Last week’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Home,” ended with a bang. Or lots of bangs, given that there was a shoot-out between the survivors and the Governor and his cronies. From the looks of a newly released collection of stills from the upcoming episode, “I Ain’t a Judas,” things may stay in that vein for some time.
Each photo shows members of the group in the prison, armed to the teeth, in various defensive poses. After the sneak attack by the Governor (David Morrissey)—where he snipered poor Axel, kicked in the metaphorical front door, and dumped a van load of walkers on the front lawn—you can bet that everyone is going to be on high alert for the foreseeable future.
Our intrepid band appears pretty ready, maybe a little freaked out, but prepared for some more action nonetheless. And it looks like Rick (Andrew Lincoln) has returned from his extended sojourn in “crazy town,” and is ready to take care of business, should the need arise.
One notable presence in these pictures is Merle (Michael Rooker), everyone’s favorite one-handed racist goon. He showed up at the prison with his brother Daryl just in time for the firefight last week, and this begs the question, will he be joining the party on a more permanent basis? After their experiences with him in Woodbury, Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) will have something to say about this. That’ll lead to a couple of lengthy, potentially endless, debates.
He may be crude, cruel, brutal, and a total, irredeemable piece of human garbage—how much do you want to bet that “I Ain’t a Judas” is a line he says?—but he could prove useful in a few ways. One, he has a unique perspective on the Governor and his followers. He, more than anyone, knows what their enemies are capable of, how many weapons they have, and what they are willing to do. And two, Merle’s pretty handy to have around in a shootout, as he proved last week against both zombies and people, provided he doesn’t turn his gun on you just for kicks.
More than any development over the last two episodes—since The Walking Dead returned from a midseason break—the Merle situation will be interesting to watch unfold.
“I Ain’t A Judas” airs on AMC at 9/8c, Sunday, February 24th.