Written by: John Edward Betancourt
It was another wild week on The Walking Dead and as I mentioned in my earlier recap, there were a lot of layers to this week's episode. In fact, we have all been witness to a touch of manipulation from the producers and writers of this show, and I'm okay with it. Kudos to them for dragging us along and taking us where we didn't expect to go. What exactly am I referring to? Simple, the producers have designed two different worlds on this show, one set in the old and one ready to embrace the new, and they are now on a collision course.
Specifically, let's take a look at the buzz surrounding Rick and the prison. We heard the discussion on Talking Dead and we all questioned it ourselves, the possibility that Rick was leading these people to doom and that he had lost his moral center. Gone was any regard for human life outside of the protection of his family, and hope also seemed to be removed from the equation. It was move on, survive and hope to hell no one is torn apart by walkers. How wrong were we? Rick never lost any part of himself, the loss of Lori was evident to this. In fact what Rick has done up to this point in the show is nothing short of amazing. He has provided this rag tag band with nothing but hope, and he has held them together when they could all have easily gone their own ways. The prison is merely a symbol of community, of a new life. Rick's savage nature was exactly what Shane said he had to do to survive, let go of the old way of doing things and embrace the world as it is. Has it left him damaged? Absolutely, but seeing everyone rally around rescuing Maggie and Glenn, and seeing the joy in their eyes that Carol made it speaks to the fact that they are all family now, and in the new world they will have to work a little harder to keep the endangered species that is humanity alive.
But across the way lies Woodbury, and the show has done a fine job of making us weary of the town, but hopeful that maybe they are like Rick's group, just doing what they have to do. But this week, everyone in Woodbury showed their true colors and demonstrated that this town, is trapped in a world long gone. The town's "leadership" are the darkest parts of our psyche, in charge and out of control. Last night's disturbing scene between the Governor and Maggie shows that ol' Philip knows how to exploit fear in the people around him, and relishes in being able to remove the word "no" from the equation of any conversation. Power is nothing more than his vendetta against the world that ignored his "greatness" and he will stop at nothing to control as much of it as possible. It's tragic in so many ways, only because a chance to start over is right in front of him. There's also the nightmare that is Merle. We knew he was a scumbag two seasons ago, but until this episode, I don't think we ever understood how big of a scumbag he really is. This is his dream world, no rules, no accountability and able to live the good life. But perhaps the best example of how Woodbury is such the opposite of the West Georgia Correctional Facility was Milton's creepy experiment. His attempt to see what humanity remains in a walker and the fact that the Governor allows him to indulge in such odd experiments, only scratches the surface in showing just how hard it is for these people to let go of yesterday. The need for power, entertainment, iced drinks and in the case of the Governor, keeping your re-animated daughter around is all icing on the cake.
It's an incredible job by the folks behind the scenes, and I applaud them for it. Such depth like this is rare in television, and expect to see more of this as the weeks progress. Especially now that after this upcoming week, Rick and Philip will know of one another, and the violence that erupts from their battle for what they consider to be "their way" of life will be nothing short of terrifying and spectacular.