In case you've forgotten what was going on in The Walking Dead all the way back on December 2, you're not alone. It might be wise to refresh your memory with a recap of that mid-season finale -- because Episode 9 of Season 3 picks up directly where we left off: Daryl and Merle surrounded by Woodbury folk yelling for their blood, as a freshly one-eyed Governor watches on.
Seeing Daryl for the first time in months, Andrea rushes to the Governor (still her lover, though hopefully not for long) to try and stop the madness. "It's not up to me. The people have spoken," he responds, before demanding the freshly reunited brothers fight to the death. Merle starts viciously beating Daryl, as goons bring in walkers to drop into the brawl. Of course, Merle's not really going to murder his own brother with his bare hands -- in the chaos, he tells Daryl: "Follow my lead."
The brothers turn on the ever-closer walkers, beating their undead asses as Andrea is held back, screaming all the while for the madness to stop. Thankfully, Maggie shows up with a massive machine gun and starts shooting at zombies, power supplies, and -- whoops! -- a non-undead human. After she was tortured in Woodbury, we can't blame her for having increased rage levels.
The Woodbury folk are, of course, unarmed, so they scamper, while the Governor pulls out his revolver. In the smoke and chaos, Team Prison escapes the arena -- only now with Merle. Once beyond the town security walls, Merle kills a walker using only his hook hand. (It's kind of amazing.) Of course, the perimeter is now breached and walkers are free to enter Woodbury again. Uh oh.
Once through the woods, Maggie, Daryl, Merle, and Rick reach Glenn and Michonne who immediately draw their weapons and point them (understandably) at Merle. Maggie joins in too. Rick gets in the middle -- probably feeling guilty about Merle's one-handedness after leaving him handcuffed to that roof in Season 1. As Merle taunts Michonne with a bunch of sexist and racist nonsense, it becomes clear to Rick that she and Andrea are friends. This is big news. Then Merle drops the bomb that Andrea is now sleeping with their enemy, the Governor. Then he taunts Rick, who, much to everyone's relief, knocks Merle out. Thank Christ for that.
Back at the prison, Carl is still running shit, Hershel is sewing up the injured new guests (who are still being confined in a large cell) and Beth is taking care of baby Judith. Sasha and Tyreese explain how they've all managed to survive for this long, while Hershel implies that they might not be able to stay at the prison for long because of the unerring tightness of the group that's already there (i.e. Rick will probably say no).
Back in the woods, the rest of Team Prison are debating whether or not Michonne and Merle should be permitted to stay in the group. Daryl decides to go it alone with Merle, on the grounds that it was always just the two of them before: "Don't ask me to leave him ... I already did that once." Oh Daryl, you sentimental fool. We really do wish your brother wasn't such a prick. Rick agrees to take Michonne back to the prison to get her injuries patched up, but wants her out asap.
The new group at the prison take their freshly dead friend outside to bury her. Axel and Beth give them shovels, and Tyreese and Sasha have to persuade Ben and Alan not to try and overtake the prison before they get kicked out of it.