Episode 3 opens back up on the rooftop, Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) alternately pleading with and cussing out God for his predicament. As the zombies try to squeeze through the chained and padlocked door, snarling and drooling and hungry for Merle's live flesh, he tries to catch hold of a hacksaw with his belt, hoping to cut himself free before the walkers get to him.
At the survivors' camp outside city limits, everyone tries to go about their daily chores - haircuts, collecting firewood, cooking - without worrying too much that the raiding party hasn't made it back yet. Soon enough the raiders return. Rick sees his old partner Shane first, then catches sight of his family. Carl flings himself into his dad's arms; a stunned Lori quickly follows suit. After a couple of moments, Rick pulls Shane into the group hug. Cuckold and cuckolder together!
After the reunions, talk quickly turns to having left Merle behind - as in, who's going to 'fess up to his little brother Darryl. Rick is wracked with guilt at having abandoned a livng human (completely without irony at the same sort of thing (yes, same but different) having been done to him when he was comatose in the hospital). Darryl gets back from hunting - with only a brace of squirrels since the deer he wounded wandered off and was bloodily eaten by an itinerant zombie (who is soon brutally bludgeoned to bits by the male survivors) - and the raiding party tells him what they did to his "douchebag" brother (Shane's words, not mine.). They also plan to go back to rescue Merle in the morning: Rick, Darryl, Glenn and T-Dog, guilty at having dropped the handcuff key.
The next day Lori is not pleased at potentially losing Rick again after having just found him and she takes it out on Shane, telling him to stay the hell away from her and her family. He gives her a hurt look, to which she snarls, "You told me he was dead, you sonofabitch."
While this is going on, at the other side of the quarry (located below the survivors' campsite and their source of fresh water), the other women in the group are doing the group's laundry, complaining about the current division of labor. The menfolk have to watch for the zombies, you see, and can't be bothered with laundry. There's some laughter too, though, as the women joke about what they miss from their previous lives: texting, coffeemakers, their vibrators. Then Carol's husband, Ed (?), interrupts their fun with some rude, then sexist, then abusive comments. The women get agitated and then Ed punches his wife in the face. Now Shane charges over and beats the everloving bloody hell out of Ed, channeling all his frustration over the Lori-situation into Ed's face. Shane shouts that if Ed ever tries that again, he'll gladly beat him to death. By the looks on their faces, the watching women believe him.
Meanwhile, the erstwhile rescue party gets back to the department store roof without incident. There is one problem, however: Merle is gone. He managed to reach the hacksaw but ended up pulling an Aron Ralston instead of sawing through the cuffs: his severed hand is all that is there for the rescuers to find.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
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