The set-up was just right. Glenn leaves the prison to work off his fury at what happened to him and Maggie in Woodbury. Rick, as Glenn aptly puts is, is walking around outside the prison in "crazy" town, seeing visions of pale, beautiful Lori. Hershel's on the inside of the outer gate, trying to talk Rick into coming back in, with no success. Daryl saves some people in a car somewhere out there, fights with Merle, and then walks away from his ever-racist brother. The only man with a gun in hand and able to move quickly back in the prison is Carl. Maggie's inside taking care of the baby.
And that's when the Governor and his gang strike. That was only a small surprise - no one believed that he would stay back in Woodbury and let Rick and his people be, except maybe Andrea. He mounts a clever, vicious attack - deadly assault weapons with well-aimed bullets flying and a van load of walkers. The nice guy from the prison is shot dead, Carol is pinned under him and Rick and Hershel are under fire and soon under attack from zombies. Maggie comes out with guns. She and Beth join the fight. Michonne's doing what she can, so is Carl, but the gunfire from the Governor's attack is relentless and the zombies are gaining. Rick and Hershel are inches from death and-
Michonne springs into top-notch samurai action (Merle called her the last samurai last week) and decapitates zombies by the second. But she won't get to Rick quite in time and-
Two things happen: Glenn comes back in his pick-up and rescues Hershel. And just as two walkers are about to rip Rick apart, an arrow through the head takes out one of them - fired by Daryl! And a knife through the head takes out the other - Merle's good work! One of the best battle scenes in years on television. Movie quality.
So our people have gotten through this with just one loss - the last of the original prisoners. (You know they were put in the story just to die. I hope the new people in prison - at least Tyreese and Sasha - do a little better.) But everyone else is ok. Plus, Daryl is back and maybe Merle. Any and all help is appreciated.
Because the Governor is still deadly and armed to the hilt, and Rick's still somewhat crazy. What will it take to rid him of his hallucinations? Tonight's heroic battle? Probably not. But I hope something snaps him out of it. The hallucination thing is not only dangerous to our people, but the one trite note in an otherwise sheerly brilliant episode.
See also The Walking Dead 3.3 meets Meadowlands ... The Walking Dead 3.4: Going to the Limit ... The Walking Dead 3.9: Making Crazy Sense