'The Walking Dead' recap: Making the living less like the living
SPOILER ALERT: The recap for "The Suicide King" episode of "The Walking Dead" contains storyline and character spoilers.
This zombie apocalypse world is "making the living less like the living," new prison refugee Tyreese tells Hershel, and that, as the first new "Walking Dead" episode since December 2 previews, is going to be the theme of the rest of the third season.
Chief among those living who are becoming less like the living: Rick and Glenn, who are so angry and just plain freaked out by recent events that they're threatening to no longer be the guys we first got to know in Season 1.
Rick is still haunted by Lori's death and the birth of Lil' Asskicker, of course, not to mention the continuing planet of responsibility he feels to keep his group alive. For Glenn, that hand-to-hand combat with the zombie Merle sicced on him in Woodbury unleashed his fierceness, but the Governor's attack of Maggie, Glenn's beloved, has left Glenn feeling helpless and angry, and the zombie head he stomps into mush in tonight's episode is just the first of many ways that anger is going to manifest itself before he deals with his time in Woodbury.
As for how everyone else fares in Woodbury, when we left off with the gang in December, Daryl had just been reunited with big brother Merle, only to be thrown into the town's gladiator pit for a fight to the death. "Brother vs. brother … winner goes free," orders the Governor. With death coming to at least one of them courtesy of the Governor and zombies nipping at them from all sides, the Dixon brothers are saved only by the guns-and-grenades attack carried out by Rick and Maggie.
The rain of violence sends the Woodburyians into chaos, with townsfolk scrambling to avoid the bullets and explosions, as the Dixon duo escapes and the Governor stands in the middle of the mess smiling.
Merle leads the pack to a section of gated Woodbury where they can escape, and Rick, Maggie, Merle and Daryl meet up with Michonne and Glenn by their car. Guess who isn't happy to see Merle or consider the prospect of him joining the gang back at the prison? Yes, Michonne, who he tried to kill, and Glenn, whose Woodbury trauma began when Merle nabbed him and Maggie and delivered them to the Governor.
"Oh yeah, he is a charmer," is Merle's description of his former ally, the Governor, but no one's in the mood for Merle's sense of humor, and after a quick debate, it's decided that taking Merle back to camp is not a good idea.
Fine, Daryl says, but he left his brother behind once, and he's not doing it again. So if Merle is cast out, Daryl's splitting with him, and the Dixon brothers head off into the woods without either faction -- Rick and company or the Dixon brothers -- really thinking through how much stronger they are together than apart.
The newest prison dwellers?
Back at the prison, Hershel is tending to Tyreese's friends and getting to know their history in zombieland. Beth comes in holding the baby, and Sasha's questions lead to the revelation that Lil' Asskicker's mama is dead, and that the baby is only a week old. Shocking! Lori's death happened in the season's fourth episode; this is episode nine … everything that has happened in these last five episodes has happened in just a week, which is important to note in considering just how fragile and "less like the living," as Tyreese so perfectly put it, these characters have become.
Tyreese, who has bonded with Hershel, is a truly good guy, but he also has a motive in sharing his group's story: He wants to take up residency at the prison, too. Hershel tells him it's not his decision, meaning they'll have to wait 'til daddy comes home -- i.e. Rick -- to see if they can stay for supper(s).
Tyreese's friends don't want to wait. They see a chance to take over the prison for themselves with Rick and the others gone, but Tyreese, determined not to become one of those who are losing their humanity, prevents them from attacking anyone.
On their way back to the prison, Maggie, Michonne, Rick, and Glenn have to stop when a fallen tree and a crashed truck block the road. It's there that Glenn stomps a zombie head like it's a watermelon, and screams at Rick for not killing the Governor when he had a chance during the attack in Woodbury. "Do you know what he did to her?!" he shouts at Rick, about Maggie? We know that although the Governor tortured and attacked Maggie, he stopped short of raping her, but that may be a detail Glenn is not aware of yet.