It turned out that this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, episode 8: Made to Suffer, was less of a bloodbath (though we did say goodbye to poor Oscar as well as the Governor’s left eye and his zombie daughter) and more like the opening skirmish of an upcoming war. Maggie and Glenn are rescued; Oscar dies in the attempt (because there’s apparently some unwritten rule on this show that you can only have one black male on at a time) and Daryl stays behind to find Merle, where he’s captured.
In a twist that I didn’t really see coming, the Governor turns on Merle and declares him a traitor, blaming him for the attack in an attempt to rile up a blood thirsty mob. As if the undead child and pickled zombie heads in his office weren’t enough to convince Andrea of the Governor’s bad intentions, I think his demagogic speech to the crowd and threat to kill both Merle and Daryl might have finally made her step back and wonder about how crazy and evil her new lover is. Things look pretty grim for the Dixon brothers, though I would expect that Andrea will come to her senses and hopefully help them escape.
The Governor suffered quite a loss; not only his eye, but his captive zombie daughter. Even before the attack, he was planning on wiping out Rick’s people. Now that he’s been wounded and humiliated by them, he’ll have an even greater motivation to come after them with all the firepower at his disposal. Like a true mid-season finale, the bloodbath I initially expected has simply been delayed, though I’m certain it’s coming before the end of the season.
A few other things:
* I got a genuine jolt of excitement, something I haven’t felt in a while watching this show, when the new group of survivors were introduced. This show can feel sometimes very cramped and restrictive, so actually giving us the chance to see the world from a new perspective was very welcome. I hope these new people are fully fleshed out, much more than the paper thin (or non-existent) personalities we saw for T-Dogg, Oscar, and so far, Michonne.
* I have to mention that it’s become completely obvious and rather ridiculous that this show has had three black men on it throughout its run, two of whom barely had a page of dialog combined, and it seems to have made a point of killing off the earlier black character almost immediately after the newest one has been introduced. I have no idea why this seems to happen but I’m finding it discouraging. The moment that I saw Tyreese, I knew Oscar was dead meat. I really hope they give Tyreese some dialog and personality.
* Andrea’s mooning over the Governor, much like her fling with Shane last season, is not only annoying but inexplicable. Equally annoying and baffling has been Michonne, who seems completely unable to relay important information, or really communicate at all aside from a few grunts here and there. I know she is supposed to be the strong and silent type, but this is ridiculous. I hope they spend a little more time humanizing her in the second half of the upcoming season, since it seems like she’ll be sticking with Rick and his group for a while.