This week's episode was far and away the best episode of season three yet. That's a bold statement to make, considering how strong the season has been on a whole, but this episode stood out for many distinctive reasons, most notably for the way it developed three of the shows most important characters.
The episode begins with Rick, Carl, and Michonne in the process of making a run when they pass by a hitch hiker, who they refuse to stop and help. Their SUV gets stuck, and they get attacked by walkers, which they easily clear out. Rick and Carl have a great father and son bonding moment when Rick teaches Carl how to free the SUV, and the hitch hiker catches back up with the trio, just in time for them to pull away.
They arrive in Rick's old hometown, and they head to the police station, where they find that all the guns have been taken, and find one stray bullet, which is given to Rick. Rick gets angry about the fact that the guns are gone but decides that they are going to search the rest of the town, believing that there are more firearms to be found.
They discover that the center of the town has been booby trapped, and eventually are fired upon by a roof top sniper. Michonne attempts to flank the sniper, but they soon emerge on the street and come close to killing Rick, at which point Carl shows up and shoots the person in the chest.
The trio discover that the man was wearing a bullet proof vest, and Rick pulls off his mask to reveal it to be none other than Morgan, the man who helped Rick on the show's pilot. Rick is determined to talk to Morgan, and Rick and Michonne drag him back into his house, where they discover cryptic writing covering the wall.
Rick sees a message written on the wall refering to the death of Duane, Morgan's son, and soon realizes that Morgan is in a similar mental state. Rick ties him up and waits for him to wake up, and Carl and Michonne leave to go find a crib.
Rick messes around with the sniper rifle that he gave Morgan to shoot his wife, and Morgan rushes Rick with a knife. The two brawl and Rick ends up getting stabbed in the process, but both men live. Rick converses with Morgan, who has become very cryptic and believes that Rick cannot prevent the death of the one's he loves. We see Morgan's radio, and he states that he tried to contact Rick every day. Rick feels bad about what has occurred but cannot seem to get through to Morgan.
Meanwhile, Michonne and Carl end up at a bar that contains the last picture of Rick, Laurie, and Carl together, and the two end up fighting a bunch of walkers to get it. It was a thrilling sequence, although Michonne's disappearing act to get the picture seemed a little gimmicky. It was great to see the two bond, though.
Speaking of Michonne, this was by far and away her best episode yet. She had the best line in the episode, when Rick asked her if she was just going to eat Morgan's food, and she responded with "the mat said welcome."
Rick offers Morgan the chance to head back to the prison with them, but Morgan refuses, and decides to clean up the town instead. This serves as a wake up call for Rick, and the episode comes to a great close with Michonne saying that she used to see her dead boyfriend. Rick seems to feel that Michonne is part of the group now, and seems to have a newfound resolve.
Overall, this episode was nothing short of fantastic and was a much needed break from the going ons at the prison. Next week, it looks like the Governor and Rick will finally meet face to face, and that should prove to be nothing short of a stunning moment for the show.