The title of this episode brought to mind the Bob Dylan song “Blind Willie McTell”…
Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
I don’t know if the writers had this song in mind when they named the episode but the lyrics ring true a bit here… this land is condemned… many martyrs fell… no one can sing the blue like Blind Willie McTell.. no one can sing those manipulative blues quite like The Governor.
This installment of The Walking Dead’s primary purpose was to set up the war between Team Prison and Woodbury in the final 3 episodes of Season 3 (can you believe its almost over!). While the meat of this episode was slow and anxious, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time just waiting for something to happen.
Rick meets up with good ole Phillip, The Governor, in some random abandoned warehouse. Rick is there to possibly discuss the two groups leaving one another to go about their own business, he even comes with a trusty map that has drawn out where each party is allowed to go or not go. The Governor laughs and says “I’m here for your surrender” to which Rick flips on Andrea and they both throw her out of the negotiation room. What goes on from there is a stare down of smouldery proportions. Who’s got the better smolder? I vote Rick Grimes, but I’m biased. The Governor isn’t used to dealing with people like Rick, for the most part his minions just listen and obey whatever he says unlike Rick who is never going to be subordinate; for example, Rick says things to him like “you’re the town drunk who knocked over my fence and ripped up my yard…nothing more”. The Governor’s first attempt at taking Rick down is the scare tactic, “I’m here for your surrender”; when that doesn’t work, his next move is to attack Rick emotionally. He reveals that Andrea shared with him the possibility that Judith is Shane’s daughter (ANDREA WTF!!!!!!!!) while telling Rick that the Maggie almost rape was Merle’s fault. When that fails to work, he gives Rick some sob story about his wife dying in a car accident (hey buddy, it’s the zombie apocalypse, everyone’s lost loved ones… you’re not getting any points here). Finally, when all else fails, he removes his eye patch to show Rick the damage Michonne did to him. He makes a final offer, bring him Michonne and he’ll leave Rick and his group alone. They decide to meet back in 2 days.
Outside the random warehouse, Hershel and Daryl and there repping Team Prison while Milton and Martinez are repping Team Woodbury… Andrea is crying in a corner somewhere. Martinez and Daryl throw manhoods around for a while. Daryl calls Milton the butler, Milton calls him a henchman… Martinez proceeds to smack talk at Daryl and lord I hoped our favorite Dixon would haul off and bitch slap him with the back end of that crossbow, however they are interrupted by a group of walkers. While Martinez and Daryl are deciding who has the bigger you know what, Andrea shoves them both aside and starts stabbing away. Always send a woman to do a man’s job! After Andrea starts, Martinez and Daryl trade turns bat beating and arrow shooting walkers…then they enjoy a nice cigarette together. Male Bonding: Zombie Apocalypse Style.
While the hardcore zombie killing is going on, Hershel and Milton seem to be getting along swimmingly. Milton is intrigued by the fact that Hershel’s amputation saved him from turning and he wants to see the stump. “I’m not showing you my leg… at least buy me a drink first!” haha! Oh Hershel, making jokes. Andrea seeks Hershel’s counsel as well in regards to where she goes from here. He reminds her that she is family and not only welcome with them, but belongs with them. However, her choice is final. What I liked most about these scenes is it meant to prove that these two groups COULD get along and quite well… if it wasn’t for Governor Psycho.
Back at base camp, aka the Prison, Glen has been left in charge… I’m sorry but he’s just not a leader in my book. Michonne should have been left in charge…hell CARL could have been left in charge, but I digress. Merle wants to head out and take down The Governor, he’s worried about Daryl being out there. I love how protective Merle is of his younger brother… Merle haters be damned! I love him! Michonne is almost convinced to go with him, especially after he says, “I must have been seduced by your sterling personality!” hehe… but she decides not to accompany him. He doesn’t actually make it out, Glen and Maggie tackle him at one point and Beth fires off a handgun to stop the ruckus… Beth was useful! SCORE! Once alone, Glen and Maggie finally have a heart to heart about what happened when they came back from Woodbury. Glen admits to being a giant ass and Maggie reminds him that she’s always with him. They proceed to have hot garage sex.
The Governor and Rick step out of their secret meeting warehouse and go back to their respective corners. Andrea goes with The Governor, but not without glancing back at Hershel. Her expression makes me feel that they had an off screen conversation in regards to her plan of action back over at Woodbury. Once back in town, he gives direct orders to gun down Rick and his crew, leave Michonne alive, should they show up at the door. When Milton questions him, The Governor reveals to him that he has no intention of leaving Rick alone even if he hands over Michonne. Milton is horrified, of course.
The merry trio return to the prison where Merle gives Daryl a brotherly nod (awww! I’m so Team Dixon) and Rick tells everyone that The Governor wants their stronghold and he will not stop, “we are going to war”. Everyone seems a bit shaken and Rick takes up his constant post at the gate outside. Hershel joins him and Rick tells him about the offer The Governor made for Michonne. He tells Hershel he had to fib to the group in order to prepare them, they have to be scared enough in the event he actually decides to hand Michonne over; if they’re scared enough, they’ll go along with it. Hershel thinks this is a very bad idea, she’s earned her place, saved three of them. Rick counters with, “are you ready to risk your girls lives for her?”. Hershel asks why Rick chose to share with him and he says, “because I was hoping you would talk me out of it.”
I think Rick is aware that The Governor is going after them whether they hand over Michonne or not… it’s that thought that MAYBE, just maybe his revenge will be enough. But can Rick hand her over? Especially after last weeks episode? I don’t think he will and I think we will FINALLY see Andrea step up in a big way in the next three episodes!