[Previously on The Walking Dead…] First, I want to ask TWD Fandom one question: well, are you happy now? You got what you wanted, and boy, did the writers want people to feel bad about it.
Second, holy sheep. How damn amazing is this season? There’s so much this episode, let’s just jump right to it. (Here’s last week, if you need the refresher.)
We see a rotten looking hand grab a gas can. It then grabs a deer that’s been chewed on, dragging it away. So, not a Walker, then. Just a nasty-ass filthy hand. The sun is rising over the prison, it’s beautiful out, and there’s dew on the dead deer as it’s dragged inside the prison after an ax swings down to break the chain and lock on the gate. Two Walkers mosey over and find the deer. Well, some of it. Hansel and Gretel follow the deer crumbs inside the prison where more chunks of deer await. We see that nasty, dirty hand place a bloody deer heart right in the open gate as a welcome mat.
It’s now later in the morning and Rick, Daryl, T-Dog and Carol are getting their To Do list ready for the day:
- get firewood
- move cars from Bad Guys’ side to their side
- drag dead bodies to clearing
- burn dead bodies
- (in Daryl’s handwriting:) Glenn! Maggie ain’t on the list!
They all snerk and call up to the Guard Tower where Glenn and Maggie are making their own “to do” list. (Hint: it’s each other)
“You comin’?” Daryl asks.
Not anymore… And yes, he will need a hand, but preferably Maggie’s, thank you very much. (Thank you for those softballs, Writers.) The gang laughs, and this might be the last time they ever do, so let’s savor it, shall we?
T-Dog spots Yosemite Sam and T-Dog 2.0 approaching.
Rick: Nope. I said nope and I meant nope.
Y. Sam: Please?
Y. Sam: Pretty please? With sugar on top? It’s all icky and spooky with ghosts up in there!
T-Dog 2.0: …this chickenshit mother…
Rick: [steely blue gaze of ice!]
TD2: I told you these people are just as bad as the screws in prison. [For a minute there, he looked like a Giant Kanye…] Imma let you finish, Sheriff, but I want to say that CellBlock B is the biggest shithole of all time.
Daryl locks those dudes right back inside CellBlock B. Rick goes to talk to T-Dog, who has lost his damn mind and never got on the Apocalypse Program and wants to save people. He wants to give these dudebros a chance, the hell?
Protip: Never give strangers a chance! Especially not when they are actualfax convicts, what on earth? They are in a maximum security prison, for crying out loud!
T-Dog is all “Blah blah, kindness, once upon a time we were human, we’ve killed more than these guys (idiot.) blah, give me ten more minutes to slip into my Red Shirt.”
Rick, who has been in charge of people like Yosemite and T-Dog 2.0 knows that cons, you know, con. That’s why they’re called that. So yeah, they might look all innocent now, but puh-lease. And allow him to just deliver another powerful NOPE. Daryl says that hell, it could have been him behind those walls. But guess what? It wasn’t. Turn them mothers out!
Back at Pleasantville… I see a married/breeding age woman in shorts, so there goes my theory of breeders in modest dresses and “available” women in short shorts. Michonne does a little recon while she has the chance. Just a little lookie loo at that big old National Guard vehicle the guys brought back. And because she’s smart she sees bullet holes. And some blood that didn’t get washed off. Uh huh.
Governor Liam Neeson shows up with his shark-grin, his “poor folks – wished I coulda helped them fine people” schpiel, and tries to aw shucks his way into her heart. Yeah, that’s not going to work. She’s not buying one ounce of his bullshit. And he knows it but can’t help but try. And the more he tries to ingratiate himself to her, the more she sees the rot underneath his slicked up exterior.
“You’d think those soldiers would drive away from something that moves so slow,” she says, counterpoint to his “they were overrun by Walkers when we got there” speech. He can only bark out what sounds like Freedom Fries and homefires and apple pie. And all I can think is how the hell is she going to get out of there in one piece? And how incredibly hot she is. (Sorry, I only speak the truth.)
At the prison, our group is back to work moving the cars and parking them so they can make a quick getaway. I approve. Except…there are seventeen million fences (and strangely enough only 23 padlocks) blocking them from the open road, so there’s not going to be anything “quick” about it.
…wait for it. This will be important.
Rick tells T-Dog that they’re giving the prisoners a week’s worth of food, so see? It’s a chance for them to make it! But of course, it’s not enough for T-Dog. I’ve had it with your Lori-itis, T. Even she dropped that b.s. way back.
Rick asks him whose blood he’d prefer to be on his hands: Glenn and Maggie’s, or Frick and Frack’s?
I don’t think Rick remembered that was an option any more.
Daryl hops on his chopper and ignores Yosemite’s begging to just let him get his hands on that hog. He rolls out, Glenn locks the gate, they drive the vehicles to CellBlock C. Inside, Carl plays with his gun, and he’s about to not be a kid that plays with toys anymore. He gives Beth a little smile and I want the writers to STOP IT because that is skeevy and wish fulfilling on your part and I want you to stop it.
Meanwhile, Doc Hershel is on the mend, trying to manage standing on some crutches. He’s a tough old bastard; give that man a peg leg and an eye patch as is befitting a salty old cuss such as he is. The Old Man and the C (-section knowledge.)
Michonne and Andrea are back at Tenpenny Towers making travel plans. Gosh, Andrea’s hair sure is nicely styled for the Apocalypse… They have hot rollers at Tenpenny Towers? Is that really the best use of electricity? I mean, there are squish heads squish head, roly poly squish heads to keep alive in fish tanks.
Because Michonne is perfect and I will hear nothing bad against her, she knows that an ideal location would be to hit the coast – there’s only one direction the dead will come (well, not if they’re on the ocean floor. They’ll come up with the tide eventually). Better yet, an island.
Andrea goes, so like, what? We just have a clam bake for ever? As if! Um, bor-ing. I mean, I like you and all, but I’m going to need another person to bitch at about you one of these days, okay? Michonne rolls her eyes because she’s right about Tennpenny, his Towers, and pretty much everything else.
Glenn delivers the prisoners some food for the road, then joins Rick and Daryl at the knitted hole in the outer fence. Daryl’s on guard as Rick and Glenn duck into the trees for firewood. Doc comes out to the courtyard as Lori and the ladies help him manage the stairs on one leg and two crutches. A Walker comes up to the fence by Glenn who shrugs. Just another day, and another Walker. Lori looks across the expanse of the prison yard and sees Rick. She gives him a warm and partly flirty smile. Rick stares back, still trying to sort through his feelings about his pregnant wife.
Just as he starts to warm up, Carl notices a swarm of Walkers behind the courtyard group. The hell? They’re pouring out from inside the prison! Carl starts shooting and the women take aim as Beth hustles her dad up another set of stairs to a caged, lockable entrance. Rick and his group take off running to help, Glenn struggling to knit the fence closed. I’m so glad he did that.
Protip: Always keep your head, especially when you’re under attack! First priority is always to secure all walls as you retreat.
The women are shooting, Carl is shooting, T-Dog is shooting – and I have to say, Carol’s pchoo!pchoo! method of shooting cracks me up endlessly. It’s not a wand. You’re not a wizard, Harry! – and Rick and Daryl race to gate after gate, having to unlock each one as they go. Prisons: excellent defense if it’s empty, almost impossible to overtake. (Some people are about to find that out.)
T-Dog and Carol get separated from the group, Doc whacks one with his crutch before getting to safety, Rick is screaming for Lori – aw, he cares! – Maggie gets Lori and Carl inside the prison, trying to find a safe place. Unfortunately the Walkers came from inside and there are enough in there to swarm them there as well.
T-Dog and Carol try to get to another door to the inside when T-Dog gets bit. Aww, we always knew he was a Red Shirt, didn’t we? Carol takes him inside, and woman, you can’t save him! Hmm, maybe her first thought was that he could still fight? No, she’s not thinking, we all know that.
In Pleasantville, Andrea meets Merle on the playground to give him his map/note. “I checked ‘No’ because, I mean, I like you but I don’t like like you.” Merle just wants to perv-intimidate (pervidate?) all over her and seriously, I kept hollering at my TV for one of them to back up. Andrea continues to smile blandly – she’s really good at that – while Merle wonders why she never got up on his bidness. (His man bidness.) Um, maybe because you’re a scary ex-con who called her derogatory names? Nah, can’t be that.
Now that Merle has the map and knows where the farm house is/was, Andrea just wants to know if Governor Liam Neeson is a good man. Merle looks off in the distance as a guitar strums and a maraca rattles. “I weren’t good for much, ma’am. Missin’ an arm, missin’ myself. And the Gov, why, he saved me, he did. Yup. He’s a good man.”
Rick, Daryl and Glenn finally get inside the courtyard and there is some seriously awesome gore here, including a head de-topped and Daryl slam-dunking his combat knife into the skull of a walker.
Glenn has figured out that someone has used an ax or bolt cutters on the fences. Hey, I wonder who had an ax? Rick is livid. HEY GUYS THAT WAS WHY I DIDN’T WANT THEM STAYING. Rem-remember? Guys? Y’all remember when I said these guys suck and we couldn’t trust them? Because it was like an hour ago.
And ain’t that a bitch… Yosemite and TD2 sashay up all nervous with their hats in their hands asking if they can come in. I can smell that ruse from a mile away. Before Rick can agree with me, the riot sirens (DIBS! I call dibs on Riot Sirens as my thrash-metal all-ladies madrigal group!) go off. Bad to worse. Now the noise is going to bring even more Walkers in, and whoever is responsible for this dastardly plan didn’t think about how the hell THEY were going to take the prison back to the end, did they?
Protip: FIRST: secure the walls. SECOND: secure water/food supply. THIRD: secure power source, if applicable. (And here is definitely was. Time to lean, time to clean, people!)
Daryl keeps a bead on TD2 because Daryl is the most awesome apocalypse partner next to Michonne, and where is that spin-off? It needs to be on Skinemax, though, I’m just saying. And gosh! The two prisoners just miraculously know about back up generators, where they are, and how to shut them off. Rick shoots out a few of the speakers outside, pissed, and agrees to go with him. He has no other choice.
Inside the prison, Carol sad faces all over T-Dog, who knows his jig is up. Elsewhere, Lori and her small group wander with Carl leading the way (damn. I like Carl now, guys. He just needed to grow up. Um…a little more is about to tsunami him, though.) when Lori stops, overcome with contractions. OF COURSE. (It’s actually very reasonable – stress can induce labor.) Maggie begins to freak, because she can see what’s coming.
Carl finds a maintenance door as a group of Walkers comes up on them and hustles the women inside while he struggles to close the mangled door. The women race below, taking their delectable Alive-Scent (by Mennen! Weird, right?) with them. Carl manages to get the door shut and Lori is now in full-bore labor, hanging on a chain, grunting and squatting. I am right back to eleven years ago and oh, natural child birth is a LIE. Drugs! Always take drugs when offered! Oh, right – she doesn’t have any.
FORE! Thwack! A little relaxing moment is given to us as the Gov stands astride one of the overturned train cars that serves as a wall, getting in a little driving practice. Just because it’s the apocalypse doesn’t mean he should let his skills get rusty. He pings a Titleist off a distant Walker’s head, and misses another – needed that to dog leg right, Gov.
Merle comes up. “Papa? Can I have the keys to the car? I want to go get my brother. Blondie thinks he’s at that old farm house of hers. I’ll be back before curfew.”
“Now, Merle, what did I say about you leaving? And how that’s not okay? People could get hurt, and I can’t have that. Thwack! If you get concrete evidence your brother is somewhere, why, I’ll even join you.”
Merle knows a dismissal when he sees one. He tucks his tail between his legs and leaves. Guys. Merle. Leaves chagrined. This Gov hombre is a scary mofo to get that reaction from Merle. I can’t wait for him and Daryl to meet (I have no idea if they do, I just want it.)
Rick races with his group through the prison, looking for Lori. No sign. And they can’t go looking for her, they have got to get those sirens turned off. Glenn and Yosemite Sam go off to look for everyone while Daryl, Rick, and T-Dog 2.0 race to the generators. And Rick knows it’s a set up. But his hands are tied.
Meanwhile, Lori has forgotten her breathing techniques, and let me tell you this: that doesn’t work. It is meant to distract you from a giant bowling ball splitting your lady bucket open. She starts to bear down, because that baby is now on auto-pilot. Carl is watching, horrified, and let me tell you little man: don’t ever forget how freaking strong women are to do this. Maggie ducks down, gets Lori’s pants off, and checks for dilation. Um, there isn’t any. Lori can’t help it and continues to bear down. Maggie’s hand comes away from Lori’s body covered in blood. Maggie’s worst fear is coming to life: C-section time, and Carol was the one who got the training for it.
Carol and T-Dog hit the rave part of this SNAFU and have the “Don’t let me turn!” “But I can’t kill you!” conversation, which should have been sorted months ago, folks.
Protip: You can and will kill everyone you love to prevent them from turning, once mortally wounded. Or you can kiss your own life goodbye.
T-Dog does something awesome by running at Hansel and Gretel (hey! They’re still there!) and letting them eat him so Carol can run past to safety. Wow, was that bloody as Hansel bites into T-Dog’s throat and rips it out. Carol turns one last time, horrified, and then gets through the doorway, scarved and scared. (This will be important.)
Andrea, because loo loo loo…Apocalypse, boo! I want to relax! goes to flirt-chat with the Gov in his office? house? who is just so sorry to see her go, gosh! He gets her a glass of whiskey to drink with him–
Protip: Unless you have spent years building up a resistance to iocane powder, you never accept a drink from a stranger! There could be something on the rim of that glass! He might be slipping a roofie in there! He might have a resistance to iocane powder! Never trust a Sicilian when death is on the line!
–and after she turns away from her gun and Michonne’s sword still in the curio cabinet, she blandly smiles at him and tells him their plans for when they leave. They flirt a little, we learn he lost his wife before the outbreak, and that now it’s just him and his daughter. (Where the hell has she been all this time? OH MY GOD. A tank? That would be awesome.)
He eyeballs her so damn fierce I feel like I’m standing here naked just remembering. He keeps trying to sell her a timeshare for her own Luxurious Condominium in the Fine, Fine, Gated Community of Woodbury, but she finally says she should go. In a will he/won’t he moment, we think he’s going to kiss her (she does, too) but he just opens the door for her after telling her his name: Phillip.
Well, you’re dead. Someone says they never – never! – share their name, and then they do? It’s because you’re about to be killed. But the door is open, and he lets her leave, then stares. (Conscience creeping up on him? Not wanting to fish-tank her because she’s awfully pretty? Who knows with this cat.)
TD2, Rick and Daryl make it to the generators with a pack of Walkers on their heels. Ricks runs to the machinery as the other two hold the door against the mob, but Rick doesn’t know how to shut them off. That leaves Daryl at the door as TD2 shows him how to shut this down, shut this all down. (It’s a LEVER, ffs. You couldn’t figure that out?)
Out of the shadows comes a body hurtling towards Rick. Walker? No! It’s Yappy! Rick fights back (Yappy has the ax!), TD2 gets a knock across the jaw, and Daryl’s feet are slipping as he holds the door, unable to help. Rick is overpowered, knocked down, and Daryl says, “Fuck this.” He let’s go of the door, grabs his loaded cross bow, arrows the first walker through the door, skull-stabs the second, shoves the third, and slams the door shut.
DARYL GEE DEE DIXON. Great man, or greatest man?
TD2 disarms Yappy with a trashcan to the head, but he quickly recovers and has his ax on Rick, who is now gunless.
TD2 picks up the pistol and holds it on Rick. GAH. Daryl, because he’s awesome, is creeping up on him with his knife in the air, ready for some Air Jordan shit again. Yappy screams, “Shoot him!” so TD2 shoots him instead. Bye, Yappy! Again. TD2 disarms himself by swiveling the pistol in his hand army-style, and offers it to Rick. Okay, then. They shut off the other two levers.
Now it’s quiet for the upcoming worst scene in the history of the world. Okay, it’s just under Alan Alda realizing it wasn’t a rooster in M*A*S*H. (Oh my god, all my creys.) Maggie has Lori on the floor, and Lori knows this isn’t going to work. She couldn’t deliver vaginally before, and she’s not going to now. That means that without Carol or Doc or anesthesia (or surgical tools or…) that she’s not going to make it.
Maggie is not wanting any part of this. What should happen is the following: Lori is killed mercifully, then the baby. They are not equipped to raise a baby, and talk about slowing down the whole group… (Hey, I need to be heartless to make it through this, okay?)
Lori begs Maggie, “Please, please…” needing to convince her to save the baby and let Lori die. Good lord.
BRIEF AND ANNOYING INTERLUDE: Andrea tells Michonne they’re going to stay another day or so. Drink for Michonne’s “Dafuq?” face. She’s about to reach her limit with this crazy-ass white woman.
OKAY BACK TO THE HEART-WRENCHING HORROR. Lori shows Maggie her C-section scar so she knows where to cut. Now it’s time for the sads. Carl is right there. Carl has grown up a lot, and is about to grow up a lot more. Lori pulls him to her and tells him all of the lessons she can think of there at the end, the lessons she wanted to impart on how to be a man. Mostly she wants him to always do what’s right and to be a good person. She’s clearly looking for absolution in the end, and if you don’t think she earned it, you’re probably dead inside.
She and her child are both sobbing when she holds him one last time, tightly. “My sweet boy!” And here’s where I absolutely lost it. “You’re the best thing I ever did!”
Maggie is sobbing, but trying to gird her loins (so she can tear into Lori’s). She makes the cut and immediately knows she’s cut too deep, worried she’s cut the baby. She has to root around inside Lori’s torso (Lori has passed out) to find the uterus, then find the baby inside and pull it out safely. Carl is petrified, tries to help, and they get the baby out and I am SHOUTING at my TV, “Look at its eyes!! Look at its eyes!”
It is unbelievably brutal, this whole scene.
Remember how Lori thought the baby died? I mean, come on! Maggie checks it for wounds, gets it to breathe. Carl flashes on a conversation in the barn with his dad, about how one day he’s going to have to be a man and that everyone dies. Carl falls to his unconscious mother’s breast one last time, sobbing for her. Maggie walks up the stairs with the baby and startles when she hears a shot. Carl walks past her with dead eyes.
Daryl, Rick and TD2 find the original recipe T-Dog, and he’s been picked over. Rick is growing angrier by the minute but he needs to find his family. And then Daryl finds Carol’s scarf in the doorway she ran through. Huh? (I hope this isn’t a continuity error, but her being smart and knowing Daryl’s a tracker.)
Also, I need Rick to stop using his gun to point at people. He’s a trained officer; he knows better!
They get to the courtyard, find Beth and Doc, relay the fate of T-Dog and Carol (Rick assumes she’s dead) and try to find out where Lori, Carl and Maggie are. That’s when Rick hears a baby’s cry and turns around. Coming out of a doorway is Maggie with a baby, followed by Carl. And no one else. Rick is starting to lose it and cries when he sees in Maggie’s face that Lori didn’t survive the delivery. He staggers over to them when he sees Carl’s face.
Rick moans out, “Oh, no, nononono!” and is absolutely undone and falls to the ground, crying. We are at Gladiator/finding family burned in courtyard-level man-sobbing and it is just awful.
Daryl looks down at the ground to give him man-cry space. Good lord, I am broken into pieces.
Next week! Revenge! Rick loses his damn mind! JIM JONES KOOL AID, WHAT?
This season is amazing. Thought: the POV switch two episodes back? That was Yappy, right? I bet he climbed a fence when Rick locked him in the courtyard with walkers. That’s why his hands were all bloody and nasty – from razor wire. Yes? No?
Remember: We’re spoiler free for future eps and the comic books are a separate animal. All aired episodes are fair game!