‘The Walking Dead’ Review: “Arrow on the Doorpost”
‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 brings to life its thirteenth episode of the season “Arrow on the Doorpost,” as Rick and the Governor attempt to negotiate a peace treaty between Woodbury and the prison, while Glenn does his best to keep Merle from plotting an assasination.
Last week’s ‘The Walking Dead’ episode “Clear” saw Rick, Michonne and Carl return to the Grimes’ hometown in search of weapons and supplies, only to find Rick's old friend Morgan, who seemed to have been driven mad over time, so what will the latest episode bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3 episode 13, “Arrow on the Doorpost!”
Hershel drives Rick and Daryl to an abandoned mill, watching the car as the latter two secure the area. Daryl finds a dead walker outside a building, taking point as Rick enters to find a table and two chairs. Out steps the Governor, jokingly declaring himself unarmed, before announcing to Rick that they have a lot to talk about!
Removing his weapon, the Governor points out that he could have killed Rick’s group during the last assault, but chose not to. Meanwhile outside, Hershel and Daryl find that things seem eerily quiet, before another car pulls up and reveals Martinez, Milton and Andrea. Incensed that the Governor started the meeting without her, Andrea heads inside and urges the men to find some kind of compromise to their feud. Rick relays that he heard about the Governor’s raid, fish tank heads, and his treatment of Maggie, but with Andrea present, the Governor blames it all on Merle.
Back at the prison, Merle watches Glenn and the other assemble their weapons, asserting that their best move is to load up a truck and kill the Governor themselves. Glenn and Michonne shoot down his idea, though Merle insists he dislikes being on the sidelines while his brother is out there. Meanwhile, Andrea continues to attempt making peace, while the Governor rejects Rick’s suggestion that they can live separately in peace. If nothing else, both men agree that Andrea should step outside, while they attempt to settle matters.
Once alone, Rick and the Governor size one another up with regard to their respective pasts, before the Governor taunts Rick with knowledge he gained from Andrea, namely that his baby might belong to Shane. Nevertheless, at least he brought whiskey! Outside, Milton breaks the tension between the two groups, before a number of walkers approach. Daryl and Martinez tease one another over who’s the better killer, while Andrea rolls her eyes and takes out a few herself.
After the walkers, Daryl and Martinez bond over cigarettes while Hershel and Milton converse about the former’s leg, jokingly brushing off Milton’s curiosity. Inside, the Governor reminds Rick that he can’t let the previous attacks subside, lest he seem week to his people, before sharing that in his past life he was another office drone. One day, he received a phone call that his wife was in an accident and died, but all he could think about was the last voice-mail his wife had left that he’d never checked.
Back at the prison, Glenn finds himself with no other choice but to violently subdue Merle to keep him from leaving, while Merle taunts Glenn that the Governor hurt his woman. Elsewhere, Hershel leaves Milton to talk with Andrea, confirming her fears that the Governor indeed assaulted Maggie. Andrea laments that she doesn’t wish to go back to Woodbury, but both she and Hershel know that joining her friends at the prison will almost certainly guarantee war.
Inside, the Governor assures Rick that any fight would go down to the last man, regardless of the differing advantages on other side, but Rick insists he won’t give up the prison. The Governor reveals that he has no interest in the prison, but instead only wants Michonne, removing his eye-patch and showing Rick the extent of his injury. Back at the prison, Merle urges Michonne to see his point about killing the Governor, pointing out that the two of them could easily sneak up on the meeting site and kill the Governor, though Michonne declares him on his own.
Just outside, Glenn watches the fences as Maggie joins him, the two apologizing to one another for their distance of late. Glenn admits his mistake of making her attack all about him, before the two make up inside the prison walls, rather graphically. Meanwhile, Rick questions why the Governor would risk all he’s built on a vendetta with Michonne, but the Governor leaves him with two days to decide if Michonne’s life is worth the others within the prison.
The groups part ways, Rick and his returning to the prison while the Governor returns to Woodbury, but the Governor instructs Martinez to prepare to kill the opposing group in two days. Milton objects to the slaughter, while the Governor denies his intentions to a suspicious Andrea. Back at the prison, Rick explains to the group that he met the Governor, but that the outcome was a decision to go to war after all.
Outside, Hershel visits with Rick to relay the group’s mixed feelings about the situation, but insist they should all remain together in their decision to fight back. Rick confesses that the Governor offered them an out by giving up Michonne, but when Hershel questions why Rick told him the truth, Rick admits that he hopes Hershel can talk him out of handing over the woman.
Understandable, any episode is made to suffer by following last week's heartfelt "Clear," though "Arrow on the Doorpost" suffers from a few problems unique to the episode. We know that Rick and the Governor will never be able to come to peace, refreshing as it might be to see the pair actually talk things out. In that way, "Arrow on the Doorpost" mostly spins its wheels, particularly back at the prison with the inconsistent glowering of Merle, but the episode's best moments come from the mutual bonds that arise between Woodbury and the prison. Only three episodes remain in the season, leaving little time to explore Martinez or Milton's hesitation to kill their new friends, but hopefully the events of "Arrow on the Doorpost" will amount to more than a failed treaty. If nothing else, at least Andrea gets some much-needed sympathy.
Did you get your fill of thrilling zombie killing? What did you think about tonight’s episode “Clear?” Check out all our other ‘Walking Dead’ season 3 coverage, and join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 3.5′s “Prey” on AMC!