The Walking Dead Season 3 'Midseason Finale' aired this week (aka, 'The Walking Dead Give You A Two-Month Break So You Don't Fall Way The Hell Behind When You're Home With Your Parents' Stupid DVR-less TVs Finale), so let's take a moment to recap the shockingly eventful third season the only way any of us on the internet can tolerate: With a bunch of dumb Photoshops and some easily-ignorable words between them!
Many spoilers below!
PLOTLINE 1: No Touching
As hinted by the sweeping final shot of Season 2, Walking Dead Season 3 kicks off with Rick and The Gang heading off to prison, where they'll theoretically be more secure and where the dialogue will suddenly get inexplicably less stupid than seasons 1 and 2 and way more stuff will happen:
To secure the prison, the group has to clear each individual walker-infested section of the prisonyard, which they accomplish in typical Walking Dead "neverending streak of perfect headshots" fashion. Amongst the undead prisoners, they also encounter zombified prison guards in riot gear, who are clearly only there so they can annoyingly take five hits to kill in the subsequent Walking Dead NES game:
The group succeeds at clearing prison sections in a string of insanely bloody killfests (basically this Season's way of saying right off the bat "Look! Fun zombie killing's happening again!!! No more searching for Sophia for 47 episodes then she's dead!"), and they don't really encounter any problems, save for Maggie's initial terrified reaction to the super-walkers:
The group secures the prisonyard, but Rick implores them to push further, telling them that they need to take the prison itself, and that an all-out assault might not be too dangerous because there's plenty of meaningless characters still hanging around that can get bitten instead of the important people. Rick valiantly leads the charge himself:
While clearing the prison's crowded underground, Hershel gets bitten in the leg and inadvertantly cries out "Ahhhh Jesus couldn't you have done the viewers a huge favor and just bit Lori instead I mean ow!" Rick acts quickly and hacks Hershel's bitten leg off at the knee (weird how wince-inducing that scene was, given that the entire show is literally creatures getting impaled through the face in increasingly grosser ways), and though Hershel passes out, they do manage to stabilize him:
Immediately after the Hershel-hacking, Rick looks up to see five still-human prisoners who've just witnessed the whole event, and they respond with an understated "Holy shit" followed by an immediate end-of-episode cut (really made me nostalgic for the "LOST" title card cuts).
Rick tells the prisoners they can't join his group ("But you let insane, unstable Shane in!" "It's called the No HomERS Club, we can have one") but eventually agrees to help the prisoners clear out a separate section of the prison in exchange for half their remaining rations. During the prison clearing, however, a prisoner named Big Tiny is bitten after getting randomly distracted:
Without hesitation, alpha-prisoner Tomas butchers Tiny to death, confirming Rick's suspicions that he may in fact be dangerously psychotic, or at the very least, "Weird":
During a subsequent melee, Tomas very blatantly throws a walker on top of Rick, and after the fight subsides, Tomas is all, "Sorry man, my finger slipped. All five of them. In unison. Into that walker, into you. While I yelled 'Die Rick Die haha the prison will soon be mine, mine I say, miiiiine!!!!' then cackled for 45 seconds. You know how it is." With minimal hesitation, Rick plants a machete into Tomas' brain, and in one fell swoop, THE RICKSTUDENT has become THE SHANEMASTER. Or at least, that's what my weird viewing guide description for the episode said.