Oh you know there are Spoilers coming
This was a different type of episode with the departure of focus on the prison and Woodbury and only involving 3 of the main characters, plus a mystery guest.
Rick is on a weapon run with Carl and Michonne, heading to the Sheriff’s office back in his home town; I didn’t realize they were so close to where Rick started out. On the way, the trio passes a hitchhiker who starts yelling and begging for them to stop but the car keeps going and none of the occupants seem to react. Shortly after, the car is stuck in the mud and the man comes running down the road asking for help. They get the car unstuck before he reaches them and they continue on, not looking back. While Rick and Carl were getting the car unstuck, they have an exchange with Carl asking Rick why he is trusting Michonne. He says he doesn’t and that it’s of mutual interest to have her around and that he doesn’t trust her at the prison with Merle unsupervised.
Off to town we go and it is looking pretty damn rough. After a year of a zombie apocalypse, there are strange things written on walls and booby traps all over the place to deter visitors. The police station has been completely emptied of weapons, big shock, so they head into to town to hit the bars where Rick knows weapons were kept. On the way, they encounter a barricade across the main street (?) and more writing warning people to go back and stay away. Littered among the barricade are cages filled with rats and pigeons to attract the Walkers, poor little critters. Gunshots ring out as a man in a riot helmet on a roof shoots at the trio. He sneaks past Michonne and is gunning for Rick but Carl interjects and shoots first. “Carl, I told you to wait in the car” “Yeah so, I didn’t”. That’s disobedient youth for you.
And the big reveal…the shooter is Morgan. You know, from Season 1, episode 1, his kid smacked Rick on the head with a shovel. He is still alive and bat shit crazy. This reveal wasn’t that much of a surprise since in the Previously on The Walking Dead, showed Rick talking to Morgan on the walkie-talkie. They take him inside, avoiding all kinds of nasty traps which he is kind enough to warn any intruders are there and all over the walls is writing and the word Clear. Who the hell has floor to ceiling chalkboard walls? We also find out that Duane, his son, died at the hands of his wife whom Morgan couldn’t kill after she turned.
Carl decides to take a stroll through town to get a crib for Judith with Michonne tagging along. The real reason Carl leaves is to go to a restaurant to get a picture of him, Rick and Lori so that Judith will know what her Mother looked like. There was a good comment on Talking Dead about Carl finding a picture of Shane so that she will know what her Dad looks like too. Boom! Carl is reckless and puts himself and Michonne in danger as the restaurant is filled with Walkers who seem to have slept for the last year. Michonne is there to help him, not watch him like he is a kid, and she makes that point. Oh and they did get a playpen for Judith along with the photo and Michonne picked up an ugly colourful cat thing.
Final Thoughts: This was a fairly slow episode in terms of moving the story forward but it answered the question of what happened to Morgan and Duane. And while there wasn’t much action, Michonne took out some Walkers and Carl shot Morgan, it was interesting to watch the interactions between Michonne and Carl, and Michonne telling Rick that she understands what he is going through. We also get a sense that Rick is seeing what unbearable grief and guilt really is and perhaps this is a wakeup call for him to let the dead and past go and live for his family and friends. One part that clearly displays the increasing detachment from the world before the apocalypse, and perhaps morality, is when they are heading back to the prison and they pass the hitchhiker’s remains strewn on the road side. Rick shows a shadow of horror but again, no one acknowledges that they could have saved him if they could have trusted him; at least they got a backpack full of supplies. Score. Next week, the Governor and Rick are going to sit down for a nice cup of tea and friendly chat. Not likely.