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The Walking Dead “Arrow On The Doorpost” 

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

As the old saying goes, there is always a calm before the storm.  In the case of The Walking Dead, I think you could probably call it a hurricane instead of a storm.  Like the previous couple of episodes, there wasn’t a good deal of action, and was much more about character development and getting into the heads of the leaders of Team Prison and Team Woodbury.  And, I can assure you that peace is the last thing on either of their minds.

The episode opens with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) arriving in Woodbury, naively believing Andrea’s (Laurie Holden) word that the Governor (David Morrissey) would be willing to negotiate and avoid any kind of bloodshed.  Yeah, right. With the Governor arriving surprisingly alone, Rick doesn’t kill the Governor to the dismay of most of the viewers, and instead, agrees to talk with the Governor and try and work an agreement out.  While we as viewers know that such discussions will be pointless, this long talk between Rick and the Governor is very important for several reasons.

First, Rick and the Governor have not officially met.  While most of the viewers would love everybody cut to the chase and the showdown between Team Prison and Team Woodbury happen immediately, that really would be premature without the leaders of both groups actually meeting first.  Plus, most of what Rick knows about the Governor was from third parties, like Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Merle (Michael Rooker).  Rick needs to meet the Governor firsthand so as to make his own assessment, and while the Governor tries to play it smooth, fortunately Rick is able to see through his charade.  The Governor plays nearly every card he has, including mentioning his wife being killed in an accident to try and conjure up grief and guilt Rick still feels for his own dead wife.  The Governor even stoops so low as to bring up the fact that Lori and Shane had an affair and how Rick doesn’t even know if he is the father of his baby.  Rick really doesn’t say much during the entire conversation and the Governor does most of the talking, but we can tell in Rick’s eyes that he is starting to see the madman and classic manipulator that his group is dealing with.  This image is pretty much solidified when the Governor puts the blame of the assault on Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) on Merle, which Rick knows for a fact is not true.

Another reason why this talk is so important is because the end result re-positioned Rick as the true leader of his group.  Ever since Lori’s death, everyone has been questioning Rick’s authority and his ability to continue to lead the group at the prison.  After all, who wouldn’t with all of Rick’s rants and his talking to his dead wife? Rick’s seeing through the Governor’s lies and telling the group that they are at war with Woodbury are two strong signs that Rick’s mental state is stabilizing and he can, in fact, continue to lead the team.  Rick doesn’t coddle them or try and sugarcoat the truth – the Governor isn’t going to stop until everyone at the prison is dead.  Period. Another good sign is the fact that Rick actually asks for help from Hershel (Scott Wilson), instead of continuing to make all of the decisions on his own and acting like a crazed dictator.  Hershel is the only one Rick tells about the Governor’s so called “peace offering” by turning Michonne over to him, and is relying on Hershel to help him make the right decision.   A sure sign of a good leader is asking for help from time to time from the elders of your team.

Besides this, there were also a few WTF moments in the episode that I think most viewers would consider “awkward” at best but in the end, may ultimately prove to be important.  While Rick and the Governor are inside being buddy-buddy, Daryl and Martinez talk outside, and realize they actually both have a lot in common.  In fact, they seem to like each other, which don’t come easily for Daryl, as we all know.  Then, there is the super-weird moment between Milton and Hershel.

     May I, may I see your leg?  — Milton

     I’m not going to show you my leg! I just met you.  At least buy me a drink first – Hershel

Yes, as we all know, Milton doesn’t exactly have grade-A social skills and is completely tactless in this scene, but Hershel doesn’t appear to mind much and seems to actually like the guy.  While both of these scenes may seem like just glitches in the episode, I see them as a possible omen that people like Martinez and Milton may eventually shift to Rick’s team.  We don’t know much about Martinez yet, but we know that Milton is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the Governor’s actions, and if he could somehow survive, I think he would fit well into Rick’s group.  Heck, maybe he could even build Hershel a prosthetic leg  🙂

And, then, there is Andrea.  A review of any episode this season wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Andrea and how incredibly stupid she has become.  Time after time this season, Andrea has seen instances of the instability of the man she is banging, but she continues to be fixated on him.  Even tonight after the Governor dismisses her in front of Rick like a pimp dismisses a whore and especially after she finds out that the Govenor may have assaulted Maggie, she still continues to stay by his side.  Granted, I think she is starting to have some serious doubts, but will she make the right decision before all of her friends at the prison are killed?

All in all, I thought this was a decent episode, probably a very strong B+ if I had to grade it.  Yes, like the past couple of episodes, it didn’t have all of the action and gore that fans have grown accustomed to, but it had some very important character development of both Rick and the Governor and sets the stage for the impending World War III between Team Prison and Team Woodbury.  And, plus, everyone, you know how the writers of The Walking Dead like to toy with us, right?  Yes, this episode may be called a little “slow” but as I said at the beginning of my review, it’s the calm before the storm.  With only 3 episodes left in the season, we can all safely bet this is building to the mother of all season finales.  So, get ready, everyone, and prepared to be blown away.

 Most memorable quotes and random thoughts

  •  We have a lot to talk about – The Governor to Rick
  • I don’t feel like I have to explain myself to the henchman – Milton to Daryl
  • You wanna surrender, you come and get it!  — Rick to The Governor
  • And, I thought you were the cop, not the lawyer – The Governor to Rick
  • I want Michonne.  Turn her over and this all goes away.  Is she worth it?  — The Governor to Rick
  • He wants us dead, for what we did to Woodbury.  We’re going to war – Rick to Hershel
  • I’m glad to see that Maggie and Glenn finally made up, but please… I thought the big sex scene was way out of place.
  • The Governor stated that he saw Rick bring back the “arsenal” from the last episode.  Does this mean that the Governor knows about Morgan? Hmmmm…..

So, what did everyone else think of the episode?  Chime in with your thoughts below in the Comments section!

The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.

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1 Comment

  1. Robin

    Yes, how did he know about the gun scoop? I loved the scenes between Daryl and Martinez and between Milton and Hershal. Those characters got to experience a little bit of humanity and see that the other side isn’t evil–only the gov is evil. That’s got to come in handy at some point!

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