"The Walking Dead" Returns With Killer Mid-Season Premiere

Warning: Below is a very in-depth recap of tonight’s episode of “The Walking Dead” titled ‘The Suicide King.’ MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
At Woodbury, the crowd calls for the deaths of Daryl and Merle. Andrea steps out from the crowd, pleading with the governor to let them go. The governor tells Merle he asked him where his loyalties lie, and then tells him to prove it. “Brother against brother, winner goes free. Fight…to the death!”
Merle yells that he’ll do whatever he has to in order to prove his loyalty is to the town. He begins beating the crap out of Daryl. Walkers are brought in. Daryl finally gets up and starts fighting back. Merle tells him to follow his lead because they’re getting out of this. Merle and Daryl begin fighting off the leashed walkers.
It’s Maggie and Rick to the rescue as gunfire erupts, taking out several of the walkers. The place fills with smoke. Andrea screams for Daryl. Daryl and Merle disappear into the smoke. Andrea is horrified to see that a little boy was killed and is lying on the ground.
The governor watches as the Dixon brothers make their escape.
Cue the opening credits.
Rick tells Merle he’s not going anywhere with them as they race for the edge of the community. They get out, and Maggie throws Rick a despairing look when she realizes that Merle is indeed coming with them. Michonne and Glenn are waiting at the car, and it’s daylight by the time Rick and the others arrive. Everyone pulls out weapons. Merle tells them about Andrea being at the community with the governor. Glenn, Maggie and Rick are stunned. Merle keeps mouthing off–about Andrea, about Michonne, about everyone. Rick knocks Merle unconscious and Daryl doesn’t protest.
Hershel stitches up the other group at the prison. Beth brings baby Judith in and one of the women asks how old she is, admitting she never thought she’d see another baby. She mistakes and thinks that Beth is her mother. Tyreese admits that they had been underground for a long time because one of their neighbors had a bunker under his shed. “We’ve had our problems with people,” Hershel tells the group. He adds that they might not want to get too comfortable there.
“The governor’s probably on his way to the prison,” Daryl says as the group debates about what to do with Merle and Michonne. Daryl says if Merle doesn’t return with them, the brothers will fend for themselves. Glenn asks what they want them to tell Carol. He says she’ll understand. Rick tells him there has to be another way. “Don’t ask me to leave him. I already did that once,” he tells Rick. He and Merle head away. Rick tells Michonne they’ll patch her up back at the prison, and then she’s gone, too.
Tyreese and his group carry the woman who died outside to bury her. They see Carol and Carl guarding the place, and one of the men in his group suggests jumping them and taking their weapons and taking over the prison. Tyreese vehemently protests even when his friend tells them it’s survival of the fittest.
Axel and Beth bring shovels to them just then, telling Tyreese’s group to let them know if they need anything else. Tyreese and the woman stare down the other two men.
A truck is blocking the road back to the prison, and a walker jumps out of it at Glenn, who promptly stomps him to death as a startled Rick and Maggie watch. Glenn is pissed that Rick didn’t kill the governor. And that they lost Daryl. “This is the hand we’ve been dealt,” Rick tells him angrily. He tells Rick he doesn’t know what the man did to Maggie. Maggie tells them they need to just get the truck out of the way and they can talk about it later. Glenn says he’s done talking.
Andrea talks to Milton, who tells her the governor has locked himself in his apartment and won’t open the door. People are trying to leave the community, but guards are blocking the path. Andrea tries to tell them they don’t want to go out there because it’s too dangerous. There are walkers in the community still, attacking people. Andrea and Martinez kill them. The governor comes out and shoots the civilian who was bitten.
Back at the prison, Carol and Carl are still standing guard. She tells him his mom was proud of him. He asks why, because he was mean to her. He admits it’s all he thinks about. Just then Rick and the others pull up in the car. Rick hugs Carl tightly. Carol looks in the car, and asks where Daryl is. Rick tells her he’s all right, but that he and Merle went off on their own. “They left?” She’s clearly upset. He tells them Oscar didn’t make it. Rick comforts Carol as she cries, and the three of them head back toward the prison.
Andrea confronts the governor and tells him he has to talk to the people because they’re panicking. He tells her they’ve had it easy. He tells Andrea that Merle was holding Glenn and Maggie hostage and that her friends killed a lot of good people. “Why didn’t you tell me they were here? You kept that from me while we were–” He tells her she is just a visitor there, just passing through, and he doesn’t have to tell her anything. Milton interrupts and says the whole town is on the street and it could get ugly again.
Maggie and Beth and Hershel hug, and then Beth hugs Rick and kisses his cheek. Everyone goes inside but Hershel and Rick. “Sounds like we have a new problem on our hands,” Hershel says. Rick wonders what kind of sick person would pit two people against each other and make them fight to the death.
Tyreese’s group watches as Rick and Hershel head into their own part of the prison, and one of the men comments that Rick isn’t very chatty. Tyreese says to give him time and when the time comes, let Tyreese do the talking.
Once Beth hands Judith over to Rick, she immediately starts crying. Beth says she has Lori’s eyes.
Andrea and Milton approach the crowd. Milton says that it’s dangerous to go out. One of the women says they’re all suffering. “We’re never going to be the same–ever. So what do we do?” she asks. She tells them they dig deep and find the strength to carry on. That they work together and rebuild, and she means all of them, not just the buildings and the fence. The crowd calms down and agrees with her as the governor watches from his window.
Beth carries a whimpering Judith up the stairs. Carol tells her Sophia used to wake the neighbors at 3 AM. Beth admits she always wanted a child. She says the baby wouldn’t have made it if Daryl hadn’t been there. “Men like Merle get into your head, make you feel like you deserve the abuse.” Beth says that they’re weak without him. “Daryl has his code. This world needs men like that,” Carol tells her.
Hershel patches up Glenn, who tells him his injuries are courtesy of Daryl’s brother. Hershel thanks him for taking care of Maggie, but he remains stoic and silent. He tells Glenn that he is like Hershel’s own son.
Maggie asks if Glenn is all right. Hershel tells her to go see, but she doesn’t get up. “You two seem to be holding something back. You want to tell me what happened?” She remains silent. He tells her he rests easy knowing she can handle herself because she has her mom’s spirit and stubbornness. “Don’t disappear on me,” he says, worried, and hugs her.
Michonne is passed out after Hershel takes care of her. Rick asks how long it will be before she can travel. Hershel tells him a couple of days, because she might have a concussion. Axel is grieving Oscar’s death, and Rick tells him he went out fighting. “What now? Do you thinkt he governor will retaliate?” Beth asks. “Yes,” Maggie says without hesitation. Hershel points out they could use some reinforcements.
Rick’s group approaches Tyreese’s group, and Hershel introduces them. Rick questions how they got into the prison, and Tyreese tells them the administration building was fire bombed. Tyreese offers to help defend the group to other groups, but Rick says no. “Let’s talk about this,” Hershel protests. “I can’t be responsible,” Rick says. Tyreese says if they turn them out, he is responsible. Hershel tells Rick he’s wrong on this, and he has to start giving people a chance. Rick looks around, and then at Carl, sighing deeply.
Rick looks up and hallucinates seeing a woman who looks like Lori standing upstairs in front of the railing. She’s in a long white dress. He asks why she’s there, and what she wants from him.
“Dad?” Carl asks.
“I can’t help you. Get out,” Rick shouts. He pulls out his gun. Tyreese tells him no one needs to get shot, they’re leaving. The rest of the group stares at him as the episode fades to a close.
Did you watch tonight’s episode? What did you think? Comment below, or follow me at @WalkinDeadAngie on Twitter! I want to hear your reactions!
“The Walking Dead” (2010)
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden
Creator: Frank Darabont

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