This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was a little different from the last two. Before I get into my thoughts, let’s just take a look at what happened tonight.
The episode starts off with the scene that has been teased for the last couple of weeks with Hershel yelling at Rick: “Get back here!”. He then added an interesting twist on it with “You once said this isn’t a democracy. Now you need to own up to that.” This basically puts Rick in a position where he needs to put the crazy behind him and come back to the group as a leader, at least for now. The whole group debate on what their next steps should be with the group divided between staying put and fleeing.
Rick is standing by the interior fence and is scanning the surrounding woods with binoculars, looking for snipers. Carl joins him and suggests that Rick should step down as the leader (end the Ricktatorship) and let Hershel and Daryl take things over.
In Woodbury, the Governor and Milton discuss the population census of the town. Phillip tells Milton to enlist all residents aged thirteen and up to prepare for war against the prison. Milton runs the numbers and estimates that this will provide the Governor with 35 armed people. Andrea barges in and confronts the duo about the attack on the prison. The Governor claims that Rick and friends fired first. Andrea says that she is going to visit the prison to see if she gain get everyone to the table for a truce. Phillip delivers an ultimatum: “You go to that prison, stay there.”
Back at the prison, Rick, Merle, Daryl, and the others begin to prepare for battle. Glenn suggests handing Merle over to the Governor as a peace token, but Hershel points out that Merle is an asset who has valuable, crucial military experience. Later, as Merle duct tapes a long shiv to his stump, Hershel comes in and the two of them bond over their amputations and scripture.
The Governor surveys his new troops. When Andrea speaks up for one 14-year-old asthmatic boy, he complete ignores her and welcomes the boy to the fight. Andrea catches up to Milton and badgers him into helping her escape.
The Governor removes the gauze from his eye and lights a match so he can look at length at the wound. He places a patch over the wound as Milton arrives to report on Andrea and her wish to escape the town. Phillip instructs Milton to help her.
Milton and Andrea capture a walker in the forest and hack of its arms and curb stomp its teeth right out of it. As more walkers are attracted, they are forced to fight them off. They receive some unexpected aid in the forms of Tyreese and his friends. Milton escorts the four back to Woodbury while Andrea puts a leash on the walker. She starts out for the prison in the same manner as Michonne.
This brings the show to the most uncomfortable reunion ever. Carl spots Andrea with the zombie and gets everyone to come out. They let her in, but Rick shoves Andrea around and searches her for weapons. Once inside the prison, a bunch of conversations take place between Andrea and the group, Andrea and Michonne, Andrea and Carol, etc. Truths are revealed to Andrea, making her realize that the Governor has been lying even more than she had previously thought. Michonne explains her reasons behind returning the prison, stating that her main reason was to unmask the Governor for the villian he is and to hurt Andrea with the truth.
Carol brings Andrea to “Little Asskicker”. Carol schools Andrea in the finer points of sexual warfare: ”You need to sleep with him, give him the greatest night of his life,” Carol advises. “Get him to drop his guard, and then when he’s sleeping, you can end this”.
Milton and the Governor welcome Tyreese and his friends to Woodbury. The two become even more interested when they learn that the group was in the prison. The father and son in the group volunteer to fight against the prison, and Tyreese offers to do whatever he needs to in order to earn his keep.
Rick gives Andrea a police car for her return to Woodbury. He also gives her a gun and a knife.
When Andrea returns to Woodbury, she confronts the Governor with an admission of visiting the prison. He asks if she was sent back and she said that it was her call. He kisses her. Later, Andrea lies in bed with the Governor, who is sleeping. She pulls the knife Rick gave her out of her bag and approaches him. At the last moment, she changes her mind and allows him to live.
Rick tells Daryl that he is going to take Michonne and Carl on a run for more supplies and weapons the next day. He welcomes Daryl back and also asks him to take responsibility for his brother.
Overall, I thought this episode was a little slow and maybe even a little disappointing. It had the feel of “let’s tie up as many loose ends as possible” feel and, while it did add drama, it didn’t do much for continuing the action or feeling of loss and dread. While I do appreciate the curb stomping of a walker and some of the head smashing, it still felt like a little bit of a let down after last week’s episode.
So that’s my final thought. Tell me, what did you think? Where do you think we are going next? If you read the graphic novels, what do you think about how the show is being done?