Image credit: Gene Page/AMC
A CRY IN THE DARK The problem with Carl is that it's very hard to tell whether his ability to unemotionally shoot people in the face counts as maturity or sociopathy, and the problem with Walking Dead is that the show might not know the difference. Still, cool gun.
As they snuck through Woodbury, Glenn had bad news for Rick. "We told him where the prison was." But Glenn had some outright crazy news for Daryl. "This was Merle," he explained. "He threw a walker at me." Daryl was flabbergasted: His brother, alive, terrorizing his friends? Daryl told Rick that he had to find Merle. Rick told him, "You're not thinkin' straight." They had to get Maggie and Glenn home through the woods, and Michonne had disappeared into the shadows. "I need you. Are you with me?" he asked. Daryl: "Yeah."
They made a break for it down Main Street. Daryl threw a few gas grenades; the sound attracted the Governor's squad, and then the battle was joined. Andrea had been assigned to door-duty, but she took out her gun and ran toward the violence. She didn't recognize any of her friends through the smoke. The only person she saw was Oscar, the Three-Dimensional Human Being Who Was Absolutely Not a Plot Contrivance. While Maggie and Glenn climbed up over the wall, Daryl and Rick laid down some covering fire. At that moment, Rick saw someone...familiar. Walking out of the smoke, with dead eyes, was none other than Shane, The Walking Dead's proto-Governor and Bizarro-Rick. Rick shot Shane...and it wasn't really him, natch.
Team Grumpy again: Okay, we get it. Rick is feeling a bit haunted. Why would he suddenly, in the middle of a busy firefight, picture Shane -- and not just Shane, but Shane with a beard he never had before? Frankly, this scene would have been better if he had imagined that everyone attacking him was Shane. 'There's Shane, BANG. There's Shane, BANG. There's Shane, too!'" See below:
Also: Oscar got killed. I'm always a bit concerned about bringing up anything too real-world with regards to a show about well-dressed zombie killers with infinite ammo, but: The same episode that introduces a new African-American dude also sees the demise of a different African-American dude? And this in a same half-season where pretty much the same thing happened a few episodes ago with T-Dog and Oscar?
Back at the prison, Carl heard some strange sounds in the tunnels. Hershel told him it was probably just walkers -- which, again, seems like something that should be an issue when the entire purpose of living in the prison was having a walker-free existence. But Carl walked down into the tomblike corridors, walked into the boiler room...and found Tyreese and his crew. So, yes, the opening was not a flashforward. The Grimes Gang just left a handy opening in the fence towards the back of the prison. This strikes me as an oversight. I mean, what else do these people do all day, besides take every precaution to make sure they are not killed by zombies?
I'm being cruel to be kind, because the very next scene showed Walking Dead at its best. Waiting in The Governor's house, Michonne heard some strange noises from behind the door. She kicked it open, and saw the Governor's collection of heads. She was not too impressed by this Futurama homage. (She seemed to recognize either the pilot's head or the heads of her former pets -- it wasn't clear.) But even worse was the noise from inside the wall. She opened up the door...and saw a little girl come out. She put down the sword, in a rare moment of tenderness. "It's okay. I'm not gonna hurt you." She took off the chain. She took off the head-sack -- and realized that the girl was a walker. She was all set to decapitate, when the Governor suddenly appeared. "Don't hurt her!" he begged.
NEXT: The Governor goes Full Pirate