Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

The return of The Walking Dead hasn't been a disappointment for fans: The show has (wisely) dialed down on the pointless yelling, and replaced it with masterful twists, subtle character development, and, of course, lots of zombies.

Will we get an all-out war between the prison group and Woodbury? Too soon to tell. But in the meantime, the tension is building, and this next episode ratchets it up significantly.

Here's what to expect:

Heavy Is the Head, Yadda Yadda: A few weeks ago, Andrea (Laurie Holden) made a decision that essentially set the stage for the rest of the season. On Sunday, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) makes an equally weighty choice, one that just might cost the lives of the people he loves most.

Merle May Get Kinda Likable for a Second: Maybe. Sorta. Just a little.

A Scrum Goes Down in the Prison: But it doesn't involve the people you might think!

The Storm's A-Comin': By now it's pretty obvious that some kind of reckoning is on its way this season. But not every face-off starts with a skewered messenger or burning flag. Instead, look for some dark humor this episode, featuring two members of the show's, er, scientific community.

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