Rick, Darryl and Herschel drive up to an old farm out in the boondocks. Leaving the well-armed Herschel with the car, Rick and Darryl head towards the barn, Darryl circling the perimeter, Rick going inside. The barn is illogically spotless, with a table set up in a square of sunlight in the middle of the floor. Also, the Governor is there. Andrea facilitated the meeting between him and Rick. "We have a lot to talk about," says the Governor. As Rick points his gun at him, the Governor pointedly takes off his own gun and holster and hangs it on a peg. Rick holsters his weapon but keeps it on his hip. "Suit yourself," smirks the Governor, but he's got a secret pistol taped to the underside of the table.
Outside, Darryl goes back to Herschel to tell him that the Governor is already here and that he and Rick are beginning their palaver. Darryl doesn't like the feel of things and the two of them get even twitchier when Andrea, Caesar (the Governor's latest right hand man since Merle's defection) and Milton drive up. Darryl asks why the Governor showed up early and Andrea shakes her head, "He's here?" She self-importantly stomps into the barn and inserts herself into the ongoing conversation there. Rick says that he knows all about what the Governor has done - the raids, the fights, Maggie. The Governor says, "Merle did that." Rick: "You know what I'm talking about." Andrea is all, I don't know. Back outside, Darryl and Caesar snipe verbally at each other a bit.
Prison. Glen has everyone arm themselves and get ready in case they need to defend themselves against a Woodbury attack. Merle thinks they should go out to the meeting place and kill the Governor while he's out of the town. Glen's all, no, it's too risky, we stay here.
The meeting. Rick wants to split the countryside up so the prison dwellers and Woodbury will leave each other alone. The Governor scoffs and says he's only interested in Rick's surrender. Andrea tries to mediate and they toss her out.
Editorial note: This is a tough episode to recap because it's basically two men sitting and talking, saying a lot of the same things over and over again. Rick refuses to surrender even in the face of overwhelming odds. The Governor isn't interested in negotiating much. It's a lot of the same, going round and round, although it does get more interesting by the end. There's posturing on both sides, Rick and the Governor feeling each other out, both of them at least a little nuts, both of them a little honest at times. The Governor turns on his charm and for a while it seems Rick is not entirely immune to it, eventually having a drink of the whiskey the Governor brought with him.
Outside, the rest of them begin to talk a little. We learn that Milton is recording the events, writing a history of the apocalypse and its aftermath. When some zombies intrude, Andrea, Caesar and Darryl go to take care of it. Andrea drops the first one and then, hilariously, Darryl and Caesar start one-upping each other in measuring their dicks, by which I mean increasingly impressive zombie kills. Andrea rolls her eyes and walks away. Afterwards, Darryl finds a pack of cigarettes in one of the dead walker's pockets. He offers one to Caesar, who says that he prefers menthols. Darryl: "Douchebag." They start talking: Caesar is just a regular guy who fell in with the Governor after he lost his wife and children to the walkers. Caesar: "You know this is a joke, right? They'll do their little dance and then, the next day, we'll get the word." Darryl: "I know." And then he hands Caesar a cigarette after all.
Meanwhile, Herschel and Milton are talking. Milton asks what happened to Herschel's leg and is impressed and intrigued that he survived a zombie bite. He asks to see Herschel's stump. Herschel: "I'm not showing you my leg. I just met you - at least buy me a drink first." Heh. They laugh and it's a nice moment, making it all the more sad that these two groups will never get along because of the stubbornness and insanity of their respective leaders.
Rick and the Governor, blah blah blah. The Governor says he can't back down to Rick because he'll look weak to his people ... but the two of them are going to end up killing everyone they know and love. It's a lot of talk and christ we're only halfway done.
Prison. Merle is arming himself to go after Rick, Darryl, etc. Glen, Maggie and Michonne end up tussling with him until Beth breaks up the fight by firing a pistol into the ceiling. Afterwards, Merle approaches Michonne and asks her to come with him. She can "shogun the Governor's ass and [he']ll take care of the others." She refuses, telling him he's on his own. Out on one of the catwalks, Maggie finds Glen on watch. She reaches out to him and they finally really talk, Glen apologizing for making it all about him when they got back from Woodbury, Maggie saying that she just wanted him to see her. They tell each other "I love you" and embrace and kiss, and then it starts getting hot until Glen says he can't do it out in front of all the watching zombies. They go inside, closing the doors, and rip off each other's clothes. Naked sex!
The meeting. Herschel excuses himself to Milton and goes to talk with Andrea who is sitting by herself, wondering WTF she's doing. She asks him what happened to Maggie but all Herschel says is, "He's a sick man." Andrea: "What am I going to do now? I can't go back there!" Herschel tells her that she's family and she belongs with them, but if she joins them, it's settled. Andrea doesn't know what to do. Inside the barn, Rick and the Governor keep talking and talking. "This fight will go down to the last man. So let's end it, today. Let's not do this - we can walk away." The Governor tells Rick that there's only one thing he really wants, and it's not the prison, not getting rid of Rick and his people. He pulls off his eye patch and shows Rick his raw, empty eye socket. He wants Michonne. He asks Rick if one woman is worth all the rest of the lives of the people at the prison. "You could save your son, save your daughter, save everyone you know. It's your choice." He promises that he'll leave them all alone and gives Rick two days to think about it. "I'll be back here at noon." The meeting over, the two groups split again and drive to their respective homes. Andrea returns to Woodbury with the Governor. She totally sucks ... unless she's planning on being a double agent.
Woodbury. Privately (but with Milton overhearing), the Governor tells Caesar to set up around the barn at the next meeting and when Rick's group shows up, to kill everyone except Michonne who is to be kept alive. Milton is horrified, saying that there'll be a slaughter. The Governor: "Not for our side. We're going to have to eliminate Rick sooner or later - might as well do it now."
Prison. Upon their return, Rick gathers everyone together and tells them to get ready for war. He does not tell the group about the Governor's request for Michonne, but later he does confide in Herschel, saying that he could save everyone by sacrificing her. Herschel wants to know why Rick is telling him this. Rick: "Because I'm hoping you can talk me out of it."
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
2 hours ago