Tag Archives: Hershel

The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “A”

Are these people cannibals? So, pretty much the only atrocity we haven’t been subjected to, YET, on The Walking Dead is cannibalism. And I don’t know if you noticed, but as the Terminus shooters were herding Rick and company through the streets and alleys, there was a glimpse of…”meat” laid out behind a chain link fence. Also, there were voices coming from several stacked shipping containers yelling for help.

Plus, before Rick, Carl, and Michonne met up with Daryl, they dwelled on how hungry they were. Foreshadowing? I think so. Then, later, before the poop hit the fan in Terminus, there seemed to be a lot of meat-ish looking food to be had.

Cannibals? Maybe.

Just sayin’. I mean, I hope I’m wrong, but, after all, this is The Walking Dead.

Highlights from the season finale, “A”:

– Rick, Carl, and Michonne are still on their way to Terminus. And they’re hungry. Seriously, a lot of time was spent on talking about how hungry they are. Not that food hasn’t always been an issue, but the first part of “A” seemed to focus on it. A lot. Rick teaches Carl and Michonne (how did she not know this?) how to set up a snare to catch small game TO EAT. This is obviously important and very heavy-handed foreshadowing for what would happen once they get to Terminus. More on that later, though.

– They camp for the night on the road next to a trashed vehicle, which Carl is sleeping in while Rick and Michonne shoot the breeze outside. Suddenly, Joe and his band of nasties show up! Somehow, Joe worked out that Rick killed one of his guys back in “Claimed,” and he and his men have been tracking the trio ever since. (Wait, what? How did that happen? It must have conveniently taken place off camera, because it was certainly not shown that Joe and/or any of his men saw Rick at all! Not to mention Michonne or Carl! WEAK.) Joe has a gun to Rick’s head, another guy is covering Michonne, and a creepy pedophile is eyeing Carl in the vehicle. Then, Daryl comes out of the shadows and tries to convince Joe not to kill his friends. Joe and his guys turn on Daryl start to beat him. Joe declares that Daryl will be beaten to death, Michonne will be raped and killed, Carl will be raped and killed, and then, Rick will be killed.

So, let me just point out, we’ve had child murder on this show, and now we’re faced with the rape of Michonne and Carl. Disgusting.

Rick flips out and bites Joe’s throat out (literally), which allows the other guys to be taken down. The creepy pedophile is viciously killed. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about this scene, because I had to look away. It was too much. Joe and his men certainly deserved to die, and if my son had been threatened in a similar manner, I think I would have reacted in much the same way; however, it’s something I decided not to watch due to it’s graphic nature.

– The next day, Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl continue on their way to Terminus. (Daryl explained what happened since the prison, and Rick welcomed him back as a brother.) When they reach Terminus, they decide to scout it out and go over a fence rather than enter through the front gates. Carl goes with Michonne to scout rather than Rick, and the boy explains to her that he’s having “thoughts” and is not who is father thinks he is. What? Not sure what that meant, but at least he and Michonne had a nice moment, so that’s good, I guess. See, she had noticed that Carl was kinda avoiding Rick and asked him about it. I inferred it was because of Rick’s recent tough decisions (not helping a dude surrounded by walkers, etc.) and the brutality with which he took down Joe’s group, but it wasn’t explained.

Daryl takes in the scene during the Terminus herding. Image courtesy of AMC.

Daryl takes in the scene during the Terminus herding. Image courtesy of AMC.

– Before going over the fence, Rick buries a bag of guns, ammo, and arrows in the woods as a just-in-case plan. Seems smart to me! They hop the fence and enter a warehouse, where they find the lady on the radio broadcasting that Terminus is a safe place. Other folks are there, too, making signs…or something. They are greeted nicely enough, told to disarm, searched, and then welcomed to Terminus. They even get their weapons back! So, Guy who Appears to be the Leader from Terminus (GAL) tells Nice Guy from Terminus (NGT) to show them around, and he leads them out into an open area, where Tasha Yarr (TNG, anyone?) is cooking bits of mystery meat. She offers it to them, and Carl is just about to take some when Rick notices that NGT has a pocket watch that looks suspiciously like the one Hershel gave to Glenn. Rick also sees someone in what looks like prison riot gear and someone else wearing a poncho that looks like Maggie’s (It was Maggie’s, right? I think so.) Rick grabs NGT and holds a gun to his head, demanding to know where the watch, the prison riot gear, and the poncho came from. A sniper appears on a roof, but NGT waves him off, trying to calm Rick down. It doesn’t work. Then, GAL appears on a roof, and after a couple of half-hearted attempts to diffuse the situation (during with NGT pleads with GAL not to “do it”), signals gun fire from the roofs. Rick, Carl, Michonne, and Daryl are herded through streets, alleyways, and buildings (It was so very like the way Rick described the animal snare, btw. TOLD YOU IT WAS HEAVY-HANDED FORESHADOWING. It was also during these scenes that they ran past the “meat” and the stacked containers that had people inside yelling for help. I had to rewind it a couple of times to make sure I saw and heard what I thought.) until they reach a fence and a line of gunmen. GAL threatens to kill Carl unless Rick cooperates and goes to stand in front of a train car. Slowly, they are each forced to line up in front of the car before entering into the dark car. Once they are inside, they see Glenn, Maggie, Bob, Sasha, Tara, Abraham, Mullet Man, and the other girl.

– The episode actually ended with a grain of hope, when Rick states that the Terminus folks have messed with the wrong group of people. I thought it was hopeful, at any rate.

FADE TO BLACK on the episode and season four of The Walking Dead.

There are still lots of loose ends, of course! Where’s Beth? Who snatched her? Was it conveniently someone from Terminus?  And what about Tyreese, Carol, and Judith? I think they’re probably already at Terminus somewhere, because as Rick and co. were entering the train car, the camera let us see trampled powdered milk boxes. I’m thinking that those point to Judith, somehow. Hopefully, she’s still alive, but maybe they already made a meal of her! IF they’re cannibals. IF! Of course, they could just be another group of crazies.

WHY DID RICK AND THE GANG BELIEVE IN TERMINUS? Arrive and survive? Come on! Obviously a trap. At least, Rick had the foresight to go in the back way. Ugh.

Also worth mentioning about this episode where the frequent flashbacks we got of happier times at the prison when Hershel was teaching Rick how to be a farmer. We got a little more story about why Rick seemed to eschew weapons and leadership in favor of planting. Turns out it was all for Carl, of course. That wasn’t hard to figure out, though. Still, it was nice to see the show address it.

So, I think that’s it for me and The Walking Dead! There was just too much this season. Too much gore. Too much violence. Too much sadness. Not enough…hope.

The world is already a dark place with too many evil people. But, at least there’s hope.

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “After”

I hate Carl.

I could end this article right there and be totally fine with it. Seriously.

I don’t hate him because we got an exposition-y episode about him last night. Quite the contrary! I, for one, enjoy character development. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who didn’t hate the farm season. (Really. I rather liked it.)

I hate Carl because he’s a dumb kid going through contemporary teen stuff in the apocalypse. He doesn’t have music to blast or tires to screech as he roars away from his parents in typical spoiled teen-drama fashion. So, he pitches fits, attracts walkers, and almost gets himself killed on a regular basis. It drives me insane.

Now, I’m sure they’re trying to make Carl relatable to today’s teen audience, but I just don’t buy it. It just doesn’t make sense that he would be so reckless after what he’s been through. And maybe that’s just it; maybe they’re trying to say look how this terrible situation is affecting this teenager! But, this teenager was a boy when this all started. He didn’t have the luxury to age into the selfish adolescence that is so common in today’s society.

Trauma does terrible things to people, to be sure. But, in this world, Carl would be more likely to put a gun to his own head than act out in a way for which there has been no real precedence… beyond what the audience thinks they expect out of a teenager.

Ugh.

At least the entire episode wasn’t about Carl. We got some flashbacks and insights on Michonne, and they were quite welcome!

(Before I do my recap, let me touch on the fact that I was in no way eager for last night’s episode. Downton Abbey is a much better way to spend the 9 o’clock hour.)

“After” highlights:

– After the prison battle, Michonne selects a couple of walker pets, hacks off their arms and jaws, and sets off. Before she leaves, though, we get to see Hershel’s head, complete with milky rolling eyes and mindlessly chomping mouth. Michonne stabs it and leaves.

Stupid Carl. Image courtesy of AMC.

Stupid Carl. Image courtesy of AMC.

– Carl and Rick keep moving and come to some kind of roadside restaurant and/or convenience store. They kill a walker there, loot what’s left of the supplies, and continue on their way. Rick’s in pretty bad shape, by the way. If you’ll remember, The Governor beat the ever-loving crap out of him, and he’s wheezing like his lungs are punctured. Oh, and Carl is a jerk, walking too fast and being a smart mouth to his father. Eventually, they reach what seems to be a subdivision of some kind and hole up in an abandoned house. Rick passes out from his injuries, but not before helping Carl block the front door with a couch. (Rick insisted the add the couch after Carl tied the door shut…because, you know…Rick LOVES Carl and wants to keep him SAFE.) Carl shouts at the unconscious Rick and generally hates on him, cementing my loathing of the teenaged character. Also, it’s generally a bad idea to make a bunch of noise in the zombie apocalypse, because, you know…WALKERS. And, sure enough, Carl’s hissy fit draws a couple walkers, who start clawing and pushing on the door.  Carl goes out a side door and lures the walkers away. But, the idiot keeps walking backwards, and you know something is going to happen. (!!!) Sure enough, it does and a couple more walkers wander up. Carl ends up wasting a ton of bullets and buried under a pile of dispatched walkers. Ugh. Later, he goes out looking for supplies and almost bites it again when another walker almost gets the best of him. He escapes, leaving his shoe behind.

Oh, and pudding. Carl finds a huge tin of pudding and sits on a roof eating it while the shoe walker tries in vain to reach him through a partially open window. Rawr.

– That night, Carl is sleeping next to unconscious Rick, when something wakes him up. Rick is stirring, and Carl thinks he’s died and walker-fied. He scoots away and readies to shoot his father, then breaks down in tears and confesses that he can’t do everything on his own, that he needs his dad, and that he’s scared –stuff he pitched a fit about earlier. But, Rick isn’t dead. Yay!

Michonne's new pets. I hope she named them Fido and Spot!

Michonne’s new pets. I hope she named them Fido and Spot! Image courtesy of AMC.

– Okay, so during Carl and Rick’s story line, we got cut-ins of Michonne. She and her new walker pets cross Carl and Rick’s trail, and she notes the fresh tracks. But rather than following them (not that she knows who left the tracks), she heads into the woods and joins a mini-horde. She, in a sense, briefly loses her humanity and becomes one of the walking dead as she trudges along with the pack. It’s during this time that we get a look at who she used to be and see her “lover” and another guy in a nice apartment. There’s also a small child, who turns out to be hers and her boyfriend’s/husband’s. We see the men change and worry about what to do. They refer to a camp they’re in, and the boyfriend/husband seems pretty hopeless. Suddenly, the men have no arms, and I assumed we were being shown Michonne’s original pets.

– Michonne snaps out of her reverie and seems to become aware of the mini-hoarde around her. She kills them all, even her new pets, and returns to the road where she saw the footprints. She follows them, comes to the same roadside restaurant/ convenience store and monologues about what we assume is her lost family. I got the idea that her boyfriend/husband killed himself and the small child after deciding there was no other choice.

– She continues to track Carl and Rick (she doesn’t know it’s them, though) and enters the subdivision. After finding an empty giant tin of pudding, she sneaks up to the first house, looks in, and sees Carl and Rick, who have since made up. Michonne politely knocks on the door, and Rick peeks out, sees her, and tells Carl it’s for him.

Aaaaaand that’s how the episode ends. It was rather a high note, actually, endowed with more of a sense of hope than we’ve had from this show in a long time. Michonne was overjoyed to find people again, and Carl and Rick seemed to have patched things up admirably. See, Rick told Carl what the idiot kid wanted to hear: You’re a man.

Whoopie. Great. So, let’s hope Carl starts acting like one, then.

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]

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Where’s Judith?

Okay, the dust has settled and (hopefully) everyone has had some time to digest the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. (BTW, can someone tell me when the “mid-season finale” became a thing? It’s new, right? I certainly don’t remember the terminology from previous years…hmph.)

Let me start by saying I didn’t see the last two episodes on the nights that they aired. Yes, dear reader, I SKIPPED them! It’s something that’s been building in my zombie-loving soul for a while, now. I’m sure you’ve noticed it if you read my recaps: I’m growing weary of The Walking Dead. Its utter sense of despondence and hopelessness is getting to me in the worst way, guys. Seriously. Oh, I even have “scientific” proof! I just took a personality quiz online, you see, and I am an ENFP. What does that have to do with this, you say? Well, I’m “Feeling” and stuff. Emotional or something.

Whatevs. I just like taking online quizes.

So, let me just hit the high points of the last two episodes:

– The Governor (TG), who now calls himself Brian, takes his adopted family to live in Martinez’s camp. Martinez accepts him and starts to trust him… right around the time that TG beats him over the head with a golf club and throws him in a walker pit. Buh-bye, Martinez! A nice man named Peter takes over leadership, and TG quickly takes him out, too. TG then goes to Peter’s brother and persuades him to join the dark side. The brother is, after all, a tank operator, and for those of you slightly familiar with the comics, you know a tank comes into play.

– TG humbly takes leadership of the camp. They’re going to SURVIVE, he tells them. How? Well, see, there’s this prison not too far. And, you know, they’re BAD people. Murderers and such. Let’s go take their prison! The camp folk are quickly convinced when TG tells them the takeover can be bloodless, because he’s captured two of the prison people already! WUT? Yep. TG skulked around the prison and captured Michonne and Hershel.

RIP, Hershel. Image courtesy of AMC.

RIP, Hershel. Image courtesy of AMC.

– Rick and company are alerted to visitors by the tank firing. BOOM! The commotion interrupts telling Tyreese that Carol killed Karen and that guy nobody cares about. Rick had just told Daryl about it, and they were off to tell Tyreese when TG’s howdy-do made them and others run outside to see what was going on. TG reveals his captives and summons Rick to the fence for a chat. TG demands the prison folk vacate by nightfall, or he and the campers will take the prison by force. Rick pleads with TG, telling him they can find a way to live in the prison all together. TG’s not having it, though, and to prove he’s serious, he hacks off Hershel’s head!

I WAS RIGHT! I totally called that Hershel was not making it out of this season! Proof here.

Lilly also shows up with Meghan’s lifeless body (Why hasn’t she turned, yet?). See, TG had left Lilly and Meghan behind at the camp, and Lilly let Meghan play a little too far away. The child was playing in the mud and uncovered a flash flood warning side. The audience was supposed to infer that the mud she was playing in had been caused by such a flood and a small landslide. Anyhow, her digging disturbed a buried walker, who noshed on her before her idiot mother could run over. So, back to the prison, where TG takes the dead girl and shoots her in the head. You know IT’S ON, now, son!

– A fire fight commences. Lots of shooting, etc. Boom, boom. Bang, bang. Glenn and some people make it out on the bus, but most of the other main characters are in the fight. (OH! And remember those two creepy blonde girls that Carol took charge of after their father died? Well, they and a couple of other girls have Judith and are making for the bus, when the older blonde girl stops them and declares that they have to be tough and stay and fight. WUT? So, they’re apparently wandering around during the shootout. Ugh.) TG is beating the crap out of Rick, who jumped him. But, Rick was shot and TG quickly gained the upper hand. Anyhow, blah, blah, beat, beat (Rick would have totally been killed. It’s seriously NOT possible to take that kind of beating and live.). SUDDENLY, Michonne shows up and runs TG through with her katana. She leaves him there to get eaten by walkers, who are, of course, beginning to swarm due to all the noise.

– Walkers are inching toward a miraculously still alive TG. (Michonne stabbed him through the chest. Come on!) So, we’re to think he’ll get eaten. However, at the last minute, Lilly shows up and shoots him in the head.

– Bob gets clipped with a bullet, but as far as I could tell, he, Sasha, Maggie, Beth, and Daryl (OF COURSE) make it out okay. Tyreese gets trapped, but who comes to the rescue but crazy older blonde girl! She pops a woman right in the head! Jeez! So, Tyreese and older blonde girl make it, too. Rick and Carl? AND JUDITH? So, Rick shambles back up to the prison courtyard and is yelling for Carl, when the smoke clears and out steps B.A. Carl right in time to pop a walker that was threatening his father. Together, they spot an EMPTY infant carrier that looks bloody. DID AMC JUST KILL JUDITH?! Well, Rick and Carl certainly think so. They lose it for a bit before regaining their composure and getting the heck out of Dodge. “Don’t look back, Carl,” Rick tells his son. (I don’t think Judith is dead. So, wouldn’t it be cool if Carol swooped in and saved her? Like, we wouldn’t see those scenes until February when the show comes back? That’d be cool. Or maybe Judith is still with the other little girls? We’ll see. But, what about the blood in the carrier? Well, a walker could have fallen on it or something. IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. I DON’T WANT THE BABY TO BE DEAD!)

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Michonne finally gets her revenge on TG. Image courtesy of AMC.

Okay, so there’s lots of loose ends for the show to address when it comes back in February, but I think it would have been better to cut it off before TG was killed. Maybe even before the big prison fight! The last episode felt like a season finale to me, not this mid-season crap all the shows are doing these days. The BIG BAD (TG) is dead! What are they left with? To find their people, mourn for those who were lost, and rebuild/resettle.

Ugh.

What did you think of how The Walking Dead wrapped up this half of the season? Is Judith dead? JUDITH BETTER NOT BE DEAD!

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Internment”

You know who would have been handy during “Internment?”

Carol.

Not a whole lot happened last night, but shockingly, it was enough to fill an hour of television.

– After returning to the prison, Rick tells Maggie about what happened with Carol. Strangely, she seems fine with his decision. REALLY? Am I the only one who thinks it was a stupid thing to send Carol away? Seriously! Ugh. So, Rick and Maggie set about reinforcing the prison fence, which why they haven’t been doing that along, I have no idea. They had time to plant a farm, but not bolster the fence? Huh. Rick also finds the time to tell Hershel about Carol through the glass window into Cell Block Sick.

Lizzie pic

I’m sure it’s bad that I was cheering for the walker. I dislike this creepy kid. Remember at the end, when she’s twirling her foot around in a pool of blood? Creep-tastic. I bet she’ll be the one to let the Governor in the prison. Image courtesy of AMC.

– In Cell Block Sick, things are looking grim. Hershel is running himself ragged trying to take care of everyone with the help of Glenn and Sasha, who are both dreadfully ill themselves. But, they’re tough and stuff. TOUGH, I say! People are starting to drop, and Hershel thinks it’s important to stab their brain pans out of sight of the rest of the sick folks. Something about morale. Blah, blah. The only real doctor of the bunch (Yeah, there’s a doctor. He’s made an appearance before, I know, but they haven’t really made that big of a deal about him, have they?), is sick (duh) and tells Hershel that he has a gun in his cell, because he expects things to go south. The doc also makes Hershel promise to close all the cell doors in the night. Seems like a logical thing to do. They should do that, anyway! It would have saved a lot of people when Philip went on his rampage through the Woodbury-ites. Just saying. In the middle of closing the doors, Hershel gets distracted when he finds Sasha passed out. He stops to help her, and some doors stay open. Of course, there is a woman who JUST drowned in her own fluids, and we see her walker eyes pop open. Shocking! Later, after Hershel revives Sasha (she was only dehydrated), he goes back to shutting doors and comes on one wherein a dude won’t let him check another dude. First dude looks to be the father of second dude and claims second dude is just sleeping. Riiiiight. Hershel buys it, though, and moves on.

Upstairs, Glenn is pumping air into some guy’s lungs to keep him alive, but the guy dies anyhow. Before Glenn can stab the guy, he has a coughing fit and kinda passes out. THEN…walkers! All of a sudden, there seems to be about 47 walkers attacking, but you know it can only be like five or six. Of course, second dude in the cell turns and eats his dad, Hershel barely makes it out from under another walker, and the walker we saw turn when Hershel was distracted by Sasha starts lurching around, too. Lizzie, the crazy blonde girl Carol was supposed to be looking after, lures the walker away from unconscious Glenn only to trip (OF COURSE) and have Hershel hop up the stairs and save her at the last minute.

Once things are largely under control, Hershel sticks to his convictions and leads walkers around a corner to shoot them out of sight of the survivors. Because. It’s important that they don’t see walkers…being killed? Umm. Okay.

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Hey, you guys dead? Poke, poke. Image courtesy of AMC.

– Outside, Rick and Maggie are still working on the fence. When they hear gunshots, Maggie leaves to see what’s going on, and Rick goes and gets Carl to help him. Then, it’s night. (Night comes on quickly in these parts, guys.) The posts Rick and Carl are setting up start to break, and walkers start pouring in! Oh no! They beat a hasty retreat and barely make it through a door, but the walkers are close behind and start pushing on another unfortunately placed fence. Rick and Carl get some heavy duty artillery and start mowing them down after they break through the inner fence. After they killed them ALL, they see a minivan. Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob have returned with the medicine! Yay!

– Bob, who is a medic (I keep forgetting that, too), mixes up the medicine and Glenn gets a dose. I assume others get medicine, too, and we see Tyreese and Sasha reunite. Awww.

The next day, Daryl asks Hershel if Carol is okay, and Hershel tells him he needs to talk to Rick about it. You know Daryl’s going to be upset about Carol’s banishment! We don’t get to see that conversation, though. Hershel sets off with Michonne to burn a bunch of bodies, and the worst seems over!

BUT WAIT! As the camera pulls away from the prison, we see everyone’s favorite psychotic pirate, the Governor! He’s watching the grounds and, no doubt, planning his revenge!

FADE TO BLEAK… I mean, BLACK!

I sincerely hope they were fixing the fence. We didn’t see them fixing the fence, but they had to be, right? Right? Geez.

What’d you guys think of “Internment?”

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Indifference”

Holy crap, Rick! Really? The former lawman’s decision seemed out of the blue and totally ridiculous!

You have to agree with me on this one.

Seriously!

What decision? Well, let’s get to it, then:

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Whoa, there, Tyreese! Back off, buddy! Image courtesy of AMC.

– After speaking with the ill blonde girl (who didn’t seem sick at all to me…) in her “charge,” Carol sets off with Rick for a supply run. It’s obvious Rick is terribly conflicted about Carol since finding out she killed Karen and dude no one cares about. Not a whole lot of time is spent on Rick’s feelings on the matter, though. We get a lot of angsty looks and a voiceover from the sick blonde girl about being strong and people changing. Then, when Rick and Carol are in the car together, Carol accuses Rick of not trusting her. Um. Yeah. Probs.

– Tyreese is trying to get himself killed. He’s convinced himself that his group’s (Daryl, Michonne, Bob, and Tyreese) delay in getting needed antibiotics has sealed the deaths of all the sick people at the prison, including Sasha. They come upon a minivan covered in vines that are connected to a building. Maybe it was a repair shop or something? Suffice it to say, there are walkers inside, and Tyreese tries to wrestle with one a bit too long. The others are like, “Dude. Stop trying to get yourself killed.” He’s all like, “Whatever. You don’t understand me! Nobody does!”

After finding stuff to get the van running, Daryl tinkers with the vehicle while Bob pours his heart out about being an alcoholic and feeling guilty about causing the helicopter to fall through the roof, leading to Zack’s death. Bob thinks he put a bottle of liquor down too hard, the shelf collapsed and then, the roof collapsed. Daryl’s like, “Shut up. It wasn’t your fault.” After the group finally reaches the vet college, it’s a fairly easy hop, skip, and jump to the medical supplies. Everything that Hershel wants is there, and they quickly gather the supplies and head out. There’s a quick aside as Bob finds a bottle of booze and stashes it out of sight in his bag. Okay, so here’s what I don’t understand: Apparently, they choose another way to leave the grounds, because they run in the hoards of walkers! And they seem to have been infected with the flu, too. Can anyone explain to me why they didn’t go out the same way they came in? It makes NO sense. At all! They end up having to bust out a window and escape onto a porch roof. In doing so, Bob loses his footing and his bag flips down. Of course, there are scads of walkers below, and they try to pull him down. See, Bob won’t let go of the bag, because that’s where he’s put the booze. But, the others haul him back up, and Daryl finds the bottle. They have a short standoff, and Daryl almost alpha males Bob off the roof, snarling that if Bob drinks any before the prison folk get medicine, he’ll get beat into the ground. Bob is ashamed, but tucks the bottle back in his bag and follows the group to safety.

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Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Image courtesy of AMC.

– Rick and Carol drive to a subdivision and happen upon a pair of unlikely survivors. I say unlikely, because the man and woman seem like super easy walker bait. The woman has a turned-in foot — she said it healed incorrectly after being broken — and the man has a dislocated shoulder. Carol pops the shoulder back in place, and Rick asks his three questions to determine if the couple can come back to the prison. Apparently, they passed the test, because later, Rick tells them to stay put while he and Carol finish their supply run. He plans to pick them back up on the way out. But, no! The couple wants to help! The woman is fast despite her foot! And the dude is strong, too! Rick reluctantly agrees, and they decide to meet back up in two hours.

However, a bit later, Rick and Carol happen upon what’s left of the woman. Apparently, she wasn’t that fast, because walkers are eating her. Also, can we just talk about how they find her leg first? It was perfectly intact and just laying there. Dumb. Rick and Carol finish looting…er…looking for supplies and go back to the house to wait for the man. He never shows, and Carol thinks they should leave him. That’s the last straw for Rick! Carol has changed, he says! She’s terrible and ruthless, now! Inhumane! It was all rather confusing, really. Rick was upset that Carol made the decision to kill Karen and dude, so he determines that Carol must leave the prison! WHAT?! Yep. She doesn’t even fight him that hard! She argues a bit, but gives in WAY too quickly. They pack up what I guess was the couple’s station wagon with supplies, and Carol drives away.

Fade to black.

Excuse me? What just happened? Rick just kicked Carol to the curb! For all his pontificating about how Carol didn’t have the right to choose to end the lives of others, isn’t he essentially doing the same thing? Oh, sure, there were some lines in there about how Carol is strong and how she’d find another group…but, come on! And the pacing was totally off. I mean, you could see that Rick was thinking on what had happened, that he wasn’t happy about it by any means, but the whole thing happened extremely fast! He and Carol discussed it all too briefly. It was very unsatisfying from a story-telling standpoint. And let’s talk about it from a logical standpoint, shall we? This whole show is about survival, about making a life after life has ended. People are adapting and changing…but, don’t change too much or you’ll get kicked out of the group? I dunno. Carol’s point about acting in the best interest of the group is valid. Did she do the right thing? Probably not. But, is it up to Rick to decide that? Not according to Rick! But, I guess so…according to Rick. He took himself out of leadership, but now he’s making this kind of decision?

I think we’ve circled back around to the individual versus the group theme. Carol made the decision to act on her own to disastrous consequences: Karen and dude could have survived, and Tyreese is now homicidal and suicidal. Rick has made the decision to act on his own and banish Carol. What will be the consequences? Well, I’m thinking that Daryl will not be pleased, and he will probably go after her. Will the group fragment further? Will Tyreese set out to hunt her down? Will Rick lie about it, and say she was killed? If our show theme of groups are better had been played out, then Rick should have brought Carol back to the prison, and she should have answered for her actions. The group should have decided her fate.

What do you think? Hit me up in the comments!

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Isolation”

I purposely wait until the day after to write my recaps. I think it’s important to look at the show as a whole, and a night’s sleep helps me do that.

My process is to think back through the entire episode, to highlight stuff that sticks out. As I go through, points will pop out, or I’ll remember more things. I’ll tell you the truth, it’s not coming easy today. The one thing I keep focusing on? The person who killed Tyreese’s love interest and the other dude no one cares about.

Initially, that is. The more I think on it, the more that comes back. And then, I think about the episode’s title, and what seemed to be a choppy show gains a bit of coherence in the light of the camera lens. “Isolation” was almost a series of vignettes, giving us a way to feel the characters’…isolation. It’s interesting, because before, some of the major thematic elements have heavily relied on working in groups, surviving in groups.

Being alone leads to death.

Let’s get to the highlights!

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Daryl’s offer of a mint doesn’t go over well with Tyreese. Image courtesy of AMC.

– Everybody’s got the plague! Well, at least everybody from Woodbury. But, then, folks (Glenn and Sasha) from good ole cell block C start showing signs and have to be weeded out and sent to quarantine. The kids and old people (Hershel is the only one we’re shown, so is he the last old guy? Maybe the rest are already sick.) are also separated out after the council determines it’s best to protect “the most vulnerable.”

– Tyreese is still quite upset about his love interest (Karen) being done up extra tasty crispy, and throw quite the fit in the small courtyard where he found the bodies (Oh, yeah…that other dude died, too. Who was he? Nobody cares.). Rick, Daryl, and Carol are there, and we get a bit of 28 Days Later rage as Tyreese starts a pissing match with Rick. I’m really not sure why they started fighting. I mean, I get that Tyreese is upset, but…? Something about murder being okay in the prison…yada, yada, yada. The two exchange blows and Daryl breaks up the fight, with Carol looking on like the stereotypical helpless female. Rick promises the murderer will be found.

– Before being separated due to his supposed vulnerability to the sickness, Hershel tells the council of an vet college that may still have much-needed antibiotics to help the suffering survivors.  It’s about 50 miles away, and Daryl and Michonne are set to go, along with guy who caused the helicopter to come crashing through the roof in the first episode. (I’m sure he has a nice name, but I’m also sure he won’t last that much longer.) Daryl wants one more on the team and asks Tyreese, but the man is freaking out over the fact that Sasha is sick and declines. However, Tyreese later decides to go after Sasha gets hopeful at the news of the medicine run. He approaches Carol and asks her to look in on Sasha every so often. You know, because Carol cares about everyone. Carol agrees, but throws one heck of a fit as soon as Tyreese leaves, turning over a nearby water barrel and crying. And right then, I knew I was wrong about Helicopter killing Karen and other dude. It was totally Carol.

So, Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese and Helicopter leave the prison in some kind of sedan, because it’s the fastest one they have. Also, sedans are much easier to get wrecked, overrun, etc.

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Glenn just needs to walk it off… Image courtesy of AMC.

– Hershel gets antsy in stay-healthy-quarantine and decides to go into the woods for elderberries. Carl, who has also be separated out, decides to go with him for protection, and they run into a couple of walkers. But neither of the walkers are fast (one is just a torso, actually), and Carl doesn’t need to shoot his newly restored gun. And what are the elderberries for? The illness symptoms, of course! Hershel has decided to go into the quarantine and take care of the sick people. He has a run-in with Maggie and Rick right before going in, but he gives a rousing speech about doing his duty, helping people, etc., and they reluctantly let him go. Later, we see Hershel helping folks and someone (the one and only actual doctor…or medic…or something) sneezes/coughs blood into his face. Hershel removes the kerchief that was covering the lower half of his face and calmly wipes the red away. Hershel = toast. UNLESS they can find those darned antibiotics!

– Daryl, Michonne, Tyreese, and Helicopter are driving along to retrieve said antibiotics when they decide to pop a CD in the car’s player. However, when they turn the radio on, they hear voices! Someone’s broadcasting?! In an effort to jimmy the radio to try to find the signal, Daryl isn’t paying attention to the road, and, don’t you know it, BAM! Walkers! And not just a few! Our intrepid heroes have driven into a massive herd. Daryl tries to back up, but runs over too many walkers and gets the un-sensible sedan stuck on head cheese. Literally. Gross. They abandon the vehicle and make a run for it, but Tyreese lingers, caught in some kind of mental whatsit. Finally, he emerges from the backseat, swinging his hammer and bashing walkers left and right. Daryl, Michonne, and Helicopter leave him behind, sure he won’t make it out from the giant ring of walkers. He does make it, though! Shock! (Not really) Tyreese meets back up with the trio and they continue on their way.

– Rick is playing detective at the scene of the crime, inspecting the courtyard and looking concernedly at the ground…which has been cleaned up, by the way, so I’m not sure what he’s looking at. Then, he finds a partial bloody hand print and somehow (I have NO IDEA how) figures out who killed Karen and dude nobody cares about. The episode ends with Rick straight up asking Carol if she killed Karen and dude nobody cares about. She confirms that she did (hence the unladylike behavior after her brief conversation with Tyreese. TOLD YOU!) and walks away. Rick’s all like, “uh-oh!” No, he does’t actually say that, but his face totally did. FADE TO BLACK.

As I said earlier, this episode really emphasized individuals and feelings of being alone and acting alone. Carol, who was given charge of the two annoying blonde girls after their father was killed, took it upon herself to act alone and take out Karen and dude. We also saw her fiddling with the water hose outside of the prison fence, alone, nearly getting caught by walkers before Rick came to the rescue. Glenn struggled with his symptoms alone before confessing to Maggie. Tyreese seems to be trying to face down some serious inner demons alone after Karen’s death and Sasha’s sickness. There are several scenes with Maggie and Beth talking through a door, both alone…however, when they start to realize that everyone really is working together, that everyone has a job to do, the tone in these scenes really changes from its sense of loneliness and separation.

Being alone leads to death. When will the survivors learn this? It’s a lesson that keeps coming up over and over.

So, what did you guys think of “Isolation?” Hit me up in the comments!

[Featured image courtesy of AMC.]

 

 

 

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Infected”

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Patrick? You okay, buddy? Image courtesy of AMC.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

– As predicted, Patrick munched his way through the Woodbury survivors in cell block D. Aren’t you glad we have a nice batch of walker bait so our main cast isn’t really at risk? Thanks, Woodbury! Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Sasha and others charged in and saved the day…or what was left of the day. Lots of people died, but, let’s face it: we really don’t care because, after all, they were just Woodbury-ites, right? But, wait! There are a couple of folks we’re supposed to care about: Tyreese’s love interest (she’s okay, but has developed a curious cough…more on that later) and two little blonde sisters who have an unhealthy interest in the wellbeing of walkers. In fact, I’m pretty sure Blonde 1 (the seemingly older of the two) is feeding rats to walkers at the fence during the night. In fact, that may be one reason the walkers are congregating at certain places along the fence. Anyhow, the sisters’ father didn’t make it, and Carol takes charge of the pair. Later, we see some major crazy when Blonde 1 throws a fit at the fence because one of her pet walkers, Nick, had been killed. Carol fears Blonde 1 is “weak,” and I had to shake my head, because dear heart is basing this on Blonde 1’s inability to kill her own father before he turned. Really, Carol? Really? Blonde 2 sticks up for her sister and tells Carol that Blonde 1 isn’t weak, just crazy. Greeeeaaaat.

– The council (Hershel, Daryl, Carol, Glenn, and Sasha) get together to discuss what’s happened. (In my house, we think it’s the Spanish flu. Look it up; it’s gross.) So, the explanation is that Patrick had the flu, died, turned, and went on a spree. How they knew Patrick was patient zero? Carol did mention that he was sick the day before, but… Weak. Right after they decide there’s an outbreak of some kind of flu, right on cue, we hear Tyreese’s love interest coughing in the hallway. Uh-oh! Time for some quarantine action. Tyreese’s love interest and another dude are to be quarantined on Death Row. That’s some nice overt foreshadowing right there!

– Michonne, is resting in secure cell block C (the home of the main cast), because she hurt her ankle during Woodbury munch-fest. Beth, who is Judith’s stand-in mommy, hands the baby to Michonne, and we see tough girl cry. She totally had a baby at some point that died, ya’ll. I know I’m right, because she and Beth had just been talking about widows, orphans, and the like, and Beth specifically mentioned that there’s not a term for a mother who’s lost her child. Then, boom, Michonne holds the baby and cries. I’m just saying that we better not see that flashback! I don’t want to see that flashback! DON’T SHOW ME THAT FLASHBACK, AMC!

– Carol has a heart-to-heart with Carl about her knife lessons. In the last episode, Carl saw her teaching the kids how to use knives, and for some reason, this was a huge deal. It’s ridiculous to me that anyone would be against teaching children how to survive, but apparently Rick is? Maybe not. Carol explains that not everyone would be okay with it (stupid Woodbury parents, amiright?), and that if Rick finds out, he’ll tell everyone what’s going on. Carl says he won’t lie to his dad. Go, Carl! The kid is starting to grow on me. He just needs a haircut.

– The congregating walkers at the fence are starting to be a serious problem. In fact, they almost break it down at one point, but Rick, Daryl, Sasha, Tyreese, Glenn and Maggie get there just in time to brace it up. But, it’s not enough! Rick, who for some reason is conflicted about walker violence, decides to sacrifice the pigs to get the walkers away from the fence. Daryl drives Rick outside of the fence, and the former lawman cuts and throws off a trail of pigs to lead the bulk of the walkers away. The trail of bleeding pigs distracts the walkers long enough for the fence to be shored up. This seemed to be a huge turning point for Rick, who was trying to be more of a farmer/provider rather than a protector/hunter. Remember, he wouldn’t even carry his gun for some reason! Crazy.

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Uncle Owen? Aunt Baru? Image courtesy of AMC.

– Carl finds Rick tearing down and burning the pig enclosure and tells him what Carol is doing with the kids (teaching them how to use knives, protect themselves, etc.). Thanks, Carl. I’m proud of you! Rick decides not to get involved. Thanks, Rick! I’m proud of you! Then, after Carl asks when he can have his gun back (I’m assuming it was taken away after he took out that Woodbury kid last season), Rick goes to a toolbox, gets it out, and hands it over. More importantly, though, Rick retrieves his own gun and holster and straps it on. It was meant to be a singular moment, I’m sure. Rick was making a decision to reenter the fray, to take up his gun again. In doing so, he lost what little hope he had accumulated when he took up farming. Farming represented a new beginning, and that beginning died along with the screaming pigs Rick fed to the walkers. Heavy.

– Tyreese finds nothing but blood when he goes to visit his lady on Death Row! Told you about the overt foreshadowing… She and the other dude have been dragged out into a courtyard, and their bodies have been burned. It’s not clear whether or not they died from the flu before this happened, but the trails of smeared blood looked like too much to have come from flu-induced bleeding orifices. Were they murdered? Tyreese thinks so! Who would have done something like this? My money is on the guy who caused the chopper to fall through the roof in the first episode. Just putting that out there.

So, what did you think of “Infected?” Are you glad Rick’s taken up his gun again? Will it lead to Crazytown and ghost Lori again? And what about this flu? I’m thinking it’s going to go through a bunch more people before we’re done. And the “murder!” Who killed Tyreese’s love interest and that dude that no one cares about?

 

[[Cover image courtesy of AMC]]

 

 

 

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “30 Days Without an Accident”

All of the zombies have died off, Rick has taken up with Michonne, and Carl and a surprisingly mature Judith have started a folk duo! All is well on The Walking Dead!

Just messin’.

Our intrepid and draggy survivors are still holed up in the prison when season four of The Walking Dead opened last night. The influx of people from Woodbury has seemed to brighten up the place; there’s house plants! Flowers! And Rick is a farmer, now, seeming to eschew guns.

Wait, what?

For some reason, Rick doesn’t seem to like guns, now. I have no idea why. To try to be a better example for Carl (who showed some homicidal tendencies last season, I’ll admit)? At any rate, it’s a noticeable change. So much so, that Hershel approaches Rick and tells him that the Council (made up of Carol, Daryl, Hershel, and several others) have officially requested that Rick carry a gun when he goes outside of the prison fence. Apparently, he hasn’t been taking one? Um. Okay. Weird. Also, Rick is NOT on the Council. Interesting!

Let’s hit the highlights of last night, shall we?

– Tyreese has a love interest. My prediction: she’s walker bait.

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Pssst! Rick! Look behind you! Image courtesy of AMC.

– Glenn thinks Maggie is pregnant and won’t let her come on a supply run. Probably a wise choice, because even though Maggie ends up NOT being pregnant, the folks on the run get attacked by walkers…of course. Let me just rant about this for a bit. So, the people who go are Daryl, Sasha, Michonne, Tyreese, Glenn, Zack, and a Dude that tags along last minute (Highly suspicious in this world. What’s his angle? I’m not sure I believe his “I just wanna pull my weight” speech.). Zack is Beth’s new Boo, and as the group is leaving, Beth flippantly refuses to say goodbye. Obviously, Zack is toast. The group goes to a store for some good ole fashioned looting and a leaky roof proves to be their downfall. Well, it proves to be Zack’s downfall, anyhow. See, there’s a helicopter on the roof that appears to have crash landed. There are also a crapload ton of walkers ambling around. (Why…?) We are clued in on the roof situation when Dude (whose name I can’t remember, because I don’t think I care) is checking out some booze and inexplicably causes an entire shelf to fall, pinning him to the ground. I can’t think of a good reason as to why this would have happened, but it did. As the rest of the group are trying to get Dude free, the walkers, who ALL heard the crash of the shelf falling, migrate to the part of the roof that has water damage. The weak ceiling gives way, and walkers start falling into the store. Here’s my problem with that: They fall through the ceiling ALL OVER, not just at the water-damaged portion. Wouldn’t they all fall through at the same place? Of course, the hole would get bigger and bigger, but it would be in the same place! It makes no sense for them to fall through helter-skelter from all over the ceiling! Ugh. Everyone makes it out except for Zack, who does nothing but scream as a walker noshes on his calf. Wouldn’t you kick it or something? But, no, he just screams and helpfully falls down while the others look on in horror. Then, somehow the walker is suddenly at Zack’s neck nomming away. RIP, Zack.

– Rick is out checking the snares when he happens upon a crazed woman, who I thought for sure was a walker at first. Turns out she’s just remarkably filthy (most likely covered in walker gore to throw off her scent). She sells him a story about her survival and how she’d never have made it without a man named Eddie. Eddie’s back at her camp, and he’s a bit under the weather. Won’t Rick come and help? She’s done terrible things! It’s awful! But they had to survive, of course. And can they please come to Rick’s camp? Rick says he’ll need to meet Eddie and ask both Crazed Filthy and Eddie three questions that will determine if the pair will be able to join the prison group. We never see Eddie, but I can only assume he’s a head in the crate Crazed Filthy bends down to talk to when they arrive at her camp. Rick guesses she’s off her rocker and manages to dodge when she lunges at him with a knife…the knife Rick confiscated…then returned to her, by the way. Crazed Filthy babbles about Eddie needing something alive because he’s getting weak (Eddie is totally a head in the crate.). She led Rick to the camp for Eddie to eat, I guess. Then, she loses it totally and stabs herself, begging Rick to let her come back as a walker so she can be with Eddie. Ah, true love! As she lays dying, she asks what Rick’s three questions were. They were 1.) How many walkers have you killed? (She says none; Eddie took care of that); 2.) How many people have you killed? (“Just me,” she whispers.); and 3.) Why? (She burbles something about it being the only way and dies.) Rick, ever the romantic, hacks off her head and leaves it in a bag by the crate. True love! Gross.

– Carl has a friend! It doesn’t last. So, there’s this kid, Phillip, who is incredibly polite and nice. Rick actually encourages Carl to hang out with Phillip, and he does. The boys happen upon a group of younger kids who are talking to the walkers at the prison fence, giving them names and treating them like pets. Carl is not amused and reads them the riot act, and the group disperses and goes to story time. Story time, run by Carol, is for little kids! Not really, but kinda. Carl wants to go, but thinks he’s too old. Classic pre-teen/young teen attitude, Carl. Phillip goes, though, and we are treated to a nice scene with Carol reading to a semi-circle of kids. Phillip, who is quite pale, excuses himself because he doesn’t feel well. (Suspicious! I sense a plot device! And let’s not forget about the sick pig, Violet, who later dies… Will there be a plague outbreak of some kind in the prison?) Carl sneaks in to listen to story time and is surprised when Carol pulls out an assortment of knives. She’s teaching the kids how to use them. Seems sensible to me! But, for some reason, Carl seems scandalized, and when Carol sees him, she begs him not to tell Rick about it. What’s that all about? Why wouldn’t you teach kids how to use weapons in post-apocalyptic walker world?

– Daryl tells Beth about Zack’s death, and the girl doesn’t seem all that affected. She tells Daryl that she doesn’t cry about those things anymore; she’s just happy to have known him. In her room (cell), she has one of those it’s been ## days since the last incident signs, and she changes the number to zero. Talk about overt foreshadowing!

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Can’t you just let bygones be bygones, Michonne? Nerp. Image courtesy of AMC.

– Michonne has been out looking for The Governor but hasn’t had any luck. She’s thinking of heading to Macon, but that’s about 70 miles away, and no one particularly wants her to go. And is it just me, or was there some chemistry between her and Rick at the beginning? I’m probably reading into it, but I think it’d be awesome if they hooked up!

– Sick Phillip wakes up and goes to the shower room. It’s obvious that he’s really ill; he’s all sweaty and pale. Is this the same illness that killed Violet the pig? Just a bad case of the flu? He stands under the shower, trying to cool himself down and abruptly passes out. Phillip falls and (I’m assuming) dies from drowning…or hits his head…or something, because a time later when the camera pans up his lifeless body, he opens his WALKER EYES! [Insert dramatic music] I’m guessing he died and came back, but wouldn’t it be interesting if the walker disease was now somehow catching among the living? That’d raise the stakes! [SEE UPDATE BELOW!] The episode ended with Phillips walker eyes, and we know he’s going to go rampaging through the cell block.

Okay, so my first thought was: Even if you think you’re in a safe place like the prison, wouldn’t you still shut all the doors? They didn’t address the whole swiss-cheese-prison issue, and I can only assume there are still gaping holes in the building. Yes, that’s in another section/cell block, but I’d certainly still lock my cell every night.

You know they don’t. And they’ll suffer for it!

 

I’m glad The Walking Dead is back; I’m not glad The Walking Dead is back. There is nothing the survivors can ever do to fix their world, and that is very bleak. It depresses me. What hope do they have? Little, if any at all. Theirs is a tale of constant struggle and defeat against an ever rising tide of walkers. They will never find peace, for if they do…the show would be over, and AMC can’t have that, now, can they?

What did you think of last night’s episode?

UPDATE: So, I just took a quiz on AMC’s website about the season opener. I only missed one question, and it was about a walker at the fence during the beginning of the episode that had blood streaming out of its facial orifices. Foreshadowing I totally missed, folks! It’s evidence that some kind of plague is coming, or is already there, actually, since at the end, when Phillip collapsed we were shown blood seeping out of his nose and mouth. This leads me to believe we’re heading into virus-y zombie territory. An interesting change! It’ll really ratchet up the stakes, as I stated above.

 

[Cover image courtesy of AMC.]

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The Walking Dead Returns on Sunday!

Before we start geeking out together about the return of The Walking Dead (TWD) in the scariest month of the calendar year (Yes, October is scary. Don’t you watch television? All of the scaries are in October! I’ll have you know that my husband is planning to make me watch Aliens this month. I’ve never seen it! Isn’t that shocking? Well, yeah, kinda. But, still…scary!), I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about AMC’s undead flagship.

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Pssst! Rick! Behind you! Image courtesy of AMC.

I’m dreading the emotional drain I know is coming. I’m dreading the hopelessness, the bleakness.

I can’t go straight to bed after watching an episode of TWD. Seriously. And no, it’s not because I stay up to write my recap (Catch up on TWD by reading ALL my recaps! They’re clearly marked. Don’t be lazy; just scroll and click!). It’s because I can’t stand the thought of going to bed with such a sense of  despondence weighing on me. It’s like a physical pressure on my chest. I usually have to catch a sitcom rerun or watch a snatch of something fluffy to snap out of my TWD funk.

That being said, I AM pumped about the return of Over-the-Cray-Cray Rick, B.A. Carl, Dreamy Daryl, and the piece of Swiss cheese they call a prison (Oh, yeah…totally safe! I mean, there’s giant holes EVERYWHERE, and walkers shamble in at an alarming rate, but it’s fiiiiiiiine. Just fiiiiiiiine. ). There’s Michonne, too, and Carol. And let’s not forget about the quietest baby ever to be born: Judith! (Seriously, have the writers ever been around a newborn? I think not!) Hershel, Glenn, and Maggie, too, I suppose. My interest in them is waning, though. Frankly, I’m surprised Hershel has made it this far.

Prediction: Hershel is not going to make it out of this season alive! I don’t really have much to base this on other than a general gut feeling and the need for something else to torment Rick…besides burgeoning B.A. Carl. You read it here first!

AMC has been releasing webisodes on and off, and that’s been nice. Their latest was last week’s “The Oath,” an uplifting (not really) three parter. Check it out:

Turns out the hospital with the Angel of Death was the same in which Rick woke up in at the beginning of TWD. Nice Easter egg. However, it begs the question of why the creepy doctor didn’t find Rick and abandon him to the same fate as Paul.

Details, details.

TWD returns this Sunday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. on AMC.

 

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Welcome to the Tombs”

So, this is a recap for a season finale. Yeah, there will be SPOILERS.

Andrea finally paid the piper for all her stupid decisions this season! YES! Honestly, I wasn’t sad to see her go. I’m sure I’ll find someone else to yell at during next season, but for now, I am satisfied. Ghoulish? Not really. I have my reasons! Read on!

“Welcome to the Tombs” opens with The Governor (TG) beating the crap out of Milton. TG is pretty ticked that Merle got the drop on him and his men and that eight of the group were killed. Of course, Milton is to blame for that! Plus, Milton let Andrea go!

But, TG, ever the understanding despot, offers Milton a chance at redemption –one TG knows Milton will never take.

TG leads Milton into the room where Andrea is handcuffed to the dentist chair and tells him that she will still be useful. TG orders Milton to pick up the terror tools, and the subservient little weasel trudges over, clearly in pain from TG’s tender touch. Milton drops the tools and gets yelled at, and as he’s picking them up, he leaves a pair of pliers behind Andrea. As TG and Milton ready to leave, TG suddenly stops and pulls Milton back into the room, telling him that he needs to kill Andrea. TG gives Milton a knife and tells him to prove himself and earn redemption in TG’s eyes (or, eye, I guess…).

Milton takes the knife and aims a swipe at TG (something TG was surely counting on)! TGgrabs the knife and redirects it, stabbing Milton several times. In true villain style, TG twirls his non-existent mustache and tells Milton that now he’ll turn into a biter and kill Andrea, anyway!

(I was hoping we’d finally learn Milton’s connection to TG in this episode. Brother-in-law? That’s what I wanted. The closest we got was when Milton asked TG what Penny would think of her father, now. She’d be afraid of me, TG says, nonplussed.)

At the prison, Rick and the gang are loading up their possessions and (I thought) preparing to get the heck out of Dodge. But, Carl’s being a moody teenager, and I had no idea why. He wouldn’t let his dad touch him, and he was stomping around. Was he mad that they were leaving? Weird.

Skeptical Tyreese and Sasha are skeptical.

Skeptical Tyreese and Sasha are skeptical. Image courtesy of AMC.

Cut to Woodbury! TG is whipping his conscripted soldiers into a frenzy! They killed our men, and they’re not going to stop until we’re all dead, he tells the mixed group. Off to the prison! They start to pile in vehicles that are loaded down with all manner of heavy artillery. But, Tyreese and Sasha are having second thoughts. Tyreese tells TG that they want to stay and protect the town, because they don’t want to fight people…only walkers. TG gives them the evil eye, but grabs a gun and shoves it into Tyreese’s hands, thanking him for volunteering to stay behind.

Tyreese and Sasha exhale. Shwew! TG’s not going to kill them! Yet…? They think they might have to slip out of town later, though.

Before long, TG and his small army are at the prison, blowing up the guard towers and barreling through fences. They make their way into the prison and can’t find anyone!

YES! I cheered! Rick’s group was smart and left!

TG leads his army into the part of the prison known as the tombs after hearing noises. Well, of course there are noises! There’s a giant hole on the back of the prison, and walkers wander in all the time! But, I guess TG didn’t know that.

I was just saying to my husband that they should have left booby traps for TG, when BANG! Smoke grenades and sirens start going off! TG’s people start screaming and scattering. He tries to get them to calm down, but they don’t listen and run for their trucks. When they get into the prison yard, Maggie and Glenn pop up in full riot gear, shooting at them and causing more panic. They tear off, terrified!

Now their plan was clear to me. Rick’s group had cleared out to make it look like they had abandoned the prison! But, Maggie, Glenn, Rick, Daryl, and Carol had stayed behind to reek havoc on TG and his raiders! Carl was upset because Rick didn’t let him stay and help. Instead, Carl, Hershel, and Beth were on the edge of the woods, watching from a distance.

At the edge of the woods, one of TG’s men stumbles upon Carl, Hershel, and Beth. Carl, still smarting from being left out, was quick to draw on the guy, who was really just a teenager. The teenager surrenders and tries to hand over his weapon, but Carl shoots him!

We got a great shot of Hershel’s horrified expression. Uh-oh! Seems to me that Carl is trying to prove to dear old dad that he’s an adult! Ugh.

Back at the prison, they decide to go to Woodbury to finish the fight. Hershel tells Rick what happened, but, Carl denies shooting down the kid in cold blood. He drew on them, Carl insists. Hershel disagrees, but Rick wants to believe Carl.

On the road back to Woodbury, TG’s army is hurrying on its way. But, TG speeds up and gets in front of the line, forcing the trucks to stop. They all pile out and start arguing with TG, saying they should just leave the prison alone, it’s not worth it, etc. TG is most displeased. So displeased in fact, that he goes quite nuts and mows everyone down with a gun.

Ratta-freakin’-tat-tat!

TG makes sure his townsfolk wouldn’t rise again, popping them in the head. But, he misses Karen! Somehow, she managed to avoid the gunfire, and is hiding under someone else’s dead body. For some reason, TG doesn’t shoot the body’s head. Lucky Karen!

Martinez and Shumpert (Shumpert? I totally had to look this guy’s name up. Tell me I’m not the only one who had no idea what his name was!) are quite shocked at TG’s behavior, but they don’t seem TOO distressed, because they hop right into the truck when TG gives the signal and leave!

Seriously, guys? Why didn’t Martinez just pop TG right there? It would have been the perfect opportunity! You can’t tell me that they’re comfortable with this psychopath. I mean, I actually found myself liking Martinez a little bit when he and Daryl bonded over a cig at Rick and TG’s initial meeting. Now, I gotta wonder what he’s after by staying with TG. Maybe it’s because TG’s the biggest, baddest dog in the junkyard? It’s better to be a servant of the Devil than be in his way? Hmmm.

Oh, hey! Remember Andrea’s plight? Yeah, Milton is about to turn and eat her face. But, what is she doing instead of trying to free herself? She’s monologuing. Milton is barely alive, and Andrea is trying to keep him coherent. She can’t do that and try to free herself at the same time? Fine, then. She deserves to be eaten, I say! 

As she rambles on, she admits to the fading Milton that she stayed in Woodbury because she wanted to save everyone by herself. It didn’t work. And it wouldn’t, would it? After all, the main theme of this season is that you can’t do anything on your own! And there she was, trying to do it on her own; she was doomed to fail.

Milton finally dies, and Andrea flails at the pliers with her feet. Milton’s fingers twitch!

At the prison, Rick, Michonne, and Daryl prepare to head to Woodbury. The others are have decided to stay and guard the prison. Not a bad idea, guys. Rick confronts Carl and asks about the kid his kid gunned down. Carl becomes defensive and tells Rick that he did what had to be done, throwing back in the former lawman’s face several times when the trigger hadn’t been pulled, and there had been dire consequences (Dale, Lori, and Merle’s deaths).

I totally agreed with Carl. I mean, killing TG’s teenaged soldier may not have been the best thing, but can you blame him for not wanting to take a chance? However, I think there was more at play than simply “a chance.” I think Carl was mad that he wasn’t included in the prison defense, that he wasn’t being treated like an adult.

Rick, Michonne, and Daryl strike out, following the road to Woodbury. It isn’t long before they come upon TG’s roadside slaughter. Walkers are busily munching bodies, and the prison trio get out to clear them. Then, they find Karen! She hid in the cab of one of the trucks and begs for help.

Back to Andrea! Milton has completely turned and is shuffling toward her. Oh, no! (Yay!) Andrea manages to get her hands free at the last minute, but not before Milton is on her!

Did he bite her? Did she kill him? We don’t see! But, we hear screaming!

By now, it’s night, and Tyreese and Sasha are still guarding Woodbury’s walls when they catch Rick’s group sneaking up. They fire on them, and it isn’t until Karen makes herself known that Tyreese is willing to listen. Karen explains what happened and that TG went nuts and shot everyone. Tyreese doesn’t seem TOO surprised, but he is shocked to learn that Andrea may still be in Woodbury. Rick tells him that she never made it to the prison.

So long, and thanks for all the fish! Image courtesy of AMC.

So long, and thanks for all the fish! Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick, Michonne, and Daryl lead the way back to the rooms where Maggie and Glenn were held. Tyreese goes with them, and they find a door with blood pooling from beneath it. It is opened to reveal Milton’s body and Andrea huddled against a wall. She’s been bitten and isn’t long for this world. It’s sad, of course, but I wasn’t sad to see Andrea go. I was sad for Michonne’s loss. The secret ninja is crying and trying to believe Andrea will be okay. But, she know’s that’s not going to happen. Andrea is paying for her mistakes, while emphasizing this season’s theme of you can’t do it on your own.

Andrea shoots herself while she is still able. They didn’t show it, though. I watched Rick, Daryl, and Tyreese wait for the gunshot on the other side of the door.

BLAM. Fade to black.

After, Rick and co. head back to the prison with a bus. A bus? Yeah, Rick’s taking in strays, now. Since all (most, anyway) of the able-bodied adults have been slaughtered, the bus is full of older folks and kids.

Carl looks murderous and asks what’s going on, and Rick tells him that they’re taking in the people left from Woodbury.

It’s the right decision. How do we know it’s the right decision? Rick looks up at the catwalk, and pregnant ghost Lori isn’t there, anymore! Has Rick left Crazytown for good? Let’s hope so!

End of season three!

Why didn’t Rick just take over Woodbury? My first guess is that TG knows the town too well. I mean, there were secret torture rooms! Plus, the place just has too much history, and moving to the prison is the start of a new life. That life will be vastly different, no doubt, but it’s new nonetheless.

So, loose ends and/or issues that occurred to me:

  • TG, Martinez and Shumpert are still out there somewhere running amok. Are they going to raid the prison? Ummm, prolly. TG’s too big of a villain for him to just disappear. He’s the bogeyman.  
  • There are tons of new mouths to feed at the prison. You can’t tell me that they’ll be able to forage enough for all these people! I mean, Daryl’s a good hunter, but come on! They’re going to have to start farming in earnest, methinks.  
  • Carl’s becoming a hardened killer (is this a bad thing?). It’s a sign of the times, yes, but how far should Rick let Carl go? Can he even do anything at this point?
  • There’s a giant hole in the back of the prison. They should probably look into this, yeah? Especially now with lots more people in the prison. 

The title, “Welcome to the Tombs,” could be taken in several ways, I thought. The first that occurred to me was it was a greeting for the former Woodbury residents. The prison, for all its worthwhile security in bars and fences, still has the dark, close feeling of a tomb, don’t you think?

“Tombs” is the name the prison group uses to refer to the passages overrun with walkers. So, I thought it was kind of a clever greeting (“Welcome to the Tombs”) for TG and his army as they entered the hallways in search of Rick and his group and were met with smoke bombs and sirens.

What did you think of “Welcome to the Tombs?” Of season three? Hit me up in the comments!

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-16-prison.php.]]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “This Sorrowful Life”

SPOILERS, mates. Plain and simple. Thar she blows!

What happened this week? Well, Rick made a bad call, and Merle paid for it with his life in an effort to earn redemption. BAM! RECAP OVER!

No, not really. But, that’s really what happened! After the show was over, my husband looked at me and said, “Well, there goes one of my main reasons to watch this show!”

“This Sorrowful Life” opens with Rick confessing to Daryl that he plans to offer Michonne to The Governor (TG). See, TG told Rick that if they gave up Michonne, Woodbury would leave the prison folks alone. I thought Rick saw through TG and his plan. In fact, I was sure he did. But, the former lawman seems to do a bit of a flip flop and is now fine with offering Michonne up in an effort to escape the wrath of TG.

Daryl, along with the ever-present hover-bot that it Hershel, is uncomfortable with the plan, but Rick has made his mind up.

But, who will help Rick? How about the black sheep of the group, Merle? Brilliant! Rick approaches Merle with the plan as the elder Dixon brother is tearing apart mattresses in search of drugs. When Rick tells Merle TG’s deal, Merle doesn’t think Rick will go through with it. But, he  advises binding Michonne with wire, and it’s later as Rick is looking for wire, that he gets a flash of conscience in the form of pregnant-ghost Lori. When he sees her, it’s all over; he can’t give up Michonne! (But, that’s later.) Merle totally called that one!

The prison is making fortifications against further attacks from TG’s Woodbury douchbags. They put down some barbed wire in the road, so no one can just drive up to the prison, anymore. Nice, guys. When Rick compliments the move, Daryl gives him a look and tells him it was Michonne’s idea (This was before Lori appeared to Rick, so we got to see the guilt play out and Daryl’s disapproval of Rick’s plans.).

Michonne interjects that they don’t have to win in a fight, they just have to make it really difficult for Woodburyites to bug the prison people.

In the common area of the prison, Carol tells Merle to grow a pair and pick a side. Everyone knows Merle is just there for Daryl, and Merle is acutely aware of everyone’s feelings toward him. He looks like he feels bad about it but isn’t quite sure what to do about it. (What I loved about this scene is the rare Judith sighting. Can I just say again how shockingly quiet this baby is? Shockingly!)

Outside, Daryl approaches Glenn and asks him to forgive Merle, believing that’s all that is needed for Merle to finally assimilate into the prison group. But, Glenn won’t budge; the hurt is just too strong and fresh.

I had to wonder if Glenn (and Maggie) had actually forgiven Merle if things would have gone differently. Can we lay Merle’s death at Glenn’s feet? Would Glenn’s forgiveness have been the bridge to Merle’s redemption? Interesting.

Daryl goes and finds Merle, who is in the boiler room supposedly still looking for drugs. Daryl tells his brother that he must do something to make up for torturing Glenn and Maggie, but Merle doesn’t believe anything can make a difference. Merle tells Daryl that people like Rick and TG always need someone around to do their dirty work, and that he’ll (Merle) never truly fit in at the prison.

After Daryl leaves, Merle grabs a phone and shoves it into a bag. He was totally getting the wire ready to restrain Michonne! That was my guess, anyhow, and it proved to be spot on.

Perhaps it was dredging up what Merle did to Maggie and Glenn that makes Glenn consider his relationship with Maggie. He’s ready to take the next step and go steady! Glenn goes and speaks with Hershel and asks for Maggie’s hand in marriage. Awww!

Then, comes the most romantic moment of this ENTIRE show! Glenn goes ring shopping! He goes to a section of fence and pulls off the fingers (and ring) of a snarling walker. Nice. But, what else is he going to do? Gross. I hope he washed it REALLY well.

Merle decides to take matters into his own hands and doesn’t wait for Rick to tell him to go ahead and grab Michonne. He lures her into the tombs and cracks her over the head. We then see him pull her to the boiler room, where he puts a bag over her head! Next we see the pair, they are on the road, with Michonne’s hands bound with telephone wire and Merle following behind holding a length of her wire like a leash. Dun, Dun, DUN!

At the prison, Rick has just had his revelation from ghost Lori and rushes into the common area to find Hershel, Maggie, and Beth gathered around a Bible. Hershel comes over and starts to dissuade Rick again from going through with the plan to give Michonne to TG. Rick cuts him off and says that he’s definitely changed his mind; they can’t give Michonne to TG!

But, HE CAN’T FIND MERLE OR MICHONNE! Oh, no!

Rick and Daryl look for Merle and Michonne, but can’t (obviously) find them. So, Daryl takes off after them, intent on saving Michonne and his brother.

Nasty skinny walker wants a taste of Michonne...nom, nom! Image courtesy of AMC.

Nasty skinny walker wants a taste of Michonne…nom, nom! Image courtesy of AMC.

Back to Merle and Michonne, who have made their way to a motel. Merle hotwires a car, and they escape just in the nick of time! Of course, walkers were closing in because OF COURSE the car Merle chose has an alarm. Seriously? An alarm? Did you guys see this thing? I can’t imagine that car having an alarm!

So, down the road they roar, all the while Michonne is trying to convince Merle to let her go and return to the prison. She tells him that this is his chance, that he has an opportunity to finally redeem himself and become an asset in the prison group.

Michael Rooker is a phenomenal actor. The emotions played across his face, and you could see the pain and rejection he felt, that he had felt his entire life! He thought that he had found his niche: the guy who did the dirty work that others couldn’t do. But, now he’s not so sure. Does he want to be that guy, anymore? But, how can he change? Is it even possible?

Merle stops the car and lets Michonne out, telling her to go back to the prison. He says there’s something that he needs to do by himself.

On her way back to the prison, Michonne runs into Daryl. She tells him what Merle said, and Daryl takes off after him.

Meanwhile, it’s all about love at the prison! Glenn gives Maggie the ring and she says, “Yes.” Of course! Then, they meet up with the others for a session with our beloved leader, Mr. Crazypants. (It’s totally manageable, now, though! I mean, he told pregnant-ghost Lori that she wasn’t real! … He still listened to her, though.)

Rick confesses what he was going to do to Michonne. He says that he reconsidered, but it was too late; Merle has already taken her, and Daryl has gone after them. Rick tells the group that he can no longer lead as a dictator, that they would all have a say, a vote.

In Merletown, the elder Dixon parks in front of a store and starts blaring music to attract walkers. He’s got some liquid courage, and I knew right then what he planned to do. Moving at a slow pace, Merle leads the walkers to the meeting site where TG and his men await Rick and Michonne (they think).  Then, he jumps out of the car and lets it continue, bringing the walkers right to TG’s men! In the ensuing confusion, Merle ducks into an outbuilding and starts to shoot TG’s men. He almost gets TG, but Ben (Allen’s son –from Tyreese’s group), steps in the way at the last minute.

Darn! (But, it’s not like they would have let that happen! I mean, Rick has to have that showdown!)

Merle gets in some good shots before a walker wanders in (Why didn’t you close the door behind you?!), and Merle has to fight it off, revealing his position. Almost immediately, Martinez and some other TG guys jump on Merle. But, TG is the one who wants to finish him off!

They fight, but TG gains the upper hand. Merle tells TG that he won’t beg, but TG isn’t interested in even hearing that. With a look of manic glee, TG shoots Merle! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Oh, also, in the TG/Merle fight, did I mention that TG FREAKING BIT OFF TWO OF MERLE’S FINGERS? Gross!

Ben was young! Tender and tasty, right, Merle? Image courtesy of AMC.

Ben was young! Tender and tasty, right, Merle? Image courtesy of AMC.

When Daryl finally gets to the meeting scene, TG and his men have cleared out. Daryl picks his way through bodies and munching walkers before finding…WALKER MERLE! Merle is eating Ben, but pushes him aside when he sees Daryl…fresh meat!

Daryl, in tears, has to put down his own brother. It was sooooooo sad! And even in death, Daryl shrank back from his brother. For a different reason perhaps (Nom, nom), but it was a brutal depiction of what their relationship kinda was in reality.

“This Sorrowful Life” ended with Rick in the prison’s watch tower, peering through the scope of his rifle at Michonne as she made her way back.

I usually harp about the theme of you can’t survive alone, and I’m going to do it again! In this episode, Merle was faced with an impossible path to redemption. He realized that he doesn’t fit in this world of group living. He’s a loner, and he doesn’t think he can change like Daryl did.

But, still, he sought acceptance from his brother, from the prison group, and Merle did the only thing he knew how to do: he struck out on his own. And he died. Because you cannot survive alone in this world.

What did you think about “This Sorrowful Life?” Overall, I thought it was much better than last week’s episode, but I was really sad to see Merle go!

 

[[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-15-merle.php.]]

 

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Arrow on the Doorpost”

This is a recap. There will be SPOILERS. You’re my best friend.

Glenn finally made nice with Maggie! Emphasis on the “nice.” (Bow-chicka-wow-wow!) He got to step up and be the leader he so desperately wants to be. In this world, one’s mettle is often shown in the physical realm. Having brains to back it up is a must, but sometimes it’s not until a show of force that characters taken seriously. Last week, Morgan pointed out that the weak have inherited the earth, and that is (or will be) true eventually. But, not until everyone else it dead, right?

But “Arrow on the Doorpost” really wasn’t about Glenn and Maggie, was it? They had several scenes that really stuck out, though, and I was pleased that Glenn got to “prove” himself in a manner he obviously wanted.

On to the rest!

There was a lot of measuring going on in this episode, but something that really piqued my interest was a theme of “twos.” One of the over-arching themes of this season is that you can’t survive alone (without going crazy, anyways). That larger theme was reinforced by the obvious pairs throughout “Arrow.”

(An aside: When the episode was finished, I looked at my husband and said, “Why the heck was it called ‘Arrow on the Doorpost?'” Utilizing Google-Fu, a totally legit, for-realz martial art, we discovered it to be an allusion to “Blind Willie McTell,” a song by Bob Dylan.

Go ahead. Make fun of me for not knowing!

The first part of the song is:

“Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”

Nice. This land full of walkers and the walking dead –the “live” inhabitants– is indeed condemned.

From the last verse:

“Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is”

Does The Governor (TG) fit this? I think so. And Rick? Perhaps.)

“Arrow” was another ping-pong episode, jumping back and forth between the prison and the meeting between TG and Rick. I’m going to follow the storylines as it makes sense, without necessarily keeping to how they edited the show to air.

Rick doesn't really trust The Governor. Good decision, Rick. Image courtesy of AMC.

Rick doesn’t really trust The Governor. Good decision, Rick. Image courtesy of AMC.

“Arrow” opens with Rick, Daryl, and Hershel arriving at a farm. After Rick and Daryl scope out the surroundings (Hershel stays with the vehicle until later), Rick enters a barn/storage shed, and we see a table with two chairs set up on a raised platform. TG enters, and we find out they are there to negotiate. (Ooo! I found out that they’re meeting at a feed store! Really? Huh. Looks more like a storage shed to me…)

Negotiate what? That’s to come…

TG makes a big show of taking off his gun, but we see another duct-taped to his side of the table. Rick wisely doesn’t remove his at all. Go, Rick!

The pair are the first of the “twos” theme.

Andrea has arranged the meeting, and she, Milton and TG minion Martinez arrive a bit later. Daryl and Hershel are standing guard outside the barn, and Andrea is surprised when they tell her that TG is already there. She rushes into the barn to facilitate the meeting, but, it’s already underway, and both TG and Rick make it quite clear that Andrea has no business being there. I got a very apparent “let the grown-ups talk” vibe as they dismissed her. (Teehee!)

She leaves and sits down in a huff outside.

At the prison, Glenn is leading a fortification effort; tons of guns and ammunition are on the common room tables. Merle looks on and says that they should instead go and kill TG while he is distracted at the negotiation. I totally agreed with Merle, but Glenn doesn’t know what I know about the comic books, and told the elder Dixon brother no. It was another thematic “twos” pairing and an opportunity for Glenn to prove himself as back-up leader. He argues that an attack could put Rick, Daryl, and Hershel in danger. Merle is displeased.

Later, Merle fills a bag with weapons and starts for the door, intent on killing TG at the negotiation. Again, Glenn tells him no, but this time, Merle isn’t going to listen. Glenn blocks his path and the two start fighting! Maggie and Michonne lend aid, but it’s not until Beth discharges a gun that the scuffle breaks up.

(Oh, Beth…what do you do all day? Take care of Judith? Who, by the way, is the quietest newborn EVER.)

When Glenn is in the cage (that fenced in area around one of the doors to the prison yard), Maggie comes out (“twos” theme) and they finally talk about the awkwardness that followed their time in Woodbury. Glenn apologizes for making the situation about him (THANK YOU!), and Maggie reassures him that she’s on his side. Always.

They have prison concrete floor sex (ouch!), and it’s all better.

In the common room, Merle and Michonne (more “twos” theme) discuss Merle’s wish to go kill TG. He wants her to help, but she declines. (Come on, Michonne! You know he’s right! I mean, I know he’s right…)

Back at the negotiation, the theme of “twos” resurfaces as Daryl and Martinez measure each other up and compete to take down a small batch of walkers that wander into the area. Andrea gets in on the walker clearing with the first kill, but it’s largely the two men who show off for each other (more measuring).

wdseason3ep13b

I can kill walkers better than you! Image courtesy of AMC.

It was interesting to watch their competition turn into an honest chat, though. After killing all the walkers, Daryl offers Martinez a cigarette (which he initially refuses but later accepts) and the pair bonds. But, they come to the unsettling conclusion that the two groups (another “twos” theme reference) will most likely never be able to peacefully coexist.

Milton, who introduced himself to Daryl and Hershel as TG’s advisor, is spending his waiting time by writing down historical moments. Hershel sits beside him, and we see another pair in the “twos” theme. They seem friendly and companionable…even to the point of joking around. Since Milton is writing down their history, he is interested in seeing Hershel’s leg and the site of amputation. Hershel jokes that he can’t believe Milton would even ask that without buying him a drink beforehand.

It’s obvious that without the rabble-rousing and personal vendettas between the two leaders (mostly on the side of TG), that Hershel and Milton and even Daryl and Martinez would probably get along just fine.

In the feed store, TG and Rick flop ’em out and measure, both men posturing and trying to intimidate the other. TG makes it clear that he’s not really interested in negotiation at all. He’s there to accept Rick’s surrender. Rick doesn’t take to keenly to this and the two go back and forth. But, TG’s tactics change as the meeting goes on, and he does several things designed to loosen Rick’s guard: he brings whiskey and he opens up about his wife’s fatal car accident (which happened prior to the walker apocalypse). At first, Rick refuses the whiskey, but I was disturbed to see him drink after TG’s wife story.

(Don’t fall for it, Rick!)

Finally, it comes down to what TG really wants: Michonne. In a dramatic moment, TG removes his eyepatch and tells Rick that the fighting can end if he simple surrenders Michonne. TG says Rick has two days to consider.

Outside, Andrea asks Hershel (he’s no longer sitting with Milton) what happened with Maggie, and he tells her simply that TG  is a sick man. She tearfully tells him that she can’t stay in Woodbury, and Hershel tells her that if she comes to the prison, her decision will have to (must) stick. No more waffling!  But, when TG and Rick come out of the feed store, Andrea, after giving Hershel a look, still gets in the vehicle with TG!

WHAT?! Gosh, I hate you, Andrea.

When TG, Andrea, Milton, and Martinez get back to Woodbury, TG tells Milton about the deal he offered Rick and how it’s false. Of course! TG says they’re going to have to kill Rick sooner or later, anyhow, so, if he or anyone from the prison shows up, they are to be shot on sight! Except of Michonne, that is. She is to be brought alive to TG. (So, he can do all manner of evil things to her before killing her, I guess.)

Milton seems surprised at TG’s savagery (really, Milton? Gah.), but does little in the way of protesting. The short scene was yet another powerful “twos” theme pairing.

After he’s finished with Milton, TG calls out to Andrea and thanks her for setting up the meeting. She seems skeptical, but accepts his thanks, and they part ways. Oh, and another “twos!”

Oh, Andrea. Sigh.

When Rick, Daryl, and Hershel get back to the prison, Rick tells everyone that there is no deal, and that TG wants to kill them all. (I wondered at that point if Rick was the one who wanted a war, or if he actually saw through TG’s crap.)

Later, Rick is on the fenced-in catwalk that he always seems to drift to when contemplating things. As he stares soulfully into the distance, Hershel hobbles out (“twos” theme alert!), and Rick tells him of TG’s offer. But, Rick also allows that he knows TG will likely kill them all, anyway.

But, Rick is faced with making the call on whether or not to give Michonne up. Would Hershel be willing to sacrifice the lives of his daughters for Michonne? It’s a hard question, and Rick indicates that he’s considering giving her up.

And why did he lie to the group? Rick tells Hershel it’s because they need to be scared to face what’s coming. (What? Giving up Michonne? Defending the prison? Both?)

When Hershel asks why Rick has told him the truth, Rick says, “Because I’m hoping you can talk me out of it.”

Whoa. No pressure, Hershel!

What’d you think of “Arrow?” Did I read too much into the “twos?” And how about that title and the song it references? Hit me up in the comments!

 

[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-13-rick-governor-2.php.]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Home”

Spoilers, yo, and lots of them! You’ve been warned. (It does say “recap” in the title…just saying.)

I was seriously JUST starting to like Axel. Dang it! Now, all of the prisoners are dead, and the prison truly belongs to Rick’s group. (Crazy people running the asylum, anyone?) But, is it even still Rick’s group? Or is Glenn trying on some britches that are a couple of sizes too big? That’s the thing about wearing big pants; you’re going to trip and fall on your face.

“Home” opens with Rick seeing Lori in the prison yard. Still dressed in white, Lori’s back is to him as she stands before the graves. He runs to the graves only to have her vanish and reappear beyond the prison fence. Not recognizing the symbolism of running through the gates away from safety and into the wilderness of crazy, Rick dashes by Michonne and meets Lori on a footbridge. (Michonne appears to be living in an overturned bus in the prison yard. Or, if she’s not living in it, she at least crawled out of said bus. Rick did say they would be kicking her out of the prison as soon as she was back on her feet. Is this as far as they’ve kicked her?) Michonne wisely closes the prison gates behind him.

Lori and Rick share a moment as she gently strokes his face. Aww! Poor Rick looks miserable and elated at the same time.

But, Michonne looks on in disbelief as Rick cuddles into open air, because, obviously, Lori is not there!

In Woodbury, The Governor (TG) pays Andrea a visit, and I was glad to see that she wasn’t shacking up with him. Although, it was never clear that she ever was, I guess. They just shagged, and she left. How elegant!

He compliments her inspiring speech to the townsfolk following the break-in and biter attack and encourages her to step into a leadership role. See, TG thinks he hasn’t lived up to the mantle of power and wants Andrea to take over.

Right…

He loves me? He loves me not? Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-andrea.php.

He loves me? He loves me not? Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-andrea.php.

Blah, blah, blah…you know he’s lying through his teeth when he says he’s going to take some time to sort things out. And you REALLY know he’s lying when he assures Andrea that there will be no retaliation against Rick’s group at the prison. But, she buys it, because she’s Andrea.

TG leaves her and goes to see Milton. The man is visibly scared by TG, but he also wants to prove his loyalty to the one-eyed pirate. TG has a strange hold over the people of Woodbury; it’s interesting to see the desperate need for leadership and the willingness to latch onto someone in power. You see it in Milton, and you can see it in Andrea, too, to a certain extent. The world has gone mad, and people need some semblance of order, even if that order is through brutality. They need a “home” (See how I worked the title in there? I’m so smooth.).

TG verifies Milton’s allegiance and then tells him to keep an eye on Andrea. He’s not so sure she’ll side with Woodbury, after all. It’s rather a different story from the crap he just sold Andrea, but that’s our TG, and that’s why we love to hate him!

When Andrea is looking for TG and several other of Woodbury’s known fighters (all the scary dudes who carry the big guns and do TG’s bidding) later that day, a woman on the wall, Karen, won’t give her a straight answer. Andrea sees Milton and asks him where TG is, and Milton is also coy, saying TG is on a supply run. Andrea doesn’t buy it, and Milton doesn’t appear to really care that she doesn’t buy it.

Do you think Milton knew where TG had gone? I mean, I knew! Seriously, how could you not know? But, TG did tell Andrea that there would be no retaliation against the prison, so she was left to wonder.

But, she had to know, right? Come on! The illusion of safety and normalcy at Woodbury was shattered, and while she’s desperately grasping at the loose strings, Andrea has to know there’s something truly rotten in Denmark.

We got to check in on Daryl and Merle a couple of times during this episode before they were drawn back into one of the sure-to-soon-be-feuding camps (Woodbury or the prison? Which one will they end up with? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!). The brothers were struggling to adjust to one another while fighting for dominance (on Merle’s part) and respect (Daryl’s goal). Daryl’s time with Rick’s group had changed him, and the knowledge galled Merle. So, the elder Dixon picked at Daryl, maligning everything from his hunting skills and sense of direction to his loyalties.

Daryl readies to save folks in need. Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-daryl.php.

Daryl readies to save folks in need. Image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-daryl.php.

When Daryl and Merle come upon a Hispanic family being attacked by walkers, Daryl immediately wants to help. He hears a baby and must think of little Judith back at the prison. Merle, on the other hand, doesn’t care and is content to let the family get eaten. But, Daryl comes to the family’s rescue, shooting and knifing walkers. Lo and behold, Merle wanders in behind him and kills a few, too.

I loved Merle’s face during this scene! It was a mix of consternation and awe as he watched his little brother handily dispatch the walkers and save the family.

When it was all over, Merle decides they are owed payment for their services and starts to rob the family, tossing out a racial slur in lovely Merle fashion. Daryl tells him to stop, but Merle doesn’t listen. It’s not until Daryl threatens his brother with his crossbow that Merle backs down. The family leaves, and the Dixon brothers realize just how different they’ve become.

In the woods, they get into a small scuffle, and Merle rips Daryl’s shirt, revealing old scars left by their father. Merle is shocked and tells Daryl he had no idea about the abuse. But, Daryl really doesn’t believe him and decides enough is enough. It’s time to go…(Ready for it?)…home. He sets off for the prison, leaving Merle, who swears he can’t follow, not after his history with the group.

As Daryl strikes out, he leaves his brother with “I might be the one who’s walking away, but you’re the one who’s leaving…again.” (Or something close to that.) His voice cracks, and you can tell he’s choking back tears.

As Daryl disappears into the woods, Merle is torn between a new found protective streak for his little brother and saving his own skin. As he waffles, the indecision is plain on his face as he weighs the consequences of the only decision he can make before following Daryl.

It’s a great stretch of acting from two great actors!

At the prison, Glenn’s got his big-boy pants on and is assessing the perceived vulnerabilities of the compound. He’s going over with Carl and the others how Tyreese’s group and walkers got into the depths of the prison, known as the tombs. But, Hershel thinks the possible attack/retaliation by TG is more pressing and says they should leave the prison. Glenn adamantly disagrees and then comes up with the idea that he and Michonne should sneak back into Woodbury and just kill TG. Not too bad of an idea, really, but no one but Michonne goes for it.

So, Glenn settles for a foray into the tombs to clean out walkers. Later, when he returns (looks like Carl went with him), he wants to take a vehicle to look at the back of the prison to see how bad it really is (It’s pretty bad, remember?), but no one really wants to go with him. Glenn declares that he’ll take Maggie with him, but Hershel isn’t so sure she’s willing, either, and Glenn goes to find her. She’s lying down in her cell and doesn’t react too kindly to Glenn, something that really puzzles the man.

And why is she acting this way to Glenn? Isn’t he trying to protect her, to avenge (in a roundabout way) the wrong done to her? Not really. Actually, he’s just trying to make himself feel better. See, he really didn’t even know what TG had done to her. In his mind, the worst thing was that Maggie had been raped. She wasn’t, and she told him that. But, instead of treating her like an equal who had done the necessary to save Glenn’s hand (TG threatened to cut it off if she didn’t cooperate.), Glenn put himself in the role of her protector and insinuated his own feelings of powerlessness over her feelings. By doing so, he made the situation about him. It turned into something that HE had to fix, that HE had to avenge, because she was HIS woman. Now, he’s on a quest to prove himself capable of running things without Rick and Daryl. He’s obsessed, and Maggie is disgusted.

After Maggie rebuffs him, Glenn decides to go look at the perimeter by himself. He meets Hershel in the prison yard, and the older man again says they should leave the prison, but Glenn isn’t having it. He pitches another hissy fit, stomping his feet and holding his breath (not really). Since Daryl’s gone and Rick is “wandering Crazytown (He actually said “Crazytown!” Someone was reading my recaps and wrote that into the script, right? HA!),” Glenn is the next in charge, dang it! Or so Glenn thinks. He hops into a giant truck and roars away.

Hershel hobbles down to the outer fence to look for Rick. The former lawman comes out of the woods looking paranoid and rather deranged but sound in body, overall. Hershel tells Rick about Glenn and asks him to come back to the prison. But, Rick isn’t ready, yet. He confesses his recent delusions, but tells Hershel he knows they aren’t real. At the same time, though, he has to believe there’s an explanation.

Yeah, you’re nuts!

But, Hershel is nicer than me and gently prods Rick to come back to reality. This was a great scene visually with Hershel on the inside (reality) of the prison yard and Rick on the outside (Crazytown), clutching at the chain link as he is clutching and searching for sanity. Nicely done.

Closer to the prison, Carol and Axel are getting ready for what they assume will be an assault from TG. The pair are setting up cover and chatting, flirting a bit and getting to know one another. Beth and Carl are also outside wandering about, and Michonne is down by her bus.

I had to cheer for Axel. I mean, he thought Carol was a lesbian, but once he found out differently, he’s quite the charmer!

But, this is The Walking Dead, and AMC doesn’t want me to forget this world is terrible.

A gunshot rings out, and Axel is shot in the head! TG shot him, and we see the self-satisfied smirk below his eye patch as he lowers the gun. TG and some goons are outside of the prison fence shooting up the place, and Rick and Hershel dive for cover as they come under fire, too.

Umm, can someone tell me how a guy got into the prison tower? Yeah, because a TG dude is up in the tower shooting at the group, too! I have no idea how that could have happened.

Carol is crouched behind Axel’s dead body, remarkably unscathed even though Axel is still being shot…a lot. (Not one of those bullets would go through Axel’s body? Huh. I have my doubts.) Carl and Beth take cover, and Carl whips out his gun to return fire because, yes, Carl’s awesome, now. Maggie runs out of the prison with extra guns, and they are able to cover Carol as she runs away from poor dead Axel.

Everybody’s shooting and no one’s hitting anything! But, TG is delighted and gleefully sprays bullets into the air several times. It’s clear that they are not only trying to kill the prison group with bullets, but they are also making as much noise as possible to draw walkers.

But that’s not enough for TG. A delivery truck races up the road and plows through the prison gates to release walkers into the yard. A figure jumps out and runs back to TG’s truck. The person was wearing all black with a helmet,  but it looked like a woman to me. My money’s on Karen; she was totally shifty with Andrea. (Had TG and his group already left when Andrea spoke to Karen? Were they just getting ready to leave? I dunno, but Karen definitely knew something! And I’m not going to be surprised if we find out she was involved in the prison raid.)

The walkers are released right around where Hershel is hiding in the grass. The old coot’s got a gun, but he won’t last long, that’s for certain.

Then, someone finally nails the douche in the prison tower, and TG decides it’s time to go. He and his minions jump in their truck and speed away, passing Glenn on the way out. (It’s about time, Glenn! Where the heck have you been? It took you THAT long to drive around the prison?! Pfft!)

By this time, more walkers are wandering into the area surrounding the prison, drawn by all the noise. Rick, who has used all his bullets, is set upon by a pair of hungry walkers! Oh, no! But, at the last minute, an arrow erupts from the walker’s forehead, and Daryl rides in on a white horse! Okay, there’s no horse, but he and Merle wade into things and save Rick’s butt.

Glenn picks up Maggie in the truck, and they rescue Hershel, while Michonne slices her way through too many walkers (Seriously, this woman is a machine!).

The tragedy seems to bring clarity to Rick as he surveys the damage. A hard, determined look comes in his eyes, and you know this means war!

Dun, Dun, DUN! (Dramatic flourish)

Jeez, what a mess! Axel’s dead (RIP. We hardly knew ye!), Merle’s at the prison, and Rick’s teetering precariously on the edge of insanity. His high-wire act isn’t going to be helped by Glenn’s desire for vengeance. Heck, no! Rick’s going to be out for blood, now. TG has defiled his HOME.

Meanwhile, TG is trying to keep Andrea under his thumb and convince her he’s not a monster, while wiping out her long-lost friends at the prison! At least this time, she’s suspicious of him. (Gosh, she’s thick.)

But, the thing about Andrea is that I know she wants to be thick. She’s not stupid, she just willingly deluded. She wants to believe there’s still a nice little town like Woodbury in the world. But, she’s finally starting to come out of it, and that spells trouble for her stay in TG’s good graces.

What did you think about “Home?” Hit me up in the comments!

 

[Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-10-governor-2.php.]

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “The Suicide King”

Shared from  http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-9-daryl-merle-2.php  Photo by Tina Rowden/AMC

Shared from http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-9-daryl-merle-2.php      Photo by Tina Rowden/AMC

So, this show scares the crap out of me.

Last night, I discovered that I can’t even watch episodes that I’ve ALREADY SEEN when I’m alone. My husband was away, and I thought I’d watch some of AMC’s marathon. Nope. Couldn’t do it!

I LOVE THIS SHOW!

If you’re new to this whole “Recap/Review” thing, let me just tell you a little something: there will be SPOILERS!

I’m not going to waste time getting you caught up on stuff that happened during the first half of the season. I will, however, give you a link that will take you to all my previous recaps! I’m so nice.

Now, them Dixon boys was in a heap-a-trouble! (Bonus points to anyone who gets this! Tell me in the comments.)

The show opens with Daryl and Merle facing each other in what The (Pirate! He’s got an eye patch, now, remember?) Governor (TG) calls a battle to the death! They are in the walker arena that we’d seen before, and the townspeople surround the pair, a la blood-thirsty Romans in the Colosseum, yelling for blood and justice. Or maybe just blood. These people are whack. But, they’re scared whack, and scared people do stupid things. (However, I don’t really think it’s too far of a jump from the walker fight clubs they had already come to enjoy…yuck.)

Andrea recognizes Daryl and is suitably horrified. She begs TG to stop the fight, but he blames the yelling crowd, saying they demanded it. You could see he totally wanted it, too.

Since Michonne re-killed his daughter, Penny, TG doesn’t really have anything left to live for. He doesn’t have the need to preserve a piece of what the world used to be. I think that’s why he worked so hard for Woodbury, because it was his legacy for Penny. That’s also why he was so interested in testing walkers…because his daughter was one, and he didn’t want to give up hope that she could be healed in some way.

Merle, the loving brother we know him to be, starts beating up on Daryl. The younger Dixon looks pretty traumatized and goes down fairly easily. Then, walkers are trotted out on leads for an extra level of difficulty (+5 to the walkers for all attack rolls).

Merle gets close to Daryl, and tells him to follow his lead, saying they were going to escape. But, the pair doesn’t have to worry about it when gunfire erupts and Rick and Maggie swoop in to save the day (night)! Rick throws in a smoke bomb to provide cover, and Daryl and Merle escape. Huzzah!

Right away, though, there’s a problem with Merle. Rick doesn’t want to even let Merle come with them through the Woodbury fence. But, Daryl smooths things over, and they duck through a hole in the wall, leaving it open for a wandering walker to accept the invitation to the best meal he’s had in ages! (I thought that was kind of low. Sure, the town had just tried to murder Daryl, but leaving the perimeter breached? There were kids in there! Blood-thirsty kids, yes, but still! I dunno… Do you think Rick did it on purpose? Or was it just something that happened in their haste to get away? To the comments with ye!)

The light of morning greeted us when we saw Rick, Maggie, Daryl and Merle approach the SUV where Glenn and Michonne were waiting for them. The waiting pair had been left because they were both too injured to assist in Daryl’s rescue.

When he saw Merle, Glenn understandably freaks out and pulls a gun on the one-handed Dixon. The man had tried to kill him, after all! Michonne isn’t feeling very forgiving, either, and makes ready to cut him down with her katana. But, Rick intervenes, and a lot of shouting happens. Glenn declares Merle can not accompany them back to the prison, Rick and Maggie agree with Glenn, Michonne looks murderous, and Daryl balks.

Merle is Merle and insults everyone. He’s so pleasant!

Rick doesn’t bend, though, and Daryl decides to go off with Merle. The bond of blood proves to be thicker!

So, back to the prison go Rick, Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne. But, Rick made certain Michonne knows she’ll be sent on her way as soon as they could get rid of her. Trust is hard to come by in walker-world!

Glenn pitches a fit on the way back during a stop to clear the road (Are they taking a different road? Had this happened –walker in a truck and a tree blocking the road– since they came through the day before? Weird.). He was upset that Daryl left with Merle, the man who had done so much to Maggie and himself, and that they were all just supposed to move on. He was also obviously consumed with rage about the whole torture thing.

Man! Some people just can’t let go and move on!

The fit seems to drive a wedge between him and Maggie, and we are witness to a scene later in the prison in which Maggie refuses to go check on Glenn, preferring to take her father’s word that Glenn was okay.

Back at the prison,  Hershel warns Tyreese and his group that Rick will probably toss them out. This doesn’t set well, and later, when Tyreese, Sasha, Allen, and Ben go outside to bury Donna, Allen and Ben suggest they take over the prison, guessing the current residents wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. But, Tyreese and Sasha, don’t want to do that, saying that “these are good people!”

So, heads up, Allen and Ben are definitely going to be trouble. I’m calling it, now!

In Woodbury, folks are freaking out and trying to leave the town. It’s a mess because everyone is yelling and blowing car horns. The scene escalates as the wall guards tell everyone to get lost, and the people realize that they are basically prisoners. (Word, Michonne. Word!)

But, let’s just stop to consider this for a moment, shall we? These mob-mentality, crazy, blood-thirsty, people (who were calling for the death of a man just hours previous!) are freaking out because people broke into their town the night before. Yes, some townsfolk were killed during the night, but the whole scene just seemed incongruous to me.  They’re horrified at the violence that has befallen their town when they were calling for violence in the walker arena? And now, they want to leave Woodbury. Are these people really THAT sheltered? They have NO IDEA what the world is like now? They want to leave a (mostly) fortified town?

TG is noticeably absent, and Andrea wades into the fray, trying to calm everyone down. Then, there are screams as walkers (or biters, as they’re called in Woodbury) mosey down the road, grab some takeout, and begin a nice tasty meal of some poor idiot who wasn’t minding his surroundings.

WALKERS IN WOODBURY! OH, NO!

The walkers are dispatched, and the takeout lays moaning on the ground. As the townspeople gather around, they beg for someone to help the dying man, but, Andrea, who is closest and who has a gun, is frozen, torn between exposing the people to more violence and a mercy killing.

She doesn’t have to waffle long, though. TG silently strides out, shoots the man in the head, and returns to his rooms. LIKE A BOSS.

The townspeople are shocked. (Again with the shock? It just seems odd to me in this world.)

Andrea follows TG back to his rooms and tells him that he needs to suck it up and be a leader. He’s rather over the whole benevolent leader thing, now, though. BUT, he’s ready for a war! Andrea watches as he gathers all kinds of guns and berates the town and the false sense of security that he created. He’s going to go after our prison group, and he’s going to go hard.

She leaves him and goes back out to the street. People are still milling about, and a sense of general hysteria is in the air, so Andrea steps up and makes a speech. (Stumping to be the new TG?) No doubt drawing on her days as a lawyer (She totally used to be a lawyer, remember?), Andrea basically tells everyone it’s gonna be okay, that they’ll heal eventually, and that they have a good thing going on in Woodbury.

The rabble agrees and disperses while TG glowers from above through the window blinds of his rooms. Andrea looks up and sees him and gives him a “this should have been you talking to these people” look.

Meanwhile, Rick, Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne arrive back at the prison and Carol and Carl let them through the gates. Rick jumps out to hug Carl (dad achievement!) and tells Glenn, Maggie, and Michonne to continue on to the prison proper. He tells Carol about Daryl, and she is upset, of course. She has a thing for the rugged bowman and was certain he felt the same way, I’m sure. (They belong together! Anyone can see that. I mean, their names even rhyme!)

Back in the cell block, Beth presents Rick with Judith. (Beth has become the babysitter, and I have to wonder if it’s only because she feels the need to contribute like she indicated to Carol in a different scene, or if there’s another reason. You know what I mean: Beth has a crush on Rick! When Rick reached the inner prison yard with Carol and Carl, the rest of the group came out to greet everyone, and Beth gave Rick an awkward kiss on the cheek. Awkward, I say!) When Rick takes Judith from Beth, he starts to go a little fuzzy. We see the blurriness and hear the voices become muffled as Rick holds his daughter.

You have to remember, Rick hasn’t been back from Crazytown all that long…if he even left in the first place! It wasn’t too long ago that he was answering fake telephone calls and talking to his dead wife. Plus, when he and the others were in Woodbury, he saw Shane’s ghost! So, he’s still having…issues, shall we say?

Rick hands the baby back and then goes into the common room to deal with Tyreese and company. At first, Rick is stalwart; Tyreese’s group must leave! Then, he starts to soften, listening to Hershel, who implores him to start trusting people again.

Just as he’s about to relent and let Tyreese and the others stay, he sees Lori’s ghost! BOO! She’s standing above the group on a walkway, and her face is in shadow. She’s wearing a white dress, which indicates innocence and perhaps an angelic quality. Rick’s guilt about her death and really about the entire situation he’s gotten his family into (Not that the zombie apocalypse is his fault, but it seems like he blames himself for overmuch, here.) is forefront in his mind, hijacking his brain and sending him to Crazytown.

He starts yelling at the ghost, commanding it to get out. Everyone else interprets this to mean he’s ordering Tyreese’s group out, and Glenn shoos them through the door leading into the prison yard.

It’s no surprise that everyone looks at Rick like he’s crazy! In fact, the last shot we get of him shows a confused, shifty-eyed guy who looks like he’s just seen a…(ready for it?)…ghost!

So, what’d you think of “The Suicide King?” Was it worth the wait?

 

 

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Made to Suffer”

It’s December! You know what that means…SPOILERS! (What did you think I was going to say?)

The Governor (TG) is now a pirate! ARGH, me matey! I just need him to start carrying around a sword, and I’ll be all set. Savvy? Plus, he gets extra points in my book because this is the first time I’ve actually liked him. Sure, the character is amazing and a great addition to the show, but last night was the first time I’ve really empathized with TG.

“Made to Suffer” was the mid-season finale on The Walking Dead, and I must confess to a more than average level of gasping from my wallowed-out corner of the couch!  Plot lines actually intersected, and Tyreese was finally introduced! Be still my heart!

The episode opened with Tyreese running through the forest, trying to track down the screams heard in the distance. Sasha, his sister, almost brains him with a shovel (she thought he was a walker, I guess. Also, lemme just insert right now that it wasn’t clear Sasha was his sister. She could have been a girlfriend/wife/companion of some kind. However, thanks to my keen understanding and mysterious ways, you now know for certain! You can thank me later.), before joining him. They come upon three people (a woman, a man and a teen-aged boy) surrounded by walkers, and it’s implied that they all know each other and are traveling together. (So, how did they get separated, and why in the unholy heck is the woman screaming her head off?)

They fight off the walkers and escape, but not before Donna (the screamer) gets bitten on the arm by a walker. CHOMP! They stumble out of the forest to discover a large blown-out building. Sasha wants to leave Donna behind, but the group decides to bring her along as the enter the back of THE PRISON! That’s right, there’s a HUGE hole in the back of the prison!

WHAT THE WHAT?!

In Woodbury, TG is still being creepy. (Shocking, I know) Andrea, preparing for the day by fixing her fluffy hair in a mirror, picks up TG’s family picture (FORESHADOWING). When she hears TG coming up behind her, she sets it back down and they cuddle. TG observes that Andrea is really starting to like Woodbury, and she practically purrs before tripping off to help Milton cremate Mr. Coleman.

TG stares creepily into the mirror, his eyes going a bit glassy before he turns to visit dead Penny. Yeah, that’s right. He keeps her right off the room with the walker head aquariums. And where is the walker head aquarium room? Oh, right off his main rooms. Huh. Seems terribly conspicuous  don’t you think? Can anyone tell me why Andrea hasn’t stumbled upon Penny, yet? Last time Michonne was in TG’s rooms, she definitely heard the dead girl. So, why hasn’t Andrea?

Because she’s stupid.

Quality father/daughter bonding time. Image courtesy of AMC.

TG settles down into a chair, turns on some music, and opens Penny’s cage door. Snarling, Penny rushes out but is caught short by a chain around her neck. She has a straight jacket on, and her head is covered with a bag. TG tries to spend some quality bonding time with her, but grows frustrated when she won’t look at him and pushes her back into the cage.

I mean, to be fair, she’s DEAD. Plus, TG has a bowl of disgusting flesh bits sitting beside him. Dinner, I suppose.

Elsewhere, somewhere in the bowels of Woodbury (near the left part of colon), Maggie and Glenn sit huddled against the wall. After making sure Maggie wasn’t raped by TG, Glenn seems to get a renewed sense of mad survival skills. He tears off the arm of the walker (the one Merle sicced on him and he re-killed) and rips out shards of bone, arming himself and Maggie.

Outside of Woodbury’s main wall and gate, Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne skulk about, hiding behind a conveniently placed car and LOTS of dense vegetation. (Don’t you think TG would have had that area cleared? Seems like he would want a completely clear view of the approach to Woodbury…)

Then, miraculously, Michonne leads them around to a door that opens in the back of a store on Woodbury’s main drag. (So, there’s easy, unguarded access to Woodbury? You don’t have to go through the gates? You can just walk to the side, open a door, and walk in without so much as a “Howdy do?” That’s…ridiculous.) But, someone has seen them inside the building! A man enters the front door, telling them they’d better leave. The man thinks they’re just some townsfolk in a building they’re not supposed to be in. They take him down…kinda nicely. They didn’t kill him, so that’s something, right? He’s gagged, knocked out, and left in the building.

In the confusion, Michonne slips away, intent on her own personal mission. She makes her way to TG rooms and enters, settling in a chair in front of the door, her katana on her lap.

IT’S GONNA GO DOWN, SON!

Back at the prison, Axel is macking on Beth. It’s the end of the world…why not? Gross. Carl is busy trying to shoot flames from his eyes at Axel when Carol decides to talk to the former inmate, pulling him aside and telling him to stay away from Beth. But, there are no other women, Axel whines! Maggie’s with Glenn and Carols a lesbian, the man complains.

Huh? Carol’s a lesbian? Um, no. Despite her short hair (which led to Axel’s misconception, apparently), Carol assures him that she is not playing for the other team. But, before Axel can turn his attention to her, Carol shuts him down and walks away. (Because she totally wants Daryl. Search your feelings. You know it to be true.)

Rick, Daryl, and Oscar locate Maggie and Glenn just moments after the hostages attack their captors. Maggie stabs a minion in the throat, and Glenn gets punched (poor Glenn). Merle’s there, and I was hoping that this would be the moment when Daryl discovers his brother’s still alive! Alas! It’s not to be. A smoke bomb/flash grenade/something that makes a lot of smoke is thrown, and Maggie and Glenn are rescued! Huzzah!

They escape under the cover of smoke and duck into a building. Glenn tells Daryl about Merle, and the younger Dixon is understandably shocked and, I think, a little bit excited. He wants to go talk to Merle, but Rick steps in, demanding Daryl to stay and help them escape Woodbury. Daryl agrees (but you know SOMETHING is going to happen! It always does!).

Would Daryl side with Merle? TG thinks it’s a possibility. In fact, before Maggie and Glenn escaped, TG  proposed the idea to Merle as they discussed attacking the prison. Daryl could be their “inside man,” TG said. Merle looked a little skeptical, but acted like he’d go along with the plan. Who knows how something like that would go down, though? After all  Merle isn’t always fully truthful with TG…

Rick, Daryl, Oscar, Maggie, and Glenn decide to make a run for the wall to escape and start flinging smoke bombs and laying down cover fire. In the cover of a nearby building, TG quickly organizes his minions to find the intruders and shoot back. Andrea wants to help, but TG won’t let her, telling her to check on Woodbury residents instead. Andrea is miffed, but agrees, leaving the building to carry out his orders.

But, OF COURSE, Andrea finds herself on the street when gun fire erupts afresh. She shoots back, and later tells TG she saw someone in prison coveralls. She, OF COURSE, doesn’t see anyone that she recognizes. TG tells her that the “terrorists” must be from the prison.

In TG’s rooms, Michonne waits. Suddenly, she hears something coming from the next room (you know, the oh-so-secret-that-Andrea-has-never-noticed-it-before room?). She investigates, discovers the walker head aquariums and Penny’s cage. Her disgust is plain, and we saw a new layer when she saw Penny’s small figure walk out of the cage. Michonne’s worst fears of TG were realized! He was mistreating an unfortunate child!

Michonne unchains Penny and removes her hood.

Michonne discovers that Penny takes after her father. Image courtesy of AMC.

SHE’S A WALKER! Michonne hurriedly pulls back and makes to re-kill Penny, but she’s stopped when TG enters! He’s pointing a gun at her and pleading with her not to hurt his daughter. In an effort to convince her, TG puts down his gun and removes his belt and holster. (This was the first time I ever felt bad for TG. She’s dead, but Penny’s his daughter!)

Then, something changes in Michonne’s eyes. They go from shock to disgust to heartless resolve. Michonne runs the length of her blade through Penny’s head, dropping the little body. TG loses it and charges Michonne. They ferociously battle, and he smashes her head into the aquariums. Glass goes everywhere! Michonne gets in a few good hits, but overall, TG overpowers her. It’s not looking good!

Struggling, Michonne grabs a shard of glass and rams it into TG’s right eye! OHMYGOSH! She’s about to finish him off when Andrea comes to his rescue! OHMYGOSH!

The two women lock gazes in a stand-off, Michonne ready with her katana and Andrea with a gun pointed at her former friend. Several beats pass, and Michonne realizes she’s lost…not just the fight to kill TG, but she’s lost her friend. I believe Michonne returned to Woodbury not to help save Maggie and Glenn, but to save Andrea from the monster she knew TG to be. Now, Michonne realizes that she’s the monster in Andrea’s eyes.

Her katana’s point drops, and Michonne turns and leaves. Andrea lets her go before rushing to help TG. But, he won’t be comforted; he’s holding the lifeless body of his daughter, crying around the shard of glass sticking out of his eye.

Super gross! (And sad! I will admit that I felt bad for TG at this point.)

Back on the street, Oscar, Maggie, and Glenn make for the wall and begin to climb over, with Rick and Daryl providing cover. The street is a mess of haze and smoke, but no one gets shot. Except Oscar. (He had to, right? The Walking Dead can’t have more than one black guy on there at a time, right? CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THAT? T-Dog died and was replaced with Oscar. Now, Oscar is dead, and he’ll be replaced with Tyreese? Come on, AMC! Really? Ugh.) Maggie pauses long enough to shoot Oscar in the head to prevent his change before scurrying over the wall.

Rick takes a quick side trip back to Crazytown and sees Shane walking out of the mist shooting at him. He pauses AND DOESN’T GET SHOT. (No one can hit this guy? Really?) After he gathers his wits, Rick shoots the approaching Shane and rushes over to look at the body.

It’s not Shane, of course. What is this? Resurgent guilt? Come on, man! Pull yourself together!

Back at the prison, Carl hears screams coming from the scary depths. Walkers don’t scream, so he sets off to check it out. He soon finds Tyreese’s group being attacked by walkers and intervenes, leading them back to the cleared cell block. When they get to the common room, we see Donna has died. Carl steps up, offering to shoot her, but Tyreese stops him, saying they take care of their own. (How nice of Carl!)

Also, Carl isn’t the stupid kid that everyone has hated for the past two seasons, anymore. He leaves Tyreese’s group in the common room, locking them out of the main cell block. Sasha flips out, demanding to be let out, but Tyreese sees it differently, telling her that they’re safe for the first time in a long time.

In Woodbury’s infirmary, TG gets his head wrapped in gauze after an unnecessary gross-out, up-close shot of his nasty eye. He’s now a pirate! Arrrr!

Andrea, tactful after the re-death of Penny (snort!), questions TG about the walker head aquariums. He feeds her a line about needing to look at them to desensitize himself and to steel himself for the new world. She buys it, OF COURSE. Then, Milton comes in to check on TG followed by Merle.

HOLD ON! Didn’t Merle tell TG that Michonne was dead? Uh-oh, Merle! UH-OH! But, TG keeps his cards close to his chest and tells them he was attacked, not going into any detail. There is some SERIOUS stink-eye going on, though.

Watch your back, Merle!

Rick finally scampers over the wall to regroup after seeing the Shane ghost. As they wait for Daryl, Michonne appears, dazed and bloody from her fight with TG and stand-off with Andrea. Rick, suspicious of her disappearance and sudden reappearance, wants to kill her, but Michonne convinces him that he needs her help getting the group (Maggie, Glenn, and Daryl –when he shows up) to safety. There’s a desperation in her eyes, and it made me realize she was looking for a new human connection. Michonne had always played the loner card, but she wasn’t really alone. Up until now, she still had Andrea. Andrea was her family in a way, but Andrea just rejected her, and Michonne is reeling.

The townsfolk gather in the walker fighting arena to discuss what had just happened. TG is not his usual optimistic self, telling the people that they had been attacked by terrorists. It’s very effective; TG standing there with his gauze eye patch, looking for a scape goat…

Scape goat, you say?

TG points out Merle, saying he let the terrorists into Woodbury! (Told you, Merle!) TG whips the townspeople into a frenzy, and they begin to demand Merle’s death. Then, TG has several minions bring out a hooded figure. IT’S DARYL!

TG taunts Merle, telling him he gets to see his brother again, after all…BEFORE THEY DIE! (Now, them Dixon boys…they was in a heap o’ trouble!)

And Andrea? What does she do? Well, she sits in the stands, starring. Go, Andrea. You think she might suspect something is amiss, now? She knows Daryl! Will she just accept some tripe TG feeds her?

The Walking Dead’s mid-season break lasts until February, dang it! So, here’s where we’re at:

At the prison, Hershel, Beth, Carl, Axel, Carol, and baby Judith seem safe at the moment…kinda. Tyreese and his group are locked just outside of the cell block in the common room, also safe-ish.

Outside Woodbury, Rick, Michonne, Maggie, and Glenn are waiting for Daryl to show up. However, he’s not going to since he obviously struck out on his own to find Merle. Unfortunately, Daryl was captured, and now, TG plans to kill the Dixon brothers! Judging from the preview for the next show, I’d say Rick and co. will attempt to rescue Daryl. But, what of Merle? Will Daryl insist he come, too?

What did you think of the mid-season finale? Sound off in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-8-michonne-andrea.php.))

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “When The Dead Come Knocking”

The new fake James Bond movie has a great Bond Girl. Did you hear about her name? It’s SPOILERS Galore.

Little Ass-Kicker got a real name this week! I’m okay with the fact that a newborn now sounds like at 54 year old woman. Really, I am. Judith will fit right in, I’m sure, pulling her weight as soon as she’s able to lift some kind of pointy object. (How cute would a baby katana be? Squeee!)

“When The Dead Come Knocking” was an “in-between” episode. Not a whole lot happened plot-wise, but it served to set up the mid-season finale, positioning main characters in various dramatic story arcs. You will no doubt hear my angry yells next week when the show comes to a close, and everything is up in the air. I’ve already singled out a couch pillow to scream in so I don’t wake up my kids.

I’m such a good mother.

The episode starts with Merle beating the crap out of Glenn in a basement/cellar somewhere in Woodbury. Merle’s got that knife/stump cover on his right hand, and as I was watching him punch Glenn, my mind wandered. (This show paid special attention to gory details this week, and I had to look away more than once, so I had the time. It was definitely more blood and guts than normal, and I’m chalking it up to the lack of actual story. Sure, some stuff happened, but it seemed like they didn’t have quite enough to fill the hour.) Was Merle left-handed to begin with? He didn’t seem to have any trouble pounding Glenn with his left hand. Huh.

Merle wants to know where Daryl, Rick, and the others are. Glenn is duct taped to a chair, unable to fight back, of course, but he’s manfully keeping his trap shut about important details. Finally, goaded into answering, Glenn tells Merle that his people will come looking for him, and he mentions Daryl, Rick, and…Andrea. Merle gets a huge, nasty smile on his face because he knows Andrea’s in Woodbury, dancing to The Governor’s (TG) tune. Glenn realizes that he’s stepped in it, and the beating continues.

Maggie is in the next room, and she can clearly hear what’s going on. She looks terrified, and you can tell things are not going to end well.

Help me, Obi-Wan-Rick! You’re my only hope! Image courtesy of AMC.

Back at the prison, Rick and Michonne are still giving each other the disbelieving stink eye. She’s on the outside of the prison fences, camouflaged with walker guts. But, they’re old walker guts and are apparently losing their potency, because the walker next to her suddenly turns and sniffs at her. Deciding she’d be tasty, he lurches forward. Michonne backs away, drawing her sword, but other walkers catch on and start to surround her. After dispatching several, Michonne falls to the ground, weakened by her gunshot wound (on her thigh. Thanks, Merle.)! Then, she passes out!

Oh, no!

But, Rick and co. can’t leave her to be eaten. Carl shoots walkers that are about to rip into Michonne, and Rick comes out to clear off more before scooping up the wounded woman and taking her back to the prison. Carl grabs the shopping basket of baby formula and Michonne’s things.

Michonne comes to in the prison common room, just outside the group’s cell block home. Rick asks for her name, but she stays silent. He tells her that they’ll see to her wound, give her provisions, and send her on her way…after she answers some questions. Michonne, who has the look of a trapped wild animal about her eyes, thinks she’s traded one prison (Woodbury) for another. (I came to this conclusion after they shot her –with the camera, silly!– through the prison bars.)

Daryl draws Rick away with news, and they go back into the cell block, leaving Michonne.

It’s Carol! It’s a happy reunion that turns bittersweet when Carol sees the baby and realizes Lori is dead. Tears!

Then, back to Michonne. Rick demands to know how Michonne found them, and I was sure she’d tell them about Andrea. But, she doesn’t, instead telling them about Glenn and Maggie’s capture and how she overhead them saying the prison was a straight shot. She tells them that the kidnapped pair are most likely in Woodbury, and the men make an easy decision for a rescue. Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne (Hershel sewed up her thigh.) set out.

Before they leave, however, Rick becomes a dad again, talking to Carl away from the others and comforting him about Lori’s death. Yay, Rick! FINALLY. Of course, Carl will still feel terrible that he had to shoot Lori to prevent her turning, but I’m sure his dad’s acknowledgement of what happened will make it easier.

They also decide on the name Judith for the baby. Carl’s third grade teacher? Huh.

They leave the prison in the hands of the weakest among them: Hershel, Beth, Carl, Axel, and Carol. Judith, too, but she totally doesn’t count. I’m not saying that Carol and Carl couldn’t hold their own…for a while, but still…Yeah. I’m saying they couldn’t hold their own for long.

Parking about a mile away from Woodbury, Michonne leads Oscar, Rick, and Daryl into the woods, so they can sneak up to the town. Rick, getting all his good guy/good dad stuff out of the way, thanks Daryl for stepping up while he went a little nuts and cleaned out a cell block of walkers (Remember Crazytown?). They share a comradely head nod. Very manly.

All of a sudden, walkers are everywhere! Rick decrees no guns, and they start hacking and retreating, trying to find some place to hide. They come upon a conveniently placed cabin and duck inside to find a crazy man huddled under a blanket. The crazy guy starts making a lot of noise, agitating the walkers who are already pawing at the front door and yelling that he’s going to call the cops.

Perfect! Rick says that he’s a cop and offers to show his badge. When did he start carrying his badge again? PSYCH! Rick grabs crazy guy’s gun, and crazy guy goes for the door. But before he can open the door to let in the mini-horde on the other side, Michonne kills him with her katana. STAB!

But, how to get the group away safely? Simple! See, there’s a convenient back door, so all they have to do is throw crazy guy out the front door and escape out the back. He hasn’t turned, yet, so they chuck him out and dash away. (BTW, why are there varying turning rates? I smell a plot device…)

In Woodbury, Andrea gets a job (in addition to boinking TG). TG wants her to hang out with Milton in his research lab, where a Mr. Coleman is dying. We’re supposed to think it’s from old age, and, sure enough, the guy looks old, but I’m suspicious of what Milton is ladling into Mr. Coleman’s mouth. Suspicious, I say!

Milton is trying to find a way to control walkers. Mr. Coleman actually volunteered, because he knew he was dying. So, Milton runs him through a series of memory exercises starting with auditory cues (a bell and a song). He also shows him pictures of family.

When Mr. Coleman finally dies, he’s strapped down in preparation for his turn. Andrea is skeptical FOR ONCE, but stays close to assist should something go awry.

When they’re sure Mr. Coleman has turned, Milton starts the memory exersises and is convinced it’s working on the dead guy. However, the restraints are obviously hampering Mr. Coleman’s participation, so Milton lets one of his arms go against Andrea’s warning. Sure enough, Mr. Coleman tries to eat Milton’s face. Luckily, Andrea is on her game and swiftly stabs the old guy in the head, ending the day’s research.

((UPDATE: I’m almost ashamed to say that there was a part of the show that I missed! I have no idea how it happened, and I’m going to blame it on a combination of my DVR and my son’s unwillingness to go to bed on time. Suffice it to say, there was a scene with TG and Maggie that I didn’t see. Here’s a description from AMC:

The Governor decides to question Maggie himself.

The Governor cuts Maggie’s bonds and offers to return her to her group. When she gives him the silent treatment, he orders her to remove her shirt and bra. He unbuckles his belt, sidles close, shoves her head against the table and leaves.

Now, back to my recap!))

Merle doesn’t play nice! Image courtesy of AMC.

Meanwhile, Glenn is still being beaten to a pulp. He remains resolute in his silence, however, and Merle seems to give up. Not that that will save Glenn, though! Merle brings in a walker and turns it loose! Glenn is still duct-taped to the chair, but he manages to get away, kicking the walker back and stumbling around, pushing stuff over and in front of the walker. He ends up breaking apart the chair and stabbing the walker at the last minute. The DRAMA!

Merle comes back with a minion, TG, and…Maggie! She’s still shirtless, braless, and covering herself but doesn’t appear to have been brutalized. I assume they left her in this state to demoralize and humiliate her. But, it’s clear she still hasn’t given up anything when TG again asks where their group is, holding a gun to Maggie’s head. Glenn hesitates and TG shifts his aim, crossing to hold the gun to Glenn’s head.

Maggie breaks, telling them about the prison and how many are in their group. TG allows her to run to Glenn, and he, Merle, and the minion leave to discuss what to do.

TG tells the minion to get a group together to scout the prison, and Merle, of course, wants to go along. But, TG is cautious of Merle, questioning his loyalty. Would he side with his brother or stay true to TG and Woodbury?

Merle declares himself for Woodbury, and TG seems satisfied. It made me wonder what TG has over Merle. Is TG just the alpha dog? Or is there something more?

As night falls, Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne arrive at Woodbury’s walls; they hide and assess the defenses as the camera shows us Andrea walking back to TG’s rooms after her day with Milton. She seems a bit overwrought and goes for some liquor as soon as she gets to TG’s apartment. TG, ever the solicitous man of her dreams, asks about her day, and she tells him that things had not gone according to Milton’s hopes.

Andrea snuggles into TG’s chest, and he comforts her, stroking her head and saying, “It’s alright; it’s over, now.”

SHIVER!

So, where does that leave us? There’s a Woodbury group headed for the prison; Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne are about to break into Woodbury to attempt the rescue of Glenn and Maggie; and Andrea is all about TG and will probably defend him against the would-be invaders (who she won’t recognize until it’s too late!).

The mid-season finale should be a good one!

What do you think? Leave your conjecture in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and can be found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-7-merle-glenn.php.))

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Say the Word”

So, yesterday was a holiday for me, and I took a break. Here’s a nice Tuesday extra for you! Aren’t you excited? I know you are. As always, SPOILERS abound. You’ve been warned! (It DOES say recap…)

Just so you know, I’m going to follow the pieces of Sunday’s story as they make sense to me, not necessarily how they played out on the small screen. So, pay attention, will you? There’s a flow.

“Say the Word” jumped back and forth between the prison and not-so-idyllic Woodbury. It was a satisfying mix of stories that let us keep tabs on all the main plots and bits of crazy floating around.

Speaking of cray-cray, Woodbury is in the midst of some kind of celebration. Everything is dudded up like the 4th of July, only not so much. But, this was the first time I can remember seeing kids run around in Woodbury. Maybe I’m just not that observant, but I’d like to think they were trotted out for a purpose, and I think they were. More on that later, though.

Andrea’s wandering around, talking to folks, and generally falling in love with the town. Michonne, on the other hand, is not. She’s skulking about, looking for the evil she knows is there.

Hold still! Daddy loves you! Image courtesy of AMC.

Evil, huh? Take a gander at what happens next! We’re treated to a charmingly domestic scene with The Governor (TG). He’s gently brushing the hair of his…DEAD DAUGHTER! It’s all fine and dandy (Um, not really.) until he pulls a chunk of scalp and hair away from her ROTTING HEAD.

But, it’s not like he’s totally out of his mind; at least he has his walker daughter restrained. Kinda. Not enough to suit me! She, of course, tries to BITE him, but he, being the understanding daddy, puts a bag over her head, makes sure her restraints are intact and expresses his love.

It’s frighteningly similar to how I express my love to my children.

Not really!

Maybe.

Totally kidding!

Probably.

You can see the struggle in TG’s eyes even as he struggles with the monster that used to be his daughter. I almost felt sorry for him (Darn you, AMC!). He happens to look out the window, and who is looking up at him? Michonne, of course! There’s no way she could have seen anything, let along TG’s exchange with his daughter (who we later find out is named Penny), but you know TG has just about reached his limit with Michonne.

Back at the prison, we pick up right where we left off, with Maggie holding the new baby, Carl looking distraught, and Rick losing his $hit. It’s kinda already gone, though, because he’s just staring, unable to hear what’s happening around him. Finally, his eyes lite on a nearby ax, and he goes for it. We know Rick has understandably jumped off the deep end, and I was pretty sure what he was about to do.

Sure enough, Rick begins to helpfully run amok in the prison, hacking through walkers and probably being mistaken for Chloë Grace Moretz’s Carrie stand in. It’s gory, and frankly, I was turned off by it. It felt like something from the Saw franchise. Ugh. But, at least he’s using his profound grief to do some house cleaning. Half full, right guys?

Back in the prison yard, Daryl steps up and takes control. (GO DARYL!) After Hershel declares the baby healthy, the old coot says what’s been on my mind since Lori bought the farm last week: the kid’s going to die without something to eat. Soon. Formula is the answer, and Daryl readies to go scavenging. Maggie hops on the back of his motorcycle, AKA the loudest FRACKING means of transportation in the area, and they head off down the road.

They find a daycare center fairly easily (what luck!), and get creepin’. Maggie finds some baby bottles in the first cabinet she looks in (so much luck!), and they continue into the facility’s darkened hallways.

By the way the camera kept zooming in on kid-specific decorations and creepy, deserted cribs, I was sure we were about to be set upon by a pack of baby and toddler walkers. Would there be anything more terrifying? As a mother of two, I tell you there would not be!

Sure enough, a rattling sound starts coming from the kitchen. It’s in a cabinet! Oh, no! Don’t open the cabinet! There’s going to be a flesh-eating baby in there! Daryl takes point and Maggie throws open a cabinet to find…a possum (opossum?). It looks scared, and Daryl quips that they’ve just found dinner.

Yum.

Of course, there are several cans of formula in another cabinet.

Let’s talk about the luck of this, shall we? There’s so much luck. So much. Also, I’d like to point out that the little bit of formula they found will not last that long at all. I’ve had to use formula with both of my children, and they go through it like sand through the hour glass on Days of Our Lives.

Back they roar on the loud, fecking motorcycle to the prison. Glenn is keeping an eye out for them, and Oscar and Axel open and close the gate for the motorcycle.

The prisoners are slowly being accepted into the group. That afternoon, while Daryl and Maggie were out, the pair approached Glenn as he was digging a grave. Oscar and Axel definitely want to join the group; they made overtures last week, and their quest continued in this episode when they expressed their sorrow for what had happened. After a time, Glenn bends and accepts their offers of help, telling them that two more graves need to be dug.

Why was Glenn digging in the first place? For the three members of the group who supposedly died in last week’s episode. I say “supposedly” because while Lori and T-Dog are most certainly dead, Carol is still MIA. I don’t think she’s dead. Do you? Also, it’s not like they have bodies to bury. It was more symbolic than anything.

After he leaves the prisoners to dig, Glenn confides to Hershel that he wishes the group had just killed all of the prisoners when they had first discovered them. I don’t mean to insinuate that Glenn doesn’t like Oscar and Axel. After all, Glenn’s pretty easy going overall. But, he regards the people they’ve lost more than the people he’s just met.

It’s during this time that we actually get some backstory for T-Dog! Now that he’s dead, we find out a little more about him.

Nice.

Apparently, T-Dog was a pretty upstanding guy. Last week, we found out he was religious as he accepted his fate and tried to protect Carol. This week, we got a little more of that as Glenn revealed that T-Dog had driven a church van to try to help some old folks after the walker outbreak. It was a nice send-out for a great character we barely knew.

Later, Glenn goes in search of Rick. It’s not hard to find him; Glenn just follows the mangled walkers to find Rick at the end of a hallway, half in shadow and covered in blood and bits of walker. It was very Luke Skywalker battling against the Dark Side. When Glenn tries to reason with Rick, the crazed man pins him to the wall, and then throws him back, ignoring Glenn’s offers of help and assertions that Rick doesn’t have to do this alone. Rick staggers on, leaving Glenn to return to the group.

The positive here is that Rick is slowly ridding the prison of walkers. Everybody wins!

When Daryl and Maggie arrive with the formula, the baby is screaming her head off. Babies don’t wait well. After a brief discussion about what the baby’s name should be, Daryl christens the baby “Little Ass Kicker.”

I gotta say, that wouldn’t have been my first choice, but, hey, I guess I’m not in a walker apocalypse, so who am I to judge? Yeah, here’s hoping they come up with a real name, soon.

It was nice to see Daryl taking such a keen interest in the baby, though. I wanted to think it was because he felt a certain kinship with her; she’d been abandoned by her parents, rather like he was abandoned by his. We’ll see how that pans out.

In Woodbury, the celebration continues. They never come right out and say what’s being celebrated, but you get the idea it’s a party to celebrate survival. I can get behind that.

While Andrea is off drinking the Kool-Aid, Michonne decides to poke around TG’s personal quarters, recovering her katana (finally!) and finding a notebook with a list of names followed by pages and pages of odd hash marks. The last name on the list is Penny, and while Michonne doesn’t know who Penny is, she surmises it’s someone important.

You know she’s about to find the real Penny because she hears TG’s walker daughter in the next room. You just know she’s gonna hack her little head off! But, no such luck! The evil trinity (TG, Merle, and Milton) enter and set about gathering some supplies for the party, I assume. Michonne ducks in the next room to avoid detection and listens as Milton asks TG to postpone the evening’s festivities. Milton wants to save the power for an upcoming experiment. They’ve been using the generators and (one must assume) plenty of fuel all day for the celebration to cool drinks and provide various creature comforts, and Milton wants to conserve. But,  TG denies the request, saying the town needs the entertainment.

After they leave, Michonne escapes and wanders into an area we haven’t seen before that looks like a mini warehouse district. Why this is in Woodbury, I have no idea. It seems out of place, and as Michonne explores, she comes on some captive walkers. Looking pleased, Michonne releases the walkers and steps back, readying her katana.

Hack! Slash! Stomp! Splat!

Michonne takes down the walkers, but, of course, she gets caught by someone with a bucket of walker chow. You don’t see who it is, but I think it was probably Merle coming to “feed” the walkers.

You’re supposed to wonder why TG is keeping walkers, but since we’ve already seen his unhealthy obsession and curious aquarium exhibit, I just chalked it up to one of Milton’s experiments. Or, could they have something to do with the list that Michonne found? I wondered if these walkers were perhaps former Woodbury residents. Hmmm…

I was wrong.

Michonne is taken to TG for some good old fashioned scolding –jr. high. principal style. She takes it up to a point, because TG has HER point (katana). There are some tense moments of conversation, and at one point, Michonne mentions Penny, throwing the name out there to test the waters and to see if TG will reveal anything.

Penny’s obviously a secret, but from whom? Do the other members of the evil trinity even know about her? The way TG reacted has me thinking that they don’t. But, he figures out Michonne is largely fishing and pushes on.

When TG proposes Michonne join the “research team,” Michonne finally makes her move! She whips around, grabs the blade, and holds it to his throat.

(DRAMATIC INTERLUDE)

Research team? Does this have something to do with Mad Milton? Maybe. Milton’s with Merle and several others on the research team when we see them out in the field gathering more walkers from a pit. It’s obvious that they trapped them on purpose, but it’s unclear what they’re going to do with them. We do know, however, that they’re being gathered to replace the ones Michonne disposed of.

When the research team begins to pull out the walkers’ teeth, my husband mentions that the walkers Michonne just put down didn’t have any teeth, either. Huh! I hadn’t noticed that…

(END OF DRAMATIC INTERLUDE)

Michonne presses the katana to TG’s throat, making you wonder why she just doesn’t go ahead and kill him. I counseled her to do so, but she didn’t listen. Do they ever listen? Then, she backs out of the room and goes to gather her gear, intent on leaving Woodbury.

Meanwhile, TG tells Merle to bring Andrea to him. Merle obliges and stupid Andrea breezes in, wide-eyed and ready to believe whatever TG feeds her. He doesn’t go into a ton of detail, but tells Andrea that Michonne just isn’t fitting in. Andrea’s gotta talk to her, gotta get her under control, or she could be asked to leave.

Andrea, who definitely has a crush on TG, tries to reason with Michonne, but Michonne sticks to her guns and convinces Andrea to pack up as well. As they approach the town gate, Merle stops them, confirming Michonne’s complaint that they are not actually free to go. But, after a few moments, Merle opens the gate and invites them to go if they wish.

Michonne takes him up on his offer, and strides out after a terse exchange with Andrea. Andrea balks and stays behind.

Stupid, stupid Andrea.

After night falls, the town’s celebration is all set to commence. The people of Woodbury stream into the same area where Michonne killed the walkers. I had to wonder if TG was planning to kill them all! Oh, sick! There’s kids and everything! Why do I watch this?

But, the people instead sit on bleachers and wait for the entertainment to begin. The area is well-lit and music blares from unseen speakers. TG is with Andrea and guides her to sit on the bleachers. She looks puzzled, but doesn’t really question anything. Stupid Andrea.

Then, walkers are staked in a circle, and stupid Andrea finally begins to realize something is very wrong. Merle and a cohort come out and start to fight in the ring of walkers, and she finally begins to question TG about what is going on. FINALLY.

Merle and the other guy start beating the crap out of each other, and the crowd goes wild while the walkers strain against their bonds, trying to get at the fighting men. Talk about a death match! Kids are hoisted up so they can see; it’s a real family affair.

Andrea tries to leave, but TG stops her, telling her that this was a good way for the people to let off some steam. Besides, it’s really just staged because the walkers don’t have any teeth. Oooooh! So, that’s why the research team was pulling out walker teeth. Gross.

Andrea still wants to leave, but TG makes her stay, and she realizes that perhaps Michonne had been right all along.

Dun, Dun, DUUUUUUUUUN!

Of course Michonne has been right all along! Gosh! I haven’t even read all of the comics, and I knew that! You can just tell by TG’s creepy smile and voice (that reminds me of Liam Neeson) that he’s a bad egg. Plus, we’ve got some pretty good evidence: Exhibit A – Walker Head Aquarium; Exhibit B – Slaughtering Nice Military Men; etc.

Dead walker is dead. Image courtesy of AMC.

“Say the Word” wraps up with a final scene with crazy Rick. He’s finally made his way to the room where Lori died, and looks for any sign of his dead wife. He sees a trail of blood and follows it to a bloated walker, too engorged too move. The creature sits against a wall, and, at first, I thought it was walker Lori because the camera zoomed in on the big belly.

Gosh, I’m glad it wasn’t Lori.

But, apparently, it did EAT Lori, hence the large stomach. Rick figures that out, too, and takes out his rage on the walker, shooting it in the head and stabbing it repeatedly in the stomach.

I thought he was going to try to carve what was left of Lori out of the walker, but that went out the window as Rick stabbed and stabbed.

Finally, spent from his rage/grief fit, Rick drags himself away and sits against an opposite wall to stare at the walker that ate his wife. He starts to hallucinate and hears a baby cry. Strange, but understandable considering he’s basically abandoned his newborn daughter. But, stranger still is want happens next: a nearby telephone begins to ring. The sound snaps Rick out of his reverie and he moves to answer the phone. Makes sense to me! I’d probably answer a ringing phone, too.

The episode goes to black with Rick’s “Hello?” into the receiver.

So, who was on the phone? Was it even real or was Rick still hallucinating? Will “Little Ass Kicker” ever get a real name? Is Andrea the biggest moron ever?

Gah! So many questions!

What did you think of this week’s episode? Hit me up in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and can be found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-5-michonne.php.))

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The Walking Dead Recap/Review: “Killer Inside”

If you’re new to the Interwebz, I suppose you wouldn’t know that I’m about to talk all up on the latest episode of The Walking Dead. So, here’s your warning. Also, go crawl back under your rock. SPOILERS!

I don’t want my son to have to shoot me in the head. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. After last night’s episode, I told my husband that he better do the deed. I don’t want my son to put me down. No, thank you.

Holy crap! What an emotional episode! Lori’s dead, T-Dog’s dead, we don’t know if Carol made it, and there’s a newborn who will soon be a itsy bitsy walker (crawler?) if they don’t find some way to feed her.

I am not ashamed to say that I cried during “Killer Inside.”

Let’s start from the top, shall we?

A mysterious hunter drags a dead dear by the camera. Gross. You can’t see the hunter’s face, but the pants look like the lower part of the prison coveralls. Next, we see the coveralls leaving parts of the dear around what looks to be the prison yard. A couple of walkers take the bait, and coveralls dashes past them to hack open a chained fence. He places a bloody heart in the opened gate, the music comes up and under and they cut to the opening credits.

Ominous!

Rick and the others (minus Lori, Carl, Beth, and Hershel) are trying to get the prison yard more organized. They want to get the vehicles arranged in case they need to make a speedy getaway, and the walker bodies strewn about need to be dealt with. So, they busy themselves, tidying up what is to become their safe home.

Before they start, however, they invite Glenn and Maggie to join them. The couple has been using the guard tower for a little bom-chicka-wow-wow, and Glenn exits tugging on his pants, this show’s only brief moment of levity.

The two remaining prisoners, Oscar and Axel, approach the group, asking to amend their deal. They’re literally sick of living in the other cell block alone, having to deal with all the bodies of their former friends. After a short discussion, T-Dog voices his favor of allowing the men to join them. Rick remains firm, though, and tells the prisoners they can stick to the deal or hit the road. Go, New Shane!

The prisoners decide the road would be better, and preparations to see them on their way begin.

Back in home sweet Cell Block C home, Hershel is starting to get up and hobble around on crutches. That should mean that a couple of weeks have passed, but I’m not so sure that’s the case judging from Andrea and Michonne’s story arc in scary, too-good-to-be-true-why-the-heck-won’t-Andrea-listen-to-Michonne Woodbury. But, more on them later.

The proverbial crap hits the not so proverbial prison when a siren starts to sound at the prison. Suddenly, walkers are everywhere, drawn by the sound. But, not only are they gathering on the outside of the prison fence, but, inexplicably, walkers are now swarming the inside of the prison as well, most likely due to the cold open of coveralls opening the gate. Plus, I’m thinking that other doors and fences all around and in the prison were intentionally opened to let in the dead.

By this time, Hershel’s little hobble walk has taken him, Lori, Carl, and Beth out into the yard. Of course, they don’t see the walkers until the shambling dead are almost upon them. And the siren didn’t start to sound until they were outside the relative safety of their cell block. Of course!

Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, T-Dog, and Carol rush back to the prison yard followed by the prisoners.

“Lori!” Rick yells, scared for his wife. And, I’m so glad! The episode before last had the pair at distinct odds, and Lori was sure their marriage was over.

Rick’s group starts shooting and cutting down walkers, and the prisoners hang back. I mean, you can’t blame them, though. It’s not like they have any weapons! The two seem to be good eggs, but I know you’re supposed to be doubtful. After all, someone had to let the walkers in and turn on the siren. And that someone definitely had prison coveralls on!

Rick must think like me because he immediately starts to suspect the prisoners. But, at the moment, there are more pressing matters trying to eat his loved ones. Oscar and Axel deny any involvement with the siren and influx of walkers, but Oscar offers that someone must have turned on the back up generator. After shooting out the nearest siren speakers, Rick and several others head inside to find the generator.

In the craziness, the group is scattered and separated. Hershel and Beth barely make it into a fenced in area around a door. Maggie, Lori, and Carl escape back to the cell block only to find it overrun! They turn into the bowels of the prison, desperately trying to find a safe haven. Walkers are everywhere!

Then, Lori starts to go into labor.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Of course you’re not kidding me, AMC. You like to see me like this, you sadistic creep!

Carl finds a safe room, and Maggie prepares to help Lori deliver. But, something goes very wrong and Lori starts bleeding out of her hoo-hoo. I’ve given birth before, and I’m pretty sure blood before a kid is a bad thing. Yeah, it is.

Lori tells Maggie that she’s going to have to cut her open and get the baby out. It’s the only way to save the baby. You get the feeling that if Maggie doesn’t cut the baby out, Lori will probably die anyway. Eeesh. Maggie doesn’t want to, of course. Who would? She wasn’t even the one who was practicing for this! Carol was! Oh, Carol where are you?

T-Dog, look behind you! Nooooo! Image courtesy of AMC.

Carol and T-Dog are also in the prison after escaping the walker-infested yard. But, T-Dog’s been bitten; a walker nailed him right before he and Carol ran inside. Now, they are trying to find a place to hide. T-Dog’s struggling, but he hasn’t turned and is determined to get Carol to safety. It’s dark and the lights are flickering in a very horror movie-esque manner, and we see a pair of approaching walkers’ shadows trundling toward them. With a yell, T-Dog barrels into the two walkers, moving them out of the way to let Carol escape through a nearby door.

It was very heroic, especially for a character who didn’t have a real name or ANY KIND of a back story. You were robbed, T-Dog. Rest in pieces.

TIME FOR A SUSPENSE BREAK!

Meanwhile in Woodbury, Michonne is busy not trusting the Governor (TG). She wanders around the new military vehicles that TG and his men brought back, noticing bullet holes and looking suspicious. TG approaches her, obviously trying to win her over. Honey Badger Michonne don’t care. The women are about to leave, anyway.

Andrea, on the other hand, is getting to be more and more all about TG. She has drinks with him, and he reveals that his real name is Phillip. Aww! So, he’s totally a good guy, now, right? Too bad she and Michonne are leaving…

Not really. They aren’t leaving, of course. Andrea wants to stay for a couple more days. Michonne doesn’t, but for some reason, she hangs around to be with Andrea.

Pffft!

Andrea meets Merle and hands over a map. She’s circled where the farm is and confides that she’d want someone to do the same thing if her sister was still alive. They bond over hurt feelings of being left behind and then Merle, ever the gentleman, propositions her. Classy! She brushes it off and walks away. He leers.

Merle then approaches TG, asking to take a couple of men to look for Daryl. TG doesn’t want him to go, saying that Merle is needed in Woodbury. However, if Merle were to get more concrete information about Daryl, TG himself would join the search party.

NOW, BACK TO THE PRISON!

Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Oscar and Axel are on a mad dash to find the back up generator. They have to get the power off, so the siren will stop. Once they reach the room where the generator is, Rick begins to wildly search for the right switch.

WATCH OUT, RICK! It’s Andrew, the prisoner we all thought was dead after Rick left him locked outside with a bunch of walkers! Andrew is a bit upset and tries to chop Rick with an ax. He misses, and Rick tries to shoot him. Rick misses. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM, NEW SHANE? GET IT DONE!

Andrew is the one who has been causing all the trouble, opening gates, letting in walkers, and turning on the power and siren. There’s a scuffle, and Rick’s gun goes flying. Before either of them can pick it up, Oscar grabs it. Andrew yells for Oscar to shoot Rick, letting the prisoners take back their prison. A brief, nail-biting hesitation later, Oscar blows Andrew away. SHWEW! Close one, New Shane.

Rick finds the right switch with Oscar’s help and turns off the power. Then, they all rush back out to the yard.

Lori proves that she’s a good mother, after all. Image courtesy of AMC.

Back in the delivery room, Lori is trying to convince Maggie to cut her open. After she does, Lori proves that she can be a decent mother and turns her full loving attention to Carl. She tells him that he is “good” and to not let this terrible new world change him. He must watch over Rick and his new baby brother or sister. They’re all crying. I’m crying. I think my husband was crying.

EVERYBODY’S CRYING!

Lori holds Carl, and I’m still crying. I’m holding my sleeping, seven-month-old daughter, who I had by c-section. I’m crying. Gosh.

Then, it’s time, and Maggie takes Carl’s knife (CARL’S KNIFE), and cuts along the underside of Lori’s big belly, tracing over the c-section scar left from Carl’s birth. Lori cries out in pain but tries to hold it in before finally passing out. Maggie delivers the baby with assistance from Carl and works to get the child to breathe. A small shaky cry confirms the baby is going to live (at least for a short time), and Carl gives Maggie his shirt to wrap up the baby.

Maggie turns to leave, but stops when Carl says, “We can’t leave her here like this! She’ll turn!”

It’s utterly heart breaking.

Maggie tries to give the baby to Carl, so she can take care of Lori, but Carl refuses.

“She’s my mother,” he says.

And Maggie leaves. SHE DOESN’T TRY TO ARGUE. SHE DOESN’T TRY TO PLAY HER ADULT CARD. SHE JUST FRACKING LEAVES!

Maggie peeks out the door, sees some walkers and closes it again. Then, she hears a gunshot, and Carl comes around the corner looking completely numb. He’s just shot his mother. HE JUST SHOT HIS MOTHER! I can’t believe Maggie let him do it! She should have done it!

Cut back to the prison yard as Rick and the others make it back. He rushes over to where Hershel and Beth are still in the fenced in area, asking where everyone is. Then, he hears a baby cry and turns to see Maggie clutching his daughter to her. Carl follows with his head down.

It doesn’t take Rick long to figure out what has happened. He starts in after Lori, but Maggie confirms that it’s too late. Rick appropriately loses it, and I’m totally fine with that except for one thing: Carl. Rick should have gone to his son. True, we don’t know for sure if Rick was aware that Carl shot Lori, but he had to know the immense trauma his son had just experienced. The boy’s mother had just died, and Rick can’t give him a hug?

Bad form.

That’s where “Killer Inside” ended. It was abrupt, terrible and awfully good television.

“Killer Inside” could have several different meanings. The first one that occurred to me was Lori’s baby. Maybe it’s because I recently just had my second child, but I couldn’t help but think that this child could be seen as a kind of killer. After all, it’s her fault her mother is dead. Rick looked to be in pretty bad shape at the end of the show. Let’s hope he doesn’t blame the baby.

The more obvious meaning refers to Andrew, the man who turned on the power and let in all the walkers. That’s pretty self-explanatory.

Then, there’s Rick. None of last night’s calamities would have befallen the prison group if he had not abandoned Andrew to the walkers in the first place. It’s all on his head, and it looks like he knows it judging from the preview for next week’s show.

What did you think of “Killer Inside?” Were there any other killers inside? Let me know in the comments!

 

((Featured image courtesy of AMC and found at http://blogs.amctv.com/photo-galleries/the-walking-dead-season-3-episode-photos/episode-4-glenn-daryl-rick.php.))

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