If you’ve been reading our Walking Dead reviews for any length of time, then you know we’ve been a bit nervous about the depiction of Michonne. In the books, she’s such a memorable and starkly realized character who upends a ton of conventions in fiction as to how women – especially black women – should be portrayed; complicated, taciturn, difficult, badass to the extreme, but ultimately loyal and, once you get to know her, in possession a deep, wounded heart. There’s no “sassy” here; just a dangerous woman pushed to her extremes. She is one of the most well-realized characters in the books and part of what makes that so amazing is that she almost never says anything at all. So you might understand our trepidation regarding her on-screen portrayal. We’re thrilled to report that the show creators got her exactly right. What was so awesome – and what captured her so perfectly – was not her ability to take out 3 men pursuing her and scaring the shit out of a racist redneck; that was just the cherry on the sundae. No, what made her so awesome was that she showed up at the prison, toting the baby formula she knew was needed there. That’s Michonne to a T.
We are seriously psyched at the prospect of her joining Rick’s group. First, because the group needs some shaking up in the wake of Lori’s death, but also because it will provide the writers with opportunities to flesh her out and allow the audience to get to know her better. Her only interactions have been with Andrea, The Governor, and Merle, for the most part, which means she hasn’t had a lot to say. The members of Rick’s group are going to have a lot of questions for her, and it’ll be interesting to see her make her way through that dynamic. She’s obviously seeking some form of community. Why else would she show up at the prison after she overheard Glen and Maggie talking about it and the baby?
As for Rick, we hope he got his crazy out of his system. We don’t blame the character for going around the bend, but the telephone schtick would have been easy to figure out quickly even if we hadn’t read the books. Enough moaning and crying. We get why he’s a mess, but dramatically, it’s time to move on and regroup. We really liked the scene between Rick and Herschel. The latter seemed to know that Rick was losing it, but as a fellow taciturn man, he knew he needed to back off and let Rick work his way through things, away from the group.
Another really nice bit: Darryl talking to Carl about his own mother’s death and offering him the utmost in respect for handling it. We’re starting to fear for Darryl. He’s wearing his own wounded heart on his sleeve more and more – especially now that he’s find Carol still alive – but Merle is lurking in the wings, an interrogation away from finding out about the prison. God knows what he and the Governor are going to do once they find out about the place. And what’s Andrea going to do about it? Will she defend her former group or is she going to stick by her latest psycho man, even though she has reservations about Woodbury? Does she resent her former group for leaving her behind? Will she turn against them?
Another great episode in a string of them, and it’s setting up the major theme of the books: the danger in this world is not found in shuffling undead, it’s in the living and their competing desires and needs. After all, we can all see that the Governor is crazy and dangerous, but are we prepared to admit that Rick is too? What happens when these two men face off?
[Photo Credit: AMC]