**SPOILER ALERT** If you have not watched Season 3 Episode 6 “Hounded” of The Walking Dead and don’t want to know what happens, stop reading here as it is a re-cap and kill count.
The opening sequences in this season of The Walking Dead have been killer, and “Hounded” is no different. “Go Back” spelled out in walker body parts warns the people following Michonne to turn around and end their hunt. You see, she knew that when she left Woodbury that the Governor would send his goons out to get her. Led by Merle, a pack of 4 men with guns and other weapons are on her trail. After they ignore her warning, Michonne leaps down from a tree and immediately slices a dude’s head off with her kitana, then runs another through the gut. As one of the hunters sits up against a tree in shock, Merle starts popping off with his 9, only to fill the back of the man who’s been run through with holes. Michonne dumps the body off of her sword, but catches a bullet in the back of the thigh as she runs away. Now THAT’S how you start an episode.
After the commercial break, we go back to the prison where Rick has picked up the ringing phone from the end of episode 5. A woman’s voice is on the other end, saying she can’t believe anyone picked up and tells Rick she can’t tell her where she is. Rick’s got a bunch of questions. “What makes your place so safe?” to which the woman replies “It’s just away…from them.” Rick starts looking out for his group immediately, asking if he can bring his people to where they are. The woman says she’ll call back in 2 hours, while Rick is breaking down. Rick’s still covered in blood from his walker slashing rampage, but after hanging up the phone he returns to the cell block where everyone else is asking if they’re OK. They didn’t show it, but he’s cleaned up. I guess he doesn’t want to look like a mess in front of his son and the whole group. He insists that he’s to go back in and clean out the rest of the prison from walkers.
Merle and “Neil” are in the woods standing over the 2 dead bodies. Well, Merle’s standing, “Neil” is on his knees almost sobbing. Merle insists that they don’t let their own turn, as they run knives through the sculls of their fallen comrades. The hunt continues for Michonne.
Meanwhile Andrea is chatting with the Governor back at Woodbury. While she doesn’t approve of the “festivities” from episode 5, it seems she still wants to stay. She says she wants to work the wall as she’s a good shot and wants to remain one. The Governor asks her if she knows how to use a bow, to which she replies she can learn. It looks like the Governor is willing to do almost anything to keep her around, but for what purpose?
Rick’s in the prison on the phone again, talking to a man this time. He asks Rick if he’s killed anyone, and he tells him he has. After talking about the outsiders he’s killed and Shane after he went crazy, the man asks Rick how he lost his wife. Rick doesn’t want to say, and the man hangs up. Rick almost loses his shit. If you’ve read the comic, you know where this is going, but I won’t spoil it for you just yet.
Andrea’s on the wall with another woman back at Woodbury. The woman is tooting her own horn about her bow shooting capabilities, but she shoots like a sucker at a carnival game more than an expert hunter. After 2 misses, Andrea jumps over the wall, forearm-shivers the walker in the chest and drives a knife through his eye. The girl yells at her, telling Andrea she isn’t supposed to go over the wall and that this isn’t a game. It’s amazing how subservient to the Governor all the people in the community are. What he says goes.
Hershel makes his way to where Rick is in the prison and has a chat with him. He tells Rick that he saved his life. Hershel is trying to talk some sense into Rick, saying that there isn’t anywhere else to go even though he knows Rick wants to get away from there. Rick tells Hershel about the phone calls he’s received. Hershel picks up the phone (doesn’t seem to hear a ringtone or anything, but doesn’t mention it) and tells Rick that he’ll sit there with him. Rick doesn’t want him to, tells him not to tell anyone in the group about it, but if there’s a safe place to go that they’ll get there.
Merle and “Neil” are still in the woods tracking Michonne. Michonne gets the jump on them again and almost kills “Neil” with a slash of her blade. Merle moves him out of the way at the last second and disarms Michonne. Michonne delivers a low blow to Merle and then kicks him in the face, dazing him. All of a sudden 3 walkers come out of nowhere. One’s on top of Merle, the other goes after Michonne. Michonne slices one of the walker’s guts out as the entrails fall on top of her. She’s literally covered in walker goo. “Neil” stabs the walker that’s on top of Merle in the back of the head, then Merle uses his arm knife on the other. Michonne’s gone by now, but that was an intense scene.
Back at the prison, Daryl, Carl, and Oscar are cleaning out the cell block, looking for walkers. Daryl ‘s opening up to Carl, telling him a story about his mother when he was a kid. It’s a heavy story about how his mother passed away after falling asleep in bed with a lit cigarette, burning the house down. Carl tells Daryl that he shot his mom before she turned. The kid is growing up real fast, and seems to be handling things better than I would have thought.
At Woodbury, the Governor has another meeting with Andrea. He tells her that she’s not allowed to go over the wall, and that he doesn’t want her working on walker patrol. The Governor is trying to put moves on Andrea, and it might be working.
In the woods, Merle wants to go back to the community but “Neil” wants to keep going so he can avenge his friend’s deaths. Merle says Michonne is headed into the red zone and is good as dead. “Neil’s” real name is Gargulio, and Gargulio learns pretty quickly not to disagree with Merle as he pops him in the face with his 9. Hasta luego, Gargulio.
Michonne finds her bag of supplies that she had stashed in the woods in a tree when they were first caught by the Governor and his men. As a pack of walkers go by, she realizes that they aren’t going after her because she’s covered in walker guts. If it wasn’t obvious from the scene in season 1 where Rick and Glen covered their bodies in walker entrails, it’s evident now that it makes you basically invisible. She’s in obvious pain as she wanders into a town where Maggie and Glen have gone to get supplies.
The Governor, still macking on Andrea, is now in his garden with her enjoying a drink. For a sociopath I must admit he is pretty smooth. He’s like a Bill Clinton, but instead of getting blown by fat interns and smoking fine cigars, he keeps his undead daughter locked away in his house and woos blondes that don’t know any better. Andrea has fallen for his moves and starts a full-on make-out session with the psycho Governor.
Maggie and Glen are about to get moving when out of nowhere Merle appears. Michonne’s watching as Merle gets the jump on Maggie and forces Glen to drive somewhere, which you can only assume is Woodbury. Both Glen and Maggie had their guns drawn, but they failed to pull the trigger when Merle posed himself as a threat. It kinda shows how Glen can never be the leader like Rick, as you know Rick would have blown Merle away the moment he twitched. Glen drives off, leaving the baby formula they came to get as Merle holds Maggie hostage in the back seat.
Back at the prison (if there’s one thing I’m getting tired of, it’s the constant back and forth this season) Daryl, Carl and Oscar get attacked by a walker but they make quick work of him. After firing off a few rounds and putting an arrow in his head, they noticed a knife lodged in his neck… Carol’s knife. My suspicions from 2 episodes ago may be true. Is Carol alive? Meanwhile as Rick stares at the phone, it rings again. He picks it up and immediately asks how they knew his name. This time, it’s Lori on the line. The voices on the phone before, those were members of the group who’ve died. It seems Rick’s lost it. He’s talking to dead people. He realizes he’s lost it, but he doesn’t seem to care. He talks to Lori on the phone as if she’s actually on the other end.
At Woodbury, the Governor is balls deep in Andrea when Merle comes back to tell him the others have died, but he’s killed Michonne. He tells him that he’s got Glen and Maggie, and that he’ll find out where they’re holding up. After their little chat, the Governor goes back to banging Andrea after she asks “Is everything OK?” to which he replies “Hell yea.”
Rick’s finally off the phone as he makes his way back to the cell block where everyone’s hanging out. He takes his daughter in his arms and gives her a kiss. Daryl is sitting in a hallway stabbing Carol’s knife everywhere. He opens one of the doors that he thinks walkers are behind, but oh shit! It’s Carol! She’s not dead, but she’s obviously weak from holding up behind a door inside a dark room for God knows how long. Daryl picks her up and starts to walk her back, as everyone else is outside. Rick sees a bunch of walkers gathering by the fence, and in the middle of them all is Michonne with a basket full of formula. She’s managed to find the prison, and based on the previews of episode 7 it seems she’s going to fill everyone in on what happened to Glen and Maggie.
3 people were killed in this episode, 2 by Michonne and 1 by Merle, to go with the 5 walkers that were iced to bring this week’s kill count to 8. Like I said, the back and forth between the prison and Woodbury is getting tiresome to me, especially for these re-caps, but it doesn’t look like the show is going to go in a different direction any time soon, or until Rick and the gang find the community or vice versa.