Home (The Walking Dead)
|The Walking Dead episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Seith Mann|
|Written by||Nichole Beattie|
|Original air date||February 17, 2013|
"Home" is the tenth episode of the third season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series The Walking Dead. It was written by Nichole Beattie and directed by Seith Mann, and aired on AMC in the United States on February 17, 2013. In the episode, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) begins to see visions of his deceased wife and asks Hershel (Scott Wilson) for help. Meanwhile, The Governor (David Morrissey) plans an assault on the prison while Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) fend for themselves out in the forest.
From the outside prison catwalk, Rick spots a woman in a long white wedding gown, standing by the graves. When he approaches, she disappears and then reappears outside the fence. He rushes through the gate, leaving it open, and recognizes her as Lori. She cradles his face. Michonne watches from the distance as Rick stands outside the fence, seeing that he is interacting with himself rather than an actual person. She closes the gate.
In Woodbury, The Governor compliments Andrea on her speech and asks her to take over leadership of Woodbury. He says he is no longer fit to lead the people, but she is. Meanwhile, Daryl and Merle bicker in the forest, near Park Mound. Daryl pines for life back at the prison, but Merle predicts The Governor will slaughter everyone there.
Glenn makes an executive decision to fortify the prison against The Governor, despite Hershel's suggestion that they flee. Glenn explains that having a newborn and Hershel's one leg makes them too vulnerable to go on the road. Glenn enlists Carl to help investigate the overlooked breach near the prison's administrative area, where Tyreese's group and walkers have found their way inside.
The Governor visits Milton in his lab. He asks if he can still count on Milton's allegiance, and if Milton would die for him. Milton reassures The Governor, who then asks him to keep tabs on Andrea. Later, Andrea asks Karen and Milton for Martinez and The Governor's whereabouts. They tell her the two left Woodbury but dodge further questions.
Back at the prison, Glenn and Carl inform the group that the boiler room is overrun with walkers again. Hershel again advises a retreat, but Glenn ignores him and says he and Maggie will go to the far side of the prison to look for the breach. Hershel questions Maggie's readiness for that task.
Glenn finds Maggie alone in her cell. He insists they talk about her encounter with The Governor and asks if she was raped. She snaps at him before explaining all that happened and answering that she was not raped. Glenn reaches out to Maggie, and she shoves him away, bitterly asking if he feels better now that he knows the full story.
On the outside catwalk, Carol and Axel establish a barricade in preparation for the impending showdown with The Governor. Axel tells Carol he was sent to prison for armed robbery, although he had held up a gas station with a water pistol, because the authorities' search of his home turned up his brother's gun. He flirts as Carol shows him how to use a real one.
Meanwhile, Merle and Daryl encounter a Mexican family of survivors under attack by walkers. Daryl immediately goes to their rescue, killing off walkers with his crossbow. Merle half-heartedly assists. When all the walkers are dead, Merle issues a racial slur and briefly aims his gun at the father in warning before searching through their vehicle for supplies, while the mother and a baby are in the car bawling. Daryl points his crossbow at Merle and instructs the family to drive away, then stalks off, leaving Merle alone. Merle follows Daryl into the forest and chastises him for risking his life to help strangers. He reminds Daryl they had planned to rob the encampment outside of Atlanta but did not, only because Merle was not there to help carry it through. They grapple and Daryl's shirt rips, revealing childhood scars from their father's beatings. Merle apologetically says he was unaware of the beatings. Daryl insists he did, because their father beat Merle as well and that that's why Merle left. Merle says that he had to leave; otherwise, he would have killed their father. Daryl stalks away, telling Merle he is going back where he belongs. Merle complains that the prison group would never accept him.
Outside the prison, Hershel tries to stop Glenn from going off on his own. He warns Glenn that his rage will get him killed. Glenn says with Rick's not being in his right mind and Daryl's departure from the group, he is now the default leader. He ignores Hershel's concern about his well-being and drives off. Hershel calls to a disoriented Rick from the prison fence. He tells Rick the group needs him as a leader now more than ever, and Glenn cannot fill his leadership role; he fears that Glenn is being reckless. Rick confesses that he is seeing Lori. He knows it is an hallucination, but feels there must be a reason he is seeing her. He walks back into the forest against Hershel's wishes.
In the courtyard, Carol and Axel chat. Suddenly, a bullet hits Axel in the head, killing him instantly. The Governor, stationed at the treeline, lowers his rifle. Rick's group runs for cover as The Governor and his men attack. Gunfire erupts on both sides, and Maggie eventually kills a Woodbury soldier stationed in the prison yard's guard tower. A bread truck crashes through the prison's inner and outer gates and stops in the yard. The Governor smiles as the back door opens and walkers stream out. The Governor gleefully fires his assault rifle in the air and then drives off as the survivors struggle with the walkers.
Outside the fence, Rick is out of ammunition and surrounded by walkers, one of which is about to bite him. He is rescued by Daryl and Merle, who have returned to the prison. Together, they kill the remaining walkers outside the fence. Momentarily safe, Rick stares darkly into the prison yard, now swarming with walkers. Inside the gate, Maggie and Glenn, their differences seemingly repaired, touch each other affectionately as they and the other survivors inside the gate gaze outward.
Phil Dyess-Nugent, writing for The A.V. Club, rated the episode B- on an A to F scale, commenting the episode "catches the series at an in-between point" and that the "last several minutes are basically a video game, and a pretty good one, but it’s frustrating that, after the high point of the Woodbury story arc, The Walking Dead is turning back into a show that has only two distinct modes: 3-D splatter attack and survivalist talk show. Especially when it does the splatter so much better than the talk." Eric Goldman at IGN gave the episode 8.2 out of 10, saying he enjoyed Daryl and Merle together, but disliked how fast they came back to prison, and thought the death of Axel was a huge surprise.
The original broadcast, on February 17, 2013, was watched by an estimated 11.05 million viewers, a decrease in viewership from the previous series-high rated episode.
- The gown is shown hanging and wedding photos of Lori wearing it are shown in Rick's storage bin, in The Walking Dead: Cold Storage webisode series.
- Dyess-Nugent, Phil (February 17, 2013). "Home". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- Goldman, Eric (February 17, 2013). "The Walking Dead: "Home" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (February 20, 2013). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Wins Night, 'NBA All Star Game', 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Ax Men', 'Shameless', 'Bar Rescue' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 20, 2013.