Most episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead are centered in two areas of the universe and around the groups of characters as a whole. Rarely do we get an episode so centered around singular characters, but this week we found ourselves on a road trip with Rick, Carl and Michonne to find guns. With a sprinkling of walker death, we come to find out that Rick does not trust Michonne at the prison when he isn’t there to play referee between her and Merle (FYI, no hitchhiking in the zombie apocalypse).
As they pull into their destination (Rick and Carl’s old neighborhood), they find the precinct weapons stores completely raided. As they begin to explore, they follow a path of spray painted arrows through a no mans land-esque field of sharp sticks only to be shot at by a sniper on a rooftop. Carl winds up being the one to take down the gunman and we come to find out that it is Morgan, Rick’s long-lost savior from season one. Upon dragging him back into his house they find the missing guns along with some friends. Rick insists that they wait for Morgan to regain consciousness, however Michonne, ever the voice of reason, thinks that he is dangerous judging by his zombie rat trap. Carl makes a snap decisions to go on a run for a crib for Judith, clearly with other intentions. Once away from Rick, Carl decides he wants to do this on his own and, in a fit of defiance, escapes Michonne’s grasp for a moment.
Rick awaits Morgan’s awakening by reading the walls of his living space that are scribbled with nonsense. Clearly Rick is not the only one going insane during the apocalypse. Once Morgan regains consciousness, he frees himself and attacks Rick. During the scuffles Rick is stabbed, causing him to lash out at Morgan in an attempt to break through his brand of crazy. Eventually, it works and Morgan starts piecing things together, recognizing Rick and what they once were. Months of pent up anger and loneliness suddenly erupt from Morgan as he passionately tells Rick that he hung on to the radio and turned it on every morning, but that he wasn’t there. Finally, we all get our closure with Morgan and find out that Duane was turned by his own mother as they shielded themselves in their basement. One of the most profound lines of the episode is Morgan’s “the weaker people like me, we inherit the earth.”
A little ways across town, Carl and Michonne stop at a restaurant to pick up something extra special for Judith. So, in a fit of genius, rats in cages on skateboards are sent in to distract the walkers so that Carl can snag the last remaining picture of Lori. It’s a sweet moment in its insanity, and although Michonne is tired of his bullshit, she allows him this small bit of importance for his baby sister.
Rick decides that Morgan should come back to the prison and learn to live with the walls that surround them. He flat out refuses, telling Rick that he won’t be a part of Rick or Carl losing their lives to either teeth or bullets. As if talking to his own psyche, Rick insists that Morgan must come back from the hurt of losing his family. Finally, Rick understands that Morgan is in it himself. He feels as though it is his job to kill off the remaining walkers and bring this biological war to a close. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps he has gone crazy. Either way, it is nice to know what happened to Morgan and his son.
Finally, our wayward travelers are on their way home. As Rick and Carl pack up the car, they discuss Michonne. Carl decides that she is “one of them” much to Rick’s surprise. The best exchange of the episode comes between Rick and Michonne with, “you wanna drive?” “Yep.” “Good. I see things.” As they leave town for a final time, in a bit of cold heartlessness, they pass the mangled remained of the hitchhiker they passed earlier on the road. Stopping only to obtain his backpack, we get a cold bucket of realization that yes, these people live in a world where even someone asking for help is left out in the cold.
Join us next week as we see just what will happen when Rick and The Governor come face to face.