Holy curb stomped zombie heads, The Walking Dead is back!
The hiatus left me chomping at the bit, especially because "Made to Suffer" cut out right in the middle of the Woodbury battle and the first meet up between Daryl and Merle.
Of course, "The Suicide King" immediately picked things right up, concluding the last moments of major action before giving the characters some time to think about all the craziness they've been though.
I was especially excited to see the interaction between Daryl and Merle, mainly because both have such great and stand out personalities in addition to them being brothers. Merle decided to welcome Daryl back with a punch to the face (true brotherly love) before they got lucky with Rick's return. A little scuffling never hurt anyone, right?
Yet, I'm not surprised that Daryl chose to leave despite every part of me wanting him to stay with Rick. And, sure, Daryl as a person has grown so much from just the racist redneck into the quietly caring good guy. When it comes down to it, though, Merle is still Daryl's brother.
Now, will Daryl stay with Merle in the long run after he gets a chance to really be with his brother on their walking adventure? Maybe he will realize that he's grown beyond Merle, and Merle needs to change if he wants to stay with Daryl. I think watching their relationship will be an interesting one.
In a lot of ways, having Carol reflect on Daryl's decision was perfect. After all, she was in an abusive relationship and even questioned what decision she would make. At the same time, there's always been something between her and Daryl (call it romance, friendship, or whatever) and it's sad that she doesn't have her poncho wearing guy to be there.
And while, Tyreese and his followers can never fill that void, I'm already on board with Tyreese as a positive addition. I'm always hesitant with new characters and what their role will be, but Tyreese has a powerful presence without being overbearing or over acting.
Even when Carl and Rick don't initially invite them to join, Tyreese remained positive and honest. Major kudos to actor Chad Coleman to bringing a different but already memorable character to the show.
The same cannot be said for his three followers, who I'm waiting to be the next members of zombie fodder. Can anyone guess which one will meet their end first?
I hope it's the guy who was willing to pick on the "kid and woman." That guy has got to go. I may have had my jokes about Carl, but he's turned into his own little bad ass. He can walk wherever he wants for all I care.
I'm really glad that Carl brought up being mean to his mom. The kid's been through a lot, including killing his own mother, so to have feelings of guilt for the way he treated her is completely understandable and it's great he could admit it. True, he wasn't always horrible and I hope he soon realizes that, but it certainly takes a lot to recognize one's mistakes.
Can Andrea recognize hers?
I still have no idea why Andrea wants to stick around The Governor. I get that she desperately wants to fix Woodbury and rebuild a sense of civilized hope... but c'mon Andrea. What's it gonna take to make you really see the light and walk away from the depraved one-eyed leader?
I know, I know. The Governor looks like a bad ass when he walks through the smoke or finishes off the dying dude when no else will. He's got charisma, but heck, he also had walker heads in fish tanks.
It's certainly no surprise that Glenn wants to take the Governor out and he went to town on that walker head. He's really stepping up from the quiet helper. It's wrenching to see him desperately want to have revenge for Maggie and at the same creating a rift in his relationship with Maggie.
At least Glenn isn't as unhinged as Rick who we thought had maybe managed to pull it together after his phone call in "Hounded."
Rick is such a great character and watching him slip into insanity is a wild ride. That scene with the offbeat sound of the baby crying and Rick's wild eyes in that moment, I was worried something was wrong.
Then, having a ghost Lori return to really send Rick over the edge was a fantastic scene, although not good for showing Tyreese and his group that they should even join. Swinging his gun around and screaming out? Somebody needs to calm him down and quick. He's supposed to be the sound leader!
This was a nice solid return for The Walking Dead and it makes me happy that this entertaining series is back on television again.
What did you think? Are you glad The Walking Dead is back? Will Daryl return? Is Rick insane? Sound off below!
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.