Episode 3, “Walk With Me”, was one of the most well done episodes of The Walking Dead I have seen in a long time. Instead of more of the same (the group trying to fight off a herd, someone disagrees with Rick, everyone relies on Rick to keep the group safe, Lori cries) there was a mass amount of character development. No… not just character development, storyline development!
Alas, we have our Mayor! David Morrissey is an outstanding addition to the show! When Andrea and Michonne were in the woods they were hiding because a helicopter had crashed. I had forgotten that they didn’t know that everyone who dies becomes a walker, even if they weren’t bitten. It made me almost sad. Michonne thought that she and Andrea were going to be discovered, so Michonne cut the heads off of her two walkers.
Andrea and Michonne end up being taken from the woods by our old pal Merle and his group, which includes the Mayor. They are guests in the little town of Woodbury; a walker-free safe space for survivors! There are guards defending the town from their high walls and buildings that keep the town secluded. When walkers show, they get got! It is an amazing idea. The people of Woodbury have children who attend school, the adults have jobs, and everyone feels that they still have a purpose in what is left of their post-apocalyptic world.
Andrea is much more receptive to the whole idea than Michonne, and rightfully so. While Andrea is clearly flirting with the Mayor and enjoying some well-deserved down time, Michonne is eyeballing everyone and keeping her guard up. They took the girls’ weapons away when they arrived, so we do finally see Michonne without her Katana. Personally, I like her better with it, but this is not one of those episodes. Don’t get me wrong, we still see plenty of deaths; some of them are not deserved.
The man, Tim, who was piloting the helicopter, survived and was hanging onto life by a thread. The Mayor promised that if Tim told him where is stranded group was, he would bring them back to Woodbury. Instead, the Mayor wiped out the entire group of military personnel, and took all of their supplies. I understand that he would not want anyone challenging his authority and taking over his Mayorship of the group back at Woodbury, but I got very upset when I saw this. I immediately loved the Mayor upon seeing him on this show. Seeing him heartlessly wipe out these men with his group really upset me.This was a good way to find out all of the sides to his character in one episode. Not to mention that at the end, he was sitting in front of a large amount of tanks with heads of people he’d killed, and at the very top was Tim, the survivor. It was as if he was just sitting back watching his favorite TV show episode. Just unsettling.
Merle being back could either be really great or really terrible. He would be a good addition to his brother’s group if he could stop being loyal to the Mayor. I think he should realize, with the senseless killing the Mayor has Merle doing, the second the Mayor thinks that Merle could pose a problem of any kind, he will kill him. Merle would be a great asset to Rick’s group, except that he hates Rick. Rick is the one who handcuffed Merle to the rooftop, causing him to mutilate himself to avoid being zombie food. I love how the show does every single thing they can to avoid the term “zombies”. Walkers, Biters, Living Dead… they have been called everything but that. When I think of zombies, I think of special effects and fake gore. I feel like maybe they avoid that word because it is so widely associated with pretend and they want to keep the show as realistic as possible.
Overall, this was an amazing episode. There was so much to focus on, even without going into what Rick’s group is doing at all! In fact, this might be the first episode ever without Rick in it. I enjoy the break from more of the same, and I love the new characters. These 3 episodes of season 3 have been my favorite season starter so far. I can only hope that they can keep the episodes as interesting and strong as they have been up to this point.