Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t seen this episode and want to keep what happens a secret then turn back now! We’ll be discussing major plot points for this episode.

When the Dead Come Knocking

In Episode 7, the plot thickens, and right off the bat things are getting hairy: Merle has captured both Glen and Maggie, taking them back to Woodbury for some good old-fashioned interrogation. The Gov wants to know just where the other survivors are–for his own devious reasons–and Merle, the sadistic redneck, is in charge of extracting answers.

Also, Michonne, the deadly samurai sword-wielding badass, has found her way to Rick and the others at the prison, bringing news of Glen and Maggie’s abduction. Michonne also learns of the old trick of wearing zombie guts on your clothes and tricking the walkers into thinking you’re one of them–something that Rick and the others had learned all the way back in Season 1.

The New Arrival

Michonne has found her way to the prison where our band of survivors now call home, and despite her gunshot wound (inflicted upon her courtesy of Merle Dixon) she has been able to hide in plain site of the walkers as she had been practically sprayed with walker-guts after her last encounter with the undead. As Michonne bleeds out of her wound, however, the walkers smell her blood and her scent is no longer masked, which basically rings a dinner bell for all of the nearby undead.

Michonne is hurt, and while she does hold her own with a few walkers, she eventually faints and is saved by a few well-placed shots by Carl, who had been watching her along with Rick. Seeing her distress, Rick and Carl both storm out of the gate and kill the nearby undead, taking Michonne into the sanctuary of the prison.

Our samurai-wielding heroine has no idea who these people are–for all she knows they could be just as bad as Merle and the Gov, or even worse–and when she regains consciousness she tries to arm herself…but Rick insists on persuading her that “they’re not going to hurt her…not unless she tries something stupid first.”

Rick is against the initial decision of bringing a new person into their group, seeing as only one man caused the fracturing of their group with T-Dog’ and Lorie by enacting the prison-wide alarm…however Rick hasn’t lost the essential goodness that makes him who he is. Despite his ideals, Rick also realizes he can’t let Michonne leave or he’ll be risking having others come to the prison and attack them for their newfound home, so for now they cage her up like a wounded animal.

Daryl comes in, interrupting the introduction of a new member to their group and shows Rick and the others what he found in the last episode. Carol, although extremely dehydrated and in rough shape, is alive, much to everyone’s elation. This exchange of hopeful tidings and happiness even in the bleakest and darkest of times shows Michonne that these people aren’t like those in Woodbury, and that they actually care for one another.

Rick and the others then go back to Michonne, asking her how she came across the prison. Michonne tells them of her sword/gunfight with Merle and how he abducted Maggie and Glen. Rick tries to get information the hard way, through coercion…but it’s not his style, and his efforts fail. Instead he uses his world-class persuasion, and Michonne tells him of Woodbury and the Governor, presumably where Glen and Maggie were taken.

Curiously, though, Michonne never mentions Andrea. Perhaps she doesn’t know that these people are of the same group that Andrea had been with, and Andrea has had no communication with Rick and the others for quite some time, so she has no idea that they’re at the prison.

The Quest

After a discussion with all of the survivors, Rick plans to infiltrate Woodbury and take Glen and Maggie back with force, if necessary. Michonne has agreed to take part in the quest and volunteers to lead their scout party to the Woodbury’s location. Before they leave, Rick takes a moment to talk to Carl and warn him of the dangers of this trek, but the conversation ends on a lighter note when Carl decides on a name for his baby sister: Judith, the name of his own elementary school teacher.

 

The Interrogation

Meanwhile in Woodbury, Merle has been roughing up Glen with a pretty brutal interrogation, bruising his face and punching him around quite a bit. Even still, though, Glen doesn’t give away the location of the prison. Merle isn’t just asking for the location of the others, but also for the whereabouts of his brother, Daryl…but there’s no doubt that he seeks revenge for the atrocities he suffered on the rooftop of a skyscraper in Atlanta where he had no choice but to saw off his own hand to survive.

After not squeezing any information out of Glen with his current attempts, Merle decides to use a more…unsavory method of interrogation: by threatening Glen with a walker. When Glen still doesn’t give Merle an answer, Merle unleashes the walker and closes the door, leaving Glen to face a zombie while being duct-taped to a chair.

Even in this nightmarish scenario where every second counts, Glen manages to break free of his confines and kill the zombie–but not after a particularly heart-racing struggle that perfectly encapsulates the series as a whole. The scene was awesome and plainly one of the better scenarios in the series, masterfully executed and pumped in nail-biting suspense that put viewers on the edge of their seats.

The Experiment

Andrea and the Gov have gotten pretty hot and heavy, having fortified their relationship in the previous episode. The Gov then asks Andrea for her help in an “experiment”, and finally viewers get to see what the Governor’s mousy scientist friend Milton has been up to all this time.

Basically, Milton is using light hypnotism to see if trace memory or consciousness is still active when a person turns, and one of the only ways to conduct this experiment is to have a living subject die and thus turn into a zombie.

The scientist conducts the test once while they are alive, asking a series of questions, then once again after the subject passes, he conducts the same test when they are dead. The subject in this case, one Mr. Coleman, is an elderly man who is on his way to passing on anyway…however I wouldn’t put it past the Gov to conduct this test on an unwilling person.

Andrea’s services are requested because the Gov knows how adept she is at dispatching the undead, and she is asked to kill the turned dead man after the test is completed.

Andrea disagrees with Milton’s theory, however, stating that once someone turns they become nothing more than a monster. The man with the glasses merely wants to determine, out of scientific curiosity or personal orders from the Gov, if a walker has any recollection of their memories or who they once were.

This experiment could presumably have something to do with the Governor’s own daughter, Penny, who has turned. Perhaps if they determine any substantial data from the experiment, perhaps the Gov can have some sort of solace from Penny’s death…or perpetuate his sick and unhealthy obsession with keeping her nearby.

The experiment fails and Milton learns first-hand what it’s like to be around a freshly turned walker, and Andrea quickly dispatches of the zombie with her fluid grace.

 On the Way to Woodbury

On their way to Woodbury, Rick’s scouting party comes across a huge mass of walkers, and flees to a nearby house to escape them…only the house isn’t empty. The occupant still is under the impression that the world is as it was before the fall of humanity, and Michonne quickly executes him when he goes to open a nearby door and let the walkers in.

In a somewhat inhumane but ingenious gesture, the survivors use the dead man’s corpse as a distraction and escape while the walkers feed on his body.

As night falls, Rick, Michonne and the rest of the party reach the outskirts of Woodbury’s outer gates minutes after Maggie finally gives the Governor the location of their homestead, putting everyone who stayed back–Carl, his baby sister, Carol, Herschel and Beth–in direct danger…

For a sneak peak at Episode 8 and more information on AMC’s The Walking Dead please visit the show’s official website.