Remember how last week we were all, “Dang, why no Michonne and her jawless, armless pets?” Prayers = answered. And I swear to the god of your choice, if you don’t love Michonne and think she’s the baddest bad that ever bad’d, then you need to reevaluate your life choices.
Oh, and the creepiest politician outside of a Stephen King novel makes an appearance. I AM EXCITE.
I just want to put this in your mind before we get into the recap: Season One’s mantra from Sheriff Rick was “We don’t kill the living.” Ahem.
A helicopter cuts across the sky. On board is a pilot and two armed soldiers surveying the empty countryside. We have no idea when this is taking place. Now? Before the outbreak? Suddenly there’s a bang, the pilot laughs it off to placate the two soldiers, but a second bang, followed by a thick oily smoke out of the engine, leaves no question that these guys are in trouble. A sharp curve, all noise cuts out (I love when sound guys have fun and emphasize specific noises) and it crashes into the tree line, hard.
We see Andrea and Michonne (her armless pets on chains, of course) standing on the roadside, staring at a thick plume of smoke rising from the distance. So this is now. Andrea smiles as she shambles forward, and the first of many “Dafuq?” looks from Michonne is tossed out. Michonne rolls her eyes, tugs on her chains to get her pets to follow, and they make their way towards the smoke to check it out.
After a while, they arrive at the wreck, and it’s just about worn Andrea out to get there. She collapses to her knees in the brush, coughing and puking as Michonne goes into Creeper Ninja BadAss mode, but still with love and concern for her companion. Michonne? Be my Zombie Apocalypse Bride. Michonne decides to get a closer look; she chains the pets to a tree, gets a gun and presses it into Andrea’s hand and does a little recon on how many people are there. We see one of the soldiers in half on the forest floor, his guts spilled. Walker? No, helicopter blade. It’s too clean for a walker.
Just as she sees the other dead soldier and the pilot (unable to tell if he’s dead or unconscious), she hears two Humvees tearing up the path. Back to Andrea’s side she goes.
Protip: Trust no one in the apocalypse.
More men pour out of the Humvees, but we don’t know if they’re friend or foe. As the men fan out, the women hunker in closer to each other, keeping quiet as can be. The new group starts dispatching Walkers, attracted to the noise and smoke, no doubt. A point is made to “save bullets,” so one guy comes out with a baseball bat, handicaps one walker in the leg, head-smashes another, then goes back to the handicapped one and caves her forehead in. Swing away, Merrill.
Another guy with an old school bow (as in, not a compound bow) somehow manages to get an arrow to twang all the way through a Walker’s skull and into a tree. Neat trick, but I’m a person of science, okay? Wait. Maybe the zombie’s skull was soft… That would need to be pretty soft.
The dead soldier that was cut in two has turned, so one man that seems to be the leader drops to his knee with a knife in his hand and unlocks the Undead from this mortal coil with a swift, neat twist of the wrist. Andrea is horrified. (We’ll learn that she and Michonne don’t realize they’re all infected now.)
All of this stabbing and shooting is getting Michonne’s pets agitated, and they start pulling at their chains. Shit! What to do? Easy. Michonne stands, pulls her kitana blade and one-two slices off her pets’ heads, easy peasy, stomach’s queasy. Everything is nice and quiet now, and it looks like the new group is going to leave. That’s when someone comes up from behind and oh, lordy, does Andrea recognize that voice. It’s Merle Dixon.
“Holy shit! Blondie!” He stabs a walker under the chin and up into the brain with a cool new appendage that’s been affixed to his stump. “How’s about a hug for your ol’ pal, Merle?”
Protip: Never hug Merle.
Andrea passes out, which gets a huge reaction from Michonne. Uh oh. Next we see, they’re blindfolded and in a vehicle moving through the dark through a waste land. We can hear a man on a radio saying he has three people and “some homework,” so open the lab. One is burned and injured, the pilot. The other is unconscious, Andrea. The third? “She’s just fine.” If I was Michonne I would be freaking the hell out. Especially after passing a body hung up in a tree.
Andrea comes to in a hospital room getting treatment from a lady doctor. The doctor seems unwilling or unable to give them information about where there are or what to expect. There are two armed guards hanging out in the background and I have all the third act of 28 Days Later feels happening right now. GET. OUT.
Merle comes in being a creeper, and Michonne is picking up the serious “Oh, shit he terrifies me” vibe that Andrea can’t help but be laying down. Merle does his intimidation routine, but then asks about Daryl, and dang it if he doesn’t still have a soft spot for his broither. He hears that Andrea’s sister Amy died and actually has something kind to say. Andrea gets comfortable enough to bark out, “What do you want from us?”
A chill washes over Merle. “How’s that medicine? Those walls protecting you? How about that roof over your head? How about a thank yo-”
“You had a gun on us,” Michonne seethes. She doesn’t play this game.
Sheeee-it. Who hasn’t had a gun on them in these Dark Days? Why, Merle would be shocked to find someone who didn’t pull a gun on him, maybe even had his hands jammed in his pockets to smile a greeting, because that’s the summbitch that he’d be-
“Thank you!” Andrea interrupts, realizing her mistake in not playing the game with this sociopath. She gets yet another “Dafuq?” look from Michonne as she sees her formally strong friend cow to this redneck bully.
Question: Anyone else noticing all of the red wires in the rooms? They’re everywhere.
The man that assumed the leadership position earlier comes in, and damn if he’s not the Poor Man’s version of Liam Neeson. Michonne immediately demands her weapons, but PM!Liam tells her that gosh, they need to relax. Get some sleep. Why, they can have their weapons first thing in the morning, and the group will even send them off with knapsacks of goodies, ammo, and a pick from their fleet of cars.
Protip: Do not trust anyone that offers you a free car. Or food. There is no such thing as a free lunch, especially not in the Apocalypse.
Andrea points out how crazy it was to stab people in the head when they’ve not been bitten. So clearly they don’t know that everyone’s infected now. PM!Liam gives her the skinny on that and then let’s them know that they’re not prisoners! They’re beloved guests. (Riiiight.) In fact, let’s take a field trip, gals.
He opens the door to the building they’re in (with electrified, working lights) and shows them Woodbury. Sure it’s a ghost town right now, but it’s clean, there are high walls, and plenty of men that will do anything to keep the city safe. Anything. [pointed look at the girls] GET. OUT. Important nugget of info is casually tossed out that most of the weapons they have (and they’re military grade) come from being scavenged.
Merle asks PM!Liam for permission to take out a Walker on the other side of the reinforced wall, calling him “Governor,” and it’s granted. Andrea asks about that name. Oh, just a nickname, that’s all.
Um, “Two Pump Chump” and “Shoeless Bill” are nicknames. Governor is a title. Hmm. Merle takes out three walkers, passes the assault rifle back to another guard, and smiles. Good boy, have a biscuit. Gov says that they’ll clear the bodies in the morning. Wouldn’t want any nasty smells making the folks of Woodbury sad-faced, would they? He leads the women back to a building and puts them up in a hotel room for the night. They have fresh clothes, food, running hot water, no weapons, and red wires everywhere.
(My guess? Cameras. Something to that affect.)
Andrea thanks him, earning another “Dafuq?” look from Michonne. Seriously, y’all have been together how long? In the morning, the ladies are taken on a tour guide and raise your hand if you noticed that all of the women were in dresses? The girls in shorts (and they were short shorts) were all young. Teenagers. I have some seriously creepy YFZ Ranch vibes happening, y’all.
On the tour, our girls are told that there are 73 people there (when a pregnant woman gives birth soon, that’ll be 74 souls in Woodbury!) everyone is happy and secure, and when Andrea points out that someone was hanging from a tree (I’m thinking she picked up Lori-itis) the guide mentions briskly that she’ll “bring it up with the Governor.” So there’s that sorted, I guess?
Gov, meanwhile, is in with the doc listening to the pilot tell his story. (The pilot looks like a cross between Will Shatner and Greg Grunberg.) There was a military base that – through errors and stupidity – became overrun with Walkers. He and a small group escaped, got jammed up on the highway, so he took the bird up in the air to see what was what. The riot damaged the helicopter, it couldn’t be helped, and there’s a convoy out there waiting for him… *cough*
The Gov gives his best “gosh, I want to help you and your friends” speech to the pilot after securing the coordinates for the convoy. He steps out of the governor’s mansion to walk past a gardener raking the lawn, and I can’t help but sing, “They’re painting the roses red! Painting the roses red! We dare not stop! Or waste a drop! Then we would lose our head…”
Next on the “holy shit where the hell are we?” tour is a creepy garage that has dark lighting and if I may: HOLLYWOOD. LABORATORIES ARE BRIGHT. Always. Stop this CSI discotheque bull donk, would you? Clearly you have electricity in Tenpenny Towers. Anyway… he finds Merle and a nerd named Milton bickering, having the old “astronauts or cavemen” argument when the Gov shuts that up fast. He wants Merle to talk to Andrea again after learning she’s from his former Atlanta group.
Milton has Michonne’s pets hooked up to more red wires. Decapitated? Not a problem for these guys! Heads are in autopsy trays and they are very much aware of what’s happening. (Um…what is happening?) Milton is studying them, that’s what. He loves how clever she was in figuring out that if you take away their arms, they can’t grab you, and if you take away their jaws, they learn to not care about eating. Oho, not just that they can’t eat, they stop trying. Interesting!
And by walking with them, other walkers ignored her. They were the ultimate camo. Gov listens to all of this while playing with a cardboard scale miniature of the town, and there are more of those damn red wires around it, too. So… they’re trying to make an electrified fence? Not smart, because even solar batteries stop being able to be recharged after a while. Tsk, tsk.
He goes off to have breakfast with the ladies, and Milton’s there as well. (Nerd hammer instead of Bully hammer.) They’re just amazed the women made it for eight months out there, not because they’re female, but because it’s just the two of them. Milton starts in on whether or not Walkers retain any of their true selves while Michonne notices her kitana blade locked in the Gov’s curio cabinet clearly as a spoil of war. She looks defeated for a moment, like her big fear was just realized. (It was.)
After some back and forth about whether or not Michonne knew her pets or not, the Gov reminds them that they’re not prisoners but they are welcome to stay. He’s pretty much saying they have to, but in the “Gosh, wouldn’t it be swell?” way of politicians.
See, they’re successful there in Tenpenny Towers because people have a sense of purpose! They have jobs! School! No loitering Why, loitering… that’s trouble, and they won’t stand for any trouble in Woodbury, no! Trouble starts with T and that rhymes with Z and that stands for SHUT UP LADIES, AND GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Ahem. More tea? And don’t even think of messing with anyone here, because we’ll kill anyone that doesn’t adhere to our city charter. Pass the jam?
Michonne gives him the stink-eye, demands her weapon, and the Gov smiles, sure-sures her, but first, walk around. See if the town fits. He has to step out on a little errand, but weapons and cars and free ponies just as soon as he gets back! [Creepy eye contact with a guard.] Andrea, it should be pointed out, has lost all the smarts Daryl pounded into her (oh, how I wish he would pound it into me- I’m sorry. I deeply apologize for that, folks.) and is smiling blithely at all of this.
The ladies go for a walk, Andrea tells Michonne that it’s lovely there! They should hang out, take a spa, make friends, share! Girl’s Night Out, whoo! And it’s time for Michonne to tell Andrea all about her pets, because it’s been almost eight months, Andrea doesn’t know who they were, and it seemed really easy for Michonne to off them like she did.
“It was easier than you think,” Michonne forces past her lips.
What does that mean!?
The Gov races in a car towards a convoy, a white handkerchief out in the air because they mean no harm. (ARMY MEN, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? Of course he does!) Gosh, it’s a lucky thing the Gov found them! He found their pilot who told them where they’d be. And he promised the pilot that all of the guys could come back to Woodbury. One of the soldiers relaxes and says, “They did it! They found Wells!”
“We sure did!” the Gov smiles. “We found you, too!” Gov has a handgun drawn and shoots the Corporal in the shoulder, which amazingly enough kills him instantly. (Hollywood? People don’t die instantly from being shot in the shoulder, just so you know.) A group of Woodbury men pop up Viet Cong-style from the woods and grass, and lay waste to the soldiers.
Hilarious moment: One guy, in slow motion, begins falling Stage Right with a look of agony, and then we see him get shot. Ha ha. The Gov. cuts the Corp.’s gun strap – no!! – and pulls his weapon free just before bashing the soldier’s face in with the gun butt. Saving bullets, you see. After the turkey shoot they just had. Where they shot people in the arms. Whatever…
The Gov is positively orgasmic as he bashes that guy’s head in, takes a moment to gather himself together, shake his leg out, and then tells a kid to stab someone else to save bullets. Then sees another soldier limping off and shoots him long distance. WHY CAN YOU NOT BE CONSISTENT, GOV?
Why the arm/shoulder shooting? Why the military guys so easily put down? They were NOT dressed as Red Shirts or Stormtroopers… Also, clearly the Tenpenny Tower/Woodbury folks are capable of some head shots ( which is important because shoulder death = turning into a Walker) when even One-Armed Haggard Merle can get three head shots off with three bullets, easy peasy, nice-n-easy with his left hand.
…am I thinking too hard? No such thing in the Apocalypse.
The group returns to the town where the Gov tells everyone with a contrite spirit and sad face that they found the soldiers but the Walkers got there first. SAD FACES FOR ALL! So they had to take all of their very important medical supplies and ammo, because not to do so would have been a sin. And Andrea is all dumb-faced smiling, “Goodness, that sounds so wonderful and Utopian!”
Protip: THERE ARE NO UTOPIAN SOCIETIES. None. Nada. Zilch. Unless it’s just you, you have everything you need, no one can get to you, and you are Ron Swanson.
Michonne is eye rolling so hard it’s a wonder she doesn’t get a sprain. Andrea saunters over to the Gov, “I love it here! I’m easily controlled, it seems! What’s your name?”
“Puddin M. Tame. Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same.”
“No, really,” she simpers.
“Charlie Brown. Ask me again and I’ll knock you down.”
He goes home, time has passed as it’s dark out now, and the tour guide from earlier is passed out in a bed, naked and looking well-shagged. He unlocks a room after passing a picture of his family (and that ain’t his wife in bed) and seals himself in a secret room.
A tumbler of whiskey, an easy chair, and clearly it’s time to watch the game! Well, there’s no television any more, so instead he’ll watch a wall of fish tanks. Each filled with multiple zombie heads. WHAT? Michonne, pardon me while I borrow one of your “Dafuq?” faces.
In one tank are Michonne’s pets’ heads. In the top tank, the pilot’s head, recently “donated,” it seems. Damn.
GUYS. This season is going to be amazing. So now I’m thinking the POV switch last week when Carole was all “Insert knife into Zombie Belly, A…” was a recon team from this group? We don’t know the time line and that each episode when they switch between stories will be chronological, after all… I AM SO EXCITED.
This is a hard one for me because I clearly approve of the methods in Woodbury as far as crops, assigning jobs, having solar power, and sticking to a plan are concerned, but the creepy heads and red wire stuff is just cray and awesome. But not a part of my overall plan of attack/survival. (In case you wondered.)
Remember: We’re spoiler free for future eps and the comic books are a separate animal. All aired episodes are fair game! (And promos aired at the end of this week, too. Mea culpa from last week. I always err on the side of caution, and hadn’t seen what was coming yet.)