Meanwhile, Woodbury was in a state of societal breakdown. The good people of Woodbury were scared. There were casualties. There were cars trying to leave, and the security force -- leaderless, without Merle -- wouldn't let them out. "Shoving a gun in their face won't help," proclaimed Andrea. "Shut up, Andrea!" said everybody. The curious walker who got in through the fence attacked a Woodbury Citizen. Andrea shot the walker; the citizen was slowly dying in the street. The Governor emerged from his gubernatorial estate, and he shot the dying man in the face, with all the nonchalance of a man swatting a fly. (The Governor is really nonchalant, is what I'm trying to say.)
Andrea walked into the Governor's room. She offered him some free advice. The people are scared. They need you to lead them with stirring oratory. They don't need you to go all Tom-Cruise-in-Collateral and gun people down without a word of warning. The Governor was dismissive. "They're used to barbecues and picnics. That ends now. We're at war. I should've seen that." There are certain lines of dialogue in serialized shows that serve as roadmaps, and that's about as handy a guide to this half-season as we're likely to get. The question is: What kind of war? Will the Grimes Gang and Woodbury armor up? Will they lead guerilla assaults? Who will attack first? Between this and the arrival of Tyreese, will this finally convince Rick that they really should plug up some of the holes in the prison's back fence? (ASIDE: I know, I know: They've closed off part of the prison, but other parts are still overrun with zombies and wide open to whatever homicidal road-gangs swing by. I don't mean to second-guess Rick's security tactics, but if it were up to me, I would have dug a moat around the prison and filled it with lighter fluid by now. END OF ASIDE.)
Andrea pressed on. Why wasn't she told that her friends were still alive? Why did they wind up shooting each other? How come her boyfriend has become so distant? "You're just a visitor here. Why should I tell you?" responded the Governor. Hurtful.
Rick and the Melee Squad arrived back at the prison. He assured Carol that Daryl was still alive, but that he had gone. "Is he coming back?" asked Carol. With Daryl gone, Carol has lost one of her two defining character traits -- "Pining for Daryl." (Her other character trait is "headscarf.") Carl asked a simple question: "Oscar?" Rick: "No." I kind of wish Rick had said "Who?" Everyone welcomed Rick back. Beth kissed Rick on the cheeks and gave him what strikes me as a meaningful glance, though maybe that meant nothing. (Although Beth has been more or less declared Stepmother for Rick's Baby...) Rick held his week-old child in his arms, and crazy music played in the background.
Back at Woodbury, Andrea took matters into her own hands. The citizens were freaking out, and she delivered an impromptu off-the-cuff speech. "Every one of us has suffered," she said, while behind her a young boy wearing a tattered baseball cap picked up his trumpet and began playing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." "The death never stops," she explained, while a group of little drummer boys emerged from around the corner. "We will work together, and we will rebuild," she continued, while the citizens of Woodbury all pulled out lighters and waved them over their heads. On Andrea went: "They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom! Today is the day we declare our Independence Day! Because that's what living is: The six inches in front of your face! Ich bin ein Berliner!" In the distance, she could see the ghost of George Washington and Obi-Wan Kenobi, smiling and nodding at her. "When they write about this plague in the history books, they will write about Woodbury!" The people cheered hooray, and they carried Andrea away on their shoulders, and the history books record that all of Woodbury joined in a two-hour-long rendition of "Do You Hear The People Sing?"
It was super inspiring. The Governor watched her speak from his window. Could there be a power struggle brewing in Woodbury? And if Andrea does attain some political power in Woodbury, how will that affect her relationship with the Grimes Gang?
NEXT: A tangent