We're getting closer and closer to a very merry Dixon reunion, but first, there is some business to attend to — checking in on Glen and Maggie, seeing if Rick let Michonne into the prison, and eventually introducing the survivors to Woodbury and the Governor. Have you been waiting for the Gov to show us his nasty side after weeks of seeing him act merely weird and a little dickish? You're in luck, if you like watching awful people do awful things! But meanwhile, what's going to happen when Merle and Daryl see each other again, now that Daryl has made himself very comfortable with the survivors who abandoned his brother, and Merle… hasn't changed all that much?
As usual, a discussion that includes spoilers will commence after the jump.
At the end of last week's episode, Michonne had shown up at the prison carrying groceries procured by Glen and Maggie with a gunshot wound in her leg (courtesy of Merle). At the start of "When the Dead Come Knocking," Rick and a few others see her, but are all hesitant to let her in. To prove her worth, she kills a rash of zombies while favoring her un-shot leg. One-legged Hershel is impressed. After a graphic zombie beheading, Michonne collapses and passes out, and is brought inside.
When she wakes up, she discovers that once again, her weapon has been confiscated by potentially untrustworthy strangers. She keeps her guard up, observing everyone welcoming Carol back to the group and Carol learning of Lori's death. They seem nice, so Michonne tells Rick about Woodbury and the Governor, "a Jim Jones type," and says that's where Glen and Maggie are. What she doesn't tell them: that Merle was the one who took them.
Merle, meanwhile, is violently interrogating Glen while Maggie sits alone in another room, listening to the whole thing. Glen, who knows how much stronger he's become, refuses to give up his group, saying that they had all been on the road and learned a thing or two. When he names Andrea as part of their group, Merle realizes that they have no idea that she's in Woodbury, and the whole rest of the episode becomes a game of "what knew what when." It's like that episode of Friends when everyone finds out Monica and Chandler are together!
After Michonne's gunshot wound is treated, Rick forms a group (with Daryl and Oscar) to go to Woodbury. He has a now-routine "If I die" talk with Carl, who is pretty much completely prepared to lead the entire group by himself if necessary. The talk ends with a name for the baby: Judith, after Carl's third grade teacher. Because calling her "Lori" would have been weird for everyone, and Carl doesn't know any other girl names.
In this episode, we see what Milton, the doctor, has been up to. (I think I referred to him as "Dr. Stevens" earlier, so I apologize for the error.) A bedridden gentleman named Mr. Coleman, who was dying of prostate cancer, has volunteered for Milton's experiment: finding out if there is any humanity left in zombies, specifically their memories. Mr. Coleman had been infected with the zombie virus and was expected to die shortly; Milton makes him go through a series of tests first, then asks Andrea to kindly murder Mr. Coleman once he reanimates. Uh…. sure? Sure.
Since Glen has still not given Merle what he wants, Merle decides to sic a zombie on him — but Glen, in a scene that would make Black Widow proud, breaks free from the chair to which he's duct-taped and kills the zombie. What else you got? Oh, right — Maggie in the next room. The Governor decides he'll deal with that.
This was the part in the comics that got seriously icky. In case you aren't familiar, the interrogation had Michonne in Maggie's place, and the Governor beat, raped, and tortured her. (She later got some equally violent revenge.) It was, to say the least, viciously awful. It served to push the Governor and the extent of his evil over the edge, and it was effective. To be honest, I was really hoping this wasn't going to happen on the show because of the monumentally icky feelings. Fortunately, it didn't go quite as far as the comics — David Morrissey's Governor threatened to take it as far as the comics Governor did after leaving Maggie physically vulnerable. For me, that was plenty. We now have a man who will use his position and his penis as a weapon to get what he wants, and that's scary.
Maggie eventually gives up the prison when she is brought to Glen and the Governor holds a gun to his head. And that's over.
Michonne has brought Rick's group about a mile outside of Woodbury, saying that they'd do better on foot. Rick thanks Daryl for taking care of things while he collected himself. Daryl says, "That's what we do." This is noteworthy because Daryl, if he hadn't proved it already, really has adopted this group as his own — something that Merle will probably not take well.
They come across a shack that is housing a member of the Tinfoil Hat Society, and Michonne kills him. This scene basically proved that Michonne will take care of any threat to the living, even if that includes killing one of the living.
The Governor can't really believe that a group of ten puny humans overtook an entire prison, so he expresses interest in throwing them a fancy dinner and asking them, "How did you do it? See, I run this whole town and stuff, but what I'm really hoping for is total world domination, millions of desperate people to control. Any hints? I'm just at a loss!" Or killing everyone. One of those things.
Photo credit: AMC