NOTE: Let’s be mindful of all the new viewers participating in this conversation and try not to spoil plot points taking place deep into the run of the comic series. Mild speculation is fine and encouraged, as well as talking about things that have happened in the comic up until the point they are at in the show, but don’t get too explicit with regard to future surprises. They will be deleted. Thanks!
“I’m Glad I Watch This Show After Dinner”
Last week, we took our leave of Rick and the gang to get acquainted with Andrea, Michonne, The Governor and the good people of Woodbury, a town whose name sounds straight out of the The Twilight Zone. Oh yeah, and Merle is back.
This week, we return to the prison where an anonymous figure cuts open a bunch of the chains that are holding some of the prison gates closed and is luring zombies to the prison with a trail of freshly killed deer meat. That’s… fucked up. And the prison is also where Rick and the gang are starting to settle into their new home rather nicely. The main yard area is getting cleared of bodies, vehicles are being inventoried, and Glen and Maggie are having a lot of sex in the guard tower. It’s like paradise! Ah, but it cannot last. The two convicts that Rick let live two weeks ago have left their section of the prison and have shown up asking if they can, you know, move in with Rick and his people. It seems that living with their dead friends in a cellblock with porous fences is really just no fun. They make their case quite convincingly but Rick and Darryl are having none of it. T-Dogg, though, thinks it might not be so bad to bring some new able-bodied people into the group. The rest of the group is wary. They’re strangers. They’re criminals. T-Dogg points out that he and Rick and the rest of their group have probably killed more people than the convicts. But it’s no matter: Rick is resolute in his decision.
In Woodbury, Michonne investigates the vehicles of the dead soldiers that The Governor and his people brought back to camp last week. We know that he murdered them in cold-blood and it seems as if Michonne is starting to suspect it as well, what with the bullet holes and fresh blood. The Governor interrupts her snooping and tries to use flattery and peons to heroism and survival to placate her. Michonne’s not having any of it. Not even flattery from Foghorn Leghorn Liam Neeson can shake her feeling that shit is not right in Woodbury.
T-Dogg is not letting this convict thing go. He seems to be the only one who sees the potential for humanity in other humans. Like a sycophantic Joey Bishop, one of the convicts offers to tune up Darryl’s bike because it’s, well, super loud but Darryl blows him off. The convicts are locked back up in their section of the prison. Meanwhile, Herschel is sick and tired of looking at the ceiling of his cell—he never would have lasted in prison!—and decides it’s time to stretch his legs.
Michonne’s got a plan for her and Andrea to travel via the coast. At least that’s one direction they wouldn’t have to worry about zombies. Clearly, Michonne has not considered the possibility of Mer-Zombies. Andrea doesn’t want to leave Woodbury. She likes the security of the community and she and The Governor have a kind of low level flirty thing going on. She thinks that Michonne is just paranoid about their being something off about everything despite the fact that it’s been Michonne’s paranoia and caution that has kept them alive for 8 months.
While Glen makes a food drop and gives the convicts enough to eat for a week, Rick, Glen, Maggie, T-Dogg, Darryl, and Carol continue to work on securing the perimeter of the prison. Rick, Glen, and Daryl are out on the perimeter in their own fenced off section of the yard gathering firewood and Glen doesn’t want to risk going beyond the fences to dispose of and burn the zombie corpses but Rick doesn’t want to plant corn in zombie-infused soil. Which, I totally get. Suddenly, Hershel makes his triumphant appearance on the prison yard, along with his helpers Lori, Carl, and his young daughter whose name I keep forgetting. Everyone is all smiles and happy to see Hershel up on his feet which means that some shit is going to go down any sec—and there it is! A horde of zombies has made its way into the prison! Chaos! Gunplay! Carl, Maggie, Carol, Lori, and T-Dogg start shooting at the zombies as Rick, Glen, and Darryl run desperately through the maze of fences and locked doors to come help. Most of the group escapes into the prison while T-Dogg and Carol hang back to hold off the zombies and try to lock the gates. And then it happens. Oh, poor T-Dogg. We did not know you well but we liked you. In the act of locking up one of the gates he is descended upon from behind and bitten on the shoulder by a zombie. He doesn’t give up though, and with a gaping wound finishes locking the gate, shoots the zombie who bit him, and escapes with Carol into the prison.
Back at Woodbury, Andrea gives Merle a map with the location of Hershel’s farm marked on it. Merle thanks her by acting crude in that charming way that only Merle can. When it becomes clear that his advances are not going to lead to sex, Merle tries to relate to Andrea: they were both abandoned by Rick and the gang, so shouldn’t she stay in Woodbury and shouldn’t they be buddies? Andrea is still clearly conflicted about leaving and asks Merle, who is certainly the best person to ask this question, if The Governor is a good person. Merle confirms that yes, yes he is.
Rick, Glen, and Darryl finally make it to the main yard and go about killing as many zombies as they can. Hershel and his daughter, safe behind a locked gate, inform Rick that everyone else appears to have made it out safely, save for T-Dogg and his bite. Glen checks the fences and informs Rick that the gates were not merely left open, the chains were cut. Rick immediately suspects the two convicts who have popped up to see that all the commotion is about. Rick doesn’t have a chance to interrogate them, however, because suddenly the prison siren begins to sound which is like ringing the sound dinner bell for area zombies who immediately being flocking towards the sound. Rick and Glen start to shoot out as many of the sirens as they can but they can’t get them all. Despite the fact that they are standing right there with them and clearly not sounding the sirens, Rick wants to know how the convicts are doing this. The convicts offer to help stop the noise as one of them briefly worked in the control room where the sounds would originate.
T-Dogg stumbles through the darkened (and now loud with sirens) prison corridors with Carol tearfully at his side. She wants desperately to save him but he knows his fate and is not having it. Further ahead, Lori, Maggie, and Carl have to stop because Lori is having pregnancy-related pain. They don’ have time to figure out what is wrong with Lori (a lot) because suddenly zombie pour into the corridor! With Carl leading the way, they beat a retreat through a door that leads down to the bowls of the prison and then Chris Hardwick pops up on screen and tells us that Lori’s baby is coming! Spoilers, Hardwick!
It seems that in addition to murder and collecting heads , The Governor likes to blow off steam by hitting golf balls at zombies. Which, I have to admit, is kind of funny. Merle asks The Governor’s permission to take a small team to look for Hershel’s farm and, by extension, his brother Darryl. The Governor vetoes the proposal as being too risky and because Merle is too important to Woodbury to lose. Merle makes a pouty face so The Governor tells Merle that if he can gather more intelligence on the farm then he’ll lead a team there himself.
Rick is pissed! He can’t find Lori, that siren is really starting to get on his nerves, and someone is fucking with them.
Down in the maintenance area, Lori announces that the baby is coming. (Haaardwick!) Maggie jumps right into action because she lived on a farm because I assume that people who live on farms deliver babies every week. Maggie tells Carl that he’s going to have to help deliver his brother or sister and Carl doesn’t look too into it. I’m right there with you, kid. I’ve seen The Miracle of Life. Plus, that’s your mom. Curses! Maggie says that this is her first time delivering a baby and now I have to reevaluate everything I thought I knew about farms. While I do this, Lori starts pushing and the baby starts coming. Suddenly, Maggie yells for Lori to stop pushing and we see that there is a lot of blood on Maggie’s hands.
Not only are the sirens still blaring, but the corridor that T-Dogg and Carol find themselves in features flickering lights. Oh, and zombies. Carol raises her gun to shoot but is out of ammo. In a final act of heroism, T-Dogg shoves Carol aside and runs into the pack of zombies to buy time for Carol to escape.
The Governor and Andrea sit down for a drink and a chat. He says he’s sorry to see her leave Woodbury but he also subtly probes her for information while they chat about lost families. Andrea is still clearly not sold on leaving with Michonne, and is just looking for an excuse to stay, but The Governor doesn’t give her one so she gets up to leave. Before she does, The Governor tells her that she’s always welcome back in the town and that his real name is Phillip, which is information that he promised that he would never reveal earlier in the episode.
Still being chased by zombies, Rick, Darryl and one of the convicts make it to the control room. While Darryl desperately tries to hold the door at bay, Rick and the convict start shutting down the various sirens. Just as they do, Rick is attacked by another convict, the one who Rick locked out of the prison and left for dead with a pack of zombies in the second episode. A fight breaks out, and Rick loses his gun. It’s picked up by the helpful convict (okay, so, I need to learn these guys’ names) and he holds the gun on Rick and the bad convict. Who will he shoot? He shoots the bad convict and hands the gun back to Rick who gives him the grim alpha male nod which means, “I respect you now.”
The birth is not going well. It seems that Hershel’s prediction that Lori was going to need a c-section delivery is coming true. Maggie is not so comfortable with cutting open Lori’s abdomen with Carl’s knife in the middle of this dark and dingy basement but what can she do? Lori could die but if Lori doesn’t deliver the baby she will die anyway. (Hey, at least the sirens stopped!)
It would seem that The Governor’s creepy southern fried charm has worked as Andrea now informs Michonne that she will in fact not be leaving Woodbury right now. Michonne is, understandably, not okay with this development. Andrea tells Michonne that she wants to hang around for just a few more days.
Back in the worst operating theater ever, Lori points Maggie to her old c-section scar. It’s a handy-dandy guide to follow! Sensing that she is probably not going to survive, Lori tells Carl that he’s going to have to take care of Rick and that he should always try to do what’s right. She doesn’t want the world to spoil him. (Newsflash: We’re waaaay past that, Lori.) Lori then tells Maggie (without telling her) not to forget that she’ll have to kill her after she goes zombie. And then… and then it just gets awful and bloody and suffice to say the baby gets delivered. Shirking her zombie duties, Maggie tries to get Carl to leave with her and the baby. Carl, who is well on his way to being a sociopath, informs Maggie that he has to put a bullet in his mom first. He thinks back to the inspirational talk that he had with his dad back at the farm and shoots his mom in the head.
Rick, Darryl, Glen, and the two convicts are reunited in the hallway only to discover a couple of zombies feeding on a corpse. They find Carol’s headscarf next to the corpse which leads them to believe that it’s her body (when it could be T-Dogg’s). They make their way back out to the yard and inform Hershel that T-Dogg and Carol are both dead. Rick starts to rally the troops to find the others but he is silenced by the cries of his new baby who Maggie carries out into the yard with Carl at her side. Rick takes in the scene—the baby, Carl and Maggie bloodied, Carl and Maggie crying—and as he realizes that his wife Lori is dead he collapses in a heap of tears and anguished screams.