The Walking Dead 3.6 – Hounded

Anyone else notice the red on this guy’s shirt? Ahem. And how do you pronounce that name again, fella?

We last left on a crazy cliffhanger in which Rick took a phone call 10 months into the zombie apocalypse.  And here I’ve been bad mouthing AT&T for their crappy service all this time!  But before we find out if the call was from the International Space Station or other stronghold (can you imagine being trapped in outer space when the world ended?), we take a little trip through the woods.

 

Merle leads Bandana Guy, Leader Asian Guy, and the scared Red Shirt above the cut through the woods, looking for Michonne.  Yeah, the Gov wasn’t going to let her just leave, come on.  Merle calls it a “righteous public service” that they’re doing.

They find a zombie all cut up, but laid in a specific pattern.  What the hell could it mean?  Ol’ Red Shirt deduces it quickly: “GO BACK.”  Arms make a G, legs the O, and an exposed back.  It’s a “Bite-o-Gram,” Merle laughs.  Yeah, laugh it up, fuzz ball.

Red Shirt freaks, so Merle gets tough on him, doing that “Hey, hey, now, we’re all in this together!” sort of trickery where you really are picking up that he’ll jam his knife hand into your eye socket if you don’t come around and fast.  He asks the kid’s name just to redirect him, but can’t pronounce it and chooses to just call him “Neil.”

And that’s when Michonne gets the drop on them, literally dropping out of a tree, sword drawn, because she’s the baddest bad that ever badded.  And yeah, Merle, she is gonna take on all four of you, because those other guys are wet behind the ear.  Mostly because she just beheaded one and the jugular has some seriously powerful arterial spray and it can reach that disconnected ear.

Red Shirt is panicking and no help, so Merle starts firing and grazes Michonne’s leg.  She takes off limp-running and manages to lose Merle in the woods.  I love her.  Even shot and limping she’s still twice the man Merle Dixon is.

Down in the boiler room, Rick is on the phone, where a woman’s voice says they’ve been randomly calling numbers since “it all started.”  She won’t say where she is (and there are people with her) but they’re safe.  Rick is all shook up and whispers, “What makes you safe?”

This man is running on fumes.

Well, they’re…away.  From them. [Oh my god, the layers of that!] He tells her that he has a son, a newborn, that his group is good people.  Can they be taken in? Please?  They’ll help, they’ll be helpful…  Worried she’s going to hang up he whispers fiercely, “We’re dying.  We’re dying.

She says she’ll call back in two hours and hangs up. We’ll come back to this point and what it means, so keep reading.

Carl, Daryl, Doc and Beth are in the kitchen, a rare moment of peace, when Rick comes in, obviously showered and now wearing fresh clothes.  He wants to know if everyone is okay. He small talks about how many Walkers he killed, but he also makes a point to tell them he’ll handle clearing out the bodies on his own.  They give him space because they assume he’s mourning (he is) but he really just wants to be alone for his phone call.

Merle heads back to Red Shirt Neil, who is on his knees freaking over the dead bodies.  Those gun shots will have Walkers headed right for them, so they need to be on the move pronto.  Merle has to give Red Shirt some tough love in the form of a boot to the chest to snap him out of it.  “This is some real serious shit we’re in,” he says.  Cowboy up and let’s get the hell out of Dodge, kid.

The kid snaps out of it just in time for Merle to remind him of the Golden Apocalypse Rule: never let your guys turn.  He knife-hands Bandana Guy in the face and waits for the kid to eye-stab the beheaded head of Asian Leader Guy. Merle nods at him for a job well done and gets on the move.  Michonne isn’t running. She’s hunting. “And so are we.”

Merle Dixon is one scary bastard.  But I have faith in Michonne, yes I do.

Back at Ten Penny Towers (*really?  No Fallout fen reading?), Andrea tells the Gov that she gets their little late-night rodeos but it’s not a good activity.  The world is brutal enough, right?  Also, she wants a job, and she wants to be on the wall.  She’s a good shot and wants to stay that way. Gov seems delighted by this.  He’ll get someone to train her on a bow ASAP.

Rick stares at the phone, willing it to ring.  He even picks it up to check the signal before freaking about breaking the connection and hanging it back up. I do not miss land lines, let me tell you. The phone rings immediately after, but it’s a man on the phone. He double checks that Rick wants to come where they are, then asks, “Have you killed anyone?”

The psychology of this is amazing, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself, in case you’re reading and not able to watch the show.

Rick is taken aback by the question and answers honestly: four.  He gives the reasons why, not as excuses but as an explanation. And you can see that it hurts him, that he’s doing penance for those last two.

The man then asks him how he lost his wife.  Personal info I didn’t mention says what?? He’s evasive when Ricks asks and instead wants to hear how his wife died.  Rick is not ready to talk about that yet, says as much, and the man hangs up.  Rick pitches an absolute fit, and I can’t blame him.

In Woodbury (I’m giving up on finding my zombie gamers, sigh), Andrea sits on the wall with a kid in a ballcap that’s too big, an ego even bigger, and a compound bow that’s as tall as the girl.  This is Andrea’s teacher, or will be.  The kid brags about her mad skills, throws some shade Andrea’s way, and tries to look bad ass by saying she killed her dad for the bow.  Yeah, but he’d turned.  And Andrea isn’t impressed; she killed her sister, so she knows first hand how much that sucks.

Girl, you need to sashay away with all that sass, or Andrea is going to blandly smile at you until you crumble.

A Walker shows up and the girl says all smart-assed, “Watch this.”  She shoots and misses.  She shoots again and misses.  Third shot is a mile wide and dog-legs left.  Andrea jumps down the wall – the girl is hooting and hollering at her for breaking the rules – and gets up to the Walker, knocks him down and brain stabs it.

“What the hell was that?” the girl yells.

“That is how it’s done,” Andrea says, her smile as bland and secure as ever. Yeah,  Red Dawn up there isn’t impressed with you because this isn’t a game, Andrea. (Good, because you would never level-up, Gimmie Cap.)

Doc visits Rick down in the boiler room, and let’s all marvel at an aged man such as he is healing so very quickly from having a leg amputated badly.  He tries to small talk with Rick but what he’s really doing is assessing Rick’s mental state.  He gives Rick praise for “lifting us up” as long as he did, and tells him that Lori loved him, she did.  She said as much.

Rick swallows then says, “I got a call.  On this phone.”  He looks down at it. To Doc’s credit, he does not give Rick any indication that he thinks Rick is Section 8.  He picks the phone up, though, and we hear static.  Not a disconnected call, but static.  Doc wants to stay with Rick, but Rick wants to be alone.  Doc nods for about fourteen minutes, then gets up to leave.  Rick needs to be alone, and Doc knows it.

Merle and Red Shirt (how do you pronounce that again?) are hunting Michonne. She comes out of nowhere again and slices Red Shirt’s chest as Merle pushes him out of the way.  They cross knife-hand to sword, and after a tussle, he flings her sword out of the way.  She drops down, kicks his balls, and as he leans forward in pain, she double-kicks his face, knocking him down on top of her.  She shoves him off.

Knife-hand vs. kitana blade!

And now there are three Walkers bearing down on them suddenly.  Merle tosses one aside (he’s seriously bad ass.  Too bad he is really evil) and gets another one’s arms pinned, but her face is close and he’s winded.  A huge one comes at Michonne, who scrambled across the leaf-strewn clearing to her sword and slices his belly open. His guts come spilling out all over her.  She turns her head, spits out bile but manages to keep her nausea down.

Merle is being overtaken by that lady Walker with the chompy bite when Red Shirt stabs her through the back of the head, scribbling up her dead brain meat.  Well, well, well!  Merle dispatches the third one, finds the gut-spilled Walker but no Michonne.  Because she is a freaking NINJA.

Carl, T-Dog 2.0, and Daryl move through a cell block to clear it out.  They pass a partially blocked door that is being weakly banged against from the other side.  Daryl figures those Walkers don’t have much fight in them, so they’ll catch them on the return trip.  They’re not going anywhere, after all.

Daryl has pretty much taken Carl under his wing at this point.  He starts to tell Carl about his mom, how she was a drunk bed-smoker. After Merle was gone, Daryl could safely play outside.  One day he was hanging with some kids that had bikes when a siren wailed past.  By the time Daryl caught up to everyone, he saw that it was his house. It burned to the ground, and nothing was left of his mom.  Everyone thought that would make it easier on him but that just made it feel like it wasn’t real.

Carl is no dummy at this point and looks at Daryl with a dead-eyed gaze.  “I shot my mom. [...] It was real.  Sorry about your mom.”

“Sorry about your mom, too” Daryl replies.  He means it, because Daryl Dixon is awesome.  And he just realized how grown up Carl really is for his age, as well.

The Gov sits at his desk making pen scratches on paper because he is a jacked up hombre when Andrea comes in.  Yeah, yeah, she broke the rule but–  But nothing.  They no longer need her on the wall. She takes it for the dismissal it was, but then turns back.

“Look.  I got a lady boner over the Ultimate Cage Fight, okay?  I don’t like that I pop lady boners over that stuff, but there it is. And I probably like you, too, and I don’t want to like that either. But yeah.  I like like you, whatever.”

The Gov is all, “That is so hot.”

Merle gives Red Shirt praise for stepping up and saving him.  Red Shirt (how do you pronounce that, again?) is all gung ho, ready to go after Michonne now.  Yeah, ease up, Hoss.  Merle knows a dead duck when he cringes from one.  Michonne was wounded and headed for the Red Zone. She’s as good as dead.

Uh, that is not good enough for Red Shirt, thank you very much.  What, he’s supposed to just lie to the Gov about her being dead?  Because he thought they were in “some serious shit,” or something.

“You’re right. Can’t cut corners on this one.  How do you say your name again?  Wait, you hear that bird?”

Red Shirt turns to look, Merle pulls his side arm whip fast and shoots him in the face.  I’m pretty sure his name was pronounced “dead on arrival.”

Michonne is limping through the woods when a group of four Walkers come up on her.  She cringes, reaching for her sword, but they walk past her, not interested.  She looks down at herself and puts two and two together: the guts are masking her “Alive” scent. (A new fragrance from the people that brought you “Coma!”) I approve of this Season One continuity.

Down in the boiler room, the phone rings again.  It’s the woman and she chastises Rick for not talking about how his wife died. “You should talk about it, Rick.” UH, HOW DOES SHE KNOW HIS NAME? When he asks her, she hangs up.  He is beginning to freak out, now.

Michonne limps up to a store and takes cover behind a van as a car approaches.  It’s Maggie and Glenn on a supply run for formula, but she doesn’t know who they are.  (I wonder if Andrea talked about Glenn… I bet she did.) They are cute and adorable and give off “We are not bad people” vibes as they go into the store, but she stays put.  This is a woman that gathers all the data and does not act impulsively, and this is why she is alive.

Gov is tending his garden (of lies!) as Andrea smiles blandly at the plants.  So she’s flirting pretty hard core, is what I’m getting at.  The more serene her face, the hornier she gets.  Her face is practically frozen in a weak smile as the two flirt with each other.

“How does your garden grow?” she leers. (Her face doesn’t change, but I know she meant to leer.)

“Long and thick, m’lady.  And here…things happen.”

“Other things happen,” she replies. “Like tongues and hands in new and exciting places,” and then they KISS and it’s gross (I think Andrea is beautiful, by the way, but he’s awful and she’s being dumb and good god, they are really going at it on the patio here.)

IT IS BURNING MY EYES AHHHHH HE KEEPS HEADS AS TV SETS!

Maggie and Glenn come out of the store loaded down with formula, excited about the batteries and canned foods inside as Michonne looks on, still trying to decide what to do.  AND THAT IS WHEN MERLE SHOWS UP, GUN DRAWN.

Holy… He’s glad to see Glenn, who does not return the joy.  Everyone has guns drawn, but Merle puts his down, asking if Daryl made it.  Yes, but no they will not take him back to their camp. Glenn isn’t stupid. But they forgot to see if Merle had a hidden second gun, he does, and ends up with Maggie in his lap, her own gun pressed to her temple.

God. Dammit. Glenn? I think you’re awesome and would want you on my Zombie Team.

What choice does Glenn have but to comply with Merle’s wishes?  And Merle wishes to take them both back to his camp.  Michonne, tense, watches everything. So she knows they know Merle, his name is Glenn, he’s from Andrea’s group, and Glenn was there shopping for a baby at a prison. That’s some good intel.

TD2, Carl and Daryl do a final sweep down a hallway when a Walker comes up on them and gets over-killed.  (Overkill?  I think it’s just enough kill.) Daryl pulls out a knife from its cheek (awesome effect) and realizes it’s Carol’s.  Oh, dear.

Back in the boiler room the phone rings again.  And this time Rick isn’t eager to answer it. When he does, he asks straight away how they know his name.  “Because we know you.”  And he knows that voice. Lori. The world collapses in on him as he figures out what’s been going on. (Nice camera effect here with a telescoping lens.) All of the voices were people he’s known.

He’s grief stricken, sobbing quietly before hoarsely whispering, “I loved you.  I couldn’t put it back together.” He didn’t keep his promise to keep her alive and it’s eating him up inside (to the point where he’s hearing voices and doing his own therapy via rotary phone.) He thought he would have enough time to fix things between the two of them, but he didn’t.  And he loved her.  Loves.  He loves her, still.

She talks to him, bucking him up for the challenges ahead, and after she says “I love you,” the voice becomes garbled and static-y.  He stands, carefully sets the receiver onto the cradle and tries to pull himself back together.

Point I want to make about Rick and his phone conversations: he’s crazy, sure, but he’s still The Sheriff through this whole thing.  He’s still looking out to protect and serve.  “I have a son, a newborn.” and “We’ll help.”  This is why he’s not going to turn into the Governor.

Hey, naked leg! Andrea and the Gov took their little party to the bedroom for some sheet tangos when there’s a knock at the door.  Can’t a guy hide the salami without being…  Grumbling, the Gov answers the door.  It’s Merle, who smirks at his state of undress.

Merle quickly relays what “happened.” Everyone’s dead (“Gargulio?” the Gov asks, and Merle’s pissed that he knew that name.), and because they got caught up in a crowd of Walkers, there aren’t any trophies.  But yep, Michonne’s dead.  I just didn’t get her sword.  But I did get two folks, one from the old Atlanta group.  And they’re living high on the hog.  I’ll find out where it is.

Gov wants to know one thing: do they know Andrea?  Yep.  And what the hell could that mean? Merle is dismissed; somehow the Gov still has it up and gets back to Andrea to finish what they started.

Rick joins Carl, Doc, Beth and the baby upstairs, ready to get back to the job.  He’s looking penitent and eager to fix what he may have broken.  He finally takes the baby in his hands and has a mini emotional outpouring, kissing her head and holding her to him.  I think he’s going to make it, guys.

This man, I tell you what. Also, excuse me while I gnaw on his shoulder muscles for a few days…

Daryl is by that weakly moving door, driving Carol’s knife into the ground over and over again, bracing himself.  He’s pretty sure that Carol has turned and is behind the door and he does not want to have to do that job.  It takes a lot of willpower on his part, but he rises to the occasion, throws the door open…and finds Carol, very much alive, but very weak.  He scoops her into his arms and carries her out of there.

Rick carries the baby outside for some fresh air with the rest of the gang following when something by the fence catches his eye.  He passes the baby off, walks through the inner ring of fencing, leaving the gate open–

Protip: Do not do this! Always keep your perimeter secure!

–and walks to the outer ring of fencing.  Sure, there are loads of Walkers there, but there’s a woman that is definitely not a Walker.  It’s Michonne, she has the basket of baby food, and she gives him a “please let me in” look.  Seriously, how awesome is that woman?

Next week: Rick learns about the Gov! Daryl and Carol give each other matching hair cuts! Wait, that must have already happened.  Glenn gets a face pounding and I am hoping for a Daryl/Merle showdown.

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21 Responses to The Walking Dead 3.6 – Hounded

  1. I am at ballet practice and do not have long but dear Zod Daryl outside that door with Carol’s knife, psyching himself up. *SOB* Michonne is bad ass. Your recaps rock. Han reference!

    • My heart was aching when I realized that was what Daryl was doing in the hallway. OMG. (Norman Reedus is outstanding.) And of course all Star Wars/Star Trek references are for you.

  2. I can’t wait until next week to see what happens with Michonne! She brought the baby formula! <3<3<3

    But I'm really commenting to ask if someone can remind me who Rick has killed. Two prisoners plus Shane…who am I forgetting? Unless, is he counting Merle?

    • Rick killed those two guys at the saloon, Shane and Tomas (We called him Ese here, because he was insane in the membrane). I think he’s referring strictly to people that he’s put a hand to with the purpose of killing them.

      • He was counting the one prisoner he axed in the face, too (can’t think of his name) – he said how “one of them threw [him] to walkers.” But I thought he said two were from his own group, so maybe he was counting this guy? I dunno!

  3. Guuuurl I got your Fallout reference! :)

    My husband was immediately like, “The calls are all in his head” the moment the phone rang and I wanted him to be so wrong, but I also LOVED how this whole thing played out. It made me feel so creeped out and comforted at the same time, if that makes sense.

    I know Michonne is smart about not being impulsive but I wanted her to step out when Merle had the gun on Maggie. Still, her arrival at the prison was so bad ass. The things she communicated with her eyes at the gate was just like, uh, so awesome. Danai Gurira is AMAZING.

    Did you notice that Merle straight-up lied to the Gov (obviously) and THEN messed up the lie? He first said that Michonne sliced the two guys up, and then he said that the same two guys had Michonne’s head and sword when the walkers overran them and so he lost the trophies. The way Gov Neeson narrowed his eyes made it clear, I think, that he knows Merle is full of shit.

    Do you watch The Talking Dead? Last night’ s guests were AWFUL. Sarah Silverman and Joel Madden. Joel was like, “I think Daryl has adopted Carol as his mother.” Like, really? Are we even watching the same show? They obviously need to be together.

    • Your husband is awesome for figuring it out so quickly. I wasn’t sure until the end of the man’s call and I looooove the crazy jacked up psychology of it all.

      I wanted Michonne to step in, too, but that would have been out of character, I finally decided. Guns vs. sword isn’t much of a fight, and she knew that being injured meant she wouldn’t be at full steam. (And she didn’t know enough about Glenn and Maggie to make that call.) I just LOVE her.

      I think the Gov knows Merle is full of shit, and has known it from the beginning. But I think he likes that – for the most part – Merle is a good, trained attack dog. But he would have no problems putting that dog down, and I think Merle knows that (hence the lying to curry favor.)

      I do watch The Talking Dead! That ep (I just mentioned it in another comment, actually) was dreadful and I haaaaaaated their understanding of the show. You could tell Chris Hardwick did, too. He’s usually right where I am in the whole thing.

  4. I am bracing myself for what will be a hard episode next week. With maggie and andrea both held prisoner by that a hole…… he doesn’t seem like much of a gentleman.
    Carol…… I mean….. Oh my. My eye holes were a little leaky.

    • OMG, if they go the darkest route I’m imagining…. I will be most unhappy. AND CONGRATULATIONS, MAMA. I’m glad you had a proper C-Section. It’s like the baby on screen is your baby! (But not as cute) <3

  5. What an intense episode! Man Daryl just about made me cry. What an amazing guy. :)

    Also, loved the Red Shirt nickname! Haha I had to double check that he wasn’t actually wearing a red shirt, because, damn if he was, and they were mixing my Star Trek and My Walking Dead, I would be so happy that this sentence would make no grammatical sense! ;)

  6. Oh God, Daryl…….I just wanted to hug him. And when he found Carol….I may have started a one woman standing O in my house.

    I think it was the call when the woman called Rick by his name that I figured out he was hallucinating. But I’m glad he worked through everything and was holding the baby. Now they just need to give her a name!

    • That was a slow clap moment, Daryl finding her and taking her out. (I totally wanted them to kiss, I can’t help it.)

      I think that’s about when I figured it out with Rick, too. He had some SERIOUS demons to exorcize – interesting that he took such a disembodies method to do so. (I want them to name the baby something unrelated to anyone they knew, personally.)

  7. Even shot and limping she’s still twice the man Merle Dixon is.

    Ain’t that the truth! And the expression on her face as she stood there at the fence among the walkers!

    Rick just broke my heart. And Daryl. Oh, Daryl. And you just know this poor man is going to have to be the one to put an end to Merle. I am both dreading and looking forward with glee to that moment. *g*

    Great review, as always!

    • GAH, I think about how cathartic it will be for Daryl to put Merle down like a dog, and then I think about how he’s let himself grow close to people he cares about (and in return open his heart to more emotion) and it is going to HURT him. And oh, how I love Daryl Dixon… And like you, I await that with GLEE.

      Michonne continues to be one of my favorite characters. I think she’s reacting how I wish I would in that situation. I just want her arms. Ha!

      Thank you so much! This show just tore me UP this week. (I wish The Talking Dead had been as good. They need to always have someone from the show on their panel.)

  8. Sarah Silverman got on my nerves on the Talking Dead, how can you JUST now like Rick? I mean seriously..if the start of the Ricktatorship didn’t do it for you, than please crawl back to your hole..I did like the guys assessment that maybe Rick wasn’t actually cleaned up like he thought , maybe it was all in his head, which would make sense, why everyone was looking at him crazy when he came into the kitchen and tried to talk all calmly like “Hey I’m not blood-splattered and wild-eyed, please can I get a glass of water I’m parched..” And also why Darryl was like..Hey we’re gonna check out the boiler room and see if we can’t get some water running. Yaknow.
    Just a thought..

    Also, I feel bad for blondes all across America – when the Zombie apocalypse hits, they are gonna be the first to go, because everyone who watches this show is gonna flash back to Andrea and decide to let the Zombies get Blondies..

    Michonne really is a badass NINJA, with arms made of titanium. I can’t wait to get some of her background story. ANND now we know, she wasn’t actually walking with the chained zombies to mask her scent (she didn’t seem to realize that was an option until the gut explosion in woods), so maybe they were people she knew, maybe one was her Sensai?

    Darryl made my ovaries explode two weeks in a row..I gots nothing left Darryl, as a young black girl, I’m ashamed to love your redneck ways..haha!

    This is my first comment but I’ve loved your writing/re-caps since Gannicus!

  9. Hey, hi.

    Sorry to leave this as a comment, but there’s not ‘contact us’ that i can find….

    I’d like to read all the ‘Walking Dead’ recaps, but clicking on that tag in the list of shows only gets me up to season 2, episode eight. Obviously, there are season three recaps, but they don’t seem to be under that tag. I tried the AMC tag – it only shows one episode – and a couple of other tags but nothing gives me *all* the recaps.

    Am i missing something really obvious, or were some episodes skipped, or…what? Halp.

  10. Awesome, thank you. :) It’s so fun to read other people’s reactions to things and maybe even little things i missed. Now i’ve got all of season 3 to peruse.

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