After the huge episode “Home,” last week’s “I Ain’t a Judas” was a bit quieter, as we finally saw what happened when Andrea met up with her old friends at the prison. If anything, we got a much better feel over the last two episodes for how out-gunned Rick and company are. This sets up tonight’s episode, “Clear,” which finds Rick, Michonne, and Carl on the road in search of supplies.
The episode opens with our three-man team driving down an abandoned highway. They pass a hitchhiker with an orange camping pack who yells at them to help him. They just drive by with no discussion at all of stopping. This is the new reality.
A bit farther down the road they have to drive by a car accident. We see a walker pinned underneath an overturned car. As they slow down to get around the wreck, the car gets stuck in the mud. While Carl and Rick build a pack to shove under the wheel for traction, Carl wonders why they even need Michonne. Rick says they have the same problem and they can work together. Carl asks, “Just for right now?” “Just for right now” says Rick. Michonne hears them from the drivers’ seat. I don’t think it’s a secret to her that she’s a bit mistrusted and on the outs. The question is if she cares.
As they get the car unstuck the hitcher comes running down the road, again pleading for them to help him. They move out before he catches up.
The three of them arrive at their destination, a town with some strange markings on the buildings: arrows and writing. They go into a police station and the weapons locker has been emptied out. Rick kicks the wall. It’s his old station.
The three of them head into town to check some for weapons, passing more writing and a pile of burnt walkers.
As they near the center of town they come to a series of pikes, fences, cars, and barb wire. It’s a walker trap.
As they make their way through, a masked man shoots a walker that was approaching behind them. He orders them to leave their weapons and leave. Michonne says they need his gun and she thinks she can get it, so Rick fires on him. They split up to take him down, and when he comes down to street level, Carl shoots him in the stomach.
Now unconscious, Rick examines him. He was wearing body armor, so Carl’s shot didn’t actually penetrate flesh, just gave him a nasty bruise. Rick removes his mask and it’s Morgan (who you’ll hopefully remember from the first episode). FINALLY!
Rick and Michonne go into Morgan’s hideout, narrowly avoiding multiple booby traps. They carry Morgan upstairs and find not just the guns from the station, but guns and weapons from all over. Also in abundance: crazy writing on the walls.
While packing up supplies, Rick finds Morgan’s walkie talkie and then sees a note on the wall reading “DUANE TURNED.” It affects him. He tells Michonne and Carl that they’re going to wait for Morgan to wake up. Michonne argues but Rick insists. He zip ties Morgan’s hands.
Carl sees a map on the wall of the town, which includes his house. It’s labeled “Rick’s House
Taken BURNT OUT.” Carl says he wants to go get a crib. Michonne volunteers to go with him to help him carry the crib.
After Michonne and Carl leave, Morgan wakes up, slips his bonds, and attacks Rick. Morgan accuses Rick of wearing a dead person’s face as they fight. He stabs Rick in the shoulder but Rick is still able to draw his gun on him. Morgan begs to be killed.
Rick manages to tie him up again and bandages his wounds. He continues to try and convince Morgan that he’s who he says he is. When Rick brings up the radios it gets through to Morgan. Morgan says it took him a while to use it but when he did it was no good. “You said that you would turn on your radio every day at dawn AND YOU WERE NOT THERE.”
Rick explains what happened and how he had to leave the area. He tells Morgan how Lori died and Morgan tells him what happened to Duane. They were checking a house when Duane was attacked by Morgan’s wife. Finally he had to kill his wife. Too late for Duane though.
While this is all going down, Michonne and Carl are on their way to the baby store. Carl is trying to convince Michonne that she doesn’t need to come. He gets her to take care of a couple walkers and then tries to give her the slip. She catches up and he tells her that she’s only with them while they’re interests align. He says Michonne can’t stop him from going on his run, she says he can’t stop her from helping him.
Michonne helps Carl rig some baited traps to keep the walkers busy while Carl goings into a bar to get a picture of his family. Just as Carl grabs the picture, they get swarmed. Carl drops the picture. Michonne won’t let Carl go back in. She goes back for him while he stands out front distracting the walkers. She comes back with both the picture and the ugliest cat statue I’ve ever seen. “I just couldn’t leave this behind, it’s just too damn gorgeous.”
As they walk back, Rick is trying to convince Morgan to come back with them. Morgan points out that they’re taking a lot of guns for a reason. He won’t go back with them just to watch them die.
Morgan goes back outside to take care of the walkers that have been caught in his snares while Rick loads up the guns and ammo. Carl and Michonne return. Carl apologizes to Morgan for shooting him. Morgan tells him “don’t ever be sorry.”
They load up the car and while Michonne steps away Rick asks Carl how it went. He says that Michonne “might be one of us.” Rick smiles for maybe the first time on the show.
Carl gets in the car while Rick finishes packing. Michonne comes back and tells Rick that she knows he sees things. She confides in him that she used to talk to her dead boyfriend. Rick asks if she wants to drive. She says yeah. Rick: “good, cuz I see things.”
They drive back past the crazy writing and burnt bodies. On the highway outside of town they see a blood slick where a body has been recently ripped apart and just past it the hitchhiker’s orange backpack. After initially driving past, they stop, reverse, take the backpack, and move on.
So what did you think?! It was a different kind of episode than we’re used to. No prison. No Woodbury. And we saw Morgan again! You knew it had to happen at some point. Lennie James, who plays Morgan, was awesome.
Michonne, are we feeling her more now? Is she part of the group?
Will we see Morgan again?
Is Carl more of a badass than before?
How changed is Rick that a man who used to try and help everyone now won’t even look twice at a person screaming for help?
If you’re in Morgan’s Gun Emporium during the zombie apocalypse, and you get one weapon, what are you taking?
Note: I had to delete some comments below that were super-confusing and not advancing or contributing to the conversation. Try to stay at least somewhat on-point and remember that comments have a “reply” button!