After we left Rick cracking in the last episode, we continue a few hours or days later, it's never made clear. Rick scans the area with a pair of binoculars, with which he watches Michonne performing guard duty. It doesn't really become clear as to why she's up and running again since Rick was very adamant in the last episode about throwing her out, but here she is. I'd guess the best explanation is that they threw Tyreese out, and Michonne now falls in the "one black per group" quota again that the series has labored so hard to establish. We won't stay long with the the two, though, and there's not much going on: everybody avoids talking to Rick since he could do unpredictable stuff, and Michonne never was the chatty type. So we leave Rick to his quest for Lori's ghost (whom he chases around the prison, begging to be biter food) and go to Glenn.
|Her purse says "Bad Motherfucker".|
Glenn is really mad. He's totally pissed about rescuing Merle and then Daryl leaving, he's pissed that the governor is still alive and pissed at himself most of all. He compensates this by assuming command, claiming that he's the third in line with Rick wondering crazyland (really good quote) and Daryl gone. Of course he's in over his head, but at least he makes an effort. There's one obvious problem: when Tyreese entered the prison through the backdoor, others can, too. Good thought there, Glenn. Unfortunately it turns out that the others were a score of biters, and soon some make a case for leaving the prison that seems to have become a death trap, but with a babe and a cripple, that seems out of the question (and besides, we need a season finale).
|Me in charge!|
Since no one really wants to solve problems with Glenn, he gets frustrated alone and decides to visit the back of the prison with a car to check the situation. Note that he's also wearing armor all the time. Clever boy. Unfortunately, Maggie is still PTSD, finally telling him what happened but being real pissed that his main concern is whether she was or wasn't raped. I can totally understand her being angry about Glenn, somehow, and I can also totally understand him being pissed at her reaction. A lot of anger there in the group, but at least they're not at each other's throats. Maggie-less, Glenn drives off alone, since empiric evidence of various horror and survival stories told him going somewhere alone in rage is a good plan.
|A are sight: the group sitting down thinking and making sense.|
Cut to Daryl and Merle. They are out hunting, but there's not really much game to be had, and Merle constantly smarttalks Daryl, who gets increasingly fed up with his redneck brother. There's a nice bit of background when Merle discovers the scars on Daryl's back, originating from abuse of their father. Merle got the same and fled to "not kill him", but Daryl was then the new victim, and he still resents Merle for "leaving" back then. When the two come along a bridge on which some walkers trapped a bunch of refugees, the rift instantly becomes clear: Daryl wants to help them, because he has grown beyond the "take what you can" attitude of Merle's, who, in a throwaway sentence, gives away their initial intent of robbing the group and moving on. When they arrive on the bridge - Daryl head on, crossbow aimed, Merle slurping and hesitantly, almost like a walker himself -, some Latinos are trapped and on the point of dying. For Merle, this is super fun, but Daryl charges in and rescues the guys.
|Meet your savior.|
What happens next really defines the series and the characters whole: Merle wants to rob the Latinos blind, having the weapon and all, but Daryl denies him the bounty at crossbow-point. While the refugees flee, he decides to go back to the prison, telling Merle that if he doesn't come along, he's leaving again, prompting his brother to follow. Here, we have a real divide: it's exactly the "soft" morals of Daryl that prove the escape. Before, they found little nutrition, and Merle wanted to condemn the Latinos to death on the open road without food, just because he could. That's nothing Daryl wants anymore. It makes you like a walker yourself, and in this world, you can't survive like this. It will be interesting to see in future whether this attitude prevails. I'd say more, but then I'd spoil the comics. Nice direction for the series to take, anyway.
|Merle, king of charm|
Quick cut to Woodbury. Andrea, still no interesting character, is told by the governor that he doesn't want to rule anymore, feeling unfit for the job, and that he instead gives command to Andrea. She's a bit surprised, as are we the viewers, but the governor seems to mean it and walks off to meet with the scientist, whom he calls friend. The scene generally creeps the shit out of me (and the scientist), proof of Morrisey's great acting talent. Later, Andrea searches for the governor, still not really understanding what he wanted, but he's nowhere to be found. On a run, the scientists says, kidding no one. Andrea is lost. He promised her explicitly not to take revenge, SO THAT CAN TOTALLY NOT BE IT. Oh, the soldiers are missing too. On a run, of course. We leave Andrea puzzled.
|Her thinker pose.|
In the prison, Hershel finally decides that Rick's ghost-talking is going too far and hobbles down to talk with him. While the two of them have a chat, we get to know Axel a bit better, chatting with Carol, whom he apparantly has a crash on. He was charged with robbery, but unfairly, he claims. One still can't shake the eery feeling that he is a pederast, but he comes off real nice, and Carol seems to - oh, BOOM, Axel's head explodes. Fuck, that really was unexpected. The governor has arrived, shooting at the prison, and shooting ensues. The shootout is really filmed and choreographed very well. It's interesting to see how the group interacts. No one talks or shouts orders. Instead, they just do the right thing, i.e. taking cover and shooting back without questions.
|Bye Axel. You went before we could grow attached to you.|
It's hilarious that the guys that normally kill zombies with headshots out of the full charge now can't hit anything at all, although they're using crutches and really not shooting that far. But we ignore it for the sake of the shootout. The governor shits on cover, since his I'm-the-main-bad-guy-armor protects him well enough. After some intense shooting, a van crashes the front gate, the back doors open and a score of walkers enters the yard. The governor's sadistic smile is the last thing we see this episode, leaving us with a real nice cliffhanger for next week. Not that the action made any sense at all (the governor could have killed at least two or three more and now seems to break off the attack for his useless zombie schtick), but it really was entertaining.