Let me get this out of the way first, The Walking Dead is back, hell yeah! Okay, on to business now. In the mid season premier Daryl and Merle are forced to fight to the death for the amusement of the Woodbury citizens. In the midst of the fight Merle tells Daryl to follow his lead and he’ll get them both out. Was I the only one who was eager to see this plan only to be disappointed when all they did was stand back-to-back to defend themselves? Oh yeah, great plan Merle. Luckily Merle’s idiocy is smoothed over by a well-timed rescue from Rick and his crew. At that moment was I also the only one who let out a verbal “Yes!” when Rick entered the scene? Once they all escape they meet up with Glenn and Michonne who were waiting on the main road skirting Woodbury. I loved the fact that Glenn immediately pulls his gun on Merle, after everything he had been through I don’t know how he held back from shooting Merle right then and there. Then the unthinkable happened, well not unthinkable because any of us would’ve made the same decision, but Daryl leaves the group for Merle. That cut me deeply and you could see by Rick’s reaction that it had the same effect on him as well. Merle also lets slip that Andrea is in Woodbury and I have to say, I didn’t like how this was handled. I was hoping that Andrea and Rick would realize in the midst of a shoot out that they are shooting at each other which leave Andrea torn in the heat of battle, but sadly this is not how they chose to handle it. I’d say they missed out on a huge opportunity for a shocking moment.
Meanwhile back at the prison Tyreese and his group go about the task of burying their fallen member when half his group decide to make a play for the prison since they are under the impression that once Rick comes back, they will have to leave. Tyreese and his sister save the day though and help avoid the bloodshed. Ben and Allen, Tyreese’s renegade members, think that Carol and Carl would’ve made for easy targets. A part of me, and probably you as well, wanted to see Ben and Allen give it a go. The way they underestimated Carol, and especially Carl, would’ve been great to see played out and we all know most likely would’ve ended up with Ben and Allen joining Donna in the ground rather than the other way around. Carl is no joke and this would’ve been a great opportunity to have Tyreese bear witness to it, but the scene instead serves to show Tyreese’s good nature, which sat well with me despite my need for blood.
Rick and his group start making their way back to the prison when a truck parked in the road presents itself as an obstacle. While moving the truck a walker comes out of the cab and Glenn goes all PTSD on it. Another great Glenn moment as we get to see how his imprisonment in Woodbury has affected him. I guess if he can’t let off on Merle, a walker would have to do. As they try to move the truck I did notice a large group of walkers moving in on their position, but the group never notices nor is it ever addressed. I have to wonder if this was the writers setting us up for a bit of false tension or if the walkers were just meant to be part of the backdrop.
Once Rick and company arrive back at the prison there is still the matter of Tyreese and his crew to deal with, something Rick isn’t too eager to handle. He initially tells them to leave, but Herschel tries talking sense into Rick since it is now clear that they will be in a war with Woodbury and are outmanned and outgunned and could use the extra hands. This was a no-brainer to me, but what threw me for a loop was the fact that Rick wanted to get rid of Michonne as well. Sure they don’t know what angle she’s playing, but at the end of the day she seems like a good person and she has what it takes to go to war with the Governor. I can’t understand why Rick wouldn’t want her as she would appear to be a huge asset, but that is all for not as Rick seemed to start to agree with Herschel to keep Tyreese before he really starts to lose it. Rick starts to hallucinate that a wedding dress clad Lori is on the catwalk prompting Rick to lose it in a big way in front of everybody, which causes Tyreese and his group to flee. I have to say, the episode was stellar until this moment. Being that I haven’t read much of the comics I don’t know if this was taken from there or if it was the writers at work, but it didn’t seem to fit in with everything else that was happening. It just felt like it was thrown in there to show that Rick isn’t fully recovered from his previous ordeals. It came off as dumb to me, but who knows, maybe the show is going somewhere with that, but it threw me for a loop and felt out of place with the rest of the episode.
Overall we got a great episode with a less than stellar ending. I’m not mad about the end since we did get a great 50 minutes before then, but I am wondering where that ending is going to takes us. If not for that ending and the way they blew the Andrea in Woodbury reveal I would’ve score it a lot higher, but in light of that I have to go with…
3.5 out of 5 nerds
Follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing