***CONTAINS SPOILERS…WATCH THE EPISODE FIRST!!***The episode begins just as last week’s episode ended, with Rick seeing a vision of Lori in an all white dress. This time, though, Lori is first seen in the prison yard, and then outside the prison fences. Yup, Rick has officially lost it. He’s still seeing Lori’s ghost (which Kirkman claims isn’t actually a ghost) around the prison. This adds two dynamics to the story. First, the audience feels sorry for Rick, as he has lost the love of his life. (I actually thought that Rick going crazy would be more of an annoyance than anything, but I actually found myself sympathizing with Rick.) Secondly and more importantly, the group at the prison is becoming concerned that their leader has become fucking crazy. Will they pick a new leader, or will Rick snap out of it?
I have to wonder if Rick’s vision of Lori has led Rick outside of the prison for a particular reason which will be revealed later in the season, while everyone else is stuck inside the prison. I’m anxious to see how it plays out, because Kirkman could very well have brought Rick outside of the prison and away from the group for a purpose.
With Rick going nuts, Glenn steps up for the leadership position. He convinces Michonne to attack The Gov and the Woodbury settlement, but Herschel argues that the group should run. Glenn argues that their survival on the roads in the past was before they had a crying baby to attract walkers and an old man with one leg. In this situation, I think both Glenn and Herschel are wrong. They should neither go on the offensive nor run, but should stand at the prison and fight. For one, the prison is well fortified with barbed wire fences and locks, so as long as Glenn and company ensure that the walls are fortified, then the Gov and his people will not be able break through. Secondly, they’re unlikely to survive on the road and the group will probably not be able to find shelter with all the supplies and security offered by the prison.
Maggie pushes Glenn away, probably because Glenn makes the whole Governor-rape thing about himself, when Maggie was actually the one that went through the trauma. It’s a realistic reaction, but I’d hate to see this be the end for Maggie and Glenn as a couple, because they’re just about the only positive thing to come out of this zombie apocalypse; the only light in their dark and twisted world.
Meanwhile, Daryl and Merle come across a group that is fighting off zombies on a bridge. I don’t think Season 1 Daryl would have helped, but Season 3 Daryl does the right thing. Daryl makes his way onto the bridge and helps two men fend off some undead, then pulls a zombie out of a car containing a woman and her screaming baby. In the most gruesome part of tonight’s episode, Daryl slams the zombie’s head with the car’s trunk door. The point of the bridge scene was to emphasize how Daryl isn’t going to be Merle’s puppet anymore, like he was as a kid. Daryl takes a stand and it was definitely about time. Daryl has proven to be a true badass, take-no-crap-from-no-one character; he’s grown tremendously since Season 1.
The Governor wages the rebuttal attack on the prison and it’s certainly a shocking one. The Gov sends a truck filled with walkers crashing through the fences and into the middle of the prison’s yard. Then, the truck’s cage drops, unleashing the zombies into the yard. All hell breaks loose. We learn a couple of things during The Gov’s attack on the prison. First, while Michonne is fierce with her katana, she can’t shoot a gun for shit. Secondly, Carol holding an M16 just doesn’t feel right. During the battle, The Gov shoots Axel in the forehead, in an almost stylistic fashion. It was a truly unexpected kill in the series, as we were just starting to learn more about Axel’s past and why he was in prison to begin with. R.I.P. Axel.
The Governor and his outlaws of Woodbury leave the prison after the zombie truck opens. The episode ends with Daryl and Merle saving Rick from a zombie attack and the prison yard being overrun with zombies. Now Merle is stuck with the prison group and it’ll be interesting to see if Rick, or whoever becomes the new leader of the group, allows Merle to stay at the prison.
I think this attack by The Gov was just a warning of sorts. He didn’t stay to ensure that the group dies and he seemed to be thoroughly enjoying shooting his AUG semi-automatic gun. We will get to see how the prison group fares against the zombies in the yard next week, but I have feeling it will be easy killing for them, as they have cleared that same yard of zombies before (when they first arrived to the prison at the beginning of Season 3).
It was great to see The Walking Dead return to the zombie-slaying action that fans are used to, instead of focusing on character development. Tonight’s episode was a perfect example of how all episodes of The Walking Dead should be paced; not all action 100% of the time, but not all character development and story, either. “Home” is the perfect blend of action and character driven story.
One last thing I would like to point out about the characters in The Walking Dead is that they are just normal people. We definitely forget that they have no special military training or preparation for what they’re going through. Let’s take a minute to appreciate the fact that several of these normal people have survived the zombie apocalypse for this long. Robert Kirkman has done an extraordinary job creating characters who feel super human, but are just normal people.
Gore Meter: 9 out of 10
Bad-Ass of the Night: Daryl
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