Warning, spoilers ahead
The big confrontation arrived as Rick and the Governor come face to face to try to come to terms of agreement and bury the hatchet err…machete. A summit of the two leaders commenced with each seemingly searching for peace from the bloodshed that has occurred but did anyone else clearly see the Governor spewing forth bullshit? He may have a silver tongue but it is so obviously dripping poisonous lies and no doubt Rick sees it too, even though he tries to deny it with the hope of finding a resolution.
So Andrea apparently set-up this meeting and takes on the role of mediator as the leaders start to butt heads right away: “You killed my people” “ no you killed my people”. Andrea’s interference didn’t last long as the Governor tells her, not asks, but tells her to wait outside and he and Rick are actually agreeing that she shouldn’t be there. The indignation she feels is somewhat justified I suppose as the men are talking now; get back in the kitchen woman and make some pie. Sorry, my inner Cartman is showing. Now in a tizzy, she heads outside to pout and re-evaluate her place with the Governor.
The rest of Rick’s and the Governor’s entourage are also waiting outside: Daryl and Hershel, Martinez and the mighty Milton. Some Walkers start their moaning and Daryl, Martinez and Andrea jump up to take care of them with Daryl and Martinez posturing and trying to one up each other. But they get over the macho bullshit and share a smoke. Meanwhile, Milton and Hershel are bonding over the scientific stuff and Milton’s journal. If there wasn’t an apocalypse and so much animosity between these two groups, these guys would be great friends. Speaking of animosity, back at the prison Merle is causing friction, surprise, with his insistence that they ambush the meeting and take out the Governor. Michonne seems to consider it but declines and Glen and Merle argue with their fists. After the big brawl, Maggie and Glen have a moment and they make up and come back together.
Anything else…oh yeah, Rick and Phillip’s chat. This was the much-anticipated focal point of the episode and I found it somewhat underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of tension with Rick being all untrusting and stand-offish and the Governor being his usual charming self but the actual conversation was kind of flat, like an awkward first date (even the whiskey didn’t seem to help). After much brooding, the Governor finally made his point and told Rick what he wants in order to leave his people alone: Michonne. Rick looked like he was seriously considering it even though it was not the request he was expecting; is the promise that he and his people can continue in peace worth the life of someone he is only starting to trust. With the request made, the two leave and agree to meet again in 2 days with Rick’s decision.
Back in Woodbury, the Governor tells Milton that he wants Michonne alive but his henchmen can kill the others. Milton is all like but you promised they would be left alone. Oh Milton, you are finally seeing what a psycho the Governor is and so is Andrea. When she is speaking with Hershel, he said she could join them at the prison but she had to break all ties to Woodbury and Phillip. She looked like she was going to but ends up heading back with him. It is clear though that she doesn’t trust him and you have to wonder if she has a plan to end him given the coldness between them. Rick goes back to the prison and tells the group that they are going to war. In private, Rick tells Hershel about the choice the Governor gave him and says he wants Hershel to convince not to do it. And it ends.
Final Thoughts: The big meet up between these leaders came off a little dull to me. There was plenty of tension and intensity but the actual conversation was lack lustre. I did enjoy watching Daryl and Martinez and Hershel and Milton bond but still they remain divided. It was also kind of nice to see both Andrea and Milton open their eyes fully to the madness of the Governor. Even though Rick appeared to be considering giving up Michonne, you know he would never do it and that he knows the Governor has no intention of leaving him and his people alone. And as unlikable as Merle is, it certainly seems like he is the only one who is fully aware of how dangerous the Governor is and how much of a threat he is to their lives. Merle had the right idea all along – take out the Governor.