Tag Archives: Milton

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: “Prey”

Pssst! Hey, you! Yeah, you. This article contains SPOILERS and lots of them!

The Walking Dead is trying to make me like Andrea. At least, that was my take-away from last night’s episode.

See, this entire season, Andrea has pretty much been a walking (teehee! “Walking!”) disaster, forcing me to hate her for decisions that could only lead to ruin. In her efforts to cling to a society that has clearly been destroyed, Andrea has knowingly (I believe) swallowed lie after lie from The Governor (TG) and turned her back on Michonne, the woman who saved her life and saw her through an undoubtedly perilous winter.

In “Prey,” Andrea finally sees the light and decides to leave Woodbury and TG behind.

The episode opens with a flashback, and I was excited to think that the whole show would be dedicated to what we didn’t see between season two and three. No such luck.

Michonne and Andrea warm themselves by a campfire, while the walker “pets” shamble at the ends of their chains. Andrea asks Michonne about the pets and who they were before they changed. Michonne doesn’t really want to talk about it, but tells Andrea that they weren’t people to begin with; they got what they deserved.

From there, the scene switches to present day and TG, who is readying chains between two poles in what looks like a basement or hidden room. (I assumed we were seeing his preparations for Michonne’s inevitable torturing after Rick hands her over…or at least when TG gets his hands on her.) It was an obvious allusion to the fact that TG, while not a walker, or biter as the people from Woodbury call them, is an inhuman member of the walking dead. He’s a monster.

In Woodbury, Martinez and other TG lackeys are stocking a truck with all manner of guns, ammunition, and heavy artillery. The plot requires Milton and Andrea to observe and Andrea to stupidly question Milton about it, referencing the supposed deal on the table with Rick. Mousy Milton tells her that it’s probably only a precaution (Ha!) and skitters away.

Milton finds TG in the secret torture room, where he observes the one-eyed man laying out an array of medical implements. Milton jumps to the correct conclusion that some torture is planned and tries to dissuade TG. TG pats Milton on the cheek and blows him off.

Pirates like to torture folks. That's just common knowledge, right? Image courtesy of AMC.

Pirates like to torture folks. That’s just common knowledge, right? Image courtesy of AMC.

Milton then experiences a rare burst of balls and goes and finds Andrea, telling her that TG is planning on killing Rick and the rest of the prison group. He leads her to a room that overlooks TG’s torture chamber (complete with scary dental chair and handcuffs), and Andrea is properly aghast. She determines that TG has to die (Oh, really? Shocking!), and while they are discussing it, TG wanders into the torture chamber with more tools of dooooooooooooooom. Andrea draws her gun and readies to shoot TG, but Milton stops her.

What? Why, Milton? GAH! Maybe it’s because Milton remembers who TG used to be. He told Andrea that he knew Phillip (TG’s real name) before he was TG. What were they to each other? Coworkers? Friends? Family? I want Milton to be TG’s brother-in-law. I think that would fit nicely!

They watch as TG records himself whistling, sits down in the dental chair, and listens to the recording with a smile. Creeptastic.

So, Andrea decides she has to leave and go warn Rick and the prison group. Brilliant! On her way out of town, she happens upon Martinez and a couple of TG lackeys who are collecting weapons and ammo from townspeople. It’s for the coming fight, he explains…Not that they want to kill people…They have to be ready for anything, of course!

Riiiiiiiiiight.

Andrea protests but ends up giving up her gun and extra clip. Then, TG stops her and asks her to be present at the meeting with Rick. It’s happening the next day, and he needs her to be there since the two groups distrust each other.

Riiiiiiiiiight.

She smiles and plays along, promising to be there. They part, and she makes a beeline for one of Woodbury’s entry/exit points guarded by none other than Tyreese and Sasha. Andrea tries to get them to leave, saying Martinez needs them, but they don’t buy it, and she comes right out and tells them that she has to leave Woodbury. She tells them that TG isn’t what he seems, and that Woodbury isn’t the place they think it is.

Tyreese and Sasha are confused and don’t think they should let her go, but they end up standing aside as she goes over the wall and jogs away. Later, they meet with Martinez and TG to tell them what happened. TG puts on a nice show of concern and then proceeds to lie to Tyreese and Sasha, telling them that Andrea was crazy. TG says Andrea spent the winter on her own before making her way to Woodbury, leaving Michonne out of the story and making it sound like Andrea went cuckoo while on her own.

Tyreese falls for the story after being assured that Woodbury isn’t a prison camp, and TG tells him that Martinez needs their help with a particular task. Tyreese and Sasha follow Martinez to one of the walls where a truck is waiting to take them and several others on a job. At the wall, they meet up with Allen and his son, who are also going on said job. There’s a tense moment as Allen yells at Tyreese for possibly jeopardizing their stay in Woodbury, and we find out that Allen’s dead wife was saved by Tyreese. Apparently, it’s a sore spot for Allen, because he felt emasculated in front of his family…or something? I mean, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense… “I hate you for saving my wife’s life!” Huh?

Things simmer down, and they all get in the truck and drive to…the biter pit! Remember this place? This is where Woodbury has a wind-powered noise contraption that attracts biters, who then fall into a pit and are used for nefarious purposes…like biter fighting in the arena, punishment, torture, etc.

It’s a nice place.

Tyreese and Sasha are taken aback by the pit and don’t understand why biters would be needful to Woodbury. Martinez is sketchy and says only that they have uses for everything these days. Tyreese surmises that the biters are going to be used in some way during the following day’s meeting with Rick and co. and is understandably uncool with the notion.

Allen and his kid seems fine with it, thank you very much, and tells Tyreese to go along with it. Another spat erupts between the two of them and ends with Tyreese holding Allen over the biter pit. But, he gets a hold of himself and doesn’t drop Allen in. What a shame! You know that guy’s going to be trouble later!

Tyreese tells Martinez that he doesn’t want any part of the biters, and Martinez says that they’ll have to explain themselves to TG. Dun, Dun, DUN!

In Woodbury, after telling Tyreese to help Martinez, TG heads out after Andrea. But before he leaves, he runs into Milton, who confesses to telling Andrea about the ambush plan against Rick and the prison group. TG loses his temper and slams Milton up against a pointy looking fence. He doesn’t kill him, though.

Cut to Andrea, who is running down the road toward the prison. (I wonder how far away it is…) Suddenly, she hears an engine and ducks off the road into the trees. Smart! We don’t see the driver, but it’s the big white truck we’ve seen TG in before, so you know it’s him. There’s a cheap scare, and she kills a handful of walkers before continuing through the woods. What a fine sense of direction she must have! Or maybe she just knows the way that well?

Oh, and about that cheap scare: Why didn’t she hear the walkers right before one dramatically grabbed her through a small grouping of trees? They are undead, and they don’t make noise? In dry, crackly leaves? Seriously? I don’t buy that.

As she’s crossing a field, the truck appears again and chases her into more woods. We see TG squinting after her and are supposed to feel an impending sense of doom, I think. But, honestly, I’m not sure who I was rooting for. Did I want Andrea to escape? I’m not so sure!

She comes to an old factory/warehouse and ducks inside just as the truck pulls up. Night is falling, of course. How about that for timing? Good job, TG, on READING HER FREAKING MIND AND KNOWING EXACTLY WHERE SHE IS. (As you can see, I have an issue with this, too. Did he just assume she was there? Was that the only cover available to her? Bah.)

They play a game of cat and mouse as he stalks around looking for her. He whistles the tune he recorded earlier, and I wondered if that was supposed to mean something. Did anyone else recognize the song? Or was it supposed to be foreshadowing? (More on that later.)

Andrea watches what she hopes to be the end of TG. SPOILER: It's not. Image courtesy of AMC.

Andrea watches what she hopes to be the end of TG. SPOILER: It’s not. Image courtesy of AMC.

Andrea kills some walkers and makes noise that eventually leads TG to her. He backs her up against a door, and she ducks behind it, letting out a mini-horde that goes after him. She dashes up some stairs and escapes the building, and we hear TG yelling and fighting. That’s the end of him! Riiiiiiiiiight.

So, at this point, I was yelling at Andrea to steal his truck. Why didn’t she steal his truck? I’m pretty sure he left the keys in it, because he left the lights on! WHY DIDN’T SHE TAKE THE TRUCK?!

The next time we see Andrea, she’s approaching the prison walls. She made it! Yay! Her relief is obvious as she starts to wave to get the guard on duty’s attention. The guard happens to be Rick, by the way.

BUT, TG JUMPS OUT AND GRABS HER!

First of all, there’s no way he could have made it out alive. Secondly, if he was following her, how could she not have heard him? Especially if he DROVE!

Rick, who is scanning milling walkers, thinks he sees something at the treeline (where Andrea is being held down by TG), but dismisses it when he goes back for another look through his gun scope. Aw, so close!

Soon, TG’s big white truck is approaching Woodbury again. TG pulls to a stop to speak to Martinez, who he tells Andrea is still on the loose. Martinez, who has no reason to believe otherwise, accepts the story and tells TG about Tyreese’s refusal to help out at the pits…and SOMEONE BURNED THE BITERS!

During the night, while TG was chasing Andrea around, someone in a black SUV went to the pit and poured gas all over the biters and lit them ablaze. The same person also set a horse trailer full of biters on fire. Was it Tyreese? Was it someone else?

TG assumes it was Tyreese. Uh-oh!

Tyreese, Sasha, Allen, and Ben (Allen’s son) gather to see TG and talk about the biter pit. It kinda had a waiting-to-see-the-principal feel to it. TG tells Tyreese that the biters are a scare tactic, and that they would never be used against people. Riiiiiiiiiight. Tyreese seems okay with the explanation, and apologizes for making trouble.

TG accepts his apology and asks where Tyreese got the gas (to burn the biters, of course.). But, TG doesn’t say anything about the fire at the pit, and Tyreese expresses his confusion. He doesn’t know what TG is talking about.

So, Tyreese didn’t do it? Hmmm. Who did, then? TG meets Milton on the street, and Milton asks if TG has found the person who set the fire. TG’s one eye narrows, he declares that he just has.

It was Milton! Go Milton!

“Prey” ended with Andrea in the dental chair of torture. They tried to make it extra dramatic, but you knew it was coming. Seriously. The camera winds down a dark hall, around a corner, and through a door…and there she is! Tied down with duct tape across her mouth!

SHOCKING!

Not really.

So, what about that song TG whistled and recorded. Was that for Andrea? Was she the “Prey” all along? Was that why he was whistling it in the abandoned factory/warehouse? Was the dental chair and torture items for her? Or was he prepping for Michonne, and Andrea just fell into a terrible situation?

Like I wrote earlier, I feel like this whole episode was tailored to make me like Andrea. She finally tried to do the right thing, but TG thwarted her. Did she fail because she struck out on her own? After all, one of the bigger themes of this season, as we’ve talked about before, is you can’t survive on your own. Andrea tried to get Milton to come with her, but he wouldn’t, saying he belonged in Woodbury. Would Andrea have made it if Milton went with her?

I don’t really think so. I mean, it’s Milton, and he’s pretty much worthless in a fight. But, her journey alone was unsuccessful, which emphasizes the theme of group survival.

If they were trying to get me to like Andrea, it didn’t really work. As TG stalked her, I found myself not so much rooting for her as interested in how the plot would move forward without her should she get caught. I assumed TG would kill her, and, really, he should have. But, she’s obviously a plot device, and she lived.

Overall, I thought “Prey” was one of the weaker episodes this season. While, we got plenty of cheap scares and forced dramatic tension, the writing was full of holes (Why didn’t she take the truck? Why didn’t Tyreese question TG further about the walker pit –TG said they didn’t share tactics with people they didn’t know, but they take people they don’t know to the pits in the first place?– How did TG get Andrea into his torture room unnoticed? Oh, the QUESTIONS!)

What did you think? 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-14-andrea.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: “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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