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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Recap

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM


This is it, folks. Finally Team Prison and Woodbury are about to face off. Will Merle and Daryl be reunited? Which side will Merle choose? Will Andrea side with her old friends, or her (evil) lover, the Governor? Will the Governor's goons get into the prison? Will Team Prison find the beaten and battered Maggie and Glenn? We're drooling like an under-fed walker just thinking about it all. It's the mid-season finale, kids. This is going to be awesome.

See also:

The Walking Dead , Episode 7: Torture for Glenn and Maggie, New Friends For Michonne

The Walking Dead , Episode 6: Rick's Crazy, Andrea's Frisky, Michonne's Sneaky, and Merle's a Pain in the Ass

But what's this? A whole new group of human survivors, running through the woods and bashing the undead in their undead skulls. One of the humans gets bitten almost immediately and no one has the Rick-like forethought to hack off her arm. Bummer. The new group finds some fenced-in rubble and half-intact buildings. One bright lady, Sasha, wants to leave her bitten friend outside with the undead. But a man in the group, Tyreese, refuses. As they cross the rubble, the camera pans out and ... oh, yes. They're entering the back of the prison. We don't know who this mystery group is, but they seem like good, solid zombie-killers. Even with all the other things we're worried about this week, some fresh blood (so to speak) is exciting. Woop!

Back in Woodbury, Andrea is tearfully looking at the Governor's family photos in his home. When he enters, they canoodle for a while (gross); Andrea is completely unaware that her new boyfriend threatened to rape Maggie for information last week. When Andrea leaves, the Governor puts on some soothing music and ushers his zombie daughter out of her cage. She rushes at him and tries to eat his face (obviously), but fails on account of the fact that she's tethered to the wall on a leash. When he sings to her, she calms a little, but mostly just eyes up the bowl of guts sitting at the Governor's side. Angry, he locks her back in her cage.

Maggie and Glenn remain locked away together, broken down, but hanging in there. Maggie reassures Glenn that the Governor barely touched her. The two embrace. Glenn hobbles over to the walker he killed last week, rips one of his arms off and proceeds to pull bones out of the disembodied limb for he and Maggie to use as weapons. Holy Christ, this show is beyond dark sometimes.

Outside the Woodbury fences, Rick, Daryl, Oscar, and Michonne are trying to figure out a way into the fortified town. Unaware of the impending invasion, Merle and the Governor are discussing what to do with Team Prison. The Gov says they need to "take out" everyone in the prison and let the "biters move back in." Merle objects, knowing that's where his brother is. "You can talk to him," the Governor suggests. "Make him our inside man."

The Gov then points out that the longer they hold Maggie and Glenn, the more chance there is of Andrea finding out. "Take them to the screamer pits," he says. We don't know what the hell a screamer pit is, but we kind of don't want to find out. While this is happening, Rick and the gang have made it into a building at Woodbury. One of the townspeople finds them and is promptly knocked out by Rick.

Back in the prison, Axel is hanging out with Beth and the baby and being a little creepy about the fact that Beth is 17 years old. Carl looks on protectively and Carol pulls Axel to one side, tears him a new one and tells him to stay away from Beth. His assertions that it's been a long time since he's seen women make us want him away from all the women immediately. Creepy, mustachioed bastard.

When Merle and a goon go to enter the room Maggie and Glenn are being held in, they are surprised (to say the least): Maggie stabs the goon in the throat with a zombie bone (oh, how we love her) and it's all going fabulously until more armed goons arrive and break it up. Dammit! The disappointment is short-lived, however, when we see Rick and co. have made it to the place where Maggie and Glenn are being held. As the imprisoned duo are moved, sacks over heads and at gun-point, Rick throws in tear gas, surprises the goons and recovers his kidnapped friends. Yes!

Meanwhile, the residents of Woodbury are starting to panic, aware that the town has uninvited visitors. The Governor tells them to go home and lock their doors and probes the now-awake dude that Rick knocked out, for information. The Gov tells his people to find the "intruders" and to "shoot to kill."

Rick and co. take shelter in a nearby building, where Glenn tells everyone how Merle tortured him and was on the verge of executing him and Maggie. Glenn explains that their enemies now know where the prison is. Rick tells Daryl they need to get out of town now, but Daryl wants to stay and find his brother. Rick points out that, with Glenn badly hurt, they'll never make it home without Daryl. "Are you with me?" Rick asks. Daryl agrees. Thank the Lord! However, Rick is suspicious that this whole thing was a trap set up by Michonne, so they leave her behind. "She's on her own," Rick says.

The Governor, Andrea, Milton, and a variety of goons are discussing how to handle the intruders. Merle falsely says that one of the intruders killed his friend (the one who Maggie stabbed in the throat). The Gov sends Andrea house to house to check on town residents. "Can't anyone else handle that?" says Andrea, perturbed that her man doesn't want to utilize her significant killing skills. "Just do as I ask," the Gov insists. "Sure," replies Andrea, weakly. 

Team Prison is trying to shoot and tear gas their way out of town. Andrea, unknowing that the "terrorists" are her friends, starts shooting at them through the smoke. The only one she gets a good look at is Oscar, who, of course, she's never seen before. His prison jumpsuit convinces her that the invading group are all "escaped convicts." Oscar is shot by a man (who Rick happens to see as Shane, who, of course, Rick killed -- twice -- at the end of Season 2). Maggie does the smart thing and shoots Oscar in the head to stop him from turning.

Side note: Not to sound too accusatory here, but why is only one black man allowed in this show at a time? T-Dog was

killed off as soon as Oscar arrived, and Oscar was killed this week, in

the very same episode that Tyreese was introduced. We no likey.

Buh-Bye, Oscar.
  • Buh-Bye, Oscar.
In the prison, Carl, Amy, and Hershel are planning baby Judith's feeding schedule. Carl is quietly and calmly explaining that, for all he knows, his baby sister is the only family he has left. He is clearly prepared for his father not returning. Tough lil son of bitch. All of a sudden, the trio hears a woman screaming somewhere else in the prison. Carol is outside so they know it's not her. Carl goes to check it out, despite Hershel's initial objections.

Carl, armed with a gun and flashlight moves through the dark corridors toward the screaming. In the boiler room he finds the new group from the beginning of the show, fighting off zombies and hauling their near-dead friend around. "You have to leave her," Carl yells, as the group runs to safety. "No way!" Tyreese yells.

Back in Woodbury, Michonne has been waiting things out in the Governor's house, sword in hand. When she hears a noise in the next room, she enters his office, finds his wall of disembodied heads in fishtanks and opens his zombie daughter's cage, not understanding what's in there. When she sees the child's figure, sack on head, she crouches down, horrified. "I'm not gonna hurt you," she whimpers. Michonne unleashes the girl, removes the sack from the child's head, immediately realizes what she's dealing with and turns the girl around to kill her.

At that moment, the Governor enters and yells not to hurt his undead child. "It's me you want," he says, throwing down his guns. "There's no need for her to suffer." Michonne is appalled: "She doesn't have needs," she wisely points out. The Governor is on the verge of tears at the prospect of his zombie child dying. So Michonne (very wisely) stabs the kid through the back of the head and through the mouth anyway. The Gov is apoplectic with rage, punches Michonne to the ground and tries to choke her. She fights back -- hard. And the two have a fist fight that can only be described as epically violent.

The Governor manages to break one of his tanks o' heads, using Michonne's. She pulls down several of the tanks, smashing them to the ground. Which means the floor is now awash with still-gnashing zombie heads. The Gov pins Michonne to the ground. Unable to reach her sword, she goes for the next best thing -- a big shard of glass protruding from one of the broken tanks. She grabs at it, slicing her hand in the process, and promptly reaches up and jams it into the Governor's right eye. Pardon our language here, but: Holy! Fuck!

As the Governor writhes in pain on the ground, screaming, Andrea enters, gun drawn and pointed at Michonne. Michonne points her sword in Andrea's face. "What have you done?" Andrea asks. The two face off for a few moments, until, eventually, Michonne puts down her sword and walks away nonchalantly. Andrea goes to help her injured man, who -- glass still in eye (ow ow ow ow) -- is clutching his finally-dead daughter and weeping on the ground. Andrea gazes at the tanks of heads, disgusted, but goes to comfort him nonetheless.

In the prison, the new group and Carl have finally reached safety. When their bitten buddy finally dies, Carl gets his gun out and "offers to take care of it." The new group are understandably taken aback by this. Carl tries to reassure them. "We take care of our own," Tyreese says and acts like he's going to pummel his freshly dead friend's skull in with a hammer -- but then fails to do so. At that moment, Carl locks the new group in the cell, says they'll be safe there and that they'll have food and water. "We're not animals," Sasha pleads. "Don't do this." Tyreese pulls Sasha back and points out that the cell is the best they've had it in weeks. "We don't want any trouble!" Tyreese tells Carl. Carl nods. Mini-Rick is awesome in charge!
Next up, we get a nice close-up of the Governor's extremely damaged eye, as it's bandaged up by the local doctor. Andrea enters and requests "a minute." The Governor tells her that Michonne came back to kill him. Andrea asks about the wall o' heads. He claims he kept them to prepare himself for the "horrors outside." (We call bullshit.) Milton and Merle arrive. Merle explains that Team Prison got back over the wall, but says he'll go "after them in the morning."

Beyond the Woodbury wall, Michonne reaches where Rick and co. are. Maggie and Rick point guns at her and Rick tells her to turn around. Michonne looks exhausted and broken in a way we've never seen before. (Stop picking on her, Rick!) He takes her sword. "I brought you here to save them," Michonne points out sadly. "Thanks for the help," Rick replies, unreasonably. "You need me," Michonne says. She's not wrong -- but she needs them too now.

The people of Woodbury gather in the arena to be addressed by the Governor. "We haven't had a night like this since the walls were completed," he says. "I failed you. I promised to keep you safe. I should tell you we'll be okay. But I won't because I can't. Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid of terrorists who want what we have -- who want to destroy us." And then -- we shouldn't be surprised, but we are -- the Governor tells the crowd that Merle is one of "the terrorists." "He led 'em here," the Gov falsely claims, "and he let 'em in." Merle's bayonet hand is removed and a goon points a crossbow at the back of his head.
Then -- uh-oh -- Daryl is brought into the arena, sack on head. "This is one of the terrorists," the Governor announces. "Merle's own brother!" Merle stares at his bro, disbelieving. Daryl stumbles around, confused. And Andrea watches on, stunned. "What should we do with them?" the Gov asks the riled-up crowd. "Kill 'em!" the town screams. The Governor approaches Merle. "You wanted your brother," he drawls. "Now you got 'im."

And then it's over. And we do mean over until February. Frankly, it might take us that long to get over the glass-in-the-eye scene.
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