November 19th, 2012
11:55 AM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the November 18 episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead."]
Last season, "The Walking Dead" was sometimes criticized for poor pacing, with the plot slowly moving forward from week to week.
But Sunday night's episode was a prime example of why one can't fault the writers for that this season.
We left off last week with Rick answering a ringing phone in the prison, which we'll just go ahead and view as something of a red herring because that was part and parcel of Rick losing his marbles. It turns out the various people he spoke to on the other end of the phone were the voices of friends he lost during the apocalypse, the last one being his wife.
The imagined phone calls did serve a purpose, however. The hallucinated voice of "Lori" convinced Rick that he needed to step up and take care of his children and the rest of the survivors.
Speaking of stepping up, that was Merle's big piece of advice to Gargiulo - one of the most memorable short-lived characters of the series so far. When Michonne brutally attacked the rest of the Governor's men, they were the last two standing.
The pair faced off with Michonne a second time in the woods, but they were also attacked by a herd of walkers. When Michonne stabbed one in the gut, she was covered by his entrails before hobbling away to make an escape.
Merle told Gargiulo that they should return to the camp and tell the Governor they killed her, as she was "as good as dead" anyway. When Gargiulo refused, Merle shot him in the head.
Michonne - now immune to the walkers since she smelled like one - ran into Merle once more, spying on him as he took Glenn and Maggie hostage while they made a run to an abandoned store for food. Looks like they'll be meeting the Governor soon.
Merle went back to report to the Governor (who, of course, asked about Gargiulo) and told the story as planned.
As for the Governor himself, a.k.a. Philip - he's now sleeping with Andrea in a plot development we all saw coming a mile away. (Those walker ultimate fighting matches didn't bother her all that much, it turns out.)
Back at the prison, Merle's brother Daryl - probably the main reason Glenn and Maggie are still alive - finally found Carol hiding in a prison cell while Rick laid eyes on Michonne for the first time as she paid them a visit. So one has to assume the prison and Woodbury are located fairly close together.
This installment moved the plot forward like a speeding train. What do you think will happen when Glenn and Maggie meet "Philip"? Will the notoriously silent Michonne tell Rick and crew everything she knows (after all, so many things would be solved on shows like this if characters just talked to each other)? And it needs to be said: R.I.P. Gargiulo.
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