Welcome to our journey into the guts of The Walking Dead. What kind of journey? A philosophical, psychoanalytical and political kind. What I would like to do over the next couple months is dig through the Walking Dead episode by episode to see what it can teach us. Thank you for following me on this journey. I look forward to reading your comments. Be forewarned: There are spoilers everywhere. Don’t forget to check out my previous post in the Philosophizing TWD series: Philosophizing The Walking Dead S3E7 When The Dead Come Knocking and Political Torture
In the comic Michonne that was captured and tortured by the Governor. What had happened was after the helicopter crashed in the woods, Rich, Michonne and other go to investigate. They run into The Governor who takes them hostage. After a guided tour of the camp, The Governor tells the group that he is going to torture them to find out where their camp is. In order to prove his seriousness, he lops off Rick’s hand. Michonne goes on the offensive and bites a chunk off The Governor’s Ear. Ultimately captured, Michonne is chained in a makeshift interrogation room and told that she is going to be raped every day until she finds a way to kill herself. Following the comic’s narrative Michonne’s vigilante anger is rightfully justified.
Let’s isolate the show for a moment. How exactly did the Governor wrong Michonne? The two obvious grievances are that The Governor drove a wedge between Michonne and Andreas relationship and order Merle to Kill her. I’d be pissed too. Here I am, just minding my own business walking out to loot and pillage abandoned homes and boom some pseudo-reformed racist attempts to kill me. I’d want to choke a punk. But, the quality of this rage is simply not equivalent to the rage justified by the comic book. It’s almost as if the reader would have to have foreknowledge of the comic book in order to understand the forces driving Michonne’s actions. The TV show leaves barren the plot that would justify her rage. Without a rational basis for Michonne’s rage the show only regurgitates the all too common angry black women. The wildly unpredictable black woman stereotype prone to irrational outbursts of rage. (For more on irrational VS rational rage see: 28 Days Later(2002) Or Eating The Brainz Of The Post-Modern Zombie)
Check out the next article in this series: Philosophizing The Walking Dead S3E9 The Suicide King and An Open Letter to Rick Grimes