After an outstanding first half of season three, there were way too many people dismissing the mid-season premiere. Yes, there were some leaps of logic, and it wasn’t as fast-moving as the previos half of the season, but Glen Mazarra needed to take a break and set up the chess pieces again. In the last few minutes of last night’s “Home,” it all came together in a beautiful, bloody fashion, reuniting the prison gang, establishing the Governor’s level of crazy, and setting us up for what should be a series of exciting upcoming episodes centered on zombie-guerrilla warfare between the prison and Woodbury.
Let’s get right to the recap:
1. The Scene at the Prison — Over in at the prison, the gang — minus Rick — is planning for an attack by The Governor, but Glenn thinks they should go on the offense. Hershel takes the lead, and discourages Glenn. “We can’t stay here,” Hershel says. “We can’t run,” Glenn counters. They ultimately agree to make a stand. Later on, however, Hershel has to play Gipper. “This rage is going to get you killed.” Dumbass Glenn goes to Woodbury anyway, because HE’S A MAN, and HE HAS PRIDE, and DON’T MESS WITH MY LADY.
2. The Scene at Woodbury — “These people need you. We need you,” The Governor tells Andrea, angling to elevate her to the new leader. But something is up. Things continue to be frosty and awkward between Andrea and Winky. The Governor claims there won’t be any retaliation against the prison gang. It’s clearly a ploy. The Governor makes it clear that it’s a ploy by elevating Milton to his new right hand man and charging him with keeping an eye on Andrea. If that’s not clue enough, Milton and the security staff give Andrea the cold shoulder.
3. Tyrese Watch Week 1 — Where’d Tyrese and his crew get off to? Surely, we haven’t seen the last of them. I mean, why would they go to the trouble of introducing each of Tyrese’s gang, by name, TWICE, if we’re not going to see them again?
4. Glenn continues to be pissy. Maggie continues not to like the pissy Glenn. — Maggie is having some serious issues with Glenn, though I don’t really understand why, exactly. Is she pissed because Glenn is upset that she might have been raped? Is she pissed that it’s all Glenn cares about? Is she pissed that he’s letting his pride cloud his judgement, or is she a little bit pissed that Glenn didn’t find a way to kill The Governor already? I hope Glenn never delivered pizzas in this state of mind.
5. Michonne — Michonne had all of one line in the entire episode. “He had fish tanks full of heads. Walkers and humans. Trophies. [The Governor] is coming.” She was right. However, through most of the episode, she mostly hung out by herself in a van down by the river. Her Katana skills, however, came in right handy late in the episode.
6. “You lost your hand because you’re a simple-minded piece of shit.” — Daryl has a clear hero complex, and God love him for it. After he saves a Spanish-speaking group and a baby from walkers in truly spectacular fashion, he finally comes to his senses and realizes what the rest of us already know: Merle is an asshole. We also find out that Merle and Daryl have a shared history of abuse from their father, which is likely what kept Daryl tethered to Merle. Nevertheless, Daryl gets fed up and decides to go back where he belongs: To the prison, with his real family. Merle reluctantly tags along.
7. Zombie Kill of the Week — Death by Subaru. BAD ASS.
8. “I know it’s not really her. but there’s gotta be a reason. It’s gotta mean something.” — Rick is still seeing visions of Zombie Ghost Lori. His madness is leading him outside of the prison. He’s basically taking a walk in Crazy Town. Rick eventually reveals his madness to Hershel. Rick has some unresolved feelings about Lori and Shane, and he’s clearly looking for an answer. I’ll give him some credit: At least he knows he’s crazy, and he knows that Lori is not actually there.
9. Carol and Axel — Axel makes a sly move on Carol, and just as soon as the man humanizes himself a little bit with the audience, as soon as we start to like him, MOTHERF***K, the Governor comes along and picks him off. Poor guy’s only use to Carol is as a human shield.
10. Woodbury vs. The Prison — Dayum! It wasn’t quite The Battle of Blackwater, but the last 10 minutes of The Walking Dead was one of the best action sequences in the show’s history. Everything coalesced perfectly. The Governor pulls off his surprise attack (tricking Andrea).
Rick gets his sh*t together right quick and snaps out of his funk.
The Governor unleashes his Trojan horse, and all hell breaks loose.
Daryl and Merle show up just in time to save Rick’s ass.
Then Michonne demonstrates how necessary she is to Rick by being straight up bad ass.
Yes, the prison is about to be overrun with walkers. But on the bright side, the Gang is reunited, along with Merle. They’ll be at full strength, minus Axel, going ahead in the war against Woodbury. If they can recruit Tyrese and somehow use Andrea from the inside, they’ll be in a good position to win. There were a few slow moments in the episode, and the Maggie and Glenn dynamic continues to stupefy, but overall, “Home” was a damn fine episode.