The latest episode of The Walking Dead commences with a showdown between Rick and the Governor, who meet in a derelict building. "I coulda killed you all. I didn't," the Gov tells Rick, as Daryl and Hershel keep watch outside. It doesn't take long for Andrea to show up. "Let's end this ... We can solve this," she says, but shit is tense -- especially between the Gov's goons and Team Prison.
Back at the prison, Glenn is taking charge and getting their people armed. Merle doesn't like the way things are happening, but Carl (awesome child that he is) keeps things in check, just the way his dad, Rick, would want.
Rick, meanwhile, is trying to establish boundaries with the Governor, who is uncooperative because he wants nothing but surrender from Team Prison. Rick tries to reason with him, refreshingly unintimidated: "You're the town drunk," Rick says. "Tore down my fence, ripped up my yard. Nothing more." Kick ass!
Outside, Milton is trying to reason with Daryl and Hershel on the Gov's behalf -- and Hershel is reasonably receptive, until undead visitors arrive. Andrea does some eye stabbing, Daryl does does crossbow shooting and the Governor's right-hand man does some killing too. Daryl and the right-hand man ultimately bond over zombie-killing things. Milton and Hershel are doing the same thing, over Hershel's half-leg. Milton wants to see it. "At least buy me a drink first," Hersel laughs. We love a bit of zombie-related leg-loss humor...
The Gov and Rick continue to try and reason with one another over an old table. The Gov explains how he lost his wife -- and it's not zombie-related. Rick clearly feels sympathy, having so recently lost Lori. Uh-oh.
In the prison, Glenn finds Merle packing a bag of ammo and tells him he's "not goin'." Merle says he doesn't need Glenn's permission and we have to wonder why Glenn even wants to keep him there, all things considered. Then we realize that Merle isn't intending to leave permanently (unfortunately) -- only to go to where Rick and the Governor's meeting is, to protect his brother Daryl (whose crossbow-wielding ass doesn't need protecting ever). Glenn and Merle get into a fist-fight over it, but ultimately Merle loses. (Yay!)
At the rendezvous, Andrea expresses her frustrations to Hershel and finally asks: "What happened with Maggie?" Hershel responds simply to the fact that the Governor threatened to rape his eldest daughter: "He's a sick man." Andrea cries, knowing she can't go back to Woodbury with a clean conscience. Hershel tells her to come to the prison (because he's a nice man).
The Governor and Rick continue to talk and have some things to bond over, since they both apparently ended up in leader positions against their mutual wills. The Gov points out that his people aren't hardened like Rick's, but there are more of them, so Team Prison is in trouble. He says he wants to end the feud between the two of their camps and that the way to do that is for Rick to hand over Michonne -- who took the Governor's eye. Two weeks ago, Rick would probably have had no qualms about it, but last week Michonne proved that she was on the right side by protecting and helping Carl and thereby convincing Rick she was good.
Fittingly, back at the prison, Michonne is defending Team Prison to Merle. Merle is proposing that she help Merle and Daryl kill the Governor. Michonne tells Merle he's on his own. We have a feeling she'd want to consult with Rick first.
Outside, Glenn is watching walkers at the fence. Maggie offers to keep him company. Glenn apologizes for the way he acted after the two escaped from Woodbury. Maggie tells him an apology isn't necessary and the two embrace and kiss. Which is what we like because these two are awesome together. Then the two of them stop keeping watch on the fences to go get it on in a nearby room. Nobody dies as a result, so that's a bonus.
Meanwhile, Rick is telling the Governor that his obsession with Michonne is misguided. The Gov makes some compelling arguments as to why Michonne isn't that important to Team Prison and gives Rick two days to make a decision about her. Rick is clearly thinking about it because his moral compass is no longer functioning at full capacity.
The Governor's crew and Team Prison part ways.
Daryl, Rick and Hershel head back to the prison. The Governor, Milton, the Gov goon and Andrea head back to Woodbury. (Seriously, Andrea? What is wrong with you?) The Governor tells Milton that he wants to "eliminate" Rick and the rest of Team Prison and Milton is visibly unimpressed, having bonded with some of them. We can only hope that he turns and goes Team Prison because Andrea is still not grasping the situation and really effing needs to.
Rick goes home and tells the others, very perceptively, that the Governor wants them "gone" and "dead for what we did to Woodbury." Then he adds, very wisely: "We're going to war." Maggie, Glenn, Michonne and Hershel all put on their tough faces. Which is cool.
Hershel tells Rick that he and Carol think the crew should take their chances on the road. Rick tells Hershel that this could be over if they sacrifice Michonne, and adds: "He'll kill us anyway. What if this is that answer?" Hershel, thankfully, ain't having it: "She saved my life," he says. "Carl's. Maggie's. She's earned her place." But Rick turns things dark: "Are you willing to sacrifice your daughters lives for her?" he asks. "Talk me out of it."
But Hershel remains silent. We can only hope that he speaks up next week. Michonne does not deserve to be sacrificed and everybody knows it.