This week, we find out the source of Rick’s mysterious phone calls and an unexpected meeting challenges the Survivors’ safety.

A few weeks back, I posted that nothing bad was ever allowed to happen to Glenn and Maggie because they are young and in love and still seem to believe in the inherent goodness of people, and also I’m really fond of both Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan, but, of course, I shot myself in the foot and forgot what show I was watching. When Merle showed up after their trip to a grocery story, with promises of ‘no hard feelings’, I knew things were about to get bad. Merle decided to take the two back to the Governor, but luckily, Michonne was watching from a distance. Will the Governor kill Glenn or Maggie? Probably not. (Hopefully not. Please don’t tell me.) But with Michonne headed towards Team Rick (with the formula Glenn and Maggie were supposed to pick up!), it looks like Team Rick and Team Woodbury are about to clash, which can only spell out bad times for everyone. But maybe Michonne can pump some life back into Rick, who has, understandably, been turned into a grief zombie.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

We’ll talk about Woodbury, since it’s the most straightforward part of the story. Most of it involves Andrea finally giving in to the Governor’s pseudo-bashful Southern wiles, and while the situation to Andrea would be seemingly innocuous, I couldn’t help but mumble a faint “gross” at the whole situation which included a fairly unsexy kiss and some post-coital banter. Andrea admits to him that, despite her sensibilities, she really did like the zombie pit fights. The whole story around this (other than watching the Governor be privately crazy and publicly popular) seems to be based on Andrea giving in to some of her baser instincts and pleasures. Despite what her moral compass might be telling her, which, given how many squabbles this show has about the “right” thing to do, it’s an interesting enough concept, but since the Governor hasn’t been too threatening on a surface level yet, a lot of these scenes have yet to have much in the way of real bite. There’s also a fun scene where Andrea is on guard duty with a young girl who claims to have good crossbow skills. When the girl fails to take out the walker, Andrea enthusiastically jumps over the wall and stabs him in the head with her knife. Apparently that’s frowned upon. Meanwhile, Merle and some poor kid go out looking for Michonne but are unable to subdue her, especially when she’s already killed two of theirs. Michonne escapes into what Merle calls “the red zone” and doesn’t want to bother with her, but the kid has got his Big Brother loyalty to the governor to prove and refuses to lie to him about letting Michonne go. So Merle shoots him in the head. I have a feeling that Merle’s gonna be a big problem soon, both for our survivors and the Governor, who requires a sort of covert control.

And then there’s Rick and the ringing phone. At first, the voice on the other end of the line is a woman who appears to be representative of some other group of survivors. She asks Rick questions, some of them personal. The voices change with the phone calls. Each time the calls get stranger, more personal. Hershel tries to sit with Rick and wait for a phone call, but Rick shrugs him off. That should have been the first sign of the reveal, of course. Turns out, the phone calls are a hallucination, as revealed when one of the voices turns out to be Lori’s. He tearfully tells her his regrets and that he should have told her he loved her and kept her alive like he promised he would. Admittedly, the phone call is a great way to show Rick crumbling as opposed to a visual hallucination. Moping over someone’s death can only go so far on television, and this device was an amazing way to keep viewers on their toes while creating a deft metaphor for Rick’s sense of hope clashing desperately with the reality of what’s happened to him. With Michonne coming to camp, I sense a return to leader mode, especially with two of theirs now gone. (Hershel will not be pleased and Daryl probably won’t like his older bro kidnapping two of the group he happens to like.)

Some stray story stuff: We get a little bit of Dary’sl backstory. His mother accidentally killed herself smoking in bed and Daryl learned to lock it all out as a kid, which won’t be so easy for Carl, seeing as he was the one to (mercifully) kill his mom. But the story between the two is nice, seeing as we know so little about Daryl’s homelife. Daryl also finds Carol’s knife on one of the walkers and realizes that earlier, while supply hunting with Oscar and Carl, that they had found a cell with a barely-moving door and had figured that it was just a walker. Now Daryl is waiting with the knife to kill her, before finding her alive inside, carrying her out of there. Let’s hope Carol gets it back together quickly, because I was really enjoying her this season before she disappeared.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Next week promises harsh interrogations for Maggie and Glenn and some viewers who are familiar with the comics fear that Michonne’s original ‘story’ with the governor may be pushed on to Maggie. No, I will not be pleased with this. (For any lady on the show, really, canon or not.)
  • I’m gonna guess that Daryl might be forced to choose between his brother and a member of the group (Glenn, if I had to hazard a guess, given all the Asian jokes of the first season).
  • I genuinely enjoy Hershel as a patriarchal presence on the show but he’s starting to look like a post-apocalyptic Santa.
  • Maggie’s picking up toys for the baby to play with. Still no name for the little girl yet.
  • Any theories on the other voices from the phantom phone calls? Are they supposed to be other voices from Rick’s past? (I thought that the young girl could have, for example, been Amy, and one of the voices sounded like it could have been T-Dog? I may be way off base, though.)

If you missed last week’s episode, you can catch up by reading the recap for ‘Say the Word.’ So what did you think of this week’s episode?