In “Made to Suffer,” the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, the Battle of Woodbury leaves one character dead and another dead again, two characters in mortal danger, and oh yeah, Shane returns. Whaaat?! Allow me to explain:
FRESH MEAT | We open in the woods, where a small group of survivors — among them Tyrese, who I’m told is a VBD (Very Big Deal) in the comics — is fighting off walkers. They make their way inside the prison, but not before one of them is bitten. (Random lady, we hardly knew ye.) Hearing screams, Carl goes to investigate, helps the newbies out of a zombie scuffle, then locks them up away from his crew. (Given the way Axel is eyeing young Beth because he thinks Carol’s a lesbian, Carl might wanna consider putting the convict back behind bars, too.)
THE RESCUERS | While Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Oscar sneak into Woodbury, Glenn — now apparently a permanent badass — rips the arm off the walker to whom Merle tried to feed him, removes the pointy bone and gives it to Maggie as a weapon. She needs it pretty quickly, too, because at that very moment, the Governor is ordering his hostages assassinated. (“Take them to the scream pits” are his exact words. Scariest line since “Bring me the bore worms!” in Flash Gordon, no?) Luckily, before Merle can kill the lovebirds, Rick, Daryl and Oscar burst in with smoke bombs and — poof! — make them disappear.
KISS KISS BANG BANG | When gunfire breaks out in Woodbury, the Governor — desperate to prevent Andrea from learning that they’re being invaded by her old friends — gives her busy work to do. But keeping her in the dark is the least of his problems: During the siege, Michonne not only finds but puts an end to his undead daughter, Penny! In the ensuing knock-down, drag-out brawl, he smashes Michonne’s head through the glass of his zombie aquariums, and she uses a shard to poke his eye out! It looks like she’s gonna finish him off, too… until Andrea busts in. Rather than inform the dim bulb that her boyfriend took out a hit on her and had a coupla nice kids abducted, Michonne just walks away. (Maybe at this point she’s as over Andrea as we are?)
AW, SHOOT! | During the last shootout in the streets of Woodbury, Oscar bites the dust, and Rick is stunned to see Shane (!) sporting a Grizzly Adams beard and taking aim at him! However, after he’s dispatched his attacker, he realizes that it wasn’t Shane at all. Okay, then. When the dust settles, the one-eyed Governor uses a State of the Union address to get even with Merle for lying that Michonne was dead. “One of the terrorists [that attacked us],” he announces, fingering his one-handed right-hand man, “is one of our own.” Next, he reunites Merle with his “accomplice” — poor Daryl! — and asks the angry villagers (who are missing only pitchforks and torches) what they wanna do with the brothers. As you can imagine, their reply is not, “Name them George and hug them and pet them and squeeze them.”
Okay, your turn. What did you think of the midseason-ender? Did the show fool you into thinking Shane was really back? Were you sorry Michonne didn’t succeed in assassinating the Governor? Were you satisfied with Tyrese’s introduction? Hit the comments with, you know, your, um, comments.