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The Walking Dead Recap: There’s No Place Like Prison

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Just when you think nothing is going to happen on The Walking Dead…BLAM! No, literally, BLAM! 

I was starting to worry last night’s episode “Home” would be a repeat of the non-event that was the midseason premiere. Luckily they were able to surprise us.

[SPOILERS]

Rick is, as one character so accurately put it, on a vacation to Crazy Town. He follows the vision of his dead wife outside the prison gates and has everyone worried. Hershel almost talks sense into him but Rick is convinced he’s seeing Lori for a reason. Here’s hoping he’s right, although if what happened later in the episode is any indication, Lori is just trying to get him killed.

Daryl and Merle are off on their own and hunting for food without much luck. Even though Daryl chose his brother over the survivors he’s come to know and love, Merle is acting like a complete jerk. And he doesn’t particularly care for the good-guy streak his brother has adopted.

The two stumble upon a group of survivors, included a baby, being attacked by walkers and Daryl runs to their rescue. Merle reluctantly helps but proceeds to throw around racial slurs at the Spanish-speaking folks and attempts to take some of their supplies as payment for the help. And that’s basically when Daryl has enough. He points his crossbow at Merle and allows the people to leave. The brothers hash it out and we find out more about their previous home life. Daryl is still very upset Merle left him to their abusive father when he was a young boy and we see just what that meant to him when Daryl’s shirt gets ripped open to reveal giant scars on his back.

In Woodbury, Andrea expresses her wish to go see her friends at the prison but is derailed by The Governor. He’s attempting to put her in a faux leadership position while working out other plans behind her back. She soon realizes something is up when The Governor and one of his right-hand men go missing and no one will tell her where they went. Could they have…dun dun dun…gone to the prison themselves?

Back at the prison, Glenn is taking his newfound anger and turning it into a leadership position for himself. Since Rick is off on a spirit quest, he takes the initiative to formulate a plan for what they assume is the impending Governor attack. In doing so he’s neglecting being an actual human being, seeing only rage and forgetting Maggie also went through a trauma. At Hershel’s urging he tries to speak with her but the conversation goes south quickly. Instead of trying to fix things he goes off half-cocked to check out the breach where walkers are gaining access to the prison.

In doing so, Glenn misses all the action. That is to say, Carol and Axel were having a swell get-to-know-you conversation and Axel gets his brains blown out. The Governor is attacking with a small strike force and raining automatic weapon fire down upon them. Rick is still outside the fence, Hershel is alone in an open field, and Carol has to use Axel’s body as a shield. Somehow one of The Governor’s men winds up on top of one of the prison guard towers but the real kicker is the, I’m gonna call it an ice cream truck even though it totally wasn’t, full of walkers they drove straight through the prison gates to dump on our group. Just when it seems as if everyone is going to die, Daryl and Merle show up to help save the day and Glenn returns in the brand new truck they apparently bought at a dealer in between episodes to pick everyone up.

The shocking moment was certainly not unwelcome in an otherwise mundane episode. The character work between Daryl and Merle (especially awesome when he corrected Merle on Glenn’s nationality) and Glenn and Maggie was nice to see but it’s really the action everyone was waiting for. But where have Tyreese and his group gone? Last week they were told to “get out” and I took that to mean “get out of the building,” not “leave for good.” No doubt they’ll turn up again soon but it was annoying they weren’t addressed at all. And how about the otherwise sharpshooting survivors missing The Governor’s people almost entirely? However, Michonne did get to cut loose so at least there’s that.

Let us know what you thought of the new episode in the comments and we’ll see you back here next Monday for another recap!

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