Warning: spoilers for the latest "Walking Dead" are ahead!
Woodbury is a lot like the Hotel California, in the sense that you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave — not without losing a few people on the way, or at the very least an eyeball.
The midseason finale of "The Walking Dead," titled "Made to Suffer," brought prisoners against Woodberries in a bloody showdown that claimed a few lives, set a few free, and even put out an eye in the process. There are no more new episodes until February, but there are countless new questions to ask before he show returns. For instance..
Who Is Tyreese?
Scratching your head over the latest additions to the prison crew? We can't speak for that whole group, but their leader is Tyreese, one of the most popular characters from the "Walking Dead" comics. It's not clear how much of his comic book backstory will remain intact for the show (though Robert Kirkman indicates to TVLine that they're very similar characters), but here's one thing we do know: Tyreese isn't just an arbitrary red shirt. The survivor, played by the brilliant Chad Coleman of "The Wire," is here to stay — for now, at least.
A Dixon-Free Future?
The show's ranks are bolstered by the arrival of Tyreese's party, but "Made to Suffer" evened out those numbers by killing one of our own (R.I.P. Oscar) and leaving Daryl (and psycho brother Merle) in the hands of the Governor. It's the Dixon family reunion we've longed for, but it looks like it'll be cut short when we return from the hiatus. Is it possible that Daryl won't survive his stay in Woodbury? What about Merle? These are two of the show's most popular characters, but popularity has never been a bullet-proof shield on "The Walking Dead." Just ask Shane! Speaking of whom...
Uh, Is Rick Okay?
Survey says no. Like, a big no. If it wasn't already bad enough that he was getting calls from the dead, now Rick is seeing them, too, and not just of the reanimated corpse variety. His vision of Shane during the Woodbury shootout, cool as it was for fans, couldn't have come at a worse time for the group. Rick made it out alive with only a couple casualties along the way, but he's going to need his wits about him if he's to survive what's to come.
Is The Governor Okay?
Yeah, that's another huge no. But finally, we're starting to see the Governor that fans know so well from the comics: a man twisted with grief, stewing with vengeance, and minus an eye thanks to Michonne. (In the comics, it's not just his eye she takes; TV-Governor is a lucky man!) The broke and Penny-less Governor is a man to be feared, because he's a man with nothing to lose. Not even Andrea (who is quickly realizing the type of man she's up against) is likely to talk poor Philip off the ledge. The question isn't whether The Governor is going to jump down into full-scale insanity; it's a question of who will be crushed beneath him when he lands.
Prison Vs. Woodbury: Who Wins?
The Governor and his people are not only well stocked and well-trained, they're highly motivated as well. On top of that, it's not much more than a day's trip to get from the prison to Woodbury. Given the short distance between these communities and the animosity between them as well, it's safe to say that war is going to break out sooner than later — and if our people don't stock up on supplies and manpower soon, chances are the prison stronghold won't last very long at all.
What did you think of the "Walking Dead" midseason finale? Tell us in the comments below or let me know on Twitter @roundhoward!