Walking Dead recap: The mask slips at Woodbury, as survivors unravel at end of the world
The idea surfaces so often, it bears constant repeating.
AMC's The Walking Dead is almost never about the animated zombies -- who are, surprisingly, never called that by the show's characters -- and much more about the people struggling to cope with a world gone dangerously haywire.
But if there was even any doubt about that notion, it was shredded to bits by Sunday's episode, which spent more time showing us how the fortified human town of Woodbury may have dark secrets below its placid exterior.
It should go without saying that a recap is going to reveal lots of detail about the newest episode. So if you haven't seen it and want to remain surprised, stop reading now.
In Sunday's episode we toggled between two extremes: learning what readers of the comic book already knew about Woodbury's ruler The Governor -- that he keeps his zombie-fied daughter hidden in his home -- and seeing hero Rick Grimes go on a zombie killing spree amid the grief of losing his wife during childbirth in last week's episode.
Beyond the escalating gore -- we are left to assume Grimes' wife was eaten by a "walker" whose belly was too big to move -- viewers saw two disparate ways of dealing with life in a world where the dead walk around seeking live flesh.
At Woodbury, human survivors indulge an odd ritual where their security guys fight each other surrounded by toothless walkers. It's a version of professional wrestling taken to a bizarre extreme, disgusting Andrea, a woman separated from Grimes group who landed at Woodbury with sword-wielding zombie-killer Michonne -- a survivor smart enough to leave before the party even started.
Grimes' group, now living in a prison where walkers roam some areas, were coping with the loss of three members including Grimes wife, who gave birth to a baby before dying (how cool was it to see survivalist Daryl Dixon cradling the baby after they found some formula in a nearby daycare center?)
Both cases worked on a single theme: In a world where death seems arbitrary and the struggle to survive looms over everything, what will modern people become? How long would it take for other humans to become a bigger threat than the zombies themselves?
My prediction: Rick is going to force himself to come out of his dark well because of his son, 12-year-old Carl. It's unclear now whether he knows Carl killed his own mother to keep her from turning into a walker, but as some point he's going to fight to hold onto his humanity, so his son holds onto his.
Can't wait to see how that turns out.
Let me know what you think below: