Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead

Gene Page/AMC

For most of her character arc, The Walking Dead's Michonne (Danai Gurira) has remained a stony enigma—a sphinx whose personality reveals itself most often through the flash of a katana or distrustful stare. But tonight's episode—finally!—cracked a window into her world, showing that she can still open her heart...when the time and people are right.

And how did all that come about? Through a very tense, and very heartbreaking, mini-adventure costarring Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl (Chandler Riggs). Let's take a closer look at what might just be one of the best episodes of the season so far.

What We Learned:

War Is Hell: We open with Carl, Rick and Michonne riding out on their planned weapons run. A stranger with a backpack—and, more importantly, a real pulse—spots them and cries for help. But in a moment that shows just how battle-weary the trio has become, they drive on without a word. Later, they find the man's remains on the side of the road, and, without ceremony, take what supplies he had.

So That Guy Lived...Sort Of: Remember Morgan Jones (Lennie James), the neighbor who saved Rick's life at the beginning of Season 1? The two vowed to keep in touch via walkie-talkie, and they had planned to reunite after Rick tracked down his family. Now we see what has befallen poor Morgan: He's holed up in a ramshackle bunker reminiscent of a trashy Woodbury. The hideout is filled with booby traps and paranoid language spray-painted on walls. Half-mad in grief and fear, Morgan threatens the scouting party before Carl is forced to shoot him in self-defense.

Michonne Has a Past...and a Heart: Rick insists on speaking further to the injured Morgan. Meanwhile, Carl just as forcefully decides to go scavenge a crib for baby Judith. Michonne goes with him. During their dangerous run, we see that Michonne may be healing enough, emotionally, to accept Rick and Carl as part of a new adopted family. To that end, Michonne later reveals a bit of her past to Rick: Like him, she, too has spoken to dead loved ones, in her case, a lost boyfriend.

Yep, Still Hell: Rick urges Morgan to return with him to the safety of the prison, but the walker apocalypse has done its damage, and Morgan won't budge. Rick, Carl and Michonne are forced to return to the prison with just a few duffels and a new understanding of each other.

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