I told you about the plaid flannels!
(Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein. CN: Violence; rape culture.)
When last we left our totally trepid band of depressing protagonists, Governor Cyclops had unleashed a clown-car of zombies on Grimes Jail and everyone except Mustache Prisoner had survived the shittiest shoot-out of all time. RIP Mustache Prisoner.
This episode starts with Governor Cyclops & Co. back in Unplesantville and Grimes Gang safely tucked away back in Grimes Jail, bickering about how terrible Grimes is. FINALLY. Except for Glenn, who is still on Team Grimes: "If Rick says we're not running, we're not running!" Be quiet, Glenn. If Grimes told you to go jump in a zombie well, would you?! Because he probably will, so get ready!
Hershel finally says something sensible and yells at Grimes: "You're slipping!" Which is frankly far too generous. Once you're out in Zombie Woods making out with a knothole you imagine to be your dead wife, you've officially slipped. And then Hershel immediately stops saying sensible things and tells Grimes to "get your head clear and do something!" I'm no professor of medicine, nor even a country vet and master Jesus-quoting machine, but I'm pretty sure that shouting at someone having a psychotic break to "get your head clear" doesn't usually work.
In any case, Grimes takes Hershel's advice to "do something" and goes out on the garbage balcony to hunt for Ghost Lori through his magic binoculars. He doesn't spot her, though, so maybe I'm wrong and shouting at someone to "get your head clear" does work. Does everyone currently working in the mental health field know this crucial information? Stop giving people therapy and START YELLING!
"THANK YOU. This is what I've been saying FOR YEARS."—Dr. Phil.
Anyway. Carl the Hat joins Grimes outside and tells him to abdicate the Ricktatorship and take a nap. And then he takes his hat off for the first time in fully two years, because IMPORTANT METAPHOR OF PATERNAL HERO-WORSHIP.
Meanwhile, over in Unpleasantville, Governor Cyclops is assembling a child army because he is the coolest. Melvin Nerdly is helping him crunch the numbers, because Governor Cyclops doesn't have time to plan a pointless war AND do math. (See also: George W. Bush.) Andrea strides in and offers to serve as a diplomat to the Great Nation of Grimes Jail on behalf of the People's Republic of Unplesantville, but Governor Cyclops is all, "If you go to Grimes Jail, you can STAY at Grimes Jail, girl!"
And then Andrea says these actual lines of dialogue: "I'm sick of the lies!" and "Enough is enough!" Solid writing. Following is a very esoteric reference, but if you get it, you will soooo get it: That whole exchange reminded me of the scene in A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise—who is a lawyer and an officer in the United States Navy and you're under arrest, you son of a bitch, because he CAN handle the truth OH SNAP!—is shown to be a Nice Guy and Totes Not Racist by having fun banter with an elderly black man who runs a newsstand, and that banter consists entirely of their swapping idioms and clichés at each other. "A rolling stone gathers no socks!" "Catch a frog with a honey pot!" or whatever. Aaron Sorkin, ladies and germs.
Back at Grimes Jail, Hershel pays Merle a visit, and Merle greets him with, "You're the farmer—Hershel," and Hershel replies, "And you're the black sheep—Merle." It's like Canterbury Tales, only with fewer nuns and more flannel shirts! Merle does not address the irony of being called a black sheep when he is a white supremacist, and instead they start quoting Bible verses at each other, because you know how every person in the South has the Bible memorized. It's a fact. Ask Hollywood.
Elsewhere, Daryl is being a real Eeyore, and Carol cheers him up by reminding him that his brother is a garbage nightmare. Later, Merle tries to clear the air with Michonne by leering at her while she works out and then not actually apologizing for trying to murder the fuck out of her. Michonne glares at him, because Michonne.
Back in Unplesantville, Andrea conspires with Melvin Nerdly to leave town to go visit Grimes Jail against Governor Cyclops' wishes, and Melvin Nerdly snitches to the Governor because he was totally that kid. Governor Cyclops tells him to assist Andrea and blah blah something something they end up in the woods with Melvin Nerdly holding down a zombie while Andrea curb-stomps him to knock his teeth out so she can put him on a dog-catcher's pole and use him to help her navigate through Zombie Woods.
Here is another superfun inconsistency in this terrible show: The zombie's skulls are so soft that they can be crushed into oblivion almost instantly by almost any hard surface, but simultaneously still hard enough that they can withstand Andrea stomping on them. WHAT A GREAT SHOW THIS IS!
Tyreese and Sasha and two white dudes show up and head back to Unpleasantville with Melvin Nerdly, where they agree to help Governor Cyclops plan his attack on Grimes Jail. Andrea makes her way to Grimes Jail with her corndog zombie (get it? because he's on a stick!), where Grimes greets her with his usual hospitality. Andrea asks after Shane and Lori, but not T-Dog HA HA OF COURSE, but Carol tells her that he died, too. I ♥ Carol.
Then Andrea has THE MOST AMAZING exchange with Grimes about the Governor's attack on Grimes Jail, in which Andrea is completely shocked!!!eleventy! that the Governor lied about Grimes Gang having shot first. (This, right after she shouted at the Governor that she was "sick of the lies!" A line so forgettable even she forgot it!) Yes, it would certainly be difficult for ANYONE to believe that the Governor's intentions were anything but good-hearted when he showed up with a van full of zombies.
"I just thought they'd enjoy a ride in my cool van!"—Governor Cyclops.
"Makes sense! Let's bone!"—Andrea.
Andrea reveals that Governor Cyclops' name is Phillip, and she can't imagine why anyone would have a problem moving into his lovely gated community. Maggie just glowers at her, but does not say, "Yeah, um, dude sexually assaulted me, so I'm good, thanks."
Once it's established Grimes Gang is not keen to relocate to Unpleasantville, Andrea goes for a walk with Michonne and blames her for "poisoning" Grimes Gang against Governor Cyclops. Michonne tells Andrea she's totes dickmatized, and then gets the most lines she's had ever (?) only to reveal that under that seething exterior, she's really just a Mean Girl who wants to get back at Andrea for being a bad friend.
WRITERS OF THE WALKING DEAD: I HATE YOU.
Michonne's exposited motivation could have been, and started to be, that she was more intuitive, more insightful, and more decent than Andrea. There was no need to veer into this INCOMPREHENSIBLY STUPID AND PETTY territory where Michonne, who has always been powerfully motivated by self-preservation, YOU KNOW THAT THING THAT MAKES HER A KICKASS CHARACTER, really returned to Unpleasantville to spite Andrea for ditching her for a boy, not because of the revenge-seeking against a man who harmed her and the justice-mindedness to stop him hurting others. GROSSSSSSSSS!
Anyway. Andrea takes leave of Grimes Jail, but not before Carol tells her to fuck the Governor and then kill him, which is the best plan anyone has had in ages. Grimes sends her on her way with a car, a knife, and a gun, which is stupidly generous. Andrea goes back to Unpleasantville and carries out the first part of Carol's plan, but not the second! OH WELL!
Blonde Sister Whose Name I Will Never Know starts singing around the camp candle in Grimes Jail, and it turns out Grimes Jail has TERRIFIC acoustics. #silverlinings