Best 10 minute opener EVER! Sooo many questions and observations:
1.) A helicopter?!? That's hours of speculation and discussion right there! And they were talking to a bunch of people back at some kind of base so there's another major group of people out there, probably ex-military. Of course our characters never got to meet or see these guys but at least a few of them are still alive so we get to find out a little bit more about them and where they came from later in the episode.
2.) Zombies = pack mules. I LOVE IT! Why not? If you're using them to fend off other Zombies and they're still shuffling forward who wouldn't thinking about slapping a few items onto their backs. Heck, why not let them schlepp ALL the stuff! This could revolutionize the post-zombie world. Zombies can be usefull! Think about it... you could chain up a whole bunch of modified jawless, armless, domesticated Zombies and form a perimeter around your property to keep out other Zombies. Kind of like scarecrows you know? They can carry your stuff, guard your land - heck, they may even be able to pull a plow! I mean probably not quickly or in a very straight line but what do you want from the undead? And you don't have to feed OR water them.... so much better than horses! Speaking of horses, they really do serve the same purposes except for carrying people around. They even act all sketchy when something's up or someone's coming. Pack animals + sentinels. This is beautiful. Michonne rules.
3.) Whole bunch of new guys. We'll see about them.
4.) MERLE! Of course he would show up at Woodbury. Don't be fooled peeps. I know it seems all rosy and quaint but a ne'er-do-well like Merle is not going to hang out at a church picnic. And is it me or does Merle have a retractable bayonet arm? Cool...
A&M get taken by the new guys and we next see them in Woodbury. They're all sulky, suspicious and ungrateful as a class of 8th graders and after a while you kind of want to smack them and make them be nice and appreciate this wonderful safe new haven full of generous people. (Except those of us that have read the comic who are screaming "RUUUUNN!!! While you still can!!)
They get the grand tour. I would be like "WOOOOW! Veggie gardens! Old People! Pregnant Ladies!" But A&M are of course battle-hardened, super-critical and suspicious. Love them.
Not super-clear on the pilot's story. Can't figure out if he was describing events that happened toward the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse or something that happened more recently. I'm leaning toward something that happened in the last month or so because he mentions "supplies lasting" ect.
The Governor promises to go after the rest of his group and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And that's when the episode cut to the most important, bestest, most vital and wonderfullest thing we have seen to date in the post-Zombie world: THE ZOMBIE RESEARCH LABORATORY. YES!!! I love this so much I can barely cope and I love the dude/nerd that works there already. I would soooo be your research assistant Mr. Zombie lab guy! I have many, many, Doctoral dissertation topics already lined up and ready to be tested. Let's do this! Finally someone has decided to look into these suckers and get some answers. Aaaand he appreciates the brilliance of Michonne which makes me love him even more and he doesn't even know about the pack-mule thing yet! Pure awesomeness. I'm no fan of Woodbury or the Governor but I'm ready to give up my freedom and become a library card-carrying, fully indoctrinated citizen of the town just based on this alone.
The Governor runs out to wherever to find the other army guys and.... warm feelings gone. Hmmm.... don't you think you could have used the extra guns AND the extra man-power Mr Mega-tyrant Dictator Sir? Or is your MO to just waste anyone that could be a threat to your authority. If so A&M better watch themselves big-time. They come back, he gives some big cover-up speech and we find out that he's shagging the Woodbury PR rep AND he likes to relax at night by looking at his collection of severed heads. Nice one.
I loved this episode. Questions were posed and then answered all in one nice little 42 minute package which NEVER happens in this show, we got major character development of existing characters plus a whole new slew of new characters. I wonder if the season will keep flip-flopping between A&M's story line and the rest of the crew back at the prison or if the 2 threads will merge quickly. I'm sure Rick and the Governor will get along real nicely....