The Walking Dead S3E10: Home
Original Airdate: February 17, 2013
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Greetings, Walking Dead fans! We all must be gluttons for punishment. This show is so good, but it leaves you feeling exhausted after every episode. And just when you think someone is safe…think again.
Rick is still hallucinating. Why does the crazy leader still have a semi-automatic weapon in his possession? Will someone please tell me? Rick has set up shop in the walkway between two cell blocks. He looks out into the prison yard to see Michonne emerge from an old bus. Why he still feels threatened by her is beyond me. As he pans to the right, he sees the woman in white standing at the gang’s makeshift cemetery. So off he goes…but she disappears when he reaches the graves. Then he sees her passing behind one of the guard towers, so he takes off through the double fences (not bothering to close them behind him). Why on earth were the keys left with the crazy person?? Rick slowly approaches the woman, and as she turns he sees that it’s Lori. However, from Michonne’s perspective, all she sees is Rick talking to himself. She is worried.
At Woodbury, the newly militarized guards keep watch over the fence. Andrea is in her room when a knock sounds at the door. It’s the Governor. He politely (and almost contritely) asks to come in. He compliments the speech she gave, saying that it was exactly what the citizens of Woodbury needed in that moment. Andrea, however, is focused on the prison. As long as they leave Woodbury alone, there’s no need to worry, the Governor assures her. Boy, he has this contrition thing down to a science. Of course, we know it isn’t really contrition. It’s manipulation, and now that Merle is gone, the Governor needs someone who can help him. And he plans to get that help by making Andrea think that he’s giving up control of Woodbury to her while he heals from the loss of his daughter. “So you’re abdicating?” Andrea asks. The Governor admits he messed up, that the people of Woodbury can’t be ruled by someone who terrorized them the way he did. He wants her to take charge, but he certainly understands if she chooses to go with her friends at the prison. Well, not really, mind you. He starts to say “I need you,” but he falters dramatically and says “We need you” instead. He leaves, and Andrea has to contemplate his offer. Something tells me Old Gullible will fall for it.
Daryl and Merle are wandering in the woods. Merle has stopped to answer the call of nature, and this gives Daryl a chance to point out that they have been wandering for hours and haven’t found much of anything. And eating squirrels won’t keep them going for long. Daryl suggests searching some of the houses they passed, but Merle chastises him for being too soft. He thinks Daryl is trying to get him back to the road so they can return to the prison. Why not, Daryl challenges. It’s protected, there is food and a “pot to piss in.” Merle reminds his brother that the Governor may have already cleared out the prison. He decides they should go fishing. Clearly, though, Daryl isn’t exactly happy to be there.
Back at the prison, Glen and Carl try to figure out where Tyrese’s group got into the prison. They thought they had sealed everything up, but evidently they were wrong. That means the Governor and his men could get in there, too. Glen proposes that they go back to Woodbury and put a bullet in the Governor’s brain. Michonne agrees to help, but Herschel, the voice of reason (a la Dale), points out that there could be even greater consequences should they return to Woodbury again. Glen isn’t going to stand by and let the Governor come get them, and they certainly can’t run with a crying baby in the group now. Glen wants to fight. This upsets Maggie, who walks away from the conversation in anguished frustration. Finally Glen realizes that making a stand at the prison is the only way they can win. He and Carl will fortify the holes…but wait a minute—if the gang is all assembled in the cell block, who is keeping watch outside? Glen stalks off. It’s hard being a leader, isn’t it?
The Governor enters Milton’s lab and scares the shit out of him by tossing his walkie-talkie on the table. Milton had been trying to meditate. He fixes the walkie-talkie while the Governor asks if he plans to leave. The Governor has come to see Milton as a friend he can count on. He thought he could trust Merle, but evidently he can’t. Ramirez would take a bullet for him…but would Milton? Milton stutters a yes. The problem is that the Governor doesn’t know where Andrea’s loyalties lie, so he enlists Milton to keep tabs on her. Hmm, so he asks her to be the leader, but he doesn’t trust her. Milton agrees, but it’s more out of fear than anything else.
Andrea goes to the fence and asks Karen where Ramirez is, but Karen doesn’t want to talk to Andrea. Andrea sees Milton and tells him to stop, so Milton stops but he starts checking his pulse. The poor guy is about to have a heart attack at the rate he’s going. Andrea demands to know where the Governor has gone, but Milton’s answers are incredibly vague and evasive. He says he has gone on a “run,” which means that he’s getting supplies. But he should be back soon, he says, if she’s worried about him. Andrea turns and walks away, disgusted. Somehow I don’t get the sense that she was worried about the Governor at that particular moment.
Glen and Carl return from trying to reinforce the walls. The boiler room is overrun with Walkers, even though that was an area they had previously cleared. Now they’re literally stuck between a rock and a hard place. If the Governor comes, he could push them right into a herd. Glen decides that they should drive to the other side of the prison and fix the breach in the wall. Axel volunteers to drive, but Glen tells him he needs to stay put and help with the fortifications. He’ll take Maggie. Hershel isn’t sure she’s ready, but Glen disagrees. He goes to Maggie’s cell and finds her curled on her bunk. The once-happy couple seems to be going through a rough patch after the traumatic events at Woodbury. Glen pushes Maggie to talk about what happened. Maggie begrudgingly tells Glen what happened in the room with the Governor, that it was either she take off her shirt or Glen would lose his hand. And she’d just been forced to listen to Merle beating the shit out of Glen moments before. The Governor humiliated her and touched her and bent her over a table…but he didn’t rape her. She asks Glen if he feels better now that he knows the truth. Glen approaches her, but she pushes him away. Clearly she’s not ready to let him near her yet.
Outside, Carol and Axel work to fortify the cell block. Axel admits that he hopes it doesn’t come down to ducking for cover in a gunfight, because guns “scare the bejeezus” out of him. He was in prison for robbing a gas station. Carol thought it was for pharmaceuticals, but the truth is that he had robbed the gas station with a squirt gun and then passed out at his brother’s house. When the police came, they couldn’t believe anything so stupid as someone robbing a gas station with a water gun (even though it was still in his pocket) so they searched his brother’s house and found his 38. There you have it. Armed robbery. Axel shrugs, looking slightly embarrassed. He doesn’t even know how to use the gun he’s been given. Carol takes it, unloads and then reloads it with the grace of a pro. She hands it back to him, and he compliments her for being quite the lady. A huge grin spreads across her face.
In the woods, Merle continues to irritate Daryl, hinting that Daryl has lost his sense of direction and that they’re not heading toward the river at all. That’s when they hear a noise. Daryl thinks it sounds like a baby. Merle thinks it’s two raccoons getting down and dirty. Daryl takes off running toward the sound, and soon they come across the river. Above them, on the bridge, is a group of people who are surrounded by Walkers. One Dixon brother takes off toward the situation, ready to help, while the other taunts his brother for wasting his ammunition and effort for people who have never helped him. Can you guess which one is which?
Just as the two men on the bridge are about to be overtaken by Walkers, Daryl arrives and takes them out with his crossbow. One by one he clears the area, and Merle contributes with one shot (but only because his brother was out of ammo). There was a woman in the car with her baby, and Daryl pulled the Walker out and smashed his head in with the hatchback door. That was definitely one of the best kills ever. Once the Walkers were all gone, Merle points his gun at the Spanish-speaking family and proceeds to rifle through their car. Merle’s lack of cultural sensitivity knows no bounds as he tells his brother that they could at least offer them an enchilada. Daryl sees that his brother is a menace. He aims his crossbow at his brother’s head, and as soon as he’s out of the car, he tells the family to get in and drive away. They do. Merle can’t believe that Daryl has changed so much. As Daryl stalks off, Merle accuses him of being in too tight with the sheriff. Daryl points out that he went back for Merle but he wasn’t there. It was Merle’s decision to cut off his hand. He can’t keep blaming everyone else for his own mistakes. They tussle, and Merle rips Daryl’s shirt open in the process. He sees Daryl’s tattoo and something triggers inside his brain. Something happened to them when they were younger. Daryl accuses Merle of leaving first, and Merle counters that he would have killed the SOB if he hadn’t. It’s a watershed moment for the brothers, suggesting a painful past. Daryl gets up and starts walking. He’s going back where he belongs, but Merle says he can’t go there. He almost killed Michonne and the “Chinese kid.” “He’s Korean,” Daryl replies, disgusted. And now, with a fresh set of excuses, it looks like it’s Merle who is once again leaving. As Daryl continues walking, Merle weighs these words and stalks off after his brother.
Hershel goes after Glen, who is getting ready to go to the other side of the prison. He wants to know if he’s going back to Woodbury. Glen is going to clear out the Walkers by himself. Hershel tries to reason with him, reminding him that he hasn’t had the best track record so far when it comes to making runs. Who is he trying to prove himself to? Glen sees himself as the one in change now that Daryl is gone and Rick is “on a trip through Crazy Town.” With one final glance, Glen gets into the truck and leaves through the gates. Hershel watches him go, and then he looks over to where Rick is wandering outside the fence, having conversations with himself.
Beth brings baby Judith in to see Maggie. She’s hungry. Beth needs Maggie to help feed her while she makes food for Hershel. Maggie handles the baby awkwardly at first, but then Beth helps her to get more comfortable with the bottle. Maggie seems to relax when Beth leaves, staring into the face of this little miracle.
Outside the prison, Rick hears his name. It’s Hershel. Rick approaches the fence with trepidation, but Hershel insists that they need his help now more than ever. Glen is smart but he can’t fill Rick’s shoes. Rick suggests that Hershel takes over because he has “stuff” out here. (I love how he says “stuff”) Hershel seems to understand what Rick is going through, and Rick decides that he can open up to the older man. He says he’s seeing Lori, and even though he knows that it isn’t really her, Rick thinks it means something. Hershel asks if it was her on the phone, and Rick admits that it was. Shane too. He thinks he’s close to having an answer. It isn’t safe out there, Hershel says, and Rick needs rest. “I can’t,” Rick replies. And he walks away.
Michonne patrols her bus while Carol and Axel watch Rick. Axel has seen some men crack in prison. But he felt better there. There was a system. He understood the system and worked in it. Carol asks if he misses his brother, but Axel tells her he doesn’t. He had a money problem, he explains. As in “he didn’t lend me any.” Carol laughs, almost flirtatiously, and the moment is lighthearted until a bullet pierces Axel’s skull.
The gang rushes for cover. There, in the distance, is a jeep. There, too, is the Governor looking down the barrel of his gun.
Rick hears the gunshot and looks around. But there’s a sniper trained on his position, too. In fact, there is a sniper on the tower and there are others in the woods. The prison is under attack. The two groups exchange fire. Poor Carol is using Axel’s body as a shield. Maggie runs out with more ammo (where is the baby??) and they are able to get Carol out of the line of fire. Hershel is still out in the field and Michonne is behind the bus.
Suddenly you can hear the sound of an engine revving, and the Governor looks on as a truck rams the gates. The door opens and a flood of Walkers pour out into the field. It’s a total “oh shit” moment for the Grimes Gang. The Governor has a look of glee on his face as he watches the terror unfold. He gets into the truck and starts to leave. As he leaves, he passes Glen, who is trying to figure out what the hell is happening. Glen drives in and picks up Hershel from the field. Michonne starts to make her way through the sea of Walkers, slicing and dicing through them. Now that the gates are open, they keep coming in.
Outside, Rick shoots Walkers until he runs out of ammo. Then he uses the butt of his gun. Then he gets surrounded. Just as it looks like a lights out situation, an arrow pierces one of the Walker’s head. Yay, it’s Daryl and Merle to the rescue. Daryl takes out several Walkers while Merle goes nuts, taking them out with abandon. Any hesitation about helping his old gang is gone. Merle is fighting side by side with his brother.
As soon as the dust settles, Rick gives a grateful nod to Daryl and a nod to Merle. He looks back up at the prison. Their sanctuary has been violated.
It’s time to act.
If you were holding your breath during those last ten minutes, you can finally breathe. Talk about intensity. If you think back to Season 2, we were still wandering around the farm contemplating life. This season, the action keeps coming.
I really liked seeing how Merle fought alongside his brother at the end. Is this a turning point for the brothers? Maybe. Glen and Maggie seem to have come back together after coming so close to losing each other in the shootout. And the Governor sure knows how to make insanity look sexy. The man exuded maniacal self-control while spraying a round of bullets at the prison. He took out the Walker coming up behind him without as much as a flinch. The man is a walking killing machine.
So were you upset to see Axel go? I’ll admit that I was hoping to see more from him. He could have given some interesting moments to the show had he been able to stick around, but alas, this is The Walking Dead. We should all know better than to get attached to anyone. Damn it, we know better…and yet we still get attached. Sigh.
Please be sure to leave comments about tonight’s episode below. Until next week, my friends!