Credit: AMC

WALKING DEAD SPOILERS AHEAD! Stop reading if you haven’t watched The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 10, “Home,” which aired Sunday, February 17, 2013.

He was the last one. Axel. The last remaining original prison guy. Remember when there were five, like a little boy band? Mustache Man was the second Team Prison casualty of the war with Woodbury, and the first one on “Home” turf, which was the name of The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 10.

If we could do 21 gun salute for Axel (Lew Temple), they would all be water guns. What a way to go. And what an episode! It was, as Chris Hardwick said on Talking Dead, very cinematic. It started silent, with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) wandering through the grass following his vision of Lori, and ended essentially silent except for gunfire. There were very few words at the bookends, but plenty in the middle — with Axel sharing stories to Carol (Melissa McBride), Merle (Michael Rooker) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) sharing a dark piece of their childhood, and Hershel (Scott Wilson) trying to get both Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick to be more mentally strong in the face of this new war.

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: The Walking Dead prisoners

You can’t even blame walkers. The humans are now more dangerous than the zombies (although, as we saw this week, even Rick still needs to be saved from a walker attack). T-Dog (IronE Singleton) is the only major character this season who has died from a walker bite — Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), Oscar (Vincent Ward), and Axel all died from warfare or labor-fare. Do you think the “old” prison group had to die to make way for the “new” prison group’s storyline? Is this just an appetizer for the full Woodbury/Prison war, which will kill off more major characters?

And what about Merle? Merle and Daryl — who had a dramatic, poignant trip down memory lane before swooping in like superheroes to save Rick — are now at the prison. Everyone is going to be happy to see Daryl, especially Carol, who will now be mourning Axel. But how do you solve a problem like Merle-ia? Can he bond with Team Prison? Can Glenn tolerate him? Glenn seems to be on such a path of vengeance it’s not even safe to be Maggie (Lauren Cohan) around him, never mind Merle. Where does the prison group go from here? Should they leave the prison and look for a new safe place? Attempt to take back and fortify the prison? Plan a revenge attack on Woodbury? Look for a surviving mental health professional to help Rick rid his brain of hallucinations?

Read on for a full recap of Episode 10:

RICK HAS ANOTHER VISION OF LOVE  LORI
He looks through his binoculars and sees the woman in white again. Same lady from last week. It’s Lori, standing by the graves of the people they’ve lost. (Like herself.) Then she moves to a different area of the prison. Michonne (Danai Gurira) sees Rick running after this hallucination and trying to touch it. There are no words for this whole segment, just haunting music. It’s good to see Sarah Wayne Callies again, but this just shows Michonne that Rick’s visions are increasing. He’s too mentally unstable to be a reliable leader.

ANDREA & THE GOVERNOR HAVE A TALK
Why is she still there, in Woodbury? The Governor tells her it was quite a speech she gave them, in Episode 9. Andrea: “What about the prison?” Governor: “As long as they leave us alone we have no problem.” Andrea: “So no retaliation?” Governor: “No. What would that get us?” His pants are on FIRE right about now. The Gov says he’s done terrible things and he’s not fit to be the leader. But she is. Is he abdicating, Andrea asks? He never answers questions. Not directly or truthfully, anyway. The Gov wants Andrea to fill in for him while he, uh, deals with some business.

THE DIXON BOYS!
Are in the woods. Daryl wants food, he wants to go to one of the houses on the turnoff. Merle thinks that’s what his friends taught him — how to loot for booty. Merle says Daryl just wants to lead him back to the prison. True. That’s what Daryl wants, but Merle knows they don’t want him there. “Everyone will get used to each other,” Daryl says, rather optimistically, considering how Merle treated Glenn, Maggie and Michonne. “There’ll all dead. Makes no difference,” Merle said. At least Merle knows The Governor is planning an attack on the prison, even if Andrea seems to be oblivious.

GLENN WANTS TO ATTACK
Glenn is taking on a leadership role. Part of the prison is unsecure. Beth isn’t sure The Governor will attack. Michonne says “he’s coming.” Glenn wants to hit him now. They’ll sneak into Woodbury and put a bullet in his head. Carol said they’re not assassins. Michonne is in. Hershel isn’t into the plan. “Rick would never allow this.” Glenn knows Rick isn’t in a position to make that call. Hershel said they should be out of there by now, if The Gov is really coming. Hershel: “We can’t stay here.” Glenn: “We can’t run.” Glenn makes the call: They’ll stay and make a stand. Bad idea?

THE GOVERNOR TALKS TO MILTON
The Gov tells Milton he’s been invaluable. Does he plan to stay? Milton said leaving Woodbury has never crossed his mind. Would Milton take a bullet for The Gov? He says he would. The Gov tells Milton he’s not sure where Andrea’s loyalties lie. He wants Milton to spy on Andrea, while Andrea is supposedly in charge. In Survivor terms, The Governor is playing a Boston Rob “Robfather” game right now.

WHERE IS EVERYONE?
Some leader she turned out to be. Andrea stops people on the street to ask where Martinez and The Governor are and she gets no answers. Why are they making Andrea the last to know? She’s being made a fool of and she deserves better.

THERE ARE WALKERS AT THE PRISION
The tombs are filled up again with walkers. The place isn’t fortified. They can’t leave. It’s not safe to stay. The problem with being the leader of Team Prison is everyone is always questioning everything without offering solutions. They’re a bunch of naysayers. Abdicate, Glenn! Give the job to Andrea, she seems to like pretending to be in charge.

GLENN & MAGGIE TALK ABOUT ‘WHAT HAPPENED’
Maggie isn’t in a good place. Glenn goes to talk to her and she explains how The Governor almost raped her. She could either take off her shirt or they would take off Glenn’s hand. She’s pissed at him for making her talk about it. He wanted the gory details, she just wanted to not rehash it.

CAROL & AXEL BOND
Axel robbed a gas station with a toy gun. They have a chat while they fortify. Axel doesn’t even know how to use a real gun. Carol, at this point, actually does. She shows him. “You’re quite a lady,” he says. Well, now that he knows she’s not a lesbian, “short hair” and all...

MEANWHILE, CAROL’S EX IS STILL WITH MERLE
Merle and Daryl are arguing when Daryl hears a baby cry. Merle thinks it’s a raccoon making sweet love? (Oh, Merle. He’s going to start flirting with Carol too, isn’t he?) Daryl plays hero, running up to a bridge to help a family being attacked by a herd of walkers. Finally, some zombie action instead of just human action. Merle watches as Daryl fights. NICE walker crush in the trunk of the car. After they clear the bridge of walkers, Merle finds a gun and pulls it on the father of the family. Merle is Merle. Merle wants to loot from this poor terrified family. Daryl doesn’t seem like he knows what to do, but he eventually pulls his crossbow on Merle. Go Daryl! Dixon boy makes the right choice. 

Credit: AMC

MERLE VS. DARYL
Merle is jealous that Daryl is Rick’s right-hand man. Daryl tells Merle getting locked up on that roof was Merle’s own fault. “Because you’re a simpleminded piece of sh-t.” They get into a fight, and Merle sees the scars on Daryl’s back. Merle said he didn’t know, but Daryl said he did. That’s why he left first. Merle “I had to, man. I would’ve killed him otherwise.” Daryl said he’s going “back where I belong.” Merle said he can’t go with him. “I tried to kill that black bitch. Damn near killed the Chinese kid.” Daryl: “He’s Korean.” You tell him! Merle said it doesn’t matter, he can’t go with him. Daryl: “You know, I may be the one walking away, but you’re the one who’s leaving. Again.” Deep.

HERHSEL PLAYS MEDIATOR AGAIN
He’s the official Jiminy Cricket. Whoever takes on the leadership role gets a speech from Hershel about reining things in, etc. But who really decided Glenn was the next in charge, since Rick is in Crazy Town and Daryl is gone? Glenn wants to go out there, to Woodbury. He can’t just sit on his hands. Hershel: “This rage is going to get you killed.” Hope not!

OH, THAT’S RIGHT. THE BABY
This baby is nothing but trouble. OK, maybe cute, too. Beth seems to be on permanent Little Ass-Kicker duty, but Maggie gets to hold her, too, and feed her.

RICK *IS* WANDERING THROUGH CRAZY TOWN
Glenn was just making a joke, but Rick is outside the fences, just wandering around. Hershel hobbled down to see him, to tell Rick, “We need you now more than ever.” Glenn is that bad a leader, eh? Rick said maybe Hershel should just lead. Rick said he’s just been out there doin’ stuff. What, smokin’ weed? He tells Hershel about seeing Lori. And Shane. Poor Hershel. He only has one leg and he has to put his trust, and his family’s trust, in a crazy guy having visions and an angry guy hell-bent on revenge.

AXEL & CAROL CONTINUE TO BOND
He’s seen a lot of guys crack on the inside (like Rick), but he thrived in prison. There were rules. Life was simple. He was in the middle of a story about his brother... when he got a BULLET TO THE BRAIN. Axel is dead. Cue shot of The Governor and his eyepatch, holding a gun. Bastard.

WOODBURY ATTACKS THE PRISON!
The war is on! Michonne shoots back at The Governor as he and his guys shoot at the prison. Rick has a gun, so he shoots back. Carol uses Axel as a body shield, as they showed in one promo a while back. It’s an old-fashioned shoot-out. No words, just bullets. Kind of a dark answer to the silent opening, also taking place in the same field area outside the prison. A van pulls up and a ton of walkers are unleashed on the prison. Guerilla warfare! It’s getting ugly. The Gov enjoys it, of course, and — thank Dixon! — right when Rick seems trapped by walkers, Merle and Daryl arrive to save him. Glenn returns, too. So now Team Prison is back together, minus Axel, but plus Merle and a ton of walkers. The place is, once again, overrun. Now what?

COMING UP
Carl tells Rick he should stop being the leader. Andrea says she’s going to see the prisoners. The Gov said if she goes to the prison, she stays there. GOOD! Carol tells Daryl Merle is his brother, but he’s not good for him. Hershel yells to Rick to “Get back here!” Should the prison group welcome Andrea or tell her to go to hell?


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