Rick enlists Carl's help (finally!) in fortifying the fence. They work well together and their progress goes smoothly until it doesn't. One log breaks, then another, and another until the fence is down. Walkers pour in the first section of the Prison, ambling behind Rick and Carl, who run safely to the second line of defenses. That fence won't hold for long, however, and they need a new plan of action. They choose to go on the offensive, arming themselves with automatic rifles and plenty of ammunition. Together, they deftly shoot down all of the Walkers stumbling through the second fence. Rick witnesses first hand his son's usefulness in the Zombiepocalypse. They are more equals than he'd care to admit, but for as worried as he is (and probably should be), he's proud to have a son who is also his brother-in-arms.
This scene of father-son bonding time reminds me of father-daughter bonding time playing Terminator 2: Judgment Day at the arcade with my dad. But Carl does a better job than I ever did. I almost always ran out of money, so that the rest of the game I would shout unhelpful instructions like, "Head shot! Head shot!" as my dad continued to play.
Before all hope is lost -- and I start waxing nostalgically about playing The House of Dead with my mom -- the Meds Crew returns. Tyreese returns to Sasha's side -- she's in dire straits but conscious. Bob administers medicine to the weakest of the group, Glenn, so we know everyone we care about should be okay. Phew. With his call to duty completed, Hershel finally takes a moment to rest. Hershel’s theme returns as he sits in Caleb's cell, closes the dearly departed doctor's eyes and opens his Bible. But he can’t bring himself to read. Instead, he weeps.
Daryl puts it best, calling Hershel "a tough sonuvabitch." He had the toughest job during the crisis, and he persevered. If life is a test, Hershel surely passed this part with flying colors.
The next morning, Rick avoids telling Daryl about Carol for a bit longer and opts to share quality time with Carl, this time not involving weaponry. Don't think I didn't notice that close-up shot of Rick's gun in the background and Rick's hands opening a soybean plant in the foreground. We get it, we get it: Sheriff Grimes + Farmer Rick = New Rick Grimes.
Despite a solid episode with several character-defining moments, the most striking image of the episode is in its last seconds as the violins and drums lead to an ominous crescendo that ends with...the mega herd? a dangerous group of strangers? friendly neighbors excited for Spaghetti Tuesday? None of the above: the Governor outside of the Prison! The Governor is back! What does it mean? What does it mean?! Any guess I could give would be feeble at best, so I reserve my judgment until the next installment. What do you think about the return of the Governor, O Great and Powerful EW Recap Commenters?
Walker of the Week: Caleb/Dr. S. He makes up for coughing in Hershel's face by storing a handy-dandy shotgun in his cell.
Questions to consider:
Now that I don't have to ask when the Governor will be back, what is he up to?! Is he the Walker Feeder? Will he draw the Mega Herd towards the Prison? Is he connected to the people on the radio? What has he been up to during the months between season 3 and 4?
Is it just me or does it seem that now that Hershel has gone through his most heroic moment, his death seems imminent?
With the virus handled, how will the group react to Rick exiling Carol? How will Daryl react?
Will these people ever catch a break? Do we want them to ever catch a break?