Where we left off: Andrea reunited with her old friends at the prison, desperate to broker a truce between her former pals and her new lovah (the Governor, intent on creating an army out of the adults and adolescents under his control). Carl asked his dad to give up his leadership position and let Daryl or Hershel take control of the prison gang until Rick stops hallucinating his dead wife. Carol advised Andrea to boff the Gov silly and then do him in while he sleeps. For a brief moment, it looked like she might actually slay her sleeping beau, but she hesitated and let him live. Tyrese and his people joined The Governor’s side in the upcoming battle. Beth sang us all a Tom Waits song while Rick planned on taking Michonne and Carl on a guns-and-ammo run with the eventual goal of returning to Woodbury to put an end to the impending human-on-human war. There are still a bunch of zombies walking around the prison grounds, and they’re most likely really, really hungry.
Where we pick up: Hmmm, this week was a teense of a bottle episode, was it not? Just Rick and Michonne and Carl, back in good ol’ Kings County, Georgia. There’s no place like home, right, Grimeses? Except home has changed a bit, now that there’s one lone vigilante keeping it clear. But more on that in a bit.
Michonne gets to drive the Hyundai on a long road trip undisturbed only by a patch of mud and some ravenous zombies. We pass a sign on which J tells Erin that he tried for Stone Mountain. Who are these newbies? Oh, look – it’s a lonely backpacker. That must be J! And as soon as the Hyundai gets stuck in mud and the zombies lunge, of course there’s a lady zombie with a beaded bracelet spelling out E-R-I-N. Pretty tidy, show! Rick and his crew don’t stop to help the backpacker, and even when he sprints to catch up with them, they still peel off without him. Rick tells Carl that he didn’t want to leave Michonne at the prison with Merle there, and assures his son that they all share common interests (namely, killing the Governor). When they arrive at the Kings County Sheriff’s department, Rick’s one-time place of employment, they are bummed to discover that all the guns and ammo are gone. But they’re on a mission, so they plunge deeper into the town to recover all the weapons for which Rick once signed licenses.
But good ol’ Kings County is not the idyllic small town it once was. Someone has set up a series of booby traps designed to catch zombies. Rick and company gingerly pick their way through the main street, until they are stopped by a masked gunman, hollering at them from a rooftop. The gunman demands that they put their weapons down and go back, but Michonne and Rick really want his automatic rifle. Michonne sneaks off to ambush him on the roof while Rick fires and tells Carl to wait in the car. Michonne scales the building but the gunman is gone – and now he’s on the street, about to murder Rick until he is felled by a gunshot. And now Carl-the-kid has killed his first non-zombie. But, wait! The masked gunman was wearing body armor, so he’s knocked out but still alive. And who is it behind the mask? Batman? The Phantom of the Opera? No! It’s Morgan, Rick’s savior from the first season! The man Rick tried to reach with his walkie-talkie every morning! He’s somehow still alive!
Rick and Michonne haul Morgan into his house, but it’s not the typical suburban home Rick remembers. Now it’s filled with anti-zombie defenses and “Beautiful Mind”-esque graffiti. And a whopping stockpile of guns – more than whatever was once in the sheriff’s office. Morgan’s been busy.
After Rick scans the walls and realizes that Morgan’s son Duane turned into a zombie, he insists on staying in Kings County until Morgan wakes up. After all, the man fed and sheltered him and they kinda-sorta vowed to look out for each other, via walkie-talkie. Carl studies a map of the neighborhood and announces that he wants to go on a run. Rick thinks it’s because Carl misses his old house, but no – Carl wants to get Baby Judith a crib, and Michonne offers to help him carry it back to the car.
Carl tries to give Michonne the slip by distracting her with some juicy katana action, but she catches up with him even as he bypasses the baby supply store. He’s on a mission of his own, this Carl, and he’s determined to get something special for his sister. He doesn’t want Michonne’s help, but she tells him he can’t stop her from helping him. I like this helpful Michonne! She’s sort of a peach. Carl wants to go inside the old neighborhood watering hole, but it’s overrun with walkers. They devise a plan and push some caged rats (despite all their rage) into the bar, and the zombies set upon the rodents with ferocity. Michonne and Carl tiptoe inside and the boy wearing his dad’s hat goes straight for the one surviving photo of his family.
A nasty bartender zombie grabs Carl’s leg and Michonne katanas him in the head – close call. But now a rat runs by, which means the zombies have learned how to open cages and our unlikely duo is set upon by walkers. They flee, narrowly escaping zombie carnage, and Carl realizes he dropped the photo. Michonne tells him to wait outside and she (ridiculously quickly, right?) retrieves his beloved photo along with a garish papier-mâché cat. She couldn’t leave something so gorgeous behind! Please be like this forever, Michonne. I love you like this!
Morgan recovers from his blow and snags a knife he’s handily taped beneath his bed. He flings himself at Rick, as Rick tries to make him realize that they know each other. But Morgan has crazy eyes and he stabs Rick in the shoulder, trying to kill him because he suspects Rick is wearing a dead man’s face. Rick restrains him and tries to bring Morgan back to reality. It’s not until he mentions the walkie-talkie (that magical walkie-talkie) that Morgan snaps back into a state of semi-lucidity. He remembers how Rick gave him a gun so he could shoot his zombie-wife Jenny. Alas, Morgan just couldn’t do it until Zombie Jenny attacked his son. So that’s what happened to Duane. And that’s apparently when Morgan’s mind went all kerfuffled. Rick urges Morgan to come back to the prison with him to join the other survivors, but Morgan is having none of it. He susses out that Rick wants all his guns and ammo for reasons way beyond zombies, and that is not a situation Morgan wants to deal with. He needs to stay here in Kings County, Georgia, keeping it clear.
Michonne and Carl return from their adventure carrying a crib, and they help Rick load up their car with supplies. Carl apologizes to Morgan for shooting him. “Never apologize,” replies Morgan. He loads up the zombies he’s caught on his booby traps and takes them off to a bonfire of bodies, keeping the town clear.
Carl tells his dad that Michonne is one of them. (One of us! One of us!) Michonne opens up to Rick, telling him that she used to talk to her dead boyfriend. So she knows that Rick sometimes sees things that aren’t there. And that’s why she gets to drive home – because Rick sees things. And so, off they go, pausing only when they drive past a bright red splatter indicating a fresh kill. And there’s J’s backpack, only there’s no more J. I guess when life desensitizes you to the point where you’re shooting at fellow humans; you just sort of treat everything like a videogame. There’s J’s backpack, loot for the taking, and so it joins the guns and ammo and the crib in the back of the car.
So the prison gang has weapons and they’re ready to use them. Once more into the breach, zombiefriends, because clearly the Woodbury-Prison showdown is fast-approaching. Onwards until next week, and don’t forget to put fresh batteries in your walkie-talkies.