Things are going pretty well at the prison these days. Rick has not only abdicated leadership, he's beaten his service revolver into a garden hoe. And that's only one of the signs that the influx of Woodburians (and others) has led to a more stable, peaceful community. Daryl and Carol's flirting has escalated even as Daryl becomes a local celebrity, Tyreese is with Karen, Glenn and Maggie are obliquely talking pregnancy, and Beth has a new boyfriend named Zach. In short, everyone is, as predicted, so much better off without Andrea. But there are still errands to be run outside the fences that continue to swarm with walkers; otherwise there wouldn't be a whole lot happening. At first.
For starters, Daryl leads an expedition to a "Big Spot" department store that has been carefully cleared out -- but alas, not cleared off, as the roof has sustained damage from a crashed helicopter that is surrounded by walkers. And when a thirsty newbie triggers a mishap that leads to further roof failure, they all learn how quickly a simple supply run can be ruined by something as minor as zombies raining down from on high. Most of the group makes it out alive, except for Beth's boyfriend Zach. Don't worry, Beth takes it pretty well. Or maybe we should worry about how well she takes it.
Rick also has to venture out to clear the animal traps he's laid in the woods, and is unlucky enough to encounter a Sliding Doors version of himself out there. After all of his efforts to reel both himself and Carl back from the moral brink they teetered on last season, a woman who has kept her zombified husband unalive at their campsite for who knows how long is the last person he needs to meet. Especially when she talks about how you can't come back from the things you've done to survive. And then she kills herself to be with her walker husband, so I think we can consider Rick's day ruined.
Not that the interior of the prison is entirely without drama. Michonne is planning to trek to Macon, which I'm sure will go totally smoothly. Some of the other kids have taken to naming the walkers who are pressed against the fences, to which Carl objects. Carl also crashes "story time," only to discover Carol teaching the kiddies how to defend themselves with knives. Furthermore, a mysteriously ailing pig in the livestock pen is an ill omen, especially when it dies. But when a mysteriously ailing human named Patrick dies alone inside the prison and almost immediately gets back up again, that's no omen: that's a bomb about to go off. Which it no doubt will next week.
Rick exits the prison into the yard -- which has not only been thoroughly cleaned, but now features some cheery potted plants -- splashes his bearded face from a handy rain barrel, and heads out toward the zombie-lined fence, where he gets to work with a hoe. And not to kill zombies, but to scrape up the dirt in what is now a garden. He's found a functioning iPod and earbuds somewhere, so the soundtrack for the scene is the country-music moldy oldie playing in his head as he works the soil, ignoring the now-boring horrors behind him. Then his hoe hits something hard, and he kneels to unearth a buried handgun. He pulls out one earbud, allowing the sound of the slavering zombies to invade the sonic landscape. He looks up at them for the first time this morning, focusing on one bloody-eyed specimen in particular, then replaces the earbud, ejects the gun's clip, and tosses weapon and ammo into the wheelbarrow separately. So it looks like someone at least thinks he's done killing zombies.
After the credits, Carl comes out to join Rick. Seems Rick let him sleep in, "because I knew you were up all night reading comics with a flashlight." Where is their battery hookup in the zombie apocalypse all of a sudden, anyway? They lean over the low fence of a recently constructed animal pen, where a pig seems to be crashed out in the corner. "What's up with Violet?" Carl asks, though Rick has told him not to name the food. And Rick doesn't know anyway, so all he can think to do is say, "Feel better…Violet."
A bit later in the morning, the rest of the prison appears to be awake and at their morning activities in the yard; Daryl, whose hair looks worse than ever, strides through the yard being treated like a celebrity. "Just so you know, I liked you first," Carol tweaks him when he joins her at an outdoor cooking station to get his breakfast. He modestly says that Rick brought in a lot of these people too, and she points out that Rick hasn't done much of that lately. So between saving people and bringing in food, "You're gonna have to learn to live with the love." She leaves the kitchen in the charge of a nerdy, bespectacled teen named Patrick, who sucks up to Daryl a bit, and asks for a handshake .He doesn't even mind when Daryl licks his fingers before putting 'er there.
At the fence, some of the residents -- including Karen, the sole Woodburian survivor of the Governor's little tantrum spree at the end of last season -- are trying to thin the crowd of zombies outside by poking various tools through the chain-link and through the walkers' rotting faces. More are coming, and though it's not enough to be a threat, I don't know how they clear out the re-dead ones. Carol leads Daryl out to where they can see the situation, saying that with today's build-up, they may not be able to spare many people for the run he's planning today. "Sorry, Pookie," she says. And the fence-cleaning continues, grossly.