Finally after 2 months of waiting The Walking Dead has returned. When we last left the apocalypse, Carl and his group were facing 4 new survivors, keeping them locked away from their group in the prison and awaiting the return of Rick to decide if they could stay and join the group. Rick and Michonne had Glen and Maggie back but lost Daryl.
This episode opened with the Governor announcing that he has lost his trust in Merle and now he must fight his brother to the death as punishment for his betrayal. Merle starts kicking Daryl’s ass but Rick and Maggie show up and bust them out of the fighting ring, killing one of the townies and causing mayhem. The Governor, as pointed out on the Talking Dead, looks pleased with the chaos and the inevitable confrontation that will happen between his people and Rick’s group.
When Daryl, Merle, Rick and Maggie return to the waiting Michonne and Glen, the two of them are very unhappy to see Merle with the group. Rick refuses to let Merle go back to the prison and the decision comes to Daryl about what he is going to do – leave Merle and go back to his new family and Carol or leave them and go with Merle- he chooses the latter. We’ll have to wait and see how his decision pans out and how him and his brother relate after everything that has happened and given how Daryl has changed. One thing I found interesting was while Rick and Glen argue about letting Daryl go, there are walkers in the background, shambling slowly forward. They are pretty much just window dressing it seems.
Back at the prison, Hershel is asking Tyrese and his group to be patient with the decision of whether they stay or go and to be prepared to be turned out. Two of the fellows in Tyrese’s group want to take the prison, citing that there is only a woman, a boy, a girl and a crippled old man defending it. Tyrese talks them down and asks them not to do anything to these good people. Rick and the group return and Carol is crushed by Daryl’s decision to go with Merle. I thought it was little weird when Beth kissed Rick on the cheek upon his return.
Once in the prison, Rick totally bypasses the new arrivals and takes the baby in his arms. It is a strange moment as he looks at her and seems to become dizzy, then it cuts to a commercial… Rick finally approaches Tyrese and the others and tells them, no they can’t stay. Hershel is trying to make him see that they need Tyrese’s group, knowing that the Governor will be coming for revenge. This is where Rick starts to crack up even more. He sees Lori in the shadows and starts yelling; asking why are you here, leave, get out and waving his gun around. Tyrese and everyone is bewildered by this bizarre outbreak and Glen rushes the outsiders from the room, not certain what Rick is going to do.
Final Thoughts: After such a long break it was good to see the return of the walkers and survivors. While the episode didn’t move forward a lot, it was still pretty good. We see Andrea emerging as a leader while the Governor pouts in his apartment, the reunion of Daryl and Merle, Glen not being able to handle what happened to Maggie, the strong and compassionate Tyrese trying to make the situation work and Rick cracking up but good. Sundays are back to being enjoyable.