The Walking Dead recap: Gunfight at the Not Okay Corral

Rick and the Governor face off for control of the Prison (again).
Ep. 08 | Aired Dec 1, 2013

WE ALL COULD CHANGE | The Governor (David Morrissey) illustrates that he cannot change — or at least refuses to — by killing Hershel (Scott Wilson) and initiating a climactic gun fight between Rick's gang and the Governor's new people.

Gene Page/AMC

In the immediate aftermath of the assault, the gang is fractured into separate groups:

+The evacuation bus, containing Glenn and the other ailing people/ people we don't know nor care about (yet), drives off to points unknown.

+After being saved by Lizzie and the kids, Tyreese ironically takes up Carol's mantle as the protector of the remaining Prison community children.

+Maggie, Sasha, and an injured Bob watch the bus leave without them but soon after escape the compound on foot.

+Unable to find Judith and the other kids, Beth runs off with Daryl.

+Rick and Carl limp away into the woods, devastated to find Judith's car seat bloodied and empty. At first I assumed she was taken away by hungry Walkers, but, without a body or the remains of a body, her fate is uncertain.

+Tara walks away from the violence, shell-shocked. Lilly is last seen definitively ending the Governor. (Could either of the Gorbelli sisters have taken Judith?)

+Michonne evaporates into the wind like the mythic warrior that she is. (Was Michonne able to save Judith? It would be a nice tie-in to her emotional moment with Judith during the season premiere.)

While my most immediate concerns are to find out what happened to the core group (Will Maggie and Glenn reunite? How will Rick and Carl survive? How will Tyreese manage to support the kids as well as himself?), I wonder if Lilly and Tara will still be in play. Lilly is a woman who lost everything because of the Governor — her home, her daughter, and possibly her sister. Although she is a new character who has frankly made some awful — and weird — decisions, she deserves to be the one who delivered the final blow to the Governor. In his pursuit of redemption or "getting his mojo back," he destroyed everything she held dear. What would a Lilly with nothing live for look like? Will she persevere, wither away, or become a new Governor, hell-bent on survival by any means necessary?

We still don't know who the Walker Feeder is — or is it the Rat Dissector? This doesn't even matter anymore given all that has happened, but at least it gives me something to obsess over besides how hopeless everyone's predicament seems. To me, it's almost certainly Carl who is responsible. Rick might have thought his son was up late reading comics but as commenters have previously noted, maybe not. Now that he has lost his baby sister, he may go full tilt crazy.

Don't forget, this is just one day after the flu virus reached critical mass at the Prison. The afflicted are still recuperating. Some may fall ill again. Some may not have received medicine at all. Rick is shot. Bob is shot. Everything is broken and now we have to wait until Feb. 9 to find out if this Zombiepocalypse fellowship will ever come together again.

Walker of the week: Creepy Clara returns in Walker form as part of the Walker horde that overtakes the Prison.

Questions to consider: 

All the questions! How will each splinter group fare? Will they ever reunite again?

How will new characters such as Sgt. Abraham Ford fit into the fold?

It's inevitable that someone from the group will run into Carol, right? Right?! (I miss her.)

What do you plan on doing until Feb. 9, that is, besides mourning Hershel and pretending not to mourn for the Governor?

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