AMC’s “The Walking Dead” came back Sunday night after more than two months away, with “The Suicide King,” the first of eight episodes to air in 2013.
The show begins with Daryl and Merle in the circle at Woodbury, with a newly one-eyed Governor staring them down. He tells Merle to prove his loyalty, he’ll have to kill Daryl. It’s brother against brother to the death, with the winner going free. Merle sucker-punches Daryl and starts kicking him as they lead walkers out to the circle. Daryl tells Merle to follow his lead, and they jump up, standing back-to-back against the walkers. Just then, Rick and his group make the save, and everyone flees.
I didn’t notice it last year but David Morrissey has his name in the opening credits of this season. He deserves it. The Governor is such a huge character in the original comics, and Morrissey really pulled him off in the first eight episodes this season.
Rick’s group gets outside the Woodbury gates, and in spite of Rick, Merle seems to be leading the escape. As they go, we see a walker peering through a hole in the wall at a suddenly-vulnerable Woodbury.
Understandably, Michonne and Glenn don’t care much for the idea of Merle coming back with them, and as Rick is trying to get them on board, Merle keeps egging things on. He tells them about Andrea being in Woodbury, and Michonne knowing about it. Rick finally clubs him with his gun and knocks him out.
Back at the prison, Hershel is tending to an injury for one of Tyreese’s people. Tyreese tells them they’re the first decent people they’ve found. Hershel tells him they’ll bury Donna, and he thanks him. He tells Tyreese they have a larger group, though, and that he shouldn’t get too comfortable at the prison.
On the road, the group discusses what to do with Merle and Michonne. They tell Daryl that he’s a part of their family, but Merle isn’t. Daryl says if they don’t take both brothers, he’ll leave with Merle. He gets his gear and tells Rick to take care of himself and his “little a**-kicker,” which is what they were calling Rick’s new daughter. Daryl leaves, while Rick tells Michonne they’re going to patch her up and then she’s gone.
In a promo, Chris Hardwick informs us tonight’s “Talking Dead” hashtag will be #walkingdixons.
Tyreese and his people set out to bury Donna, and one of his men tries to get them to overpower Rick’s people and take over. Tyreese resists the idea.
Rick’s group finds a truck parked blocking the road, and when Glenn opens the door, a walker lurches at him. Glenn throws the walker to the road and angrily stomps through his head. Glenn’s angry at Rick for not getting the Governor, and for letting Daryl go.
In Woodbury, Andrea tells Milton that nine people were injured, and he tells her the Governor is in his apartment. People are loading up and trying to leave because they no longer think the place is safe. Martinez throws one citizen out of his truck for blowing his horn, and as Andrea confronts him, they hear screams from behind them. Some walkers were loose in Woodbury, and Andrea and Martinez kill them. However, one citizen was bitten. As Andrea pleads for someone from Woodbury to help him, the Governor walks up and shoots the wounded man through the head, then walks back off without saying a word.
(For the second part of this article, please click here.)