This week was a particularly good episode, both in terms of being well constructed and being pretty satisfying to watch.
Rick has gone AWOL. The pressures of being back in the prison camp got to him fast. Was it the newborn baby and grief for Lori? Was it the weight of expectation as the other residents always turn to him for advice and leadership? Was it the bleak surrounding? Well, all of those elements played a part.
As the four prospective group members leave the area after being given their orders, Rick takes a walk down to some fields to look for Lori’s ghost, the ghost that only he can see.
This causes problems back in the prison as the two strongest males have now departed (with Daryl choosing to accompany his brother Merle.
The group are now fearing an imminent attack (revenge for their assault on Woodbury) and have probably never felt so vulnerable.
Glenn takes up the role of leader, but isn’t n a good place with anger still burning from the torture sessions at the hands of the Governor. Hershel picks up on this, but there’s not a lot he can do. It’s apparent that there is a breach n the prison walls somewhere, letting in a steady flow of zombies. They could also be hit by a heavily armed human assault at any time.
Back in Woodbury, the residents are scared and want to leave the town. The act of terror against them and the zombie breach has left them feeling understandably vulnerable too.
The Governor too is feeling the pressure of being the leader and opts for a bit of quiet time with some malt whiskey. Fortunately, his informal deputy and lover Andrea manages to calm the people down and reminds them how sweet life in e town is – when compared to the alternatives.
The Governor talks to Andrea and is visibly angry. Whilst Andrea tries to make sense of the situation with the prison residents (her old buddies) assaulting the town, the Governor is already planning a bit of revenge. Even though he says he isn’t.
Meanwhile Darren and Merle are spending a bit a quality family time together. It’s while walking in the woods and hunting for squirrels that Daryl starts to think that perhaps his brother isn’t such a nice person after all.
They soon find a bridge and happen upon a group of people being set upon by walkers. Without a thought Daryl goes to help, but after the undead have been cleared Merle gets a bit nasty with the people they’ve saved. It’s the final straw for Daryl.
Hershel decides to pay Rick a visit in the fields on the outer perimeter of the prison. Rick doesn’t look well and is still quite sure that he’d rather be talking to imaginary people than helping real people in the prison.
Carol and Axel are getting to know each other as they reinforce defences at the prison. It has been a long road for Axel, gaining the trust of the group and losing his prison friends. And with Daryl gone, Carol needs support. But before cupid gets a chance to loose an arrow, a sniper from the undergrowth kills Axel.
The Governor has launched a revenge attack after all and with Rick and Hershel in the bottom field, the group is dangerously separated. Wow, thsi is exciting, and a bit scary.
As they struggle to deal with the bullets and trojan horse style, zombie filled van that is driven into the camp, it seems that all is lost.
Until Daryl and Merle show up of course.
As the Governor backs off, the group just about manage to recover and fall back to the main buildings.
Our guys have learnt a harsh lesson about the perils of separating. The question is, can everyone live in harmony together (given Merles bad reputation)? And can they really withstand another attack? Either way, Rick really doesn’t seem strong enough to lead anymore.
You can read our other reviews of episodes from Season 3 of The Walking Dead here:
The Walking Dead Season 3