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'The Walking Dead: When the Dead Come Knocking' (Recap)

I know it’s torture when you miss an episode of The Walking Dead. If you missed “When the Dead Come Knocking” then be careful when you open this door, because there are spoilers ahead.

Man, Glenn takes a licking and keeps on ticking! Glenn really stepped it up tonight, under Merle’s brutal interrogation. Initially, Merle just uses his own fists of fury to try to get Glenn to spill about the group’s location. Maggie, meanwhile, is tied up in the next room, and listens to Glenn’s torture, crying and shaking. And this was not even as bad as her night was going to get…not by a long shot.

At the prison fence, Rick and Michonne eye each other, but their staring contest is broken when Michonne’s walker blood disguise has faded enough that her own fresh blood, leaking from her gunshot-wounded leg, begins to attract the attention of the walkers around her. She is forced to back up and draw her sword, but her wound is bad, and she’s too handicapped to engage in her normal level of badassery. Just as she passes out she sees the two walkers over her go down, thanks to Rick and Carl. They make a mad dash outside the fence to scatter the other walkers and carry her inside.

Michonne, of course, is not exactly a chatty Cathy, so when they revive her inside the prison, the first thing she does is panic and go for her sword. Rick keeps asking for her name, but she’s silent on that score and everything else at first, although she does mutter that she “didn’t ask for [their] help.”

On a sweeter note, the gang is notified by Daryl that one of their members has basically come back from the dead, and Carol is joyfully greeted by everyone. The group has taken a beating as of late, and getting one of their own back is a much needed morale boost. It is bittersweet, however, as Carol delights over the baby, but then tearfully realizes what has happened to Lori in her absence. They all cry and embrace and their warm and fuzzy catharsis is witnessed by a silent Michonne, brooding from the other side of the prison bars. You can almost SEE her thinking, “Who are these people?!”

Our other main story thread is the tale of Old Man Coleman…the prostate cancer-having guinea pig that Milton (or Creepy Science Guy, if you prefer) wants to observe through the turning process. Milton’s theory, as explained to Andrea, is that the transformation from human being to walker may leave some human memories intact. He needs baseline data to test this theory, and the ailing Mr. Coleman was the perfect subject. Andrea is skeptical…has Milton ever seen anyone turn? Ummm…no. Milton was something of a loner. “I telecommuted,” he offers gamely, by way of explanation. When the transformation finally happens, Mr. Coleman is clearly not responding to Milton’s prompts, but in the name of science he wants to loosen the restraints to be sure. Andrea, whose job in this experiment is to be the muscle, wisely steps in at the right moment to save Milton from his own folly by stabbing Mr. Coleman in the head. Science, ladies and gentlemen!

Rick is still trying to get information out of Michonne, and it takes a few tries. He browbeats her, and even hurts her a little to shake her up, after he finds out she saw Glenn and Maggie. This, of course, is not the right approach. “Don’t you ever touch me again!” she hisses as she leaps up. Rick realizes she has to be dealt with carefully, and finally she reveals everything she saw…Glenn and Maggie taken, the town of Woodbury, and how she knew to find them at the prison.

Herschel stitches her up as Carl looks on, hand over his gun. The rest of the group debate Michonne’s news and decide to form a rescue team to go after Maggie and Glenn.

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