Another exciting episode of The Walking Dead shambled onto our televisions tonight, but does it work well enough on its own or is it just a tease for mid-season finale due next week? Let’s look! As always: SPOILERS!
At the end of the last episode, Michonne had masked her arrival to the prison by blending in with zombies. Unfortunately, just as Rick discovers her beyond the fence, the effects of the gunshot begin to take their hold and after slashing a zombie, Carl ends up saving her from certain demise with his trusty pistol. Rick – now lucid – and the crew take her in and she reveals Glenn and Maggie were taken to Woodbury. Hershel stitches her up and the crew packs up to rescue their comrades. Rick reunites with Carol and they have a moment when it’s revealed that Lori didn’t make it. As you’ll remember, Carol had been practicing to deliver her baby – whom they’ve named Judith after Carl’s third-grade teacher – before the chaos of episode 4.
Rick takes Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar start wandering through the wilderness on their way to Woodbury, but get swarmed by walkers, winding up in a house owned by a crazy man with a shotgun. As Rick is about to reveal his police badge to the shaken man, he knocks the gun away and Michonne kills him. They toss him out to the walkers as bait (not unlike how Shane disposed of Otis in season 2) while escaping through the rear door. Then they happen on the outer fence of…
Merle is having a great time interrogating Glenn. At a point, he steps in close and Glenn pulls off a Tyson on his nose. Things escalate quickly and Merle releases a live walker on Glenn, still bound in a chair. An epic fight ensues! The Governor isn’t happy with Merle’s progress and takes to “handling” Maggie himself. Oh, sure, he plays nice at first, but when she won’t reveal the camp’s position, he humiliates her into stripping her top off. It looks like The Governor is about to have his way with her when he decides to use her as leverage against Glenn. She blurts out their location and in a meeting with Merle, reveals not only that he can’t believe Rick and his crew cleared that prison, but that Daryl is with them and his faith in Merle is somewhat jeopardized.
In a subplot, The Governor asks Andrea to assist Milton, Woodbury’s chief scientist, who is at the bedside of an elderly man about to die of pancreatic cancer. Milton wants to observe if, in a re-animated form, the zombie can remember various stimuli through a series of tests. The man dies and Milton attempts to test him again, Andrea flags off the notion that the new zombie is truly comprehending him. Milton isn’t satisfied and removes the zombie’s latch, lunging at Milton. Andrea is quick to respond.
Lots of action in this episode, but simply too much posturing for what’s right around the corner. The next episode will obviously be the climax, but it’s obvious the series is holding out as long as possible before playing its hand.