By Jeannie Chan
Previously, on TWD: the flu spreads rapidly throughout the prison and our favorite characters are in danger of dying. Hershel sent a team out to the veterinary college to get medicine and ended up most likely infected himself. Rick confronted Carol about killing Karen and David and told her she could not come back to the prison.
This week, we pick up right where Rick left off and open with a mesmerizing and haunting scene of him driving back to the prison. He keeps flexing his bandaged hand, probably still throbbing after the beating he gave Ty, and glancing over at the watch Carol gave him. How many things are you going to let haunt you for the rest of your life, Rick?
(Spoilers and full recap after the cut!)
Back in the prison, Glenn and Sasha are holding down a poor fellow while Hershel attempts to intubate him. Sasha looks like she’s very close to passing out but takes over the bag while Glenn accompanies Hershel on his rounds. Things on A block look real grim. Another man has died. Before Glenn can make what has become their routine post-death head-stab final killshot, Hershel stops him and gets a gurney so they can spare the others the sight of their potential fate. Glenn essentially asks Hershel what the point of hiding this from the others is and the answer, as always, is to keep hope alive. Glenn doubts his survivability and Hershel just tells him to shut up. Yeah, shut your face, Glenn! You’re going to live! Please, please, please.
We come back from the opening credits to find Maggie behind the window at one of the visiting booths, waiting for Glenn. Hershel shows up and assures her that Glenn is fine, that he’s just tired from helping out all day. Ever the lone voice of hope in their dark hour, Hershel tells Maggie that they’re holding it together and they’re going to make it.
Outside, Maggie takes out her anxieties on the masses of walkers piling up at the fence. She spots a car and dashes to open the gate. It’s Rick and she immediately notices that Carol’s not with him. She demands to know where Carol is and Rick hesitates before telling her that Carol was the one who killed Karen and David. He tells her that she couldn’t come back here. She validates his decision and says that she couldn’t have done it herself. He tells her that she’s done harder things. “Don’t doubt yourself. We don’t get to anymore.”
Hershel makes his rounds on A block and checks on Caleb (previously only known as Dr. S). Hershel continues with his cheesy humor and tells him that doctors make the worst patients. Dr. S’s only response is that not everybody gets to live. But maybe just this once, though? No? FINE.
Caleb shows Hershel the ammo he brought with him into quarantine and sheds a pretty scary light on what the endgame will look like. Hopeful Hershel doesn’t want to hear it though but Caleb shouts, “THIS IS IT.” Hershel insists on looking at Caleb and shines a light into his bloody eyes. This is just about when Hershel’s bubble bursts. He watches a man die on the floor and looks around him at the fate he seems unable to escape. Poor man can’t bear to take the final kill shot without first covering the body. Rick is on the other side of the window and after bearing witness to this incident, has another philosophical conversation with Hershel about why this is happening to them. Rick tells him about Carol.
Afterwards, while closing the cells for the night, Hershel finds Sasha unconscious on the floor in her cell. While attempting to resuscitate her, we pan to a pool of blood and find out that someone in a cell beyond hers has died and become reanimated. But yay, Sasha lives! (For now.)
Meanwhile, the guy that they intubated has lost his pulse. Glenn desperately tries to revive him and attempts to call for Hershel but can’t because he’s choking on his own blood. He collapses. AHHHHHH! A man in another cell tells Hershel that his son is just sleeping and closes the cell door on Hershel’s face when he offers to check on him. Shady. Lizzy is standing over Glenn’s choking, dying body. Paralyzed by fear, she does nothing until the dead guy comes back to life. She calls for Hershel but he is too busy dealing with the lady walker from the other cell. I am audibly freaking out now, by the way. She falls on top of Hershel. He yells at everyone to stay in their cells but some other lady comes out in an effort to help him. The father comes out with a gun. His son, who had been “sleeping,” stumbles out and takes a bite out of Daddy’s arm, causing him to misfire. He shoots the blonde woman instead of the walker. Rick and Maggie hear the shot from out in the yard. Maggie runs in to check it out, leaving Rick to deal with the fence on his own.
Lizzy is upstairs, luring Henry the walker away from Glenn by coaxing him like he’s a puppy. Just as I’m about to say that she’s either smarter than we’ve been giving her credit for or she’s really too naïve and dumb to survive in this kind of world, she trips. Don’t worry, Hershel saves her. Now go save Glenn, Hershel!
Maggie reaches A block but can’t get through the locked door. She screams and bangs and hacks at it helplessly. Hershel finds what I imagine to be a weak pulse on Glenn and dashes off as fast as he can to get Caleb’s help. But in the time that’s passed, he’s died and become a walker. Hershel escapes his grasp by breaking Caleb’s arm and ends up stabbing him through the eye.
Carl is outside now, helping his dad putting up posts to reinforce the fence. Carl’s like, do you think they’re okay? And Rick’s like, if things were bad, we would have heard more shots. Their priority is the fence. Father and son share a tender moment securing one of the posts but the moment is cut short, not because we’re all freaking out about what’s happening inside the prison, but because the logs are breaking from the strain. One section of the fence gives way, giving the walkers a perfect entrance inside. Rick and Carl run for their lives. The walkers are momentarily deterred by another fence but it seems to be only a matter of time before that collapses too. Rick gives Carl the fastest lesson on loading and shooting a machine gun ever just as the flimsy fence does indeed collapse and walkers start to file into the prison yard.
Inside the prison, Hershel loads up the shotgun and aims at the walkers slowly making their way up the stairs but he catches the kids watching. So he changes his mind and decides to lure them somewhere else, presumably so he can shoot at them without the kids seeing? I don’t know. It makes no sense to me. I am trying my best to keep calm and not yell at my screen. He fires 3 shots off-screen and makes his way back to Glenn. He flips Glenn onto his side so he can cough up his blood instead of choking on it. He looks around for the intubation bag thing and realizes with dismay that it’s still stuck in Henry. Blech.
Back outside, Rick takes half a second too long to reload and a walker gets real close to him. Carl has his back though and kills the walker, throws his dad a new clip and proceeds with the zombie killing. Rick looks on with mixed pride and horror. Mostly horror.
Maggie finds a way into A block by shooting through the glass in the visiting room. She runs through the block, fires an awesome shot at the father walker without missing a beat and is about to shoot at Henry (though how she can differentiate between the walker and her father tousling on the net thing in this dark, I will never know) but Hershel yells, “No! You’ll hit the bag! We need it for Glenn!” She takes a moment and keeps aiming. Perfect head shot to Henry.
Glenn is… He’s suffocating. He’s choking. He’s turning blue. He’s dying. OMG he’s dying. Hershel disinfects the intubator as best as he can and shakily slides it down Glenn’s throat. He goes quiet, which is a good thing! He’s breathing now. He’s okay. HE’S OKAY. Lizzy makes her way over to them and asks if it’s over. Maggie says, “I hope so, honey.” You and me both, girl. Lizzy drags her booted foot through Glenn’s blood and mucus. Ugh. Why.
Rick and Carl are outside stabbing heads, making sure the walkers stay dead. They managed to kill every last one of them. Huh. Hooray for machine guns. Daryl, Michonne, Ty, and Bob come back with the meds just in time. Sasha looks instantly healthier already. Maggie relieves Hershel at Glenn’s side and urges her father to rest now that the others are back. He goes but winds up in Caleb’s cell. He closes Caleb’s one eye and takes out his bible to pray. He takes a long moment though and loses his composure.
The next morning (man, that was the longest night ever), Rick steps outside to wash his face and offer Michonne a hand in disposing of the bodies. She says, “No, go do your thing.” I’m assuming that thing is farming. Carl runs after him, all, you didn’t wake me up. Rick tells him that he needs to talk to Daryl. Carl’s like, now? And Rick takes the easy way out and says, soon, but not now. Ugh. We learn that Glenn made it through the night and he’s breathing on his own. Daryl says that Glenn is one tough son of a bitch. That he is, sir. Daryl gives Hershel props and says he’s one tough SOB too. Hershel swaggers off in agreement. But not before telling Daryl that he needs to talk to Rick about Carol.
Rick and Carl are standing in the garden, just chilling, eating peas straight out of the pod. Michonne is about to drive off with Hershel to get rid of the bodies. The camera pans slowly out of the yard and takes us to the trees beyond the perimeter where a man in shadow is standing.
IT’S THE GOVERNOR.