When last we left "The Walking Dead" at the mid-season break, Rick and team had saved Glenn and Maggie. However, Oscar was killed during the rescue., and Daryl was captured. He and Merle were reunited, but in the zombie octagon The Governor has labeled Merle a traitor, and Andrea has -- only now, because of the appearance of Daryl -- discovered who the raiders are. She still doesn't know that the Governor had captured and tortured Glenn and Maggie. With that, on Sunday, Feb. 10, began "The Suicide King," episode nine of season three.
As Andrea tries to stop the fight between Daryl and Merle, others hold her back. The Governor tells Merle he must prove his loyalty ... brother against brother. A fight to the death, with the winner going free.
Andrea pleads with the Governor -- Philip -- to stop it. It's no good, and as Merle says he's going to do whatever it takes to prove his loyalty to Woodbury, he sucker punches Daryl. It's a ploy though, as Merle tells him to "Follow my lead little brother. We're getting out of this, right now."
They turn back to back to defend themselves against the zombies surrounding them, and a quick shot of Milton -- the Governor's scientist -- shows he doesn't approve of the fight.
Suddenly, a shot rings out. It's Maggie. Rick and crew are there to rescue Daryl. Flashbang grenades create havoc. Merle and Daryl escape, as the Governor calmly walks through the melee and kills a walker. One walker almost gets a young girl, but she is saved by one of the Governor's men.
We see Andrea stand over a young person that Maggie shot, and then we see Daryl recover his crossbow from a Woodbury survivor who used it to kill a zombie.
Fade to title, and when we return, Rick and team -- and Merle -- are escaping through the fence. As much as Rick doesn't want to take Merle, he has little choice. But as the team leaves the town, a zombie is seen entering through the hole they used to escape.
When the reach the car, where Michonne and Glenn are holed up, it's then that Rick and group finally find out Andrea is in the town, and that she is in a relationship with the Governor. Eventually, Merle mouths off too much, and Rick cold cocks him with a gun. Daryl actually looks happy.
Back at the prison, Herschel is treating one of Tyreese's survivors. Eventually, talk turns to history. Tyreese's group was once 25 strong, but its camp was overrun two months prior. Herschel tells them they shouldn't get too comfortable, because it's not up to him if they stay or must go.
Back to Rick's group, who are arguing about keeping -- or dumping -- Merle or Michonne, or both. Daryl argues that Merle is blood, but Glenn's bruises are reasons for not wanting him to come along. Daryl says "No him, no me." When asked what Daryl wanted them to tell Carol, Daryl answers "She'll understand."
Apparently everyone knows about the budding romance between Daryl and Carol.
Rick reminds him a war is brewing, but Daryl repeats "No him, no me." The pair of them walk off together.
As far as Michonne goes, Rick angrily tells her they will patch her up, or at least Herschel will -- but then she will have to leave.
Back at the prison, though, trouble is brewing, Ben and Allen want to take out Carol and Carl, and get their weapons. Tyreese and Sasha disagree. Particularly Tyreese. But Allen calls it survival of the fittest. When Axel and Beth walk up with tools for them to bury Donna, Tyreese gets in the way so Allen can't try anything.
It's clear that Herschel made a huge mistake when he made his comment about getting comfortable.
Back to Rick's group, and they find a tree blocking the road, along with a truck. When Glenn opens the truck up, only to have a walker charge at him from inside, he tosses him aside and stomps his head to mush. There is obviously some pent-up aggression, and perhaps PTSD. Both Rick and Maggie are shocked.
Glenn is angry because Rick didn't kill the Governor. He's also upset because Merle and Daryl left. As he says, "We're up to our necks in sh*t," Rick replies "This is the hand we're dealt."
Finally to Woodbury. It's a chaotic scene, as some people are trying to leave, and they are forcibly rebuffed by the fence crew.
Andrea starts to calm things down, but the near-riot only ends when walkers -- remember the fence -- are seen attacking and biting people. As the townspeople watch, and as people ask them to "do something," the Governor walks over and shoots the man in the head, before he can turn.
Return to the prison, where Carol and Carl are talking about normalcy, and Rick and group drive back. Carol asks about Daryl, and is taken aback when she is told that Daryl left with Merle. Carol is tear-struck. Rick also as to tell them that Oscar is dead.
At Woodbury, Andrea charges in and asks Philip (the Governor) why he walked off after shooting the victim. Barbecues and picnics are "all over now," he says. Finally, the Governor explains about Glenn and Maggie.
When Andrea asks why he didn't tell her about Glenn and Maggie, he replies -- coldly -- "You're just a visitor here. Just passin' through. So why should I tell you?"
Milton comes in, and tells the Governor that things are getting ugly in the street. When Milton goes out to try the calm the crowd, it's Andrea who takes control. As actor David Morrisey said recently in an interview, it's clear that Andrea can talk to people. She does, and the crowd disperses.
The Governor is watching -- and he is impressed.
Back at the prison, Beth and Carol are discussing Merle, Daryl, Sophia, and Judith. Beth says she is pissed at Daryl for leaving, but Carol smiles and says "Daryl has his code. This world needs men like that."
Meanwhile, Herschel is taking care of Glenn's wounds. As we know from prior episodes, Herschel feels Glenn is deserving of Maggie. As he walks out, Herschel adds, "You're like my own son, Glenn."
He then goes to see Maggie. He asks if she needs anything, but she just asks if Glenn is OK. He knows that Maggie and Glenn are holding back some information, but she doesn't tell him.
Herschel then treats Michonne. Rick asks him when she can leave, and Herschel says she has a concussion, and could perhaps leave in two days.
Meanwhile Axel and Carol are discussing Oscar. Oscar protected him from Tomas, and Rick and Herschel comes up, Rick says "He went out fighting."
As they considering that they are outgunned and outmanned, Herschel says "We could use some reinforcements." It's obvious who he is thinking of.
However, when Rick meets with Tyreese, and after Tyreese says they will do "Anything to contribute," Rick answers, "No." Although he is reminded that Axel and Oscar were not like Tomas and Andrew, Rick doesn't want to be responsible for more people. "If you turn us out, you are responsible," Tyreese says.
Herschel calls him over, and reminds him that while the group owes him their lives, and that they've done everything he's asked, without question ... "I'm telling you, you're wrong on this. You've got to start giving people a chance."
Rick seems ready to relent, but he looks up and sees a mysterious woman in white. Lori? In his mind? He was about to say yes, but instead he begins speaking to the apparition. He shouts, to Tyreese's group, "Get out. You don't belong here; get out!" as he brandishes his gun.
Fade to black, but more than that ... this may prove to be a fade to Rick's precarious sanity.