Another “calm before the storm” type episode this week, and a good one at that. I was feeling quite iffy about The Walking Dead when it came back with its mid-season premier since everything felt like it was going downhill from there. However, with last week’s ‘Clear’ and this week’s episode, things are picking up again and I couldn’t be more excited to see the series finish off season 3 with a huge bang in a couple of weeks. Yet, I am wondering how much longer they are going to milk this “peaceful” state between the two groups, seeing how there are still two more episodes until the season finale. What’s going to happen in between?

In this week’s episode, Rick finally meets The Governor and they sit down to “negotiate”. To be honest, whereas people felt that tensions rose during their talk, I didn’t find it too interesting myself and I thought the subplots were way more exciting. But what is noteworthy here is the subtle and clever way this episode has shown the similarities between the two leaders and their towns. Half of Rick’s face is constantly in the shadows when they talk, which demonstrates the parallels between him and The Governor. One of Rick’s eyes is covered just as how The Governor has a patch over his. When Rick finally sees through The Governor’s plans, his face is in the light again connoting a more human side to him that The Governor will never have—even when he takes off the patch. Bonding time was allotted for Hershel and Milton, and Daryl and Martinez when the two leaders spoke. I loved this part of the episode and wished it was longer. It’s painfully obvious that this is going to be a tough and reluctant fight after the characters realize they don’t want to fight in the first place.

On the other hand, Andrea has really got to go. Doesn’t her head hurt after being hit over multiple times that The Governor is a creep? C’mon, Michonne revealed to her the jars with walker and human heads, his plot to kill Michonne (and Andrea if she had come along that day), and now Maggie’s sexual assault. She even says she can’t go back there but she does so anyway. Where’s the logic in that? She better have a plan to epically kill The Governor or her character has really hit rock bottom for me.

While back at the prison, Merle desperately wants to develop a ploy to assassinate The Governor. Of course everyone says no but is it crazy for me to side with Merle on this one? He seemed to be the only one to see through The Governor’s plot before anyone else did and his loyalty and protectiveness to his brother is really admirable. Merle’s character has definitely grown on me. In other news, Glenn and Maggie finally work things out and added to the limited romantic scenes of The Walking Dead. Sex scenes between Andrea and The Governor obviously didn’t count because that was just plain gross.

Finally, a fake deal has been put on the table, and it’s funny because both leaders know it’s a fake deal. However, Rick simply can’t help but wonder if giving Michonne up (as per request from The Governor) is the final solution to preventing this war. He asks Hershel to talk him out of it but that doesn’t look too promising. Will Rick do it? Will Michonne be let go after she’s finally had a few more lines and the audience has grown to love her? What about Team Tyreese, whatever happened to them?