WARNING: Full Episode Spoilers Below
This week we continue our journey towards the climax of Walking Dead season 3, with “The Arrow on the Doorpost” now aired we only have three episodes left of this exciting season.
This week’s episode revolves around the first face-to-face meeting of Rick and The Governor; we jump right into the meeting with the group examining the location of the meeting beforehand. We are given details that this meeting was set-up by Andrea, how she was able to coerce both camps to meet is never explained and you would expect a fair amount of time has passed since last week’s episode.
The entire meeting itself was done spectacularly, offering an intense atmosphere from start to finish. David Morrissey and Andrew Lincoln both did an incredible job, delivering some of the best written lines the series has seen with such intensity selling this entire meeting. Hearing Morrissey talking about the characters past was not only eye opening (see what I did there) for his origins, but emphasized his character has nothing left to live for. Andrew Lincoln also sold his distrust towards The Governor (which is to be expected,) overall this entire exchange made the episode great viewing.
It wasn’t just the interaction between Rick and The Governor that sold this episode, but the interaction between all the characters throughout the episode. With Daryl and The Governor’s main weapons specialist Martinez having some great moments, both characters don’t want to fight but they know it will occur and there isn’t anything to stop it. Seeing both characters sharing a smoke was a lighter, more heartwarming moment of the episode. We also saw Herschel and Milton have some interesting exchanges, leaving us to think could both of these Woodbury characters possibly cross the fence when this war occurs, to help our survivors?
Milton seemed extremely agitated when the Governor insisted on his plan to take Michonne in exchange for the groups life, was the best way to slaughter his enemy without any casualties occurring to those inside Woodbury. We know Milton has always been intimidated by the Governor and had no other choice but to stick by him, now that there is a second group who seems friendlier, could Milton finally disband from Woodbury and join our main cast? The possibility is definitely there.
Speaking of this Michonne plot device, the Governor gave Rick the option to hand over Michonne, in return he would leave them alone. Rick knows better than to trust his word, but being outnumbered and in fear of losing those he cares about, could he cave in? We see Rick turn to Herschel to try and talk him out of handing her over, who reminds Rick all the good she has done for the group and how she is now one of them. This entire aspect adds an interesting element to the narrative, especially after the bonding Rick and Carl had with her character last week. I will be watching this plot device very closely next week, to see just how they decide to run with it.
We also were shown further reason for the group to distrust Andrea, as The Governor explains she has told him about Lori sleeping with Shane and the fact Judith might not be his kid. After failing to kill The Governor and now this, what trust would Rick have for Andrea? Let’s not forget it was unveiled to Andrea what The Governor had done to Maggie and even after stating she couldn’t return to Woodbury, she in-turn decides to go back with them anyway. These points continue to make me believe the character cannot last past this season (I have been wrong before,) with so many bad choices and mistrust it continues to look like Andrea’s future is ticking away.
Back at the prison Glenn continued his leadership role as the group prepared the prison for war, as I stated last week Merle and Glenn had another run-in with one another. With Merle wanting to attack The Governor at the meeting and help his brother, Glenn stood up and said that wasn’t what was best for the group and it could end up leaving Rick and the other in danger. This was another great step for the character, as he continues to firmly put his hand up for leadership contention. With the core group lacking strong male leads, this leaves Glen with a bright future leading into next season.
Glenn also mended his relationship with Maggie, after they had been on rocky ground ever since their rescue from Woodbury. It was nice to see their love flourish, in a world that barely has time for second chances. It was great to see some of our favourite characters embrace, showing there are still good things occurring in this dark and evil universe of Walking Dead.
Another interesting scene establishing Michonne’s allegiance to the group was delivered when Merle approached her offering to take her to the meeting to extract her revenge on The Governor. Problem was she had none of it, she made sure to send back the offer. Which might not have been the case a few weeks ago, she sees the group as her friends and doesn’t want to do anything to screw that up. As for Merle, The Governor proclaimed him to be the wild card in this war, doing the dirty things nobody else could accomplish. Could Rick have the star player on his team? If Rick takes these words onboard, he could have a strong player on his team when the war begins, which leaves me intrigued for the final three episodes.
Overall it was the calm before the storm; action took a backseat with stellar interaction taking center stage. Though many disregard Walking Dead as a zombie show with blood and gore, episodes like this showcase the heart of what Walking Dead epitomizes, strong dialog, great character progression and interesting plot devices.
During the sneak peek for next week, we never saw Michonne. Keeping the aspect of Rick’s decision under wraps, I can see next week really revolving around this point and I am very interested to see how Rick decides to handle it.
We were also shown what seemed to be Andrea, Tyrese and Milton trying to take down Woodbury from the inside. Could Andrea finally redeem herself? Will Milton choose his side? What about Tyrese? In the preview it seems like Tyrese is holding one of his two male companions by the collar as they lie on the ground, could Tyrese side against Woodbury and in-turn having to take down his friends in the process? Expect Tyrese to be a strong factor in the last three episodes as we set-up the foundation for season 4 of The Walking Dead.