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Review: The Walking Dead episode 3.13, 'Arrow on the Doorpost' (Photos)

On tonight's "The Walking Dead," Rick and the Governor finally came face to face to work out a truce.
On tonight's "The Walking Dead," Rick and the Governor finally came face to face to work out a truce.

The Walking Dead, "Arrow on the Doorpost"


On tonight's "The Walking Dead," Rick and the Governor finally met face to face to work out their differences and arrange a truce. It was a tense episode filled with tense conversations and intensity. Intrigued? Then it's time to review "The Walking Dead" episode 3.13, "Arrow on the Doorpost."

The Governor sits at the negotiating table.


This was one of those episodes that existed almost entirely to explore character. Those nostalgic for season two were probably pretty happy watching it. Those who looked forward to the action-packed, emotion-filled episodes of early season three might have been disappointed.

Where it excelled was in the character pairings. Rick and the Governor. Milton and Hershel. Daryl and Martinez (it's about time we got to see more of Martinez). Michonne and Merle. The conversations were less odd-couply than you'd think. Actually, Daryl and Martinez trying to one-up each other and then sharing a smoke while Hershel and Milton geeked out together was one of the most satisfying parts of the episode.

We get what you were doing there, TWD writers. You were trying to show us that they're not so different after all, that under other circumstances, they could all be friends. Well you know what, TWD writers? It worked. Damn you for toying with our emotions... yet again!

So we have our two fearless leaders, "smoldering" at each other to use "Talking Dead" guest Eliza Dushku's word. They get down to business. They break out the whiskey. The Governor tries strategy after strategy to see what's going to stick with Rick. Surrender? Death? How about Michonne? But what bothers me about this whole peace summit is that Rick never once asks the Governor why. He never asks why the Governor won't accept to stay on his side of the river or why he's so against having neighbors in the first place. Not that the Governor's answer would have been either satisfying or true, but still. Normal people have conversations, even when tersely exchanging terms.

As to the Governor's story about his wife's death... cry me a river. Far from humanizing the character or making him sympathetic in any way, it just fell flat as a play for power in the conversation (which, knowing the Governor, it probably was). But who in the zombie apocalypse hasn't lost someone? And Rick's certainly not in the mood to bond over dead wives.

Can we talk about Andrea? Specifically: what will it take for Andrea to leave Woodbury? She's seen that the prison needs her. She's seen the error of her ways from Michonne's condemnation. And in this episode, she's practically told outright that the Governor is a creep who sexually assaulted Maggie. Hershel (ever the wise counselor and comfort of the show) even tells her that she'll always have a place with the prison family. And yet she still goes back to Woodbury with the Governor.

We can only hope Andrea's going back in order to sabotage the war and assassinate the Governor. In the eyes of some fans, that's really the only thing that will redeem her.

It's about time Maggie and Glenn made up and sealed it with a kiss. Not that they didn't need time to heal and think, but on a show where so much bad happens, it's nice to have one happy couple with a fulfilling relationship. They are the bright shining glimmer of joy in an ocean of zombie bile and grief. Well, them and Lil' Ass-kicker.

At the end of the day, we're at the brink of war. Rick lies, the Governor lies. Neither of them believes the other will be honest to their terms. And what terms they are: give up Michonne and live. Unfortunately, Rick and Carl already bonded with Michonne, and as Saint Hershel points out, she's more than earned her place in the group. But giving up the sword-wielding, dead-daughter-killing, stoic bad-ass is not an option anyone is seriously considering.

Oh, and the title, "Arrow on the Doorpost"? That refers to the start of a war. Basically the opposite of burying the hatchet. So that's ominous.

Was Rick right to lie to the prison dwellers? Did Andrea honestly believe the Governor would abide by fair terms? Is Milton going to buy Hershel dinner? Find out next week when "The Walking Dead" goes to war.

We are the walking dead: Tune into AMC every Sunday night at 9 p.m. for the latest episode of the little zombie show that could, "The Walking Dead."

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