While Rick Grimes lurked outside, probably mumbling to himself and imagining Dead Ghost Lori making out with Dead Ghost Shane, the rest of the Prison Population debated policy. First and foremost: Glenn is decidedly not happy to be living alongside Merle, since Merle recently Abu Ghraib'd Glenn. Hershel noted that Merle has military experience; Glenn countered that Merle could be a useful bargaining chip. Maybe they could send Merle to the Governor as a peace offering.
Hershel decided to go and meet Merle for himself. This led to a nice little scene between the Three-Limbed Duo. "How'd you lose it?" asked Merle. "Was bit," said Hershel. He noted that Rick chopped off his leg -- something else they have in common, since Rick's actions indirectly led Merle to saw off his own hand. Merle and Hershel quoted scripture to each other -- the line about "If the right hand offends you." (Merle explained that Woodbury had a damn fine library.) Then Merle explained exactly what was going to happen. The Governor was going to kill them all, one by one. "He'll save Rick for last. So he can watch his family and friends die ugly."
I'm inclined to say that the whole Question of Merle could have filled a complete episode. Merle is a valuable commodity in the post-apocalypse: A violent man with military-grade tactical prowess, skilled in armed and unarmed combat. But he is also a volatile natural resource: Anti-authoritarian, deceitful, possibly sociopathic. On one hand, with the Governor preparing to attack, keeping Merle makes sense: That's one more gun on your side. On the other hand, who's to say that Merle wouldn't just shoot everybody in the back as a peace offering to his old master?
But the whole Problem of Merle seemed pretty much solved at that point. To paraphrase The Simpsons: Nobody who quotes the Bible could be an evil man!
Instead, we zipped back over to Woodbury, where the Governor was inspecting the new recruits. An old lady with arthritis; the Governor kindly told her they would find another place for her, probably riding on the bumper of the Governor's car. The mother of a teenager complained that he had asthma. But hey, so did Teddy Roosevelt, and he turned out to be the 20th Century's first superhero. Watching the Governor build up the Woodbury militia felt like an echo of last season, when Shane started teaching the Grimes Gang how to use firearms. Again, there's a sense of a push-pull between the Governor and Rick: In order to fight each other, they have to use each other's methods.
That's the kind of complicated post-apocalyptic logic that Andrea can never seem to grasp. She told Milton, in horror, that Woodbury was becoming "An armed camp with child soldiers." She told him that she needed his help sneaking out of Woodbury. Milton went to talk to the Governor. The Governor told Milton to help Andrea get out of Woodbury. He had a plan, probably. I should note that the Governor was sporting a very snazzy eyepatch, just like the Governor from the Comic Books. Question to Debate: Is season 3 all about TV-Governor slowly transforming into the Comic-Governor? Important Thing To Note: David Morrissey can grow a totally sweet 'stache.
NEXT: Oh, Tyreese, hey!