Image credit: Gene Page/AMC
THE WILD BUNCH Oscar looks a bit nervous. Maybe because he's walking to a climactic midseason-finale confrontation, and his teammates are The Cool Chick With The Katana, The Cool Dude With The Crossbow, and The Protagonist. I'm not saying that Oscar is going to die, but I am saying that you never want to be the guy wearing a red shirt on an away mission with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. In this metaphor, Rick is Kirk, Michonne is Spock, Daryl is McCoy, and Woodbury is The Klingon Empire. Or maybe Woodbury is the Romulans and the zombies are Klingons? The point is: Pause to imagine Leonard Nimoy holding a katana sword.
Glenn and Maggie experience some old-fashioned Woodbury hospitality, while Michonne mobilizes the Grimes Gang for a stealth mission. Plus: Milton's experiment revealed, sorta!| Published Nov 25, 2012
Witness Merle Dixon unleashed. He duct-taped captured Grimes Gangbangers Glenn and Maggie into separate interrogation chambers and set about asking Glenn questions, Olivier-in-Marathon-Man style. He chastised Glenn for leaving him up on a rooftop in Atlanta. After a few weeks of tempering his bad side, Merle went Full Racist and referred to dear departed T-Dog as "That big ol' spearchucker." He caressed Glenn's neck with his knife-hand and then pressed the blunt side of the knife against Glenn's mouth, cutting off his air in the most weirdly erotic way possible. He leaned in close, and Glenn headbutted him. That's when the punching started. Cut to Maggie in the room next door, listening to a crazy one-handed redneck beat her man into a pulp.
Woodbury has not shown itself to be particularly welcoming to newcomers. (See also: Various moaning heads in the Governor's jar collection.) But in the zombie apocalypse, you can't open your doors to just anyone. Back at the Lori Grimes Memorial Penitentiary, Rick looked about ready to let Michonne die outside the fence. She was bleeding from a bullet wound, and the smell of the blood finally trumped the smell of her zombie-viscera camouflage. She cut the head off one walker and stabbed another, but then she fell down. Cue Carl Grimes, aka "Kid Headshot," shooting the attacking walkers while Rick ran outside to bring Michonne (and her shipment of baby formula) in. Rick asked who Michonne was. Unsurprisingly, she was not forthcoming. He offered her shelter but refused to let her into the cellblock, and told her simply: "We're not gonna hurt you. Unless you try somethin' first." He took her sword away and told her she couldn't leave -- shades of the Governor.
Tensions were riding high between the Grimes Gang and the newcomer. When Rick extended his hand, Michonne told him: "Don't you ever touch me again." Daryl raised his trusty crossbow Daryl Junior and pointed it in Michonne's face; she stared him down, with a look that said "I eat Dixon boys for breakfast." (APOLOGETIC ASIDE: As roughly 200 people pointed out in last week's comments, the Woodbury citizen I christened "Crossbow Girl" did not, in point of fact, have a crossbow. She had a compound bow. To be honest, guys, the only string-based weapon I really know anything about is the Perfect Dark Wrist Crossbow, an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. END OF APOLOGETIC ASIDE.) Ultimately, she gave them the full exposition-dump. There's a town called Woodbury, run by a "Jim Jones wannabe" named the Governor. He kidnapped their people. And, Michonne told them, "We could slip our way through."
The path was clear. Rick had to convene a good old-fashioned Melee Squad Task Force. Unfortunately, the ol' Melee Squad has experienced some turnover in recent days, due to death and capture. Beth and Axel both offered to come along, which earned a hearty chuckle and a resoundingly implicit "No." Instead, Rick took Daryl, Michonne, and Oscar. "I got the flashbangs and I got the tear gas," said Daryl. "Never know what you're gonna need." Before they set off, Rick took Carl aside for a father-son conversation. Rick expressed his sorrow that Carl had to shoot his own mother, but he didn't get mawkish. "Keep 'em all safe," he told his son -- "them" being Hershel, Beth, Axel, and little Baby Grimes. Carl suggested a name for his little sister: Judith, after his 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Mueller. That's a fine name, said Rick. With that, the Melee Squad set off, leaving the population of the prison at 5 living souls.
NEXT: The Experiment