"The Walking Dead" is built on a simple premise: what if the dead came back to life and destroyed the world? But on the midseason premiere that aired on Sunday (February 10), it wasn't the zombies, or even the leftover living, that brought us the biggest surprise of the night — it was a ghost by the name of Lori Grimes.
Read on for our reactions to the return of "Walking Dead."
We do believe in spooks. At least, we believe that Rick Grimes believes in spooks. The haunted and harrowed leader of men suffered his biggest setback to date at the end of "The Suicide King," as he ranted and raved at the silhouette of his dead wife, Lori. Rick's visions are becoming alarmingly regular — who can forget those phone calls from beyond the grave, or Shane's reappearance in the midseason finale? — but seeing Lori again, through Rick's eyes, confirms what everyone has feared: our sinking hero has a long way to go before he hits rock bottom, and that's a scarier prospect than almost anything else the show has to offer right now.
Speaking of Lori, was that Sarah Wayne Callies we saw in last night's episode, or a fill-in actress? It certainly looked like Lori's familiar silhouette, did it not? Considering that Callies' name remains in the opening credits of every "Walking Dead" episode, despite her character's demise occurring more than four episodes ago, we have a hunch that we'll be seeing much more of Lori than we expected in the back half of season three.
Sticking with the prison, what's going to happen with Tyreese's group? Allen was ready to kill Carl and Carol in a bid to win control over the prison, but Tyreese was having none of that. Fans of the comics know that Tyreese is a true hero, but how will he convince Rick to recognize the value he brings to the group? And what of Michonne? The unhinged sword-slinger is about to get evicted from the prison, if Rick has his way. (And given his current state of mind, we'll call that a big "if.") But with Oscar dead and Daryl gone from the group, Rick and his companions are going to need all the brawn they can possibly get when the Governor comes a-knocking.
On the subject of the Governor, that guy has a few things in common with Rick Grimes, whether he likes it or not. Their biggest common ground? The fact that they're both nuts. The Governor barely did anything in "Suicide King" except shoot people in the head, zombies and humans alike. He lost more than just his zombie-daughter and his eye when Michonne returned to Woodbury: he also lost most, maybe even all, of his marbles. It's bad news for the prisoners, to be sure. But for fans of the comics? The arrival of crazy-pants Phillip Blake is the best news we could possibly receive.
Finally, let's talk about Daryl. It's sacrilege for a "Walking Dead" fan to speak out against the crossbow-wielding badass, but I'm going to say it anyway: shame on Daryl for choosing Merle over his friends. Sure, blood is thicker than water and all that good stuff, but the rules of normal society flew out the window the moment corpses started springing to life. Daryl has been with a new family for the better part of a year now. He has people who depend on him, people who need him. And he's going to throw all that away out of loyalty to a brother he thought was dead — a man who kidnapped and tortured the people Daryl pledged to protect? It's not an out-of-character move for Daryl to make — Merle has always been his weakness — but it's frustrating to watch all the same. On the plus side, we're about to spend some quality time with Daryl and Merle, two outsiders against an apocalyptic wasteland. That's a dynamic we can't wait to see more of.
What did you think of the "Walking Dead" midseason premiere? Tell us in the comments section below!