We come to this week’s episode of The Walking Dead with three distinct stories going on. Rick is going crazy in the prison while everybody else tries to cope, Daryl and Merle wander the countryside on their own and the Governor and Andrea try to keep Woodbury intact. But while last week felt like a pile of set-up that was paced rather sluggishly, this week pays off as the conflict escalates and things begin to so south.
Rick is completely crazy at this point. He begins wandering around outside the prison doing “stuff” and talking to Lori’s ghost. Everyone else just watches him go and crosses their fingers that his brain will return to normal at some point, hopefully before he takes shots at anyone. Meanwhile, Glenn is forced to take the reins of the group. But his only concern is getting revenge on the Governor and so he’s not focused enough to really hold things together.
In Woodbury, the Governor sweet-talks Andrea a bit more, praising her for her ability to keep the people calm in the face of last week’s crisis. He is, however, not the nice guy he pretends to be (no, really?). While he says that the conflict between Woodbury and the prison is done, he secretly sets out with a small group to take pot shots at Rick’s gang. Conflict ensues, shots are fired, a few people get killed (not gonna say who).
Daryl and Merle are still out on their wilderness adventure, though it proves to be short-lived. After a brief encounter with another small group of survivors, Daryl realizes that his brother is a complete ass and decides to head back to the prison. His place is with the group and he figures it out. Merle, however, comes along, which should prove for some interesting conversation come next week.
Some complained that this episode was slow, that there was too much conversation. But conversation is one of the show’s staples and, at least in my opinion, this week was anything but slow. Almost every scene had a purpose and the climax of the episode was tense without being over-the-top and promises even more action as the season winds up. I was very happy with this week’s installment and am looking forward to the showdown between Rick’s and the Governor’s forces. I do, however, wish Rick would come back from crazy-town. It’s not as well done as it was in the comics.