The Walking Dead promised a rumble this week, and “Made to Suffer” delivers one huge battle royal. The carnage of this episode has ensured that the Governor will suddenly become 20 more kinds of crazy and evil. It’s also revealed that Woodbury citizens may not be that far from the Governor’s crazy bloodlust. The second half of the season may prove that Rick’s crew should fear the living far more than the dead.

The Great Escape

We get our first major shootout, and Rick’s crew delivers one exciting rescue. Though poor Oscar seems to pull a T-Dog by dying before we even get to know about him. We shouldn’t be too shocked because a shootout needs casualties and he was the only member of the crew without an important storyline. We didn’t even get to find out his favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

The breakout of Woodbury is action-packed. It also gives us another glimpse at bad-ass Glenn. Daryl and Michonne may appear to be the toughest characters on the show, but Glenn is the only one to create a zombie bone shank. All credit goes to Maggie for being the first ever user of a zombie bone shank.

Brothers Reunite — Unfortunately For Them

Unfortunately, the great Woodbury breakout isn’t a complete success since they traded Glenn and Maggie for Daryl. It looks like we’ll get a rematch when The Walking Dead returns in February, except this time the entire community is rabid.

We finally get the Merle and Daryl reunion, but likely not the way most would have predicted. Throughout season 3, it has been hinted that Merle really cares about his brother, but he also seemed to be brainwashed by the Governor. Even though the Governor seems to have officially fired Merle, he is never given a chance to prove which person he’d choose. He is being left to the fate of an angry mob, more due to lying about Michonne’s fate rather than an actual betrayal.

Do Rick and crew save Merle along with Daryl?  If he does, that leads to some pretty interesting possibilities. You wouldn’t think Glenn would be too eager to become buddies with the man that made his face a blood pudding. Plus, Merle’s only real allegiance to the group would be his blood relation to Daryl. Then again, if you need a good mole to break into Woodbury, then the former right-hand man is probably your best choice.

Rick’s Sanity May Not Be Totally Back

He had a phone conversation with his dead wife a few episode ago, and now he is re-killing his former best friend, Shane. It looks like Rick is being haunted by the dead, but not in zombie form this time. Obviously, this storyline is going somewhere, and I wonder if it will lead to Rick officially stepping down as leader.

Andrea Sees the Real Governor

I’m hoping Andrea is going to take a break from jumping in bed with the Governor. How can you want to get intimate with a man who keeps an aquarium of heads and a zombie daughter in a cage? I realize you can’t be picky during the apocalypse, but that eye patch isn’t a huge turn on, either, I wouldn’t think. The fact Andrea doesn’t shoot Michonne when she has the chance, and based off her face when Daryl is revealed, she may be finally ready to see Woodbury as a place that is about a galaxy away from perfect.

Michonne vs. Governor

Michonne and the Governor will have to battle again. Michonne is ahead by points since she ruins his wall of heads, kills his zombie daughter, and impales one of his eyes. I think the Governor may have bloodied her lip or bruised her lower thigh, but for the most part, she wins it by a landslide.

Though I have to say that Michonne makes one really odd mistake. Her character has proven to be very observant and intelligent.  For some reason, she thought little girls make growling noises. I realize she probably hasn’t seen a little girl in a long time, but she has heard lots of zombies.

Introducing Tyreese

The prison crew is going to have to battle the rapid citizens of Woodbury once again. It is rather helpful that a few new recruits stumbled into the prison. Tyreese makes his debut on the show, and he so far seems like a nice balance between tough zombie slayer and a compassionate leader. Maybe he will eventually replace crazy Rick? He also takes being locked in a cell fairly well, but then again, it is a lot safer place than the woods they came running out from.

The Growth of Carl

Kudos need to be thrown to Carl, too.  He actually was a decent leader. It will be interesting to see how he develops over the next few episodes, since the poor kid has been through a lot. It will be interesting to see if Carl and the current crew will need to defend the prison, or if Rick will be back to warn them. Hopefully, Carl continues to grow and has a chance to be a respectable backup leader.

Axel the Comic Relief

One final note, The Walking Dead actually made me laugh. It looks like Axel is set to be comic relief. He will be until he becomes a zombie snack. Poor, clueless Axel is sweating and stuttering while trying to explain his reason for making moves on Beth, but then makes things worse by thinking Carol is a lesbian based off her short hair. After making his accusation, he quickly tries to pick up Carol, which obviously doesn’t go too well. I think there should be a side story where every single week Axel fails at trying to hook up with a member of the group. It would likely end right after he makes a move on Michonne.

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(Image courtesy of AMC)

Chris Spicer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV