'Walking Dead' Positions Prison Against Woodbury

Glenn and Maggie's lives hang in the balance as Michonne makes some new friends on an all-new episode of the AMC zombie drama.

Warning: spoilers for the most recent "Walking Dead" lie ahead.

At long last, self-taught samurai Michonne has made first contact with Rick Grimes — I just wish it happened under happier circumstances.

The latest episode of "The Walking Dead," titled "Hounded," was a hell of a ride for all kinds of reasons. (Andrea seduces The Governor! Rick communes with the dead! Carol's alive!) But the big, fat lump in my throat this morning is all thanks to mean Merle Dixon, who put "kidnapping" next to "murder" on his naughty list by abducting Glenn and Maggie and dragging them back to Woodbury. Luckily for two of my favorite zombie survivors, Michonne was there to watch the whole encounter and (presumably) bring that information back to Rick Grimes. Help is on the way, guys!

So, what happens next? All-out war between the prison and Woodbury, one imagines. Before any of that goes down, though, here's what I want to know about the immediate future of "Walking Dead."

1. Will Michonne And Rick Get Along?

Assuming she doesn't chop his head off once she's through the gates, then yes, I think they will. Rick values hard work and killer instinct (as long as a person's moral compass is intact), and the same seems true of Michonne. They have at least two other things in common: both of them have (or will have) a score to settle with Woodbury, and both of them are absolute whack-jobs. So yes, it's safe to say that Michonne will fit in with Rick and his gang quite nicely.

2. What's The Plan?

When (not if) Michonne tells Rick what happened to Glenn and Maggie, what happens next? The gang is low on ammunition and low on man power. What chance do they stand in a full-on assault against Woodbury? (I'll save you the math: the answer is zero.) Saving his friends will require Rick to implement stealthier tactics — which shouldn't be too hard, considering he and his companions spent an entire winter tip-toeing around walkers. My money is on Rick sending a small team to get the job done — perhaps as small as himself, Michonne and Daryl.

3. Who Will Daryl Choose?

Daryl has to go to Woodbury, if only to give us the Dixon family reunion we've been waiting for since... well, since the series began, really. (No, that "Chupacabra" hallucination doesn't count.) Daryl's come a long way since he last saw Merle, but you know what they say about blood being thicker than water; if Merle says the right thing in the right way, Daryl could be in his pocket for good. My fingers are crossed that Little Dixon can resist the iron-fisted ways of his big brother, but I'm not totally counting on it, either.

4. How Long Until Merle Gets Busted?

Merle has bigger things to worry about than winning his brother over, given the monstrous lie he told the Governor about Michonne. Clearly, she's not dead, and that's the kind of secret that can't stay bottled up forever. In fact, it probably can't stay bottled up for more than a handful of episodes. And when Philip learns that Michonne is very much still among the living, Merle's going to find his seat at the table mysteriously vanished — and that's if he's lucky.

5. What Will Happen To Glenn And Maggie?

Of all the balls in the air, this is the one I most want to look away from. Put simply, I'm very worried about this "Walking Dead" power couple. Having read the comics, I know how ugly it gets at Woodbury, even if the show's interpretation of the community has been significantly different in a lot of ways. But if the show lifts some of the comics' more iconic moments in the coming weeks... well, let's just say that Merle might not be the only character down a limb and leave it at that. Let's hope that Rick and friends come to the rescue before long, but this is "The Walking Dead" we're talking about — if it's hope you're looking for, you're on the wrong channel.

Let us know what you think of the latest "Walking Dead" episode in the comments section below!