Welcome back to zombie land ...
Merle, still chained to a rooftop in Atlanta, rants and raves almost incoherently. He seems to be talking about his time in the military. After a few moments, he appears to "wake up" at the sound of zombies beating on the door to the roof. "Oh Jesus!" Merle cries. "I know I'm being punished ... I deserve it ... show me the way!" The undead moan.
CUT to Rick and Morales drive though a town -- the former explaining that poor Merle has a brother named Daryl. CUT to the makeshift camp where Lori cuts Carl's hair while Shane watches. Shane promises to teach Carl how to catch frogs. "We'll feed these folks Cajun-style Kermit legs," promises sudden father-figure Shane. Suddenly, Glenn drives up in his sports car ... followed by Rick, Morales and the rest of the survivors. "Come meet everybody," Morales tells the sheriff. Andrea is united with Amy. Morales is united with his family. And, finally, Rick spots Lori and Carl. They EMBRACE.
After the emotional reunion -- one Shane watches with shock and confusion -- Rick cuddles around the campfire with his wife and son. "I can't tell you how grateful I am to you, Shane," Rick says. If he only knew Shane and Lori had become more than buddies. T-Dog, meanwhile, wonders if Merle is still alive. He believes the lock on the rooftop door to be too strong for the walkers to break. Also: everybody in camp worries about telling brother Daryl, who is apparently away on a "hunt." He'll likely react poorly.
Later, Rick cozies up to Lori in their family tent. "Baby, I really thought I would never see you again," she says. "I'm so sorry ... for everything." Yet she can't bring herself to reveal the details of her most recent affair with Shane. Rick then passionately kisses his wife. After a moment of hesitation, she kisses him back. Shane, meanwhile, sits alone. The next morning, Rick awakens and makes his way through camp -- when he hears a SCREAM. Carl has seen a zombie feasting on a dead dear. Rick, Shane, Dale and Glenn approach the monster and BEAT it to death (again) -- Dale finally decapitating it.
At that moment, Daryl returns to camp. He is angry that the zombie ate the deer he shot ... and takes his revenge via crossbow on the still twitching head. Andrea and Amy wince. Shane then pulls aside Daryl and gives him the bad news: Merle didn't return from Atlanta. Rick approaches. "Your brother was a danger to us all, so I handcuffed him to a roof ... he's still there," the sheriff explains. Daryl is APOPLECTIC. He ATTACKS Rick, who -- with the help of Shane -- subdues the hillbilly. T-Dog then explains that he dropped the key down a drain. "I'm going back," Rick tells Daryl. Lori hangs her head.
Shane tries to convince Rick not to go -- especially to save a jerk like Merle. "I can't let a man die," Rick says. "We left him like an animal in a trap." T-Dog and Daryl volunteer, too. Glenn reluctantly agrees to join the team. But it's not just about saving Merle. Rick explains that he dropped a bag containing valuable guns, ammunition and a walkie-talkie. The latter he can use to warn Morgan and his son Duane against heading to Atlanta. After they leave, Lori attempts to comfort Carl -- whose confidence ends up comforting her.
Sometime later, Shane and Carl bond by catching frogs -- or attempting to anyway. Jacqui wonders why the women have been relegated to washing clothes. They then begin to mention things they miss about their old lives. Andrea mentions that she misses her vibrator -- and the ladies crack up. Their smiles disappear when Ed, Carol's moody husband, approaches. He tells his cowering wife that this isn't a "comedy club." Lori then reprimands Carl for leaving Dale's side, though the boy was obviously safe with Shane. After Carl leaves, Lori turns her ire on Shane. "You stay away from me -- you stay away from my son," she shouts. "My husband is back! He is alive! You are the one who told me that he died!" Shane is distraught.
Meanwhile, Rick, Daryl, Glenn and T-Dog park their truck outside Atlanta. They opt to approach the heart of the city on foot. Soon, the foursome is inside the department store. Daryl SHOOTS a zombie in the brain with an arrow. Back at the camp, Ed's anger has escalated. He insults Andrea and then SLAPS Carol across the face. Shane, whose blood is already up, sprints toward Ed and proceeds to BEAT him mercilessly. Ed is little more than a blood pulp before Shane stops -- warning the wife beater that if he raises his hand to anyone in the camp, he will die. "I'll beat you to death, Ed!" Shane rages. Carol screams ... and runs to her badly injured husband.
Finally, the Atlanta gang arrives on the rooftop to find Merle missing ... or most of him. Turns out ol' Merle must've been able to reach the hacksaw. His severed hand remains on the roof, but the rest of Daryl's big brother has apparently managed to escape.
Until next time ...