison searching. Upon reading this I began to wonder how anyone could possibly make the claim that they cleared out the prison exponentially faster in the comics than in the TV show. In general yes the show moves slower, in this particular instance I feel that trend is reversed. Glenn and Maggie find some bullet-proof riot gear, that will no doubt come in handy later In addition to the arsenal that Dexter and Andrew had found previously when they attempted to take back the prison. Carol and Lori are thrilled about the library, and the group plans to get some gasoline for the generator from the cars in the parking lot. This will of course require distracting the zombies. Carl wants to help, but Lori isn’t thrilled with the idea and he’s forced to stay behind.
This is the point of the story that causes the foreseeable future to spiral out of control for every single character. While attempting to distract zombies and get gas out of the cars, Glenn and Rick see…a helicopter…in the sky…flying. Glenn, Rick, and Michonne set out to see if anyone in the helicopter is still alive. They take Michonne because she’s survived the longest on her own out of any of them. If anyone can survive in this world, it’s Michonne. While the three of them are out looking for the helicopter, some interesting developments happen at the prison.
Following Allen’s death, the care and well-being of his two boys fell to Dale and Andrea. They try to explain to them that they aren’t mom and dad, but the boys can call them mom and dad if they want to. It’s very awkward and kind of cute. In addition to this, Carol has a heart to heart with Lori…in which she tells her that she wants to marry her and Rick. Yes that makes about as much sense as it sounds like it does. Lori freaks out, telling her there is no way that kind of a life would compute to their children. Carol leaves angry and upset. As the night wears on everyone worries about Rick, Glenn, and Michonne.
Our bushwacking trio finds the helicopter and discovers no one inside it. It seems as though who ever was in the copter was taken away. So they travel further into the woods and find a sign that reads, “Woodbury 1”. Rick decides they should try to get to Woodbury, and see if they can find the missing fly-boys (or girls…). When they arrive at Woodbury they’re greeted by gunfire, and town seemingly armed to the teeth. They soon meet a man who is known as the Governor, who escorts the three of them to some kind of fight happening in the town.
They’re taken to a stadium, with zombies tied to posts around the perimeter. The Governor explains how things work in Woodbury. The population of the town cannot increase, and when strangers are found they are either fed to the zombies, or put into the fights. During the fights, two people fight in a circle of zombies. People die on occasion, but it isn’t always the end goal. The Governor thinks he can get some valuable information from Rick, Glenn, or Michonne so he intends on questioning them about their camp. Though Rick makes it clear that they will not tell him anything, the Governor insists that he will get his way. In order to make this perfectly clear, he cuts of Rick’s right hand. In response, Michonne jumps the Governor, tackles him to the floor and bites off his ear. Rick is taken to a doctor to have his hand cared for, Glenn is locked in what looks like a storage unit, with Michonne nearby in her own.
The Governor begins his interrogations of the group. He starts with Michonne. He beats, tortures, and rapes her leaving her face horribly mangled. Michonne is in distress naturally, but all of this only seems to strengthen her resolve to one day seek revenge on the Governor. We begin to learn a bit more about Woodbury and the Governor himself. The Doctor caring for Rick’s severed limb is conducting studies on zombies, attempting to pacify them by simply supplying them with enough food. The Governor himself lives with a zombie, his young daughter. Every day he brings home pieces of human flesh for her to eat, and must control her cannibalistic urges toward him. He also collects trophies, though not typical shiny trophies. He collects the heads of the people he murders, the rest of their bodies are presumably fed to the zombies. He adds two more heads to his collection, a man and a woman that were flying in the helicopter.
The torment continues as Glenn is threatened, and made to listen to the unrelenting rape of Michonne. While the Governor tells Rick that Glenn broke down and told him about the prison. Immediately following this we see a man in the prison riot gear running back toward the prison from the forest.
Back at the prison, Carol continues to make advances on Lori, and everyone is concerned that Rick, Glenn, and Michonne are still not back after two entire days have passed. They’re making good progress toward getting the generator up and running however. While standing guard on one of the prison towers, Andrea spots the man who was just seen in the riot gear and yells for the gates to be opened. Dale takes the RV and drives it through the gates, which would otherwise take far too long to open. The man in the riot gear was Tyrese, he went looking for Michonne, Rick, and Glenn but couldn’t find anything. They get the gates shut again safely before too many zombies can get inside the prison.
At the close of the chapter, we see the Governor explaining his plans to simply wait and allow his prisoners to tell him about the prison.
It’s difficult to comment on Rick, Glenn, and Michonne’s responses to Woodbury aside from utter disgust. Glenn most of his time crying or silent, Rick was very aggressive then terrified or unconscious, and Michonne was completely silent and resolved to accept her fate. All of these responses certainly fit into the confines of each character.
The phenomenon of Woodbury itself is a fascinating development. Not only are there still larger bases in cities (the helicopter came from a base in Atlanta), but smaller towns like Woodbury are still thriving. The rules governing Woodbury are a perfect example of how the world has changed as a result of the zombie apocalypse. Not only is a single man essentially given ultimate rule of the town without question, things like zombie stadium fights are accepted and even enjoyed. Men, women, and children all flock to the stadiums to witness these games and no one says a peep about it being wrong or inhuman, because frankly the entire world is inhuman.
It’s pretty clear that the Governor is a raging lunatic who has fully surrendered any moral compass he may have had to the ways of this new world. Heck, if it weren’t for the fact that he doesn’t know where the prison is I’d say he was an escapee. The fact that he keeps his undead daughter around, just because he doesn’t have the heart to kill her just encourages how archaic his ideals are. His wall of human heads is also disgusting, and the fact that he collects peoples’ heads this way just makes it plain that he is in charge of this tiny world. When a man is killed the head comes to him, end of story.
The goings on at the prison I find well…dull. Everyone misses Rick, Glenn, and Michonne…ok I get it. Oh and Carol’s a creeper. It’s becoming kind of obvious that Lori is probably going to go into labor soon and is afraid Rick won’t be there to help her. The idea of her giving birth still terrifies me, but since Herschel’s around hopefully she’ll be fine. Tyrese did go out to try to find them…but couldn’t…and came home empty handed leading to Dale damaging some of the fencing to let him in. The whole thing was horrendously unproductive.
In the next few episodes of the TV show, we are sure to see some of this action take place, in whatever form suites the structure of the show. There are so many differences in just the characters present in the comic compared to the show alone, that it’s hard to know exactly what’s going to happen…but it’s pretty easy to guess most of the time. From here on out, things start to get pretty intense so stay tuned!
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