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.
And then The Governor doubled down by noting that there was an enemy in their midst. "One of those terrorists is one of our own: Merle." He said that Merle led them to Woodbury, that he let them in. "You lied," he said. "You betrayed us all." I think you can read this as simple punishment for Merle's lies about killing Michonne, but it played perfectly for the crowd: The Governor had taken the abstract Terrorist enemy and made it concrete, right in front of them. Even better, he had another guy to throw to the crowd: "Merle's own brother." Out came Daryl Motherf---ing Dixon -- clearly only pretending to be captured, right? right? -- and the crowd chanted, "Kill 'em! Kill 'em!" The Governor gave Merle a dead stare: "You wanted your brother. Now you got 'em." Meanwhile, Andrea looked down on the brewing carnage, with a look that seemed to say: "Bwaahhhhh????"
I'd be intrigued to know, fellow viewers, if you were frustrated that the show left off there. (It's off the air until February.) Even though it wasn't a huge cliffhanger, it did leave me wanting more. The Dixon Brothers are reunited, and are once again a hounded pair of outcasts. Rick is returning with the Melee Squad to a prison that has gained four new citizens, and also which really really needs to fix that back fence. The Governor looks to be turning into a full-on military dictator. Andrea is realizing that she may have kinda bad taste in men. It was a thrilling end that made me forgive some of the episode's contrivances -- unnecessary Oscar, imaginary Shane, the Mexican Standoff that wasn't. The second half of Walking Dead's second season was a great follow-through, and it's a fair bet that the Woodbury/Prison showdown will be a bloody affair indeed. Even if you're skeptical, you can't help but be intrigued.
My fellow Dead viewers, what did you like/loathe/feel neutral about? Sad to see Oscar go? Happy to see Tyreese arrive? Comic Book Fans: Are you as disappointed as I am that this Tyreese apparently doesn't have a certain daughter or a certain boyfriend?
And let's get big-think here: What do you want to see in the show's back-half? Trench warfare? A gunfight between The Governor and Rick? A little bit of romance? An episode of The Dating Game where Michonne chooses between Daryl, Rick, Tyreese, and Axel? Anything is possible. See you in February.
Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich