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On Sunday, October 28, 2012, Andrea was the focus in the popular post-zombie-apocalypse saga. Curiosity regarding her story drew 10.509 million viewers - a 10% increased from last week, according to Tvbythenumbers.com.
With “The Walking Dead” now back for Dish Network subscribers too, no wonder.
We were once again reminded of the unfortunate separation of Andrea from the Atlanta group when the farm was overrun – and her fateful meeting with the mysterious lone warrior, Michonne. This episode, ‘Walk with Me’, also had the distinction of solving one of the big question marks still lingering from Season 1: Whatever happened to Merle?
What is very interesting about Season 3 so far, is that the concept of “other” survivors is much more prevalent than in the earlier seasons. “The Walking Dead” has so far been a very closed storyline, where the conflicts that arise in one group. The fact that ‘Walk with Me’ starts off from a stranger’s perspective, with the helicopter, is new but does not seem like a recurring one. Judging by the eventual development from the helicopter crash and onwards, I suspect this is a one-time thing.
Last week’s teaser pushed an Andrea-centric storyline, introducing the split screen format of Season 3 – a split which I predict will attempt to unite the two teams in either collaboration or deadly showdown. We entered the story where it left us in the season premiere – Andrea is sick but the duo is on the road. When they witness the helicopter crash, they investigate but are interrupted by a mysterious gang of well-organized men who seem familiar with the helicopter and possibly its crew, having come for survivors. Michonne must sacrifice her walker footmen to avoid detection and it seemed to work, until a familiar voice emerges from behind.
If I had met Merle like that, I would probably also have passed out.
You don’t want to be blonde in “The Walking Dead”
Let’s start off with Andrea. Surprisingly, she has not changed much in the last 8 months, despite a complete situational change-up. She still yearns to prove herself, is still attracted to dangerous men and continues to be a poor judge of character. Like Beth, she seems out of touch with her surroundings and responds in odd ways when facing certain situations. Despite being (nearly) the only known character in this storyline, she is the least interesting.
What fans really should relish is the introduction and expected development of three other key characters.
Starting from the top, fans of the comic were thrilled to have the character of Michonne finally introduced. On paper, Michonne is fearless, strong and considered a multi-layered warrior, bound to push on the story arc through sheer fierceness. Next to Andrea, Michonne has shown caution, intelligence, raw power, compassion and loyalty. She is portrayed as overly moody, barely speaking and obviously uneasy about the perceived comfort and safety of Woodbury.
In contrast to Andrea’s chronic willingness to follow the strong unquestionably, Michonne is evasive of the Governor’s outstretched hand and, we learn, even holding back towards Andrea despite their mutual trust.
Fans of the show were probably equally thrilled to find out what Merle have been up to since the fatal roof scene in Atlanta of Season 1. Saved by the Governor and rising to the position of second in command, Merle is in many ways no longer the racist redneck he used to be. Then again, he is still pretty rough and though he has become much more civilized in the thralls of Woodbury, he has the distinct air of psychopath over him.
That label is the last one you would initially give the Governor, a sherif-type authority figure, who sounds like James Cromwell. Calm, composed, compassionate and eloquent, the Governor seems to be a source of admiration – that is, until he bashes the head in on a soldier in an ambush. The Governor is by far the most intriguing character, exhibiting obvious sociopathic qualities alongside a tragic-hero complex and desire for control and power. He is a source of both relief and concern towards our duo, introducing them the virus that Rick got from the scientist and offering help, while making fans around the world very uneasy with the whole, ‘heads in fish tanks’. It is yet to be determined if Woodbury is heaven or hell.
Big questions for next time we meet Andrea and Michonne: Who is the Governor exactly? Why the heads in fish tanks? What is Michonne’s story? And what is in that tea?
Tune in this Sunday for the next episode ‘The Killer Within’, on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”