Hello Walking Dead Heads! This season has been on a crazy tear so far, but I have to say that last night's episode was my favorite. Of course, it takes a bunch of build-up to get a payoff episode like this one. Finally, our plot lines are converging and I have to say that I didn't see it going exactly the way it did. But, it was a brilliant way to do it! So, Walking Dead gets a WOW from me this week. Let's break it down a bit!
Rick Sorting things Out
We last left Rick finding his eaten wife and seeing a phone ringing. Fans of the comic knew exactly what was going to transgress by the end of that Phone story. Non-Comic fans who accidentally read some comments last Monday had an inkling of a thought that they may have been spoiled on it too. (Yep, that would be me) Didn't matter, the scenes still worked as a method of grief, mourning and moving on for the living.
- No sense in stalling, Rick was talking to the deceased members of their group. They started with Amy (Andrea's sister) and moved on to Jim (season 1 casualty left on the side of the road) and closed things up with Lori.
- Rick was searching team within his soul for the strength to carry on. But, he wanted to bring his group to this safe haven where no one is sick, no one is dying (good one), and they are FAR away from the walkers. I think all we needed to do was see Hershel's face when he picked up the phone and heard no dial tone to know that Rick was losing is marbles. Hershel also was thankful for everything Rick did to get them to where they are. So, he told Rick to take his time to get his $#!T together!
- Rick complained to Amy about how he had a son and a newborn to take care of. He didn't feel this Prison was good enough. That eventually led to his conversation with Lori apologizing for not professing his love for her in the recent months. He shut off any feelings and focused on keeping the group safe. He kept hoping that if they found a place where they were fully protected, that he could then start to let his guard down and be a family man again. He was working towards that and thought there would be time. He had some parting words from Lori telling him that he has a son and a daughter to look after now. But the words were starting to fade and we couldn't really hear what she was saying as Rick started to realize he was talking to himself in his head. (Or hey, maybe that phone really did reach to the beyond. Who are we to say!?)
- Rick returned to his crew reborn and ready to lead. And he held his 3 month old daughter for the first time. (New Parents, okay really my wife, can spot these things a mile away. I guess babies age pretty quickly in the zombie apocalypse. Rick will have to be having "the talk" with her by the season finale!)
Daryl, Carl and the new guy Oscar (had to look his name up, but I should remember now) were planning to clean out another level of the prison. Some key moments happened here.
- Daryl and Carl have a heart to heart. Daryl tried to help Carl with his grief over Lori. He told a story of how his mother died in a house fire due to her drinking and smoking in bed. Daryl said it almost didn't feel real since he didn't see her die. Carl confirmed that he shot his mother before she turned, so it was very real. Then they exchanged condolences. Anyone clinging to the idea that Lori was still alive since that "2nd death" wasn't on film can let go!
- Daryl and Oscar passed by a door that kept pushing out a little bit. They thought there was a walker in there but that it would be there on the way back.
- They continued on to a cell that appeared clear. Oscar had the line of the night when he found some slippers. "Awww that's what I'm talking about!!" And explains that it's for relaxing at the end of the day. This guy is alright in my book!
- Of course, a walker came to spoil their fun (or add to it) as all 3 of them turn and shoot the dude. But, surprise, Carol's knife is sticking out of its neck!
- At this point, Daryl thinks that Carol is turned and the one hiding behind that door. Of course, us smart viewers out there pieced things together and knew that Carol was ALIVE behind that door! And sure enough, she was! Daryl rescued his "will they/won't they" gal pal and all was right with the totally wrong world!
Good Michonne Hunting
That Governor is up to his no good tricks again. Apparently, he's not a big fan of loose ends and sends Merle and a band of mercenaries to take down the "Pig Sticker" wielding Michonne!
- We meet Gardulio, who Merle resorted to just calling Neil. He morphed from scared little boy to hardened blood thirsty walker killer within the hour. Stabbing a few brains will do that to you I guess!
- Michonne had cut up some Walker bodies into a "Biter Gram" (Thanks Merle) that said "GO BACK" (GO spelled out with a walker's BACK for the rest). Fantastic. And of course, before we know it she's out there slicing some of them to bits in some solid action scenes. Merle gets a shot off at Michonne's leg and she runs off. And then there were 2 (Merle and Neil).
- They have another run in with Michonne but some Walkers come to the party too. Michonne loses her sword in a little fight with Merle but regains it in time to slice a walker's guts all over her. EWWWW!!!
- At this point Neil is determined to avenge his friends' deaths and take down Michonne. And Merle has about had enough. He is determined to lie to the Governor (uh oh) and say that Michonne got got! So, instead of continuing to try and convince Neil he shot up in the head instead. OUCH! No one to argue with Merle's story now, except possibly Michonee walking all up all swords blazing into Woodbury!
And in the most predictable storyline, Andrea and the Governor get it on! Need we say anymore? .... Okay, I'll try.
- Andrea continues to be wooed by this dude. He gets her guard down about the Walker Fights used for entertainment. Andrea eventually agrees that she did enjoy it. Just like she enjoyed jumping over the wall and killing a walker old school style (stake to the eye) even though that's forbidden tactics here in Woodbury.
- She got "in trouble" with the boss and had to go after class to see him. She lost her WALL duty but gained access to some wine and good times. The Governor made some pretty forward advances by insinuating that Andrea liked him. Andrea was all for a man telling her what she thinks and the rest is history.
Worlds converged at a town ripe for pillaging. Glenn and Maggie went there to pick up some formula and ammo (just what every walker repellent squad needs these days!) But, they were not alone.
- Michonne limped on into town too, clearly hurting from her gunshot wound. Of course, she also learned a valuable lesson in having zombie guts all over her. A callback to season one episode two (aptly named "Guts") where Rick and Glenn walk through a band of walkers to get to a car. Loved it when the walkers walked right by Michonne and she was shocked.
- Anyway, she was within earshot to learn all she needed to learn about these 2 strangers. They were getting formula and toys for a baby, so they seemed like decent people. She also learned that they were doing pretty well for themselves at a prison nearby. Oh right, and they know Merle who Andrea ALSO knows!
- Merle rolled into town guns blazing and saw Glenn. He immediately asks if Daryl is alive and wants to be taken to him. Glenn and Maggie had guns pointing at Merle too, but somehow Merle turned the tables and got Maggie hostage with that crazy severed knife hand of his and a gun. Glenn had no choice but to drive them to Woodbury. But Michonne heard all and well, she's a little too injured right now to go after them herself, but she has another plan in mind. THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET REAL Y'ALL!
- Merle returns to interrupt SEXY TIME for the boss and tells his lies about how things went down in the woods. Ol Phillip was not too thrilled when he found out he didn't have evidence of Michonne's death as well as her severed head for his collection. Things tell me he's not going to be too happy when he sees Michonne alive and well in a future encounter either. Look out Merle!
- Anyway, Merle does present a gift with "these 2 droids" (I mean, Glenn and his pretty girlfriend). They plan to figure out where Andrea and Merle's former camp-mates are residing right now as they seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. Merle says he'll figure it out.
- Well, don't you worry Merle, they're going to be waiting for you! Rick goes out to the gates of the prison as there is some ruckus going on. And who is out there but Michonne surrounded by a crap load of walkers who are totally ignoring her. She brought the basket of formula (and probably ammo) as a peace offering. I bet these 2 have a bunch to talk about!