'Walking Dead' Dissection: Robert Kirkman Talks Torture and the Impending Conflict
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Sunday's "When the Dead Come Knocking" episode of The Walking Dead.]
Held prisoner and physically and emotionally tortured by the Governor and Merle in Woodbury, Glenn and Maggie held strong for most of Sunday's episode before revealing that Daryl, Rick and the group of 10 were taking up residence at the nearby prison, which the small but mighty group were able to clear out.
Meanwhile, Michonne (Danai Gurira) was welcomed into Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) fold as the group cared for her Merle-inflicted gunshot wound. The details of her injury -- specifically that they came from a guy named Merle (Michael Rooker), who resides at a camp in which Andrea (Laurie Holden) has voluntarily chosen to become a part of -- remains her secret as she leads Rick, Oscar (Vincent Ward) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) to Woodbury in an attempt to free Glenn and Maggie.
While Glenn's (Steven Yeun) abuse was in the form of a severe beating and attempted death by walker at the hands of Merle, who was re-creating what it felt like for him on that Atlanta rooftop, the Governor (David Morrissey) threatened to rape Maggie (Lauren Cohan) -- a nod to his attempts to break Michonne in the Image Comics on which the AMC series is based. However, it was the Governor's gun held to Glenn's head that eventually led Maggie to reveal the group's numbers and location -- prompting the Woodbury leader to question of she was lying about its size or if Merle's brother and company were really able to do something the elder Dixon brother said couldn't be done: Clear the prison.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with executive producer and creator of the comic series Robert Kirkman to discuss the burning questions from "When the Dead Come Knocking."
The Hollywood Reporter: Has Michonne pieced together that Rick and company are Andrea's former group? Is she holding on to that or does she not realize it?
Robert Kirkman: Clearly the names haven't lined up or she hasn't had enough information. To be honest, there is a fair bit of coincidence at work this season and it wouldn't be natural to assume that this group you've encountered that's living at a prison is the same group that abandoned your friend unless there were clear references to these people. We're very mindful not to have her get a lot of information from them about who they are. She doesn't know a lot of their names yet and she's not aware of that yet.
Michonne's incredibly smart, is that something she could piece together?
Oh yeah. All that is going to be coming together very quickly.
Merle said the prison couldn't be taken over and he has family confirmed alive out there (Daryl). Might the Governor trust him less?
The Governor is an intelligent dude and this stuff is very much on his radar. He relies on Merle for quite a bit of his dirty work -- as seen in this episode encounters with Glenn. Now that he knows that there's this chink in Merle's armor, this weakness, he now knows that his brother is alive and is out there and that's something that's distracting him. That's something that's going to be concerning the Governor moving forward and is going to inform the way he deals with Merle coming up.
The stranger in the cabin bites Rick -- might that come back to, pardon the bad pun, bite him in the ass?
(Laughs) We're probably not going to see that guy again because he's dead but that scene is going to inform his relationship with Michonne to a certain extent and his level of trust in her. Because of his current state of mind, things could go either way -- the Rick that we knew before Lori's death might have seen the way that Michonne handled that guy and thought, "Hey, this is a resourceful person who could be useful." But now we don't really know what kind of thinking is going on in Rick's head because he's in a bad state of mind. That could have made him much more cautious around Michonne and could make him distrust her.
Might anyone see the bite on his arm and think he's been bitten by a walker?
That's a possibility (laughs).
We're watching the scene with Maggie and the Governor covering our eyes because we fear she's following Michonne's rape story line from the comics. Is the Governor through with Maggie's emotional torture?
I certainly wouldn't think that would be it. I think the Governor has quite a bit more up his sleeve and that certainly wouldn't have been the be all, end all of his encounters with her. The Governor is not a nice guy and there may be more planned for her.