Enter Tyreese and a new group of survivors. In a full throttle introduction to tonight’s episode, we are introduced to Tyreese, a major character in The Walking Dead comic books (he was first introduced in The Walking Dead #7). Tyreese is with his group of followers running from a group of zombies. One of his fellow survivors, a woman, is bitten by a walker. Tyreese’s apparent girlfriend says that they must leave the bitten woman, but Tyreese and the woman’s family object. After a brief argument, the woman is allowed to continue to follow the group.
Glenn asks Maggie if The Governor touched her; she tells him that he didn’t. Glenn then goes over and rips off the re-dead zombie’s arm and breaks off a sharp piece of bone to hand to Maggie. Shortly after, Merle and a henchman enter the room. Glenn and Maggie ambush them; Maggie takes the sharp bone to the henchman’s throat and grabs his gun while Merle overpowers Glenn. Maggie holds Merle at gunpoint, but two more of The Governor’s henchmen hold Maggie at gunpoint.
We then see the invading group of Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Oscar scoping out the compound. Rick and company rescue Maggie and Glenn by throwing flashbang grenades at the group and grabbing them from the henchmen. Maggie and Glenn tell Daryl that Merle did this. Here is the dynamic we were expecting; an upset Daryl who has to choose between his brother and his new found group.
The Governor asks Andrea to check on the people of Woodbury. She argues that she can help in a more hands-on kind of way, but the Governor just continues to bark orders at her. A gunfight ensues between Rick’s group and the people of Woodbury. Andrea only sees the prisoner and opens fire. During the battle, Oscar is shot after Rick ceases to stop the gunman due to him seeing the gunman as Shane. Why would Rick see a hallucination of Shane right now? What relevance does it have?
Michonne separates herself from the group, infiltrates The Governor’s home, sits down in a chair and awaits his return. While waiting, she hears a noise from the other room. She enters the room with all of the heads in fish tanks and finds The Governor’s zombie daughter locked up. As she is about to kill his zombified daughter, The Governor returns. Michonne kills the daughter and the Governor attacks Michonne. Michonne jams a glass shard in his eye to rescue herself, but before she can finish him off, Andrea holds her at gunpoint. Michonne leaves, reluctantly. Andrea sees The Governor holding his daughter, surrounded by bodyless-but-still-chomping zombie heads.
The other prisoner, Axel, hits on Beth. Carol takes him aside and tells him to stay away from Beth. Axel explains that he has been in prison for years and has not seen a woman in a long time. He accuses Carol of being a lesbian because of her short hair, Carol corrects him, but clearly is not interested.
Back at the prison, Carl, Beth and Herschel hear a screaming woman in the distance. Carl goes to check out the situation and finds Tyreese and the rest of his group being overrun by walkers. Carl brings Tyreese’s group back to the cell block. He then locks the group up for safety reasons. Sasha argues with Carl about being locked up, but Tyreese interrupts her and takes Carl’s side. The dynamic created by Carl and Tyreese is awesome and has the potential for greatness in future episodes.
The Governor gets medical treatment for his eye. Andrea confronts him about what she saw and he explains. The Governor holds a town meeting and claims he failed them all because he hasn’t kept them safe. He gives them a pick-me-up speech and then, in front of everyone, accuses Merle of being a terrorist. They’ve captured Daryl and pin the two against each other. The Gov appeals to the crowd about what to do with Merle and Daryl. The crowd wants to kill them both.
Tonight’s episode exceeded my expectations for a mid-season finale. For a moment there (during Michonne ves. The Gov), I thought for sure one of them would meet their end tonight. Thankfully, neither of them do, but the possibility during their minute long fight scene left me on the edge of my seat for the full minute. Then, as if the Michonne/Governor fight wasn’t action packed enough, the episode ends with Daryl and Merle being ostracized by the Woodbury crowd. Tonight’s episode deserves nothing less than a full 10 out of 10 rating. The gunfight between Rick’s group and The Woodbury group felt like something out of Call of Duty, and so much more happened in this episode that we cannot give it anything less than a 10.
The Walking Dead will return in February and if the second half of the season is anything like the first half, then viewers will definitely be in for a full octane not-slowing-down-for-anything thrill ride. The writing in this show has greatly improved since Season 2 and we are getting a lot more character development while not losing much of the action packed zombie killing. During the final scene of 2012, The Governor appears to have snapped. A new evil is brewing within him due to the death of his daughter and the loss of his eye. This creates a breadth of possibilities for story for the second half of the season and I cannot wait to see what executive producers David Alpert and Robert Kirkland will throw at us next.
Quote of the Night: “All this time afraid of walkers…you forget what people do”- Maggie
- Episode Rating: 10/10
Gore Meter: 7/10