Finally! The Walking Dead is back. After the agonising wait between the end of the first part, of Season 3, and the start of the second, we finally get to see what happens between Daryl and Merle. Michonne has killed the Governor’s Walker daughter, damaged one of his eyes and got back to Rick’s group safely. The group have then busted into Woodbury, saved Glenn and Maggie but Daryl was taken hostage in the process. The Governor had a talk with the civilians of Woodbury and revealed the captive to be Merle’s brother; the civilians are outraged.
We’re greeted with the uneasy sound of a collective of enraged people, screaming “kill them”. Merle looks less scared than Daryl and Andrea is pleading to The Governor to stop (who she calls Philip as they have an intimate relationship at this point). From the preview of this episode, I expected a smoke grenade to be thrown in initially; allowing the brothers to escape. Philip demands the Dixon brothers fight to the death. This shows how evil he has become. It seems he has nothing to live for after his (already turned) daughter was “killed” by Michonne. Andrea’s increasing pleads are just met with more sinister looks.
Merle then gives into the crowd and starts to fight his little brother – to prove his loyalty. At first I couldn’t believe that even Merle would stoop this low but, as the fight continues (and Walkers are added to the battle), it is clear he is putting on a show for the angry mob, to trick them. That was definitely a “fuck yeah” moment! They team up against the Walkers and this is where Maggie and Rick enter with guns, and the smoke grenade is thrown.
The group speedily exit Woodbury, leaving an opening for Walkers to intrude. Rick, Maggie, Daryl and Merle meet up with Glenn and Michonne on a roadside the next morning. It clearly took them a while to get back. Merle’s presence is greeted with hostility by Glenn and Michonne which levels out our thought process. Part of me thinks it could work with Merle but the other part can’t forgive what he’s done and his unstable personality. The former is glorified once Merle shows his exploitative behavior again, which is met by a pistol whip from Rick knocking Merle unconscious. The group learn of Michonne’s friendship with Andrea.
A discussion occurs on the roadside about whether to allow Merle back in or not. It is concluded that he should not be welcomed back. Daryl leaves with Merle upon hearing this and Michonne is told she will be patched up at the prison and sent on her way. I think Daryl is making a big mistake. I get why he is going – blood – but Merle is not a nice human being and things with him will not be easy for Daryl. No doubt they will survive as long as numbers don’t get the better of them; they’re a tough pair. The group’s biggest concern is how Carol will react.
Glenn is furious with what The Governor and Merle have done to Maggie and him. Maggie and Rick notice something is up once he curb stomps a Walker’s head to mush, Gears of War style. His rage for Rick taking Maggie back into Woodbury, and retrieving Merle, is met with a backlash. They calm down and decide to go back to the prison. At this point Glenn chooses to isolate himself from interacting with the group. It’s understandable but not worth it in a world like this. I guess human nature/behavior will carry on regardless.
Before Rick’s partition arrive back at the prison the rest of the group are treating Tyreese’s group well – patching them up, allowing them to bury their dead friend and giving them food and water. Hershel urges them not to get too comfortable though; Rick is the leader and isn’t home yet. Two of Tyreese’s group plan to overtake the prison as none of the fighters are present (expect Carl). Tyreese himself and his love interest, Sasha, refuse the other two’s idea and keep them ethical.
Once Rick, etc. arrive back they tell Carol the news in which she takes with disbelief. Glenn and Hershel have a chat about his and Maggie’s relationship (they seem to be having troubles and are ignoring each other). Hershel tells Glenn he is like his own son. It shows in a world gone to hell, relationships are built fairly quickly. They are fighting for their lives and would sacrifice themselves for each other. This relationship can only be found in an uncivilized environment (such as the Army). Axel deals with the death of Oscar and Rick tells him he went out fighting. Carol speaks to Beth about men like Merle. She says that if Ed came back (her husband who used to beat her) she wouldn’t go with him, so finds it hard to understand why Daryl left.
Back at Woodbury, the civilians are rattled up and want to leave. Walkers are swarming around the entrances and the commotion is interrupted by screams. A man is being eaten by a Walker. Andrea executes this Walker and all the civilians call at her to do something for the suffering Vitim After what seems ages, The Governor comes out and ends the poor man’s life. This shows he doesn’t care for anything anymore. Andrea gives a speech about how Woodbury will be remembered for rebuilding humanity, and society, and most feel comforted then settle back down. Some don’t buy it. I think it’s a bit stupid the majority are fine after one little speech even though their Governor just showed a very hostile side of himself. Before this, the Governor made it clear to Andrea that they’re not an item anymore.
Finally the conversation on whether to allow Tyreese’s group to stay in the prison is dealt with. At first Rick says no but Hershel says, with respect, he is wrong about this. I’m thinking “yes, Rick’s coming round on this one”. I like what I’ve seen of Tyreese’s group so far. Then the biggest twist happens. Rick hallucinates and sees a figure of Lori. He starts to desperately scream “get out”. Tyreese thinks it is to them and abides by Rick’s request. This shows Rick is still experiencing trauma from his wife’s sudden death. It was all too easy to forget this in the midst of the action.
(I have not read the comics so this is genuine guessing)
I think Andrea will come back to the group and Michonne will be allowed to stay. Glenn and Maggie will obviously start talking again (as long as nothing back happens to one of them). Something will go wrong with Merle and Daryl, in which Daryl comes back to the original group. Something bad may happen to Merle – I believe he may die. As suggested in this episode, I think The Governor will attack the prison and Woodbury will fall. Lastly, I think Tyreese and Sasha will be allowed into the group (maybe they help out when The Governor attacks and become accepted) but the two who were going to plot against Rick, etc. will do so at one point, getting killed in the process.
What did you think of this episode? Comment below.
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The Walking Dead airs on AMC, Sundays at 9/8c.