Recap/Review: The Walking Dead - "Home"

By: Heather Seebach

*Warning: The following contains spoilers for "Home"

In the second episode since the mid-season hiatus, things remain relatively the same - Rick is cuckoo for Lori puffs, Glenn is still chest-beating over his almost-raped girlfriend, and Daryl is out in the wilderness with Merle. Then this episode kicks into high gear when the Governor's nasty side shows up again. But more on that later...

"Home" begins with Rick seeing visions of Lori again, this time outside the prison gates. She lures him away like a will-o'-the-wisp and he remains AWOL for most of the episode. Meanwhile, the Governor manipulates Andrea into staying in Woodbury - presumably because she could be a genuine threat if he were to lose her alliance. Back at the prison, Glenn is on a war path to attack the Governor, but everyone else thinks they should stay and fortify.  

By far, the most interesting subplot of this episode revolves around Daryl and Merle. While I like Daryl, I have never understood the obsession over him. However, I loved him SO much when he saved that family on the bridge. One of my old problems with Daryl was how self-absorbed he was. At the start, he was all about himself (or his brother), then gradually he came to love and help his friends. Now, here he is aiding a group of complete strangers, and then defending them against his brother! Go Daryl! This the is the break-through I have been wanting to see from him!

Plus, the following scene introduced a new layer to the Dixon history when we learn that the brothers suffered abuse at the hands of their father (unsurprisingly). That moment, especially Daryl's vulnerable "You left me behind" line was really great. Daryl's selfless act on the bridge exemplifies how different Daryl has become from his brother (and probably their father). I also adore how Daryl sticks up for Glenn when Merle calls him Chinese. "He's Korean!" The SS-motorcycle-riding redneck has come so far, I love it.

And lest I forget, that bridge scene gave us not one, not two, but THREE amazing walker head smashes! One of which was probably the bloodiest kill EVER shown on The Walking Dead

I should mention the scene between Glenn and Maggie in the jail cell because I think it is a bit confusing. I can see why some viewers may not understand Maggie's anger toward Glenn, as it is not explained particularly well. Steven Yeun described it perfectly on last week's Talking Dead when he said that testosterone-fueled young men like Glenn don't know how to deal with a situation like Maggie's. His reaction is to make it all about him and his own need for retribution. 

Yeun noted that, in his research, a spouse of a sexual abuse victim often continued to unknowingly victimize his wife or girlfriend by speaking FOR her and acting FOR her, rather than helping her or listening to her. The key line in the jail cell scene is when Maggie says, "Do I need to talk about it? Or do YOU?" Like it or not, the idea of another man violating his girlfriend is going to trigger a primitive response in a man, especially a young one with access to guns. But I suspect Glenn learned his lesson and will stay close to the nest now after the Governor's visit.  

I want to take a moment to discuss Axel (Lew Temple). Earlier in this episode, he told Carol he was not actually in prison for some light charge - just like the serial killer Thomas in the comics. Now, obviously there was an Axel (in prison for armed robbery) in the comics, and he was a cool guy, so I never knew WHAT to think about this character! Add to that his creepy staring at Carol and Beth in previous episodes. Maybe I am just distrusting, but the nicer Axel became in "Home", the more I suspected him of being "Thomas." He could have killed the real Axel and taken his identity! I thought all this right up until that bullet penetrated his skull.
And guess what? On The Talking Dead after the episode, Lew Temple actually revealed that he was originally cast (or so he was told) to play the prison's serial killer! Argg!

Lew takes a bullet to the Temple
Okay, so obviously that bullet came courtesy of the Governor, who has arrived to wreak some havoc on the survivors, who are completely caught off-guard. Carol is pinned down by a shooter in a Vin-Dielsel-in-Saving Private Ryan-esque moment, and she uses poor Axel as a human shield. Then came the episode's most nail-biting moment (for me) when that van arrived. My thought process went as follows:

"Oh no! It's Glenn coming back, the Governor is gonna shoot him!"

"Wait, no that's a van - it must be Andrea! The Governor is gonna shoot her thinking it's one of the survivors! Ha ha!"

"They just rammed the gates - the fuck?! That can't be Andrea. Milton! Must be Milton! That's why he asked if he was willing to take a bullet for him. But wait, wasn't he back at Woodbury still?" 


Annnnd I still don't know who that is! Are we to assume it's just some random guy the Governor brought in and they left him there?? Where is he now? C'mon, it's gotta be Milton! He wasn't running all that awkwardly, but who else would need to wear so much armor? And how did they get all those walkers in there?! Am I asking too many questions?!? Whatever the case, that scene was pretty great and I was on the edge of the my seat. 

What followed was a good old-fashioned walker massacre. It has been too long since we've seen one. The shot of Michonne running through the high grass with her kitana gave me fucking goosebumps!

Give me more Michonne!!!
 Another nail-biter came my way when bullet-less Rick was up against the fence about to be eaten by those zombies. When Daryl's arrow-tip came through that walker's head, omg, I don't think I've cheered so hard since Michonne first showed up last season! Between that and the Governor's orgasmic enjoyment of his shooting spree, I was in fangirl heaven. 

I'm still wondering where Tyreese and co. are during all this. If they had showed up along with Daryl and Merle, it would have been a bit too corny and convenient, but I hope we find out soon where they went after Rick's freak-out.

I'm the ultimate Team Rick member, but even I am getting annoyed with him lately. As a fan of the comics, I fully expected and looked forward to him losing his shit when the time came, but I thought he was over all this a few episodes back. Now I just want him to get his shit together and fight the Governor! I suspect this ambush was FINALLY the wake-up call he needed, though. I cannot WAIT to see those two sexy bastards face-to-face. 

  So what did you think of "Home"? Are you looking forward to next week's episode?

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