This week’s episode of The Walking Dead took us back to the days of more subdued episodes, where there was more planning and talking than actual action. After a shoot-out in the yard during the finale of last week’s episode, we all expected some form of backlash – but this methodical sitting around and planning does not make for thrilling TV. We are certainly missing showrunner Glen Mazzara.
A war is brewing between our two factions, one that has been long-awaited by many and was obviously on its way. Our merry band of prison dwellers are determined to defend their home from the coming enemy who already fired a warning shot across their bow (and into Axel’s head.) Amidst grumblings about what should have been done, Hershel finally snaps and tells Rick passionately that he is slipping and that they can all tell. Even Carl tells him to take a break from being leader (listen to your kid, Rick!) Aside from this, the obvious disdain for Merle is palpable. I wonder what will happen to these people if they ever lose Hershel the peace maker.
Behind the wall of Woodbury, The Governor is building his army from the residents of the town under the guise of defense training. Andrea can smell the BS the minute she walks into the room and as she attempts to get Milton on her side to help her escape to the prison to bargain with Rick, it is painfully obvious that she is not in the seat of power she thinks she is in. As she performs a mob-style curbing on a walker to use it as a shield like Michonne taught her, Ty and his gang (who scared Rick out of prison) appear out of thin air. Milton is quick to leave her to it and take the newcomers back to Woodbury like the good dog that he is.
Merle isn’t making friends quickly, but he offers the olive branch to Michonne, who watches him with the eyes of a predator as Andrea’s arrival brings the group out into the yard with guns drawn, ready for a fight. Friends have now become foe. Carol appears to be the only one happy to see her as Rick and the others begin to ask questions. While she asks to say hello to the group’s newest member, there is a palpable tension surrounding the reunion. Carol is the only one with the gusto to tell her flat-out that she should do The Governor and then slit his throat in his sleep. Little does she know….
Rick made the fatal mistake having a psychotic episode chasing Ty and his group away. The Governor’s welcome includes a little talk about the prison and it is quite clear that Ty and his group are looking for a place to belong, no matter the cost. Andrea’s triumphant return is awarded with a quick roll in the sheets after she makes The Governor believe she made the decision to return to Woodbury and return to him. Back at the prison, our band of misfits waits in silence for the inevitable battle that looms on the horizon. To break the tension, Beth begins to sing for the first time since they arrived at the prison. This moment of peace and bit of levity will soon be marred by a gun battle – we can smell it. Rick wants to make a run with Carl and Michonne in the morning, which just screams bad timing. As the past dictates, things will likely turn ugly.
Across the Dead universe, Andrea stands name over The Governor’s sleeping form and wrestles with herself over whether to end it now or listen to her feelings. The worst decisions happen when the heart is involved, and it remains to be seen what will happen with this storyline.
Next week we get to see what happens when Rick goes off with a gun-toting teen and a sword-wielding amazon.