After last week’s very argumentative mid-season premiere, “Home” The Governor (David Morrissey) retaliated in a big way, catching Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group off-guard. Here are some of the biggest moments of the episode and their importance moving forward.
1. The Governor on offense
Just when we were beginning to like Axel (Lew Temple), the Governor turned him into swiss cheese and put some genuine fear into Rick and the group, shooting up the perimeter of the prison. As Carol (Melissa McBride) hid behind Axel’s body to shield herself from the spray of bullets, honorable to the end, the Governor managed to get a guy up in one of the watchtowers and put a mysterious driver to deliver a 20-piece McWalker meal deal into the grass. I thought it was odd that they covered up the van driver, to make some viewers wonder if it was Andrea (Laurie Holden), but there’s no way he is able to get her to turn on her friends like that. What the Governor found out was Michonne can’t shoot a gun to save her life–a welcomed change from Rick’s deadliest assassins–and aside from Rick and the Dixons, there isn’t much resistance, making the prison that much more desirable to him. The Governor was turned on by the violence, the domination, and the assurance that they don’t have tanks. You knew this was coming, even after he calmed Andrea down. If he wanted to, he could take down the prison easily especially with Rick in his funk.
2. Woodbury Under New Management
The Governor playing the “We need you.” card to Andrea and it’s working. That goes to show you how different Rick treated Andrea that she would even consider staying in Woodbury the minute she found out it was Rick and the others who broke into Woodbury. She just wants to be wanted. She never got that from Rick’s group, and she also sees all of these sheltered, clueless residents of Woodbury with nowhere to go once the Governor decides to dump them. Of course it’s really Milton (Dallas Roberts) who is left in charge and he has to be the biggest flaw in the Governor’s plan. Andrea’s going to make an attempt to come back to her friends in the upcoming episode but will her place ultimately be with the people of Woodbury? Let’s hope not, and hopefully Andrea will start mirroring her path in the comics. She’s had a few opportunities though to leave Woodbury high and dry and that has me worried she hasn’t.
3. Rick’s Still Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs
Chasing visions of Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) into the woods is not how you want to see your leader and while he’s not so sure of himself, Rick’s decision-making days are numbered. He’s alienating people who can help, he’s scaring off those he fought to protect, and now while he was dancing with ghosts, the group suffered their biggest attack by another group of survivors and had one of their walls breached. We’re not sure what happened to Tyrese’s (Chad L. Coleman) group but it’s time they welcome him and his sister back. The only one who is making clear decisions right now is Hershel and that’s because he’s had enough of a chance to rest. Now series creator Robert Kirkman said on Talking Dead that the visions of Lori are not her ghost, but manifestations of Rick’s psyche whenever something good is presented to him, for example, Judith, Tyrese, and Michonne. Those moments remind Rick of a happier place, and that is why Lori appears in what may be her wedding dress. What will pull him out? Carl smacking some sense? Another loss in the camp? If he’s manifesting Lori when good things come his way, what made him think about Shane?
Rick to Hershel: There’s an answer, I think in time it’ll make sense… I can’t. I can’t (come back in).
4. Glenn’s chance to lead
Maggie (Lauren Cohan) wanted it, and now we’re finally seeing Glenn in a leadership role. It’s too bad he’s being so aggressive and angry that he’s not thinking clearly. He still wants to prove to Maggie that he can protect her, to make up for what he was unable to do. He turned her interrogation with the Governor into his suffering moment and that’s where he keeps going wrong. It’s not about him and yet that’s all Glenn can see, since he was made to look like a fool. Maggie understood the stakes and was left with no choice, still, the last thing she wants is to be treated like a victim.
Someone has to choose for this group though: stay, leave, or take the fight to Woodbury. There’s an eye for an eye thing going on here. So Glenn is eventually going to work this out, but only after he does something drastic. It wouldn’t surprise me if he retaliates and finds a way to lure walkers into Woodbury. They have a new pickup truck. A massacre at Woodbury would give Andrea an easy opportunity to come back to the group. Given all the changes that have gone on though, would she want to come back?
Hershel to Glenn: This rage is going to get you killed… What are you proving?
5. Daryl redeems himself
This show couldn’t have its audience stay mad at its favorite character. That’s why Daryl was given a chance to play hero, twice and at the same time back his brother, Merle (Michael Rooker) up against a wall and remind him which of them is the jerk. Daryl saves strangers from a fleet of walkers, with a fantastic kill shot slamming the trunk of a hatchback onto a Walker’s head. What I found interesting was that the group did make an impact on Daryl as he told his brother off. Merle’s the one who cut his own hand, he’s the one who was stupid enough to get handcuffed to the roof of a building. He’s the bigot. etc. Of course Daryl makes it back to the prison in time to save Rick and Merle is alongside, which means he has to be welcomed into the group, and that transition will not be smooth. At least he can resume whatever spark he had with Carol who no longer has to feel guilty flirting with Axel. The Dixon brothers are back, but will they be enough?
We also saw the abuse scars on Daryl’s back inflicted by their father. It was something shared between the brothers and allows viewers to understand why Merle is how he is, and Daryl was given a second chance in his new family. The one thing they don’t share is Daryl’s magically moving tattoo, which was on the right side of his back in one shot, and on the left in another. Oops.
Daryl to Merle: I may be the one leaving, but you’re the one that’s walking away. Again.
6. Michonne unleashed
It wasn’t much, but Michonne had to play it cool since she’s not welcomed by crazy Rick. As we said, she’s not good with a gun, but in this world, specializing is probably going to keep you alive in most cases, especially when you don’t have to worry about reloading. She was hacking up zombie skulls like she was playing Fruit Ninja in the high grass. Seeing Glenn walk up to her and ask her for her advice was a team-up I wouldn’t have expected, but right now these two are riding high off emotion, directed towards the Governor. Let’s hope their next move involves less guns, and Glenn deciding to do a perimeter check on his own. Once she gets full brought into the group–and she will–with or without Andrea, she’s going to be the toast of the group. This was a big improvement over last week, just give us more!
Those are the big focus points from this past week’s episode of The Walking Dead, what made an impression on you? Share your thoughts below and catch this week’s new episode Sunday night on AMC 9/8c.