The Walking Dead S3E6: Hounded
Original Airdate: November 18, 2012
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Merle, Evil Glenn and some other citizens of Woodbury are out in the woods and the stumble across the cut up remains of a Biter. Michonne has left them a “Biter-gram” that spells out “go back.” Well, kind of. The arms and legs spell “go” and the back is self-explanatory. Clearly the Governor is correct—stopping Michonne is a public service. But Neil isn’t so sure. He expresses his concerns to Merle, who challenges his allegiance. Poor Neil. As soon as he swears fealty to the Governor, Michonne appears out of nowhere and stabs him. She kills Evil Glenn and the other man before Merle can stop her. Merle fires his gun and she uses a body as a shield, but not before he manages to graze her leg. That doesn’t slow her down as she retreats into the woods, Merle chasing behind her. She manages to lose him, though, much to his chagrin.
Back at the prison, we learn the identity of the caller. It’s a woman whose relief is evident when she hears Rick’s voice. She has been calling that line since this mess started. Rick wants to know where she is and whether or not she’s safe. She is, she assures him. They’re safe because they’re careful. He tells her that he has a son, and after a pause he tells her about his newborn daughter. Can they take on other people? The voice hesitates and says she must confer with the other members of the group. Despite his plea, she doesn’t allow him to make his case directly to the group and she instead tells him that she will call back in two hours (which is interesting…how do they know what time it is anymore??). Rick begs her not to hang up. I think Andrew Lincoln could submit this scene as consideration for an Emmy. It has been a long time since viewers have been able to see Rick’s raw emotions, and now they’re pouring forth like a fountain. He’s almost unrecognizable as he tells her that people in his group are dying. She hangs up and he stares blankly.
The rest of the gang is eating breakfast when a freshly bathed Rick enters the cell block. He acknowledges Carl with a hand on his son’s shoulder, but he forgoes pleasantries and tells everyone that he cleared out the boiler room and now he has to clear the bodies. Glenn offers to help but Rick insists that he needs to do it. Daryl and Oscar are seated on the stairs away from the group seated at the table. They seem to be comfortable together. Daryl reports that Axl is trying to get the generators going, just in case they end up needing them. It looks like the group has been functioning quite well in Rick’s absence. He asks about ammunition, and their supply is running low. Glenn and Maggie were already planning to make a run; they found a phone book and were going to hit some stores. (This is ironic in two ways—one, ammunition would be the second thing I’d grab in the event of a zombie apocalypse, so the odds of finding a well-stocked sporting goods store are slim. Two, just as we don’t know what time it is anymore, we also can’t consult the internet for business locations, which makes it absolutely necessary for yellow pages to be printed out in the future. The fate of humanity could very well rest on it.) As Rick departs, we note that he not only fails to tell everyone about the phone call, but he also fails to inquire about his daughter. This isn’t lost on the group.
In the woods, Neil cries over the bodies of his friends. Merle appears and tells him to buck up and get on his feet. He shot Michonne and she’s getting away. Neil is completely in over his head despite Merle’s insistence that some “serious shit” is going down. He tells Neil he needs to rise to the occasion, something that he emphasizes by explaining that Michonne isn’t running, she’s hunting, and that means that she’s going to be coming after them if they don’t get moving. But before they can leave, Merle reminds him of their code, that they don’t allow their own people to turn into Biters. He plunges his bayonet blade into Evil Glenn’s forehead, and then he wipes the blood on his pants. Now it’s Neil’s turn. There’s some reticence at first, but soon Neil stabs the other man’s head (which is lying neatly beside his body). The act seems to give strength to Neil, who slowly rises to his feet to follow his leader.
Back at Woodbury, the Governor finds Andrea watching some children play games. He can tell that the gladiator games really bothered her, and when she goes to ask a question of him, he declines until she explains what she thinks about their games. Andrea doesn’t see them as games; rather she sees the whole thing as something brutal, which doesn’t make sense because they are surrounded by brutality. So why have them? The Governor takes this in and switches gears, asking what she wanted to know before he made her condemn their lifestyle. Andrea wants to contribute to the community, and she tells him that she wants to work the wall. She’s a good shot, she says, and she would like to keep her skills honed. When he asks if she can shoot a bow, she says she’s willing to learn. This makes the Governor very happy. Little does he know, she is very apt to get into trouble…as we all know….
Rick sits and waits for his phone call. The desperation is evident. The phone rings and a man asks if he’s speaking to the man “she was talking to.” The man tells Rick that his people are safe and they have been safe for a long while. No one has been bitten. He asks Rick if he has killed anyone. Rick haltingly tells him about the four people that he has killed, leaving Shane for last. In Shane’s case, he had to kill him or risk losing his own life. The man wants to know how Rick lost his wife, and I think we all paused and wondered how the caller knew about Lori. However, this was a little trick by the writers. The man points out that Rick has a son and baby. That means he had a wife. Rick closes his eyes and the muscles in his jaw are tense. He doesn’t want to talk about this. He says this to the man on the phone, who abruptly hangs up. Rick realizes how he just screwed up and screams, though he’s careful not to damage the phone. Are we watching Rick’s descent into madness? I wonder why he hasn’t told the group about the phone call. Didn’t he learn anything from withholding the information about the zombie infection after their trip to the CDC? You have to share information with the group or else they will question their leader.
Andrea chats with one of the women who is defending the wall. This young woman is proud of the fact that she is such a great shot and she promises to teach Andrea how to use the bow and arrow. Her father trained her to go hunting, and would have been thrilled for her to go to the Olympics. She’s using his prize bow, which is worth more than her car was. That’s when she admits that she had to kill him for it. Andrea presses her—surely it wasn’t just about the bow. She agrees, admitting that neither her father nor her brother were themselves anymore. Andrea immediately feels a sense of camaraderie with her and shares that she had to kill her own sister. They agree that it sucks. Just then, a lone Biter approaches their location. The girl immediately takes aim, but she misses with the first shot as well as the second shot. That’s when Andrea springs into action, jumping down from the wall, which is against the rules, and she knocks the Biter down and stabs him in the head. That’s how it’s done, she proudly proclaims. The girl isn’t impressed or amused at all. That’s not what they’re supposed to do. I have a feeling the Governor is about to learn why a large number of fans believe that the show is better off without Andrea and her idiocy. Frankly, I wanted to roll my eyes when she leapt down from the wall. It’s her own brand of stupidity that led to Daryl being shot last season.
Rick paces the phone room when he hears someone approach. It’s one-legged Hershel. Uh-oh. Rick’s busted. Hershel asks for a chair, which Rick provides for him. He tells Rick that he can still feel his missing leg (he’s wiggling his invisible toes right now). Hershel reminds Rick that he saved his life and that he has carried this group through the toughest times. But Hershel wants him to know that Lori felt bad about the way things were between them. It’s important that he know this. She was going to tell Rick but he wasn’t able to. If Rick needs to take time to heal from his loss, so be it. They’re safe. Rick disagrees. They’re not safe. That’s when Rick admits that he got a phone call. He relates the tale to Hershel, who listens with an expression on his face that shows that he’s not sure whether or not to believe him. The woman on the phone said they were in a safe place, and if it sounds right, Rick wants to try to get their group where these other people are. Hershel offers to stay and wait for the call. Rick says no. He also tells Hershel not to tell the others. Not yet.
Merle and Neil are still out hunting for Michonne. They come to a clearing in the trees and Merle spins around, gun drawn, listening. Suddenly he hears a twig break, and he swings around and pushes Neil away just as Michonne takes a swipe at him with her sword. She cuts him across his chest and he falls to the ground. Merle battles with Michonne, who quickly kicks Merle in the crotch and in the face while she tries to recover. As Merle’s head clears, three Walkers descend upon the group. Merle is caught off guard and struggles initially with his Walker while Michonne manages to regain her sword. Neil has a better opportunity and jumps in to save Merle, who immediately uses his bayonet to spear the other Walker through the jaw. Now safe, the two men turn to see that Michonne has already escaped.
Daryl, Carl and Oscar wander through the cells. They find a door that’s moving with some badly injured Walkers inside. Daryl says they must have missed them the night before and pledges to get them on the way back. Then, slowly, Daryl tells Carl about his mother. She liked her wine and her Virginia Slims, and she liked them in bed. One night little Daryl was out playing, which he could do because Merle wasn’t around. All of the other kids had bikes and Daryl didn’t. Then some fire trucks sped past them and he chased after them, hoping so see something worth looking at. Everyone was looking at him as he approached. It was his house that was burning, and his mother that was burned to a crisp. Carl has been listening to Daryl’s tale with a stoic expression. “I shot my mom,” he admits. He had to do it before she turned. He tells Daryl he’s sorry about his mom. Daryl grabs his shoulder and gives him a reassuring squeeze before continuing through the cells. Poor Carl has had to endure the loss of not one, but two of his parents while Rick toes the line between sanity and crazy town. Thankfully, the group has been there to carry young Carl through the hard time.
The Governor is making tally marks in his book when Andrea comes in. She knows he is going to admonish her for going over the wall. When she says she wanted practice, he pulls her from wall duty. That’s when she admits to him that she actually liked the fights, but it was the fact that she liked them that scared her. He points out that she started to turn away, but then she stayed, just like she could have left his office but didn’t. He takes that as a sign that he might be growing on her.
Merle praises Neil for reacting so quickly, promising to buy the young man a beer upon their return to Woodbury. Neil wants to keep going after Michonne, but Merle wants to leave and return. They’ll tell the Governor they killed her, which is practically true given that she’s wounded and will end up dead soon enough. But Neil won’t have it. He won’t lie to the Governor. Merle seems to make a decision. He praises how far Neil has come and asks him again how to pronounce his last name. A bird chirps, and that’s when Merle shoots him in the head. I have to admit I saw that one coming. But it also looks like Merle isn’t exactly on the Governor’s leash.
Michonne grabs her supplies and then she stumbles upon a small group of Walkers. She clearly isn’t in any condition to fight them off, but as she raises her sword, she notices that they walk right past her. Once they’re gone, she realizes that she’s still covered in Walker intestines and blood, which makes her smell like one of them. Thank goodness…I don’t think she could have fought them off in her weakened state.
The phone rings and Rick is quick to answer it. The woman is back and she wants to know why he didn’t tell the man about how his wife died. “You need to talk about it, Rick,” she says. His eyes widen. How did she know his name? The interference on the line gets worse and the call is dropped, but not before Rick starts to wonder what the hell is going on.
Michonne wanders into a small town. She’s limping badly. A car approaches and she hides. She watches Maggie and Glenn get out and explore the area. They kiss each other before opening the door to the store. Birds fly out, but so far that’s the worst of it. Glenn goes in, and Maggie tells him to grab the little stuffed duck. Can you imagine growing up in a prison without toys? She laughs. Michonne watches all of this with interest.
Andrea sits in the Governor’s well-appointed private garden. She teases him about being the kind of man who probably waxed his car every weekend. He admits that he wasn’t proud of any of that, not his car, his house, or his dumb dog. She finds this hard to believe. He points out that he did have someone. Then he shifts the conversation to the whiskey. It’s been so long since she’s had a good drink, she tells him. It’s after five, so she should call him Philip. She laughs, telling him that using his name will make her feel “less like a lobbyist.” He watches her closely for a long moment, finally telling her that it’s okay for her to like the fights. There are many people like “them,” he continues. People who are willing to fight. “Eat, drink and be merry. Tomorrow we die,” he says. He pulls out all of the charm and seduces her, and she falls right into it, kissing him with passion equal to his own. The only difference is that she has no idea what this man is capable of.
Maggie and Glenn hit the “powdered milk jackpot” at the store. As they celebrate and talk about how different it is being outside the walls (Maggie even makes the mistake of saying that it’s a good day), Michonne watches these strangers. Who are they? Before she can decide whether or not to talk to them, Merle appears from the other side of the building. He’s carrying a gun, which he immediately puts down as soon as he recognizes Glenn. Glenn realizes that it’s Merle, but neither he nor Maggie put their guns down. Merle asks about his brother, and Glenn confirms that Daryl is alive. Michonne puts together that these people were part of Andrea’s group. She also realizes that Merle has something up his sleeve. Or, more accurately, behind his back. Glenn tells Merle to wait there while they go back and get Daryl. But that’s not what Merle had in mind. He pulls out his hidden gun and shoots out the car window, then he takes Maggie hostage and demands that Glenn drive them back. No, not back to the prison. Back to Woodbury. Another uh-oh. But wait…Michonne heard the whole thing!
Oscar finds a pair of slippers in one of the cells, perfect for relaxing at the end of the day. They’re all three standing in the cell when a Walker approaches. They all fire at him and he collapses. That’s when Daryl notices the knife in the Walker’s neck. It’s Carol’s knife. A glint of hope shines in his eyes.
Rick is still pacing in the phone room. The phone rings and he hears a voice, distorted as it may be. He believes the voice to belong to Lori. His expression is bleak as he talks to his dead wife. He hunches over and cries over the deal he made to himself, the deal to keep her alive. He was going to keep them all alive. But he didn’t, or rather, he couldn’t. But he loved her. He hears her tell him to watch over Carl and the baby, to get to them. He looks up as the line goes silent. Was this whole thing a dream?
The Governor and Andrea don’t waste any time getting busy in the First Bedroom of Woodbury. A knock at the door interrupts their interlude, which leads the Governor to joke about not being off the clock after all. Andrea asks if she “should hide under the bed.” Not this time, he tells her. He dresses in a robe and goes to the door, where Merle is waiting. They go into the hallway and Merle tells him that the others are dead. Michonne ambushed them. The Governor wants to know if Merle was able to secure her head and sword, but he wasn’t. This displeases the Governor, but Merle has something better. He explains that he caught up with one of his friends from Atlanta. They know Andrea. Merle promises to figure out where they’re holed up, given how healthy they look. This definitely makes up for not having Michonne’s head for his little aquarium. Merle leaves with a grin on his face, while the Governor returns to Andrea. They get naked again and hit the bed.
In the prison kitchen, Beth and Carl cook while Hershel cares for the baby. Rick walks in with eyes only for his little girl. Hershel hands her off to her father and he stares at her almost in disbelief. His fatherly instincts come back and he cradles her tenderly.
Daryl stabs angrily at the floor. The door keeps rattling and he gets more and more agitated. He clutches Carol’s knife in his hand. Finally he can’t take any more and he pulls the dead Walker aside and opens the door. There sits Carol, barely conscious but clearly alive. A myriad of emotions cross his face as he leans down and picks her up. He carries her through the hallway like she’s his most valued possession.
Rick takes his baby girl outside, followed by Hershel, Beth and Carl. Rick says the baby looks like Carl. He hands her off briefly and walks down to the fence. In the distance he sees a woman standing at the fence, surrounded by Walkers. But she’s different. She’s carrying a red basket full of baby formula.
Holy God, what an episode. This episode covered so much and is clearly setting the stage for things to come. One thing that struck me is how much more I like Carl and how little I like Andrea. Sorry Andrea. But you can’t wander through life with those rose-colored glasses. Wake up and smell the crazy shit!!
Ugh. Don’t get me started. I want to hear your thoughts. What do you think is coming up next? Are you having fun, or is the slow buildup not working for you? As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!