It's all broken relationships and torturous decisions as the survivors struggle to cope in the aftermath of last week's events...
In some ways this episode is even more grim than the one that preceded it. Lori and T-Dog's deaths were horrific, but equally heroic; they died preserving the lives of loved ones. But Rick is not allowed to experience this. Instead he is chasing after the tail of death, trying to find Lori's remains in the prison, but he's not allowed even the quasi-reunion of a few moments alone with her corpse. Instead he finds a slothful, overfed zombie, completely unaware that the rather beautiful young woman (aka brunch) that he recently chomped on is the beloved of our grief-stricken lead character. Even the zombie seems exhausted and overwhelmed by the horrors of Lori's death, so ineffectual is its struggle as Rick hacks it to pieces in a final (failed) attempt to get back at death for taking away the most important person in his world.
The Walking Dead has always been at its most rewarding when it has surprised its viewers/readers. For me, the greatest surprise of this week came through Darryl's encounter with Baby Grimes - the delightful, tender way he fed it while Carl and the others looked on, a single moment of gentleness for a band of characters whose bodies have been saturated with adrenalin due to their recent sufferings. Of all the characters on the show, he's the one that has demonstrated the most remarkable change so far, and it's going to be painful to watch the inevitable tug he will be forced to endure between his brother Merle and the group he has come to love (as he will no doubt be forced to do before season's end).
|The Governor's little beauty getting ready for the Little Miss Sunshine pageant|
This brings me quite nicely to the other example of parental tenderness in the episode - although it's difficult for the audience to share the same moment of 'Awwwww!' that the parent in question experiences. This week's episode introduces The Governor's delightful little zombie daughter, who will surely have all the boys chasing after her in the next few weeks, if only for all the wrong reasons. That The Walking Dead opens its pre-credits sequence with a father accidentally combing out a chunk of his dead daughter's scalp 'n brains (and does so in a rather understated way) is a great example of how daring the show is.
The most difficult decision of the episode had to be Michonne's choice to leave Woodsboro (and Andrea), as her (totally accurate) survival instincts compelled her to move on. I love watching those two together - I'm slightly biased as they are my two favourite Walking Dead characters - but they've formed a great duo that it's painful to see cracking under pressure. Although if next week's episode is anything to go by, both ladies may be forced to confront the evil within Woodsboro's walls before too long...
What did you think of this week's 'The Walking Dead'? What name do you think they should give the baby? Leave your thoughts and comments below!