-The Ashes of Club-Med Pokey
At the end of Season 3, Governor Psychopath really brought the crazy, and waged full-scale war on Rick & Co. over at the prison. And after losing that battle, he slaughtered most of his own army and slithered into the woods, like any well-adjusted adult. So his terrified cult detractors mosied on over to Rick’s side of the prison fence and set up shop. And they say Paradise Prison became 70 stronger that day. A council of leaders was formed. Carol ran a makeshift school out of the library for the budding young minds of Armageddon. Someone threw together a ramshackle outdoor eating area. With a barbecue pit! All was good.
But definitely not perfect. Weary of the blood and gore and general sads that inevitably come with the zombie apocalypse, Rick put down his gun and handed the reigns over to Uglyhot Darryl for a stretch, so he could immerse himself in the less violent task of farming the land behind the fences. Maniacs lurking in the woods be damned; Rick’s got peas to plant and breakdowns to indulge in.
Meanwhile, walkers have rapidly gathered behind the fences, as if crowding to get into a wicked death metal concert. A group of children, including Lizzie, a crazy-eyed Woodbury refugee with the brainpower of a flickering nightlight, have assigned names to the gathering cannibals, teasing them from the safety of the prison yard. The other kids, including her sister Mika and a decreasingly psycho Carl, warn her of her own stupidity, but Lizzie seems hellbent on seeing walkers as people who are just…different. Yup.
Upon checking some hunting traps out in the woods (sans gun, because he’s all about the farming now), Rick crosses paths with a creepy woodswoman who looks like she stumbled out of a dark PJ Harvey song from the late 90’s. Starving, covered in mud, and rolled in delirium, the woman begs Rick to help her and her husband. She lures him back to her camp, where -SURPRISE OF ALL SURPRISES- she attacks, and tries to feed him to her hungryhungry zombie husband. Rick tackles her, and after she wails on and on about how nobody can come back from all the evil $hit they gotta do to survive this crazy world, she stabs herself in the stomach. And rather than finish her off to reduce the staggering overpopulation of the enemy, Rick decides to leave her there and let her turn. Because vegetables. Killing monsters is for people who don’t have stunted carrots and coughing pigs to obsess over.
Such as Michonne, the sword-wielding badass (now on horseback)!! That killing machine disappears for days at a time hunting for Governor Psychopath all over Georgia. Because it’s not like anybody else is gonna do it. Side-eye at Rick in the pea patch.
New faces aplenty at the prison this season. Tyrese has taken quite a fancy to blood-splattered Karen, a Woodbury refugee who is now on fence patrol, slaughtering the ever-growing crowd of walkers at the perimeter. Also joining the group is Bob, a hobo drifter with little to offer but a crippling alcohol problem, who Glenn and Uglyhot Darryl brought home one day because your guess is as good as mine. Maybe he makes a killer sandwich. He’s also got a formidable crush on Tyrese’s sister, Capable Badass Sasha.
While Rick is busy ignoring walkers by fixating on sick pigs and failed crops, Hardass Carol is breaking all the rules. Against Farmer Rick’s instructions, she’s covertly teaching the kids (including crazy-eyed Lizzie) all about knives and guns and skills to help survive the zombie apocalypse and stuff, during storyhour. Then a queasy teen named Patrick excuses himself to go die in the showers. He immediately turns into a hungryhungry zombie who goes on a killing spree through cell block D, sparking walker fever inside the prison sanctuary. After the hysteria dies down, Team Prison realizes Farmer Rick’s sick pigs have helped a deadly influenza virus sweep through the prison, killing Patrick and igniting the resulting massacre. Anyone displaying symptoms of the illness is immediately quarantined- on delightful Death Row. Among the first sicklys are Tyrese’s ladylove Karen, and a newbie nobody cares about named David. When Tyrese pays a visit to his ailing maiden, he is greeted by two ominous blood trails leading from the quarantined cells to an outdoor area, where the charred bodies of Karen and What’shisdude lay smoking up to the heavens. And like every male on this show before him who has lost a fair damsel, Tyrese’s cheese slides right off his cracker. He goes totally ape$hit and attacks Rick and Uglyhot Darryl, vowing to avenge Karen’s death.
About this time, the huge crowd of walkers outside are dangerously close to pushing down the chainlink fences and invading the prison in search of that death metal concert. As the group scrambles to secure the perimeter, they notice a pile of dead mice and rats just inside the border. Someone *coughLizziecough* has been feeding the walkers, drawing them to the fences.
With a growing number of quarantined pukers now spitting up blood, Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel suggests making a run to a little known veterinary college for some antibiotics. Sessy Butterface Darryl, Badass Michonne, Boozehound Bob, and a still fuming Tyrese volunteer for the mission. Meanwhile, Glenn, Capable Badass Sasha, Lizzie the Strange, and a handful of folks whose names I don’t know have all sneezed their way into a charming private cell on Death Row. But Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel wraps a foolproof kerchief around his nose and mouth, and gently strokes their backs as they almost choke on their own blood. He’s sensitive like that.
In a shocking turn of events, Carol tells Rick she killed Karen and What’shisdude. Yup.
The group’s quest for antibiotics takes many walker-related detours, because nothing ever goes right in the zombie apocalypse. Back at the prison, Rick and Carol get tired of waiting, and decide to raid nearby houses for medicine. Whilst foraging for coughdrops, Carol claims she killed Karen and What’shisdude to try containing the virus, to end their awful suffering, and to save everyone else. She then calls out Farmer Rick for being all about the farming and not about the leading. He says he can’t trust a shifty bitch who teaches kids to kill, who goes around killing sick people all willy-nilly, and that Tyrese will rip her to shreds when he finds out. So he exiles her from the prison.
In the meantime, melee has descended upon Death Row. Those killed by the flu have risen into hungryhungry zombies, and Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel has lost all control of the cell block. Glenn and Capable Badass Sasha are both teetering on the brink of walkerdom when Formidable $hitkicker Maggie bursts in and saves the day by slaughtering the turned. With several bullets. As if on cue, at that exact moment, the other group returns from their perilous journey on the road with much needed antibiotics. Lizzie the Strange, Glenn, and Capable Badass Sasha are all saved in the nick of time. Lesser characters are not so lucky.
Farmer Rick then tells Uglyhot Darryl that he dropkicked Carol from the prison for being a shady murderer, and together they go to tell an unstable Tyrese. But all that has to wait, because Tyrese found a dead, dissected rat nailed to a board, and he feels some feelings about it. He surmises there’s a psycho in their midst, and that whoever tortured the rat *coughLizziecough* also killed his beloved and What’shisdude.
And at that moment…. a mighty BOOM occurs outside the prison.
!!It’s Governor Psychopath!!
And he’s been busy.
After getting ditched by Lieutenant Martinez for being an insufferable sociopath after losing the war, the Governor apparently went through a Forrest Gump phase, growing a long beard and wandering a great distance all by his lonesome. Then one day, he saw a little girl in a window who reminded him of his beloved zombiedaughter, who was killed by Michonne in Season 3. And his turd-nugget of a heart grew three times its size that day. He conned his way into the home, earning the trust of Lily, the single mother inside, and charming his way right into her pants. Lily’s daughter, Megan, instantly becomes a substitute for his own little zombie princess, as well as a ripe excuse to be a ruthless maniac to any perceived threat. The new makeshift family, along with Lily’s mildly irritating sister Tara, hit the road in search of a better tomorrow.
Before long, they cross paths with Stupid Martinez, who has become the proud alpha male of a new camp. With a tank! And stupid IS as stupid does, because he stupidly lays out the welcome mat for Governor Psychopath and his new fake family. Stupid stupid stupid. Surprising absolutely nobody, the conniving Governor promptly kills Stupid Martinez and his underlings, and takes over as leader. Because STUPID. Soon he has conned the entire camp into ambushing the prison and claiming it as their own. Because let’s face it, the guy’s a dick.
So he kidnaps Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel and Queen Badass Michonne, and uses them as bargaining chips outside the prison gates. He orders Rick & Co. out of Club Med Pokey by nightfall, or the hostages die and the tank will roll in to destroy the fortress and kill the rest of them. After all, he’s got a new family to protect. And he cares so much about them, he’s letting them fend for themselves against walkers at the river’s edge while he carries out his bitchy vendetta against Rick. AND he’s willing to destroy their supposed new safe haven. Selfless prince, this one.
Line starts behind me, ladies.
Desperate to save his friends, Farmer Rick offers Governor Psychopath and his duped cronies their very own cell block at Club Med Pokey. He proposes to wipe the slate clean, forget the bloodshed, and join forces against the true enemy: the zombies, who are ironically killing the governor’s substitute daughter offsite at that very moment. Governor Psychopath responds to Rick’s olive branch offering by slicing off Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel’s head with Michonne’s sword.
What. A. Negotiator.
General chaos and gunfire ensue. Badass Michonne rolls away and manages to break free, because of course she does. Much screaming. Bullets aplenty everywhere. In the midst of battle, Lily approaches the Governor carrying a walker-ravaged Megan. Without hesitation, Governor Psychopath shoots Megan in the head and orders his loser cronies to roll the tank over the fences and destroy Club Med Pokey.
Governor Psychopath and Farmer Rick then engage in a bloody gladiator fight to the death. After beating the piss out of each other, Farmer Rick is but a bloody pulp as the governor almost squeezes the life out of him. But at the last minute, Queen Badass Michonne plunges her sword right through that psycho’s chest, and Rick lives to see another uplifting day of the zombie apocalypse. As Governor Psychopath lay dying in a pool of his own blood, Lily walks up and shoots him in the head. Because let’s face it. THE GUY’S A DICK.
Meanwhile, terrified prison dwellers are a-scramblin’ to escape the warzone unscathed. Many have piled into a bus fleeing to Anywherebuthere, but machine gun fire pelts it on the way out. The remaining prison members are splintered into small groups. Carol’s star pupil, the gunhappy, ratsplicing, walkerfeeding Lizzie the Strange, saves Tyrese from enemy fire by shooting his attacker in the head. Irony almost complete. He then shepherds Lizzie, Mika, and baby Judith away from the prison and the impending herd of walkers who are FINALLY gonna get into that death metal concert. The creepy woodswoman Farmer Rick failed to kill earlier (because he had cucumbers to plant) is among the horde.
After blowing up the tank with a grenade, Uglyhot Darryl runs across Boring Beth, and they run into the woods together and fall in hatelove or something.
Formidable $hitkicker Maggie, Capable Badass Sasha, and Boozehound Bob also escape into the woods together. Glenn, who was originally on the bus but decided to disembark on a bold quest to help his beloved Maggie, is knocked out cold by flying debris in the tank explosion.
Battered Rick staggers around the prison yard until he finds Carrrrrrrrrrrl, and together they stumble across Baby Judith’s bloody carrier, and assume she’s been killed by the herd of zombie death metal fans. They flee the ashes of Club Med Pokey, vowing to never look back. Eventually they seek refuge in an abandoned house, where a war-torn Rick lapses into unconsciousness for a stretch. Because naptime is the best time. Bratty Carl curses his comatose father for losing the prison and being a general flop of a leader, then embarks on a disastrous food run that almost gets him killed several times over. Four walkers and 120 oz. of chocolate pudding later, Carl realizes he might need Ole Dad after all, and goes back to the house to poke him with a stick and rouse him from that coma. Rick finally wakes up and begs Carl not to leave him. The next morning, Queen Badass Michonne knocks on the front door. She has tracked them all the way from the prison, because of course she has. The three have a joyous reunion.
Because irony is never totally done with Tyrese, he’s stuck protecting animal torturer Lizzie, Adorable Mika, and Walker Beacon Baby Judith. And when Lizzie isn’t slicing up baby bunnies under the cover of darkness, she’s nearly smothering a screaming Judith to try and fend off the approaching walkers. On top of that delightful situation, they all run into Hardass Carol in the woods. Defying Rick’s orders once again, she returned to the prison to find Mika and her star pupil Lizzie the Strange, and has been tracking them all through the woods. Tyrese gives her a giant bearhug, totally oblivious that she murdered his girlfriend and What’shisdude. Soon they spot a sign next to the railroad tracks reading: “Terminus: Sanctuary for all, Community for all, Those who arrive survive.” And since every outsider they’ve met until now has been totally trustworthy, sane, and helpful, they decide to check it out.
After breaking out of the prisonyard in riot gear, RoboGlenn runs into Lily’s mildly irritating sister Tara, who’s sitting on her pitypot, feeling like an a$$hole for endorsing Governor Psychopath. She tells Glenn that Beloved Pepaw Hershel was beheaded by the maniac she drove in with, and RoboGlenn pretty much orders her to help him find Maggie. They set out on the road, but RoboGlen is still weak from the flu, and he passes out after a particulary grueling zombie fight. A trio of young military types then happens upon the scene. Abraham, a no-nonsense warrior on a mission to save the world from the zombie plague, is the alpha of the bunch. Joining him are Eugene, a comically autistic scientist who claims to know what triggered the outbreak and how to stop it, and Rosalita, a pretty young thing who thinks hotpants and croptops are appropriate attire for the apocalypse. They pile into their military assault vehicle and drive three hours north until RoboGlenn awakens and causes a WTF ruckus. Abraham informs him they are heading to Washington D.C., so Eugene can work his science magic all over this mess, and that he needs Glenn and Tara the Mildly Irritating to help him on his mission. Glenn tells him hell to the no, and he and Tara start heading back south on foot to find his beloved Maggie. Of course a fight breaks out between Glenn and Abraham, and of course a herd of walkers stumbles out of the cornfields to investigate all the yelling. And of course Eugene the bumbling genius tries fending them off with a machine gun, but he only succeeds in shooting up their armored vehicle. When all is said and done, the group decides to head south together on foot looking for a new car.
In the meantime, Uglyhot Darryl and Boring Beth are scavenging in the woods, basically hateloving eachother to death. Boring Beth is hellbent on finding some booze so she can enjoy her first drink, because priorities. They raid a country club but only find a few new shirts and a bottle of $hitty peach schnapps. So Uglyhot Darryl takes her to an abandoned hillbilly shack loaded with moonshine and they get pretty lit. And since drunk 18 year olds always have awesome ideas, Beth suggests they torch the place. And because drunk forty-something hillbillies always have even better ideas, Darryl shrugs, grunts, and complies. Together they set their shelter ablaze, creating a glowing beacon in the middle of the night for hungryhungry zombies to explore.
Meanwhile, Maggie, Capable Badass Sasha, and Boozehound Bob have also found one of the many signs for Terminus posted along the railroad tracks. Desperate to reunite with Glenn, ingenius Maggie scrawls a message to him with walker blood, instructing him to meet her at Terminus.
Bratty Carl and his new mommy figure Michonne go foraging through neighborhood homes for food and supplies, while Rick stays behind for some quality naptime. But Rick should know by now that naptime can also be the most dangerous time. Not one minute after he shuts his eyes, a gang of unruly marauders busts into the house, and he barely has enough time to squirm under the bed. Two of the bandits get into a spirited debate over who gets to nap the hell out of Rick’s comfycozy naptime bed, tackling each other to the ground and wrestling until one of them gets put in a sleeper hold. And just before he passes out into dreamland, he locks eyes with Rick under the bed. After the other charming marauder sinks into the mattress and starts snoring, Rick slithers out from his hiding place and darts between rooms like a sneaky ninja, trying to plot an escape route. He dodges one bandit by running into the bathroom, only to find another inside, sitting on the toilet. Before he can yell, “Occupied!” a mighty struggle ensues. Rick strangles him to death, leaves the door cracked so his reanimated corpse can rise and attack the rest, then escapes out the window. As he makes his way around the perimeter to the front of the house, he spots Michonne and Caaarrrrrrrrl down the street. At that exact moment inside, a great disruption occurs as the hungryhungry zombie wanders out of the bathroom and attacks the bandits. With the marauders distracted, Rick, Carl, and Michonne make a clean getaway through the woods. Eventually they come upon one of the many signs leading to Terminus, and make the confounding decision to go there.
After their drunken arson session, Uglyhot Darryl and Boring Beth find a delightful funeral parlor deep in the middle of the woods. Like a hillbilly Hansel and Gretel, their curiosity leads them inside, where they notice the place is squeaky clean, with a fully stocked kitchen. Almost as if *someone* recently tended to it. They also find several dead zombies in caskets. Nothin’ wierd there. Anyway, despite the evidence that somebody has claimed the place as their own prized zombietrophy storage unit, Boring Beth suggests they live there, and a suddenly stupid Darryl complies. Facepalm. That night, just as Uglyhot Darryl is finally gonna make his move on Boring Beth, a herd of walkers invades the house. Beth flees to the road while Darryl fights his way out of the mortuary. When he finally makes it outside, he sees Beth’s backpack on the ground, and looks up to see a Cadillac speeding away. He wanders up the dirt road for a stretch, and finally collapses as he realizes Boring Beth is gone, and they never got to make out. Problems, problems. As he lay defenseless in the middle of the road, dreaming of the makeout session that could have been, a group of bandits- THE bandits Rick dealt with earlier in the abandoned house- approaches him. Terrified of fending for himself in the zombie apocalypse, Uglyhot Darryl joins the group of rabble rousers.
Meanwhile, Tyrese, Carol, and the kids discover a cottage hidden within a grove of pecan trees, and decide to stop for a bit on their way to Terminus. Plumes of smoke billow in the distance, presumably from Darryl and Beth’s spring break arson spectacular. Lizzie the Stranger & Stranger has now graduated to having play sessions with the walkers. In fact, she becomes enraged when Carol kills one of her zombie “friends,” furiously scolding her for not understanding that walkers need love too. She vows to school everyone that zombies are just different. A stunned Carol and Tyrese struggle with how to reach their little lunatic. Then one fine afternoon, they return to the cottage to find Lizzie holding a knife over a blood soaked Mika. She draws her gun when Carol tries to finish Mika off, insisting they wait for her to turn so she can finally prove walkers are just like people. Carol appeases her, and suggests she return home with a quietly horrified Tyrese while she tends to tying Mika up so she can’t wander off upon reawakening. Once they are out of sight, she of course destroys Mika’s brain to prevent her from turning. Back at the house, sporting an expression of “white people be crazy,” Tyrese reports he found a shoebox full of mice that Lizzie has apparently been lugging around since escaping the prison, solving the riddle of the dissected rat and the piles of dead mice inside the prison gates. Realizing that her star pupil is actually a delusional psychopath who will likely kill them all in their sleep, Carol makes the excruciating decision to put down Lizzie the Strangest. She walks her into the pecan grove and puts a bullet in her head as she’s marveling at the wildflowers. Later on, she hands the gun to Tyrese and confesses to killing Karen and What’shisdude, telling him to do whatever he’s gotta do. Perhaps overwhelmed by too many headfu<$ in one day, or the looming horror of being the sole caretaker of screaming Baby Judith in the zombie apocalypse, he decides to forgive her. They leave the cottage and head for Terminus.
RoboGlenn spots one of Maggie's signs directing him to Terminus, and goes all Rambo in his quest to reunite with her. When the group reaches the mouth of a long train tunnel, they decide to part ways. Glenn and Tara the Mildly Irritating will brave the walker-filled tunnel, and Abraham will lead Eugene and Rosalita on a safer detour. Soon they stumble upon a car, and resume their trip to Washington D.C. Deep inside the tunnel, Glenn and Tara come upon a herd of walkers buried in the rubble of the collapsed ceiling. As they scale the mountain of debris, they see the remainder of the herd waiting to greet them on the other side. They frantically retreat, but Tara gets stuck beneath the fallen concrete. The herd nearly descends on them, but at the last minute, Abraham and the others drive in from the opposite end of the tunnel and mow down the herd with many bullets. And joining the trio? Formidable $hitkicker Maggie, Capable Badass Sasha, and Boozehound Bob, who were exiting the other end of the tunnel when spotted by Eugene! Maggie and Glenn share a joyous reunion, and the whole group decides to skip down the tracks to Terminus together.
Uglyhot Darryl learns the band of rabble rousing thugs he's joined is tracking someone who strangled one of their own in an abandoned house. Unaware that his good buddy Rick is the culprit in question, Darryl tags along with the bunch. Eventually they catch up to Rick, Michonne, and Carrrrl, and ambush them in the middle of the night to avenge their friend's death. Joe, the menacing alpha of the group with the personality of a damp alleyway, vows to rape and torture both Michonne and Carl in front of Rick before killing all three of them. Upon recognizing Rick in the darkness, Darryl pleads to let them go. In response, Joe orders his minions to beat Darryl to death. General violence ensues. When Rick sees one of the skeevy thugs tackle Carl, all bets are off. Farmer Rick the veggie loving pacifist finally goes rogue and grows a pair. Fueled by sheer parental rage and paternal instinct, he attacks like a pitbull on meth, and bites a giant chunk of flesh out of Joe's jugular. Quick thinking Michonne then shoots the thugs beating the piss outta Darryl, because OF COURSE SHE DOES. Rick launches at the last pervy marauder, still on top of Carl, and does what any outraged father would do to someone trying to rape and murder their child: he cuts that bastard's heart out. Farmer Rick is officially gone, and replaced by a bloodlusty beast willing to do anything to keep his son safe. A much better fit for the apocalypse. After recovering from the nightmarish ordeal, the four resume their journey to Terminus. The first of the prison gang to use a fraction of their thinking parts when approaching newbies, they decide to cut through the woods and sneak up to the fortress from the rear. But they perform only minimal slapdash reconaissance, before burying a stash of guns and ammo and invading the complex through the back entrance, with no backup plan whatsoever.
Facepalm. Right into a headdesk.
Did we learn nothing from Governor Psychopath and Woodbury?
So they barge into a warehouse full of stunned people in the middle of drafting maps, and broadcasting radio advertisements for the alleged sanctuary. They welcome Rick's distrustful group, and lead them to the courtyard, where a gypsy-type woman is barbecuing giant slabs of meat. Rick scans the yard's occupants, and he immediately recognizes Glenn's riot gear and backpack, as well as Maggie's poncho. When he sees a pocketwatch given to Glenn by Our Beloved Pepaw Hershel, he realizes something is drastically wrong, and he takes a hostage, demanding to see his people. Shots break out, sending the group scrambling. Rooftop snipers then use gunfire to herd them through the complex, which is a maze of warehouse rooms and industrial corridors. One room is filled with lit candles, which illuminate names written on the ground, and warnings scrawled on the walls: NEVER TRUST, NEVER AGAIN, WE FIRST ALWAYS.
This place sounds awesome.
As they dart around outside, cries for help can be heard from within traincars scattered throughout the property. Finally they reach the back fence, only to be greeted by an army of gunmen on the other side. They are forced to surrender their weapons, and ordered to enter one of the traincars. Inside, they find Glenn, Maggie, Tara, Sasha, Bob, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosalita.
Tyrese and Carol are still out there with Baby Judith.
Boring Beth is missing in action.
And now it's over until October.