Rick’s crazy seems to have bottomed out with this phone call business. I’ll admit, I thought he was talking to some random lady at Woodbury for a lot of it, and the reveal was a kick in the gut. I assume we all learned the five stages of grief from that Simpsons episode where Homer thinks he’s going to die. Well, Rick has just about run through them. First, denial, which we saw immediately with his “no no no no” reaction. Then anger, in the form of hacking the crap out of every zombie he could find. The phone call was bargaining. Well, kind of. He was trying to talk himself into an impossibly perfect, safe place, without a weird head fetishist in charge of it. Depression would be next, but I don’t know if that counts since it’s the default state for everyone. Acceptance? We’ll see. The whole phone call sequence was very Lost-esque, except, unlike Lost, it had a satisfying outcome. I like as well how Hershel picked up the phone to listen to it, presumably heard no dial tone, figured out what Rick was going through and left him to finish, all without making it blatant to the audience.
Meanwhile, Merle and some extras are off to kill Michonne. I’m going to argue that this is the first outright bad thing we’ve seen the Governor do. I talked about what he might be doing with the heads last week, and I know we’re supposed to think he’s evil, but I can’t come up with a reason for him to send his goons after Michonne beyond being a bad guy. What’s Michonne going to do? Tell people she found a safe, clean place with happy people but she got a bad vibe off the guy running it? What part of that do you think zombie apocalypse survivors are going to pay attention to? Even her best friend and eight-month co-survivalist dismissed her fears to the point of actually boning the Governor. More on that later.
Merle and co.’s hunting of Michonne was pretty cool, if only for the bit where she emerged swiftly from the woods and cut off a head. I thought that kid with the long name (that, like Merle, I can’t remember) was going to survive and do something interesting, but I guess he was just there to demonstrate Merle’s fear of the Governor, not wanting to go back empty handed. His lying about killing Michonne is going to come back and bit him in the face though.
Andrea doesn’t make any sense. Her outburst last week about the zombie cage fighting seemed pretty reasonable and straightforward, except this week the Governor thinks she secretly loved it, and that’s because she did secretly love it, because… ? She can go back to hating it next week and we can forget this whole silly loop ever happened. We can’t forget she slept with the Governor though, that’s basically applying the Dark Mark to his forehead.
I’d like to pause for a moment and point out how hilarious that scene on the wall with that archer girl was. When she was all “oh yeah, I’m pretty good” and then twanged two arrows off into the bushes. I hope it was the writers making fun of how every single bullet shot in this show is a perfect headshot, because that’s pretty ridiculous.
Glenn and Maggie set off on what’s going to be an endlessly recurring series of trips to find things to keep the baby alive long enough for something to eat it. And since last week was the episode where that went without incident, something was guaranteed to happen this time. And that something was Merle, who tried to act like a decent human being for a minute or two before shooting out a windscreen and then teleporting himself over to capture Maggie. So they’re off to Woodbury to be experimented upon. I thought Michonne was going to rush out and take care of Merle when he was unarmed and shuffling about, but then he’d have used the surprise to do exactly what he did anyway and we’d all be thinking “Michonne you idiot”.
Rick holds his baby for, I think the first time, and might even get around to naming it sooner or later. Oh and Carol is alive, which I wouldn’t have been surprised at until they started setting it up like she was a zombie poking at the door. I keep falling for their setups, I swear I’m not usually this credulous. If T-Dog reappeared, that would be some true shock, he’d even have something to talk about.
Incidentally, I’ve found out from internet sources that that bloated zombie that’s lying around near Rick all the time is supposed to have eaten Lori. That was deeply unclear, and would have been more affecting if I had any idea. They could have had her arm coming out its mouth or a wedding ring somewhere obvious. Anyway, pretty disgusting.
What will we get next week? Michonne will tell everyone that Maggie and Glenn have been taken to Woodbury, and then get surprised at how jealous everyone is.