Look on the bright side. Even though nothing interesting happened last night, the ethical dilemma for Rick over whether to hand Michonne over to the Governor is potentially interesting. And now that we know the two sides are going to war, we’re all but guaranteed that one or more major characters will be liquidated in the season finale. That’s interesting, right? But wait: Apart from Rick, who’s assuredly not being killed off, is there anyone else at this point who qualifies as a “major character”? He’s the only one whose death would feel like a major, show-changing blow. Normally Darryl would qualify but I feel like he’s had three lines total over the last five episodes and the plot hasn’t suffered much for it. Now that he’s reunited with Merle, what’s left for him to do? His journey from grimy hardboiled yokel to sensitive hero-protector was completed long ago. Come to think of it, Glenn doesn’t seem to do much of anything anymore either. Prediction: One of them will end up taking a bullet for his respective love interest and end up dying as she weeps over him in the season finale.

Actually, Carl’s death would be a major blow but I don’t think the writers are willing to go there. He’s more interesting alive, as a coming-of-age story in the zombie End Times, than as another dead relative to haunt Rick. Now, a question: Granting that the question of whether to hand over Michonne is potentially interesting, since Rick knows and we know and everyone else knows that the Governor fully intends to kill everyone in the prison no matter what happens with her, where exactly is the moral complexity here? You gain nothing by paying the danegeld in giving up Michonne. On the contrary, you lose a fearless warrior and you sow paranoia in the rest of the group that you’ll sell them out next. The only compelling solution to the problem under the circumstances would be for Rick to sell her out whereupon someone else in the group, probably Hershel, shoots him in the back because he’s no longer trustworthy. But that won’t happen. When you paint yourself in the corner by making the story of the zombie apocalypse a soap opera about a small bunch of characters, some of whom are bound to end up as indispensable, you have to accept your limitations.