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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Will The Governor Maim Rick on THE WALKING DEAD?


Okay, massive SPOILER WARNING territory here for those who haven't read the first forty issues of The Walking Dead comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.  Oh, and those who haven't yet watched Sunday's episode may want to do that first as well.

As fans of AMC's The Walking Dead television series know, the first eight episodes of Season 3 have just ended with main protagonist Rick Grimes traveling to the town of Woodbury with a small party in order to rescue their fellow zombiepocalypse survivors Glenn and Maggie.  In the episode "Made to Suffer," the katana-wielding Michonne helps with the rescue operation then abruptly breaks off from the group to satisfy her own agenda.  The rest of Rick's group flees Woodbury, losing expendable prison survivor Oscar in the process, while Michonne sits and waits for The Governor, the secretly-deranged leader of Woodbury, inside his home.

She soon discovers that The Governor's young daughter Penny is a turned Walker he keeps tucked away in his private man cave, surrounded by aquarium tanks full of bobbing and still-bitey Walker heads.  The Governor enters just as Michonne is about to end Penny's zombie afterlife and he begs Michonne not to kill his undead daughter.  Michonne promptly thinks "To Hell with that" and shoves her katana blade through the back of Penny's head, causing The Governor to lose it and attack her.  The brutal man cave fight knocks over a couple of aquariums, with freed Walker heads chomping away, and Michonne uses a piece of broken glass to stab The Governor in his right eye.  Andrea, the survivor with the absolute worst taste in love interests, then arrives with her gun and allows Michonne to escape while Andrea tends to her blinded, even less sane honeybunny.

After his eye is bandaged up, The Governor makes an announcement to the people of Woodbury, warning them of the "terrorists" that attacked their town.  He reveals that his men managed to capture Rick's new number two, Daryl Dixon, and offers up his own number two, Merle, as a traitor who also deserves to die.  Cliffhanger!

So with all this in mind, it's time to consider The Walking Dead #28, dated May 2006.  In this key issue of the comic series, the captured Rick, Glenn and Michonne are in The Governor's office and learn they're going to be fed to zombies because hey, why not.  The Governor wants to know where Rick and the others are residing and doesn't believe their lies about the prison riot suits they're wearing.  He tells Rick that the situation is serious and he always get what he wants. To prove his point, The Governor takes out his knife and cuts off Rick's hand.

As Rick is about to black out, Michonne jumps on The Governor and proceeds to bite his ear off before being recaptured by the Governor's bodyguards.  Rick is taken to Dr. Stevens and wakes up in a hospital bed to find that his right hand is missing and the remaining nub is covered in bandages.

Now, there's no assurance here that Rick will definitely lose his hand on the TV series.  One of the great things about The Walking Dead TV version is that it has its own continuity that uses the comic source material as a guideline instead of a steadfast Holy Bible.  This leaves the television show more unpredictable, as in the case in the middle of Season 2 when the group finally found the missing Sophia as one of a barnful of Walkers stashed away on Hershel's farm.  If the TV version followed the comic exactly, Sophia would still be alive through Season 8 at least.

However, you have to wonder where the show's writers are going with The Governor now that he's probably even more insane after Michonne cost him his precious zombie daughter and his right eye (the left one in the comics).   And don't forget, there's Daryl's brother Merle Dixon in play as well.  Presuming Merle escapes the mid-season cliffhanger, he may want to take some revenge on Rick for handcuffing him to a pipe back in the Season 1 episode "Guts," which cost Merle his right hand.

Yeah, this could go just about any direction but until The Governor is finally dealt with once and for all, Rick may want to keep both hands in his pockets whenever possible...

The Walking Dead returns for the rest of Season 3 on February 10, 2013 on AMC.

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