This will be a quick recap as I’m under the weather. Now this is the type of episode that I have waited for over the past 3 weeks with action and a return to the prison group after last week’s dull Andrea story line.
Major spoilers to follow
The last time we saw the prison group was after Rick and the Governor’s meeting, with Rick telling Hershel the terms of the deal and trying to decide if he should take it. Rick has made his decision and he is going to give up Michonne to the Governor. Whether or not he really believes that Woodbury will leave them alone, I can’t tell. It seems so obvious that they won’t but I guess Rick needs to hold on to some hope. He tells Hershel and Daryl his final decision and they don’t agree with him but they won’t stand in the way either. The last person that he let’s in on the plan is Merle as Rick is looking to him for help in getting Michonne to the meeting place. Merle banters a little with Officer Friendly but does agree to help even though he is not convinced that Rick has the balls to go through it.
And he is right. Rick changes his mind as he is looking for wire to tie up Michonne with and after seeing Lori again. He tells Daryl and Hershel but he can’t find Merle to tell him the plan is off. Merle, knowing Rick can’t sacrifice another human to torture and death, has gone ahead and knocked out Michonne and is heading to meeting place. The interaction between these two is good with Merle always being the smart ass redneck and Michonne doing her damnedest to change Merle’s mind and urge him back to the prison and back to his brother. It sort of works as he lets her go but continues to the meeting with the Governor, taking a group of walkers with him. Meanwhile, Daryl has left the prison and is searching for Merle.
Things go somewhat poorly from here for Merle. He does a good job at taking out some of the Governor’s men and almost gets the man himself but Ben (the young guy in Tyrese’s group and Allan’s son) steps in front of the bullet. Merle’s found and the Governor goes to town on him, beating him pretty good, biting off two of his fingers and then shooting him. Daryl eventually makes it to the meeting place and sees bodies and Walkers everywhere before finding Merle. The Governor shot him in the chest so that he would he turn. The agony and anger in Daryl’s face is heart wrenching as Norman Reedus pours so much emotion into this devastating moment. He does what he has to and kills his big brother.
Meanwhile, Rick has gathered the group together to tell them all what is happening but not before a very tender moment between Maggie and Glen where Glen proposes. Well, he puts a ring in Maggie’s hand (that he cut off a Walker) and she says yes. A bit of hope perhaps and one last declaration of his love and devotion before the inevitable war is upon them. It was kind of sweet non the less. So Rick tells them what he has done and finally steps down as leader, telling them it is not only up to him to make decisions that affect the group, it’s up to all of them to decide what happens.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this episode as it had action and I always like Merle’s interactions with people. The scene where the Governor bites off his fingers was kind of gross and I kind of saw it coming that the Governor didn’t kill him. It was such a sad scene to see Daryl kill his brother and you have to wonder how he is going to handle it. We did see Michonne return to the prison so I’m guessing she’ll let it slide, the whole sacrifice her to the sadistic Governor thing. Next week is the finale and I can’t wait to see what happens when the Governor and his horde attack the small group, you know women, children and one-legged Hershel, at the prison.