Anyone else missing Rick (Andrew Lincoln)?
Ever since he crumpled to the ground in anguish in Episode 4, he’s struggled to get back on his feet again. Lori’s death is haunting him, with Sarah Wayne Callies returning for long walks around the prison yard. She looks better than we’ve ever seen her – hair brushed and in a wedding dress – but we can’t say we’re glad she’s back.
The cameo signalled more talky scenes as the group ponder their next move. Glenn (Stephen Yeun)’s bent on revenge, Hershel (Scott Wilson) assumes the role of ignored adviser, aka Dale, and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is still in a pointless mood (seriously, what did Glenn do?!). Carol (Melissa McBride) and Axel (Lew Temple) appear to be getting on suspiciously well, and we’re wondering whether this could be the start of the shocking graphic novel storyline where a prisoner murdered Hershel’s daughters. But that train of thought is derailed when he’s shot in the head. It turns out his extra dialogue was a ruse for an exciting second half as the Governor (David Morrissey) and his men make their move on the prison.
The attack was brutally sudden and tactics like sending a van full of walkers into the yard was ruthlessly dirty. If it wasn’t for Axel’s lifeless body acting as a shield, Carol would most certainly have copped it. After all, her protector Daryl (Norman Reedus) was off in the woods with his brother Merle (Michael Rooker).
This episode marked the first time we’d seen the Dixon brothers share a scene together (not counting the dream sequence in Season 2), and it was an intriguing dynamic. When the pair come across a group of strangers under attack from walkers, Daryl dives straight in with his crossbow, while Merle hangs back bewildered. He doesn’t understand why his little bro won’t steal supplies or even a vehicle as payment, just as they were planning to do to the Atlanta survivors.
This reveal provides a solid explanation for why the rednecks were spending time with Rick and co in the first place, and it demonstrates just how much Daryl has developed since Season 1. He stands up to his sibling, defends innocent people and returns to the prison in the nick of time. When Merle saves Rick, there’s a sense of hope that maybe he could become an asset to a group that includes two people he tried to kill recently. Does anyone else suspect he might join his nemesis T-Dog in the afterlife this season, though?
As exciting as this final act is, it’s surely just a taster of what’s to come: an all-out brawl between Woodbury and the prison. From what we’ve witnessed this episode, it’s comforting to know that the writers never fail to find new depths of panic and tension and we can’t wait to go there.
The Walking Dead Season Three Episode 11 ‘I Ain’t No Judas’ airs Friday 1 March 2013 on FOX at 10pm.
Watch the trailer for Episode 11 here, but beware of spoilers…