And the funniest thing said on this show ever is uttered by Merle in regards to why he won’t help strangers: “They ain’t never felicitated my piece, it’s my policy!”
Rick takes a break from making a blind on the catwalk with wooden pallets to survey yon prison yard with binoculars. Michonne climbs out of a prison transport with sword, check, a few Walkers in the background, roger that, and a ghostly apparition stands at the graveyard. It’s the Woman in White, Lori, the most common ghost story of them all, a woman killed in tragedy, usually from being betrayed. (See, the twist here is that she was the betrayer!) Also: a Woman in White is like a banshee – a harbinger of death. So this episode won’t end well.
He goes to see her, but surprise! She’s not there! She’s outside the gates, which means Rick should totally go follow her just to see how she’s doing, how she manages to wander around in white satin (the most unforgiving material in the world) without so much as a smudge mark. Oh, and he runs through the two security gates, leaving them wide open and unlocked.
Michonne (and I) are not amused. Rick? CAMERA TWO.
Rick, honey, first you are really sweaty and I’m concerned about your electrolytes. I don’t mind honest sweat, that’s nice, actually, but you are at that sour filth level of sweat that needs addressing. Second, there’s the whole pointing at people with your gun issue that you need to cut the hell out, and third, you don’t leave your perimeter breached, dummy.
In Woodbury we see that new people have been recruited to the wall. I have to say, truck tires are a smart idea. Also, they should run some concrete poles down through them to make sure someone with a truck couldn’t drive through. Ahem.
Andrea is sulking in her room, not thinking things through because she clearly doesn’t know how to think, when the Gov drops by. It’s really obvious that she doesn’t want to see him, but when has Andrea ever acted wisely? She lets him in to “talk.” Gosh, I’m a naughty fella, he says, trying to say what a darn fine job she did with her whole “But they’ll never take…our…FREEDOM!” speech from the other day. She asks Daddy if she can go see her friends, and they’re not going to do anything bad, just listen to music and talk and do each other’s hair, but Gov redirects the whole conversation like the slimy politician he is.
Said the Alligator King to his An-dre-a, “I’m feeling might down. It’s clever of me to build you up so you will wear my crown. Take my crown, it’s yours, my girl. I hope you don’t mind the dents. I got it off a dead man that I brutally killed AND THEN PUT HIS ROTTING FACE INTO A FISH TANK DID YOU FORGET ABOUT THAT WOMAN?” Sorry for ruining your Sesame Street memories there. But come the fuck on, lady. FISH TANK HEADS.
Daryl and Merle continue walking through the woods to get to who the hell knows. (Daryl does, even though Merle tries to make it seem like Daryl is an idiot.) As they bicker, I realized that Daryl has actual survivor skills. He could make it work. He’s the ant to his brother’s grasshopper. Merle only knows how to scavenge off people, he doesn’t actually know how to buckle down and live. He’s the guy that thinks Daryl’s idea of raiding an empty house is weak sauce, because his idea is to take heavy artillery and murder people to take their things, like a man.
Merle also makes no bones about his belief that the Gov is already at the prison, killing everyone Daryl likes, so neener. You’re stuck, baby bro.
Michonne also believes this is what’s about to happen, and agrees to help Glenn assassinate him. Glenn is all bowed up and rowdy, looking for blood, which freaks Hershel out. Hershel knows what it is to lead, knows what it is to have lives under his protection. He also knows that Glenn is making a huge mistake. Why don’t they all just leave? Why put themselves in danger?
Glenn isn’t going back on the road, not when they have walls, not when they’ve spilled blood for said walls. He’ll take Carl on a run to the tombs, find all of the breaches (and how bad they actually are) and report back. I like that Carl is trustworthy enough now to be a second on a mission like that. Good for you, Carl. Maggie isn’t on board with any of this, and she leaves without a word. Things aren’t good between those two.
Back in Woodbury, the Gov sneaks up on Milton and has the conversational equivalent of sharpening a knife menacingly by asking Milton if they’re friends. “Um, yes?” Huh. Hope you mean that, Milton, because Merle was the Gov’s friend, and look how that turned out. Sufficiently pissed yourself? Excellent. Keep an eye on Andrea because she might not be a “friend” anymore, either. Milton thinks to himself, “Dammit, Gov, I’m a doctor, not a lackey!” Um, yeah you are, Milton. And your shirt’s looking a little red, I have to say.
Andrea looks around Woodbury for the Gov and finds that one of the new people on the wall is Karen McCall. (Noo!) Karen is all shifty about Martinez going missing and won’t give Andrea any straight answers. (You know what would have been cool? For them to have worked in a black spot/mark on Andrea’s hand. Pirates, anyone? Just me?)
Andrea huffs away and finds Milton, who is all squirrelly and evasive about answering to the Gov’s whereabouts. Just that he’s “gone on a run.” Uh huh. The man is at/on his way to the prison, lady face. It’s not just me, right? She totally looks like she doesn’t understand? Come the hell on, Andrea. Use your grey matter. (Or donate it to the cause, aka, the hungry folk outside the wall.)
Glenn and Carl come banging back into the secure portion of the prison, covered in blood. Walkers are all over the place down there, and they couldn’t get to where the breach was. Who knows if it’s just this bunch, if it’s a herd moving through, or what? Yikes.
He goes off in search of Maggie, wanting her to ride with him to the front of the prison and do a little recon that way. But she’s quite over you, Glenn, you and your posturing and mansplaining. You think you’re bad ass? Well let Miss Maggie explain what bad ass means. She listened to Merle beating the ever loving shizz out of you, then had the choice of taking off her shirt or let Merle take off your hand. Guess what she chose?
She describes in detail that squicky scene of non-rape, and what, that’s what’s important? That she wasn’t raped? “You go away!” she hisses at him when he looks relieved at that. “Go away!” She’s dealt with it, but his constant peacocking like her vagina is what’s important and not, say HER, has got her to her limit, Glenn. Grow up. (He leaves, tail sufficiently tucked between his legs.)
Carol and Yosemite Sam finish up Rick’s job of making a blind along the catwalk for strategic purposes as Yosemite tells his story. “I used a gun from Acme that only shot water to hold up a store, and this ornery varmint done caught me. Found my brother’s gun and said it was mine, and here I am. Don’t reckon I know how to use one of them thangs, no how.”
Carol whips off the safety to her handgun, pops out the magazine, shows that it’s a fully loaded clip, slaps it in place, locks and loads. “Fully loaded, and let’s hope it stays that way.
Yosemite has stars in his eyes as he looks at her and thinks she’s mighty pretty. SHE BELONGS TO DARYL, BUDDY. (Sorry, but he’s always been creepy to me. What with the “Hey, little lady!” stuff to Beth.)
Speaking of Daryl, he and Merle continue to trek through the woods (Daryl is all sneaky and leading them in the right direction). Daryl’s pretty sure they’re almost to Yellow Jacket creek, but that’s stupid, stupid-face. Merle knows better by virtue of being older and also you’re stupid and a pussy and you have feelings like a girl. (Merle is the worst.)
They hear a baby cry (Naw, them’s some ‘coons getting freaky deaky) when Daryl sees a small group of people trapped on a bridge by Walkers. Two men are screaming “Ayudame!” (help!) as a woman is trapped in a car holding a crying baby as a Walker tries to climb through the back and eat a tasty bit of veal. Daryl, using his two magic arrows, takes out most of the Walkers, the two strangers getting enough wind to finally pitch in. Why, even Merle shoots one to help his brother.
Protip: Always retrieve what is the ultimate weapon, apparently, in the apocalypse: magic arrows. These are ones that can be used over and over, shot through rotting bone time and again, and never bend nor warp.
(I mean, it’s been a YEAR of the same arrows. Hmm. Not a loss to those fletchings in all this time?)
Daryl even takes care of the hatchback Walker by popping his skull like a bloody grape tomato with the door. So squishy… Now that things have settled down, Merle thinks this is a perfect time to remind everyone of how truly awful he is. He pulls a gun on the strangers (who don’t speak English), gets off some racist crap, and starts ransacking their car as the mother and baby continue crying in the front seat.
But hey now, Daryl pulls his crossbow on Merle, orders the strangers to leave, and gets Merle out of the way. Daryl storms off – walking past a sign that indicates they’re standing over the Yellow Jacket Creek. Merle gets up in his grill, yelling like he has a right, when Daryl shuts him down.
He went back for Merle in Atlanta, but guess who wasn’t there? Merle cut off his own hand, Daryl didn’t do that. “You lost your hand ’cause you’re a simpleminded piece of shit!” Daryl? I love you. Oh, does that piss Merle off, though. He starts shoving and hitting Daryl, to the point where he knocks Daryl to his knees and rips the shirt off his back.
And laws, are there some horrible looking scars there. Daryl had the shit whipped out of him as a kid, it seems, and literally. Merle’s anger fades rapidly at that. “I… didn’t know he did that to–”
“Yeah. Same to you. It’s why you left first,” Daryl says, pulling himself back together. He’s reasonably angry at Merle for leaving him to more beatings (and not taking Daryl with him). Daryl’s all, “Screw this, I’m going home,” which means back to Sheriff Rick (and Carol?) and Merle can’t come. It’s his own damn fault, too.
Merle: I can’t go there! I almost killed that Chinese kid!
Daryl: HE’S KOREAN. [leaves]
Merle: ….damn. [follows, filled with guilt]
Back at the prison, Hershel and his button-eyes try to implore Glenn to chill the hell out with this whole rage vendetta thing. This is a world where shit happens to well-intentioned people, and they have to be smart about things. Engaging in warfare just to do so is stupid. Glenn is so convinced that being in charge (what with Rick outside looking for the Lady of the Lake) means he has to avenge everyone ever that he can’t be reasoned with.
Hershel asks him what he’s trying to prove. There’s no answer, just Glenn driving off to check the prison’s front by himself. Carl is Johnny on the spot with locking the gates behind him, I’m happy to see.
Rick, meanwhile, is going cuckoo outside, and looking like there is nobody home upstairs in ze ol’ think boxer. Hershel calls him over, trying to talk him into coming back into the prison where he’ll be safe. What the hell is he even doing out there, anyway?
“…stuff?” (Things, Lori. Things.) Rick is falling apart before our eyes. Rick gets a little boy-lost look on his face and says that he’s seeing Lori. He knows it’s not her, not really, but maybe it could be? He just needs to find her to make sure. “I think in time it will make sense?”
Honey? Sugar booger? You’re seeing your dead wife in her wedding dress. You need a lie down and maybe fourteen gallons of Gatorade. This man is broken, and it’s going to take some guerrilla glue (hurr) to put him back together.
Meanwhile, Yosemite and Carol are out in the yard (read: the open) shooting the breeze (read: Yosemite trying to flirt his skinny ass off) when Yosemite’s head explodes. IT’S CALLED DUCK SEASON, FOOL. Get the hell down! Too late, his brain matter sprays all over poor Carol’s face. Michonne, in the middle section, takes cover behind her prison transport as bullets come her way. Rick, outside, gets his rifle up, Carl and Beth hunker down and try to get out of the open.
And we see One-Eyed Gov lower his scope.
That’s, uh, an amazing shot. Through two fences, several hundred yards off, and while standing? I gotta call bullshit on that. But this is TV, I get it.
Martinez pops up in the tree line and takes aim at Rick (raise your hand if you wanted a Walker to come shambling out of the trees to bite Martinez?), who has to run low across the bridge and dive for cover. Doc Hershel, still at the gate where he watched Rick mournfully, drops to the ground in the tall grass, eaten up by chiggers, no doubt.
Carol, though, continues to give Daryl a run for his “worst back story ever” money, by having to pull dead Yosemite over her own body to hide from gun fire, just as Yosemite’s body is riddled with bullets. Good god. She’s trapped in the open. Beth drags Carl off to some cover as one of the Gov’s men makes an appearance in the guard tower, trying to pick them all off.
HOW DID HE GET INTO THE GUARD TOWER?
Michonne whips around the back of her truck to shoot at the Gov, but can’t get a clear shot off. The Gov randomly shoots up in the air like Tugg Speedman trying to get the money shot for the trailer. (I love you if you know what I’m talking about. And you better. “I call him…Half Squat.”)
Maggie races out carrying two loaded guns, calls for Beth and tosses one, then barely gets behind some cover to take aim at the tower bro to enable Carol a chance to get to safety. Maggie? You are so bad ass, I can’t even begin. Tough, does what she has to do, and is still human and good at the end of the day.
Michonne takes aim at the Gov, who simply leans back and avoids a volley of gunshot. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. I get that he’s supposed to be bad ass, but he reminds me too much of a beaten down junior high science teacher. Physically, I mean. Mentally he’s Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore all the way, bordering on Colonel Kurtz. But crazier.
Everyone goes still when they hear an engine racing towards the clearing. Glenn? NOPE. A big delivery truck that comes crashing through the outer and then the inner gate (Guess they don’t want to reuse the prison?) and pulls a donut in the yard, idling. Da fuq?
The back gate drops and a dozen or so Walkers come streaming out. Right by Doc Hershel. Oh, shit. The driver, in full SWAT armor, comes out shooting, and my money is on that being Karen. Rick is out of ammo, Gov shoots a Walker that shambles up behind him without breaking a sweat, and Maggie takes out the tower shooter like a freaking boss. (Carol also gets her hands on a semi-auto and goes to work.)
The Gov looks on his works with a smarmy smile, wastes more bullets in the air like it’s New Year’s in Juarez, and drives off with his men, passing Glenn in his truck as he races back. Maggie starts shooting the Walkers in the yard, Michonne following with her sword, mowing them down left and right like the awesome fighter she is.
Rick is trapped outside by two Walkers, and he’s out of bullets. He’s literally holding them back with his arms, screaming, when one of them is arrowed. DARYL! Merle runs up and spears the other in the head as Rick takes out a third that’s come to join the party. Rick and Daryl share bro nods. Merle gets nothing. Ha.
Michonne and Glenn get Doc Hershel and drive into the interior of the prison yard and get the gate locked behind them. Daryl, Rick and Merle are trapped on the outside, a few Walkers shambling. In between the groups are more Walkers.
Next Week! Carl tells his dad, “That’ll do, Pig.” Andrea tells the Gov that she’s going out with her friends, and there’s nothing he can do about it (except ground her, take away her car, and probably kill her). Carol and Daryl have a heartfelt reunion filled with wistful gazing and stiff upper lips. They might even shyly smile at one another before looking off at the wasteland that is their lives. So romantic!