10 Things We Learned From Last Night’s Eye-Popping ‘The Walking Dead’

Last night’s mid-season finale of the third season of The Walking Dead was strong, if not somewhat anticlimactic, given the number of shocking events this season so far. There were no huge bombshells in the finale, and the cliffhanger was not terribly cliff-hangey, but we were introduced to a great new character, the Big Bad got some justice, and the episode did a terrific job of setting up the second half of the season.

Let’s get right into the recap, though please remember: Book spoilers go in the thread at the bottom of the page created by Maske.

1. OMG CUTTY — Even when you know it’s coming, you can never quite prepare for the excitement of seeing a former The Wire cast member on another show you love, and when he’s carrying a hatchet and dispensing with walking corpses, all your religious cynicism fades away. God does have a plan, and that plan is for Chad Coleman to carve zombies.

He has a crew, too: They are 5. They are the “Tyreesocracy”? (No, that doesn’t quite work.) Anyway, after one of their own, Donna, gets bitten, they stumble into the prison, where Carl eventually finds them, saves them from the zombies, then locks them in a cell. Tyreese has the same tough softness as Cutty did, too. Tyreese understands, and he’s even a little grateful that, in the prison cell, they can finally rest for a while. However, they hadn’t brained Donna before the episode ended, so expect that to be the first sequence after the winter break: Donna hopping too, zombie-style, and taking out at least one of the Tyreese 5.

2. Carol Is Not a Lesbian, Axel — Besides the Tyreese Experience™, which was more to set up the next half of the season than anything else, there wasn’t a lot going on in this prison this week, except for some reason a scene in which Carol warned Axel away from Beth, which did prompt the one moment of intentional comic relief last night. Is it too early to ship Axel and Carol? I get the feeling that it’s actually setting up Axel’s demise: Will he get too handsy with Michonne, or does he think she’s a lesbian, too?

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