We left off last week's season premiere of The Walking Dead with one big lingering question: would [REDACTED] survive having his/her [REDACTED - noun] [REDACTED - verb] with a [REDACTED] after he/she was [REDACTED] by a [REDACTED]? And who are the [REDACTED] that Rick and the gang suddenly spotted in the closing moments?
Sigh. I know: worst intro ever. Let's just get the SPOILER WARNING out of the way so we can actually start talking about what happened on tonight's episode, shall we?
Okay, so: Hershel, leg, chopped, hatchet, bitten, walker, surviving prisoners. There, we're up to speed on the sensitive information.
We start things out tonight right where we left off last time -- Rick and the gang are hugely distracted by Hershel bleeding all over the place, what with his leg having been hacked off in a last-ditch infection prevention effort by Rick, but holy shit, there are totally five new survivors who have apparently been holed up in the prison cafeteria for the last 10 months. And, as we learn later, pooping in a supply closet.
Hershel gets hustled back to the bunks, where Carol takes over as EMT, calling for things to help stop the bleeding, like pillows. Is it awful that I immediately think of how there are surely a finite amount of pillows in Walking DeadVille and how much of a bummer it'd be if Hershel instantly died after soaking through every single one of them? Anyway.
Back to the prisoners. One of them, Tomas, is instantly identifiable as the asshole of the bunch, thanks to his tank top and comically shitty attitude. (He reminds me of John Turturro in The Big Lebowski: "Nobody fucks with the Jesus!") He starts squaring off with Rick right away, trying to reclaim the prison by saying dumb stuff like "We were here first!" Come on, like you can call seatbacks during the apocalypse.
Eventually everyone comes to an uneasy agreement: Rick and company will help clear out another cell block for the FNGs in exchange for half of the remaining food rations. Mmm, prison chow! Still, better than the can of Alpo Carl was contemplating during the last episode.
Back in Hershel's cell, Maggie sits with her unconscious dad and tell him he can let go. She sobs that he can finally stop fighting, that it's okay to be at peace -- she'll be okay. Then she leans down, gently, to put her head on his chest, and I'm seriously freaking out because LETTING GO = DEATH = HERSHEL GNAWING MAGGIE'S FACE OFF.
He doesn't, though. Pysch one from tonight's Walking Dead.
On the other side of the prison, the cell-block-clearing squad is in full effect, and despite all the brain-targeting advice from Rick and oh, I don't know, every single zombie movie ever made, the new guys attack the walkers like they've just stepped over from a Sons of Anarchy prison yard fight: stabbing, punching, and generally failing to hit anything above the neck.
Meanwhile, the biggest prisoner -- named Big Tiny, because ha ha irony -- is thoroughly freaked by all this undead business and pretty much backs right into a walker, who bites him. Big Tiny is like, wait, I'm fine! I'm totally good! It's just a scratch! While everyone stands around pondering what to do, Tomas suddenly goes apeshit and bludgeons Big Tiny into Tiny Chunks with a crowbar.
Huh. It's almost like there was a reason this guy was in jail. (PS: Oh, now he gets the 'aim for the head' thing?)
At Hershel's cell, Carol tells Glenn he needs to help her with something. He's like, um, I'm supposed to stick around in case Hershel dies. You know: blam blam? Perfect for a horse doctor? But everyone's like, no, we've got this, and so off he goes to help Carol find a cadaver, because Carol needs to practice a C-section. On a non-pregnant, half-rotted corpse. And apparently she needs to do it right now, while Hershel's about to turn into a zombie and kill everyone in his cell.
He doesn't, though. Pysch two!
Back to the cell block gang: Tomas managed to trigger a giant surge of walkers, then "accidentally" shoves one into Rick. After the smoke clears, Tomas tries to shrug it off: "Shit happens." Rick smiles, agrees, and plunges a machete into Tomas's skull. One of Tomas's buddies takes a swing at Rick then runs away, where Rick chases him down at top speed through a conveniently walker-free hallway, then leaves him to be devoured in the prison yard.
Okay, so that was some seriously cold shit, but I vastly prefer this new hard-boiled Rick to the monologue-prone chin-stroker from seasons 1 and 2.
Back to Hershel! Who is totally about to die, for REAL this time! He stops breathing and Lori, oh my god oh my god, gives him mouth to mouth. Dude, here are the people I would perform mouth to mouth on in a world where every dead person becomes a flesh-eating zombie: my children, and maybe my husband if he promised to be better about putting the toilet seat down. Sorry, Hershel, I'm just saying. She's doing chest compressions, going back in for another breath, and Hershel grabs her head holy crap this is it Carl's got his gun out and --
Oh, wait. Actually, Hershel's fine. He's shaking Rick's hand and everything! Whew! Pysch three.
Out in the prison yard, Carol starts her grotesque C-section homework, and we get a seriously disturbing look at the lady zombie's underwear. Meanwhile, someone else is sneaking a peek too, from afar. What dirty bird is watching this scene go down? Is it Michonne? The Governor?
No way to know, because we cut back to Rick and Lori, having a little heart to heart on the prison catwalk. "I was hoping you came out here to talk about us," Lori says. "But maybe there's nothing to talk about any more." Rick claps her on the shoulder and mumbles something about how everyone's awful grateful for what she did (I assume he means the part where she gave Hershel CPR, not the part where she banged his best friend and the baby is totally probably Shane's), then he walks away. Fin.
Okay, Walking Dead fans, what did you think of tonight's episode? Are you glad Hershel survived the amputation? Who do you think was watching Carol?
Image via AMC