So I read some of the feedback about this week’s The Walking Dead (S3, Ep 12) and, you know, I’m pretty much down with most of what I’ve read. Yes, it was a powerful, strangely beautiful episode. Yes, I was glad to see the beleaguered, now-batshit crazy Morgan resurface from Season One, and Lennie James turned in an amazing performance as Morgan and created a memorable return. Yes, it was nice to see Carl as a caring, sentimental brother and not just a child soldier in the zombie wars. And yes, it was nice to hear Michonne finally say something other than to growl out, “The Governor’s a scumbag, I can’t believe Andrea didn’t see it, he’s going to try and kill us, be ready.”
But here’s the thing: you remember the scene in the cafe, where Carl goes to get the picture of him and his parents so he can give it to baby sister Judith?
And then they get chased out the door by zombies and Carl (or maybe it was Michonne) drops the photograph and he wants to go back in and get it? And then Michonne leaves Carl at the door, telling him that she’ll go back in and get it for him? And he stands on the front step (which is perhaps the first time in all of The Walking Dead history that Carl goes where he’s told) while the zombies swarm around the door? Then Michonne gets all superhero stealthy and rearranges her molecules or something so she can slip in the side door unobserved and grab the picture (and, apparently, a papier-mache cat), so now Carl’s little sister can eventually see what her parents were like in happier days? Everyone’s like, sigh, that Michonne, she showed her softer side.
OK, maybe. I’ll grant you, she didn’t have to go get the picture, she could have been all “every man for himself” and let Carl fight his way in (and he was getting that goddamned picture so there was no way around someone going in), though he’s pretty noisy and only knows how to fight with a gun. The gun going off could have drawn more trouble towards them and who knows how crazy Morgan is and if that would have set him off and if nothing else, it would have been a waste of ammo. Which they just looted from Morgan because she and everyone else KNOWS there’s going to be a major gunfight going down soon. Michonne and her kitana were a much more practical choice for photographic retrieval. Still, on the surface her going in seems protective and maternal and kind and family-oriented. But. I just want you to bear this in mind. When she went in the cafe? She needed to find the way to make the most productive use of what are clearly expert-level sneaky skills. She left Carl positioned right in front of the glass. The zombies were drawn to him because they are zombies and wanted to eat him.
So I call bullshit on any ideas that she was getting all maternal and gentle. She went in because she has a quieter and less wasteful weapon, and in order to have a successful run she used that little boy as fucking bait. I love her for it and I hope you do too, but don’t ever forget she’s a calculating and resourceful fighter at heart.
That is all.