Rape and Revenge on The Walking Dead
Post-apocalyptic fiction often depicts people at their worst, engaged in all forms of violence. It’s hard to do a show like this and avoid the topic of rape. How did The Walking Dead do? Well I can’t answer that one without a few spoilers, so read on at your own risk. The showrunners on The Walking Dead are master manipulators. They know what people are expecting from the comics, and how to twist those expectations. We all remember when Glenn, Michonne, and Rick were captives in Woodbury. Glenn was forced to listen from the next room over as Michonne was raped and brutalized. I thought this episode ofThe Walking Dead was about to line up with that part of the comics, and it did, but not exactly. What The Governor actually did here was calculated and goal oriented. He wants the location of the prison, and Glenn won’t give it up. He didn’t just go right to work on Maggie, he tested her first. She wouldn’t take off her shirt until after he threatened Glenn. Once hurting Glenn was on the table, she would submit to The Governor in any way to protect her lover. He didn’t need to penetrate her, in fact that could’ve been counter productive at this point. Once he had Maggie broken down, once he knew for sure that she would respond to threats to Glenn, he didn’t need to expend any more time or energy on the matter. He promptly marched her over to Glenn’s holding cell, threatened him in front of her, and then she gave everything up. For the story, it’s all we needed.
Some commenters online almost seem to be rooting for a rape scene. What I hope they’re actually rooting for is the epic feud between Michonne and The Governor. It played out across a long span in the comics, and all started when he first tried to take her into custody. She sliced off a piece of his ear, and he retaliated by locking her up and repeatedly raping and torturing her. When he tries to use her for his games, she embarrasses him. After she eventually escapees, she retaliates in ways that take graphic violence to a new level. It’s not too late for things to start going down this road, after all there is a lot of show left, and you never know exactly what’s going to happen on The Walking Dead.