Today's episode of The Walking Dead promises to either bring many separate conflicts to a head in neat and interesting ways, or to completely bore us and hold off on further development until we return next year. Eww. Hopefully they chose to move things along.
So, what's today's Mid-
Will Rick and his small group of roamers break through the walls of Woodbury?
Will Andrea finally wake up and realize that the Governor is a disgusting slimy doucheball?
Will Carl be able to hold down the fort/prison with Rick and Daryl gone?
carl's hp has varied strongly from season one. he's even attained +4 bullet resistance. i guess that justifies placing him in charge of grown-ass adults?
For the answer to these and many more questions, jump with us, and get a little party going.
8:30 - well, i guess as long as we keep opening these things up early, somebody's going to keep being early. nothing exciting has happened yet, no walkers killed, no human drama started. maybe take a few minutes to get instrospective. maybe step outside for a little while and think.
not sure why daryl took this moment to remove his cool crossbow, but hey.
just don't blame us when you realize it's cold out, and you forgot your sleeves.
8:45 - with rumours of many scary and exciting things on the go for tonight's episode, we're going to need to be able to insulate these here emotions. we'll be doing that with james ready beer and mad tom ipa. david's tea will soothe our throats after.
8:55 - mute your phones and turn out the lights. the episode is just around the corner!
9:00 - hey... when did shows start doing midseason finales?
...or offering guest walk on roles? and two screen experiences?
we open on some shots of sunrise over a foggy field, and then a stock woman's scream.
a walker is attracted to it as we hear the woman again in the background.
a man, who presumably is tyreese shows up and beans it.
i like his little hammer deal he uses..
he runs into a woman who has a shovel and wears pearl earrings and confirms he's tyreese.
glad they kept the trademark toque.
they're part of a group that's not faring too well in this small horde they've encountered.
someone's mom is bitten, and an escape is made, walkers and the kid's mom in tow.
nice to see another functional multi-racial group though - that's, well, better than normal here.
9:03 - tyreese comes upon the guard towers of a prison. a woman cautions him.
"we don't know what's in there."
"but we know what's out here," tyreese says.
they decide the bitten woman can't live. she's a liability.
"we have to kill her now."
"maybe," tyreese says.
then there's a beauty of a shot of the prison (i think it's the prison) from the back with some nice theme music creeping in behind it.
then we go to a commercial.
9:07 - andrea's checking herself out in the mirror,
then finding some pictures of the governor in his past life. he walks up behind her, and they discuss milton and cremating mr coleman. kind of sounds like a movie title, no?
interesting sexy talk.
anyway, andrea talks about helping the people through this mess, and the governor goes on about woodbury growing on her. then they kiss of course, and she takes off.
9:08 - later, the governor is in his head room, and we find out he keeps the daughter, penny there.
he turns on some music and calls her out.
"penny, hunnie, it's daddy."
he's got a bowl of gross shit to feed her, and she comes racing out at him, her head covered in a sack.
this child doesn't act it well (wriggles from the shoulders, but very little head-lunging), but the makeup is nice.
anyway, the gov goes and sings to the daughter, and it seems like she's calming down?
no, she really just wants the guts he brought her.
perhaps the governor should try keeping bacon in his pocket.
any way, she ignores him, and he starts screaming "look at me!" she ignores him some more ('cause she's still a zombie), so he locks her up.
i'd care more about this if he wasn't so gross, but hey.
9:10 - we open up on glenn and maggie.
"maggie, did he uhh,"
"no," she interrupts. "he barely touched me."
she goes on that after all this time with walkers, she forgot how terrible people can be. how they always could be.
then they hug.
i guess that's like, closure or whatever?
anyway, they keep showing suspicious long shots of the walker, so glenn goes over to it.
he proceeds to rip off the arm, and almost puke, then break it off at the elbow?
then disgustingly, he pulls out the broken radius and fashions it into a shiv for he and maggie.
glenn is fucking awesome. if he dies, it's fucking over (note: we doubt that glenn will ever die - at least this season).
9:12 - outside of woodbury, rick and his group wait. they watch the walls, and hear a twig snap behind them. everyone swings around, but it's michonne, and they actually let her lead.
9:13 - back inside, merle and the governor talk about taking out the prison. not to move in or anything, but just to kill them for his fun?
merle goes on to say that his brother's there, and the governor says they'll make him their inside man.
"whatever happens, nothing happens to my brother," merle tells the governor.
then they decide keeping andrea, glenn and maggie all around is dangerous, so they'll take glenn and maggie to the screaming pits.
9:15 - inside a house now, where michonne was questioned, the group argues.
daryl decides they should split up.
some guy comes in and tells them he knows they're in there
"i saw you moving from outside."
the man walks in further and rick gets a gun in the man's face after they zip-tie him.
"we're our own people and you're holding some of our people. where are they?"
they shove a rag in the dude's mouth, and knock him right out,
9:16 - okay, so back at the prison axel is being a COMPLETE perv towards beth as she and carl hang out in a cell with judith.
"how old are you?" axel asks her.
carol calls him out, and tells him to fuck off, and he says he hasn't seen women in a while, and he thought carol was a lesbian. i'd shoot him in the apocalypse. no question.
"you got the short hair. you're not a lesbian? my, my. this is interesting."
"no, it's not." she walks away. carol is pretty great. but yeah, totally kill that guy. he'll be trouble, and there've been enough sexual assaults this season.
axel is crawling with red flags. he should really get that checked out!
9:17 - holy shit!
maggie and glenn storm out of hold and maggie kills the fuck out of one guy with that bone, taking the advice of my grade 9 english teacher and going for the jugular. it's seriously impressive and pretty gruesome.
merle gets glenn pinned with his sword, but maggie's on him with the dead guy's automatic.
"let him go," she tells him.
he does gladly though, because reinforcements are there, having heard the scuffle.
he beats up glenn, and then we're off to commercial, and trailers for the animal-murdering adaptation of the hobbit.
9:21 - rick and the group seem pretty damn close to infiltrating the inner workings.
merle tells maggie and glenn "i'm glad we could catch up" and then they're both hooded - but not until we get a shot of the couple staring into each others' eyes as glenn exhorts maggie to just keep looking at him. it's pretty sweet and terrible all at once.
as glenn and maggie are led away, rick and daryl flash bomb the hallway. daryl runs in and grabs them out.
further away, andrea walks around being sexy, and there's some chaos happening as people react to the gunfire and the guy the group beating up earlier being found and telling his story.
"we're under attack. you find out who and you find out how. you shoot to kill and you don't take any prisoners, you understand?" the governor tells his men.
9:23 - rick and the group run into a house, maggie asking how they found them, and where "that woman was" referring to michonne.
how?! how do you not know my name?!
"daryl, this was merle," glenn tells him going in to explain how this was all done by merle.
"you mean merle is this scumbag?"
maggie explains that he's the governor's lieutenant or something.
daryl's freaking out, 'cause he wants to meet up with merle and talk to him.
"maybe they can work it out."
glenn explains "they" had to tell them where the prison was. it's pretty rad of him to continue to back maggie up and be on her side! we love glenn.
rick has to convince daryl to stay with him. even though i think rick's kind of a dickbag, i'm surprised he's able to talk daryl down like this. it's seriously like kicking a puppy. and reedus is a good enough actor for us to infer him blaming rick for him being separated from merle in the first place.
but, you know. it all works out.
9:25 - there's a tiny team meeting, and the governor delegates duties to his inner circle. merle leads a search team, and andrea (reluctantly) leads a door to door look around michonne.
9:26 - further away, michonne is in the gov's house, snooping about.
she unsheathes her sword and sits down to wait for him.
9:27 - rick's group throws another round of smoke bombs out the door and makes a run for it, under heavy gunfire. tons of woodburians are killed. andrea hears the gunfire and goes to investigate. daryl and rick and killing guys left right and centre.
andrea's shooting at people in the fog, not recognizing anyone yet.
she's joined by the governor.
"i saw them," she tells him.
she explains one of the guys was "black guy, young. he was wearing a prison jumpsuit."
the governor opts for a pretty familiar fear-driven narrative: they must be escaped convicts! after our peaceful suburbian way of life!
governor decides they're not soldiers, they're survivors. they'll wait these people out.
daryl says he's going to stay behind and lay cover fire for the group.
this will obviously end well.
daryl hits some more people and the group slowly makes its way out.
rick is clearly going nuts 'cause he sees shane coming at him, and this shane guy kills oscar.
rick's nuts, obviously so he shoots the guy then goes to investigate. blah blah rick has feeeeeeelings and has forgotten about lori and OH MY GOD WHO CARES.
maggie has the common courtesy to actually kill poor oscar. she and glenn finally makes it over the fence as rick retreats and daryl looks caught up. of course.
hey guys, totally good job having a transitional black character between t-dog and tyreese so we umm, didn't think you were racist or anything, y'know?
oh well, at least reedus and lincoln are good actors, right?
one of which is a django trailer.
9:33 - carl's whittling and hershel finally got judith to sleep.
carl goes on about going to get some formula for judith, and being hard in general.
they hear screams, and carl decides to investigate, 'cause it's carl. interesting note - carl is concerned the screaming woman could be carol, but hershel informs him that carol is with axel. so...that somehow means she couldn't be screaming? get it together!
get it together, grouch.
9:34 - off he goes with his baseball bat lookin' silencer, through the dark, towards the screams. it's pretty fuckin' scary, really.
some noises are coming from the boiler room. he gets sentimental and weird, but a walker's up on him.
he blows its head off then heads in.
tyreese's group is killing the fuck out walkers but carl helps anyway.
"come on," he yells. "hurry."
they get into moral arguments about leaving the bitten lady, and then - !!
9:36 - we cut to michonne in the governor's house.
she hears the noises coming from his head room and kicks the doors in. she sees her boys and that soldier and becomes, well, pretty angry.
then she hears the daughter.
9:37 - she opens the door and crouches down to look in.
"it's okay," she says. "i'm not going to hurt you."
she clearly doesn't know.
but she knew the governor was so bad she thought he kept little girls chained up in his house? see...somehow to me, this means that michonne gets it in a way rick et al never will.
9:38 - anyway, michonne's right about to kill zombie-penny but somebody screams no, and it's the governor and he has a gun.
he quickly puts that down though.
"it's me you want," he tells michonne. "there's no need for her to suffer."
"she doesn't have needs."
great acting by the gov here! too bad i think he's mad yucky. it's a good performance nonetheless.
michonne straight fucking kills her, sword through the mouth and the governor's on her, punching her face and choking her. michonne gets the upper hand though, choking him with the sword. they struggle and eventually her head is slammed into the same fishtank as her boys, leading to her dragging down two MORE tanks, and she's cut up, and the heads are on the ground biting, and this is super intense.
why can't the entire show be this good?! goddamn! i mean, i'm having trouble watching this!
the's reaching for glass, and her sword, eventually choosing glas and ripping a piece of glass off of a fish tank with her bare hand and plunging it into the governor's eye.
i like to think this scene is an homage to this classic moment in dead and buried, but i'm probably wrong about that.
so there's blood everywhere, and screaming and she's about to kill him when andrea comes to his defense?
"what have you done?" she asks michonne.
look at this place! what has he done, andrea?
any way, there's a stand off, and andrea lets michonne go.
she heads in to help the gov, but then sees all the walker heads, and him with glass shards sticking out of his eyes holding his walker daughter, and this is gruesome, and crazy, holy shit.
didn't expect the glass in the eye, and the daughter death or all the gruesome fun all at once. wow.
glad i had so much food for dinner
9:46 - so here's carl inside the prison with tyreese's gang and their bitten woman.
he puts his gun up on her head and says he'll take care of it.
"she doesn't have much time."
"we take care of our own," tyreese says, then goes to use his hammer.
at least they put a bandana over her head.
they all stop when they hear a lock creaking.
"hey kid, did you just lock us in here?"
"this room is secure. you have food and water. you'll be safe in here."
the lady goes on screaming to carl about how they can't treat them like animals.
"back away from the man," tyreese says. "it's the best we've had in weeks, this man's house. plus we have things to take care of."
they walk away.
"shouldn't we help them?" beth asks carl.
"i did," he replies. carl's daddy taught him not to trust black people.
9:48 - back at woodbury, the indian doctor is still alive and helping the governor.
the governor apparently has some explaining to do for andrea, even though it won't make a difference to her and her foolish ways anyway. and really, why would he be obligated to tell her the truth? she's so naive it's almost painful.
"what the hell was that? why was she here? why was she fighting you?"
the governor, good ol' phil implies that andrea should know. after all, she spent all those months with that kitana-slinging loose cannon.
"the fishtanks? the heads?" andrea retorts
"i made myself look at them, to prepare me for the horrors outside."
"and penny," andrea asks.
boo, i called penny annie earlier.
any way, milton AND merle are here to help.
merle, uhhh, told the governor michonne was dead, so he's not to happy.
"they made it over the wall, i'll go after them in the morning."
the governor turns to merle, angry and kinda menacingly, then it's a commercial.
9:54 - we're back. michonne catches up with rick and his crow outside of woodbury, and rick has a gun on her?
he tells her to get her hands up and takes her sword.
"find the rest of your people?... i brought you here to save them."
rick says thanks for the help.
"you'll need help, to get them back to the prison, or to go back in there for daryl, either way. you'll need me."
her eyes are so pleading. ugh! i loathe rick!
9:56 - back inside woodbury, people are gathered around the biter fighting pen, and the governor appears to address them.
"what can i say? hasn't been a night like this since the walls were completed. and i thought we were past it. past the days when we all sat, huddled scared in front of the tv during the early days of the outbreak. the fear we all felt then, we felt it again tonight. i failed you. i promised to keep you safe. hell, look at me. now, i, i should tell you that we'll be okay. that we're safe. that tomorrow, we'll bury our dead and endure. but i won't. 'cause i can't. 'cause i'm afraid. that's right. i'm afraid of terrorists who want what we have. want to destroy us! and worse, 'cause one of those terrorists is one of our own! merle!"
there's a mumble and banter. and damn, he sure loves that word (terrorist).
"the man i trusted. he led 'em here, and he led them in." they take away his arm blade.
"it was you. you lied. you betrayed us all."
they bring out daryl, in a hood.
"and this is one of the terrorists. merle's own brother!"
"what should we do with them?" the governor asks
the crowd essentially starts chanting kill them, and we get a nice terminatoresque beat out of mcreary. oh fuck, we miss that show so much. it was sooooo fucking streets ahead of this mediocrity.
"you wanted your brother," the governor says, walking up to merle. "hey you got him."
then he walks back listening to the bloodthirsty crowd as we cut to credits.
whelp, that was actually a little less revelatory than expected, with very little really happening. like what? maggie and glenn swapped for merle? oscar swapped for tyreese? it was action filled and gory, and much less rapey, but does that really make it much better of an episode? (yes, yes it does. badass violence minus the sexual assault! whee!)
i guess we'll see where they take this moving forward, and what will really happen when woodbury retorts. february is a long time to wait, but that's when we'll have to reconvene for walking dead fun. make sure to stop by in the mean time, as some fun things are certainly in queue.